Stop Complaining and Make Your Own Game

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machineiv:

Have you read the DMG2? Robin Laws did some amazing things with the skill challenge system. Itdoes some very ambitious, non-combat things unlike D&D has never seen before. It's really keen.

I'm a firm advocate of "core mechanics." I like rules that more or less cover everything. You don't have a million different rules for a million different circumstances. So if you develop a strong core mechanic, you shouldn't have those problems. If you do, you're just polishing the system by determining those things.

I've seen the preview article fir the DMG2, and the bit on skill challenges was very, very good. Seeing what could be done with skill challenges like that erodes my complaints with them, and I'm quite happy to see that. They still don't quite achieve what I hope, though. But maybe I'll change my mind by the DMG3, though I still think it makes things too hard on the DM in general.

As for "core mechanics," I'm not sure what to say. I really like rules that reflect the game world accurately, but are also simple and easy enough to play with. Sticking to a set of core mechanics can simplify the rules greatly, which is a huge benefit and I like them for that. But when they're applied too widely, without any specific rules to circumstances, they become insufficient. I don't like Rifts, Burning Wheel or D&D's skill challenges because of this; the rules they have seem to complicate things more than anything else. They add a lot of abstract rolls to game concepts that aren't reflected well in reality, and require the DM's input to tell you what your character can do (they can simplify it, but it's not enough IMO - the basic purpose of rules are to set guidelines for what characters can do.)

A decent application of a core mechanic is 3.5's d20 system: when you want something done, roll d20, add skill/basic attack bonus, your relevant statistic and circumstantial bonuses and if you roll higher than the target number, you succeed. And a lot more things conditionally complicate that which keeps the game interesting, but you know basically what to do when you want to do anything with a chance of failure, which is a lot better than what AD&D had. They got a bit eager to spread core mechanics to everything (which resulted in unnecessarily complicated monster statistics), but they didn't do anything too bad with them.

Let me say that decent core mechanic can and should be the basis of most roleplaying systems, and you should generally stick with that. GURPS's 3d6 might or might not be fundamentally superior to a d20 or rolling lots of d6s, but you should stick to the same resolution method within a system because the gains in simplifying a system are greater than the differences in picking one over the other conditionally.

I think this was an interesting article to create a homebrew campaign setting, but not so much to create an actual ruleset. "Step Four: Making a System" deserves an article all by itself since this is pretty much the hardest part. Creating a balanced system is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you want to add races, classes, skills, magic, ... I think there's a couple of alternatives to creating your own ruleset:

1/ Use a Mini RPG. Mini RPGs take up a couple of pages of rules at the very most and they include a really basic set of generic rules about combat resolution for instance. A really good (and free) example is Matt Romaro's Zombies!!! Mini-RPG.

2/ Use a generic system like Over The Edge or Heroquest (the RPG, not the boardgame). These systems are not tied to a particular style of play (space opera, fantasy, horror) and they are generic enough to handle magic, modern gun fights, mecha and hand-to-hand combat all with the same basic rules.

3/ Do some research for existing systems that you do like. If you don't like 3E or 4E then simply don't use it. You might be interested in Pathfinder or True20 for instance. Or you might find one of the many retro clones very interesting. Most of these are completely free so there's nothing that stops you from trying them out. If you come from a video gaming background then there are some RPGs that might spark your interest like the World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, Vampire: The Masquerade or the upcoming Dragon Age RPG.

Once you sit down and do that, all the recent criticism heaped on DragonAge for "carbon-copy fantasy" will evaporate, because when you are going through these steps, its way easier to go with some of the common archetypes for a specific genera.

Also, whats going on here. First hoffman tells us Why Your Game Idea Sucks, and then you come up here and tell us to make our own damn game.

Make up your mind!

Waaaay ahead of you.

Unfortunately a lot of video games are created in the same way too.

Bullshit bingo words to have here are :

Design by comity, core team, brain storming, initial draft, FPP, ...

Games these days have no soul BECAUSE they get designed like this, games have no soul BECAUSE they are not a coherent idea but a mash up of random bullshit idiots in a room come up with.

If you take 10 random idiots off the street and put them in a room and have them say 10 words. You will come up with random crap like this : duck, lamp post, Obama. You take this random crap and make another Final fantasy game where the main character is african-american, he has a huge sword resembling a lamp and he has a human-duck... thing for a companion. Then you sell the shit to the fan boys and you promote the 10 idiots to game designers.

