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    Orc in the Playground
     
    StabbityRabbit's Avatar

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    Default I have a few questions about system design

    Hey, long time lurker and first time poster. Recently I've been thinking about making a tabletop rpg, and I was thinking about what I wanted it to do. I want to make a fun, fast, easy to use rules system that doesn't get in the way of story. So I was wondering what rpgs accomplish this, and if anybody had any tips before I start making the system. Any help would be extremely appreciated, so thanks in advance!

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by StabbityRabbit View Post
    Hey, long time lurker and first time poster. Recently I've been thinking about making a tabletop rpg, and I was thinking about what I wanted it to do. I want to make a fun, fast, easy to use rules system that doesn't get in the way of story. So I was wondering what rpgs accomplish this, and if anybody had any tips before I start making the system. Any help would be extremely appreciated, so thanks in advance!
    Might want to take a look at FATE (or any FUDGE-based system), and PDQ.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Might want to take a look at FATE (or any FUDGE-based system), and PDQ.
    Thanks I'll take a look.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    I have some advice: know what your goals are. What do you want this system to be good for? What setting or genre? How complicated do you want it be? What dice do you need; or does your game use something else? Serious or comedic?

    You need to decide these things at the start, so you can build the system around them.

    I should do a RPG system design tutorial... Keep an eye out.
    Last edited by qwertyu63; 2014-01-18 at 09:40 PM.

    My Homebrew-Estote clementes, et numquam desinete discere.-FanAdv

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyu63 View Post
    I have some advice: know what your goals are. What do you want this system to be good for? What setting or genre? How complicated do you want it be? What dice do you need; or does your game use something else? Serious or comedic?

    You need to decide these things at the start, so you can build the system around them.

    I should do a RPG system design tutorial... Keep an eye out.
    Thanks that is pretty good advice. So, to answer the first question I want the system to depict heroes struggling against the odds. As for setting I was thinking something where the pcs are half human, half something else [so you could pick something like demigod, or half-dragon as a race]. For complicatedness I know I want it to be less complicated than Pathfinder or 4th edition, but more than PDQ. After reading PDQ I only want to use a d6. Finally, serious.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Since people already pimped FATE, I won't.

    Ok. I will. Check out the Accelerated Edition of FATE. It's more rules-lite than regular FATE, which is saying something.

    Also as far as stripped down - the (free) Microlite20 works well for just about everything, partially because it's d20 compatible with very, very minor changes.

    There's also the Savage Worlds system, which is a little less lite, but very versatile.

    I forget what system it is, but the one from Galileo Games, "Mortal Coil" and "Bulldogs!" you might check out. It's very much narrative-based.

    Might want to check out ORE and the Mini6 system as well. There's another fully d6 system that's not PDQ (and I believe free), but can't think of it off the top of my head.
    "I am so clever that sometimes, I don't understand a single word of what I'm saying."
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    Big fan of: FATE, Mazes & Minotaurs, Old School Hack, Microlite20.

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    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Think about what you want the players to do, then reward players for doing it.

    Also consider pacing. Mouseguard for example jumps from one important scene to the next, skipping things the travel between towns, or even skipping towns that werent important. It felt very odd for my rpg group used to dnd.

    Think about how well real experience with a topic can relate to in game. DnD 3.0 attempted this and in some ways did good. For example, carry capacity and jump checks (oddly changed in 3.5) this is because it is nice when players dont have to look at the character sheet to know whether someone has a chance to accomplish something, but this occurs only if the game matches up, in general, with reality. It also refers to things like physics. Players generally assume gravity is in effect unless told otherwise, same goes for many expectations about the world that we dont generally notice, unless it is disrupted. Giant cubes of stone dont bounce like rubber for example.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    They're not really table-top RPGs, per se, but I rather like the D&D boardgames Wrath of Ashardalon, Castle Ravenloft, and the like.

    They are very simple and straightforward, although basically just combat-exploration engines. They could be a starting point for a larger but still rules-light chassis, though, I imagine.
    ~ Composer99

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLightHitomi View Post
    Think about what you want the players to do, then reward players for doing it.
    Thank you. I was trying to remember that but it didn't come to mind.

    Listen to this, it is good.

    My Homebrew-Estote clementes, et numquam desinete discere.-FanAdv

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Thanks everyone! I'll take a look a look at all those games as soon as I can. As to the person saying what should the pcs do/ get rewarded for; I think I want a game that rewards creating a collaborative legend/myth.(Think Exalted with a more narrative focus) Also I never even thought about pacing I'll have to think about that for a while.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by StabbityRabbit View Post
    Thanks everyone! I'll take a look a look at all those games as soon as I can. As to the person saying what should the pcs do/ get rewarded for; I think I want a game that rewards creating a collaborative legend/myth.(Think Exalted with a more narrative focus) Also I never even thought about pacing I'll have to think about that for a while.
    Two other things come to mind:
    • What is your core mechanic; that is, how will your game translate from numbers and dice into a story?
    • You want to reward creating a legend, so you need to know what reward(s) you have to hand out. Are you rewarding things with stuff (like loot or treasure), power/advancement (like XP or your game's equivalent) or something else?

    My Homebrew-Estote clementes, et numquam desinete discere.-FanAdv

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyu63 View Post
    Two other things come to mind:
    • What is your core mechanic; that is, how will your game translate from numbers and dice into a story?
    • You want to reward creating a legend, so you need to know what reward(s) you have to hand out. Are you rewarding things with stuff (like loot or treasure), power/advancement (like XP or your game's equivalent) or something else?
    Core mechanic of the game I'm thinking will be 3d6+relevant number(s) vs.number. For rewards I'm thinking of making a mechanic where you get something called a Destiny Drive(not sure about the name) which lets you say a roll you or someone else made was a success or failure regardless of what was rolled. These would be given when you do something sufficiently heroic or villainous. As to actual character advancement levels would be given when the DM thinks it's narratively appropriate.

