Games Design - The Holy Grail - The Ultimate RPG Starter Set

Posted by: Neil Gow On: Aug 19th 2010

So, here's the question - what would you do to develop/design/launch an RPG 'starter' game?

Back in the day, I know a lot (although by no means all) of people got their introduction to RPGs through Red Box D&D or Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks or even Warhammer. What would be a good introduction nowadays? What subject matter would it cover? What 'style' of gaming would it focus on? What would be included?

Bonus points for tackling the added conundrum of a starter 'story' game? (And here I mean a game that has traction rather than a throw away storytelling one-shot.)


Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Aug 19th 2010

3:16, in a box, with counters, laminated range map, laminated wipe clean character sheets, coloured tokens, etc.

To my mind, that would be a very attractive package: easy to learn rules, simple on the surface, deeper complexity, ideal for pick up play, but also great at longer series of games. The game has action, character development, all that good stuff.

Would destroying all life in the universe be an engaging premise? Well, a lot of people liked Starship Troopers and all that stuff. The thing that might prove to be a stumbling block is the GM role in the game.


Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Aug 24th 2010

That sounds good -- I'd maybe add minis to that (like Space Crusade from MB).

An RPG starter game that would be huge is a Twilight one that came in a box with decks of story cards (for generating thematic elements and plot twists) and a DVD of actual play starring our favourite Sparklies.

I imagine it being pretty different to play from D&D and most other RPGs, but it would be a genuinely innovative/collaborative story game that is (a) fun to play, (b) creatively satisfying, and (c) not tied down to mechanical historical precedent of the last 30 years. I'd aim for the market of people that like dramatic, creative activities and Twilight.

It would sell in boatloads and most of the hobby would say "it's not an RPG".

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