System Design Goals

I’m a firm believer that a game system needs to have goals guiding its design so that the end result is coherent, and through its mechanics, expresses the designer’s message and philosophy. To that end, I am writing down the goals I have in designing my system so that I can refer to them through the process.

  1. The system needs to be simple. Although I’m being vague in terms of what simple means, I know that I want a system that’s easy to explain and learn, something that non-gamers can get in little to no time. No thick rules manuals here; I want lean and mean.
  2. The system must emphasize cooperation between players. Most tabletop roleplaying games are built around the concept of the adventuring party, and we mostly assume that said party members cooperate among themselves just because they’re the players, outliers notwithstanding. I want a system that outright promotes cooperation and rewards players for it, that truly lives to the idea of “united we stand, divided we fall.”
  3. The system must empower narrative options for the players. Every part of the system mechanics must serve to help players narrate a story, from character-building choices, to the resolution mechanic, to advancement options.
  4. The system is concerned with conflicts, not tasks. Rather than focusing on resolving lots of smaller tasks with dice rolls that may bog the game’s flow down, I want to focus on resolving larger conflicts, with dice roll results informing the resolution narration including victories and concessions.
  5. The system must use regular six-sided dice. Like any other gamer, I love my funky polyhedral dice, but for this system, I want the venerable d6. They are widely available, everyone has a pair or three, and pretty much every childhood board game has prepared us for rolling them.

Nothing revolutionary here, just some straightforward goals to define what I want out of my system. If you want to follow the design posts, you can follow the blog using the Follow link if you’re a WordPress user, subscribe by email using the link on the sidebar, or follow the #LunarSystem tag.

3 comments

    • I like tons that Lighthouse uses the traditional polyhedrals. 😊
      Thanks for the linking!

      Like

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