For the Fantasy genre, I'd recommend Hârn. It can be played with any system, but it does have a customized system that works quite well. No levels, no hit points. Fairly gritty feel.
Plus, there's a ton of free stuff available for it at http://www.lythia.com/ (including one of my own: http://www.lythia.com/2010/02/bognors-folly/).
For the superhero genre, it's hard to go wrong with Champions/HERO system, IMO, but I guess that may depend a lot on the specific likes/dislikes of your group.
For superheroes, I enjoy Mutants and Masterminds a lot. You can create pretty much any kind of character, and the combat system is quick and robust.
So I can play a crime fighting Cartographer... ;) ... "don't worry about Getriactic Man he is so over the hill" ... "We're not out of the woods yet" ... "that kid has a bad (l)atitude" *lol*
Originally Posted by Hai-Etlik
we are thinking about maybe Gurps... I played it a little many years ago and thought the stat system sucked at that point... maybe because I was a big Rolemaster fan :)
Never played Champions, but remember hearing its name... we are considering Mutants and Masterminds as an option - it look good, the only "problem" should be if it looks to much like D&D being based on d20 .. but I read it won several prices..
Well, there are only 4 "primary" attributes, but then there are several secondary attributes, and many advantages behave a lot like attributes too, particularly talents (which are new in 4th edition). Shifting two of the secondary attributes (Per and Will) to being primary attributes based off of a flat 10 rather than off of the IQ attribute is also a common house rule, giving 6 primaries.
Originally Posted by tilt
Absolutely check out Eclipse Phase....I can't recommend it highly enough. The setting/back story is magnificent and the system is sufficiently meaty.
M+M is generally based on the d20 system, but with some fundamental differences. It's a point-based character system and the levels are only an indicator of how many points you get and how high certain traits can go, so they are pretty much just a balancing tool which a group can feel free to ignore. Also, there are no Hit Points. You get, basically, a Damage Save, and the more hurt you get, the more penalties you get to the save until you are eventually worn down and KO'd, assuming you get hurt at all by an attack. The 3rd Edition also streamlines a number of things, like getting rid of the Attribute numbers (Str 16, Dex 14, etc) and replacing them with what were originally the Attributes' bonus numbers, which are really the only thing that mattered. Getting rid of the middleman, you might say.
Can i suggest a generic system?
I'm a player and game master of Hero System
It's a 3d6 system usable for SF, Fantasy, moderm horror, pulp, ...
GURPS: Generic Universal RolePlaying System
Which are the differences?
If Hero = linux then Gurps = Ubuntu
I haven't even posted my introduction thread yet, but I thought I'd stop by and throw in my 2 cents - What I have fallen in love with now as a system (it's light on it's own hinted at Tolkien-esque setting) is Luke Crane's Burning Wheel system. If you haven't experienced it, I think the greatest feature of it is the character creation system and the belief system, which I have read elsewhere is even used just for Burning up (their term for creating) character concepts for other games.
Harn, which was mentioned above, even has a community/website dedicated to a functional Burning Wheel conversion/written up setting. And for sci-fi, there is a separate game based on the same system called Burning Empires, which I have not looked into myself.
The Burning Wheel books I feel are core, and give you the tools for adapting and structuring as you see fit, are the Burning Wheel Gold (25 dollars), Monster Burner (25 dollars, and not just a compilation of monsters but his own... monograph? on building monsters, creatures, skills, and traits in his system), and Magic Burner (25 dollars, kind of like the magic system equivalent of the previously mentioned Monster Burner).
The Burning Empires book is somewhere around 40 or 50 dollars and I may be wrong but I think it is completely stand-alone. I don't know as I haven't had the money to pick it up yet. I haven't even played Burning Wheel yet, but just reading through the material has been a great pleasure, and I've heard some pretty rave reviews from friends who have tried it out at conventions and such.
Don't usually do it, but let's make a little toot on our own horn.
It's free, OGL and even open source, so it won't cost you anything to look at it.
"It" is the relatively new 3rd Edition of our Dungeons Daring (TM) RPG.
The game is anything but an echo of D&D or OGL 3.5. It's completely ability based. It has no classes (but there are optional professions). It has no levels, but individual abilities grow with experience. It has no saving throws.
It's different, and the user input that we've gotten (some 200 user responses) has been about 98% positive.
Everything is available in bookmarked PDF form. You also can get all of the texts in editable OpenOffice.org format and all of the maps in editable Fractal Mapper (TM) 8 format.
For more info: Dungeons Daring™ Fantasy Role-Playing Game