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Questions tagged [game-design]

For questions about the design of RPGs themselves. Not for questions about homebrewing subsystems, rules, or house rules questions. More specific tags may apply—click “info” or “learn more…” for a guide.

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16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there any explanation or discussion regarding the change in the Bard class from its AD&D1ed orignal implementation?

If I recall correctly, the Bard in AD&D1ed was a true dual (triple) class character who had to progress as a pure fighter, then a pure thief, and then finally could begin to progress as a bard. In ...
Avraham's user avatar
  • 381
7 votes
2 answers
694 views

Is there an ideal order of chapters for RPG core books?

I have in my years of playing RPGs seen many possible orders for the chapters in an RPG, and somehow they always feel off to me because some parts are feeling as if they are in the wrong spot. Let me ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.3k
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

How can I make weapons of the same playstyle (reliable/risky) in my dice pool system (Feedback Loop) feel distinct mechanically?

I am currently making a sci-fi biopunk TTRPG system. In the system, attack rolls are made by rolling 4d6, then adding together either the 3 highest or the 2 highest rolls, depending on the weapon. If ...
ovoid_ovvie's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
310 views

How to design a superhero rpg around a certain power level? [closed]

A common thing in superhero rpgs is that they're designed for all characters to be within a specific power range, mainly for balance purposes and not having to deal with absurd situations like Aunt ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
337 views

Advice for designing clocks in PBTA games

I'm creating a PBTA game about mice with swords. The feel I'm going for is "little creatures in a big, dangerous world." I'd like to use clocks so that the GM can track moon phases and ...
Kean Bean's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
90 views

How do I develop a vehicle design system for a tabletop roleplaying game (examples include Traveller, Striker, and Fire Fusion& Steel)? [closed]

How do I develop a crunchy simulationist vehicle design system for a tabletop roleplaying game (examples include Traveller, Striker, and Fire Fusion& Steel)? How do I develop a vehicle design ...
TheLeopard's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Benefits of PC attribute generation methods? (custom RPG)

I'm working on a pen and paper RPG of my own, and have hit a snag on determining stats for beginning player characters (such as Strength, Intelligence, Perception and the like); I'm not sure whether ...
king of panes's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

What are the design differences between Pathfinder 2E and D&D 5E? [duplicate]

(I do not believe this is a duplicate of What are the major differences in style and system between D&D 5e and Pathfinder 2e? [duplicate] -- despite the similar name, the answer there just ...
Magua's user avatar
  • 2,622
5 votes
5 answers
469 views

Does this trigger violate GM principles? Can it be fixed?

I have been working on homebrew class replacements for dungeon-world, and as part of this we have added "class triggers". Class triggers look like the compendium class triggers. However ...
Wheat Wizard's user avatar
  • 4,287
6 votes
2 answers
981 views

How do I calculate probability for the dice mechanic in my custom indie ttrpg?

I am currently working on writing an indie TTRPG based on the "press your luck" style games instead of being based around miniature war games. I am struggling to understand the probabilities ...
Jesse 's user avatar
  • 61
9 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is it possible for a single system to handle a huge range of different power levels?

I'm thinking about designing a game based on Shonen battle anime, and one of the aspects I'm having difficulty modelling is the range of power scales. The anime I'm referencing (Dragon Ball, Naruto, ...
Caleb Compton's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
623 views

How do I determine a baseline difficulty when converting a d100 system to a d20 system?

How do I mathematically determine a baseline difficulty number when converting a d100 "roll under" system to a d20 "roll over" system? The Basic RP system (and variants) uses a ...
William M-B's user avatar
  • 2,419
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

When I'm making a Powered-by-the-Apocalypse game, how do I pick good questions for moves like Read a Person?

The Apocalypse World RPG has the following move: When you read a person in a charged interaction, roll +sharp. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 1. While you’re interacting with them, spend your hold ...
ymbirtt's user avatar
  • 2,325
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

How could I lower the rate of critical successes?

I'm trying to create my own RPG, to play with friends. To be honest, I never played published RPGs before, only home-brewed ones, but I don't feel like spending money on a thing that I may never use, ...
Nolann Boyere's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
157 views

Easy Tracking of Sliding Ranges on Character Sheets

Background I am making an RPG that uses poker/Yahtzee like hands from die rolls instead of the normal "dice+mods vs target number" paradigm for determining effects of character actions. Each ...
PipperChip's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
3k views

How many rolls of a D20 would you expect to equal or beat (20 - number of tries)?

