24 Hour RPG Live Blog

24 Hour RPG
24 Hour RPG

Today, I’m kicking off a 24 hour challenge where I develop a entire RPG, starting now (noon) and ending tomorrow at noon (EST). The rules of the challenge:

  • Must complete within 24 hours
  • All work must be done by me
  • No pre-work, but can be based on pre-existing ideas
So, while I cannot help but to have thought about what I want to explore, I have yet to write anything down. The rules I want to create will be suitable for roleplaying in the historical Old West, but easily expanded to include elements of Fantasy, Horror, and Weird. If I have time, I’ll explore those concepts as part of the challenge, but they are not necessary for my goal.
I want to try a bottom up approach, where I create a core system skeleton upon which I add fiddly bit that hopefully enable the themes of the game. Since I’ve had a particular style of system burning a hole in my mind, I’m going to use those ideas to get the ball rolling.
I don’t expect this project to be groundbreaking or revolutionary, but there are some dice mechanics such as normal distribution and use of exploding dice that I would like to explore. So this challenge will be more of a cathartic experience where I test these ideas and purge them from my system so I can move on to other ideas.
If this endeavor is successful, I might expand and revise the rules or even do another 24 Hour RPG where I approach the design from a different angle, possibly top-down, where I think of the Old West as a character and explore creating a system that supports that concept.

Design Goals

Before I begin diving into the writing of this game, I want to put some goals down to sort of form an outline of where I want to go. Hopefully, this outline will give me direction and keep focused on the prize so I can actually complete the challenge.
  • Modular
  • Skill/Ability based (classless)
  • Buck the rules light trend (mild complexity)
  • Attempt to integrate free-form RP mechanics
  • Normal distribution (3 or dice for resolution)
  • Things are improbable, but not impossible
  • Reward failure
  • Different but familiar
With those high level design goals in place, I think I’ll go ahead and post this and start on part 2!
Listening to: Pantera – Cowboys from Hell – Cowboys from Hell

2 thoughts on “24 Hour RPG Live Blog

  1. Wow. Sounds like a huge challenge to do a decent RPG system in a 24-hour timespan. Keep us updated on how well you do. I think this is a brilliant idea, and good luck pulling it off! I can’t wait to see how this ends up.

    1. Yeah, the biggest challenge is being able to playtest things in your head. I imagine this will be more of a mental exercise for me and I’ll eventually revise it if it’s worth salvaging.

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