Fail faster can sometimes very difficult in RPGs, getting a group together is not easy if you are doing a home-brew, testing or even using a system that isn’t a major system. However sometimes it can be beneficial having time to look at the rules of the world and even the mechanics.
OK first a disclaimer, I’ve not published yet and even if I do, it would be just for fun to see if I can, however I want to share my experience with writing a system. As someone who is mathematically minded, I enjoy from-scratch homebrew allowing me to modify for both story, scenario and mood.
Some I have run for groups, others are just a challenge for me to keep my brain active.
I’ve taken some systems through multiple versions, one has gone through at least 10 major modifications; sometimes it was just to make it easier to rewrite, other times it was a core mechanic change, others it was something not written right.
However I do find a series of reasons that I rewrite:
This seems to be the most common reason why I rewrote things… whether it was a rule that had too many steps to it or a rule that wouldn’t work on the current system; I find that this counted for at least half of the full version changes.
Simplification is one thing but what if the system is already simple and yet it doesn’t make sense on paper, rereading something back can help you to do this but even then it can take 4 or 5 passes.
If you change one thing in any RPG; it can change how it works in it’s entirety, it may mean that certain things that were created to work off it; at that point you have to go through every other rule to make sure it doesn’t break old and new rules alike.
Putting something down on paper helps to explain how it should be done but it can be used as a stepping stone to explain how it should be explained. Because it will take a while to get back to some stories and my memory can be painfully bad, it has to flow right.