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The Journal of John Vorthos (aka Alan)

These are just ramblings and personal musings from me, who is not actually John Vorthos.
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Creating the World (of an RPG)

Alan, "Son of Hett"
United States
The Triangle
North Carolina
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Truth be told, I have not role-played much in a very long time. I have played D&D and Pathfinder a few times in the past few years. I hope to play Mouse Guard soon. However, the vast majority of my experience with RPGs was in the 1980s and 1990s, playing the likes of AD&D, Champions, Paranoia (one session), Top Secret, and Rifts. Nonetheless, since late 2017 I have been developing my own RPG. Perhaps what I want already exists; I have to admit I was a bit surprised upon seeing on RPGG that there are not tens, not hundreds, but thousands of RPGs. If I find it, great, but in the meantime I shall continue working on my project.

Ages ago,
I dreamed I would become an author. I suppose this is my outlet for that. It is proving to be difficult, however, particularly for my disorganized brain. I have had swirling in mind, for many years or decades even, notions of how an RPG should be, and scenes from the world in which it plays out. But forcing those vague ideas and movie scenes into print is like typing instructions for how to walk; I can picture it being done, and I can do it, obviously, but explaining the details of it is tedious and fraught with errors.

And there is so much information. I mean, I am trying to write the rules for an entire reality. Others have done it, I know, I know, but my mind works …let us say holistically. I have been researching all manner of information for this project:

historical lists of the prices for various goods and wages in the middle ages (gold, it turns out, was not as common a currency as certain RPGs would have us believe)
aspects and details of daily life for the common peoples in the middle ages
myths and mythology and lists of mythological or legendary creatures
combat and magic use in other RPGs
quantum physics (is there some stretch of the imagination to explain magic realistically? how would magic appear or function if physics allowed for it?)
how would evolution work on a world with magic?
the role of religion in society
various texts on the theory of design for RPGs
dice mechanics. so many dice mechanics. I have grown addicted to I am becoming an expert on wierd dice combinations.
which means I have to research the psychology of people rolling dice; does something like loss aversion affect people's preferences for dice mechanics? which is more user-friendly, given that the outcomes will be the same: adding up a mix of dice, or rolling more of one kind of die and subtracting a fixed number?
what are the levels of knowledge or mastery, and how can that be applied to the dice mechanic for the skills tests of characters? what are all the character skills? (hmmm, looking at you, Rolemaster)
crap, I cannot use the word Hobbit; I probably cannot use the word Halfling, either. so what do I call them? time to research some linguistics!
etc., such, and so forth

Anywho, this is all probably rather boring to you, but it weighs on my mind and I just wanted to talk type about it. I have 50 pages of typed notes so far, large chunks of which need to be discarded in favor of better ideas. I know this project, over a year in process already, will take years to come before fruition. Still, I feel as though I am approaching the point when I can start making actual rule sets and playtesting them.

Oh! one funny story: so a few days ago I was trying to figure out what "d3" means to most people (d6:1,1,2,2,3,3 or one of those bizarrely-shaped dice). One of my search results was someone asking a question at RPG StackExchange back in 2012:
I've seen 30-sided dice for sale from a number of places (such as here), along with 24-sided, 16-sided, 5-sided, etc.

Are there any RPGs that actually use these?

More precisely, are there any RPGs that use dice other than 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20-sided?
I immediately noticed the person's profile picture:


Well would you look at that! It is our very own

Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
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Well, I had better get back to my AnyDice graphs…

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