Just wanted to pop in to say updates might get a little less frequent at the Post for awhile. Hours are finally picking up at work, which is great for my root beer fund but not as good for writing time. That periodic craving for tabletop RPG design is swift upon me and I find whenever I’m trying to wrangle a blog post about some game or movie I saw I’m thinking “man I wish I was working on my game right now”. At the very least I’ll try to hammer out something semi-weekly as well as throwing something together for the end of the year. There might even be a bit of game design blogging depending on how it goes.
As I imagine I have in common with many folks who grew up in the D&D age, I’ve been tinkering off and on with a homebrew tabletop game for, oh, forever. Back in the day we cobbled together a version of D&D that we liked based on what one of our group remembered from that one time he looked at a 2nd edition AD&D rulebook. Many an afternoon we’d gather ’round in someone’s living room and when someone thought of a halfway-decent adventure idea the rest of us would grab characters and off we’d go. We ran by whatever messed up rules we decided were fun.
Given that we were practically running a fantasy homebrew anyway it wasn’t a long jump to start making whole systems from scratch. We cobbled together elements from whatever systems we liked to emulate whatever settings we liked. If you’ve ever looked at the timeline of insane adventures and events presented in core rule books and wondered where those ideas came from, this is where. I’d bet a mug of fine A&W that the timeline is a record of crazy stuff that happened when the writers were poking around and testing out their toys.
For my part, I’ve always leaned more towards futuristic sci-fi than fantasy. My first edition (which is still around here somewhere) fit entirely on a single page of a steno pad. You could be a human, a robot, or a cyborg, and there were some prices for laser guns and a few armor options and I think a shuttle or starfighter or two. The sort of thing someone comes up with over summer break on a steady diet of Empire Strikes Back, TNG, and Final Fantasy. From there it mutated through influence by percentile systems and West End Games’ d6 games and I think THAC0 was even briefly on the books.
The most recent change came about somewhat recently. I had a craving to run a zombie game and I was unfortunately having difficulty convincing people to try the excellently well-written AFMBE system. For a lark I decided to try using the rules from my sci-fi homebrew to see how much modification would be necessary to use it with modern-day zombies. As it turned out, the answer was ‘next to none’. Thus my latest crazy idea in a long series of crazy ideas was to turn it towards a universal system capable of telling stories in a variety of settings.
So that’s where we stand. General updates may become a bit less frequent, but there may be some new ones on the topic of game design as I try to finally bring this monstrosity up to playable form. From time to time I may use the blog to think out loud or roll some ideas around so I can work on the game and give you folks something to peruse at the same time. Stay tuned.
(Motivational posters gathered more or less at random from RPG.net’s forums.)