Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RPG Crafting #3 - The Rules Conundrum

Now that Sam and I had decided to create our own RPG game, we had determined that it was to be a traditiona swords-and-sorcery fantasy game created for people who have never played an RPG before. But what about rules? For sure, the rules needed to be simple and streamlined if they were going to be for players new to RPGs. But how?

The trick is to balance realism with ease-of-use

Take weapons, for example. What's the difference between a dagger, sword, and two handed sword in battle? Most RPGs have the weapons listed with different critical threat ranges, fumble results, damage results, strength requirements to use, and proficiency requirements. Not to mention special feats, combat tactics, and abilities. And that's just swords! How does a spear act differently than a sword in combat? What about a quarterstaff or a club? What about ranged weapons?

Some RPGs go for utter realism which is complex and involves a lot of charts and tables. Endless modifiers stack up for each and every combat move. It can become overwhelming quite quickly for someone new to RPGs. So we decided to use the KISS method - Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Take weapons, for example. All weapons and spell effects do a fixed amount of damage - either one or two points - so that means no damage roll! Characters will have to have a proficiency skill with the weapon they are using or will suffer a simple -1 penalty to hit. It'll be that easy! Combat should be swift and decisive!

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