#RPGaDay 2018: Day 2 – What do you look for in an RPG.

What do I look for in an RPG? Let’s see.

RPG-a-Day 2018

I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. I’ve only a couple of different systems so I don’t think I have a solid idea of what I’m looking for in an RPG. However, I have some ideas.


This is very vague and I’ve done it on purpose. Simple can mean a lot of things. I want a straightforward character creation process. If I have a character idea ready in my mind I don’t want to spend hours translating it into mechanics. That also plays a huge role when I want to introduce a new player to an RPG.

Also, the basic mechanics should be easy to understand and simple to use. Check out the advantage/disadvantage system in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition for example. It’s an extremely simple concept but it has simplified the game by a lot.

…but with the potential of complexity

This is vague as well. Complexity is perceived differently by each person. For example, in D&D complexity could be multiclassing. Another form of complexity could be observed in subclasses. Others can be simple and others may need more attention by the player. The Saboteur, for example, isn’t the simplest subclass. It could be even more complex but it wouldn’t follow the spirit of D&D 5th edition.

The ability to play it with only a couple of people

Until recently, my main group had only two people. The number of people would fluctuate but those two were the core of the group. That’s why I want the RPGs I play to accommodate just that. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it can require a bit of tweaking, but I don’t want it to be unusable when I have one or two players.


I support the idea of diceless systems but I love rolling dice way to much to abandon that. The more dice the better. Open Legend RPG does that well. Instead of having modifiers to your rolls you get extra dice. On top of that, dice explode giving you the chance to roll them again.

To urge you to mess with it

I want the RPG to make you want to tweak it. I’m not talking about the cases where the system has serious problems that you have to fix. I’m talking about alternative mechanics and rules. In D&D 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide there are various optional and alternative rules you can use. I like that and I have used some of them.

And I think I’m done for today. These are some things I like seeing in an RPG. I’m pretty sure I’ll come up with more since I’ve started thinking about it now but that will be enough for now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you look for in an RPG? When you want to try a new RPG do you look for these things or do you have an open mind and try it anyway?

Tomorrow’s question is “What gives a game ‘staying power’ ”. I need to think about this quite a bit because I’m not sure I get it.

So until then, have fun!

2 thoughts on “#RPGaDay 2018: Day 2 – What do you look for in an RPG.

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