I’ll start: The game I’m working on now is first and foremost for me and my friends and secondarily for people who could use a gateway into RPGs. I want it to say, “Hey, listen, this sort of game isn’t that complicated. YOU could play this, YOU could run this, YOU could make it your own.”
And I guess, on a deeper level, I want it to be conscious of its own place in history and to say something about that history. But that’s not something I can summarize in a few sentences, haha.
Hoping this provokes some interesting responses.
I’m less concerned about system for the most part, but at least in terms of setting, I try to build worlds that I haven’t seen before, that have never existed before, that will inspire people creatively and give them that sense of sublimeness, or novelty; that little tingle of a clever or original idea, slammed into overdrive coming at you a hundred times a mile. Stuff that requires a little more work to engage with, that you have to think about a bit, that doesn’t necessarily have a singular, objective truth but that can be taken in many ways. Admittedly that is then extra hard to do in tabletop because it requires so much working memory and executive function on the part of a player to keep up with such a world, and because you then have to coordinate that shared perception across the whole table. But when it works, which usually only takes a couple sessions or so with the right group of people, that’s where the magic happens.
These aren’t half-bad answers so far, but I would prefer that respondents stick to the question and answer both halves! @maxcan7, your answer doesn’t directly answer the question; @substituteadventurer, you didn’t answer the second half.
I thought my response was a direct answer to the questions… My projects are for people who want to experience unique or sublime things, they are intended be creatively and intellectually inspiring and challenging.
I don’t want it to say anything to the really. It’s a document of what me and my group are doing right now, presented as clearly as I can, so that others can decide for themselves what parts of it might be useful.
It’s just one small part of a larger conversation. My response to the modules and systems I am playing.
I’m working on two projects at the moment and answers as follows:
System-agnostic Region Generator
Who is this for?
Primarily for me and people like me in the following sense; I run lots of one-shots that I often come up with an adventure on a whim. My effort goes into a short, punchy adventure that sticks to a theme, has a feature monster and maybe some kind of investigative twist. Creating a region or town for these kind of games really sucks the fun out of it for me. I often find that decent adventure settings are either too specifically themed (eg. the barman, lord, and farmers all have a tie-in with some kind of lore that does not fit in my adventure), or not enough details in the locations to improv from. I’m creating this for me to use as a tool for one-shots or random travel in a campaign, and if I’m putting this much effort in it for myself, might as well put in a little extra to make it a professional product.
What do you want it to say to them?
I want this to say “I trust you with your ideas and game running. Trust me with finding something you can use on a whim, and little repetition.”
d6 TTRPG Project
Who is this for?
This is one I’m struggling with both questions tbh, so thank you for this thread. This project began as a design exercise that turned into something I grew an enthusiasm to see till the end. That is both the inspiration and the problem. It has changed so much (for the better) that the mechanics and play are beginning to form around a modern fantasy ruleset that’s a cross between PbtA and something like Warlock!. Has a focus on RP and story development like a mystery game instead of a Level Up rpg. So, until I cement the world and refine it more to the genre I want, I only know that the target audience is me, and other people who want an rpg with a simple entry level, that expands with the story.
What do you want it to say to them?
I want this to say “You do you!”. More specifically that I want the expanding rules to introduce complexity slowly, as opposed to “READ 5 CHAPTERS BEFORE YOU ARE READY TO PLAY”. And with this, deeper customisation so that by the time someone is midway through a campaign, they have a build that’s nothing like someone else’s build. A big thing that bothers me about most high fantasy RPGs that promise unique characters and RP, is when you pick a class, and then your character’s mechanical uniqueness is limited to the future specs of that Class+Subclass. Yes, I am a Cleric but I’m a Death Cleric… that is mechanically like every other Death Cleric out there… I want this to say "Your character is a scrapbook for you to play with, whichever way you want.
Currently I’m working on a few projects, but the one that’s most my own is a follow up to Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier called Crystal Coast Eulogy. It incorporates a lot of stuff I wrote a few years ago as part of a didactic project to help teach procedural dungeon crawl style play – 1/2 of which went into Prison of the Hated Pretender.
So it’s precisely for that, a guidebook and adventure for people who want to learn how to play Classic dungeon adventures using systems like OD&D or B/X. Stated for OSE I guess.
The plane/sphere-hopping game I’m currently working on is both inspired by and written with the NSR, and now Cauldron, crowd in mind, particularly the more FKR-leaning of the bunch. However, as it developed, I’ve tried to make it more accessible to a broader range of people.
What do I want it to say to my imagined readers? I think that depends. For those already invested in FKR/ultralight play, I primarily want it to be a fun, inspiring and easy to incorporate set of procedures, tables and approaches for people who want to play a game of very far flung weird fantasy travel. It is also made to be helpful for those who want to do the same either without a GM or solo.
For people not already into FKR/ultralight, I’d like it to be a welcoming introduction to that approach. I’m not sure yet whether it’s close to achieving this second goal. It’s hard to know exactly what sort of knowledge and norms you’re assuming are natural and obvious when you’re really immersed in a give culture/style/etc.