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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4
votes
0answers
124 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 ...
14
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3answers
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 ...
11
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5answers
486 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
330 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 ...
22
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2answers
2k 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
986 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
1
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0answers
88 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 ...
11
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1answer
249 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
82 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
188 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&...
3
votes
0answers
55 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
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,...
43
votes
16answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
133 views

How Should Speed and Range Affect Hit Probability? [closed]

If one were to go for an increased degree of realism, and try to build a probability curve that produces most sensible results (but simplified, of course, since there is no such thing as a perfect ...
31
votes
2answers
4k 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). ...
5
votes
0answers
135 views

Pros and Cons of Different Action/Turn Frameworks [closed]

I would like to have a clearer understanding of the pros and cons of various frameworks of turn composition and action economies. That is, I would like to see the relative benefits and drawbacks of ...
6
votes
2answers
492 views

What magic item benefits are built into the expectation of the game?

I often read that magic item progression is built into the game's difficulty, and that it's important for PCs to keep up with the progression in order to not fall behind. Exactly what progression is "...
6
votes
6answers
255 views

Improving Lie Detection and Credibility Assessment Rules

Many systems have two or more skills/traits/other numeric values that can be pitted against each other in situations where side A tries to assess side B's credibility, where side B may or may not be ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

Have PCs Historically Played Through More Campaigns Than is Currently Typical?

I'm relatively new to D&D, only having tabletop experience with 5e and a bit of 3.5, along with some scattered exposure to earlier editions through video games. I've heard references to ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Is players adversarial focus RPG even possible to execute? [closed]

I am new to the RPG community, when I am thinking of a adversarial relationship, I generally think of players co-operate to fight against GM controlled mobs in a campaign. But talking about game ...
4
votes
1answer
298 views

Has anyone done research on average RPG probabilities?

I've been looking at designing an RPG system lately and I'm currently considering where to set the "difficulty" of a roll at to get some satisfying results. I'm wondering - has anyone researched some ...
1
vote
0answers
117 views

Character sanity: struggle to remain sane by rationalization [closed]

Consider a game mechanic in which the player character can encounter events making them doubt their sanity, or perhaps having them believe in the supernatural right off the bat, even if the eldritch ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the origin of the term describing a game as a ‘Heartbreaker’?

I’ve often heard the term ‘fantasy heartbreaker’ used to describe a game. Where did this term originate and how was it used? Matt Colville used the phrase 'fantasy heartbreaker' in his YouTube video "...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

Questions about new initiative mechanics for an RPG [closed]

I'm designing a new tabletop RPG. I've got an idea for how to handle battle initiative and am looking for feedback and if it sounds reasonable/workable. Each character has 6 stats: Strength, ...
6
votes
2answers
415 views

How can I encourage PCs to be more intellectual and less physical?

My friends and I created a roleplaying game. We don't like having many rules or having to find if a rule applies, so for an action a PC uses one of the following 9 statistics: Strength: For all kind ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

Is my idea for handling space combat in my setting any good?

I've been using a homebrewed system and hard sci-fi setting (not originally designed for tabletop RPGs, but for writing stories and as my worldbuilding project) with a group of friends for a while now ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Jurassic Spark kids game needs to distribute fun more evenly [closed]

I recently made up an outdoor kids adventure game that is really fun for most, but could use help with making the game more fun for ALL the kids. I conducted an anonymous survey afterwards and some ...
6
votes
0answers
145 views

Adapting a gamebook to multiple players [closed]

This is my first question, so I am truly sorry if it is nonsense. I am a newbie to RPG, however, I used to play gamebooks (Fighting Fantasy) and I really enjoyed them. I want to test if my group of ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

How do I find the odds in a dice pool contest?

