Where in heck do you start?

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
#1
Tabletop miniatures wargame hybrid roleplaying genre that doesn't use d6 is a very light genre that I would like to design something for. I think I have a solid idea of the goals and ethos of the system I have floating around in my head.

I'm decent at probability math, barely functional in the writing department with a head full of ideas for a streamlined tabletop miniatures roleplaying game system. I think it's a genre most people don't even care for, so I am not expecting any kind of publication especially since I plan on wholesale stealing mechanics and terms from other games, to create a dynamic, digestible, and interesting tabletop miniatures roleplaying game.

So where in heck do I begin to design?
 

Armin

Martian
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#2
So where in heck do I begin to design?
In the other thread, didn't you say that you liked D&D4, but found it a bit heavy now? In that case, perhaps just start with D&D4. Identify what you liked about it, and what made it feel too heavy. Perhaps you can dump some of the weight and get what you want from it.
 

DeathbyDoughnut

a.k.a. Mr. Meat Popcicle
Validated User
#3
In the other thread, didn't you say that you liked D&D4, but found it a bit heavy now? In that case, perhaps just start with D&D4. Identify what you liked about it, and what made it feel too heavy. Perhaps you can dump some of the weight and get what you want from it.
Yes, that thread directly lead to this thread. I think you're right, taking the mechanics I like from existing systems and dropping or modifying the portions I don't like is probably easier.

Basically, I don't like 4e's take on the AEDU class system, and would love to have a game that is a little more free form in classes, I like the direction that 5e went with Race+Background+Class+Subclass character system.

I was thinking of something like each package choice gives you a skill proficiency or two, a special feature, and a selection of actions, or action potentials like the D&D 5e spells or battlemaster fighting maneuvers. Each package may give you some minor subchoices for action, and narrative styles similar to fighting styles with 5e.

Delving deeper into character action styles I was considering taking all of a class's At-Will powers from 4e, and combining their effects all into one ability or action. So a fighter could choose to cleave, or precise attack, or great attack from the same character option depending on the situation without taking a whole list of powers, sort of like how the battlemaster is built, but build encounter and daily powers the same way.

A Mage class package might be the same way, mage gives you a skill proficiency, a gear proficiency like implements, and the spellcasting with cantrips feature. Cantrips being your at will powers, and utility powers or effects. Then your subclass determines the options for some of your encounter abilities, and daily powers.

I like how Genesys did spells where it has suggestions for spells during combat structured time, as well as uses in narrative time. The system in my head has a definite distinction between combat time and narrative time, not that there can't be narration within combat, but overall abilities, skills, and powers would have defined uses within structured combat, as well as more narrative effects outside of combat.
 

Armin

Martian
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#4
Sounds like you have a good basis for your tinkering. Good luck!

(And it sounds like I need to read the Battlemaster, because I have no idea how it works; and Genesys, because it sounds like it has some interesting ideas.)
 

briansommers

Registered User
Validated User
#5
have some good brainstorming sessions by yourself and/or with others.

Find out things you like and you really want in your game and begin building lists
then expand on those lists
then rewrite those lists

it's tedious but you'll find out what you're really trying to build that way.
 

kenco

Registered User
Validated User
#6
Tabletop miniatures wargame hybrid roleplaying genre that doesn't use d6 is a very light genre that I would like to design something for. I think I have a solid idea of the goals and ethos of the system I have floating around in my head.

I'm decent at probability math, barely functional in the writing department with a head full of ideas for a streamlined tabletop miniatures roleplaying game system. I think it's a genre most people don't even care for, so I am not expecting any kind of publication especially since I plan on wholesale stealing mechanics and terms from other games, to create a dynamic, digestible, and interesting tabletop miniatures roleplaying game.

So where in heck do I begin to design?
Since you are clear on your design goals, you must already have some clear ideas about what the game is (or is not) going to be.

I'm not sure what you mean by a by a 'very light' genre, but this seems to me to imply something about overall playability.

I guess I'd be asking myself questions about how many players, what ages/ skills, how long for a game, what roleplaying elements, what war-game elements, what components (you've said not-d6, but maybe you can narrow it down further than that: is it for example played on a grid? with miniatures?), what scale (for the war-game part), is it strictly a tactical-system, what is the player's p.o.v, is there a GM, is there a referee, is it cooperative or competitive etc.

For a war-game, scale is a very important question, and helps answer a lot of questions about how movement and combat work, what kinds of 'roles' the players are playing and what kinds of 'powers' their characters can have in the war-game part; questions about technology are also important as they feed into the kinds of movement and combat rules you need.

If I started with a brief like this, mechanics would come after and be constrained by answers to these questions.

From what you say you have a lot of ideas. If your overall target is a 'very light' game then you might find that you have to whittle down your list of ideas to a very few. Being very clear on your design goals will help you make decisions about what to trim and what to keep.
 

manwhat

Formerly 'buggritall'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#7
Are you aware of Strike? It's essentially heavily inspired by DnD4e but pared down to use only a d6, and has a bit of that modularity that you wanted in the sense that as well as the classes, you can also pick their role - e.g. strikers do bonus damage on top of their regular damage.

So if you wanted 'streamlined minis that doesn't use a d6, inspired by DnD4e'... one point to start would be starting with Strike and then changing the die type, and from there seeing what else you want to change. The games has free quickstarts on its website.
The game was previously known as 'The Sacred BBQ' - because it's where the sacred cows get killed.
 
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