If you were somehow forbidden from playing with your favorite system, genre or setting, what would you substitute?
d20 Fantasy: Ooh. Toughie. I’d probably try to make BESM’s fantasy rules work, as much as I hate their dice mechanic. That campaign would probably die a fast and painful death.
d20 Oriental Adventures: MUCH easier to convert this to BESM than the DnD rules above, but if I had to convert, I’d switch to the actual Legend of the Five Rings rules, since I’m using that setting and most everything should convert over fairly easily.
Nobilis: This is sort of “my cold dead fingers” type of thing, but I could use something like Swift with better definition on the Karma Dice and get by pretty well. In other words, I’d just make something up.
Fantasy: I don’t know what genre would be most likely to make a group of people ‘into’ fantasy happy. Honestly, a Super genre would probably work best to give them that feel of ‘group/team blatantly beating the crap out of the bad guys’.
Oriental: If you have a group that’s into this kind of game, you probably have a group that really enjoys any sort of solid ‘setting’ feel. High-seas swashbuckling. Jungle Primitives, Pulp Adventure. Anything where they can really get into the specific genre. (“Fantasy” doesn’t count.)
High-power, High-concept characters (nobilis, amber): “Opposite genre” does not compute. This sort of game just means a game where you’re influential to the SETTING, not just the STORYLINE. Really, that can be done with any game where the character’s backgrounds make them important. That’s not really a genre.
Duchy of Caer Maighdean: I’d replace with with the massive Haven/Caercala fantasy city and go with a swashbuckler/intrigue game. For something like that I’d be more inclined to use Swift (link has basic rules only), unless it was with my ‘standard’ DnD group, for whom I would have to use something crunchier, like d20 or 7th Sea (that would make a very cool system to go with that setting, I think. Hmm.
Rokugan (L5R): Switch to the Usagi Yojimbo setting, or a mythic version of India (with lots of Yaun-ti for bad guys). Would probably require a new campaign for something like that, though. If I needed to, I’d switch to Mythic China till the end of the current story.
Nobilis: Nobilis rules without the setting does not compute (at least not at the moment). If Nobilis was utterly denied me I’d switch to Unknown Armies, though I think that would not have the broad appeal to my particular group that Nobilis does… I could be wrong. If you liked Dark Conspiracy, Unknown Armies is probably your cuppa. If I wanted to do something more high-power, I’d use Whispering Vault, there are lots of similarities.
Star Wars: Piece of Cake. I’m sick of that setting anyway… let’s do FIREFLY!