What is your favorite “rules lite” system?

I love PbtA and Forged in the Dark games but interested in other games with similar mechanics that are fiction first.

Also bonus points for Dark Fantasy games. I just found Symbaroum and love the art and the atmosphere but the rules don’t seem to really deliver on it.

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World of Dungeons/World of Shadows (WoD for Shadowrun) are pretty neat.

Also the 1 page rpgs from Grant Howitt like Adventure Skeletons, Honey Heist, Witch House, Witch is Dead.

All really easy to learn and cheap/free.

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My 1979 copy of 1974 OD&D without Booklette 4 “Greyhawk”.

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My favorite “rules lite” system is Lady Blackbird, both classic (half-page rules summary) and the 2019 updated version (full page rules summary with built-in safe-play discussion).

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I haven’t seen those ones from Grant Howitt before. They are definitely rules lite lol. Look like a lot of fun.

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@bigbucky have you seen Dark Davokar (https://davokar.com/)? Written by Jesse Ross (Trophy RPG), you might find it interesting for Symbaroum. As an aside, Trophy Gold would be a good fit for Symbaroum as well.

My current rules light darling is “Into the Dungeon: Revived” (https://vladar4.github.io/itdr/) - highly recommended.

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I haven’t played it yet, but I really like the feel I get from RR&D’s Resistance Toolbox. It’s the system they used in Spire: The City Must Fall , but without any setting.

If I had to describe it without mentioning Spire, I’d say it’s like FITD, but more trad and without all the extra BS.

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I find Symbaroum’s mechanics p elegant, tbh! What doesn’t work for you?

Regardless, I think @starmonkey Dark Davokar or Trophy Gold suggestions are great to use with that setting, but those will inject more survival-horror aspects than are actually in Symbaroum — not bad, by any means, but you’d certainly be playing a specific version of Symbaroum with those.

I love the resistance system designed for Spire! The toolbox mentioned by @Charles_Moore is not a system per se, however, but the means by which to create your own resistance ruleset (kind of a pedantic distinction, but I think you’d be confused if you opened it up expecting a set rules system).
I don’t think resistance is like BitD, though! It appears that way at first glance, but it’s doing something quite different than BitD. Regardless, it may fit the rules-light approach you’re looking for and you could certainly take the Resistance Toolbox and retrofit Symbaroum to a system you like!

ETA: actually, now I remember Symbaroum’s combat, which is definitely a little involved. That could use some finessing for sure.

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I’ll put in a vote for Lasers and Feelings or Maze Rats.

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Also bonus points for Dark Fantasy games. I just found Symbaroum and love the art and the atmosphere but the rules don’t seem to really deliver on it.

I think that’s exactly why @jesseross created Trophy!

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Yep, check out Trophy. I think it’ll fit your needs exactly. You can get the rules for free right now on our Kickstarter page:

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I’m sort of returning to the hobby after a few years of playing less, so I have little experience with games released over the last few years, but outside of Apocalypse World (which is the only PTbA game I’ve actually played) I remember really liking 3:16 Carnage Among The Stars for it’s simplicity. I believe the author was supposed to use the system for another game “Carnage Among The Tribes”, where you were to play warring barbarian tribes in a dark fantasy type setting. I don’t know if anything ever came of that though.

Cthulhu Dark always worked back when I tried it as well (I’m only familiar with the original 2010 version though).

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Wow, I see I’m not the only one who wanted darker rules for Symbaroum. That’s pretty much spot on. I’m always amazed what this community can do.

I found Trophy like 10 minutes after posting this and got it. Looks great.

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I think Symbaroum is a decent system just not for that setting. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it, I haven’t read all of the setting background. It seemed like it was about exploration in a dark, foreboding world where there are ancient evils and corruption around every corner. But the rules are all about making murder machines. There’s practically nothing about exploration in the rules and just a tiny section on social encounters. I’ll try it out some more but it feels more like generic fantasy rules when I was hoping for something more. It’s like trying to run a political intrigue game in D&D, you can do it but the rules don’t do you any favors.

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Ah, I see what you mean. You’re exactly right about what play the mechanics support — there is nothing to support anything social. In fact, the mention in the rules is basically “uhhh roleplay?”, which is a little frustrating since, yes, the characters end up being centered around combat.

They do expand on exploration in books beyond the core rulebook, but that itself is a kind of red flag. The base mechanics, I think, are really wonderful, but they are certainly trapped within an older model.

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I keep going back to Into the Odd. Something about it keeps drawing me back…

Also Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells 2E is looking very promising… Keep an eye out for that kickstarter…

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InSpectres, but it just suits that kind of “anything goes” almost gonzo kind of play. Perfect for a 45 min session … and most groups (on conventions) wants to play it twice.

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Trophy. Lasers and Feelings. Freebooting Venus. World of Mutants.

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“Dream Factory,” by Catnap Capers.

It’s my favorite published RPG, full stop.

Complicated, i.e. non “Rules Lite,” games are something that I tolerate.