In my very first post on this blog, I mentioned that I was – like many people in the hobby – working on my own gaming system. And like many creative projects by many people who have yet to be paid for their creativity, it has stalled. So here I am, going over it from the ground up in an attempt to see how much I can actually create when I’m putting it out in public. This first post is about the abstract aspect and broad goals, a statement of intent, if you will. Posts to follow will deal with the mechanical nitty-gritty.
Constructive comments and criticisms are very welcome, of course; most things will show up first on the page because they sounded about right at the time. Number crunching and research for real-world comparisons can come later, and I’ll probably need all the help with that I can get, given my level of experience in the field.
I suspect that I’ll be drawing influences not just from a spur-of-the-moment “that feels about right” intuition, but also from a number of published gaming systems that I’ve played in and/or read the rulebooks for over the years. These may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu, a percentile-based system.
- Dungeons and Dragons – almost all of it, from the “original” and its various modern clones to AD&D, 3.0, Pathfinder, and perhaps even 4.0.
- The Lord of the Rings RPG, based on 2d6 and including a number of interesting features.
- Rifts, because it would be hard to produce that much rough without accidentally including a diamond or two.
- The “SAGA System,” as used in the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game and Dragonlance: Fifth Age; these are card-based games that could theoretically be played with a normal deck of playing cards. I plan to go with a dice-based system because I like dice, so I’m not sure how much of an influence this could be, but still.
- The White Wolf “World of Darkness” gaming system. I’m only really familiar with the particulars of Mage and Changeling, but in the broad scope they’re all the same.
For comparisons I’ll probably be referring to D&D most often. It has the most users and the most name recognition among non-users, and I’ve played it the most myself.
So, what are my starting goals with the system?
- I want it to involve rolling the standard Platonic Solid random number generators, preferably a variety to keep things interesting.
- I want it to have a relatively simple substratum of rules, upon which layers or modules of other rules can be added in accordance with elements used in the campaign.
- My primary intended setting for use is a fantasy world of my own devising, but the system itself should be easily enough adaptable to a range of other settings.
Finally, there’s the question of what to name it. For most of its history, the system I wanted to write was called “Twilight,” – the original name was “Tenebrae,” because I liked the sound, but later changed on account of how it made no sense – but given the associations of that word these days, it seems a change is called for.
This may change again later, of course, but if you look again at the first post in this blog, you’ll see that my fantasy setting has four distinct “realms” or worlds. So the provisional name for the project is “Four Realms.” Thoughts?