Ersatz has been conceived as a way of dealing with a few problems that face me as a GM. Namely, my dissatisfaction with various aspects of essentially every system I’ve played with. I don’t like D&D’s leveling system. I don’t like the endless layers of complexity in GURPs. I don’t like WoD books. I don’t like the narrow focus of D&D or the WoD systems (they are very setting specific). I’ve wanted a simple, straightforward game system that’s easy to learn, easy to DM and yet flexible enough to capture any setting or any character.
That being said, this system has its own drawbacks. They’re just drawbacks that I don’t mind. I don’t expect this to be the end-all be-all system. I don’t want it to be everything to everybody. I’m designing it for myself and my friends. I’m placing it here in a public place so that others with my taste can benefit from my efforts.
I welcome criticisms, suggestions, and any other feedback that you might see fit to share. I also encourage anyone who reads this to try making their own version of Ersatz for their setting. If you do, please let me know! If you get wildly rich and famous, I’m sure we can come to an amicable agreement for my compensation ;-).
The following bullets explain the basis of the rules system. I’ve made mods for two different famous settings as an example (The Elder Scrolls and Star Wars). Specifics of these mods are linked to below and within the articles about that portion of the rules.
- The Mechanic – I’ve tried a lot of different mechanics and I really do feel the most comfortable with this one.
- Combat – This is the part of Ersatz I’m most proud of. After a lot of play testing, I think this captures my ideals about combat the best. Elder Scrolls Combat
- Skills and Abilities – These are the major players in determining how to apply the mechanic. Elder Scrolls Skills; Elder Scrolls Abilities; Star Wars Skills; Star Wars Abilities; Atlas Skills; Atlas Abilities
- Powers – Powers describe what a character can do. Elder Scrolls Powers; Star Wars Powers; Atlas Powers
- Resources – Resources determine things like your durability, the number of times you can repeat certain actions, etc. Elder Scrolls Resources; Star Wars Resources
- Features – Features are advantages that a character has that don’t particularly fall into any other categories. Most notable are things like how much a character can carry and how fast a character moves. Elder Scrolls Features; Star Wars Features; Atlas Features
- Equipment – I apologize that this can’t really be an exhaustive list of equipment. But let’s face it, I’m not a team of developers that can churn out thousands of “items” and describe what they can do. This section is more of a description of my philosophy about equipment, and especially weapons. Elder Scrolls Equipment; Star Wars Equipment
- Archetypes – Aspects are a small to moderate sized collection of powers, resources and features that a character can purchase. They should capture some archetype of the setting. Generally aspects grant their collection of features and powers for cheaper than if the same were purchased separately. Atlas Archetypes
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