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A gathering place for anyone, either casually or professionally, designing, hacking, or otherwise working with the mechanics of pen-and-paper tabletop role-playing games.


A gathering place for anyone, either casually or professionally, hacking, designing, or otherwise developing/publishing pen-and-paper tabletop RPGs.

RPG Design

Is for discussing Role Playing Game Design and Development:

  • Homebrew game mechanics
  • Design, layout, and other production aspects of RPGs
  • Asking for advice about your system/setting
  • Recruiting assistance with game design and development
  • Mechanics and design of existing, published RPGs
  • Other elements of RPG production and publication

Is not for...

  • Video game RPGs, including MMOs
  • Tabletop boardgame design
  • Flaming professional or amateur game designers

Before you Post:

  1. Check out the WIKI! The WIKI contains resources for designing and reviewing your game, as well as a section to list your project.

  2. See these posts for commonly asked questions on licensing, dice probabilities, and asking for and giving feedback.

General Rules

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65,388 Subscribers


What NPC statblocks do you think this game needs?

I'm working on the GM guide for my upcoming system and could use some input from the GM/player side of things. I'll try to be brief.

**Elevator Pitch to describe the game:**Enter a world of Super Soldiers, Espionage and Intrigue.

Chimera Group International (CGI); a private military security company (PMSC) based in Canada, has funded a new crew for a covert special crisis response (SCR) team. Each surviving operative from the volunteer candidate pool has been enhanced with specialized training, unique super powers and a slew of distinctive talents; not to mention their robust arsenal.

In this Table Top Role Playing Game take on and immerse in the role of a Special Operations Super Soldier in a near future world of advanced technology, super powers, magic, psionics, bionics/cyberware, espionage, intrigue, and conflicting priorities. Travel around the globe (or further) and face off (indirectly or directly) against AAA Mega Corporations, rival PMSCs, rogue nations, brutal dictatorships, terrorist cells, super groups, shadow syndicates, government coups, street gangs, and so much more.

Every job has a goal and every goal has a hidden agenda. In the world of Project Chimera the only easy day was yesterday.

OK, so that's the gist. Some major setting reference points to consider:

Comics: Len Wein’s/Grant Morrison’s Weapon X/Plus

Video Games: Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series, Remedy’s Control, Prey (2017), Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human

Movies: Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell animated franchises

RPGs: Mike Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk franchise

Television: Eric Kripke’s work on The Boys

So here's the question.

I'm currently working on some generic NPC statblocks for the GM manual. Is there anything you feel should definitely be added that is not currently planned for?

Please keep in mind these are NPCs, not vehicles/bots/drones/mechs (that's a different section in the same chapter regarding pregenerated content). Some of these that are relevant will be level scaled as well, ie, offering stat blocks for an enhanced individual at say levels 1, 5, 10, 20. Specifically the ones that are more relevant at later levels. These are also meant to be generics, not fully stated NPCs built with the system from the ground up.

Here's my current list:


Young Adult

Educated Adult



Militia Veteran/Military Combat Veteran




Gang Member/Thug

Cyber Psycho (needs a new name, but you get the gist)

Shadow Operative



Standard Trooper

Elite/Heavy Shock Trooper

Support Personnel

Enhanced Operative

Enhanced Operative Veteran


Enhanced Capes:





22:37 UTC


Does anyone know any Tabletop RPGs with really simple, fast, and fun large-scale combat?

1 Comment
21:54 UTC


How would you do factions ?

For my pirate campaign which will serve as my system's test, the players will have to work with or against other factions controlling an archipelago in order to set up a black market and take control of the growing drug trade from the New World.

I want to have really basic rules for faction interactions, where actions done by the player can affect the grander scheme of things. Each faction would have stats and in-between sessions, factions try to grow and fight their opponents, the result of which will affect the campaign and missions available (faction A defeats faction B in a naval battle, the players are sent by B to save prisoners). Since this campaign will not really have a clear outcme and is a bit more sandboxy and open than my previous games, I need some easy to translate faction rules.

Since the players will at some point have enough reputation to be their own faction, I want them to take decisions, but not end up micromanaging each singular boat and units. It should be abstract enough.

