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What's the Deadliest System?


Other RPGs

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Rolemaster- cus you can bleed out or die of shock- and lets not forget the Disintergation Crit Table and the ones for Hi Energy weapon platforms (gotta love the Spacemaster compatability).
Call of Cthulhu- because when it comes down to it, you're going to die or go mad-it's pretty inevitable.
GURPS- because no matter what how kick ass you get, a bullet between the eyes is still taking you out.
Chill- absolutely brutal attrition- great game, though.

Andoran

Call of Cthulhu and Twilight 2000 were both designed to be gritty and deadly. However, experienced gamers will be quick to exploit flaws in the systems that will ensure survival. In Twilight it's possible to create a total bullet sponge that can live through anything but the rules are so convoluted why would anyone besides my friend Tim who enjoys the challenge bother with them? Call of Cthulhu makes it too easy to exploit the skill system to make a totally bada$$ combat monster, I've seen it happen.

Shadowrun is easy to die if you acted stupid. The system didn't, and now in Fourth Edition still doesn't, pull any punches. But at the same time it's easy to make a character that can shrug off anything thrown at them, especially Trolls. This flaw is fixed considerably in the new rules.

So my final vote as the deadliest game I have run or played is Call of Cthulhu d20. Using the d20 rules set it is not possible to exploit flaws in the system to make your character able to whip out an arsenal from under your duster and lay waste to the great cosmic evil. You can try but I can guarantee you won't be successful at low levels, I've seen it happen. d20 fixes the problems with the original rules and makes the game playable though still too deadly for my tastes.


EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
Call of Cthulhu and Twilight 2000 were both designed to be gritty and deadly. However, experienced gamers will be quick to exploit flaws in the systems that will ensure survival. In Twilight it's possible to create a total bullet sponge that can live through anything but the rules are so convoluted why would anyone besides my friend Tim who enjoys the challenge bother with them?

Bullet-Sponge? I'd like to hear (read) a little more behind this.

Andoran

I haven’t had the opportunity to play a detailed game yet, but everything that I’ve read points to The Riddle of Steel being a fairly deadly game. Any thoughts on this?

Andoran

I’ve Got Reach wrote:
Bullet-Sponge? I'd like to hear (read) a little more behind this.

If a player were to pump up their endurance related score, I forget what it was called now, their health on their main body, where most attacks hit, can easily withstand several rounds from an assault rifle. Bullet sponge is what my friend, a long time fan of Twilight 2000 and Merc 2000, called this tactic.

The last game I played my wife made a big Samoan guy who could take all kinds of punishment and keep on trucking. The others in the party used to joke they could just use him as cover. Things like explosions and shrapnel that did damage to all body parts was a little more difficult to shrug off but it was still a flaw of the system. It's been so long since I ran Twilight 2000 that I can't remember exactly how she accomplished this and I'm too lazy to pull out the 2.0 book. :P

I didn't care for the unnecessary complexity of the system and scrapped my last game wondering why we didn't just play the same story with d20 Modern. So we did.

Cheliax

For board games it would have to be Aftermath.

For roleplaying toss up between Twilight 2000 or Paranoia, with Call of C rounding out the top three.

Did you hear that sound?

Cheliax

I like the hillarity ensuing from Og: The Unearthed Edition. There really are no advancement rules...just trying to live day to day in a prehistoric world with a vocabulary of half-a-dozen words is brutal, and fun! You have about a d6 worth of hit points, maybe hunting a wooly mammoth? Most lethal? Perhaps by realizing that the caveman ain't here no mo'.

Cheliax

Roll and keep- Legend of the five rings

Dream Pod 9's Silhouette system is harsh when you aren't in a Gear.

Cheliax

Acev wrote:

Roll and keep- Legend of the five rings

I'd have to agree with you there. You playing 3rd edition L5R I suppose?


Valegrim wrote:
then Twighlight 2000 is your deadly game; very realistic; you get shot once; your prolly gonna die.

eh, depends where you get hit and what you get hit with... There aren't that many instant kill zones on the body and they tend to be fairly small (head is an exception of course) also, with modern technology and the humans own ability to heal; our bodies are remarkably resilient.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Mechwarrior 3rd

The character creation charts couldn't kill your character outright, but they'd make your character wish he was dead.

Combat was lethal, both outside the mechs, and inside where a lucky shot from a rifle could breach the mech.

And the effort to roll up your character and stat him out could drive you to suicide.

