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Is it possible for one person to create their own table top game, setting and all?

Is it possible?

  • Yes (please explain)

    Votes: 31 100.0%
  • No (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    31

Slit518

Explorer
Is it possible for one person to create their own table top game, setting and all?

What do you think?

Discuss!
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Creating a game, setting and all, is little more work than creating a game and setting individually. In some ways, it's even easier, since you can use details from the setting to shape the ruleset.

Assuming you're properly motivated, and devote a couple of hours to it every day, you could probably go from conception to production in less than six months.
 
Is it possible for one person to create their own table top game, setting and all?

What do you think?

Discuss!
Of course. But you'll probably want to playtest the system extensively, at least if you want a quality finished product. You have more "creative autonomy" with the setting, but the system is best served ironed out with the help of others.
 

Slit518

Explorer
Gygax did it. Arenson did it. Barker did it.

Why wouldn't it be possible?
Didn't Gygax and Arenson work together to create D&D?

What did Barker create?

Unless you're referring to settings, in which Gygax created Grey Hawk, and Arenson create Blackmoore. I am not familiar with Barker though.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Well yes.

But to create a good one you need playtest, outside review etc.

One of the most notable "smile, dont make eye contact, walk away slowly" moments was when a guy pitched his solo developed 40 years in the making perfectly balanced fantasy game which only his wife had been allowed to see a little of.... you know you are looking at trouble when the 30m pitch emphasizes how little the players characters know and says nothing about the PCs roles, actions and options in the world at all- they were barely mentioned.

Advice to any GM or world builder trying to promote his creation...

Do not try and sell people on your world and how great it is.

Sell them on how great it will be playing in your world. Sell the adventures (not "Adventure").
 
Last edited:

Radaceus

Villager
Yes, we did just this after purchasing the Red Box in around 78, and before buying any hardcovers (AD&D), by 79 we'd scrapped most of it and were playing ad hoc. We also created a martial art rpg by 83, which I wish I still had the write up for.

in short, where there's a whip...there's a way...
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
Remember that thing they told you in grade school about how there are no stupid questions? They lied.

This is a stupid question.

Source: I have literally done it at least ten times. Around half of them got published. Most are sitting at Silver Bestseller on DriveThru, some were nominated for awards.

Edit: Also, I am in the process of creating at least three TTRPGs, all of them with complicated built-in settings, as we speak.
 
Last edited:

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Yes. I’ve done it. More than once. And if I can do it, anyone can.

Well, not anyone, cuz I am pretty awesome (my girlfriend says so so it must be true)
 
I've done it with every campaign I've run as DM. Even if I used published rules and published settings as the basis for those games, the FINAL rules, the FINAL setting has always been MY creation, modified only by the interaction with the PC's.
 

Michele

Villager
Yes, of course. Why not? The point would be whether the thing would be appreciated by others. But assuming he has a gaming group willing to playtest, he could come up with his own system and setting, and verify, at least with a small group of probably like-minded players, whether it works.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Is it possible for one person to create their own table top game, setting and all?

What do you think?

Discuss!
Define "create".

If you mean make a system and setting and run it, absolutely. I did it when I was younger.

If you mean make and publish a professional system, worrying about layout, editing, artwork, marketing, publishing, and the like - well, the answer is still probably yes - there are a lot of self-published games out there. But really, that's a lot of different skills and it's probably a better result to have a lot of people.

As a side note, I'm assuming playtesting, as long as it's run by that author, counts as "one person".
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
And, this is a really rude answer.
Guilty.

Sorry Slit518. I must have been feeling salty about something unrelated, I guess. I mean it is a dumb question but, dumb questions don't generally hurt anyone.

But yeah, not to overstate the point but yes, obviously it is very much possible. Arguably, Gary Gygax did it (with a little help from his friends) with the ORIGINAL D&D and it is the model for how one MAKES rpgs.

Edit: It is not, however, particularly easy. At least if you want it to be good which you should. I made at least a dozen crappy games grinding to get good at game design and that probably includes one or two of the ones I have currently in publication.
 
Last edited:

Xaelvaen

Explorer
Yes*

So, I feel a single person can do all the leg work to do all these things, and even publish it. The asterisk refers to the comparative success of these endeavors. Will your single-person-created work ever be on the tongue of every RPG player everywhere like D&D or Pathfinder? That's questionable. Should the raving success level comparison matter? Not one bit. I hope every creator out there endeavors to break that very boundary.
 

Slit518

Explorer
For everyone who has published their own -- link it here.

Share your creations with the world, and myself.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Yes, it's doable. I've done it. Doesn't mean it was done well...

Playtesting it literally can't be done alone meaningfully. Even the designer running it for players isn't a terribly meaningful playtest.

The best in house playtest is to hand the rules to someone else, and have them run for the designer...

But then you need to hand it to people outside that, too.
 

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