Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

29

No, this isn't novel (although that does not mean that it isn't clever design in Numenera). There are two separate things married in that mechanic as you've described it. Both have been done before, and I can think of at least one game that has married them in the same way before. First there is the concept of a pull mechanic. Most GM-initiated events are ...


24

Try this one: every PC has one chit representing a "+1" bonus to any roll. They can only use it once for session, and they can only use it to influence some other PC's roll. Make it a +2 if the Player can come up with a reasonable explanation. E.g.: I cover him with suppressive fire while he sprints toward the enemy (+1/+2 to dodge) While she tells her ...


23

According to third edition designer Skip Williams, in his article Attacks of Opportunity (Part One), D&D uses attacks of opportunity to add tactical complexity and danger, to discourage certain actions in combat without banning them outright, and to balance out useful or powerful combat manoevers: Skip Williams: The D&D game uses its attack ...


20

D&D 4e has Skill Challenges whereby the group has to succeed at multiple skill checks (the number depending on the difficulty) before accumulating 3 failures. The choice of skills boils down to whatever the players can justify. The Essentials red box (spoilers ahead!) has a nice example in the prewritten adventure "Talking to the Dragon" which gives ...


19

Rules = Objects in Setting Let's imagine a roleplaying game where the rules are represented by some physical objects in the gameworld. So let's say you don't like the rule that dwarves can't learn magic? This rule is a stone pillar a hundred feet tall, standing in the Valley of Orblag. Topple it, and the rule will no longer exist. The pillar of No ...


18

I'm assuming that by "big huge robots" you're talking about Gundam/Mech -style "I'm bigger than a house!" robots, as opposed to "powered-armor" a la Starship Troopers (although there's some overlap between the two). The first thing you need to decide, is what you want the focus of your game to be. I can think of a few examples: Focus on in-mech ...


17

Ars Magica is the pride of its fans for this very reason—its core and supplements are founded on the principles of science, magic, and mythology as were believed by the people of the middle ages. The basic premise of the game is that all the things those people believed about the world are true: demons, humours, goblins, fairy circles, aether, etc. As a side ...


17

I think your premise is false: most systems change a lot between editions. To name a few: White Wolf's old and new World of Darkness settings are very different. Their flagship, Vampire, had drastic changes. Paranoia has had many large changes between editions. The new FATE Core changes many things from previous versions of FATE. To invert your ...


16

The best game with a system for party cohesion I've seen is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay's 3rd Edition. As part of character creation, the players collectively select a 'Party Sheet' that describes the nature of their party. A number of different party sheets (such as 'Swords for Hire' or 'Servants of Justice') are included in the rule set, each with their ...


16

Keep them in-line, but use indentation, italics, or a change in font to clearly mark the creation example sections. That way, those who are interested can read them and those who'd rather stick to the instruction sections can do so easily. I find that having worked examples close to the suggestions is a great way to ease learning of new skills.


16

Monte actually had very little to say about 4e other than that he didn't like its licensing. However, you can guess what he doesn't like about it from his comments on 3e, 3.5, and game design in general. Practically Mandatory Miniatures Monte on 3.5 (from here): The game has an even stronger focus on miniatures. 3.0 had a strong focus on miniatures, ...


15

You may find this interesting... I once took a type of personality test that had four "axes" of classification: http://www.personalitytest.net/types/index.htm (I was taking a paper version, but it looks like the same test.) The categories are: Extraverted (E) or Introverted (I) Sensing (S) or iNtuitive (N) Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) Judging (J) or ...


15

In Spirit of the Century, in character generation you specifically include other PCs as "guest stars" in parts of your origin, linking them with common experiences (and, optionally, skills). This got inherited by Dresden Files and other later FATE-based stuff like Disapora, Starblazer Adventures, and optionally in Strands of FATE. In Ars Magica, the troupe ...


15

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


14

According to this: I'm pretty sure that I understand what an Ash-Can is: It's a text that comes implicitly (and maybe explicitly) packaged with a disclaimer ... "contents are sold as-is, no guarantee of quality is implied, nor should any be inferred." And According to wikipedia: An ashcan copy is a term that originated in the Golden Age of Comic ...


