Developing the Foundation for A New RPG

These past 2-3 weeks, I’ve been doing an incredible amount of work on writing up the foundation for a new RPG. The idea has been in my mind for years, but I had been focusing on writings on Japan rather than the fantasy world. Since all these Japanese women that I’ve been in love with for so many years have gotten married and pregnant, I’ve become somewhat turned off by Japan and decided to return to my roots in the fantasy genre.

My current work isn’t fancy but just a general outline and notes I’ve been writing both on and offline for what I envision will become the perfect RPG for me. This game has nothing to do with other people’s opinions, but just something that I would be willing to pay for if it was sold. The way I’m looking at my game is based on the different games I’ve played over the years and taking the pro’s/con’s and somehow reflecting what I like about these games into a single entity.

I don’t want to go into many specifics because it’s still very raw. However, here’s a list of things I’m working into the game:

  • A wide range of attributes
  • Numerous races, each having distinctive abilities that scale as a character progresses in levels. Races will not be treated simply as a bling factor but have unique capabilities that will entice players to try different ones out with different classes.
  • A large number of classes with no single “god class”. Instead, classes are formed from four base classes (your standard fighter, thief, mage, priest types) with overlapping abilities from specializations (an example would be a swashbuckler who combines the abilities of a fighter and thief).
  • A huge amount of skills that each class can receive a portion of. Skills will have a point system that is not based on a percentage system (a la Wizardry) but bonus numbers and random numbers that are added/multiplied respectively against a general target number. In addition, skills can be improved through usage.
  • No cap on levels. However, prevent overbalancing from occurring (meaning that a level 20 vs a level 25 should still have a chance).
  • The use of social status and reputation to reflect how characters are treated in and out of society/cities.
  • A complex physical damage type system that has different penalties and bonuses against the armor types.
  • A well defined damage type system as well as classifications of  spells.
  • Multi and dual classing.
  • Various methods for gaining experience points.
  • Resources for being able to use certain abilities.
  • A profession system related to skills that allows players to earn gold beyond killing, questing, etc.

My goal (outside of  entertaining myself) is to make a flexible and varied game system, taking the best of breeds (according to me) from various game systems I’ve experienced and placing it under a single umbrella. I haven’t started designing the world yet as I want the character creation and development process to drive the game play more than the environment.

One thing I would like to do is prototype the actual process of creating a character once I’m satisfied with a basic outline. I think one of the tougher things will be to enumerate all the skills, powers, abilities and spells in the game. I think that might result after seeing what a character who levels a few times might look like between levels.

Unfortunately, I doubt I will be able to come up with a paperdoll type of generation system. The concept is great but it’s quite tough coming up with the graphics for each permutation. I think if I ever get involved in graphics, I’ll probably have to settle for something like an Ultima 5 environment at best.

Content-wise I have made no decisions. I have a few ideas to develop as an overarching storyline but between the start game point and the end game point, there’s no connection  since I’m focusing more on game mechanics and the type of game I want to play.

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