This aspect of mass game production is not only sad but it also reveals that games, for the people who make them, are only a means to make large amount of money and not an art form, a form of entertainment or the good old "this is a good ideea, I would love to play this".

If you are not convinced about this please make a list of the titles released in the last 5 years and see which ones had actual entertaining game-play.

thiosk:
Also, whats going on here. First hoffman tells us Why Your Game Idea Sucks, and then you come up here and tell us to make our own damn game.

Make up your mind!

There are two major differences in the subject of those articles: medium and scope.

First: Medium. Mr Hill was talking about a pen and paper tabletop game, while Ms Hoffman was discussing videogames. There difference in technical expertise required to create a successful example of either is large - somewhere in the realm of a tertiary-level education. Both require years of experience, of course. But to actually go and code something as a part of a team, for distribution on an unknown platform (ie: PC), the difficulty there is incredible. To make a tabletop RPG, you need some dice and some pens. Obviously, you need both skill and experience for both - I don't mean to demean tabletop design and development in any way. But just about anyone can sit down and start making a tabletop game, while just about noone can sit down and start making a computer game.

Second: Scope. Mr Hill was saying that if you're frustrated with existing models, make your own for your own enjoyment. Ms Hoffman was saying that if you've got an idea which you think is better than the existing models, you don't realistically stand a chance of marketting it and making millions. This is pretty much self explanatory - if you're making it for your personal enjoyment, the only person you need to convince is you (and whoever else you intend to rope into playing with you). If you're making it for your personal profit, you need to figure out what people will want to pay money for, reconcile that with your pet project, figure out how to make such a thing, figure out how to have it published, marketted, developed on-time and on-budget, and then hope to hell you get very, very lucky.

If I ever design and/or develop something, I'd always prefer it to be for my own enjoyment. I'd be doing it for me, not for anyone else. So sounds to me like tabletop is the way to go!

Woem:
I think this was an interesting article to create a homebrew campaign setting, but not so much to create an actual ruleset. "Step Four: Making a System" deserves an article all by itself since this is pretty much the hardest part. Creating a balanced system is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you want to add races, classes, skills, magic.

I have to agree here - I'd love to see a followup article with either a bit more depth in exactly -how- Mr Hill would have us go about creating some mechanics -OR-, we could just see an example of his? That'd work just as well.

Either way, an interesting read. Thanks.

machineiv:

Fantasy heartbreakers? I don't think I've ever heard that one. Weird.

It might be more of a Forge or RPGnet thing. Essentially its called that because its almost always the first game someoen tries to write it usually has the description of "Like DnD only better".

Sometimes they work out but most of the time they don't there's a big post somewhere on them I'll have to dig up due to its relevance to here.

machineiv:

To be fair, it's actually more common than one in a million. But that's another article altogether. Writing games is my life. If I weren't doing it professionally, I'd definitely be doing it as a hobby.

Well what I mean by that is scoring big enough not to have a day job. I know quite a few writers and the most successful of them I know of still has a job processing traffic tickets for a university. On top of that the work is hard. Doesn't mean its not worth it. If it weren't neither you nor I would be bothering with it.

Personally I think the biggest trouble any game can have is reaching an audience that would honestly play it. There's simply not enough advertising for other games to stand up to the monster that is WoTC, but that is another story.

Now if only some imaginative game writer can tap into the spending power of fifteen year old girls.

Fenixius:
I have to agree here - I'd love to see a followup article with either a bit more depth in exactly -how- Mr Hill would have us go about creating some mechanics -OR-, we could just see an example of his? That'd work just as well.

Either way, an interesting read. Thanks.

I agree. There was a strict limit to length, I couldn't hit on all of it during that span.

However, I *will* pitch a followup on mechanics. I could go on all day about that stuff, but the goal is really to make something simple enough to address in the 45-minute block offered by the exercise.

TarkXT:
It might be more of a Forge or RPGnet thing. Essentially its called that because its almost always the first game someoen tries to write it usually has the description of "Like DnD only better".

Sometimes they work out but most of the time they don't there's a big post somewhere on them I'll have to dig up due to its relevance to here.

Cool. I mean, I totally get the sentiment, I just don't think I've ever heard the reference.

