As of today, I am working on 3 games. I normally only have time to play about a third of the games I design, but I enjoy making the games so much this is hardly a problem.
Game 1: Pathfinder with Intrigue.This game is about manipulation and politics, and the players are the powers behind the scenes. This is outside the bounds of what the d20 system can easily accomplish, and thus requires a small number of supplemental house rules. The main goal is to get the players to actively conspire to alter the social fabric of the setting. The chief impediment is that players are usually reactive to what the GM introduces. The most likely pitfall is that the game could become a mystery game by accident. The house rules I’m working on should address these concerns. They include what I’m calling an “intrigue map” and a special mechanic for secrets. Special bonuses reward acquiring secrets during gameplay, keeping secrets from other players, and revealing other PC’s secrets.
Game 2: Pathfinder for Children
I’m in the process of running a game of Pathfinder for children. This promises to be a “back to basics” game for me. While the game itself might be a little bit on the simple side, it will let me focus on some basic tools of storytelling to go along with straightforward goblin smashing.
Game 3: Creating a Homebrewed System
One thing that kind of bugs me in DnD is how divorced the game mechanics are from storytelling and acting. I have yet to find any game that I feel addresses this issue, and my tendency to add house rules to my campaigns have normally been an attempt to address this. However, these normally only work to make the game adhere to certain genre conventions and create a certain mood. What I want is a game where acting in character is the basic mechanic, not rolling dice or character point allocations.
If you consider that RPGs are a form of collaborative, improvised storytelling, the difficulty of this task is reduced considerably. There is already a sport that has rules and methods to accomplish the exact same tasks: theater sports. Improvisational theater has a host of theory and techniques to facilitate improvised scene construction and characterization, while remaining consistent with the other improvisers, and telling a (usually humorous) story. My homebrew game will use these theories and techniques to create the rules for a game about collaborative, creative storytelling, without abandoning the strategy, logic, and structure of being a table top game.