Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Question: Creating Your Own Game

The Friday Question.  I've been flipping through a lot of core rule books lately.  My latest acquisition was +Joseph Bloch's DM's Toolkit for his Adventures Dark & Deep Ruleset.  I haven't had a chance to read it all the way through, but so far I've been really enjoying what I've gone through so far.  I highly recommend it.  Reading his book and about twenty different core books scattered across my place I got the itch to make my own ruleset.  Trust me, I put some ointment on that itch real fast.  That kind of project is WAY out of my realm.  Still, I think about it.

So my question is have you ever thought of creating your own core book ruleset?

I have note cards in various places with random house rules I think of.  But everytime I think about doing even a short house rule chap book I stick my head in the freezer, wait until the cold burns then I come to my senses. 

So the question is posted.  Have at it. 


  1. I blog to create content for games, to access i play and share stuff otherwise rotting secretly in my filing cabinet from 20 years of games. Have one a compilation from blogs as a pdf. Waiting for art i paid for last year. Will do some blog compilations as freebies but have big table and geomorph compilation mostly ready. If someone offered me a quick layout job id probably do it.

    I have considered BRP products but dislike terms (id have to freight 10% run to system owner. I even thought of learning labyrinth lord to write for it but i dont wanna check every freakin monster for rights. So im going system neutral and using wikepedia monster entries.

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  3. Sorry. Hit the wrong key.


    I have to admit the creating a core rules book is the ultimate goal of any game designer. It's the difference between making a song or writing an opera.

    But damn is it a lot of work. And lot of details that need to be minded and how they all work together and break in ways you didn't imagine.

    My playtesters often remind me about the time they sent me home with the tattered remains of my new magic system for Ghosts of Albion. It is true and magic is something I knew a lot about, but it still failed on the table.

    It's hard. It's tedious at times. Often frustrating.

    And worth it all.

  4. I am in the process of creating a retro-clone of the Empire of the Petal Throne mechanics for use as a generic fantasy d100 game, still very D&D compatible.

    That project is on hiatus while I turn my TFT Tekumel conversion into a full-fledged complete game, by using Warrior & Wizard instead of TFT (W&W is a TFT clone under OGL).

  5. i think if you write and play RPGs, then it's a natural inclination. But, because it's not a burning desire, I figure there's plenty of rulesets out there and i can always tweak one of those.

    That said, if i had the kind of insight that drove the creation of Searchers of the Unknown, I'd certainly put it down and share it. But I'm not sure if 1-2 page rules fall under "core book ruleset."

  6. I've been dabbling in it for several years now. The fruits of this are a 1-page RPG, 'Wizards & Warriors' (which is probably crap), which lead to 'EGO-Endless Gaming Options,' a universal lite system. EGO got condensed to a S&S game called 'Age of the Sword.' And my most recent undertaing is 'Life of Rage,' where the players are all Orcs. It uses a borrowed core mechanic, with a lot of modifications.

    I have yet to have any of it playtested successfully (can never find anyone interested), but it's a fun undertaking anyways, IMHO.

  7. When I was a kid, yeah, but not in a very long time.

  8. I thought about it, somewhat recently.

    Long version:

    Short version: yes, thought about it. Have a couple of core mechanics I'd use, even. But the way I think about a new RPG has a lot to do with the computer support that I'd want to ship with it. Character generator, tracking aids, integrated ruleset, etc. So yes, thought about it, but no, don't have the skills to deliver what I'd consider a next-gen game.

  9. No. Not any more. I would rather play. There are so many great systems already out there.

    1. I mean that I would rather spend my time playing.

      Whenever the urge to create my own game comes on, I hit myself in the head with a hammer over and over until the urge goes away.

  10. We're nearly to the point now with so many ogl/open content rule systems built around a common base that you could nearly cut and paste your way to your own house rules.

  11. Yes, Did it. Started in 1979. The current iteration, circa 2005, is more complete than many a commercial game. Certainly it is the product of 35+ years of playing and we have been playing it the last 8 years.

    It plays like AD&D but is a hybrid of TFT and OD&D in rules and mechanics. In many ways like Dragon Warriors but I only discovered Dragon Warriors around 2008.

    To be honest it didn't really come together until 2004 as its own game, until then it was AD&D with house rules.

  12. Yeop.

    159 pages and 86,000 odd words.

    Think a high fantasy, "magepunk", Dark Heresy and D&D hybrid.

  13. I've already developed one game, with extremely simple rules that have made their way by word-of-mouth to many gamers in the area. I intend to formalize it a bit (and clear up at least one fuzzy area) and present it as a published game at some point. I am also working on an experiment, using a different set of miniatures rules than Chainmail (specifically WRG Ancients and Medieval, 6th edition) to develop a roleplaying game, that is mainly intended for me to understand the choices made in early D&D better. I'm working, off and on, on a Top Secret retroclone. Finally, I will be putting together a MegaTraveller retroclone of sorts, adding the things that I like from later editions and a few things from other rpgs while cleaning up the rules a bit, but keeping it still recognizably MT.

  14. I think it'd be a fun exercise in creativity, stamina (probably), and execution. The idea is also very appealing for authors to have copyright over their world and monsters and history.

    I have three different games in various stages of draft. Will any ever see the light of day? Probably, but it'll be a year or so at the least.

    Having copyright control would be nice.

  15. I admit, yes. It was after playing Aquaria (great video game btw). I kind of wanted to capture the feeling of the game. But I opted instead to write a dungeon inspired by it.

  16. Yes. Back in the 1990s I made a pretty basic RPG combining the mechanics of the boardgames HeroQuest and Dragonstrike. My players liked it, but it didn't really go anywhere.

    In the heady days of 3e I tried to create a rules-lite d20 system--more along the lines of Basic D&D but with a different magic system. Characters would gain abilities based on their race/ethnicity (kind of like in Middle Earth Role Playing).

    Then I realized that I really didn't have time nor the ambition to follow it through. So it never got out of the initial rough draft phase.

  17. I've toyed with the idea of creating my own ruleset from scratch dozens of times.

    However, there are so many other games out there (many of which I own either in print or pdf) that I usually find myself sticking to house ruling somebody else's system.

  18. I did. It was fun to write after having many disasters such as a hard drive crashing. Still in rough draft form. Back to the Dungeon RPG.

  19. Thought about it, even started it. Basically a mash up of all the specific details I prefer from each of the myriad early editions and retro-clones. Nothing original about it at all, just a coherent set of house rules. Just need to finish it one day. :)