In my humble opinion, making a fantasy game indie-style with the intention of selling is shooting yourself in the foot. You might as well make a D&D supplement with the GSL or OGL.

machineiv:
Well what I mean by that is scoring big enough not to have a day job. I know quite a few writers and the most successful of them I know of still has a job processing traffic tickets for a university. On top of that the work is hard. Doesn't mean its not worth it. If it weren't neither you nor I would be bothering with it.

Personally I think the biggest trouble any game can have is reaching an audience that would honestly play it. There's simply not enough advertising for other games to stand up to the monster that is WoTC, but that is another story.

Now if only some imaginative game writer can tap into the spending power of fifteen year old girls.

You know, I've been thinking about that. Less how to make a game for fifteen year-olds, but more how to make something that'll get over their initial apprehensions.

It depends on scope. If you're comfortable about reaching a mid-sized audience, it's not that difficult. It's hard work, but RPGs have a market that can be tapped pretty easily. If you have something that's cool and interesting, you'll have customers.

As far as that goes, it's a thing of finding your theme and niche. If you can successfully communicate your game's theme quickly (the last step of my process in the article,) you're much more likely to find your target audience.

Tempest Fennac:
The article was quite interresting (I've tried doing this sort of thing before, but I always seem to run out of ideas easily (creativity isn't my strong point at all).

You should try it with the framework. Getting a group together makes it fun, and you exponentially increase your output since you're bouncing things off one another.

Woem:
I think this was an interesting article to create a homebrew campaign setting, but not so much to create an actual ruleset. "Step Four: Making a System" deserves an article all by itself since this is pretty much the hardest part. Creating a balanced system is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you want to add races, classes, skills, magic, ... I think there's a couple of alternatives to creating your own ruleset:

I'm going to see about doing a mechanics-specific followup some time soon. I agree that it's the most complicated part, but I wouldn't say it's the hardest. Especially if you're designing by committee, it really evolves so long as you're evolving it through play.

Woem:
1/ Use a Mini RPG. Mini RPGs take up a couple of pages of rules at the very most and they include a really basic set of generic rules about combat resolution for instance. A really good (and free) example is Matt Romaro's Zombies!!! Mini-RPG.

There's a lot of good examples out there. In fact, I've got one called Terminus Est that's currently in layout. It'll be up as a Creative Commons thing soon, so people can download it at their leisure.

Woem:
2/ Use a generic system like Over The Edge or Heroquest (the RPG, not the boardgame). These systems are not tied to a particular style of play (space opera, fantasy, horror) and they are generic enough to handle magic, modern gun fights, mecha and hand-to-hand combat all with the same basic rules.

While I agree with this in principal, I'm a dork about systems. I want my systems to reflect what the game is supposed to represent. I take a sort of artsy approach, but I think it gives the system a little more identity. For example, I'm doing a system right now that's supposed to represent horror movie logic. I've been told by my playtesters that it works very well. But it wouldn't really serve well for other styles of play.

Also, I've yet to find a generic system I can really sink my teeth into. I like Savage Worlds, for example, but it has some glaring problems that just kill it for me.

Woem:
3/ Do some research for existing systems that you do like. If you don't like 3E or 4E then simply don't use it. You might be interested in Pathfinder or True20 for instance. Or you might find one of the many retro clones very interesting. Most of these are completely free so there's nothing that stops you from trying them out. If you come from a video gaming background then there are some RPGs that might spark your interest like the World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, Vampire: The Masquerade or the upcoming Dragon Age RPG.

Dragon Age is interesting. The system is really strange, but in trying it out, I'm really surprised at how well it flows.

Yeah, this definitely warrants a second article to address mechanics. I completely agree.

Step One: What Is It?

Escapist Forums: The game of the movie of the book of the life of the posters.

Step Two: Who Are We Playing?

You are playing as an Escapist forum poster against other Escapist forum posters in an effort to forward your own agenda.

Step Three: What Stands In Your Way?

The things that stand in the way of your agenda are other posters, moderators, Yahtzee doing a video where he disagrees with you, and existential angst.

Step Four: Making a System

At the start of the game each player is given a random selection of agenda cards which are secret to you. Public agenda cards are displayed for Yahtzee. People can have the same agenda but it is impossible for everyone to have the same set of agenda cards. Agenda cards are normally something like topic and disagree or agree.

The game boards are three Firefox browser windows representing different threads. Each round of play a player can make a new thread if there is an open slot or reply to another post. If a thread has no activity in a round then it is wiped.

