I am seeking guidance and advice from the great gaming hivemind. This is an idea I've mentioned several times before but now I want to try and actually do something with it.
I am looking for a game system - not necessarily even a superhero game - that will allow me to emulate the kind of low-level heroics depicted in TV shows like Alphas, Misfits, The 4400 and Heroes or the early days of The X-Men comics where each (player) character has a single special ability (or a small suite of interrelated powers).
I'm looking for a game that is relatively simple and crunch-lite (so no Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder-ish suggestions that require a full-page to stat up an NPC with a dozen feats and two dozen skills), yet detailed enough to warrant long-term campaign play.
Maybe it's a contemporary action game that has rules for metahuman abilities or a sci-fi system that can be applied to a modern-day setting. I find a lot of pure superhero RPGs are geared towards the mid- to high-end heroes and don't cope particularly well with heroes that only have a single power
Heck, although I'm an old school grognard at heart I'm willing to entertain some of these trendy new indie game systems if they do what I want them to do (and don't require the instigation of a 'safe word').
Rules-wises I have the following personal prejudices, but all are negotiable (except, really, the setting one) if the system is really cool and elegant:
- I'm not really a fan of dice-pool mechanics as I believe they slow games down (nor gimmicky systems that use cards, dominoes or, heaven forbid, no dice at all!).
- Doesn't require the use of tables during combat - everything a player (and GM) needs should be on his character sheet. Again, turning to a table mid-combat slows things down and ruins the moment.
- Everything I need is contained in a single book (even if it's obscure, I don't mind doing a bit of RPG archaeology to track down a rule book).
- Mustn't be married to a specific setting, as I have a setting in mind and want to be able to develop it as I see fit.