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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 63 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Open Fantasy Initial Development Questions  (Read 3579 times)

Posts: 3

« on: September 21, 2011, 12:17:20 PM »

Hey, all, this is my first post, and I have been toying around with developing this system. My experience is basically only with d20 games, especially Pathfinder. I have done a lot of reading and decided that I wanted to move in a more skills-based direction. However, from reading GURPS and Hero system I have found that powers are not so clear cut. I love the open customization of the powers and the characters themselves, but it seems like a ton of work for players and gm's. Especially with GURPS, I'm not sure how powers work at all (powers being spells and attacks like Cleave, Power Attack, etc.) So as I went to work trying to implement elements of all these games I found an idea that I sort of liked. This is not included in my document of my current rules, but I will detail it here.

This is what I have of the system so far: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B-cuN_VliQ3B4nkBxiUEMXtFHVrPJoxx7QHWyRY2NpA/edit?hl=en_US
This document just has the attributes and some races and a brief view of the mechanics, which are pretty much lifted from GURPS, because the bell curve sounded better than the linear nature of the 1d20. I had originally just started with race and attributes, and then realized there was no mechanic.

When we first sat down to play we had nothing but what was in my head, so I made it up on the spot, but used a d20. I said "what skills would your character have?" and let them make any skill they wanted. Their skill bonuses just came straight from their attributes +1/per rank. One skill had to be a weapon/combat style, or magic school. The 3 PCs were a Groathan (swamp men with large wooden growths for one arm) who specialized in Wood Fist, an umbraani (people made purely of dark matter and shadow) who wanted to use dark magic, and a Dark elf that wanted to be a healer. When I had them put points into skills I also had the spellcasters choose x amount of spells and put a skill rank into one of their spells. This skill rank augmented whichever spell somehow, and I was thinking of developing this into a tree of some sort. It could augment the effect, distance, duration, etc. The wooden-handed character put a rank into his skills to be able to sprout thorns from his appendage and cause bleeding. These ranks do not increase the rolls made with these skills.

The big problem I run into is how do I advance these characters (or any?) in the skill category. I want to be able to give the groathan or any weapon-based character special attacks like cleave, trick shots, etc. but also not have a giant pre-set list. Do i make an experience pool where they spend experience to gain more ranks in skills? or simply say, you get a point here here and here? I feel like perhaps the skills should increase in expertise as they are used.
Like I said, I'm stuck.

Also, are there any other suggestions for dice mechanics that are a better fit here? I had a hard time finding average stats for characters or how to fit the numbers in (i.e. is 10 a good stat for this character?)

I don't want to reinvent the wheel, but I'm kind of afraid that's what I'm doing. Thoughts? Thanks, guys.


Posts: 38

« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 01:39:22 PM »

The Google Doc you linked is denying me permission to view, so it might not be setup for anonymous viewers.

But from what you said in the post it does feel a bit like re-inventing the wheel. If you're basically going to make a D20 or GURPS based system why not just play those and customize rules, add classes and races, etc.? If you're going to go a new direction with new mechanics then maybe split from an official product, but yeah right now it sounds like you'd end up putting together a list of feats and then realizing there are already a hundred such lists in print :)

Then again if you purely want to try to develop a game for the fun of it then go for it. But I think you might be better served by trying other existing systems since I'm sure something already meets your needs, it's just that your (self-proclaimed) limited experience with other systems might have prevented you from finding the perfect game so far.

Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.

Posts: 3

« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 03:13:57 PM »

Thanks, I'll look into that. I've thought about that before, so I'll probably just end up doing that.

Posts: 68

« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 11:30:10 PM »

Hey NE,

The descriptions for some of your races has prompted me to suspect that you have many cool setting ideas that simply weren't written down for the posted text. Despite many of your races being over-cliched DnD re-skins I noticed that some of the race names were new and that you had put some thought into organizing them.

As for system... not to be discouraging, but I agree with Bosky. I didn't read anything in your PDF that warrants a new system. DnD+Gurps, agreed.

Don't give up though! If you want to make a game (for personal satisfaction, as suggested by Bosky, or any other reason) then go for it!

Just do some more reading around, it makes a world of a difference when designing a game.

Read the articles on this site. Read the recent (and archived) threads on this forum. Read the reviews over at rpg.net.

And return to your design goals. Really think them through! I still struggle with this one, but "do less better".

Check out this link for some advice (not me): http://www.youtube.com/user/SageGenesis#p/a/u/1/gA_EJ2wsHfk

I'd also suggest starting by attempting to fuse your Design Goals, System, and Setting.

Please provide us with some specific questions if you do decide to continue designing.

hope this helps :)


Posts: 3

« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 11:33:05 AM »

Thanks, Thriff. I was kind of discouraged and was going to take a break from the project but I'm going to really take you guys' advice seriously and see what I can do with my ideas. I was sort of afraid of merging setting into the system, but now it sounds like a fantastic idea. For now I'm just going to work with what I have and really reconsider my goals here and then update this soon.

Thanks for all the help


Posts: 51

« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 12:06:03 PM »

That's right, don't give in, mate!  And read the archives here!  I've spent the last week of my life perusing them constantly, and it hasn't been wasted time.  I can safely and objectively say that my design ideas are more consistent, well-founded, and punchy since learning by example from the giants here at Forge, and I've only been here a week.  And I'm having more fun, because with this knowledge and resource base at my fingertips, my experiments are no longer disoriented and disorganized groping, but well-informed trials with clear purposes and methods.  So I'll say it again:  Archives!
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