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This is a tangent off of my question about Looking for a Space marine RPG similar to Starship Troopers (the Novel) where there were some good suggestions about systems to use or modify to meet my requirements. Upon reflection creating a modification of an existing system like d20 modern might be easier for my players to adapt to than learning a completely different system with very different paradigms such as Traveller. I've already looked over the official Starship Troopers game and it doesn't meet my requirements because so much of the system (fluff and mechanics) is based around the structure of the M.I. in the movie, not the books. Major case in point, it completely lacks and rules regarding power armor, combat drops, etc.

In short, What websites, resources, articles should I are there to help a newbie designer identify and address design issues and problems?

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2 Answers 2

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The Ultimate Game Designer's Companion was

designed to be a reference and encyclopaedia of rules for the d20 System, allowing gamers to put together unique scenarios, campaigns, and even full blown RPGs together quickly and easily, utilising the plug and play nature of the d20 System to the full.

It's out of print, and didn't garner wild accolades.

If you aren't already making use of the d20 System Reference Document (SRD), you can download it all or a component at a time. It's in RTF, so you can easily modify the content to suit your needs. However, this doesn't help you with the thinking behind any changes you're making.

Veteran game designer Robin Laws has created a series of posts about game design. They are not particular to d20 or to modifying existing systems. Mike Mearls discusses the design philosophy embraced by WotC in the official D&D blog.

Lisa Hartjes writes extensively about worldbuilding in her blog.

More broadly, Gnome Stew is a good jump-off point, as they focus exclusively on gamemastering.

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  1. If you're sticking with d20, then you might want to look at d20 Future.

  2. At this point, pick up d20 Modern or Future, play it, find what parts don't work for you, and then consider how to change them. For inspiration on how to change things, look to other d20 hacks, even those that aren't seemingly related, such as Pathfinder, Mutants and Masterminds, and even Anime d20. Also consider looking at other systems, in particular 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars (a mix of Aliens and Starship Troopers) and The Regiment: Colonial Marines (Aliens).

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The Regiment:Colonial marines definitely has potential, Falls short on the powered armor idea and concept but design wise meets up a lot and could be hacked to more closely fit starship troopers –  Joshua Aslan Smith Apr 12 '13 at 20:01
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