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Alternate Systems

It’s a fact of roleplaying that if you like a setting, that you may not necessarily like the system that runs the game. The following is a list of established roleplaying systems that I would recommend as alternates to Dream System.

Primetime Adventures

Primetime Adventures by Dog-Eared Designs is a game designed specifically to simulate TV series. It is now in its 3rd Edition, and uses playing cards and tokens to fuel play. Instead on relying on physical conflict, it uses the the dramatic tools you would see on TV. I highly recommend it as an alternate to the Dream System.


Universalis ColumnUniversalis was my first exposure to story games. In 2002, I met Ralph Mazza, one of the creators of the game at the Forge booth at Gen Con. The booth attendants invited me to participate in a demo of the game and I am so glad that I did. In that half hour, I had more fun that in two years of playing D&D.

Universalis is the furthest thing from a traditional roleplaying game. There is no Gamemaster. The game is pure story backed by the power of how many coins you have. The rules are moderate in complexity, but also fairly intuitive. As such, it would be capable of keeping up with the imaginations of the players and can actually evolve as the game progresses. Definitely pluses in my book.

Wanton Role-Playing System

WaRP by Atlas GamesJonathan Tweet and Robin D. Laws designed WaRP for Atlas Games’ Over the Edge. Atlas released it as a OGL product on its twentieth anniversary, opening it up for use in other roleplaying games.

WaRP is very open and flexible, allowing for the creation of some very interesting characters. The system should do very well with the Faelands and Outsider Chronicles settings. Some modifications would probably be needed for London by Moonlight because some of the player characters and villains would be at the power level of comic book supers.