Questions related to the theories of RPG design, the probabilities of the use of dice in designs, or subjects tangential to that, including "hacks" or derivative works, should be tagged with the design tag. This does not include house rules or simple changes to an existing system, nor homebrewing ...

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8
votes
2answers
481 views

Have the designers said why they did not include XP loss?

There seem to be no spells that cost XP, creating magic items doesn't cost XP, and monsters don't drain levels. The first two, at least, were significant considerations in 3.5. I can speculate, but do ...
10
votes
4answers
910 views

Is using the term “gypsy” in a game racist?

I've been working on a set of house rules for a "retroclone" game called OSRIC. This game plays similar to the original 1st edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I was planning to tweak a few of ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the sorcerer/wizard spell lists diverge in D&D 5e?

The party I am playing with is currently playing Pathfinder, and we are considering switching to 5e within the new couple of weeks. I have been doing research on the difference with Sorcerers between ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

What is the purpose of differently-sized stress boxes as opposed to flat stress or same-sized boxes?

I can see the point of differently-sized Consequences on entities. Light ones are a mark, moderate ones are a more realistic, lasting dent, and so on. They behave differently and have, arguably, ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Are the design goals for 5e currently available?

Numerous questions and answers refer to the design goals of 5th edition, and if a reference is given, it is to a no-longer valid link at wizards.com. Are the design goals of 5e currently available, ...
18
votes
1answer
729 views

What Influence Did Sean K. Reynolds Have on Pathfinder's Monk?

As one of the designers, Sean K. Reynolds has a lot of influence on many aspects of the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. With that said, I would like to learn more about his influence on the Monk's ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

What is the reason behind hiding the difficulty level in systems that keep DCs hidden?

On one side, you have games such as Fate that show the players the difficulty level of a task, and perhaps upon an unsuccessful roll, the players can spend resources to raise their result. Then there'...
15
votes
2answers
855 views

What are the major design/philosophical differences between Dresden Files and Fate Core?

I've read the Fate Core rulebook and am starting to read the Dresden Files: Your Story and Your World books. I am looking to describe the differences between Dresden Files and Fate to friends. If ...
1
vote
0answers
142 views

How should character skills be categorised? [closed]

I would like to build my own RPG system. I'm not following any particular trope or format but I do usually enjoy characters who are the sum of their skills. I'd like to actively distinguish skills ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

Is the omission of a racial +2 to wisdom intentional?

In the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, the selection of a race determines one or more bonuses to a primary attribute. For example, humans get +1 to all six attributes, while a wood elf gets +2 to ...
10
votes
6answers
569 views

Game design question. What systems should I look at to see how hit points as a resource impacts gameplay?

(Sorry for the long winded intro. Since this is about a game nobody is familiar with, I'm trying to ensure that there is some amount of context before asking the actual question.) So I've got a ...
7
votes
1answer
801 views

Are Hit Points in Dungeon World just a nod to D&D?

I'm making a hack of Dungeon World/Apocalypse World- its fantasy based, but very dark fantasy. I was tending towards using the Harm Clock, or something as in your face deadly, but wondered if the Hit ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

What are the major innovations in Dungeon World compared to D&D 3.5/Pf/4e?

In various comments on this site, DW was mentioned as [Dungeon world/Apocalypse World] is really more required reading for any designer today working on innovation in mechanics Having read the ...
17
votes
2answers
470 views

Incentivizing Player Betrayal?

I'm working on a game where the players have a competitive goal (hoarding as much money as possible) and there will eventually be a reckoning where the amount of money they have hoarded away will ...
10
votes
2answers
867 views

How can I introduce Life Paths to character generation?

The first time I played* Traveller, I found myself blown away by the detailed character creation, featuring year by year (4 year chunks actually) break down of how your character got where they are ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to design a game for sociopathic characters? [closed]

A few years ago, I played a D&D 3.5 game in Forgotten Realms with an evil party. The characters (played by my brother and me) were sociopaths, bent on exploiting anyone and everyone. The game ...
9
votes
4answers
538 views

What should be included in a 'getting started' player handout? [on hold]

When playing a new RPG system and setting, it is helpful to have important game information in front of you. For my free RPG Icar, I intend on having a single side of paper with reference rules and ...
16
votes
5answers
889 views

Co-operative story-telling mechanics

What are some existing or potential game mechanics that encourage players to "take the reins" a bit more and involve themselves in a story-telling perspective? Specifically, are there any examples of ...
15
votes
8answers
500 views

Can rules changes fix interpersonal problems at the table?

Can rules tweaks help deal with some of the common interpersonal problems at the gaming table? For example: Someone is not really interested in the game, and reads and ignores play until they ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

How do you create a new D&D 4E character class?

I'm a somewhat experienced game designer, yet creating a 30-level character class for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition intimidates the hell out of me. Where do I start? Is there a list of kinds of ...