Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sharing NAME with the World

Two years ago I wrote about having a "working draft" of the role-playing game I was then designing.  I shared it with the world, and later observed its web traffic.

Since then I have written almost nothing about my RPG design.  Primarily this is because "work on my game" and "blog" are both typing activities, and while caring for two young boys typing time is precious.  The days I make design progress I have no blogging time.

After lots of work, a new version of the game is ready to share with the world.  May I formally present Narrative Adventures Made Easy!

I am still in the middle of sharing NAME in the manner I did its predecessor.

I might also offer to do a slow paced (a few posts per day) play-by-forum at or somewhere similar.  I could quit hanging out at the Paizo forums to make time for that.  My wife and I play the game together when we can, but she never tries to break the game: I could benefit from someone noticing the options and combinations with which a min-max player or rules lawyer would take advantage.

Those two years of design have been a fascinating experience.  I tried to design the setting of the old game prayerfully but never heard anything from God.  So I saved the setting's religion for last, not wanting to touch that subject without guidance.  Finally, when everything else was well developed, the game design became something I was doing with God.  I heard lots of guidance about how the setting's religion should work--and it caused me to go back and start the setting over from scratch as well as to refine the game mechanics substantially.

A quick summary of the result is available as the second table of contents on the welcome page.  Each of the setting's "Powers" creates a kind of dungeon, hosts a kind of contest, empowers a kind of champion, bestows a kind of gift, and oversees a kind of monster.  The result is rich and self-consistent while providing an excuse for the existence of traditional fantasy RPG dungeons.

The NAME design is nowhere near done.  I have barely begun to write about the setting's hub, Arlinac Town.  I have lots of "art of playing RPGs" essays to revise and transfer over.  I have sample NPCs, items, and adventures in my head that need typing.  (The last saddens me.  I love reading other people's RPG adventures.  To have a few all written out on paper and play-tested with my wife but not yet online seems tragic.)

Yet even if unfinished it is solid, tested, and entertaining.  Enjoy!

(And know one reason my blog post count has more than halved during the past two years.)

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