21:01 UTC


Game Mechanics for Low Intensity Conflict in TabletopRPGs

I was wondering if there are any good systems that handle hostile, low-intensity conflict in social situations IE: Maintaining influence in a conversation, sowing doubt, seeding friction between two or more people in the conversation. Basically breaking down social interactions into a form of combat. I feel like a lot of times games can focus on the high-intensity conflicts (IE: outright violent conflict, combat tactics, etc..) but social interactions aren't reinforced with game mechanics in the same way as fights are. I think that's what it is, is that fights are reinforced with game mechanics, but social interactions largely aren't. I don't think that's necessarily the way that it needs to be, but that on average it will be more fitting in a game for fights to have game mechanics and not social interactions. I just think that in some games it would be fitting, and I want to know more about the existing materials that there are in use out there that are for this purpose.

20:15 UTC


Why should or shouldn't magic characters need to use arcane foci?(staffs, wands etc)

The only thing I can see it does is occupy a mage's hands, so they can't as easily switch between fighting and using their hands for other things which most warriors wouldn't be able to do since they need to occupy their hands to fight.

17:57 UTC


Random Encounter Cards? More than just combat:

Hello, I am designing an rpg style board game with random encounters. I need some input on ideas on how to implement random encounter cards that do more than just tell players to "go kill something".

Each card will be randomly pulled from a deck and players have to setup and take action to what that card's "scene" is playing out. Within a few sentences or less to describe what is happening, I cannot come up with what the players goals should be in the short interactions nor what they should be able to do. Each card should only play out for the duration of at MOST 15 minutes of play time and to make aware there is a game board that players setup the "scene" from the random encounter with enemies, obstacles, and/or NPCs to interact with their own characters in game.

Any help would be appreciated, thank you!


  1. I have no setting as of YET, I am fleshing out the mechanics of the game. BUT, as what I have so far in mechanics, it is leaning more towards a fantasy style of Tolkien or Elder scrolls series style of setting.
  2. Engaging in combat is a part of the design, but I do not want to get into the boggle of characters only being designed to engage in combat. I want to allow the players to be engaged in puzzles and thoughtful exercises that they may be able to use mechanically or a with brain processing.
  3. The core mechanic of the game is rolling 4d6 for your character each round and then allocating those rolls to one of four stats: Attack, Defense, Spell, and ability. This will allow players to use items found throughout the game play and make decisions based off of those rolls. BUT, their stats are not set in stone and have been adjusted already to fit a more thoughtful playthrough of combat in game and can adjust further.
  4. I am unclear as to how to create scenarios that utilize these features mechanically which is why I wanted to reach out.
15:32 UTC


What makes engaging combat?

I've been working on a TTRPG for the better part of 2 years and I'm finally fleshing out a lot of abilities to give players character options. One of the things that I keep having to rework is combat. This mostly comes down to playtests proving a mechanic or design choice was eating up too much time via crunch or it wasn't defined well enough (error on my part) and clarity had to be discussed. IE. Missing mechanics or things not accounted for.

After another revision, I'm going down the rabbit hole of what makes good combat in pen & paper and I think the simple answer is meaningful choices with your actions. A common debate I see come up is how uninteresting "fighter" type characters are because their options generally are to attack and that's it and I think this mostly comes down to the "roll d20/see result" argument.

What do you all think makes combat really engaging? I've seen people say it's purely the reason behind the fight, like giving meaning to the combat itself is what makes it interesting, and I agree that is important from a storytelling perspective, but I don't think that means combat can't be engaging on it's own.

14:39 UTC


The Mythic Space Kickstarter is now live!

Hey, everyone! About a year ago, I asked for feedback on the first draft of my sci-fi action TTRPG, Mythic Space. I am pleased to announce that I took a lot of that feedback to heart and I've been polishing and refining the game ever since. I'm extremely excited and nervous to announce that I've launched my Kickstarter campaign to fund the game today! It's sort of amazing to go back a year and look at when the game was just a google doc, but I'm proud of how far I've come.

