Other RPG Systems to Play the Golarion Setting


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Simple enough question I guess. What other RPG systems would do a good job of representing the Golarion setting?

I love the setting, reading Pathfinder books really draws me in an gets me excited, even the rules books, but the setting in particular. My problem is that over the years I've developed a rather strong distaste for level and class based RPG systems and certain aspects of the d20 system. Pathfinder is certainly the best incarnation of the d20 system out there and if I had to play d20 I would jump for Pathfinder.

So I come here to the fans of Pathfinder and ask If you had to choose another system to faithfully represent Golarion what system would you use.


Hiya.

I primarily use "Dark Dungeons" (a BECMI/RC clone...look it up) for my Golarion campaigns. We tried to use the PF rules for the "Second Darkness" AP. With the PF rules, we all felt "rushed" through book one. It's like we *had* to do what we suspected we were supposed to, because if we didn't, we wouldn't have some particular piece of equipment, or have a certain amount of gold or XP. By switching to a different system altogether, it freed me, as DM, from trying to force stuff; I felt more able to just "wing it". The players also felt less constrained, knowing that their power level wasn't going to increase in leaps and bounds. So, the 2nd level fighter would have an extra 2d8 hp and +2 to hit by the time he hit 4th. That's it. All the other classes were basically the same. A *small* upgrade here and there every few levels (like a new spell level, or another weapon proficiency to improve with, etc.). We found the PF system "forced" us to think at least one or two levels ahead so that we would make sure we had the pre-req's for some skill, feat or PrC or Class. It took away from just outright enjoying the game and letting the story unfold naturally through the characters actions.

So...yeah. Dark Dungeons. :) I've also toyed with the idea of using the Rolemaster system. For some reason it seems like it'd fit fairly well...

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I run all my games in golarion (like you, I love the setting, but also paizo's adventures). They've predominantly been 4E, but most recently I ran serpents skull using goodman games' Dungeon Crawl Classics. My game of choice is Swords and Wizardry and I think that works fine too.

I don't think system matters, really. Anything which covers fantasy would do it.


Well, system does matter, if you're doing APs or Modules. It's not like you can't run an AP or Module in another system, but the further you get from the (sometimes strange) logic of Pathfinder, the less point there is to using a module or AP at all.

I'd say you could do any d20ish system with fair results. In my experience, gaming with more "narrativist" systems using these materials falls apart quickly — or rather, the effort to include the material simply isn't justified by the results.

Shadow Lodge

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Well, system does matter, if you're doing APs or Modules. It's not like you can't run an AP or Module in another system, but the further you get from the (sometimes strange) logic of Pathfinder, the less point there is to using a module or AP at all.

Obviously there will be some work involved, but I don't think it's necessarily as much as you're implying. I think, for example, Swords & Wizardry could fairly easily handle any Paizo-published adventure. There are really only two sticking points: monsters that haven't been given S&W stats, and NPCs with classes that don't have direct S&W equivalents.

For the first, since S&W is a pretty simple system, it's fairly easy to quickly come up with fairly equivalent S&W stats. If that's too much bother, you can always simply substitute an S&W monster (and there's quite a few to choose from: Tome of Horrors Complete, Tome of Horrors 4, and Monstrocities are all pretty big tomes that are chock full of monsters).

The second is a bit more of a problem, potentially. However, it's pretty easy to just make the NPC the closest equivalent class, and then give the character any other needed special abilities. Since S&W isn't as overly hard-coded as Pathfinder, this comes across as fairly natural.

I'd argue it's easier to convert PF to S&W than it is the other way around.


A few non-level based systems:

GURPS Lite.
Runequest SRD.
Wanton Role-playing for those who want really simple and fast rules.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Well, system does matter, if you're doing APs or Modules. It's not like you can't run an AP or Module in another system, but the further you get from the (sometimes strange) logic of Pathfinder, the less point there is to using a module or AP at all.

The reason I use paizo APs and modules is the stories and setting. I dont find those things to be system dependant.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Well, system does matter, if you're doing APs or Modules. It's not like you can't run an AP or Module in another system, but the further you get from the (sometimes strange) logic of Pathfinder, the less point there is to using a module or AP at all.
The reason I use paizo APs and modules is the stories and setting. I dont find those things to be system dependant.

I used to think this, and experience corrected me.

It depends on the system of course. Swords & Wizardry is pretty close to the Pathfinder adventuring assumptions after all.

A weirder system, like Burning Wheel, for example, breaks down pretty quick in the face of a Paizo AP. Or at least, that was my experience.

Depending on what the system prioritizes in gameplay, different solutions to problems are favored. That can play some havoc with the way the writers laid things out.

I'm not saying it can't be done, just that at some point you cross an event horizon where you'd be better off home brewing. That is the point where you have no rules support and your plot and setting are not easy to work with in the system of choice.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Ah, I see. Maybe I just haven't tried anything too exotic. Cheers.