The game boards are white boards where you can write the agenda you wish to forward. Another player can follow that agenda up with agree, disagree or a rude picture. At the end of a round dice are rolled to simulate a newbie replying to posts randomly. He will normally agree with Yahtzee but not always.

When a thread is wiped the score is summed up for the agenda. If the thread was about how Fallout 3 is the greatest game ever then the agenda gets two points. If it had no replies then the thread creator gets a point of existential angst. The agenda gets an extra point for each agreeing post but loses two for each disagree. Players vote on the effect of a rude picture up to 3 points agree, disagree or existential angst. If the picture is especially rude then the players may decide that a player should be banned by the moderators.

The first person to get 50 victory points wins. A player's victory points are secret until you claim victory and are a sum of your agenda scores with points removed for existential angst.

Step Five: Selling It

Please give me money.

This advice is worthless. Really, it is. What doesn't already fall under common sense is hopelessly vague or oversimplified.
I do agree with the premise though. If you can do something better, you should. Expect to see many DnD derivatives being released in the next few years.

machineiv:
You should try it with the framework. Getting a group together makes it fun, and you exponentially increase your output since you're bouncing things off one another.

The only problem is that none of my friends are really interrested in making a new system so I can't do that. :(

ChronoNexus:
This advice is worthless. Really, it is. What doesn't already fall under common sense is hopelessly vague or oversimplified.
I do agree with the premise though. If you can do something better, you should. Expect to see many DnD derivatives being released in the next few years.

No its not. It's a fine framework for making a game. It's actually more detailed then a similar system proposed by the guy who brought you L5R and Houses of the Blooded.

If you need more details then I hate to tell you that's something that could never ever fit in the space of a single article. If you really need help with thins like mechanics you need to do it through discussion with others. Here's a couple of sites that can help you:

http://forum.rpg.net/
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/

Now if you want my advice on mechanics I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone. Make the numbers match the setting. Your setting determiens the flavor and feel of the game to a player. If your setting is epic, make the player feel like a hero. If your setting is dark and bloody, make your mechanics gritty and real. The mechanics of your game are the literal laws of physics of your game so make them work to your proposed universe. You don't have to make them unique you just have to make them work. Heck dice aren't even required. I'm in the process of making a god game where Texas Hold'Em is the conflict resolution mechanic. I've seen way too many games that mismatch settings and mechanics, DnD included.

Yes, I know all of this. Probably better than most.
I still think the advice.. is incomplete and misleading, for the reasons I stated. Not being the worst doesn't make it good.

Well, if you're so inclined, a group of people are taking my article idea online. They're doing a game via Google Wave: http://tinyurl.com/ykplw6j

So there's some chance to participate in the process if you'd like.

machineiv:
Well, if you're so inclined, a group of people are taking my article idea online. They're doing a game via Google Wave: http://tinyurl.com/ykplw6j

So there's some chance to participate in the process if you'd like.

Now, where did I leave that smacktard pesticide...

APVarney:

Therumancer:
As far as WoTC being the best thing that could have happened to TSR, well I guess we'll never really know what would have happened if they refused to sell. Honestly I think they would have made more money, but would have retained a solid customer base, and produced a better overall product from a critical sense.

On the contrary, the fate of TSR, had Wizards not bought it, was universally recognized and acknowledged. At the time of the purchase, according to the management itself, TSR was weeks away from bankruptcy and receivership, with no prospects whatever for improvement. (I was following this closely because TSR owed me thousands of dollars for freelance design work.) Had Wizards not bought the company, TSR would, with absolute certainty, have died the death. In all the years since, I have never heard anyone argue otherwise.

Who would have ended up with D&D? Who knows? I would bet big money, though, that whoever wound up with D&D would have loved the game less than did Wizards CEO Peter Adkison, who got into the game business specifically to publish his own D&D/FRPG rules expansion, "The Primal Order."

I'm going to withdraw from getting into this much further with people who make their livelyhood in the industry to avoid it getting nasty in places (and perhaps off topic).

I will however say that TSR being "in trouble" and how nessicary the WoTC buyout was was hardly universally undisputed. Oh sure there was plenty of money to be made on the deal doubtlessly, but that's what it was all about: greed, selling out, and a purely corperate mentality.