14:01 UTC


Campaign vs One Shot System

So I noticed that some systems are made to be played as one shots specifically, while more vomplex systems can be played as full length campaigns. I've been making one page rpgs for a while, but I wish to make a longer campaign style RPG. What are the differences between the two types of systems and how can I make my ideas fit for a campaign style game.

12:09 UTC


Making a point-buy system for class and species features

I am trying to make a system for players to spend points to to gain different abilities. This doesn't eliminate gaining abilities for being a certain level in either class or species, just helps customize their character. What I am looking for is advice or material from other table-top games with a similar concept.

11:45 UTC


The Dramatic Question and the Team Roll

As a design exercise, I've been thinking lately about resolution mechanics that involve the entire PC group at once. When another player rolls a d20 (or a 2d6) I am invested because of the story, but from a pure gaming point of view my PC is essentially paused, waiting for my turn to roll. This is especially relevant in the context of a one-off session, where I only have so many opportunities to engage with the given character mechanically. Can we make it so that every roll is mechanically important for every player?

Design Principle: "Maximum Impact for every Roll"
With that in mind:

  1. Each roll should involve all the players (so that everyone is invested in every roll).
  2. Limited rolls per session (because they take longer to resolve).
  3. Each roll should 'move the needle', i.e. be dramatically meaningful and impactful on its own (since we only have time for so many per session).

That last point gives us a direction to look towards; movies are veritable drama engines, maybe we can steal some tech from there. Since the scene is the minimum dramatically meaningful unit of plot, we can aim for 'each roll resolves a single scene'. How can we tell when we have a (dramatic) scene in our hands? A typical 'trigger' for a scene is the following: Someone (typically the PCs) want/need something, but something/someone is in their way; for extra drama there is usually some sort of clock ticking away, the PCs need to act soon or else...

Another principle of screenwriting is that each scene is itself a small self-contained story with begining-middle-end (Acts I-II-II). In the begining, the PCs try things out and, although they might not progress towards their objective, they find out important things about the obstacles in their way. In the middle, progress is made but at a cost (such as physical or mental harm) and while time is constantly ticking away, increasing the tension. In the end, everything the PCs have learned comes together into a final push!

Let's provide the GM with the following Move (in the PbtA sense):

When the story reaches a Dramatic Question of the form "Will [the Team] succeed in [their Objective], despite [the Obstacle(s)] and before [the Deadline]?", call for a Team Roll:

  1. Every player picks a Dramatic Move and a number from 1 to 20.
  2. Roll a single 1d20. From top to bottom on the d20, as it landed:

The number that came up on the top face is the Top Roll. [1/20=5% odds]
The three triangle faces adjacent to that are the High Rolls. [3/20=15% odds]
The zone of six triangle faces adjacent to those are the Side Rolls. [6/20=30% odds]
The bottom ten faces of the d20 are the Low Rolls. [10/20=50% odds] 3. Call for the players to resolve their moves, starting from the Low Rolls and finishing with the Top Roll.

The baseline Dramatic Move looks something like this:

When your team is faced with a Dramatic Question, describe how your character approaches the answer and pick a number from 1 to 20.

  1. On a Low Roll: [Act I: Establish the fiction, Set up opportunities.]
  2. On a Side Roll: [Act II: Elaborate the fiction, Build tension.]
  3. On a High or Top Roll: [Act III: Resolve the fiction, Opportunities pay off.]

Furthermore, on a Top Roll: [Act III twist: A wild card.]

Note that this is a 'metamove', in the sense of PbtA's [Roll 2d6. On a 6-: Miss, 7-9: Hit, partial or with complications, 10+: Hit], that needs to be fleshed out with more specific mechanics in practice. Having said that, let me sketch an example of how I think this could play out:

The heroes have the Altar of St Georg in sight, across an open scorched plateau. As the Wyrm descends upon them, we ask "Will the Heroes reach the Altar, despite the fiery fury of the Wyrm and before the scant cover, and even their own armour, melts away?". There is lethal opposition between the PCs and their objective, and they need to act NOW before there is nowhere left to hide from the beast's fire.

Two players got Low rolls(Establish fiction, Set up opportunities): The Bard, being completely pinned, riffles through the Monstrous Compendium and informs everyone that the Wyrm can only use its fire breath while on the ground. The Ranger makes an attempt to attack and is forced back, but not before they notice a weapon sticking from the side of the beast.