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Deadliest systems I played - taking only the rules into account, not the scenarios I'd say rolemaster (especially when the DM doesn't own the rulebooks but some of the players do - so they look up the criticals and the DM doesn't even have the chance to fudge...), shadowrun and Mechwarrior (I heard the latest edition of shadowrun is less deadly, but I haven't played, Mechwarrior is deadly in all editions I came to play)

Osirion

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Wiglaf wrote:
I haven’t had the opportunity to play a detailed game yet, but everything that I’ve read points to The Riddle of Steel being a fairly deadly game. Any thoughts on this?

Ha! I made sure to read through all of the posts to see if someone brought this gem up. Most games talk about avoiding combat being a good decision, well this one means it. I love the damage tables.

Upward swing to the groin with cutting weapon

Level 5: "Weapon destroys pelvis and lodges just below the navel. Death is imminent."

Good stuff.

Cheliax

Kobolds Ate My Baby is pretty lethal. The DM can "win" by killing enough characters during a session, and can ensure that this happens by handing out points at will which force players to make a check to avoid having to roll on the Kobold Horrible Death Chart.

Cheliax

Radavel wrote:


I'd have to agree with you there. You playing 3rd edition L5R I suppose?

Yep.

Andoran

feytharn wrote:
I heard the latest edition of shadowrun is less deadly...

Untrue. The new system actually evens out the lethality. Before most Trolls could shrug off anything but in Fourth Edition Trolls are still appropriately tough but can't shrug off bullets to the face they way they used to. I've found the lethality of Shadowrun was mostly up to the intelligence of the players. It was relatively easy to survive so long as you played it smart and didn't get in over your head, and, of course, wore armor.

I've been playing Shadowrun for years, across three of it's editions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I would agree that Rolemaster could be brutual, especially on a single roll you could be screwed. Twilight 2000 I'd also agree to as being pretty rough.

The one I would also include would be Dark Conspiracy - which was also made by Games Workshop and used Twilight's system. I think what made it rough was that not only could you be killed by conventional means, but all the paranormal stuff that emerged could mess you up badly. It was like a nasty mix of Twilight and Call of Cthulu - to me at least.


Wiglaf wrote:
I haven’t had the opportunity to play a detailed game yet, but everything that I’ve read points to The Riddle of Steel being a fairly deadly game. Any thoughts on this?

Its a lot like a fencing match, your only going to take 1 to 3 hits but it could be a long flight between to masters.

EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
feytharn wrote:
I heard the latest edition of shadowrun is less deadly...

Untrue. The new system actually evens out the lethality. Before most Trolls could shrug off anything but in Fourth Edition Trolls are still appropriately tough but can't shrug off bullets to the face they way they used to. I've found the lethality of Shadowrun was mostly up to the intelligence of the players. It was relatively easy to survive so long as you played it smart and didn't get in over your head, and, of course, wore armor.

I've been playing Shadowrun for years, across three of it's editions.

Ehhh its more statistically swingy. This gives a significant advantage to weapons that were laughable to a troll before. Armor is also not as good for the troll but better for the guy with body 1. The old systems had a more of a curve to them where as 4e is a linear progression if you take the averages and dont factor in swing.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Unknown Armies. I dont know about it being super deadly but fights are scary because you know someones going to die and it may be you.

WOW thread necro... geez... darn you google!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evilturnip wrote:
I've been reading the rules for "Godlike" (haven't played yet - it's a WW2 era super-powers game) It seems pretty deadly. One stray bullet can really mess you up. Combat really seems like something to try and avoid. Getting wounded is a big deal for characters.

We've played Godlike a little, but using GURPS. It hasn't been deadly for the PCs yet but it sure has been for the NPCs. Two "powered" PCs storming the beach in N. Africa (Opn. Torch) with a platoon of normals - one guy bought it from a random shell blast, one from a sniper shot to the head, and the platoon sergeant and a squad leader both are out after trying to be heroes. Fortunately the powered PCs used their gifts to get the situation under control and secure their patch of beach from the Vichy French.

We had a lot of fun with it.
M

Edit: Of course the French are not very best soldiers in the war. Our boys are about to meet the battle-hardened Germans before long...and their ubermenschen soon after (when they try to take Sicily). That should be interesting.


Old Usagi Yojimbo. Every time you attacked someone, you could end up dead yourself.


From my experiences, I'd cast my vote for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, criticals were brutal, if you survived you had to convalesce for weeks.


EATERoftheDEAD wrote:

Call of Cthulhu and Twilight 2000 were both designed to be gritty and deadly. However, experienced gamers will be quick to exploit flaws in the systems that will ensure survival. In Twilight it's possible to create a total bullet sponge that can live through anything but the rules are so convoluted why would anyone besides my friend Tim who enjoys the challenge bother with them? Call of Cthulhu makes it too easy to exploit the skill system to make a totally bada$$ combat monster, I've seen it happen.