In general the buyout is defended by pointing fingers at some of TSR's failed gaming experiments, things like including Audio CDs with adventure modules and the like, and the Amazing Engine system. On their own some powerful points can be made until you consider that they obviously had the money to do what they admitted from the beginning was experimental. On top of that as many observers pointed out at the time there was more to TSR than games, TSR for example was churning out TONS of novels especially at the time, and writers like RA Salvatore were amazingly popular even among non-gamers. Waldenbooks the nation over were crammed with AD&D novels, which were outselling the games by many reports. Granted this lead to some arguements among gamers about how the novels were ruining the games when they were messing around on a global level with them and then trying to retroactively apply the effects to the games (and frankly what is cool to read about is not so cool for an RPG).

Granted we're discussing this long after the fact, but understand TSR was going to defend it's desicians no matter what, and no company likes being called a sell out even when it's true. There was plenty that could be said in rebuttal to ther claims of poverty. Also understand that on internet forums and such people had long since taken to replacing the S with a $ in TSR as they gradually grew more greedy and corperate. The WoTC buyout simply being an extension of what they were already doing to a lot of people who were paying attention.

It's sort of like how I point fingers at the cancellation of the Alternity line. That desician was defended to fans by them claiming that they lost money off the last couple of products. Products which were being relatively panned due to poor quality caused by the cancellation of the line itself. Something a lot of people realized while it was going on. Basically what happened was they bought the Star Wars liscence and decided in true corperate fashion that the potential gains from exploiting a well known property were better than supporting a successful, but only moderatly profitable independant property of their own. Not wanting to compete with themselves they basically axed Alternity and were in the process of re-organizing writers and such at the same time those last "unprofitable" books were under development. A lot (but not all) of the guys doing Alternity going on to D20 Star Wars.

It's one example where fans who were following it could see the writing on the wall plainly enough. TSR (or WoTC later on) being known to cry "oh poverty, oh hardship" and trying to appeal to the fan base like they were some small developer group, while actually being very corperate and carrying huge money bags (well relatively so) out the back door. That's how the whole '$' thing got started. Oh sure, maybe despite all apperances they were right about this at some point, but that comes down to the whole "Boy who cried wolf" thing... and even now I tend not to believe it.

Heck, back when 3E was coming out I was an RPGA member on their forums. Not terribly popular but I had a long running (and for a while infamous) thread called "The Powerful Therumancer" started by a guy called The Finn. I was never banned or anything, even though I stopped posting long ago in disgust (and let my RPGA membership slide despite buying/doing a bit of D20). During this time period I was jousting with guys like Sean Reynalds, and Ryan Dancey, and getting private messages from Elaine Cunningham ( a couple of times, nice lady ). I also got some attention for allegedly having the connections to have obtained a copy of the D20/3E rules from a playtest group in PDF format (I will leave it to your imagination as to whether or not this was true). (in)Famously once Ryan Dancey called me out and claimed 3E could do anything 2E could do, and challenged me to make any character with 2E, even breaking the rules, and that he could translate it to 3E. I did this using some of my favorite character customization options as per his request. He failed epically, and oddly enough despite the implied agreement 3E was never cancelled. It was the stuff of some fanboy lulz for a while though.

I state this on the off chance maybe anyone vaguely remembers me. However, one of the things going on with those forums at the time was that Ryan Dancey once tried to come out and claim TSR/WoTC had "warehouses full of old merchandise we cannot get rid of that cost us a periodic fortune to maintain" trying to elicit sympathy. Something that lead to a lot of lulz and a sequence of jokes taking the form of rumors of WoTC having trucks dumping old game material out in the middle of the Mexico desert on top of the old ET 2600 cartridges... which is incidently what would probably have happened with any real company having this "problem". This was looked into a bit (albeit not by me directly) and again revealed it to basically be so much absurd nonsense, even if one was to accept legendary levels of stupidity in the whole situation.

The bottom line of this huge rant is that I was following this a lot more seriously during the WoTC buyout, and the later post-WoTC edition changeover. This paticular company says a lot of things, many of them ridiculously absurd. I mean honestly I never expected them to cancel 3E because of a "contest" with me for example, but the very fact that the whole stunt happened (and it went down like I said, the withdrawal of the offer being based on semantics and Ryan screaming "it doesn't count if it's broken" or something like that) combined with the warehouse claims, and such.... it's just ridiculous.

Apologies from rambling on multiple subjects here perhaps incoherantly, the basic point is simply that when T$R cries poverty (irregardless of who owns them) I cry "BS". That includes their claims surrounding the WOTC buyout, and their claims of the products they had around the time of 2E being unprofitable, and the company being in danger, to justify a 3E. Sure 3E made them MORE money, and I suppose I can't begrude them that, but I can begrudge them the lies in claiming it was anything but a massive sell out/cash grab, or in any way strictly nessicary.