I have what is chiefly a probability / game-design query, but one with a clear RPG gaming purpose behind it. Assume I have a check in some game system, using a single 20-sided dice, that requires ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 405
5 votes
1 answer
784 views

How to balance a one page RPG that has three scores? [closed]

I recently saw a great little one page RPG called Potatoes shared by Death by Badgers on twitter: Potato, a one page RPG about being a halfling and trying to quietly enjoy your potatoes in a world ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
224 views

How to make a good height and weight table? [closed]

I am wondering how I would make a good height and weight table that has balanced ranges across a range of around 6-8 feet. When I have tried making a table, it always ended up being too light for ...
AshDrake049182's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
436 views

What would be a good 'fantasy' disinfectant/antiseptic? Is it necessary? [closed]

I have been consuming a lot of LARP, bushcraft, and military survival content lately, but I've noticed something about material hygiene and cooking that's got me thinking about fantasy cooking/...
ResidentLoreExpert's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Where does the concept of "failing forward" come from in RPGs?

Listening to some old podcasts, I stumbled over the idea of "failing forward" mentioned in a March 2020 (in this interview) edition of Court Games (RPG). The game designer Max Brooke there ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.3k
2 votes
1 answer
420 views

Determining dice pools for given percent chances of numbers of successes

The Question I'm working with my friend on a new (we think) dice system for a homebrew RPG (soon to hit the TTRPG world by storm, no doubt). A design goal is that players' statistical success rate at ...
Ifusaso 'he-him''s user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
308 views

Adjust difficulty without affecting character's capacity, without adding steps to assess result, for a dice pool with unvariable target system

I'm searching for alternatives to adjust the difficulty for a count success system with a d6 or d10 dice pool, where characters' stats form the pool (ex: dext 3 + guile 3 = 6 dice pool). The ways I do ...
jasonsol's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
472 views

What information is available about the intended mathematics of D&D?

D&D 5e was heavily play-tested prior to its release. I have heard (but have not verified) that, at low levels, the hit rate of the attack rolls of PCs was intentionally optimized to be ...
nben's user avatar
  • 2,665
4 votes
1 answer
249 views

Balancing a conflict resolution system favouring players picking a spread of skills and attributes in a challenge, while rewarding some over others?

Introduction I'm hoping I can draw on the Game Designer experience of this stack to help be make a decision on a dice-based conflict resolution system I'm designing for an RPG that I've been ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
5k views

Do/did any major RPGs have "hidden rules" or "spells that do things other than what they say"?

It is extremely common for answers on this site to quote either "There are no hidden rules", "Spells do only what they say they do", or often both (example), almost always ...
Tektotherriggen's user avatar
31 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is there a citation for "D&D is not a physics simulation"?

In multiple questions that deal with how the rules lead to outcomes that differ from what one would expect from real-world physics, answers make the point that "D&D is not a physics ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is a "Game Jam"?

If you've been in TRPG General Chat before, you may have seen BESW share a link to a "jam" on itch.io that's about tabletop games. Curious, I went to itch.io and there is a Game Jams tab ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
431 views

Can I get some help on calculating damage per round in my homebrew, that mixes d20s and d6s?

I am tweaking my homebrew RPG and trying to determine various Damage Per Round through an Excel spreadsheet. Here are the details: A single players always roll d20 system where 20 is a auto hit and 1 ...
MLee17's user avatar
  • 91
4 votes
2 answers
332 views

How to resolve player confrontation without dice or stats?

I will be running a homebrew RPG. It is going to be a mystery game played over Signal. One day in game will be played over three days in real life. Players are characters in a hotel, they find a ...
julka's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
308 views

Making a new TTPRPG with some mechanics borrowed from DnD5e and PF2e SRD

I am making a new TTPRPG for a non-English market. I use many class concepts and mechanics mainly from PF2e and DnD5e SRDs, but not their lore, world settings or named trademarks. My questions are: ...
Wade's user avatar
  • 57
4 votes
0 answers
98 views

First time Pathfinder GM and I want to make an animal companion one shot [closed]

This is an odd question, but I figured y'all could help me. I have been playing Pathfinder and DnD for years, but I have never created my own one shot. I am creating a high-level one shot for my ...
Mythadil's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
171 views

Running a Low Magic RPG for beginners [closed]

I'm running a campaign for a small group of friends- we're inexperienced with tabletop RPGs. The campaign leans heavily on the story I've written and I wanted it to be more character driven than ...
Squidgeling's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does this proposed move cross the line? And what does that mean for me?

