I should probably get a ring of water breathing (I feel like I'm in over my head).
So, I mentioned in passing that I want to create my own rules/world. I have some ideas for what I want to incorporate, but I find myself hitting a wall when it comes down to how the game will work. I've only created singular adventures for D&D, Robotech/Macross, L5R, and maybe a couple others, but never anything on this scale. I figured by sharing my thoughts on this, the rest of you could help me see any errors I might be missing or maybe point me in the direction of a company that has this style of adventuring. This will mainly be a list of things I want to do (or don't) since I haven't focused nearly as much as I should on the whole project, and this will have a flavoring of D&D 2.5 (skills and powers) because I enjoyed the diversity it seemed to give me with creating a character.
I'm not a big fan of alignments. I can understand why they are in there, but it feels very limiting. What one culture considers good isn't what another culture might consider to be good.
I liked how D&D 2.5 gave you the ability to modify ability scores. You could lower one sub-stat by two points to increase the other sub-stat by two. In essence, you could have a muscle bound freak that had less stamina, and it was optional so if you wanted to keep the base stat at, say, 18 then you could. I'm unsure if I'd keep it at the 2 point max or raise it a point or two.
This may be one of the bigger tasks I have in front of me:
1) No classes. Players can still think of their characters as Fighters and all of that, but there wouldn't be a chapter with templates for you to modify. There may be templates in the back in case somebody just wants to do what would be considered a standard class, but I'd rather allow the players the freedom to create the character they want. I'd like to use a point based system for purchasing skills, abilities, advantages/disadvantages, etc. I don't know what would work best in that situation... giving them x amount of points to purchase everything from one list or x amount of points for one category with the excess, if any, being carried over to the next category (i.e. racial bonuses carrying over to abilities).
2) All skills can be learned. There will have to be some restrictions. Obviously, if someone doesn't have magical training then they can't exactly learn how to craft a magic wand. I'm contemplating having a set of Core Skills that all characters can have, and will level with the character, but the vast majority of them will need to be purchased. Raising the proficiency of the skill will be based on use. Not sure which would work better.. x amount of uses to raise the skill 1 point, or if you use said skill before you level up to gain that point. I'm leaning more towards the x amount because other skills could be picked up by them having to practice the skill a certain number of times before they gain the basic proficiency (after the character has been created).
I think the most daunting thing for those two is keeping everything balanced. There will be characters that will have some kind of fighting and magic use, but, I don't want someone to be able to fight the best and cast the highest magic, unless he/she was going to be useless in any other situation.
I liked the way that magic was separated by schools with oppositions, and I had a random thought that maybe I could break up magic into two different spheres.. Experimental (can't think of the right word.. basically, all the studying and using components) and battle magic (be it in the form of temporary tattoos on their body that vanish once used, tracing runes, and all that jazz). Not sure if that would make the system too complicated, but characters would be able to take both. Clerical arts would fall under a category of its own.
I've never enjoyed the segmented combat of most Pen and Paper games that I have played, though most of them have basically run under the same premise.. 1 or more actions in a round with initiative deciding who attacks first. That would be fine, but i can't think of a single campaign or adventure I've been in where combat didn't end up turn based. Character 1 attacks, character 2 reconsiders what to do post 1's results, monster attacks, character 3 modifies their decision, etc. I think I'd rather give the players 15 seconds between rounds to coordinate their attacks, everyone declares their actions, then results are rolled and determined by initiative. Players can talk among themselves while the battle is raging, and maybe take a penalty to their action if they have to ditch the chosen one for something else.
I've been writing this thing during free time while at work, and I apologize for how disjointed it may be. I'll add more in a reply if I see anything I left out or explain anything else if it is needed. I appreciate and look forward to anything that all of you might share.