Shadow Lodge

Well, obviously it's not going to be a fit with systems that have completely different assumptions. I wouldn't suggest trying to play Rise of the Runelords using Call of Cthulhu or Warhammer 40K.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hark wrote:

Simple enough question I guess. What other RPG systems would do a good job of representing the Golarion setting?

I love the setting, reading Pathfinder books really draws me in an gets me excited, even the rules books, but the setting in particular. My problem is that over the years I've developed a rather strong distaste for level and class based RPG systems and certain aspects of the d20 system. Pathfinder is certainly the best incarnation of the d20 system out there and if I had to play d20 I would jump for Pathfinder.

So I come here to the fans of Pathfinder and ask If you had to choose another system to faithfully represent Golarion what system would you use.

For the most part any system that you have the mastery of to do the grunt work of conversion. Because it's not a trivial matter. The only other proviso would be your assessement as to how well the system conveys Golarion's flavor. Using Rolemaster's Middle Earth Roleplaying for instance would be a very different feel than the wargamed derived D20.

On the other hand, Storyteller can be adapted for any campaign that emphasizes story driven adventures as oppose to heavy wargame mechanical ones. You might even use one system for large scale battles and another for standard small unit combat. Heck one could even do Amber Diceless, but that's not an exercise for the uninitiated.

In short, you can answer that question best by the systems you master. If you master a game system you can make it jump through a lot more hoops than you can as a novice.

If you ONLY know D20 or Pathfinder though, then the answer is it's probably best to stick with what you know until and unless you develop a preference for another system.


You can use just about any system you like, if you put the work into it. Savage world would be my go to for this, doubly so if you have the fantasy compendium. rune quest 2/legend or RQ6 are so good options if you want classless.

Other systems that could work: d6 fantasy, fate,GURPS (Not my cuppa but eh),shadowrun,new world of darkness,earthdawn or just about anything you want to use really.

Liberty's Edge

World of Darkness. I can so imagine a desperate band of hunters maintaining the vigil against the hosts of evils in the world.


I use the Hero System when I'm not playing Pathfinder. It's a point-based, open-ended system similar in nature to GURPS, but I like the way Hero handles things better.


Hiya.

Wow.

Let see....I've run....

Age of Worms: (first three adventures) with...
* Powers & Perils
* Marvel Super Heroes Advanced
* The Arcanum
* * Converting it for use with Star Frontiers
* * Converting it for use with Gamma World 3rd Edition

Second Darkness (first 4 advantures):
* Pathfinder
* Dark Dungeons (BECMI/RC clone)
* * Converting to Gamma World 3rd Edition

Savage Tide (from first 2 to slightly more...:
* Fantasy Elements (my own RPG system)
* Dark Dungeons
* Call of Cthulhu

Kingmaker:
* Dark Dungeons
* Gamma World 3rd Edition
* Basic Role Playing System (Rune Quest II rules, basically)

So...yeah, for someone with multi-decades of GM'ing under my belt, converting any module to any system isn't a problem.

Paul

Liberty's Edge

pming wrote:

So...yeah, for someone with multi-decades of GM'ing under my belt, converting any module to any system isn't a problem.

Paul

It's not nearly as difficult as it seems. My current World of Darkness game, which takes place in a contemporary New England kicked off with Feast of Ravenmoor and has included the first two chapters of Age of Worms. I will be including part three very soon.

I find it very easy to tell the same story in a different setting. You don't need to apply conversion tables and whatnot to port over statistics and so on. I apply things, given my knowledge of both systems, that have the same feel and effects. The giant demon mosquito from Ravenmoor was fun and I just made things up that fit, including its difficulty tracking and targeting vampires.


i have some experience running games set in Golarion using the Savage Worlds system. worked great for us. its a very different system, so the trick isn't to even try to convert the mechanics, and stick more to getting the flavor right.

Savage Worlds is my favorite generic rpg. very easy prep, which i like. having lots of experience with it, i'm pretty confident running almost any genre using it. And Golarion is by far my favorite fantasy campaign setting.


kthulhu said wrote:
I wouldn't suggest trying to play Rise of the Runelords using Call of Cthulhu or Warhammer 40K.

Yeah I could see the adventurers orbital striking thistletop into oblivion wouldnt be nearly as fun lol. Though blasting some sinspawn with a heavy bolter would be awesome.


Khonger wrote:

i have some experience running games set in Golarion using the Savage Worlds system. worked great for us. its a very different system, so the trick isn't to even try to convert the mechanics, and stick more to getting the flavor right.

Savage Worlds is my favorite generic rpg. very easy prep, which i like. having lots of experience with it, i'm pretty confident running almost any genre using it. And Golarion is by far my favorite fantasy campaign setting.

I will use Savage Worlds for my Campaign (Kingmaker) in the near future.

It is really easy. I use much Pathfinder material for the background, because the books are just great.

But savage worlds makes it really easy to play.

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