Top products from r/RPGdesign

We found 36 product mentions on r/RPGdesign. We ranked the 46 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/RPGdesign:

u/SquigBoss · 10 pointsr/RPGdesign

Yes! I'm a student studying RPG design, so I like to think I have at least a vague idea of what I'm talking about.

Some various sources, some paid and some free:

  • Roleplaying Theory, Hardcore, a series of old blog posts by Vincent Baker. A lot of this stuff is boiled-down versions of what the Forge--which others have mentioned--was all about.

  • Second Person by Herrigan and Wardrip-Fruin; it's a bunch of essays about roleplaying and roleplaying games. It covers both digital and tabletop, so it's a little all over the place, but it is quite good.

  • Playing at the World by Jon Peterson. It's a huge history of roleplaying games and related games, which covers less hard theory than it does the evolution of the game itself. Super helpful if you're into the history, less so if you're not.

  • #rpgtheory on Twitter. There's definitely some flak in there, but it's also definitely worth checking on every week or two, to see if there's been any good threads popping up.

  • The Arts of LARP, by David Simkins. This is LARP-focused, but it has a lot of good stuff on roleplaying in general, especially the more philosophical angles.

  • ars ludi, Ben Robbins' blog. He writes about all sorts of stuff, but if you go through the archives and find the green-triangle'd and starred posts, those are the sort of 'greatest hits.'

  • Role-Playing Game Studies, by Zagal and Deterding. This is another collection of essays (which includes some stuff by Simkins and Peterson, too, IIRC) and is kind of the go-to for this sort of thing.

  • And the Forge, as mentioned by others.

    That's a pretty good list of theory and texts and stuff.

    One of the ways to learn good RPG theory, I've found, though, is to just read good RPGs.

    It's also highly worth digging through acknowledgements and credits of your favorite RPGs and then tracking down the names mentioned. If you're reading a big, hefty RPG, like D&D, pay special attention to any consultants, specialists, or other people listed under strange credit areas.

    Anyway, when you eventually dig your way through all of this, I'll probably have read some more, so hit me up if you want more suggestions. Those top seven or eight things are probably the best place to start.

    Edit: my personal list of games was rather reductive, as several commentators have called me out on, so I've removed it. Go read lots of RPGs.
u/DXimenes · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

I'm delighted to see this kind of topic here, as flow is one of my main design goals when designing anything. I might go so far as say it is part of my core game design philosophy.

That said, there are several subjects that other users have covered very well here, that I think you should look into, but...

>I realized that RPGs very rarely, if ever, come into a state of flow.

I think the thing to look out for here, is that RPGs are a complex activity, highly idiosyncratic and, because of that, flow can happen within different aspects of it.

A flow in narrative immersion is what I aim for but, as players tend to focus on different parts of the activity, it is perfectly possible to create a game focused on achieving flow through, i.e. combat strategy and knowledge of the system on a reflective level¹.

To achieve flow, therefore, you need, I believe, certain things to be in agreement:

  1. The players need to relate to RPGs roughly in the same manner. While it is possible to, with time, adapt the playstyle of the group to something that satisfies players individually, it is hard to concile, for example, a power player with a player that focuses more on roleplaying and narrative, depending on how extreme their behaviours are;

  2. The system needs to agree with the group's overall sentiment. A freeform narrative type of system might get in the way of a group seeking more tactical, rules-heavy combat, and will detract from the kind of flow the group is seeking, while a rules-heavy system with miniatures and grids and tables might inconvenience players that are more interested in the roleplay aspect of RPGs.

    ¹ I'd recommend you reading Norman's Emotional Design, as it has some pretty direct parallels to concepts used by the SRK Model that /u/Brokugan mentioned.
u/Benzact · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

My next best advice: start keeping a dream journal. And you may be able to learn lucid dreaming, too!

I would think that keeping a dream journal would be what you are looking for. Dreams are surreal, of course. And they often tie into what's going on in your waking life. A good dream is like having a good surrealist story framework. Maybe make tables based on reoccurring motifs and stuff that appear in your dreams.

Maybe a dream interpretation guide could help? Like this:

I think surrealism depends on allusion and metaphor. Probably more towards allusion. And always trying to be bizarre.


u/Zybbo · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

Well there's actually some hints..

Quirks: unique traits of said character: what food does it like? does it have certain recurrent habits? He adheres to certain faith and/or ideology? Look for the ones that can be roleplayed. Ex: The character Son Goku in the japanese dub talks in a unique Japanese accent (a mix of Tohoku and Nagoya dialect put together).

Motivations: Why the character does what it does? It acts out of vengeance, wants to uphold the law or is on the trade just for kicks/money? Blood of heroes has this well mapped for the Supers genre.

