Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No game budget = designing it myself

Between my wife's employment benefits running out this month, the looming specter of massive state budget cuts affecting my pay in the next year, and my student loans beginning to come due in March all lead me to the conclusion that I am going to avoid spending on new RPG materials this year. (We'll see how that holds up over time...)

This and my general dissatisfaction with gaming rules that goes back to 1981 or so (I wanted to house rule as soon as I really started to read the AD&D rules), has sent me back to thinking about rules and systems again:

1) EPT is an ever-enlightening read. Barker's way of structuring spell casters, his brutal world, the percentile attributes all really fascinate me. And Mike D's post at Sword +1 about him working on a non-Tekumel EPT clone is pretty exciting.

2) Rereading the combat rules in the AD&D DMG has led me to a new appreciation of how, at its core, the AD&D turn sequence could be: surprise, encounter distance, initiative, and actions. The fact that closing to melee range was all you could do (unless you charge, which you can do just once a turn) would speed up turns at the table, and so does making melee range ten feet. I can quibble about details (ties in initiative and weapon speed factor, for example), but there is stuff to reconsider there.

3) Magic still bugs me, and I don't know that I will ever feel I have found the right mix of simplicity, openness, and flavor.

Not that these thoughts are productive now, but my mind is roving down the halls of game design again.