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I'm running Dungeon World right now and enjoy it a lot. It's not perfect, but it's fast and easy to get new players into the action (I have two players who have never touched an RPG before).
Spire is easily the most flavorful read I've encountered in years, and it's next on my list to run.
Nobilis 2nd edition is the game that spoke to my soul and convinced me to start designing "professionally".
Might I humbly suggest my own games? A bunch of them are free, and all of them are cheap.
I'm Neal (he/him), and I've been playing RPGs since the 1984 D&D red box; I started making my own games in 1990, but first did so "professionally" (as in, made them publicly available and for sale) in 2012. I have an inordinate fondness for heavily narrative games, card-driven or diceless mechanics, mythology and symbolism, cats, coffee, and esoterica. Most of my work that's worth noting is here on Itch, over on DriveThruRPG, or on my site parenthesispress.com.
I just don't like feeling like I'm being "lazy" or "unoriginal" by using an existing system. Curiously, this is a standard I only hold myself to, and have no problem with other people hacking an extant system for a game, and have in fact played some of those games and enjoyed them.
I ran and participated in a game jam last year, and I'm working on a game for the Roll to Craft Jam right now. I like the opportunity to get those straggler ideas out of my head that wouldn't make the cut for turning into a "major" project. Game jams often fit the bill for staying creative between big games, too.
From what I've seen on other sites and conversations, I think "Universal" is more commonly used to describe games that have no specific genre in mind, whereas "Systemless" or "System-Agnostic" would be more accurate in describing material that you're describing.
Just got back from the playtest, and I learned some useful stuff:
- the starting character abilities are too strong, and make the game too easy
- there's room to add more locations to the map (and make some tweaks to the ones that are there, particularly in the Forest)
- an idea for a fixed win condition came up, and I think I'm going to run with it
The skeleton of the game is together, and it's playable, so I've uploaded the current version for people to take a look at. It's not considered finished yet, and there's some playtesting already planned for the upcoming week, but I thought it might be interesting to see the progress so far.
While I'm working on the game, I thought it would be fun to let people share their vision for what their Alchemist looks like, and an idea came to me. See, one of the great things about the site HeroForge.com is not only that you can design awesome miniatures, but you can also share those designs with other people. So how about everyone go over to Hero Forge, design your version of the Alchemist, and post it here? I'll start with my design - a no-nonsense adventurer ready to get her hands dirty if it means keeping Dunvale safe from threats.