Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rob Lang's free guide to organising your RPG ...

So, after yesterday's post regarding "A+ Fantasy" I got a bee in my bonnet about revising and rewriting that game. I'm still going to call it "A+ Fantasy" because that's its name. But, the actual "letter grade" aspects of the game (which were its greatest weakness) are gone. So, I start thinking about how to begin the task of rebuilding "A+ Fantasy" and it occurs to me that I have a great opportunity to try a little experiment here.

A couple of weeks ago Rob Lang posted on the Free RPG Blog an article on organizing your RPG. It was a very specific set of guidelines and suggestions for structuring game rules and information to make things as functional and friendly as possible. In looking back at the article, I have decided that this would be the perfect oportunity to put Rob's guide to the test.

The first thing was the cover ... okay, easy ... done moving on ... next Table of Contents ... hmmm, I usually use a title page of somekind and put my copyright and version information there. I like it that way because in printing "facing pages" style it puts that little bit of info on the inside front cover out of the way. Maybe Rob just forgot about that stuff and I can go ahead and add it ... hmmm ... nope, Rob mentions a dedication page after the TOC that includes version information and stuff of that nature, so he didn't forget ... he just believes it belongs after the TOC. Okay, I resisted at first ... did it my way, but added the seperate dedication page where Rob had recommended it as well. Then eventually, after a long internal conversation about staying true to the spirit of this little experiment, I went back and changed things to make it just as Rob had dictated.

Next came the Introduction ... no problem, except that Rob had stated that the Introduction should be an overview of the contents of the book ... which I haven't written yet. Like the TOC section I found myself fudging quite a bit with the intention of coming back to clean things up later. The interesting thing about tackling this whole thing in a linear fashion as I was doing is that in writing this introduction which touches on all the things yet to come (things I hadn't written yet) I had actually managed to create for myself a workable outline of what I was going to be doing and how I wanted to present it. My Introduction has become a blueprint to guide me through my creative process as I move forward. Brilliant!

So here I am, 3 pages in and feeling pretty good about this little experiment. I will continue to blog about my progress as the new 2009 Edition of A+ Fantasy continues to evolve.

Check out Rob's article on RPG design HERE.


Jeff Moore


  1. Nothing fills me with more delight than seeing someone put to good use my ideas. I'm keen to see how this continues as I am in the process of hacking Icar's next version into shape. As I'm copying/pasting chapters willy nilly, it's an unbridled mess at the moment but will end up with the same format I've concluded on the blog.

    Finally, many thanks for the experiment. It's one thing to have a theory but without some evidence to back it up, it's a fair deal weaker.

    Very much added you to the blog roll. :)

  2. I will be watching this with interest.