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Questions tagged [game-design]

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

14
votes
4answers
438 views

How can I run a session where two opposing parties play at the same time?

A player of mine had an interesting concept where two parties who are opposed to each other would play at the same time in the same session. In essence the plot would be a group of thieves have been ...
2
votes
0answers
93 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
51 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 ...
16
votes
9answers
3k 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
270 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
111 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
362 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
311 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
202 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
240 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
94 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
437 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
194 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
363 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
141 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to handle falling down during LARP combat?

I am currently working on writing the combat rules for a Dishonored LARP with a team, and we are stuck on how to proceed with a certain point: handling falling. Sometimes during LARP melee combat my ...
5
votes
3answers
229 views

What is the role of an objective combat system in story telling? [closed]

A weird Frankenstein role playing games are. They are often described as 'a group of players gathers to tell a story'. In telling a story, the protagonist(s) dying from a roadside bandit's crossbow ...
8
votes
2answers
150 views

How can I find RPG designers in my area?

For an event in the far future, my Dutch games society would like to invite a few local (in this case western Netherlands or possibly BeNeLux) RPG designers to come to us, play their games with us and ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

How do I count the number of duplicates in anydice?

Let's say I have the following roll: 6 6 5 5 5 4. I want to count the number of duplicates, in this case 3 (6 and ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Modelling a custom attack resolution in AnyDice: highest non-draw die of pool

I'm experimenting with the probabilities of various "die pool" attack resolutions for a game I'm designing, knowing that pools will generally be 1-4 dice, with sacrifices to temporarily boost a die ...
12
votes
4answers
334 views

Version marking during game development [closed]

During RPG design, ones RPG goes through many iterations. If one has a PDF, or a print copy of the rules, or a .docx or what-ever, it is important to know what version you are looking at. ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

A way for zombies and humans to cohexist [closed]

Preliminary Information I couldn't find any other reliable website where I could ask this question, even though it has no specific answer (which the rules suggest). But I have a strong feeling this ...
4
votes
2answers
668 views

Is 5e character advancement commutative across multiclassing? [closed]

Is 5e character development commutative across multiclassing? I'm talking about the mathematical property where given two operands and an operation, \$x \circ y = y \circ x\$. That is, regardless of ...
3
votes
0answers
324 views

Help Running a 5e Wilderness Trek (Hour-by-Hour) [closed]

So I will be DMing D&D 5e for the first time with a couple of friends (who will also be playing D&D for the first time), so I created a simple homebrew adventure. It's a Point A to Point B ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

How to reward/punish group rolls for perception? [closed]

I'm GMing a group of almost novice players, using my own (house-rules) game system. One has played some D&D, the two others only a previous initiation one-shot adventure of mine in my system. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
510 views

What areas of mathematics are the most useful for RPG design? [closed]

What are the most critical aspects of mathematics for a game designer to understand? For the purpose of the question, let's assume our imaginary designer doesn't have any current qualification beyond ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do the tiers of classes change so little regardless of what additional material is used

From comments by user2227713 on this answer: Why hasn't Paizo done more to balance these low-tier classes? Don't get me wrong, new classes are great, but I'd like to see balance changes too. ...
7
votes
2answers
499 views

What can I read about how we tie the stochastic characteristics of task resolution into statements about the nature of a game? [closed]

I like making RPG systems. One thing I've noticed is that different kinds of task resolution systems make the game significantly different. Background For example, games like D&D 3.X and ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Reliable Research Resources for RPG Creation? [closed]

I'm an Ozstralian enthusiast of ALL genres of game, electronic & tabletop, but mostly here to network resources for research & rules generation for a new line of fantasy / Medieval roleplaying ...
3
votes
0answers
252 views

Is there an official streamlined/simplified version of the D20 system? [closed]

I'm considering building my own RPG, the setting is already underway I just need a system. For sake of expediency, recognizability and legality I'd like to use an existing system as the base. The ...
19
votes
1answer
12k views

What have the designers said is the reason that Druids don't have animal companions?

