Götterdämmerung, in game design
Definition of Götterdämmerung
: a collapse (as of a society or regime) marked by catastrophic violence and disorder
In 1974 Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson gave us Dungeons and Dragons, the reasons why things were the way they were depended a lot on how they were in the the wargames Gary and Dave played, the stories they read (Lord of the Rings, Dying Earth or Fafhrd and Grey Mouser) of the toys Gary could buy at the five and dime. Through successive editions the other writers would bring us different character classes and new spells, the game didn’t change too much. With the third edition in 2000 Wizards gave us some of the tools to make our own games, we had always had the tools to make our own stories, but now we could tinker under the hood and publish those changes to the broader community.
Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written.—Aslan
The thing is what we really got were finished pieces, not so much the instructions for how to make new pieces for ourselves. We didn’t steal fire from the gods, they handed us some matches and hoped we didn’t burn the whole hobby down.
I want to try to build a new game using a lot of the pieces from Starfinder and Pathfinder 2e, some pieces from D20 Modern/Future and maybe other pieces I don’t even know I need yet. What I’m finding along the way is I still need to talk to some of the original creators to find out how and why they did what they did. What I intend to leave in my wake are enough explanations that you can roll your own games from first principles or if you want to judge the balance or brokenness of a given product based on the principles that should have gone into its creation, you can.
I’m doing this for two reasons, one there’s only so many of those original creators to go around, two I just like to know how things work.
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