Anyone Want to Yell at my Weird RPG Ideas?

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Shadow Lodge

So, okay. I've been working on a tabletop role-playing game of late, and a month or so ago I had the idea to seek advice on these here boards. I can't improve it much more, and the small circle of people I amassed IRL agree that I should reach out. Still, I've gotten a lot done with it, and have a bunch of Google documents full of stuff (though they're a little jumbled). In the past week I've sweated over a stupidly massive post I wanted to make here, mulling over what about it was good or not. But then I figured it would be prudent to do an interest check first.

The big question, then: Is anyone here keen to look over what I've made, and give their opinion? If so, I'll put up my best version of the big post and share my documents for viewing. Any input would be appreciated, even/especially on what could be improved (a few of my pitches have been to myself, and were just, "It's fine, me. At least for now. You can improve it later, move along.")

Very Brief Description of Game and Setting (my big post and documents will give more detail if we have interest):
Well, a quick observation is that it's...weird. The world was long since abandoned by the god or mage responsible for its creation. Though that was before all living memory, we know it has become much more chaotic, likely due to lack of divine upkeep. A cobbled-together planet of many disparate species and climes, where magic is drawn from orbiting dimensions and tears tiny holes between them. It's mostly magic and old-timey weapons, with some modern things but more concepts (like big corporations) than technology (the occasional gun). The gameplay should be reasonably simple.

It shows potential.

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Sounds like a fun idea! I'd be interested in giving it an in-depth look.

(DISCLAIMER: My interest *doesn't* guarantee I'll actually have enough time to **act** upon said interest. Just so that's clear. :D Busybusybusy.)

Shadow Lodge

No worries, no guarantees needed! I get it, having a fair bit on my plate currently too. I'm just out for interest right now, and even beyond this step it wouldn't do to force it on people.

Syrus Terrigan wrote:

Sounds like a fun idea! I'd be interested in giving it an in-depth look.

(DISCLAIMER: My interest *doesn't* guarantee I'll actually have enough time to **act** upon said interest. Just so that's clear. :D Busybusybusy.)

What he said!

And now: AWAY!

Shadow Lodge

Okay...I'm doing it. Going public. Not because my ideas are now well-polished after countless hours of fine-tuning. They're probably a jumbled mess and I expect to be told just that. No, I'm sharing all this because I'm in an endless loop of discussing it with myself. I need actual input from other people than myself or my circle, or not only will this project fail to improve, but I'll lose interest in it.

Some more setting talk:
The main location is PM, a planet in a sealed environment created by a mad god or mage. It houses a lot of different climates, and many strange species, technologies, and magic plucked from the infinite creation. It has either always been a chaotic place, or else the entropy has sprung up from divine neglect. Save the creator (who has been AWOL for all living memory), there aren't any gods, just the occasional powerful person.

Pretty much all magic directly manipulates the soul or opens temporary holes into sillily-themed dimensions. (While a Golarion mage might cast fireball, a PM mage would open a hole into the...*snicker*...Fire Dimension.) These two approaches can replicate most any effect 'normal' magic is capable of, with a powerful enough caster, but cannot utterly create or destroy matter or energy. There's all sorts of technology, mostly guns of various eras and makes, but some lasers, computers, and such too. I'm trying to cut down on that by saying proto-corporations have most of the advanced stuff. They try to use it to regulate people and keep them alive, though it benefits them by making the populace reliant on them.

There's a lot of silly stuff, like the whole thing about pizza. I'm not even going to explain that here, I'll put up a document defending it. Suffice to say this is a chaotic sort of setting where most anything you put your mind to can happen.

This game is loosely modeled after one my brother and I made way back when called Places and Pigs. (I still want that to be the title.) We had never played an RPG before, only heard about them, so we made a ludicrous travesty that was a lot of fun. It had almost no rules, though. While that made it cool and story-driven, now I'm trying to form the pieces into something recognizable as an RPG.

Here is the folder, which contains a bunch of various files I've put my ideas in. It can also be found in my profile. If this ends up grabbing your attention, I'd appreciate if you were to comment on it here or on the documents. (I can't seem to enable commenting without also letting people edit, which I'm not doing yet. Hopefully, making comments is still possible.)