In Pathfinder (and possibly 3.5, I'm not sure), Druids get an Animal Companion as a class feature. Rangers do as well, but their Druid level is equal to that of their Ranger level -3. In D&D 5th ...
1
vote
1answer
254 views

How do I implement conceptual magic into a d100 system? [closed]

I'm running a campaign with a constant group of players and have been for a couple of years now, in which they are playing several generations of PCs, each consecutive generation being more powerful ...
3
votes
0answers
170 views

Implement Ars Magica magic system into Rolemaster [closed]

I was wondering if someone has tried to implement the Ars Magica magic system into Rolemaster, and how. I guess you could assign some cost to the forms and techniques, maybe scaling its values to a ...
5
votes
1answer
432 views

Help with probability for a complicated dice pool mechanic

I'm putting together a system with experimental dice mechanics. I want to know the probabilities involved, preferably in a way such as anyDice where I can easily change all variables and get the ...
28
votes
1answer
4k views

Were “class tiers” in D&D and Pathfinder made on purpose?

As I read it everywhere, classes in the games I mentioned in the title differ in power a lot. This takes place in 3.5e and wasn't fixed in Pathfinder. Some search indicates that this problem isn't ...
159
votes
6answers
11k views

How to let my players fail their rolls intentionally, but covertly?

I'm experimenting with some pen-and-paper role-playing involving characters with hidden agendas. To foster a proper sense of paranoia, I want these hidden agendas to be unknown to not only the other ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What was Burning Wheel made for?

Of course all RPG systems have many characteristics, and all of them are made to improve or impede some part or another of the experience. My question is not about what different features Burning ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Syntax for a unique dice system on Anydice?

I've been studying and toying with a lot of odd dice systems for a while now, and Anydice has been a great help in understanding the probability effects of different systems. However, I've run into ...
68
votes
18answers
15k views

What dice mechanic gives a bell curve distribution that narrows and increases mean as skill increases?

I'm looking for a dice mechanic that produces a bell curve at all skill levels. I also want it to increase accuracy and precision as a character's skill increases — this basically means better average ...
11
votes
1answer
463 views

Why don't we replace d4s with double numbered d8s? [closed]

Maybe this is a dumb or off-topic question, and please see beyond my flippant language: but since dice are such an ingrained part of this hobby... Recently I got in a fit of nerd-rage at the ungainly ...
14
votes
5answers
432 views

Is there any known reason for the seeming paradigm change for the number of skills?

I'm collecting RPG systems and have almost a full library worth of books lying around. From what I saw, at least the big systems that were available in my country between 1990 and 2000, almost all had ...
53
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there any known limit for how many dice RPG players are comfortable adding up?

After reading a few RPG systems that use successes and others that use dice whose shown number are totalled, I came to the conclusion that personally I prefer adding up a maximum of 3–4 numbers and ...
0
votes
1answer
185 views

Which classic ruleset monster description might give information to use for complete home-brew game rules? [closed]

I'm backing a project on Kickstarter Embers of the Forgotten Kingdom - "A systemless, soulsian-inspired book of NPCs and creatures to take your games into dark new worlds." Now because of stretch ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

How important to game balance is the class differentiated experience table?

I'm considering how to handle a game that is intended to bring a group of characters through a grand tour of D&D editions. I'm running into the first big question. When I switch between editions ...
8
votes
1answer
246 views

How are a dice pool's probabilities affected by being allowed/forced to add dice then drop high/low dice?

I'm working on a homebrew system. The base mechanic, without getting too involved on specifics, is roll a pool of d6s (1–5) and compare each vs. a target number (Generally 4–6); any that are equal to ...
0
votes
2answers
622 views

Why d20, lv20, and ability score 20?

Within DnD 5E, the number 20 is a central motif of system design. The basic roll is made on a d20. Ability scores cap (or at Peak at) the number 20. The level cap is 20. Potentially this could be ...
37
votes
2answers
26k views

Why did the designers make Werewolves *immune* to most non-silvered damage? [closed]

The Werewolf's statistics are that of a CR1 monster, even though it is listed as CR3 in the Monster Manual, presumably as a result of playtesting. By my personal experience with pop culture, ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes a system poorly suited for one-shot games?

Some systems (like Microscope or Fiasco) are commonly used for one-shot games, that is, games that take place in a single session. I never seem to hear of certain systems (like D&D or Dogs in the ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a one-word replacement for resistance to magic?

Is there a one-word term that's understood by role-playing gamers to mean resistance to magical attacks, in the same way that many role-playing gamers would quickly recognize armor to mean resistance ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Have the designers said why they did not include XP loss?

There seem to be no spells that cost XP, creating magic items doesn't cost XP, and monsters don't drain levels. The first two, at least, were significant considerations in 3.5. I can speculate, but do ...