A Few Thoughts on My Perfect RPG

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few days — not sure what’s triggered this, other than thinking about gaming in general — but I’ve been ruminating on what parts of existing RPGs would go together to make my perfect RPG.

So, here are my first two thoughts — and I’ll add to this list as I figure out more…

from D&D4E…
I’d take the idea that all defenses are passive defenses instead of having resistance rolls. So, if someone attacks Willpower (for example) then you just have to roll over their defense and the power just works.

And of course, the corollary to this would be then having some sort of saving throw to shake off effects — but even more than 4E’s Saving Throws and Aftereffects — I’d want some way to stage recovery to allow for some lingering effects.

from Call of Cthulhu…
I’d want an experience/character growth system that works like CoC. I’ve always loved the way the characters advance in CoC, with incremental growth of the skills you use, plus the ability to gain “special skills” based on actions taken in game — instead of just arbitrary “you reach a level, you get an ability” kinds of things. I also like the organic way it becomes natural more difficult to raise traits as when they are higher, and the way that advancement opportunities can fail, be moderate, or be exceptional.

I have some ideas how I’d change that as well — in my perfect game — but the core concept is inspiring.


5 responses

  1. What you need to have a perfect game… is really amazing and evocative pictures and design.

    Like Cthulhutech:


  2. For me, I appreciate the Dragon Age stunts as great ‘critical hit’-type bonuses. In practice they work better for combat than Exploration or Role-playing, but they are still really fun.

  3. @nikolai
    While I certainly won’t deny the value of art to a game — early D&D art is still my single biggest influence when I “think” about fantasy gaming — what I want to consider here are the mechanics that I’ve enjoyed the most over the years, and how they might work together to shape a better game.

    Seriously, I love Dragon Age to death. I’ve written about how much I love the Stunt system before. This game has some really cool stuff going for it, and I am excited every week when I get to play it.

  4. You might want to check out my game Synapse. All character growth is organic like you describe.

  5. I will do that. Thanks for the comments.

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