An FAQ: your own original RPG?

A common question: “With so much stuff on your site, have you considered making your own RPG?”

The simple answer is contained on pages like these:

There are hundreds of home-made RPGs out there! I wonder how many ever get read, let alone played. (Incidentally, that classic page was last updated in 2003, so don’t expect a lot of the links to work. But click around and just let the sheer volume of home-made games wash over you. And imagine how many more have been made in the 20+ years since that list!)

Any RPG I “invented” would look like… well, GURPS with some changes. I think GURPS makes a great RPG base, and lends itself to tweaks pretty well too… I’m happy to stick with that!

But just for the fun of it: if I were to think up a spanking-new set of mechanics for a game, without legacy ties to GURPS, features might include:

  • Skills expressed as modifiers (Bicycling +4, Fishing 0, Bolas -3, etc.).
  • What the heck: attributes expressed as modifiers too, with human average being 0 (ST +3, HT 0, DX -2, etc.).
  • Log ST (so every +X points of ST = xY lifting ability, etc.). This enables working Contests of ST, unlike GURPS. However, damage would not follow a HERO System-like “+X points of ST = +Yd damage”. (See more recent thoughts on home-brew games and “log ST” here.)
  • Skills and other attributes also made into log stats, if and when useful and playable.
  • Possibly log-based damage? It has its good and bad points…
  • Task success computed as a roll of 11+ on 3d plus modifiers (skills, attributes, situational mods).
  • Reworked versions of lots of the stuff at the Diner…

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