On to the player that got a Side roll (Elaborate, Build tension): the Paladin uses their heavy shield to take the fight to the Wyrm; the shield melts beyond repair, leaving them pinned under the belly of the Wyrm, but they manage to reach the weapon. They pull it out, recognizing it instantly as the lost Lance of St Georg!

Finally, the High rolls (Resolve, Opportunites pay off): the Wyrm rages with pain, blasting away at the remaining available cover. The Wizard decides to take the fight to the sky, where at least the beast can not use its breath weapon. Everyone's attention is on the aerial combat above, so they don't realize that the Rogue, whose player got a natural Top roll, has stealthily worked their way to the altar! "Guys, over here, what do I do now?!"

The Dramatic Question has been answered in the affirmative. The PCs are still in the thick of it of course, so on to the next Dramatic Question...

This is just the skeleton of the thing as I said, and I have many ideas about the meat of it, but I thought I'd throw it out there early and get people's feedback.

Note 1: In BitD fashion, a character does not need to be physically involved in the action. We can 'cut' to them (in a different place or even time) researching the enemy in a library, training or inspiring another character that is physically involved, etc.

Note 2: This is a 'Storm the Castle' kind of Dramatic Q. There is also the 'Make a Stand' Dramatic Q, "Will [the Adversary] succeed in [their Objective], despite [the Team] and before [the Deadline]?" where time is on the side of the PCs. The clock is in the PCs favour, but the Opposition is typically stronger in this scenario and gets stronger as we 'ascend' the d20 to maintain tension.

08:54 UTC


Give me feedback on Evergreen's cheat sheet!

Hey everyone!

Not too long ago I made a post asking for feedback on my character sheet, which you guys seemed to like! This time I'm back with a cheat sheet for Evergreen, that concentrates most rules players would need to refer to during play. It's made to be printed in the back of the character sheet. Both are designed for A5 size (half of an A4 page), but can be upsized to A4 for people that have a visual impairment or just want more space.

For a slightly deeper understanding of how the system is set up, feel free to visit the post I linked above, where I describe how each part of the character sheet works. You wouldn't need to take such a deep dive for the feedback I want however.

Without further ado, you can find the current version of the cheat sheet here. I won't tire you with specific questions, and I intentionally don't provide the whole book as I'm looking for feedback on the setup of the sheet specifically, and not on the rules in general. Soon I hope to have a first playtest out to actually discuss rules with everyone!

Feel free to comment on anything you find noteworthy, from wording and conciseness to visual design. Is there anything that stands out? Could I present this information in a better way somehow?

08:41 UTC


Interacting with an "Armor Class" and Counteractions to Attacks

So, I am making a sci-fantasy RPG, called the Drift, and I really want to design combat action economy with having 2-3 Actions and 2-3 Counteractions (like reactions that you can take outside of your turn), with a few counteractions to avoid taking damage.

My main problem is that I am trying to find a way to make a sort of "Armor Class" system work alongside the ability to Defend, Deflect, and Dodge dangers like attacks. That way, having armor is useful, but you can still interact to avoid damage.

Defending relies on using something to block the damage (i.e. shields, armor, usable objects), and uses Strength and Endurance and the object used.

Deflecting relies on using something not typically built to block damage (like weapons and certain small objects) and uses Agility (like D&D Dexterity) and Flexibility (Reflexes basically) and the object used,

and Dodging uses nothing but your Agility and Flexibility and natural speed to avoid danger completely.

I would appreciate both the ideas of the community and any cool resources from other RPGs that use similar mechanics. Anything streamlined is also appreciated, but I like all ideas, regardless. Thank you!

06:48 UTC


$19.99 Price Points and Making More by Charging Less

I found an interesting data analysis (ARTICLES) that breaks down how DriveThruRPG titles perform at various price points and how sales affect that. Notably, $19.99 is a great price point for core books (GRAPH) and big sales can make you a lot more money.


