In Pursuit of knowledge

Welcome to the first post in my new blog! I tend to be a bit long winded but I hope its at least entertaining.

One of my joys in life is acquiring a new rulebook. I tend to skip the fluff and go right to the mechanics. I love all the different concepts people come up with to determine the results of a simple choice. How all the different pieces come together or don’t. What follows is the way I go about choosing a new rulebook.

I begin with a perusal of the “What you need paragraph”. If I have to go buy a bunch of custom products just to play it gets put back on the shelf. Next I’ll browse the character creation followed by the npc creation. If NPC creation = flip to last 2-3 pages pick a critter and change its name I put the book back down. And no, a template doesn’t help, it’s just a Band-Aid for not bothering with a creation system to begin with. Give me numbers, allow me to construct my NPC’s with the same care and at the least somewhat similar rules to PC creation.

Once I’ve deemed the creation of things to be acceptable I move to combat, my personal favorite! How do the stats chosen during creation mesh with the mechanics of combat to determine whether you’re skilled enough to complete the chosen task? How well does the damage calculations mesh with the armor or resistances and is it balanced enough with the health stat. Will it continue to be as the world grows in power? So many questions.

If I’m lucky I’ve found some tidbit that sparks my imagination enough to either buy it or put it back. If I’m still on the fence I’ll take a look at how the book was put together, how the chapters flow and how the art was done. For me good art, especially of the creatures in the world, can give just as much inspiration as the mechanics can.

I will admit, I did buy a book once solely based on the title and cover art. I found a used copy of Fairy Meat and its first supplement on the clearance shelf at a shop while traveling for work. It was love at first sight, and the story was epic! How can one possibly pass on tiny cannibal fairies battling wherever you happen to be simply cause “Fairy meat tastes good”.

Usually I’ll read them for a day or so and they’ll end up on my shelf. The books will sit until I see a character or place, maybe an event or comment, most often in an anime or book I’m listening to. A thought takes hold and the next 1-3 days are spent feverishly writing it down before I forget. Most of the time it’s a story, I love the litrpg genre. I’ve written so many first chapters that I put them all together and have taken to calling it my “Book of Beginnings”. I’ll use them again some day even if just for my own amusement.

Occasionally it’s not a story but a setting or just a system mechanic I thought up and I’ll spend a week or more building a system around the concept. Though through their creation they satisfy an itch and help with my writing hobby they also get shelved for later inspirations. My past creations don’t have all that I’m looking for in a system, there’s always something just not quite right as a whole for my taste. Either something’s overly complicated or breaks as values increase too high.

So what exactly is it that I’m looking for in a system? Well the three key goals I have for my system are modularity, stability, and uniformity. I feel an RPG system should be modular. I want the ability to add or remove any part I wish without breaking the system as a whole. It should work with any genre and scale under the same basic rules. All parts of the system should work in the same fundamental way. All things, be it worm or deity, man or mecha should have the same rules from creation to growth, limited only in the way the user of the system wishes.

I was already considering building my own site to record my journey and thoughts along the way. Imagine my surprise while in the midst of my latest iteration, Pen & Paper Games made its return on a new platform and offered us the opportunity to blog. I do hope that you find my rants and ramblings thought provoking or at the very least mildly amusing.

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Maybe you’d be interested in taking a look at Bettenchi then. It’s a TTRPG that I designed that I’m currently running in open beta, and it’s designed to be highly customizable while still being simple to use. If you’d be willing to take it a look and give me your thoughts I’d be most appreciative!

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I’m somewhat different in I best grasp the workings of a system by playing and using it. AISI you get a better grasp of the advantages and issues by moving the numbers around, not just looking at them.

Cold words on a page to not oft reveal their secrets until they are spoken.

I agree 100%, to truly grasp a system it takes time and use, putting most of the mechanics to memory. though In the selection of a new system that I may potentially devote years of my life to, I feel it should meet certain criteria. Of course I have noticed that my adherence to the checklist is directly in proportion to my gaming budget :laughing:.

Ain’t it always?

Id love to take a look, I’m always up to try a new game. Ill join in your discord and take a look tonight when i have some free time.

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I would really appreciate it! We are still in the early phases of beta at the moment, there’s lots of editing to be done ahead, but we’ve been having a lot of fun so far.

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