Shadowrun is easy to die if you acted stupid. The system didn't, and now in Fourth Edition still doesn't, pull any punches. But at the same time it's easy to make a character that can shrug off anything thrown at them, especially Trolls. This flaw is fixed considerably in the new rules.

So my final vote as the deadliest game I have run or played is Call of Cthulhu d20. Using the d20 rules set it is not possible to exploit flaws in the system to make your character able to whip out an arsenal from under your duster and lay waste to the great cosmic evil. You can try but I can guarantee you won't be successful at low levels, I've seen it happen. d20 fixes the problems with the original rules and makes the game playable though still too deadly for my tastes.

I'll see your combat monster, and raise you a shoggoth.

Seriously, no need to convert over to d20. First off, you should be working with your players to generate a social contract where they don't make that kind of character, and secondly, even if they do, there are so many mythos threats that just arn't going to worry about his 80% in tommygun, and 80 in dodge, and will just smoosh him anyway.

byakhee with shrivelling=dead combat monster pc
shoggoth=dead combat monster
One hidden cultist with a rifle=dead combat monster


+1

Bill Lumberg wrote:
Paranoia.


I give +1 to WFRP, Rolemaster, and Call of Cthulhu. In RM, I created the character, joined the party fight and died of a bleeding crit with my character's hand cut off at the wrist. Warhammer crits weren't any better. In CoC, I don't know which was worse, dying or going insane.


Call of Cthulhu, the 1980's version.

You are going to go insane, the only question is when. Unless you die first, but that is for slackers.


I've done more killing than all of my other games combined, over 30+ years, in Warhammer Fantasy ROleplay 3rd edition.

On average, I kill one character per session (I stopped pulling punches a couple years ago during our CONAN rpg campaigns).

jh


It depends

if you mean "can the first dice roll of the first combat of the campaign kill me", then hands down it is SPI's dragonquest....closely followed by rolemaster

both these games will do for you with a single d100 roll. they have no fate point system.

PF is actually very dangerous. a 20 on the first roll, and a confirm on the second, and your 1st level is dead to the orcs falchion

D&D basic is lethal too. roll your hitpoints at 1st and dead at 0 hp's.

Games w/o fate, fortune, etc are the most deadly to your new PC

WHFRP 2nd isnt that deadly. it is the slow grind death because of low % to hit, chances to dodge and parry, fate and fortune points, et al

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The current DR. Who RPG.

IT's very big on replicating the "one shot you're dead" aspects of the TV Show. The idea of the game is to avoid resorting to violence as your first option.

Qadira

Definitely Paranoia. I lost my first clone during the mission briefing.


Shadowborn wrote:
Definitely Paranoia. I lost my first clone during the mission briefing.

True that, mine was asked to "report immediately to the nearest convenient disintegration center" on the way to mission briefing...

Qadira

Laurefindel wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Definitely Paranoia. I lost my first clone during the mission briefing.
True that, mine was asked to "report immediately to the nearest convenient disintegration center" on the way to mission briefing...

You got lucky. My clone was reassigned to work the food vats. At least your death was quick and painless.


Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues ^____^

Shadow Lodge

F.A.T.A.L. Not only will your character die if you actually play the game...you as a player stand a good chance of being lynched if you suggest playing it.


Real Life
2012th Edition


S.L.A. Industries, I lost three characters in three game sessions.


Traveller is pretty lethal unless your equipment is a lot better than their equipment. And of course occasionally killed PCs during character generation.

Runequest is a game where your Rune-level PC can be killed by a trollkin with a sling at any moment. Assuming there are Trollkin around, that is. And don't get me started on the deadliness of Ducks.

Paranoia, though of course that's largely the point of the game, is a game where a TPK is normal - sometimes more than one, although I've only once seen someone go through all their clones in one session.

I can't remember which game it was, but there was a swashbuckler game I played back in the 1980s where I once saw three PCs get killed in one attack during a particular fight - against highwaymen/bandits, and really only expected to be a minor encounter. Flashing Blades, perhaps, was the system.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps Subscriber

I have to agree with Paranoia, I had one player lose 2 of his clones during character creation.

He filled in his secret society twice while filling out his Mandatory Bonus Duty form.


CEBrown wrote:
Anyone know how Millennium's End stacks up lethality wise? Never actually got to play a full game myself and every time I went to buy the, either I was a few bucks short or the booth was out of stock...

It's interesting to see that besides CEBrown no one was mentioning Millenium's End.

