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The creation of a system

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Over the past couple years I have been involved in a variety of projects all with one common element. A completely home-brewed systems.

It started back in MetaWars, originally the idea was to create a basic structure for what was essentially a free-form game. Here I worked with Alexander Tau to make a system that fit the setting he had in mind. While the system we created was full of flaws it was my first real entry into this sort of thing, but served as a lesson in what didn't work which helped me when I moved on to my next project.

Nexus was something completely different, where MW was built around a concept which was already established. Nexus was built from the ground up system and game developed in harmony. This gave me and my team a much greater control over what we could do with the system.

Now one question that was raised at this point in time was why do we need to make a system, and the reason became fairly simple. No system we found worked. We wanted a system that allowed a wide range of character types from multiple genres of games to be made which lead us to a point based system. The issue we found was balance in many of these systems was severely lacking. The second thing we found was since the game we were doing was Pbp, the combat system of a traditional RPG would not really work well, which further pushed us away from other systems

So with that in mind we trudge on and created an fairly rough system, not great it had the basic concept out lined and the necessary tools for use to work with. It was however good enough to run the game and run it we did, Nexus ended up running for nearly 8 months generating nearly 5000 posts of character interactions, including successful combat and skill encounters most if which ran fairly smoothly for a new system that people just learned

At this point we decided to branch out, update the system and run another game with it, and so Terra Nova was born. Here we were given the opportunity to review nearly 6 months of in game time with Nexus to look back on, and man did we use it. We were able to correct some major issues with the advancement system, items system, and generally streamline and polish the system.

This update turned out rather well increasing the balance of the system and the ease or running and playing the system. Unfortunately about 2 months in things feel through with the project when RL hit several of the staff (myself included), with out a staff to run the 20+ players we had Terra Nova fell apart. However even its short span we managed to get allot of useful data.

Now the staff is back together and we are launching a reboot of Nexus with the same system that has been developing for nearly two years, but now we have given it a name. This new system is called the Online Universal Role-playing System or OUR system and sometimes just OURS.

It has become a system I am proud of and one that I think provides something that other systems out there are lacking, being an perspective of online playability. If you want more info about the System it is being posted up on a wiki that can be found Here

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Updated 03-06-2011 at 12:49 AM by obtusehobbit

Tags: homebrew, system Add / Edit Tags


  1. Ao's Avatar
    You guys have certainly done some impressive work over the last couple of years OH. I'm going to be checking out OURS over the next coupe of days to see what's what about it.

    Now, funny you should post this and bring up Metawars... we're about ready to delete the Metawars forum so, if there's anything you might wish to save from there, I recommend that you get it quick.

    Now, before I get into OURS, let me ask you... Is it geared for strictly play by post gaming, or would it be just fine to use it via MapTool or OpenRPG? For that matter, do you think it would work as a face to face game too?
  2. obtusehobbit's Avatar
    The basics should translate just fine.

    Those things which may be missing from the system to adjust for pbp gaming (initiative I am lookin at you) will be added in the Alternate Rules Doc once we get that done.

    Right now we have all the player forward rules done, and the other rules (GM's guide, and Alternate rules) are just a matter of formating and detailing out.

    Also Cob and I plan to at some point make a setting to package with the game.

    Edit: As for MW I got what I wanted off it awhile ago.
    Updated 03-06-2011 at 04:18 AM by obtusehobbit