The week has been a pretty intense ride of writing, editing and discussion.
Having made the promise that we would write up the rules stuff we've been working on, I was pretty keen not to let down the guys who come to Friday Roleplay Night.
As of this afternoon, I'm about six miracles and a chunk of editing away from a finished draft. That's a really cool thing to have achieved together!
"Tikhon" started as a collection of rulings made to facilitate play within our own fantasy world but, at nearly 200 pages, has grown up to become a set of game rules in its own right.
While our game has roots in the Old School Renaissance (OSR), and was developed through mashing up several sub-systems from existing games along with our own take on roleplaying, it has really become something... different. After all the work, it would be a shame not to publish it while we continue to play with it. If nothing else, it gives everyone involved a "standard" rules reference to work from.
The best thing, though, is that both the game and the setting has been developed openly through player contribution. Week by week, session by session, the players have been making suggestions and adding on details which have brought the world to life. As I write, I'm still waiting for the latest submissions for me to edit prior to publication.
The big upside of this team approach has been that we are experiencing player (and GM) engagement at a very high level. Each player has spoken to me alone to feed back a similar message: this is one of the coolest gaming things we've ever done. That is the real reward for all of the effort.
As we come to the end of this initial writing phase, ready to continue our campaign in earnest from September, it looks like there will be a steady stream of new submissions ready for the future. It's really pretty exciting to bring the efforts of the whole group into sharp focus.
Looking back, I think the big learning so far has been two-fold:
- Don't be afraid to mash-up your own game.
- Don't be afraid to say "yes" to player contributions.
While I love that there's an "industry" of roleplaying game designers, none of them plays or thinks quite like we do. By mashing up our own rules (and fitting it to our setting), we've unleashed a whole bucket of fun. On top of that, saying "yes" to players suggestions has poured fuel on the creative fire... and we have something exciting as a consequence.
The plan is to produce the booklet of rules through Lulu within the next week or so. It'll be a low-key thing, but it does allow us to hold the fruit of all our labour in our hands... and not lose as many loose-leaf pages as we might if we just ploughed it through a laser printer.
For me, it's simply great to be almost there with the rules and ready to focus back on the campaign.
Labels: fantasy, GMing, news, rules, Tikhon, writing