I have a move I am working on for throwing improvised projectiles. Lob When you hurl an object at a foe from a distance, roll +DEX. On a 10+, the object soars to its mark. The enemy takes a Hit. On a ...
Wheat Wizard's user avatar
  • 4,287
11 votes
5 answers
635 views

I need help with distance scaling in a homebrew RPG - from "your body" to "the whole planet" in 10 simple steps

Years ago, I developed and play tested a simple RPG system, in which magic-alike powers were driven by 2 parameters, namely Power and Precision. With high precision and minimal power you could burn a ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 24.7k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Mana, Backlash and Slots: how to limit a magic system

Generally, I encountered three big systems for limiting the amount of magic that characters can wield at a given time in my RPG career. This is not to be confused with the number of spells a character ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.3k
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Roll Xd6, keeping highest value and adding +1 for each duplicate of that value?

I'm making a card/dice game and I'm trying to set something up on Anydice to compare the odds of the dice rolls, but I'm having some trouble wrapping my mind around some of the language Anydice uses. ...
Man_Over_Game's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
407 views

What is the probability distribution for CthulhuTech rolls?

I've recently learnt about CthulhuTech, which has a unique dice pool system: CthulhuTech uses a proprietary game system known as "Framewerk" that focuses on a dice pool system. An unusual ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
185 views

When designing a medieval style Tabletop RPG, which style has proven more popular: historically accurate social views, or modern views? [closed]

In the wake of recent events, I've become honestly curious as to what sales figures and/or other social media metrics might reveal about our shifting views regarding what is or is not popular and ...
nijineko's user avatar
  • 11.8k
4 votes
1 answer
313 views

Disadvantage/adversity dice pool mechanic that knocks dice greater than 1 out of the pool and adds 1s to it

I am working on a dice pool system for skills and actions to be used in a new system. In this system, any rolls of 1 will negatively affect the outcome of resolving an action using a dice pool. In ...
Loopyob's user avatar
  • 43
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Dice rolling mechanic where modifiers have a predictable and consistent effect on difficulty

I am looking for a dice rolling mechanic that makes it such that increasing or decreasing a modifier on the roll has a constant multiplier effect on the probability of the outcome. Say you have to ...
Miguel Bartelsman's user avatar
7 votes
8 answers
4k views

How to handle degrees of success in roll under systems

I'm working on an RPG system that uses 2d6 roll under Skill for resolutions. On paper this system looks really good so far, but I have one major issue: Degrees of Success, especially when it comes to ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 231
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

How would you create a frustrated Fire Wizard who wants to be a doctor but things tend to explode when he wants to heal them? [closed]

I'm considering a new character for a pirates-themed game of Pathfinder 2e. He was born in an island full of inhabitants with inherent healing magical habilities and in which offensive magic is looked ...
Ivelate's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
1 answer
516 views

How to create dice rolls for multi-attacks in a custom tabletop RPG system

I'm working on a simple tabletop RPG based in a sci-fi universe. The rule set is very basic, since I'll be playing with players with little experience and general tabletop know-how. Most of it appears ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
158 views

Choosing an experience point system for a new RPG [closed]

I am creating my own tabletop RPG and keep coming back to the question of fairly and easily distributing experience points. I have it narrowed down to two systems that I like, but would like the ...
Russell Fox's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
368 views

What target numbers would be a certain level of difficulty under this system?

I’m writing a homebrew game system, and I found that I have an action resolution mechanic but not a good system for target numbers (I call them Success Thresholds, or STs, in this game, and from now ...
Bardic Wizard's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
229 views

Mechanical tool for combat adjudication management

I'm working on my own homebrew RPG system which I want to keep light on rules. Therefore I add only rules when they are needed. One rule which I did not use was an implementation of "initiative&...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.6k
5 votes
1 answer
168 views

Attack Range to Movement per Turn Ratio; Dunnigan's Ratio?

TL;DR What is the less-obscure replacement to the term 'Dunnigan's Ratio' - the range of ratios of weapon ranges to typical distances moved in a single combat turn that produce tactically interesting ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
3k views

How does it affect the game if not everything speaks Common?

Going through the bestiary DBs, you find that of the monsters that speak a language, almost all speak Common as well. (Or have some form of telepathy or truespeech.) From the data my friend gathered,...
Erudaki's user avatar
  • 5,854
44 votes
16 answers
13k views

How do role-playing games avoid lame duck scenarios?

This is effectively the reverse of How can I end combat quickly when the outcome is inevitable? Lame duck scenarios in game design occur when a player cannot win, but the game isn't over yet. They're ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 1,120
32 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is Armor Class called that way?

I want to teach the game to some new player, and while doing homemade character sheets, for simplicity, I wanted to use the term "Defense" instead of "Armor class" (which I found a bit unintuitive). ...
Ted Pwyll's user avatar
  • 758

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