To some extent you'll notice I've actually been a little more respectful to the CEO of Zynga (who is a crook, and whose products I do not like) who at least has the honesty to more or less say "yep I'm a scamming crook who will do anything for money", and say the guys at a PnP RPG company whose products I *DO* tend to like, who sit there and go "we're all about the fans" while being just as bad and dishonest in their own way.

I've made a few in my time Crimewave, Transformers (back in 85 sometime); friend of mine did Star Wars around that time as well.

In fact, I seem to remember a friend of mine running Dungeons and Dragons back in something like '78??? despite us having no idea of the game other than that it had a dungeon and a dragon in.

I think I had brief notes on Mermaid: The Dehydration as well.

As for the TSR/WotC debarcle, there was a LOT of conflicting arguments there. I only know a few and that's enough to keep me WELL out of the way; friend of mine is ex-TSR.

Someone ALREADY made the ultimate tabletop game. AH SHIT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5WQyz5SZgk

We did just this, we were all sitting around, and I said. "You know what I've always wanted to play? Dungeons and Dragons." And I got this stare of "We're video gamers, don't even dare saying we can fall to that level." And so Later that night I was talking to my friend who was with me about where you get more quests, and they said "Oh, you make them." And I was like.
"So I could make a Zombies quest?"
and he's like "Yeah."
And I was like "I could make a Zombie board game?" And he was like "HOLY SHIT."

and we did.

Based off D&D, it's a game called Zombie Survivalist and it's fucking awesome.

It's got a fallout perks system, it's got skill points, it's got all that shit. Ranged weapons, melee weapons, vehicles.

We've drawn up a ton of maps for it, and it's epic. I managed to completly decimate an entire map because this NPC stole my shit, so I completly burned down his property and hunted him till I killed him. Just a random NPC. I blew him up at a gas station. It was awesome.

You know, if you cleaned up that zombie thing, and made it OGL or GSL compatible, you could probably market that. There's a lot of zombie games out there, but I can't think of a good D&D-based one.

That, and I'd love to see it ;)

I wish someone would release a better Fourth Edition of D n'D... I've tried playing Fourth Edition a few times but it doesn't seem finished, might be because I'm a Third Edition player and can't work without the tables Third Edition had :P

The real problem with role-playing games, the tabletop variety, is that there is little reason to get into it either from a business standpoint nor as a hobby. video games have already supplanted them as a bankable medium. Even though enthusiasts will correctly point out that video games are not the same experience as a table top game, the main fact is most people do not care. Much the same way most people wait for the movie version of a popular book. This is not to say that film is superior to print. Just that it's a more accessible and therefore more profitable medium. So there really isn't that much point to making your own roleplaying game. it's unlikely you'll find anyone to play it with you, much less to buy it.

By that logic, there's no reason to ever write a book, or sell one.

As a hobby, you say there's no reason? It's a completely different experience. It's not a video game. They're apples and oranges, for the most part. If you like RPGs and you don't like video games, why play video games?

If nobody plays them, why does Hasbro, one of the biggest toy companies in the world, bank on one?

Do note that I'm not trying to be condescending. Yes, RPGs are a niche market. But I happen to make my income on them, and I know a number of people that do. I think you might be looking at it as an outsider that doesn't play, so you don't see how big they are. Gen Con Indy, a major gaming con, pulls in about 30,000 people from all over the world every year.

machineiv:

Woem:
1/ Use a Mini RPG. Mini RPGs take up a couple of pages of rules at the very most and they include a really basic set of generic rules about combat resolution for instance. A really good (and free) example is Matt Romaro's Zombies!!! Mini-RPG.

There's a lot of good examples out there. In fact, I've got one called Terminus Est that's currently in layout. It'll be up as a Creative Commons thing soon, so people can download it at their leisure.

Is there a preview available already somewhere? I'd love to see it. And it's great to see that you'll put it out under the Creative Commons license!

machineiv:
Yeah, this definitely warrants a second article to address mechanics. I completely agree.

I'm looking forward to it already. Finding the right system for the right player group and campaign setting gives me headaches sometimes, and having the tools to create my own ruleset would be awesome.

