Issues related to designing RPG system mechanics.

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1answer
245 views

Any rules or supplements for mass combat in Underwater or Aerial fantasy environments?

I want to create a Pathfinder campaign for my players that culminates in a war between fantasy cities. I've been researching mass combat rules looking for something comprehensive that effectively ...
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5answers
653 views

Is there a Open Game License (OGL) or similar life-path system out there?

I've decided to try and "build" a system of my own, and I've decided to make it a "life path" system but I don't really want to start from absolute scratch, but thus far I've haven't found any open ...
10
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1answer
448 views

Recommendations for game mechanics that emphasize reagent or component based spellcasting

I'm researching spell component systems for a 3.5e campaign. In 3.5e, spell components are an inconvenience at best and a waste of time at worst. I'd like to homebrew a solution drawing from mechanics ...
4
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1answer
532 views

What are the most common design problems found in games based in levels and classes? [closed]

I am starting to develop a home-brew system along some members of our group, and one of the things we have to decide is the advancement system. We are divided between point-based and class/level, ...
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1answer
2k views

How would you create a MtG RPG Campaign/Game? [closed]

There was a MtG computer game published years ago which provided a campaign style game. The player travelled around a map comprised of differing terrain. This terrain was one of the MtG land types, ...
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10answers
1k views

Difference in basing damage on degree of success compared to a separate roll

So I am thinking about my own homebrewed system, and am wondering how to implement damage. I am considering two types of system here: Damage is rolled separately (base on weapon), and success of the ...
8
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1answer
280 views

What purpose does keeping Vancian Spell-casting in Legend serve?

I've got to admit, I'm somewhat confused by the option to keep Vancian-style spell slots for the Shaman and Tactician casting tracks. Most tracks in Legend either provide abilities that are at-will or ...
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5answers
1k views

Most faithful way to convert a d20 base roll to a d6 base roll?

I'm semi-converting an old adventure from DnD 3.X to d6 Fantasy, but I'm having trouble getting a roll conversion that I am happy with. The adventure calls for an extended test of d20 +X rolls until ...
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4answers
709 views

Game design differences between contested rolls and general attack rolls in combat

Background: Our group does D&D 3.5/4e one week, and a different system the other week (we've done GURPS and Serenity, and I'm going to be running Mutants and Masterminds 3rd edition). I've ...
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1answer
653 views

Designing stats for ReBoot Tabletop game

As a personal project I am working on creating a tabletop game based on one of my favorite childhood shows. The show is ReBoot. One of the things I am having a rough time designing is a simple stat ...
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3answers
2k views

Structure for a political sandbox game

I am looking for a fairly structured approach to creating, preparing for, and running a political game. To be more precise, I am looking for the following: A structured approach or even a game ...
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2answers
276 views

Who should be addressed in an RPG rule text?

When reading RPG rules text, I have noticed that the text sometimes rather inconsistently switches between assuming that the player is doing the reading and that the character is doing the reading. ...
9
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1answer
433 views

Why does (A)D&D change so much between editions? [closed]

Most systems, as far as I know, stay mostly the same between editions. Yet Dungeons and Dragons has had major changes between almost every edition, with the skill systems, combat abilities/feats, ...
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4answers
1k views

What are the best ways to utilize Wisdom and Charisma?

This question primarily refers to a fantasy RPG called "One Step Beyond", published back in 1989. It had five ability scores: Strength, Mental Strength, Will, Agility, Health. These were essentially a ...
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2answers
1k views

Creating my own RPG but having a hard time. Need advice

I've been playing tabletop RPGs for 20 years and I finally mustered the courage to create my own RPG. The problem is that I've gotten very discouraged as of late. I asked my local gaming community ...
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4answers
527 views

Handling many modifiers on a probability curve

So I've been working on a 2d20 based system for a side project, and it's playing out as a hybrid of a roleplaying system and a simulation-heavy combat game. This means that the engine has quickly ...
2
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2answers
170 views

What resources should I use to create a mod for d20 Modern?