Second, an experiment. Recently we worked with Monte Cook and deeply discounted his Ptolus book from $60 to $19.99 during our promotion of Geek & Sundry’s International TableTop Day. I have been reading with interest some results and data that PC game download service Steam has reported about how a promoted deep discount of “75% off” drove total revenue, not units, total sales dollars, 40 times higher. I wondered if we could reproduce a similar result to what Steam has found.

We did. The one week that Ptolus was on sale generated 44 times more revenue than its prior monthly average. We got to send Monte the largest royalty payment we’ve ever sent him in eight years of selling Malhavoc titles — including more than when Ptolus first released.

06:35 UTC


Image Use Question

Hi all,

I wanted to ask for feedback about a game I'm designing and also wanted to share some artwork I've done for it, but I can't seem to post images... is that a rule on this reddit or am I doing something wrong?

Thanks and apologies,


1 Comment
06:24 UTC


Looking for help

I am making a Library of Ruina styled game for a TTRPG. It will include as much of the basic mechanics from the game Library of Ruina, i just need help in making images, the book itself along with with helping on brainstorming and mapping. If you have experience in the game along with the other stuff provided, give me a message. I will link you my discord for further notice if you're interested in helping me turn this project into a reality.

1 Comment
02:12 UTC


Progression with static skills and attributes

Hi everybody.

I'm working on my little dark fantasy heartbreaker.

A bit of context : I have in mind one-shots or very short campaigns. Players besides creating characters, will be creating team ( using separate team sheet ) .
Individual characters will have few attributes from 1 to 4 and skills from 0 to 3.

And now the question.
Some progression will be only for the whole team, like influence or resources, and for individual characters I was thinking about static Attributes ( 9 of them ) and Skills ( 30 to choose from, probably less). What you get on character creation will not change.
But everybody loves adding new stuff for their character.
So I am thinking about perk system, where you can choose some additional buffs/powers based on your skill level.

What do you think about that idea? any suggestions?

02:09 UTC


What are some examples of the most beautifully designed RPG content (rulebooks, adventures, etc.) you've ever seen?

I'm designing my game, and I'm looking for inspiration and examples of really beautifully designed RPG content. I'm mostly talking about graphic design rather than illustrations.

01:23 UTC


How to make climbing interesting?

I'm working on a TTRPG in the vein of attack on titan/shadow of the colossus. I wanted to create a game where the players team up to fight one or two massive living towers, that are essentially monsters, without any special weapons or abilities to handle them. Instead needing to rely on wits and skill to overcome these challenges.

My original idea was the maneuvering gear from Attack on Titan, but I decided that requires more of a visual medium to be a fun mechanic. So my next obvious route was climbing. The problem is not just making it a bunch of challenge rolls to climb up the towers. That just isn't any fun.

My first thought was something similar to clocks from blades in the dark. You would be given a number of slots you need to fill. You'd fill these by either taking on challenges such as traps, mazes and other obstacles or you would roll to fill these slots and then would be presented with a challenge if the clock isn't filled. But this feels like it makes the enemies into fun houses.

My second thought is to make some sort of gambling game out of it. Something like gambling grip points in an attempt to gain height on the creature. Where if you fail, you fall. Maybe there are checkpoints along the way. A ledge to rest on or something where you can regain your grip points. But this feels like it could become frustrating if players are just having bad luck.

Maybe make a clock thing. Then the player tries to fill the clock by gambling away grip points. When they hit the end of the clock they reach a weak point, but if they reach the limit of their grip points they fall. Or maybe they slip back to a previous checkpoint.

I really feel like I need something else. Something simple but fun. Any advice?

00:56 UTC


Mechanics: Status effects based on Weapon Tags

Hello, I've hit a brick wall in development of my game and was hoping y'all can help me. Let me explain the basics of the situation and where my problem lies.

In my game Weapons will have Tags that will allow the player to apply a status effect when they critically hit. So far I've come up with names and mechanics for the easier concepts such as Burn/Freeze/etc.

My issue arises when it comes to normal firearms. Currently I have developed two conditions for weapons with the Brutal tag. These conditions are Sever and Rupture. Allowing the player to either potentially sever a targets limb or apply a bleed effect.

