One of the things that came out of our Q&A panel at PAX this year was that I’m making my own tabletop game. Someone asked what exactly was in the sketchbook I didn’t want to show Tycho in this strip. I had not planned on talking about it for a while but the answer was notes for my tabletop RPG.
I’ve been a DM for about four years now and I feel very comfortable running games. One of my favorite things to do is cook up my own mechanics and rules for each of our sessions. It was very rare that my players would show up to the table and not find some new system I wanted to try out. I built all of these ideas on the foundation of D&D 4th edition but nearly every game started out with me saying “I want to try something and if it doesn’t work I’m sorry.”
Most of the time it worked though. Or if it didn’t work at the beginning of the night, with the help of my players we made it into something that did work. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much I liked coming up with my own game mechanics and so I started making notes for a game of my own. I started off by listing the games that me and my players loved. and then listing out the problems we had with each one of them. I set out to make a game that combined the things we loved and hopefully fixed the things we didn’t.
That was about a month ago and just before PAX I started doing some basic playtests with people here in the office. I have to admit that taking it from doodles and notes in my sketchbook to the game table was scary as hell. But there was simply no substitute for getting it out and playing it with other people. In that first test we discovered and solved so many problems I had not even considered. The notes I got were incredible and they had ideas that I could not wait to get into the game. Most of all though, Having them point out a feature they liked or just smile at a certain mechanic really made my day. At it’s core the game worked, which was way more than I was hoping for from the first test.
Since then I’ve been working and re-working the game based on the feedback I’m getting from folks here in the office.The game is in a good spot right now I think and I’m ready to push it on my D&D group. This Saturday I’m having them over for the first large scale test of the game and I am nervous as hell.
I’ll keep you updated on the progress and share some details about the process once things are a bit further along. I’d say right now it’s still in its larval form but I have high hopes that one day it will be something you guys could all play.