This is the first in a series of shorter articles that will hopefully bring newer designers up to speed on the kinds of expectations I have for this blog and those who help in the Design forum on the Forge have for new games.
Why design an RPG?
I’ve had this question put to me a couple times about game designers. “Why design an RPG? There’s plenty out there, make do with those.” Is that a valid point? It’s true that there are hundreds of RPGs out there. They’ve been around now for over three decades. Countless supplements, small press runs, and core rule books have hit the stands. Isn’t there one out there that will work for us?
The answer is “Yes, there are plenty of games out there that will work for us.” But we’re not satisfied with a game that will just “work.” No, we’re looking for a game that will maximize our fun. We’re out to find a game that will take what we like, enhance it, and make it better. We’re looking for an RPG that can surpass what’s out there and push our enjoyment to a degree no previously published game can. That’s why we design. We know there’s MORE out there. We know that the current rules systems leave plenty to be desired. To think that any of or all of them will suit everyone’s tastes is an absurd notion to designers. That’s why we design. We want to suck the marrow out of our enjoyment, nut just reheat the leftovers.
Especially in today’s culture where you can go to a Starbucks and see thirty kinds of coffee or to McDonalds and order one of twenty different burgers. Variety is a good thing. Choice is a good thing. Having a game that fits your style better than any other game is a great thing! This is our rallying cry.
The reason we design is because we want to maximize our fun with RPGs, and we truly believe that others will be able to maximize their fun with our games. That is the purpose of the design forums on the Forge and RPGnet and the purpose of this and many other blogs.