Here are some ground rules I’m working with as I approach this project:
• Game design is a holistic thing- all elements of the game are ‘designed’, and work together. This is true on every level. It’s important to be aware that every element of the game has to be there on purpose- I never want to default to doing something just because ‘I’ve always done it that way’- similarly, if something works, there’s no reason to change it.
• Story trumps all. I’ve been inspired to play games where I’m excited about the world and the story of the game- not where the mechanics look cool. I want the mechanics to help tell cool stories.
• Everything you need should be in the core book. I thumbed through the D+D Essentials core rules, and was impressed that they’d managed to get all of the core rules of D+D into one book – until I realized that you didn’t really have rules for character building… or for monsters… or for much magic… oh, snap. You are going to need a lot more…