As I’ve said before, I’m slowing getting back into the old-school Traveler scene. The game was fun as heck back in the day. We had some great sessions in high school. But as time passed, it was a system that fell by the wayside for me.
In this day and age of online gaming and everybody is always in a rush, I tend to look for games that I consider “rules efficient”. More than what most folks call rules light but not quite the massive or even some of the shorter books.
Enter Cepheus Quantum. This is the lightest (as far as I know) version of the Cepheus Engine. Think of it as the equivalent of Swords & Wizardry Light. It’s one page and you’ve got what you need. But just because it’s a single page doesn’t mean that it’s lacking. It has just what need and nothing more. Sure, GM’s will have to put in a little more work to create some standardized antagonists. But the time you save at the table is worth it. That’s why I like. It saves time at the table. Less time looking up rules and more time actually playing.
Let me give you the low down. Roll your Endurance (2d6) and Lifeblood (4d6). All that’s basically your Hit Points and to track damage. Pick your skills and go. That’s it. The rest of the actual system is resolved pretty much in the standard 2d6 way. While the full rules with careers offer and interesting back story for the character and it can be fun. It also takes a bit of time. And you’re not rolling the extra stats but you don’t actually need them since that role is taken up in the skills.
Another thing I like is that it’s easily hackable. If you know me then you know I love playing around the rules and tweaking them. An efficient rules systems makes that easier and there’s less chance of a cascade failure if you change one rules with unforeseen circumstances.
And of course, I’m a cheap bastard too. The base Cepheus Quantum rules are free on DrivethruRPG. But if you’re still and one page is still too much for you there’s Planck which distills the rules down to the front and back of a business card.
And as I mentioned, it’s hackable. Cepheus Quantum is SciFI roleplaying. Your standard Traveler type stuff but it’s hackable to other genres. There’s Barbaric! for something sort like D&D or Cepheus Atom! if you’re looking to do something like Gamma World. There may be more but those are the ones that I know of.
Any way. It’s cheap. Easy to play. And well worth looking into.