When I was a about 13 I made a crappy table top with my friends and younger brother, It WAS TERRIBLE!
it was set medieval and called islands and the idea was that the earth was blown into tiny pieces of land in space, and you go through them defeating each islands boss, you could be either fighter, teleporter (mainly used to switch islands and heal), Sorcerer, or archer. the problem was i hadent played any real table top games before, only mmorpg's so we only had 3 attributes and none of them where roleplay related and there was BARELY and role playing involved, the item system was crap, and it was SOOOOOO GODDAM FULL OF GRIND, o and i referenced it of from candy land so its movable spaces were as such.

tl;dr My intelligence was not 8 or higher.

Woem:
I'm looking forward to it already. Finding the right system for the right player group and campaign setting gives me headaches sometimes, and having the tools to create my own ruleset would be awesome.

Terminus Est: You can download my first draft here, http://machineageproductions.com/?p=139

It's in layout right now. I'm not sure how long it'll take, since it's all a volunteer effort on that part. But you can actually read about the whole process here, http://machineageproductions.com/?cat=4 since I blogged throughout the whole thing and let blog comments assist in my design choices.

DeadlyGlitch:
When I was a about 13 I made a crappy table top with my friends and younger brother, It WAS TERRIBLE!
it was set medieval and called islands and the idea was that the earth was blown into tiny pieces of land in space, and you go through them defeating each islands boss, you could be either fighter, teleporter (mainly used to switch islands and heal), Sorcerer, or archer. the problem was i hadent played any real table top games before, only mmorpg's so we only had 3 attributes and none of them where roleplay related and there was BARELY and role playing involved, the item system was crap, and it was SOOOOOO GODDAM FULL OF GRIND, o and i referenced it of from candy land so its movable spaces were as such.

tl;dr My intelligence was not 8 or higher.

Weird though, when I first started gaming, I started playing 1st edition D&D. It's the furthest thing from a modern concept of an RPG possible. But we had some amazing roleplay moments, they progressed naturally out of it.

You should design something new. It's fun to get your creative chops going.

machineiv:

Woem:
I'm looking forward to it already. Finding the right system for the right player group and campaign setting gives me headaches sometimes, and having the tools to create my own ruleset would be awesome.

Terminus Est: You can download my first draft here, http://machineageproductions.com/?p=139

It's in layout right now. I'm not sure how long it'll take, since it's all a volunteer effort on that part. But you can actually read about the whole process here, http://machineageproductions.com/?cat=4 since I blogged throughout the whole thing and let blog comments assist in my design choices.

I read through the rules and the process blog posts and I can't believe you achieved this in under 6 weeks! The whole concept of "rule of 4" is worked out perfectly, the cavaliers and nightmares and the 4 different settings/periods add an immense amount of flavor.

I also like how I could use a light and more generic version of the rules to move away from the post-apocalyptic setting and run it in any setting. In this case Divinity would represent the use of magic, psionics, clerical healing, a paladin's smite, super hero powers, ... I do think the use of dice pools would make for a faster game, for instance by rolling an amount of d4 equal to the number of points in the trait.

Woem:

machineiv:

Woem:
I'm looking forward to it already. Finding the right system for the right player group and campaign setting gives me headaches sometimes, and having the tools to create my own ruleset would be awesome.

Terminus Est: You can download my first draft here, http://machineageproductions.com/?p=139

It's in layout right now. I'm not sure how long it'll take, since it's all a volunteer effort on that part. But you can actually read about the whole process here, http://machineageproductions.com/?cat=4 since I blogged throughout the whole thing and let blog comments assist in my design choices.

I read through the rules and the process blog posts and I can't believe you achieved this in under 6 weeks! The whole concept of "rule of 4" is worked out perfectly, the cavaliers and nightmares and the 4 different settings/periods add an immense amount of flavor.

I also like how I could use a light and more generic version of the rules to move away from the post-apocalyptic setting and run it in any setting. In this case Divinity would represent the use of magic, psionics, clerical healing, a paladin's smite, super hero powers, ... I do think the use of dice pools would make for a faster game, for instance by rolling an amount of d4 equal to the number of points in the trait.

You know, I've heard that. I'm not sure. I've yet to playtest it that way, but the one thing I really wanted to do was emulate the push/pull of a struggle.

It's certainly not my ideal system, but the point was to try to really focus heavily on the thematic purpose of the system. I had the chance to be really ambitious, so I went for it. I think if the final version is remotely successful, I might follow it up with a free option for miniatures rules.

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