Some stuff to keep in mind in the folder:
  • PM is both the name of the planet and the title of the GM figure (Place Master). I should probably change at least one of those.
  • I don’t have many mechanics in place yet, mostly concepts in mind. So when I finalize pieces of my system, I can easily give corresponding attributes to races and classes, write specific text for abilities, and the like.
  • The names of abilities on the spreadsheet probably don't mean much to you. Another phase will be giving each an actual description and such (should they make the cut). Until then, feel free to ask me what they do.
  • The general combat class is called FIGHTER as a placeholder because I can't think of a good name.
  • On the ability spreadsheet, conduits (the main spellcasting class) have three columns showing spells of various types and one devoted to ways they can aim and use them as AoEs. These are at the right.
  • I made some iconic characters in the document of the same name. They'll be fleshed out further as time goes on.
  • If you have any other questions about what something is or means, please ask.
  • My questions for you:
  • The more I think of things, the more I notice the name or concept has already been used for something. Is this a problem? I don't think so, but I'm wary of it. Some that I really like the names of (like Prefection), I'd rather keep. I did notice a big similarity between my dwarves and those of [SFS Scenario 1-09], though, which could get dicey.
  • Am I being too weird? Cats projecting magic bodies, future technology, pizza combat, crazy magic...I'm trying to make it strange, but being too much so could hurt. Your opinion is appreciated.
  • Am I not being weird enough? I doubt it, but the advent of Starfinder has me a bit questioning. They've got some awesomely crazy races (I don't want to do many non-humanoid PCs; I'll have some beastly NPCs, though) I'd rather not have a bunch of such player races, Starfinder has done that beautifully. They have giant nose people!
  • What am I doing right or wrong?

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    On a more serious note, is this supposed to be a serious RPG with a wacky atmosphere, or just a strange RPG in the veins of toon or paranoia?

    ALSO, if you are looking for a term to replace Place Master, I may be of assistance? *winks seductively* (a Hamster winking seductively is very unseductive BTW)

    Shadow Lodge

    *Cries in corner*

    Uh, I don't know either of those RPGs (though now I'm looking them up). It isn't often serious, but not always silly, besides the inherent pieces of craziness in the setting. Most people are normal, though some (particularly those living alone or outside of communities) go insane.

    No need to ask permission to suggest stuff; go for it! To everyone: Say what you mean, no matter how mean or critical it seems. I will need that if this is to improve. (Plus your opinions don't affect me enough to make me sad!)

    I would go for bringing out the zaniness of the setting, part of which is to keep things as simple as possible, (again, see Toon and Paranoia) while also allowing as much diversification as possible. One major benefit to going on this route would be the current lack of a major competitor in the world of zany and wacky pen and paper RPGs
    Edit: this is a suggestion made before I read everything, and just my opinion from reading the setting posts made above.

    Shadow Lodge

    Wait, bringing out or down? The rest of it makes me think bring down, but it doesn't say that.

    Toon and Paranoia look interesting. Pretty simple, too, though the latter restricts what rules you know? Not sure, but both seem to have very distinct and cool themes.

    I would look into them as inspirations for rules and whatnot, Toon especially seems to be in line with what you are going for. I meant bringing out, as in full force Zany. Simple, yet concise rules can often help people immerse themselves into the wackiness of such settings.

    Shadow Lodge

    My rules are hardly talked about in the folders ATM, but my main goal is to make them very simple. A lot of it is opposed dice rolls with modifiers when it comes to interacting/fighting with NPCs. The meat of it is in the abilities, which should be pretty straightforward but with plenty of options.

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    As I read through the page entitled "dumb ideas" a few thoughts grab me. First: why not go for a more underused Dice system, such as exploding dice, or a d12 system of some kind? Utilizing a strange or underused dice mechanic would help psychologically prepare the players for a unique and strange experience that they cannot get anywhere else.

    Toon, for instance, while turning everything else on its head, also flipped the direction you wanted dice to roll, and made low rolls good, and high rolls bad.

    Coming up with a setting before the rules for the setting is a great way to start with psychological stuff like this, and is one of the reasons I mostly dislike the fate system, since it pretty much came up with the rules first and then said, here, use any of these settings.

    Edit: hmm... I may be coming off different than I want to. So far I am adoring everything about this pet project of yours, and I want to try to help it became the best it can be, while maintaining all of your artistic integrity.

    Shadow Lodge

    Ooh, I didn't even think of using different dice/dice systems. There's an idea!

    Don't worry, I understand. You're going out of your way to help out. However you want to say/do things is fine, it ain't hurting me. My artistic integrity, such as it is, is all good.

