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Author Topic: (Making my own RPG) Questions for other people who've made their own rpgs...  (Read 1050 times)

RPGPundit

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I've made and published several games; all of which were games I've enjoyed.  That said, I never made one with the mentality of it replacing the games I play, or even becoming the main games I would play.  Generally speaking, I think its fair to say that others have enjoyed playing the games I've written more than I have, ultimately, and that's probably a sign it was a game worth publishing.

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I'm pretty much exclusively playing my own games these days but I do love it when people contact me and say they're using my idea and going their own way with it.

That to me is the best reward a designer can have.
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Cranewings

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My first game was originally designed so that we wouldn't have to play other games. I spent something like 10 years working on and off again on a game that took everything we liked from every system we owned. It turned into its own 360 page, font 8 monstrosity.

Right now, I'm working on a short, 150 page long book which is basically the same as the first game, but built out of only original work: the flavor remains.

Unfortunately, I'm dramatically uninspired to write about cybernetics, which is the only thing I haven't finished. What I have so far is pretty realistic and boring.

TristramEvans

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I've been engaging in amateur game design most of my life. I think I was 10 or 11 when my friend and I first attempted to design a game system, inspired by Groo: The Wanderer comics and an annual of the Alf comic that featured a mini parody RPG called Luncheons & Flagons.

When Marvel started putting stats on the back of its Superhero trading card sets in the early 90s (starting with Marvel Universe series 2), my friends and I designed a rather simple game system around the stats. It wasn't great, but i when the most recent Marvel Universe RPG tried to do the same thing, I happily concluded that mine was at least usable.

Like most of my RPGs, it was never completed. In Junior high some friends and I shared the game design bug and started writing games based on the Duck Tales & Darkwing Duck universes. We even got it in our heads to do a RPG based on the film/board game Cluedo.

These days I actually try to complete my systems, such as the one I'm currently working on which is about supernatural occult detectives in the vein of Hellboy, The Goon, Mr. Monster, Carnacki, etc. I've been playtesting it using an adaption of the Masks of Nyarlothotep, and I've got a fair bit of the system typed up, as well as some personal deadlines.

As for motivation...well, one is simply that it's compulsory. Designing rpgs is as much of a hobby in and of itself as playing RPGs for myself. But then, I also get off on creating conlangs and re-translating medieval epics, so make of that what you will.

Secondly, as a GM, I know exactly how I like to run games and how mechanics aid or hinder my personal GMing style. So, my games are crafted to specifically make my job as a GM as easy as possible while still hopefully offering what for me and my game groups  translates as "depth".

Additionally, there's lots of genres that have not been explored (or not satisfactorily used) in published RPGs. And I am one of those "system matters" people...I like having a system that is specifically crafted to emulate a particular setting/genre/or IP license.

So, say I want to play a game based around Grant Morrison's The Invisibles (true story)...well, I could use any number of games to accomplish this, but if I want it to "feel" exactly right to me, I more often than not will resort to a homebrew (sometimes a mish-mash of other RPG systems, sometimes something completely new.)

And, there have been those odd times where an idea for a dice mechanic  comes to me that I haven't yet run across in an RPG, and I will try to build a system around it. Again, just as a creative excercise, though it has left me with notebooks full of unique bare-bones system resolution mechanics. Sometimes they find a second life if I come across a setting that I think fits.
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jibbajibba

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Quote from: TristramEvans;462353


So, say I want to play a game based around Grant Morrison's The Invisibles (true story)...well, I could use any number of games to accomplish this, but if I want it to "feel" exactly right to me, I more often than not will resort to a homebrew (sometimes a mish-mash of other RPG systems, sometimes something completely new.)


I was looking at the Invisibles as well its a perfect game environment.
It has a party, and if you use the elemental roles even more so. It has super powered characters who can use magic or combat. It has a well defined monstrous enemy. Its placed in a well defined universe. You can tack on any post modern esoteric fad as a new element.
In the end I incorporated my stuff into a card game and I actually think you could play Invisibles really well with the Wod Mage system just by canning the Wod background but keeping the system.

I find magic systems hard to build. I am currently working on a game with 5 types of magic. I want the game to be able to handle divine miracles through to animisitic shamism and Hermanetic 'formulaic' magic' but making those types feel different and fully formed is hard. Very few systems do it well. Mostly they opt for the easy route of magic is made up of these 4,6,7, 23... different elements that you can combine to make any effect based on the power of your and let the players and GMs figure out how it works in play. Whereas I want there to be an element of study involved in magic. I want players to be able to create their own rituals, spells, miracles but also to have that academic/cultural source of known ones and that is much more work. That D&D feature of having 'Tenser's floating disc' or Mordenkainen's most excellent force sculpture for me seems to embed the magic in the world somehow but its a lot more effort.
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LordVreeg

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Quote from: jibbajibba;462361
I was looking at the Invisibles as well its a perfect game environment.
It has a party, and if you use the elemental roles even more so. It has super powered characters who can use magic or combat. It has a well defined monstrous enemy. Its placed in a well defined universe. You can tack on any post modern esoteric fad as a new element.
In the end I incorporated my stuff into a card game and I actually think you could play Invisibles really well with the Wod Mage system just by canning the Wod background but keeping the system.

I find magic systems hard to build. I am currently working on a game with 5 types of magic. I want the game to be able to handle divine miracles through to animisitic shamism and Hermanetic 'formulaic' magic' but making those types feel different and fully formed is hard. Very few systems do it well. Mostly they opt for the easy route of magic is made up of these 4,6,7, 23... different elements that you can combine to make any effect based on the power of your and let the players and GMs figure out how it works in play. Whereas I want there to be an element of study involved in magic. I want players to be able to create their own rituals, spells, miracles but also to have that academic/cultural source of known ones and that is much more work. That D&D feature of having 'Tenser's floating disc' or Mordenkainen's most excellent force sculpture for me seems to embed the magic in the world somehow but its a lot more effort.


Very important to make the magic system an extension of the setting.  PArt of what makes it a fantasy game is the magic, and most people who shoehorn their systems into every setting rarely get the disconnect they are creating.
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jibbajibba

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Quote from: LordVreeg;462488
Very important to make the magic system an extension of the setting.  PArt of what makes it a fantasy game is the magic, and most people who shoehorn their systems into every setting rarely get the disconnect they are creating.


I would agree but my for my current system I am reading sword and sorcery specifically Fafard and the Grey Mouser and here the magic is random unknowable and mysterious. I woudl like to come up with something at at one end of things feels similar but at the other could replicate the Wizard of Eathsea.

I might start a new thread to kick around some of my magic system design ideas. Once I get back from the gym though.
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So far I've done a little bit of work here and there, but I find myself getting sidetracked by the vastness of it. Like others, the magic system is giving me fits for one thing. I can agree with myself that I hate Vancian magic, but beyond that, no consensus can be made.

I also keep looking over at my GURPS books,and thinking ot myself 'you know GURPS is pretty much a tookit anyway, why don't you just use GURPS? Save you a lot or work, and you already like that system...'. Of course, I could never publish anything made by myself in GURPS, because I don't own it. Although I've not met the head designers or Steve Jackson, I've a feeling I have different ideas about what GURPS could be used for.

I've heard others talk about GURPS not being a game in and of itself, but a toolkit for making games, although it isn't marketed that way. I think it would be interesting if it were....has anything like that been done before? 'Buy Rulebox, the one-stop rpg-making kit today! For the fiddly-GM who wants everything his way but can't be arsed to create his own system from scratch!'. Then Rulebox Inc could ask for a small cut of any indy system that was made with their rules. I think that'd be neat.