I started on my fantasy TTRPG system today. I find the early stages of game design to be a little tedious because in order to get everything rolling, we have to explain all that old basic stuff that us veteran gamers know inside and out by now.

What’s a role-playing game? What are the dice for? How do I make a character? Who’s our Game Master? What do they do? How long does a game last? How can I win?  

Yes, I’m including most of that. In all honesty, I’ll fill in those blanks later. Right now I’m more focused on class building and game mechanics.

I’m using the 5.1 SRD under CC-BY-4.0 but I’m modifying the heck out it. It looks a tiny bit like D&D on the surface, but once you dive deeper into it there’s no D&D to be found. That’s intentional. I think new players especially relate to D&D as an entry point with Honor Among Thieves and Critical Role being popular gateways into the hobby right now.

I’m developing a Basic Set of rules, roughly 100 pages in all. I’ve got character creation, 4 basic classes, skills, equipment, how combat works, how spells work, how to be a Guide (Game Master,) and lots of basic monsters. I think that’s a pretty good start.

I don’t have any art yet. I’m not sure about layout. So far everything is in Word. I’m working out the “Advanced” rules as I go because I want to make sure they fit. The Basic game will get everyone started and go to about Level 5. After that, everything will be covered in the “Advanced” rules. I’m not sure about using the term “Advanced,” because I think it can be intimidating to new players.

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My class setup looks a lot like D&D right up until characters hit Level 3. That’s where subclasses kick in. My subclasses look different from what people may traditionally be used to seeing. Several traditional D&D classes are being rolled into subclasses or dissolved completely. (*Sorry Rangers, your class got too big for its own good.) I’m also moving some of the caster classes around and adding a couple of new ones. I want to do some things D&D has never done in terms of classes.

WotC has never gone outside of the box when it comes to certain aspects of the game. Fighters and Thieves can’t cast spells. Wizards can’t wear armor. Bards are somehow still under the rogue umbrella, and they don’t need to be. Clerics can only really heal and are stuck with blunt weapons.

I’m also intent on streamlining how deities work, how backgrounds work, and I have a somewhat new spell system that hasn’t been used in a while. I’m throwing out most of the old, tired, worn out D&D spells and writing a lot of my own tailored to individual classes. Multiclassing will not be a thing in this game because theoretically one should be able to get what they want from the class they’re playing.

Thanks for being here. Much more to come on this topic going forward. Have a great day!