Luke Crane, John Wick, and Jared Sorensen came up with the three big questions of Game Design. Then, Troy Cristisick came up with the Power 19, a way to elaborate further on intent of the original three:
1.) What is your game about?
Sword and Sorcery adventure and challenging stereotypes.
2.) What do the characters do?
Explore the world of Lanasia, find creative solutions to Lanasia's challenges and explore the uniqueness of each player's character.
3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
- The Judge (GM) describes the scene as the characters perceive it, at a minimum this information should:
- Be consistent with previous events and/or the character’s backgrounds
- Include a location
- Anything the characters can see
- Anything the characters can hear
- Anything the characters can smell and potentially taste
- Anything the characters can feel
- Anything that the characters would know about what the NPCs are doing
- Any clues that the characters vitally need to know for the story to continue
- Allow players to roll for Awareness and other skills to notice clues or minor details
- The players should describe what their characters are trying to do, including:
- What you character’s intent is. There may be a skill roll involved or another character may resist your efforts.
- What your character is doing to accomplish this intent
- What objects your character is using to accomplish this intent
- What your character is saying to accomplish this intent
- If relevant, include what your character is feeling/thinking about this intent
- The Judge and player determine if this task has a chance to fail. Character conversations, trivial efforts and anything that the player and Judge consider a normal or logical outcome
- If there is a chance of failure, the Judge and player determine what Skill or Talent is appropriate
- The Judge determines the Difficulty Number and modifiers
- The Player rolls the dice and modifies for Skill Mod for the appropriate Ability, Skill level and any other modifiers
- The Judge and player determine how successful the attempt was and create a new description
4.) How do the various parts your system reinforce what your game is about?
The Talent system reinforces the uniqueness of each character, while the list of available skills reinforces a sense of adventure
5.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
Lanasia is a wide world with with characters that reinforce some stereotypes and challenge others.
6.) How does the Chargen of your game reinforce what your game is about?
Character generation involves the background of a character and guides them through picking skills. Characters are fully-formed beings and potentially heroic. While the selection of a Talent empowers the player to create a truly unique character.
7.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
The game encourages heroic play, group cooperation and exploration.
8.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
It's pushed as advice to players and Judge (GM). It was not part of my design philosophy to enforce a specific style of play over others.
9.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
The primary storyteller is the GM, with the players portraying their characters within the scope of the rules. There is a Destiny system that allows each player to directly influence the Narration.
10.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
XPs are awarded by use of skills and creativity instead of kills or money amassed.
11.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
All skills (combat and/or non-combat) are resolved by rolling two dice, adding the skill mod for one ability and youtr skill level and comparing to a Target Number. It is a classic Task Resolution system. For non-combat skills, the number of rolls is reduced to maximize the value of Luck.
12.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
The skills available are geared towards adventure.
13.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
Characters do gain XPs, these can be used to improve skills and the character's Talent. There is also advancement through other means as well.
14.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
Advancement is tailored towards each charcer's Talent, Skills and goals.
15.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
The ultimate goal is fun through storytelling. With a hopeful intent of challenging player's stereotypes.
16.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Magic, Prayer and Mystic Techniques. They form the metaphysical basis for the universe of Lanasia.
17.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
The Talent system, it is unique, creative and well designed.
18.) Where does your game take the players that other games can’t, don’t, or won’t?
Characters are entitled to be heroes from day one.
19.) What are your publishing goals for your game? Who is your target audience?
Ultimately to publish this game for profit to players. I do not know much about marketing. As soon as I can get a handle on it, I will try to target my audience.
I hope this will be enlightening. Please feel free to leave a comment.
Author of Legends of Lanasia (Still in Beta)