While I agree with the general feel for this thread, I just have to say that magic point systems work really well and seldom take up much in the way of book keeping.
RuneQuest (and all of Basic Roleplaying) uses magic points for all their games. They work really well. If you don't believe me, use some magic in Call of Cthullu... is is the same system.
Gurps uses fatigue/ magic points as well. It is just a tally on the character sheet. Are you telling me gamers can't keep track of one additional talley besides hit points?
Hero usually uses fatigue but it all depends on what the GM wants to set up. A magic point system, using an end battery, is perfectly functional. Again it is just a tally system.
There are six or so others, but those I have previously listed are just as well known as DnD. RuneQuest is a year younger than DnD. Hero, Gurps, and such are all older than our new D20 DnD.
And don't you all use yellow stickies for your various hits/ wounds/ stun/ etc counts?. Why should anyone actually write on their character sheets. (Actually I use a super sheet anyways, so I have my record with me).
What is a supersheet you might ask? In short: keep your character sheet and notes in a clear plastic sheet protector. Insert a thin cardboard sheet (a board backer) there as well. This set up protects your character sheet from wear and tear, gives you an easy to hold sheet, and gives you a storage place for all things related to your character (cue cards, notes, equipment lists). The extra things are slipped in behind the cardboard backer. You can even face an important sheet against the backside, so you can use it as well. If you need to change something pull the sheet out. If you need to mark damage, use a water based marker on the plastic or a sticky note. The character sheet will remain pristine for quite a while when using a super sheet.
I agree wholeheartedly! You can even use scotch magic tape on the supersheet, and it will allow you to make pencil notes on the OUTSIDE of the plastic. When the tape is worn, replace it with a new piece of tape. (An additional method to the water based marker and the sticky note)
As a GM I keep the players bloodloss, mana/MP as well as sanity points on a colour coded sheet which also contain those skills I roll for them (because their roleplaying is impaired if they know the success ratio of their dice roll). This is a system my groups feel works out fine. It means more work for the GM, but that is fine with me.
Just to clarify: At tabletop sessions I roll such things as: Listen rolls, Hide rolls, etc...
Why? Okay let me give you an example:
Johnny's character, the orc shaman G'kruumsh, listens at the door of his rival, the Goblin Witch King Fahnrog. His player rolls a 100, a fumble, and believes he hears rummaging behind the door. Now, Johnny might be a good player, in which case he acts upon what his character knows. He might also be a bad player in which case he'll say "To hell with it. I fumbled. I try to listen one more time"... (I have experienced the last example a zillion times).
If the player doesn't know whether he successfully rolled his listen roll, doesn't know whether he is completely hidden behind that tree, etc. The player is going to act much, much better and the excitement will stay in the group even after the dice roll.
(Sorry about being slightly off topic)