My issue lies with the non-Brutal firearms which I have been giving a precision tag. I've tried to brainstorm about 5 different conditions, mechanics and concepts but all of them either seem too obscure to be immediately understood by name alone (IE. Incise) or the Condition doesn't feel like it should only apply to Precision weapons (IE. Maim).

My leading nameless mechanics are

  • Allows the player to selectively disable a targets skills
  • Causes the target to deal less damage
  • Gives the target a negative modifier on rolls

Some mechanics which could be used for Precision, but I've already given to other weapons.

  • Sunder; Allows weapons with the Armor Piercing tag to deal direct damage to the targets armor.
  • Rupture; I could just steal this effect from the Brutal tag, but this is a last resort.
  • Stun; I wanted to give this to Weapons with the Stun tag or Shock tag.

I would appreciate any advice or suggestions and I thank you for you time.

21:15 UTC


looking for supplements with tons of gonzo/weird/bleak magical-sci-fi tables/random generators

looking for supplements with tons of gonzo/weird/bleak magical-sci-fi tables/random generators

first choice would be books/things i can hold
next would be pdfs or stuff i could print out
next would be digital generators

things i already have:
vaults of vaarn 1-3
electrum archive 1
metamorphica revised
into the odd & electric bastionland

20:18 UTC


AnyDice and Troll Dice: Differing Calculations

Hi all,

I've noticed some minor discrepancies in the probability outputs for counting successes in mixed dice pools between AnyDice and Troll. Am I doing something wrong in one of them, or is dice probability just complex enough that they might legitimately have different calculation approaches that turn out slightly different results?

Thank you!

1 Comment
20:13 UTC


I was told you all might appreciate this discussion!

Edit: I crossposted from /r/rpg, and I didn't realize it wouldn't give y'all the title. Originally I asked "Design wise, what are spellcasters?"

OK, so, I know narratively, a caster is someone who wields magic to do cool stuff, and that makes sense, but mechanically, at least in most of the systems I've looked at (mage excluded), they feel like characters with about 100 different character abilities to pick from at any given time. Functionally, that's all they do right? In 5e or pathfinder for instance, when a caster picks a specific spell, they're really giving themselves the option to use that ability x number of times per day right? Like, instead of giving yourself x amount of rage as a barbarian, you effectively get to build your class from the ground up, and that feels freeing, for sure, but also a little daunting for newbies, as has been often lamented. All of this to ask, how should I approach implementing casters from a design perspective? Should I just come up with a bunch of dope ideas, assign those to the rest of the character classes, and take the rest and throw them at the casters? or is there a less "fuck it, here's everything else" approach to designing abilities and spells for casters?

18:15 UTC


How legible is my game now?

A while ago I made a post asking how legible my legible my game was. And the answer was a resounding "not at all." So I went back to the drawing board, and applied your feedback. Hopefully the answer will be different.

Some Context:

  • The game is about messy misfits fighting authority in a dystopian sci-fi city.- The style is supposed to be garrish, and punk with an industrial sci-fi bent.
  • This is very much a WIP. I plan on hiring professionals to handle the layout and style later.
  • But I want to create a good foundation now (especially with the colour palette).

My Request:

  • Tell me how legible the game is.
  • Tell me if the font & colour choice match the style I'm going for (or is at least going in the right direction).
  • Here's the link to my game (you can leave comments on the doc).

Thanks for your help :)

18:02 UTC


Dice in a dice bag mechanic

Hello designers,

I am playing with the idea of a certain mechanic that will involve the GM to draw dice out of a bag during combat and based on what dice is drawn, it might be a bad event or extra resources for the 'bad guys'.

This mechanic is mainly inspired from vagrantsong, where players will draw tokens out of a bag and when an event token is drawn something happens.

Did any existing ttrpg already does this for their combat?

17:16 UTC


Social encounter mechanics

1 Comment
16:49 UTC


Alternatives to determine hit?

I've been trying to make combat feel a bit more fluid and less pass-or-suck style like AC normally does for its to hit.

I've added a 3 action system instead of the usual move, action, bonus to give a wider variety per turn. Using a 2d10 system to make crits and fails less common but more exciting when they happen.

