View Full Version : Making a simple RPG

2011-10-11, 05:28 PM
I've played some D&D 3.5 and 4.0 and although I do enjoy them I find them somewhat too crunchy and abstract. (That's just my opinion).

I had my group ask me to GM and I didn't want to use D&D. I stumbled upon Mongoose Publishing's RuneQuest II which is really great, I and my group love it, but I want to make my own RPG.

I am pretty sure I want to use a D20 for the main mechanic. I'm undecided on whether to have a "whoever rolls higher succeeds" with +1, +2 and such to rolls like in D&D (I've never had a problem with that part of D&D),

or I could go with "you have a skill of 12 in some skill, so roll 12 or lower and you succeed."

There's lots more that I haven't decided but I wanted to know what possible problems or advantages I could get from each, and what other people may think.

I want to try and make it simple, fast playing, easy to learn, without levels or character classes.

2011-10-11, 05:32 PM
You could consider reading other game systems before you go to the trouble of making your own. There's a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216841) with some suggestions.

2011-10-11, 05:35 PM
I've only played D&D and MRQ2 but I have read up on a lot of other systems. Thanks for the thread though, I'm giving it a look.

I would still like to hear any thoughts from others.

2011-10-11, 06:37 PM
I can't help but feel that another light system would be your best solution. A RPG that is simple to play does not indicate that it is necessarily simple to make, and arguably, may prove to be more difficult to get up and running properly. After all, if you have a system that is big and clunky like D&D, you can easily see which pieces aren't working properly and adjust or replace the values as needed. If you have something far more rules-light, then you may find yourself needing to reverse-engineer the system to make the adjustments you want.

Just right off the top of my head, Risus (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm) and 6x (http://screamingargonaut.com/2009/08/23/6x-the-one-page-role-playing-game/) come to mind. If you are insisting on creating a new system, realize that it will be a lot more work than just deciding on the dice type and what bonuses to include.

2011-10-11, 07:54 PM
Well yeah I figured it would be a lot of work, this is just something I'm going to 'work on/mess with" on the side. I'm not going to try and whip something up in a day and make my group try it.

I just wanted to ask about the two dice mechanics I mentioned in my first post, to see what other may advise. The rest was just ramblings on what I'm eventually shooting for in an end product.

6x looks interesting though, thanks.

2011-10-11, 08:22 PM
Both dice mechanics can work. Roll-over (d20+x vs. DC, high wins) is probably something that you are more familiar with, and so would be easier to design. Roll-under (d20 vs. stat, low wins) is a bit less common, and so may be more awkward to determine good values.

What you want to determine with the roll-under system is if a 0 is supposed to determine minimum ability, or if 0 is supposed to determine basic competence. If 0 is minimum ability, then you would have a far smaller range of numbers to work with; 1 to 20 need to determine the full spectrum of human ability, rather than something like -10 to 20. Also, if we are assuming basic D&D stats, then the average comes out to around 10, meaning all "difficult" are forced to fit into the 11-20 range.

I am more familiar with roll-under in the form of percentile dice, where your skill level is your chances of succeeding. It makes it a bit easier to understand when I have, say, a 65% skill in driving, and a dark foggy road imposes a -30%, to determine what my chances are as succeeding.

2011-10-11, 08:45 PM
Ultimately, the resolution method should be decided by the tone and genre you want your game to emulate, as well as the style of play.

For example, a system where whoever rolls higher is one where conflict between two (or more) intelligent entities will likely be a central idea. It makes the math a little fuzzier, because the target number is always in flux.

In D&D and other "roll-over" systems, the dice allow you to have a theoretically infinite scale of difficulty. Because you can just keep adding bonuses, target numbers can be as high as you want. This encourages an epic, heroic scale to the game.

A roll under system (you have to roll below the target number to succeed) tend to be bound more to realistic settings, because the target number will almost never be higher than the highest number on the die you're rolling.

Personally, I dislike roll-under systems because I find it difficult to get into the mindset that smaller dice values are better.