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 ...
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2answers
181 views

Where could I go to find editing services that specialize in RPGs?

So I have had a time travel themed RPG successfully kickstarted and am entering the stage where I await feedback from the playtesters. In the meantime, I am searching for editing services that ...
6
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3answers
542 views

Do universal rules systems without any implied setting whatsoever exist?

Is it possible for a system to be universal without implying anything about setting? If it isn't, why? There are lots of universal systems, but they all seem to have mechanics that pin down ...
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3answers
287 views

How to implement dual-classing in a non-levelled RPG game?

I'm working on an alternate ruleset for a tabletop pen-and-paper RPG (like D&D). Recently I've been toying the idea of abolishing a level system. However, I don't want to remove the ability for a ...
2
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2answers
255 views

How to balance orcs and uruks PCs

As weird as it sounds, I like to play the other side in RPG stories, or at least, design how to play. In old MERP PCs could be of the Middle Earth evil races (orcs, half-orcs, uruks, trolls, ...
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3answers
9k views

Common Dice Mechanics [closed]

I'm thinking of doing a study/paper/educational-piece about different dice rolling systems in RPGs and other games. I've played RPGs in the past but it's been years so I wanted to be sure I knew the ...
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2answers
823 views

A system for tactical magic duels with low handling time?

I'm trying to cobble together a solely magic-based campaign that will have a really flexible system of magic. I've always been a fan of the D20 system, but it does have its limitations: for this ...
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2answers
242 views

Are there any game mechanics for handling item condition in detail?

Many sources (ex) point out that a distinct advantage of non-metal armour is that it does not rust in the rain. Also, "adventurers", carrying all their belongings on their back, pretty often find ...
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5answers
271 views

Character turn mechanic that is both detailed and handles long actions

We play according to a homemade-ish freeform-ish system. I, as a GM, have a lot of fun with the system as I morph it. And the benefit for the players is that the whole thing is a one-pager. But we ...
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4answers
554 views

“High on Magic” - how original is it? [closed]

I have written a RPG called "Chuť magie" - it's in Czech and it means literary "Taste of Magic", but I'd definitely call it "High on Magic" in English. I'm not planning to translate it to English ...
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5answers
1k views

How would you play test an RPG before all of its rules are complete?

I've been writing my own RPG, mainly to address some of the flaws / frustrations I've come across in other games. Luckily, I've found a few willing participants to help test the rules and mechanics in ...
10
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3answers
461 views

How do I make headshot rules interesting?

I'm working on a unified conflict system for a lightweight setting-agnostic RPG ruleset. The beta version is available on my website, although I have changed a lot of rules since that was released. My ...
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4answers
900 views

What can be done to maintain balance in a magic system in which mages must construct their own spells?

I'd like to build a magic system in which every spell is a one-off. A spell is created to serve a particular purpose and is cast once. I'm thinking that the time and place of the casting would be ...
3
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2answers
196 views

Combat - What is the chance of hitting someone on Range? [closed]

I'm designing a game system, and am working on the combat system. I have several questions, and I'm trying to create a system that is as realistic as possible. Sadly I have no experience with guns or ...
9
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5answers
456 views

What are the essential design features of a combat system that make it scalable from single combat to mass warfare?

My question stems from this post by p.marino, as it raised my curiosity. I do not wish to spend the time and money to acquire and read Silhouette Core. Furthermore, I lack the knowledge of piles of ...
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10answers
4k views

What are common design flaws of build-point game systems?

I'm designing my own RPG system and I want to avoid the most widely-recognized flaws, loopholes, and exploits that build-point character creation systems usually suffer from. What are the most common ...
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6answers
2k views

What 3–4 social skills would cover every need? [closed]

I'm building a role-playing system and am just thinking about the social skills. In D20, you have like appraise, barter, intimidate, gather information, and then the really useful diplomacy, bluff ...
17
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6answers
876 views

Is the use of XP as a narrative currency for both GMs and players a novel idea?

