I've been running Pathfinder and D&D 4e games for my friends for a while now. We treat them more as social gatherings where a game happens. (Sometimes. 😛 ) Friends drop in and out on a weekly basis, so I don't have an established campaign. Lately, gatherings have become more popular among our friends and games like PF and D&D get clunky fast with larger numbers.
I always have at least 5 players, but next week for example, I'll have 8, and the week after, ten! With the two systems I'm used to, combat gets very slow, and often I'll have to remind players what just happened the last round. Sadly, it's starting to get un-fun.
What systems exist that keep gameplay fast and tight with larger numbers of players?
Specifically, I'm looking for an RPG system that hits all the following marks:
- Is pen and paper/tabletop, and does not require large amounts of space (without minis is preferable, but anything that I can run on a dining room table is okay)
- Is in a fantasy setting, or has no specific setting.
- Has a character creation time of LESS than five minutes (as the first session I'll be making all the characters for them)
- Has a "low-crunch" combat system with a minimal choice of options available to players. By 'minimal choice' I don't mean they can't do anything they can think of, I mean that the rules for doing so should be simple. For example, "attack, run, investigate, use a skill", and maybe 2-3 options per choice.
- Each individual's turn should only take 15-45 seconds, about the same as a board game.
- Is not -entirely- combat-oriented.
- Has no, or very few, conditions to track. One or two like "wounded" is fine, but when you have to track 'fear', 'poison', 'ongoing damage', etc. or pretty much any "at the start of your next turn" effects, it gets tedious. I'd like to avoid it entirely.
Basically, with using D&D 4e and PF I've found having 8 players means 15 minute rounds, and I wanna get it down to, at most, three minutes a round with that many players. With that, and the above, in mind, what system would fit in a game that fast?