I’ve been thinking quite a bit about open rule sets recently. By open rule sets, I’m not refereeing to the OGL, but rather about generic game systems that allow the GM to create his own world. I own three of these systems – GURPS, Savage Worlds, True20 (and used to own a fourth: MasterBook from WEG).
I used to run a fair number of games using the GURPS system. I was particularly fond of using it for Sci-Fi, modern, and near future games. We also toyed with running a few Supers games using GURPS, but never liked it as much as the old Champions system.
As it turns out, my recent review of True20 probably demonstrates that I have the same sort of leanings regarding True20. For whatever reason, it seems to be balanced fairly well for running modern and futuristic games, while leaving me feeling as if a fantasy game would be a bit more difficult to pull off.
As I dive into Savage Worlds, I’m finding myself pigeonholing all of these games in a rather unusual way. At the moment, I have this impression that Savage Worlds would be perfect for a blended game (mixture of tech and fantasy); True20 seems to be a perfect match for modern day and supernatural games; while GURPS is still lingering around my brain as the hard Sci-Fi system de jour.
For the most part, I realize this is just a surface feeling. I think any of the three systems would work equally well for modern, Sci-Fi, or even mixed campaigns. Yet, there’s something about each of the systems that seem to subconsciously lend themselves to certain styles of gaming.
In the near future, I’m going to attempt to put together a few “micro-settings” for both True20 and Savage Worlds to see how they work. I’ll be sure to share when I’m done.