88

So, I am a freelance game designer and I’ve worked on a couple of systems and with a couple of design teams, but I am a “professional” only in the strictest sense (I have been paid for my game design work). I still have a day job; I do not spend all day, day in and day out, working on game design, and that matters. But this isn’t the concern that game ...


88

(SKILL+CONSTANT) dX, keep highest CONSTANT I don't know exactly the behavior you're going for, so there'll be a few arbitrary numbers in my example: skills can be ranked from 0 to 5 dice rolled are d12 ('cause I think they don't get enough love) we're going to keep highest 3 dice. In this case we're looking at rolling (3+SKILL) d12, keep highest 3. It ...


65

Tradition The lycanthrope has been a standard monster since the game was invented. From OD&D Monster Manual(1974, Monsters and Treasure) (Lycanthrope): Only silver weapons or magical weapons/attacks affect Lycanthropes. From 1e Monster Manual (1977) (Lycanthrope) All are hit only by silver or +1 or better magic weapons From 2e monstrous ...


58

Almost-certainly not. One of the authors of the third edition, Monte Cook, has claimed that it was an intended feature to reward “system mastery,” for example here. He credits/blames Wizards of the Coast’s familiarity and success with system-mastery-based rewards in Magic: the Gathering for this choice. But this was written well after the fact, and always ...


56

You might want to take some inspiration from the game Paranoia.* In particular, instead of trying to avoid hidden notes, make note-passing between the GM and players a common and ubiquitous mechanic in your game, so that no single note stands out as unusually suspicious in any particular situation. Combined with a mechanic where the GM is the final arbiter ...


51

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 ...


46

Average The Skills If he has to use two skills, average the two skills together and then make one roll. In this case, that'd be a single roll to get 50 or below, since he has 50 in both skills (so the average is 50). If he was better at one skill than another, it'd look slightly different. Say he has a 50 in Stonecarving and 25 in Artistry. That makes the ...


44

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 ...


40

Resistance is a perfectly fine word by itself, so long as you do not end up with other types of resistance (energy resistance, for instance). Willpower would work if your magic is primarily mental, though it's not ideal when better willpower helps you resist explosions. Warding/Wards would work. It implies a physical object doing the protecting, but then ...


40

Secret Rolls You could simply ask that the players roll all of their checks in secret, then tell the other players the result. The success of a lie depends on the player's bluffing skills. You can choose between announcing the difficulty of any roll (if your system has such a concept), allowing players to be sure that such-and-such a result will fail, and ...


38

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at its 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 ...


38

To sum up: children have same expectations of odds, probabilities, and equity as adults so long as the problem is stated clearly. For best interest capture, make it even odds (along the probabilities of blackjack) as influenced by a player-controlled simple skill minigame per test. However, the problems with Piaget's study do suggest maximal elimination of ...


35

From Sean K Reynolds (After Emailing Him) Absolutely none. At the time the Pathfinder Alpha was being written, I wasn’t an employee at Paizo. I’m not even listed in the credits. The Beta went to print about a month before I started working at Paizo. I’m not listed in the credits for that book, either. When they were working on the final, ...


35

Many of the design goals can be found in this archive.org capture of DnD's own archive of articles. I could not specifically find an article about plain language, but filtered for Legends & Lore, this captures Mike Mearls' and Monte Cook’s weekly(ish) blog posts about the goals and design of DnD Next (5e) from the announcement in January 2012 up through ...


32

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 ...


32

Betrayal is achieved through imperfect information, possibly conflicting goals, and the ability for orders to be miscommunicated. (Caution, game theory ahead) Literature Review I'm going to assume that you're familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma, the iterated prisoner's dilemma, the stag hunt, (Kuhn 2009) and the problems with resource availability on ...


32

I'm going to take a shot at being more concrete than the question asks. This answer thus focuses on the what you have to do, rather than the "where to find resources to tell me what to do". That is the title question, rather that what is currently in the body of the question post. Honestly because I feel that is a more interesting question to spend my time ...


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

A close approximation to the percentages you want would use something like this: \$\begin{array}{|c|c|c|} \hline \textbf{Dice} & \textbf{Fumble Range} & \textbf{Probability} \\ \hline \text{1} & \text{1} & \text{1/6 (16.7%)} \\ \text{2} & \text{2-4} & \text{6/36 (16.7%)} \\ \text{3*} & \text{3-7} & \text{35/216 (16.2%)} \\ &...


28

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 ...


28

There are a couple of criteria that would make a game system unsuitable for a one-shot: The game has a high learning curve and you are likely to get players who have never played The World of Synnibarr is often seen as an insanely complex system that is difficult to understand (they have an equation for how hard you can exhale, for one). I'm sure there are ...


28

Mathematically we can increase precision and accuracy by removing dice and increasing static numbers. Making dice smaller has a similar effect, but has limited applicability unless one uses digital dice (which can have any number of sides). This is easiest to achieve in a skill system with a definite ceiling: Say, we have a skill with a ceiling of 10 points....


27

In these three Legend Lore articles Mike Mearls talks about the fact a major design goal of D&D 5e is to Unite the editions.Specifically allowing the core game to be modified to play similarly to one of the past editions of D&D. Uniting the Editions Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 While not all mechanics were carried forward from past editions, vancian magic ...


27

The analysis of the purpose and substance of the change from 4e to 5e that inspired this question is inaccurate. Before 4th edition there was 3rd edition, and before that 2nd and 1st, and before those there were at least two other editions (maybe more) that don't neatly fit into the numbering scheme. In all except 4e, combat was more loosely defined. In the ...


27

You don't. You just roll one d100. As you understand, rolling multiple dice is a useful tool for achieving different result spreads. But rolling multiple dice is a tool with a time and place for when you want various advantages: you can take highest or lowest, you can create a bell curve effect, or do other interesting things. However, you're not ...


25

"Forgeite" refers to users and game designers who frequented and followed design theories of a site known as "The Forge," found at http://www.indie-rpgs.com [Internet Archive link]. While the site is now defunct, it had a profound effect on game design and theory among independent game designers, with two of the the most notable being D. Vincent Baker (Dogs ...


25

The designers put their reasoning right in the DM Guide. Experience Points are now optional to help make the game work with more styles of play. [Doing] away with experience points entirely...can be particularly helpful if your campaign doesn't include much combat, or includes so much combat that tracking XP becomes tiresome. (DM Guide, page 261) To ...


23

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 ...


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