Research about the Myers-Briggs types and think on a short questionnaire that could help identify how the character behaves.

And last but not least, what I as GM always requested from my players was to write a little backstory of their characters up to the point of the game's timeline. In that they said how/where they were raised, how they met their love interests/enemies, how they acquired their skills/powers, etc.. It works like charm.


There's also a business tool called 5W1H that could be tweaked to suit the TTRPG:

[Who] is your character? (name/race/gender/age, etc..)

[Where] you come from? Where do you want to go? (backstory and goals)

[What] the character does? Is he a cop or a fortune teller? (occupation/job/trope)

[When] you accquired your skills and powers? When you met your rival/ S.O. (the idea is to establish a timeline for the character itsefl)

[Why] the character does what he does? What are the stakes? What's in it for him? (motivations)

[How] the character does things? He rushes head in or is a careful strategist? How he interacts with people? ( the the MBTI types).

u/dindenver · 1 pointr/RPGdesign

Thanks. I tried to address most of that in Steampunk Crescendo, that's why I had that list so readily available. Also, for a while I used to post on the "What's a GM to do?" forum for D&D. Really going through those posts and posts on /r/AskGameMasters/ gave me a lot of insight into what other GMs are up against.

> I think you are playing it wrong.

It is possible. I try really hard to play every game rules as written because I want to learn what is good and bad about each rule set. When I was running monster of the week, this came up in play. They had just got to town. They knew that people were disappearing and that is literally all they knew so far. They came upon the local diner and were scrambling to find a move. But instead, I just did roleplay with a few hints/clues scattered in at the end. I justified it as Make the world seem real/Name everyone they meet, make them seem like normal folks/Make them investigate for the Agenda/Principle/Move combo. Maybe I was stretching it, but I really wanted them to meet someone in the town worth liking, so they would actually want to save the town, lol

u/ludifex · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

Love these ideas! Have you read The Scar by China Mieville? If not, you should, the flavor feels quite similar.

u/DmRaven · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

As a random aside, Quill have you read or heard of Railsea by China Mieville? The use of weird/peculiar "oceans" reminds me of that novel.

u/michaeltlombardi · 5 pointsr/RPGdesign

> How to discuss and compromise on decisions in a team

So, this is going to be super non-specific to TTRPGs/design work, but I cannot recommend reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team enough.

A TLDR for one of the major points of the book:

Reasonable adults don't always need to get their way but they do need to feel as if their concerns and beliefs have been listened to, considered, and addressed. This requires both trust and a team commitment to actually getting into productive conflict over contentious ideas or solutions. Without these, you're always going to have a hard time with decisions and getting the team to commit properly to them.

There is, unfortunately, no magic way to get to this point. You have to work together and build these relationships and behaviors. If you know a silver bullet, I'm all ears.

u/NBQuetzal · 3 pointsr/RPGdesign

I've seen a lot of RPG designers talk about The Non-Designer's Design Book as a way to learn the basics of layout.

u/zmobie · 5 pointsr/RPGdesign

This is more geared toward board games, but as far as analog mechanisms are concerned, you can't do better than board games.

u/zeemeerman2 · 3 pointsr/RPGdesign

How about this? You buy yourself and your friends some dry-erase blank dice from Amazon or a specialised dice store.

Then you write the numbers you need on it. Switch to another weapon? Erase and write new numbers on it!

That way it’ll be easier than to consult a weapon damage table if it is your core mechanic.

You might even be able to combine strategic mechanics by using e.g. different colour markers on each side.

E.g. you have a weapon that can be used in melee and ranged. Maybe a throwable dagger?

Rolling a black number when in melee results in double damage. Rolling a red number when not in melee. How many numbers do you write in red? How many in black? Is there a limit (max 4 numbers in any colour)?

Just an idea though.

u/eliechallita · 2 pointsr/RPGdesign

There are two similar approaches I like for this for this, both from dice pool systems:

  1. Burning Wheel uses a table that lists out advantages by weapon size. Weapons of equal length don't have any advantage or disadvantage against each other, but weapons of different lengths have a +1D or higher when used in a situation that advantages them. For example, a spear has a +4D advantage against a dagger initially, but the dagger gets the +4D advantage instead if they manage to close the distance with a specific Action.
  2. The Riddle of Steel and its derivatives use a simpler system: The longer weapon gets a +1D advantage to both attack and defense, and the shorter weapon gets a -1D disadvantage to attack, at the start of an engagement. However, if the short weapon user scores a successful attack then they negate their disadvantage and the long weapon suffers a -1D disadvantage to both attack and defense since it's too cumbersome to parry with at close range.


    As for the roman vs phalanx argument: Not only were the roman formations much more flexible than phalanxes, but they were better equipped as well. Myke Cole had a great book on the topic: