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Gaming on a Budget

Making your own RPG...is it possible??

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Have you ever thought of writing your own RPG or wargame system? Over the next few blog posts I'll be looking at some of the ideas and ways in which to make this possible. My first port of call will be to look at producing your own RPG.

Is it Possible?

The answer in short is YES. The end product will depend on how much time and effort you want to put into the project, also how complicated and indepth do you want those rules to be. Do you want to make a simple set of rules over a couple of pages or something along the lines of a commerically produced gaming system.

I'll be looking at producing a retro style game with the feel of old rule system like D&D Basic Red Box from the 80's or Tunnels & Trolls. There is currently a move back towards the old school of RPG gaming, which means there is a market for a retro gaming system. Plus its possible in the UK or Europe to copyright a rule mechanic, just the way its presented (described), plus under the WoTC OGL licence its possible to use the D&D rules mechanics, and they provide an SRD for this purpose as well. Which makes writing and producing an RPG just that little easier, so where do we start. Well first and fore most, genre.

What Genre?

There are plenty of different genres to set your rule/game against and you can even combine two or more together, for instance Sci-fi and western are popular. You only have to look at TV and films such as Firefly/Serenity for example. So what are some of the possible genres;

Sci-Fi; Some of the most popular games within this genre are Traveller and Rogue Trader.

Fantasy (high and low); This genre is covered by games such as D&D, Conan and Dragon Warriors currently.

Western; There are a few Western Rpgs on the market, some of these are Ace & Eights, Deadlands and Coyote Trail.

Historical; This is a much unexplored area, most are campaign setting for already existing rule systems, such as Vikings for Runequest 2.

Pulp; This is a really popular genre and can include a wide range of subjects from super heroes through to gumshoe settings.

Modern; This is becomeing a popular setting, with titles such as Spy Craft.

Apocolypse; A genre that generally is combined with other genres, such as horror for a zombie horror apocalypse. A popular title within this range is Twlight, (no not the glitter vampires), but set in a post nuclear/WW3 setting.

Steampunk; Currently this has fast become one of the most popular on the market, most are set in an alternative Victorian period, such as Etherscope, Imperial Age and Brass, Blood and Steam.

Cyber Punk; This is a genre that is set in the future, where technology and dark ideas rule, it includes titles such as Shadowrun.

Horror; This genre dosen't need much explaining, think Dracula, zombies and things that go bump in the night. One of the most enduring and popular from this genre is Call of Cthulhu.

These are just a few of the possibilities, and its a good idea to explore some of them before making a final decision. It may be an idea to make a spider diagram and jot down all of your ideas, you may come up with a cool combination of genres.

Some websites to look at;
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Rpg-Adventure
http://www.tragsnart.co.uk/rpghub/modules/modules.htm
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Rules-for-Your-Own-RPG
http://www.theplaywrite.com/
http://www.24hourrpg.com/
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Make-...The-Foundation
http://www.enworld.org/forum/general...ture-path.html

Next I'll be taking a close look at using the OGL SRD as a core element in designing your own rpg.

Updated 18-01-2011 at 06:50 PM by warhammergrimace

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Comments

  1. Spectral Dragon's Avatar
    I, myself, am currently working on a fan add on for 40k I am also going to be writing my own tabletop system as well as my own paper and pencil RPG. These kinds of things can be quite fun to do especially when you have able and willing playtesters!
  2. warhammergrimace's Avatar
    I'm thinking of writing a retro D&D historical RPG set in ancient Roman empire
  3. shanerozzell's Avatar
    I've had a modular, generic system that I have been tweaking for years and years. The upside I have rules for fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk and modern. the downside is I have a lot and I mean a LOT of text files and databases.

    Look forward to reading more Jason:smile: [I]BTW no one has made a really good cyberpunk system for years![/I]
  4. warhammergrimace's Avatar
    I've never played Cyberpunk, its something that's never really appealed to me.
  5. EFSmick's Avatar
    We indeed have started doing a rpg based world to go with our minis and its a massive undertaking of thought over years..So our first step will be modules to support Pathfinder version of D&D in a non specific version at first to be used as generic settings much like most old AD&D were and build on that much like Gary did with The Village of Hommlet and expand out from there with other supplements.