Thursday, May 10, 2012

Minor Thoughts On Games...

Things are mellowing for summer at the store. That being said, I think we'll do okay. We have a fairly loyal customer base and things are going steadily well.

I was speaking with a friend of mine on the phone earlier, and the subject of game of choice came up. He's a big fantasy guy, and he's really into what Paizo is doing with Pathfinder currently. That's all well and good, but I personally am about half-tired with fantasy. Most (not all) of what is out there is straight ripped off/inspired by/modeled on Tolkien and the whole Hobbit/Lord of the Rings "mythology", and that has lost so much appeal to me over my 35+ years of role-playing that it isn't even funny.

Anymore, my game of choice happens to be any homebrew system I am working on at the time. My game ideas tend to be kind of off-kilter at times, and making an existing system do exactly what I want takes pretty much as much work as making a new system that better fits what I have in mind. So, when in doubt, I write games. Yeah, that makes my campaigns almost as much playtest as they are story, but no one can argue the rules with me. I wrote them. I know *EXACTLY* what they are *SUPPOSED* to do, even if they are sometimes not written that way.

I've run a few different games with my homebrews. They been through a *TON* of one-shot campaign games. I've even run a few long-term campaigns with them. As with any experiment, some have been more successful than others, but I have always learned a bit more about game design with each effort. The biggest lessons that I have learned are...

  1. Any new RPG game system is just reinventing the wheel. Others have been here before. Don't think your game is the BESTEST EVAR done, because it's not.
  2. No game system will handle *EVERY* genre you throw at it perfectly. It just won't happen. some have come close (Savage Worlds, HERO System, GURPS), but even those hit styles they just don't handle well.

As with anything, your mileage may vary...

-- GopherDave


  1. Definitely agree that there's no one system to rule them all.

    As far as using existing systems for something different, I think it's mostly a matter of stripping it down to what you need, ignore the rest, build from there if necessary.

  2. By the time I get done stripping things away I don't like, there's not much left. There's also the hazard of inadvertantly stripping out some inobviously necessary material that is vital to some of the mechanics I want to leave in.