Need Feedback – Where do we go from here?

Sorry I’ve been a bit lacking in the posts arena lately. I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about how to move forward.

Question MarksWith the great, constructive feedback from the October 2009 playtest session of the Moebius Adventures system, it became painfully clear it was time to rethink things. Each player at that session had constructive criticisms of various aspects of the rules, from character generation and presentation to skill resolution and combat. Though we had a good time despite the rules, I was left wondering about the future of the game.

Moebius Adventures was born in the mid-1990s when a friend (Sean Bindel) and I took a hard look at the games we’d been playing.

Like many gamers, we’d played with a number of systems in college and before. We had a great time with a campaign set based loosely on the Temple of Elemental Evil from TSR, but we used the Palladium Fantasy Roleplaying Game as our system. Add in some serious time playing the d6 Star Wars RPG, Call of Cthulhu, Mechwarrior, and even a little Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition, and that about summed it up. And after college, we were playing in a Vampire: The Masquerade game and decided we wanted to get back to the fantasy roots we both started with.

The Moebius Adventures system started out as an exercise in discovering what qualities we wanted to see in a RPG rules system. We modeled it a bit after the Palladium FRPG (1st edition) and Dungeons & Dragons and set to work adding our own spin. The result was first published in 1997 and then in revised form in 2007. And it was the edition from 2007 that we playtested in October of this year.

Though painful, I would say it was incredibly valuable to have seen the game through fresh eyes with this recent playtest session. Almost immediately after, I started working on a slimmed down set of rules that would provide (1) quick character creation, (2) quicker skill and combat resolution, and (3) enough freedom to do all that I was looking at for a cross-genre universal system.

I believe I’ve met that goal and hope to do some playtesting in the next few months as I get more details written up and considered.

My problem now is deciding what to do about this predicament. I have a ton of ideas for free-form magic, super-hero abilities, as well as ways to integrate technology for modern and futuristic settings. And I have three entire settings from which to pull potential setting or adventure products from. But without a simple, consistent, and open system to use, I’m at a bit of an impasse. In my mind, I can’t create system-less modules or settings without having some way of modeling a consistent way to describe NPCs, monsters, items, and so on.

Am I simply over-thinking this? Obviously there are many companies and writers coming up with great RPG materials and I’m not the only one who’s run into this.

Can anyone point out some companies that are doing this already and how they’ve overcome this hurdle (that’s most likely entirely in my head)? Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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