According to its author the game was planned for a Die Hard style adventures, the system is quite original: no hit points, no health level and in theory you can receive dozen of bullets without dying.
In reality Millenium's End players are as scared entering a firefight as Cthulhu investigator entering R'lyeh. Why? Because if you're not lucky enough to get shot in the hands, feet or another "just painful" area a single bullet will probably kill you.
Working in a RPG store at that time it I had a discussions with groups playing it, the record was a character surviving two bullets!
I'm sure (or at least hope) some players/NPC survived more bullets but this "realistic" and descriptive system is deadly enough to traumatise the boldest!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

dunno if it's been translated in English but Metal Factor is quite the stealthy deadly meat grinder. here's why since i doubt it's available in anything else that french:
first it's space opera with a D6 success system
a campaign start with players having a shared pool of 50d6 and the gm with the same but empty. players can draw dice from that pool when they make test with many of them gaining additional effects (as well as additional drawback if you fail). fun part being each dice a player draw from their pool goes in the gm pool who can use them like a player does... or spend them to create catastrophic events even when the normally would have succeeded their test, of course the more he spend the worst the effects ^^, like a failure in the hyper-jump drive that makes you get out of hyper drive in an asteroid field... or in a sun :D

and since the players will use those dice in an hyper drive battle to enhance their piloting tests cause a single failure can wipe-out the whole team instantly... well you probably get the point ]:D

from more conventionnal games how about dark heresy? you'r always one shoot from death or irreversible debilitation.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Paranoia, hands down.
WFRP (first edition) is quite deadly, as well. As are Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun.
Last time I played, Phoenix Command tended to be rather brutal, as well.


Hackmaster 4th not only can you die on character creation but you could also end up a blind, deaf, and mute paraplegic with multiple personalities and daddy issues.

Also rot grubs (instadeath in 2 rounds at 20th level), Anthraxians ("look its a puppy, OH GOD IT BURNS!"), and carniverous sheep...every thing is designed to kill you.

Grand Lodge

Cthulhu d100 in my honest opinion.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

GURPS is pretty lethal if you use the core combat rules and try to play it like D&D. Imagine a 3.X/PF game in which weapons do their normal damage, but if you get hit, you're stunned for a round. Also some weapons do an extra 50% or 100% damage. Also you only have 10-15 hp, and that number never increases.


Yup. Plus if you take a single wound whose damage is more than half your Health, then make a Health roll or get knocked down. And it takes two turns to stand up again.

Oh, but wait! All this just means that the system is lethal to the PLAYER CHARACTERS! Most of the really cool monsters - even relatively small monsters with absurdly low point totals - have a very high Health score, so even when you reduce them to 0 hit points or less, they'll keep making their Health checks, at which they'll almost always succeed, to stay conscious. THEY stay conscious. You don't, because you have to make a Health check EVERY TURN to stay conscious, and YOU have a good chance of failure. To kill one of those monsters, you have to reduce it to NEGATIVE FIVE TIMES its Health! YOUR character, on the other hand, will almost certainly die when reduced to negative ONE times your Health, or very shortly thereafter.

So you could kill a monster... with a rifle. But not with pistols, let alone primitive weapons like swords!

(I'll admit that I've never tried GURPS 4th edition. I base my statements only on 3rd.)


Feint is your friend. ;)


Warhammer Quest. Also known as Warhammer Fantasy Light. Every round there's a 1 in 6 chance of something happening. Tripping over a trap, monsters showing up, or a slim chance of something good. This is every round. Even rounds when you're already fighting another group of monsters.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Mechwarrior 3rd

The character creation charts couldn't kill your character outright, but they'd make your character wish he was dead.

Combat was lethal, both outside the mechs, and inside where a lucky shot from a rifle could breach the mech.

And the effort to roll up your character and stat him out could drive you to suicide.

i loved every second of it.


Has anyone here even heard of Crimson Exodus?

There is an entire book that goes alongside it called Trauma detailing just about everything bad that could possibly befall your character.

You can die of sepsis or poison without your character knowing about it until it's too late, which it often is in a fantasy world almost completely devoid of decent healing.

It can take an hour just to work out the full effects of one wound, which can frequently lead to retirement-worthy injuries. It does not forgive you for getting hit or picking fights you shouldn't have.

I've never played it because getting a group of people willing to go through all the bookkeeping for injuries is very difficult, but it's a very lethal system.

Andoran

forgot I started this.

Went to say Cyberpunk.

In 16 days, it's 2013.

The circle is now complete.


Heathansson wrote:

forgot I started this.

Went to say Cyberpunk.

In 16 days, it's 2013.

The circle is now complete.

who'd have thunk it, by 2013, we really would be living in a cyber punk world ruled by powerful corporate interests ;)

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