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Doing Some World Building (RPG) - RonO's Ramblings

Sep. 10th, 2010 04:21 pm Doing Some World Building (RPG)

Over the last few days, possibly under the influence of The Furies of Calderon and Jim Butcher’s Romanesque high fantasy world, I’ve been thinking about some RPG ideas I had back in college.  Today while waiting for some tests to finish, I committed my thoughts into slightly disorganized bits.

Back in college, I worked out the basic ideas here – sort of – with a friend as the setting for a customized game.  I have made some significant changes to the world of that game, primarily replacing the non-human inhabitants of a post-apocalypse earth with humans and other species that are related to our companions.  (In the original the inhabitants were basically chimpanzees and kangaroos).

I’ve got the notes posted as a “page” on my WordPress site at http://www.ron-oakes.us/wordpress/?page_id=2838.

Due to my current lack of regular players, or even regular games, I don’t know if this will ever be much more than what I’ve written.  But, I’m still thinking a bit more about it and how I might run it.  One big question would be what system to use?

As I mentioned the college era idea that this is somewhat based on used a custom system – kind of a odd hybrid of a point-buy system but with a bit of a class system.  But I don’t want to even think of going to that kind of effort for this.  So I’d like to use something off the shelf, with limited adaptation.

My two current thoughts would be to either use GURPS (of some edition – probably the one I have), or D20 – basically D&D 3.5 but with mostly custom classes and races.

It has been so long since I dealt with GURPS I’m not sure how easy it would be to deal with some of the issues raised by the Energy Manipulators.  These characters will have spell-like abilities which will need spell-like limitations.  Some of what I’ve designated (For example: “The more complex the effect desired, the more skill required to produce it”) lends itself, purposely, to the idea of skills that get progressively harder to learn and use, as I recall a feature of GURPS.  Looking at how GURPS handles magic may help me figure out how to do this.

I’d still need to come up with the custom advantages and disadvantages, as well as the species rules – but again looking at a standard fantasy setting should help.

On the other hand, D20/D&D 3.5 might be easier to work with.  But its magic system is spell based not skill based, so I’d be somewhat working from scratch to move it to a skill based system.  But there may be something there in some other class to work with.  It also has non-human species set up and the template is somewhat available.

I do suspect that there still might be a fair amount work needed there since I’ll need to create most of the classes, and the non-human species, from scratch.

So, I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas.

While I’ll welcome suggestions for these issues, and the background itself, on either Live Journal or Facebook, but if you can go to the WordPress version of this post (http://www.ron-oakes.us/wordpress/?p=2842) to leave comments on these questions, and to the notes themselves for world-based suggestions.

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