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30

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 ...


29

The caller is an archaic role that is only relevant when the play group is very large. And by very large, I don't mean six or eight players, I mean ten or sixteen. Our sense of what a "large" group is has adjusted drastically downward since BD&D was written, and consequently the purpose and utility of a caller is no longer obvious. The gameplay ...


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 ...


19

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 ...


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

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 ...


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, ...


16

A bit of history "Story Game" has been used in many different ways, but at least in the context to Dungeon World, it has a definite lineage. The term as associated use today, was first coined by Clinton R. Nixon (I believe around 2006-2007?) as a simple and catchy term for Narrativist games. This allowed a way to promote these types of games without ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


14

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


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

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

Apocalypse Engine is all about fictional positioning There are many ways that the players, the game mechanics, and the shared fiction of play interact with each other. Different systems and different groups emphasize some over others. Apocalypse World is built to emphasize "fictional positioning," which is when already-established elements of the shared ...



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