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Ive been having game systems running through my head all night and at the end I think the best system for me is Dungeon World, just because I've run it the most and it's the one I'm the most confident with.

Here a list of rejected systems:

Torchbearer: too complex to teach randoms and too expensive for me to assume they'll buy the book and teach themselves (sorry). Also I'm unsure how long distance travel meshes with short distance dungeon crawls.

I really wanted this one to work but it wasn't practical.

Beyond The Wall

The Further Afield expansion is truely wonderful and I'll definitely be borrowing from it. Sadly though with only four classes I wasn't sure that the players would be able to destinguish themselves from each other meaningfully mechanically. I also felt that a lot of the gold in this systems was the meta rules around character creation and the Further Afield travel rules. I can use those meta rules in a different system I like more.

DnD 5e

This was a close one because it's the game I know everyone knows. Sadly though, I've never played it and from outside it seems impenetrable to run at scale.

Honestly if someone made a good case to me about why DnD is perfect for West Marches I would probably flip over to it.

Why I'm not entirely happy with DW:

I really liked Matt Covils vision of WestMarches where the game gets harder the further out you go and that you need to progress to take on these challenges.

Although it can be a strength, DW has a reasonably flat power curve so I'm not sure how much progression there is.

There's also going to be pressure on me as the DM to reign in my narrative tendencies when I run the game as when running a shared campaign there needs to be an actual shared reality.

@Tom If you are wanting to stick to the familiar (D&D) and yet keep it simple like DW, have you looked at #BFRPG?

basicfantasy.org/

It is free and FLOS too! So it is easy to try out.

@Tom yeah! I and if you want more crunch than the base, your can scroll down this link to the supplements sections; pick and choose and all.

Another GM and I were talking about how much we love the Bard songs section in the quasi classes down there.

basicfantasy.org/downloads.htm

#rpg #osr #bfrpg

@Tom I do play in a 5e West Marches from time to time (as in, I'll be playing my second game next week, and it will be the 4th game total in the campaign). The DM was running DW in his previous campaign, I'm not sure why he chose 5e this time (except he is a player in my 5e campaign and he seems to enjoy it). I can ask him next time I see him.

@nono
Sounds good. I'd love to know the experiences of people who actually ran a DW West Marches.

@Tom In a similar position after picking up the Hot Springs Island books and landing in a similar spot (for almost identical reasons on most counts). Looking at DW (and maybe Class Warfare added in).

@Tom Mouse Guard was just a bad fit for the people I play with (even though I liked the conflict system), so Torchbearer was a non-starter.

5e everyone knows, but as a GM I just don't want to have to do that much work. (Curse of Strahd was a sandbox scenario that I ran for a year and "you can't do the obvious thing you want to do because {levels/CR/math}" was a constant pain in the ass that really made it hard to keep going with. I don't want to revisit that kind of a scenario.

@Tom I also considered using the Cypher System, but it just didn't feel great. (Even though that's right up its alley.)

@not_another_mike
Yeah all the stuff about having X fights per Y rest of Z difficulty seems really hard to crack since I've never done it before and I don't really care to learn.

@not_another_mike
Yeah, I'll do a pass and see what extra classes I'll allow.

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