So I’m working on a new pen and paper RPG for the last year under the working title BLZ, the initials of the three biblical monsters of land sea and air, Behemoth, Leviathan and Ziz. Betcha didn’t know about Ziz!
As the name suggests, the primary goal is to provide the experience of living and adventuring in a world where massive monsters walk the land. Think along the lines of Kaiju like godzilla, or the enemies from games like Shadow of the Colossus and you have an idea of what I’m aiming for here.
So far I’ve got the conflict resolution system worked out, and character creation. Right now I’m working on classes and monsters. Once I have a bit of each done I figure I will have a testable game on my hands.
Some primary concerns I’m trying to address in this game, building on the lessons learned from my first RPG:
The system should be simple to use but without sacrificing depth, meaning player choices in combat should be interesting to consider, but simple to execute. Dice rolling should be exciting but not excessive, as rolling dice is fun but adding the result of 5-10 polyhedral dice is not supposed to be a game play challenge.
Encounters should feel appropriate for the monsters involved. An encounter with a Kaiju sized creature should feel like a natural disaster you are trying to survive.
Enemies that are Shadow of the colossus sized should feel like a challenge that is possible only through determination and endurance, like cutting down a tree or .
Smaller encounters should feel much as most RPGs portray them, quick decisive combat that is no less deadly for all that it is a smaller scale.
Finally, solo encounters need to be addressed specifically. In D&D, a boss encounter includes minions. The minions are actually the lever you use to determine difficulty, including more of them for a more dangerous encounter or to keep it level against a larger party of adventurers. If my intention is to deal with solo encounters, I need to overcome two problems, action economy and variable encounter difficulty based on number of players. The monster needs to have internal levers that adjust how dangerous it is based on the players it faces while letting it do more actions in a round than a normal turn based RPG allows.
That’s the basic idea of BLZ so far. I’m going to include a certain amount of information about this project here along with continuing my work on The Bizarre Tales of Scheuseljager University, the horror mod for pathfinder I’ve been posting about. I will post less explicit mechanics on BLZ, keeping more to the ideas behind design choices, so that I can avoid a certain amount of copyright issues. Any advice to keep this blog clean and safe for design minded people would be appreciated. I want to share the ideas I have and don’t really have another outlet, but I want to share in a way that people like me don’t feel the need to avoid my blog out of fear of idea theft.