    Reading through this, I would look to Paranoia for advice on how to write dark humor innocently, maybe even look at adventure time. Toon is a little more out there than you might want to take it.

    Now that I think about it Adventure time is about as close to this setting as anything else, and that is heavily inspired by the gamma world setting.

    Shadow Lodge

    Maintenance decided on a good time to happen; I was busy pretending to work and feeding. I'll be off again shortly for my weekly sleep time.

    I'm vaguely working on a document detailing some factions on PM. I got a few of the ideas from my sillier PFS characters (like the crossbow-throwing wizards and telekineticists or the wallaby knight).

    @Hamster: So what was your idea for a Place Master replacement title?

    oh, I thought the Game Hamster joke was obvious...

    Shadow Lodge

    Ah, I get it! Sorry, I just wasn't paying much attention at the time.

    Added a new document called Ability Descriptions, which should (surprise) describe what the abilities do. I got through all the racial ones before deciding to turn in. Tomorrow I'll do the classes and spells. The details don't talk too much about mechanics, but have some basics down.

    My system for casting and aiming spells might get a little complex, but it should be okay. Plus I like it a lot and think it fits the setting. I'll explain it in the document tomorrow.

    Shadow Lodge

    Am working up two new docs today. One is explaining where babies come from; the other will house any item ideas that pop into my head. I had a bunch of those but suddenly forgot most of them, as is my custom. I should probably slow down on creating pages, but I'm losing some of my ideas. So I won't fully flesh out each one, just record the important stuff.

    I looked into Paranoia, and it looked fun as hell! I might actually try to introduce that to some friends. I'm not saying that because the Computer told me to; but if it asked, I would.

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    FrieND comPutER wOulD like TO remiNd yOu tHAt haPpyness IS MandiTory And tO waTch out for COMMIE MUTANT SCUM.
    HaVe a plEaSant DEaTH...I meAn Day.

    Shadow Lodge

    Haven't made any new documents, just kept transcribing stuff into the current ones. Mostly the one describing each ability. I have another one for spells which I'll start once I'm done with abilities.

    I also put some documents into folders within the one I gave access to; that shouldn't keep you from seeing them. But holler if they do and I'll try to fix it.

    Progress has slowed a little, a friend got me into listening to an audiobook of a web serial. I can't listen to it while I type or work, and it's extremely long.

    Fun fact of the day: On PM, all fruit grows on trees (just like Earth). Similarly to a coconut, you don't want to walk right below a pineapple. There's at least one forest in which dwell creatures that masquerade as pineapples in trees. Should some sap get under them, they attack, drop bear style.

    Shadow Lodge

    Crunch's Log, Day 8472:

    Food and water were never the issue. Enough was stocked by the previous occupants of my shelter for it not to be a problem. They stunk up the place for a bit, but I had the presence of mind to dispose of their bodies. No, what I am wanting for is interaction. I paid no mind when I began talking to myself. It wasn't entirely new. But that I now do so on the few remaining online messageboards grows concerning.

    Is all getting dark, or is sanity finally taking its leave of my body with a "good riddance?" Soon, I will be reduced to a hollow shell of my former self; a grave problem considering how much heart I started out with. Is anyone still alive out there?

    I will say it took some effort to find the offsite info. Maybe have a separate post with the links?

    Though I will say I originally thought this was a thread for sharing weird rpg ideas. After reading one of the debates on how attached monster rules should be to PC rules, my half-asleep brain later decided that the obvious way of making monster rules the same as PC rules is to make monsters the default assumption for PCs. Since your average monster probably has a few iconic abilities that should be encounter-ending and a reasonable strategy (without destroying balance), I'm thinking of making it so those attacks do the equivalent of ability damage, with the "final" effect occurring once the stat is below a certain percentage of max.

    This is unlikely to be rendered in tabletop format, as it will likely be a slog without a computer handling the changing stats.

    Shadow Lodge

    I put the links into my profile shortly after the thread got underway. I never mentioned that, though, thanks for reminding me.

    I think I see what you mean, in that monsters should be somewhat similar to PCs. I never really thought much on the subject because it seemed obvious; otherwise one group would be very different (potentially more complicated), and that would make things harder to run. I don't remember anything related to that in the files or discussion here, though. Was it just something you were thinking about?

    It was just something I was thinking about.

    Shadow Lodge

    Ah, good; that means the insanity hasn't fully asserted control. It's a good idea, some standardization can work wonders in making things simpler.

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