Normally in Pathfinder or DnD, a player not hitting an enemy's AC feels bad and can cause a defeatist attitude if they constantly miss. I've been trying to think of a different way to determine how things are hit with only some success as to what it could be.

So far I've thought about just having every hit land, and resistances and weaknesses be a factor of damage. IE a slashing weapon rolling against a resistance 15 to slashing would need to roll their weapon attack at 15 or higher or have their damage halved. Weakness 15 would double the slashing weapon damage at 15 or higher. This allows for player armor customisation and lets encounters have unique strengths and weaknesses. Spells and abilities with saves still need to land to have an effect.

Maybe add an action that let's resistance be total DR for a turn to make them feel like they're guarding themselves?

What do you think, and have you ever thought about a new system or method to determine hitting a target?

16:12 UTC


Creating my own magic system. Use it freely

How magic works (narratively):

A mage can manifest an aura. The aura itself does nothing, but it can be altered and controled to become 1 of up to 3 forms.

The form can be anything inside an imaginary box that contain that form (like fire, telekinesis, illusions, an object, etc).

Step by step, a mage need to manifest the aura, alter its form and control it for the desired effect.

How magic works (mechanicly):

You have 3 boxes in you sheet that represent the form that can take your aura when altered and a list of basic abilities that you can write in each box. For each ability you write, you must also write its attributes. You can have the same magical ability in 2 different boxes if you want, with those abilities having different values in their attributes.

The attributes are Manifestation (increase the distance of your magic), Alteration (increase the power) and Control (increase the area of effect/number of objectives). You have 10 points to spend and increase the value of those attributes for each magic abilities.

In that way, if you have "Explosion" in 2 of your boxes, you can have a weak explosion but with great area of effect and distance in one box and a small explosion with moderate distance but great destructive power in the other.

Flavor is free, your explosion can be a magical bomb of green fire or a meteor that you summon, the narrative part of flavoring your magic is up to the GM's interpretation.

16:01 UTC


Zine Quest Wrap-up and Big Changes at the Wobblies & Wizards Podcast

Logar and myself discuss this last Zine Quest and Zine Month, as well as changes taking place at the Wobblies & Wizards Podcast:

1 Comment
14:10 UTC


Pronouns and second/third person perspective in rulebooks

I've found writing RPG rules much more challenging since I switched to the gender-neutral pronouns "they" and "their". I'm not switching back, but frankly, it was much easier when a character's pronoun was simply "he" or "his". Deliberately referring to a singular subject and plural objects, or vice versa, was a very useful trick to simplify a complicated sentence while avoiding any ambiguity.

Ex. "While in close quarters, a character's reach advantage against adjacent opponents is nullified unless the character's weapon is under 5 feet in length." became "While in close quarters, a character's reach advantage against adjacent opponents is nullified unless his weapon is under 5 feet in length." But with gender-neutral pronouns, that becomes "While in close quarters, a character's reach advantage against adjacent opponents is nullified unless their weapon is under 5 feet in length." Whose weapon? The character's or the opponents'?

I tried referring to a character as "it" for a New York minute, but that was just cringy. So I decided to switch to "you" since I like the more personal tone of the second person anyway. Well, that has mostly worked except for that dreaded sentence above (and there are many many more like it). I was perfectly happy with "While in close quarters, your character's reach advantage against adjacent opponents is nullified unless your weapon is under 5 feet in length." I knew I was co-mingling the pronoun usage of "you" the player and "your" character - it's the character's weapon, not the player's - but the intent of the sentence seemed perfectly clear, and that's what matters the most. Well, out of curiosity, I decided to take a peek at some RPG rulebooks I owned, not the indie stuff, but anything published by the big companies. Well, not one used the pronoun "your" instead of "your character's". So that kinda made me feel like I shouldn't be comingling pronouns and brought me back to square one.

So what are your thoughts on this whole pronoun issue? Do you care if you the player and your character are comingled? Do you prefer second-person, or third-person, or do you switch back and forth? If the latter, do you do so intentionally and why?

PS I realize there are other ways to construct that sentence to avoid the pronoun issue. I'm not looking for a solution for that sentence. It just happens to be the most recent sentence I wrote that illustrates the issue.

11:55 UTC

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