I'm designing a system where overall success is determined using a dice pool where you count the number of max-value faces among dice rolled and compare this number to some difficulty number. In this ...
9
votes
1answer
225 views

Does research show that explicit game mechanical rewards affect player behaviour? [closed]

As shown in research data, to what extent do explicit game mechanical rewards, such as various types of fate points (hero points, willpower, artha, other consumable resources) or experience points, ...
7
votes
3answers
341 views

Do Design Patterns Exist for Mitigating Common Drawbacks of Resistance-as-Ablative-Resource?

I've always been bothered by the way resistances to non-damaging 'bad effects' are designed in RPGs, and I'd like to know if there are better ways to design it (before actually trying to do anything ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Taking out levelling and classes - Replacements [closed]

So, my RPG isn't going to use levels or classes to determine advancement. I'm trying to keep it open as possible, and also I realize that if a character levels up, and then they fight slightly tougher ...
1
vote
0answers
154 views

Deck building-based game system [closed]

I am currently developing a quick RPG system with custom dices and a deck building based approach to handle different types of actions/powers for each character. I am seeking some feedback here for ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

How can the probability of a fumble decrease linearly with more dice?

I'm working on a simplified RPG system that uses only D6s, and I want a mechanic for fumbles/critical fails. Depending on how good the player character is, they have 1-5 dice to roll and they have to ...
11
votes
2answers
401 views

What Design Decisions Produce a Strong Positioning Game?

Over the years, I noticed that some games produce a very 'trench warfare' or 'shooting gallery' kind of feel. The 'trench warfare' variant is where once a combat starts, nobody really cares about ...
1
vote
2answers
150 views

How to differentiate various guns with adding as little mechanic as possible? [closed]

Currently I'm creating a setting which includes real firearms models (no limitations, any gun I know about or find in the internet can appear) and I aim for each gun to be different from each other, ...
0
votes
1answer
441 views

For what reasons do players prefer to have the risk of (Player) Character Death? [closed]

The Object of the Question In my almost two decades of RPGing, I've usually treated the probability of character death as a result of random chance in a matter-of-fact manner: as a thing that is, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why is the base DC for a spell saving throw 8? [closed]

In DnD 5e - Does anyone know what the rationale behind making the base DC of a spell saving throw 8 instead of 10? Most attacks, passive attributes, spell attacks use 10 as the base. The average of a ...
5
votes
2answers
452 views

How do I ensure tactical combat is interesting for my large party?

I am writing a custom PbtA hack to reboot an old play-by-post-RPG that I used to run on a lightweight, but overly random original system. The party contains 8-9 players (which worked out before the ...
6
votes
2answers
714 views

What mechanics can be used to make the environment itself into a challenging adversary for the players?

Most RPGs leverage combat as a main source of mechanical conflict. From what I can tell, this tradition stems from RPG's heritage in tabletop war games, and to this day combat remains a staple of the ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Homebrew game-designing problem: Ranged unit attack roll in Large-scale Battle? [closed]

I've run into a little homebrew game-designing issue and maybe you may have just the creative solution I'm looking for. I'll try to explain this as best as I can! I've been trying to create an ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the advantages to mixing roll-over and roll-under mechanics?

Some role-playing game systems—like Dungeons & Dragon before its third edition—use a combination of roll-over and roll-under mechanics (“roll-over”: high rolls vs. target number are good; “roll-...
2
votes
0answers
219 views

Minimum out-of-character interactions while still being an RPG? [closed]

As far as I know, most RPG system requires many out-of-character interactions. D&D (or other similar combat-oriented RPGs) imply a lot of rolling, tracking numbers, and declaring actions that don'...
2
votes
1answer
810 views

I need a dice system with a unique behavior and rate of growth (preferably in ANYDICE to verify) [closed]

I am looking for a defense system where the probability of hitting is proportional to the inverse of a quadratic polynomial with respect to defense. I don't care about attack scaling yet. If you ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

To develop a tabletop RPG which discourages violence [closed]

So I had an idea, to bring about an RPG which has the same team-building, creativity, imagination and problem solving as D&D, but specifically without a great deal of violence. The go-to solution ...

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