14

Various systems have extended rules for social conflicts. For example: The Dying Earth RPG has a back-and-forth dice-rolling mechanic. I say something, I roll to see whether I convince you; you reply, you roll to see whether you convince me. Skulduggery uses the same mechanics. Burning Wheel's Duel of Wits mechanics frames social conflict similarly to ...


14

Nomic Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of ...


14

Opportunity attacks serve multiple purposes. They don't allow you to walk around the whole battlefield whenever you want. This is mostly useful to prevent the thief from always using the backstab attack on every round. By creating opportunity attacks, there comes a cost to a thief trying to always get behind someone. (or flanking in general) They ...


14

There are several major mecha oriented RPG systems. The ones that may fit what you're looking for best are from Dream Pod 9 - their Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles lines (both based on the Silhouette ruleset, which I played in a campaign under). Mechs are 12-18 feet tall, more mobile than but weapons not as powerful as a main battle tank. The ruleset ...


14

When building characters, with "in order" statistic generation, or "assign existing roll" statistic generation, the XP bonus acts as an incentive to produce two outcomes. For "in order" character generation, it strongly suggests to players that they make their character "fit" their statistics, in particular by aligning their character selection with their ...


13

Medical practice as we now thing of it was not extant until the 17th Century; the various providers of medical treatment included a variety of individuals with various titles. Some of the trends Laech, Physicker, Leech: Generally, a practitioner of Roman medicine. Leaches, salves, ointments, unguents, and caurterization, perhaps some stitching of ...


13

The single most important thing you can learn from outside blind playtesters: Is it intelligible? There are two very good "blind test" modes: hand the playtest GM the rules, and have him run a group of players and report hand the playtest GM the rules, and, never once answering a rules question, play in his game with his players. Mode 1 is less ...


13

One "rule" that always works is to begin character creation with the requirement that the characters be an established group with a particular purpose. It's up to the players to decide what their group and purpose is, but it must be reflected in their character's creation and backstory. Non-exhaustive examples are a merchant team, a squad of soldiers at war, ...


13

I would argue that "mechanical character advancement" isn't necessary, but advancement as a whole is. Non-mechanical Character Advancement could fille this purpose. This could be accomplished not with dice and stats, but with abilities granted as plot points, character development by the player and the GM (GM's acknowledging character development is very ...


13

Since you are building your system with inspiration from FATE, let's look at how this could be done in FATE as it is written. I'll assume the Dresden Files iteration of the rules as that is what FATE Core is being based on. (I'm also going to address the general case before dealing with the specifics in your question). The thing to remember is that ...


13

To preserve the probabilities exactly, the new DC should be "14 + monster defense." How I got that number So, you want to convert this: d20 + monster_save vs. 8 + caster_modifiers Into this: d20 + caster_modifiers vs. ?? + monster_save Here's how to figure out the "??" using a bit of intuition about probability: Ignore the modifiers for a ...


12

I tell playtesters to: Play to enjoy themselves. (This is because some people play to "break the game", which I don't like) Play it the way I've written, even if you think I should have written it differently. (I've had playtesters who change something I've written, run it their way, then tell me their way works. It's not helpful.) Be honest. I need ...


12

(This is all based on reading about ashcans on a variety of indie RPG sites a year or two ago. I have purchased a few.) The word "ashcan" comes from the comic book industry. In recent usage in the comic book industry it tends to mean a smaller format comic (for varying meanings of "smaller") used as a freebie to try and hook new readers. In the indie RPG ...


12

From an Ars Magica and Aristotelian perspective, mind is divided into five elements. (Doing this bit from memory) Common Sense, Imagination, Memory, Cognition, and Estimation. The 5 wits are: Common Sense (The ability to perceive the world), Imagination (The ability to composite images over time and store them) Memory (the ability to store concepts), ...


11

It's not a general separation from historical events that you need, it's putting historical events in the right place. Two ideas spring to mind: Keep the real horrors of the era out of the game entirely. Make the military events part of the background. I'd make these two points explicit in your writeup, so that the next GM running this setting has some ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible