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 "homebrew" rulings, or simple changes to an existing system.

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16
votes
2answers
414 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
596 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
948 views

Show off your Character Sheet Designs

Notice: This thread has a associated meta-thread, If you want to discuss if it is on topic please do so there. This is a chance to show off the great character sheets you have created. Rules: 1 ...
15
votes
8answers
422 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to design a game for sociopathic characters?

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 ...
13
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
622 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
543 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
942 views

Help Identify a Medieval City

This is a fictional city. What I need help with is finding a medieval city that has roughly the same shape. I want to get a sense of the surrounding geography in order to create my regional map around ...
9
votes
4answers
417 views

What should be included in a 'getting started' player handout?

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 ...
9
votes
6answers
413 views

Game design question. What sort of effect does HP as a resource have on a system?

(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 ...
9
votes
3answers
740 views

What to do in the Shadowfell?

I have a drow assassin character who has recently been brought to the Shadowfell by the Raven Queen for a short quest involving taking out an upstart Dark One toying with necromancy. It will be a ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
680 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
474 views

How to give directions to megadungeon locations without giving players too much info?

One of my favorite blogs, Beyond the Black Gate, had a good post a while back about structuring megadungeon play for episodic (i.e., irregular) games by creating mini-quests or missions that get the ...
7
votes
5answers
597 views

Has anyone released Castle of the Mad Archmage upper levels?

I'd really like to run COTMA, but for some reason the idea of coming up with the ruins and level 1 kind of intimidate me. I'd like to see some examples that I could either use as written or just use ...
6
votes
1answer
533 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
932 views

How can I turn the Kobold Hall delve into a full-fledged Adventure?

For my first experience as a DM, I'm taking the Kobold Hall adventure included in the first DMG, and repurposing it. The overall idea is to turn it from a 5 encounter delve to a "Level 1 to Level 2 ...
5
votes
1answer
949 views

Are there any free tools for designing encounters or traps?

I'm trying to design a module and I was wondering if there were any free or open source encounter or trap designers for D&D 4e Mostly I just like something that lets me fill in the blanks and ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Any ideas on how to populate empty D&D 4E Dungeons?

Ok guys, tomorrow is gonna be my first dungeon crawl experience with my new group of level 1 players, and after some encounters to let them understand the game, we're finally trying dungeon delving. ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

When to throw away a bad RPG system design? [closed]

Let's say you're putting together a custom RPG system of yours (core mechanics of dice and conflict resolution, support mechanics, the skills, the races, the fluff, etc.) Let's say you're making a ...