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    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Try calling your Destiny Drive as boons or bennies. They would be instantly recognized by most players. Not that important though.

    Also, instead of classes, try using feat trees or skill based instead. Nothing I hate more then being told I can't be a dextrous sword swinging warrior who knows utility spells like invisibility and spider climb and knock.

    Edit: You may consider looking at my game Roads and Ruins, its similar to what you described.

    Now that I think of it, I should dig out my laptop and make a thread on this site with a link.
    Last edited by DarkLightHitomi; 2014-01-19 at 11:37 PM.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLightHitomi View Post
    Try calling your Destiny Drive as boons or bennies. They would be instantly recognized by most players. Not that important though.

    Also, instead of classes, try using feat trees or skill based instead. Nothing I hate more then being told I can't be a dextrous sword swinging warrior who knows utility spells like invisibility and spider climb and knock.

    Edit: You may consider looking at my game Roads and Ruins, its similar to what you described.

    Now that I think of it, I should dig out my laptop and make a thread on this site with a link.
    Thanks for the name and I'll check out Roads&Ruins. Also I never planned on using classes, but something like a feat tree for that exact reason.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    You might also want to take a look at STaRS on this same forum, as an idea of how to put together and organize a very simple and light game system (and still make sure it works).

    Other than that, A Wanderer's Romance is very simple, although perhaps a bit too shallow for what you might have in mind. Warriors Cats is remarkably simple and handles challenges a bit differently than most games, using no dice. There are also the game systems HeroQuest RPG 2nd edition and Faery's Tale Deluxe, although neither are available for free online.
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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    You might also want to take a look at STaRS on this same forum, as an idea of how to put together and organize a very simple and light game system (and still make sure it works).

    Other than that, A Wanderer's Romance is very simple, although perhaps a bit too shallow for what you might have in mind. Warriors Cats is remarkably simple and handles challenges a bit differently than most games, using no dice. There are also the game systems HeroQuest RPG 2nd edition and Faery's Tale Deluxe, although neither are available for free online.
    Thanks I'll take a look right away!

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Put me on the list of people who'd be interested in seeing "Roads & Ruins", DarkLightHitomi.
    ~ Composer99

    D&D 5e Homebrew:
    Character Options: Fighter Remix, Paladin Oaths, Ranger Remix, Sorcerer Remix
    Playing the Game: Using Ability Score Variants
    New Subsystems: Combat Manoeuvre System, Weapon Generator
    Monsters: Yogg-Saron

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by StabbityRabbit View Post
    Thanks for the name and I'll check out Roads&Ruins. Also I never planned on using classes, but something like a feat tree for that exact reason.
    Check out Warrior Rogue and Mage. It's free, it's simple, it's traditional in a few ways, and it basically works off of archetype mixing. I'd also recommend looking into Nemesis. Like WR&M, it's free. It's also relatively simple, in that it is at least short - though it's a rules dense short text. While it's not directly relevant to what you're trying to do it's a sterling example of really solid system design, and an example of what can be done with dice beyond the conventional dice-pool, roll under, and roll-and-add paradigms.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2014-01-20 at 03:50 PM.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Check out Warrior Rogue and Mage. It's free, it's simple, it's traditional in a few ways, and it basically works off of archetype mixing. I'd also recommend looking into Nemesis. Like WR&M, it's free. It's also relatively simple, in that it is at least short - though it's a rules dense short text. While it's not directly relevant to what you're trying to do it's a sterling example of really solid system design, and an example of what can be done with dice beyond the conventional dice-pool, roll under, and roll-and-add paradigms.
    Thanks! I'll take a look as soon as I can.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Since you mentioned Exalted, might be worth taking a look at Nobilis (written/designed by one of the lead designers of 1st Edition Exalted). It was kind of similar, but with a more narrative focus (sort of. its weird.)

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by Day_Dreamer View Post
    Since you mentioned Exalted, might be worth taking a look at Nobilis (written/designed by one of the lead designers of 1st Edition Exalted). It was kind of similar, but with a more narrative focus (sort of. its weird.)
    Thanks I'll look at it as soon as I can.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    For those who asked for it,

    Roads and Ruins, the test play SRD,
    https://sites.google.com/site/roadsa...g/home/rnr-srd

    It doesn't have all the options yet (such as feat lists) but I finally have all the data updated to current version.

    --------
    Wow, warrior cats has a game now. That is awesome thanks for linking it. Last time I saw the site, Erin Hunter was still only three women.

    ------
    The Nemesis dice mechanic is very interesting. Not really usable with what I'm doing but definitely taking note of it.

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    Default Re: I have a few questions about system design

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLightHitomi View Post
    For those who asked for it,

    Roads and Ruins, the test play SRD,
    https://sites.google.com/site/roadsa...g/home/rnr-srd

    It doesn't have all the options yet (such as feat lists) but I finally have all the data updated to current version.

    --------
    Wow, warrior cats has a game now. That is awesome thanks for linking it. Last time I saw the site, Erin Hunter was still only three women.

    ------
    The Nemesis dice mechanic is very interesting. Not really usable with what I'm doing but definitely taking note of it.
    Thanks! Very interesting although I think our rpgs might end up being very different.

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