In Monte Cook's new roleplaying game Numenera, XP is used as a narrative currency not only by the GM but by the players as well. Taken from his design diaries: Say the PCs find a hidden console ...
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1answer
447 views

Combat and exp/gold reward equations

I have a pen and paper game that I'm creating, but I'm running across issues in keeping the ratios between high and low level players similar in the battle and reward equations. Obviously a higher ...
13
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7answers
2k views

D&D: How to find out if someone is a spellcaster?

I know that one can use the spell "Detect magic" to find out whether any spells are being cast or active. But is it also possible, using some spell, feat or whatever, to find out whether a person is ...
27
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4answers
1k views

Why do characters with a high prime requisite gain bonus XP?

In earlier versions of Dungeons & Dragons, a character with a high ability score in their class' prime requisite receives a bonus to all experience he earns. For example, the 1983 Frank Mentzer ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What didn't Monte Cook like about 4e?

It seems to be an established tenet of the conventional wisdom that Monte Cook does not like Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. However, I came late to this party and never read the criticisms Monte ...
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9answers
1k views

What game elements are essential for a playtest?

I'm currently designing a game, and I have most of the elements of the game sorted in my head. I'm in the process of codifying them, and I wanted to know what game elements are essential for a ...
13
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3answers
269 views

What kinds of player contributions work well and under what circumstances?

Introduction In Amber diceless roleplaying game players get extra points for building their characters by committing to player contributions, such as: Writing a diary, writing game reports, drawing ...
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4answers
309 views

How can adversarial game mechanics be added to a game?

Some systems have the concept of an adversarial relationship between the game master and the players. These games typically have a series of mechanics to enforce this behavior and prevent one side ...
8
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1answer
475 views

How can I simplify a series of rolls without changing probability too heavily?

Ok, I'm working on a combat system converted from a video game to a tabletop game, and I'd appreciate some feedback on how I can make my combat defense system work. Currently attacking is handled as ...
6
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2answers
448 views

Handling merchant inventory with lots of items?

Ok, so I'm converting a roguelike video game to a tabletop game (GearHead, if anyone's interested), and I'm running into a catch where I want to keep the tabletop game essentially compatible with the ...
27
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10answers
2k views

How do I balance game interactions between a giant mecha that can level cities and its pilot?

I have had recurring trouble with a subject I like, and would like to implement into my games, but can't find a good way to do so: mechas (big huge robots) From a system point of view, it is usually ...
8
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3answers
944 views

Do these stats cover enough of a person's ability?

I've had this thought in my head for a while, as I'm developing my game, but this question really sparked me into posing the question. In the game I'm developing, peoples normal stats/attributes ...
4
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3answers
822 views

Which systems use a dice pool *and* highest score mechanic?

I'm trying to design a system with a dice pool mechanic that looks at the highest roll in the pool as well as total number of successes? I want to show the quality of a success and it's extent. ...
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4answers
926 views

How necessary is mechanical character advancement?

I've been fiddling around with a game system for some time (ever since the 2010 Game Chef competition) that's based around characters that are shape-shifters. Because of this, characters have a fluid ...
10
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4answers
334 views

How do I make players more comfortable in an unusual historical setting?

I run a lot of games/write systems set in specific historical/cultural contexts, because I like rpgs as a way to explore them and think they provide a great sense of place. However, I tend not to ...
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6answers
267 views

How do I ensure separation between historical events and the game world while still feeling historical?

I am running a pulp WW2 campaign where the players are deep inside Germany in 1940 uncovering secret projects, getting involved in the occult and discovering ancient powers that the Third Reich are ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the reason for introducing the rule for Attacks of Opportunity in D&D?

The Attacks of Opportunity are an important part in D&D and spinoffs of the game like Pathfinder. What does this rule for the game-system? How does it affect the fun of the players? Why was this ...