My House, My Rules


Modified 2021-05-17

(approx. 400 words)

A version of post originally appeared on the Pen and Paper Games Forum. Changes apart from formatting have been noted.

Some random house-ruling thoughts.1



New Systems

An idea I’ve been toying with for a while is “skills and only skills”, inspired by Castle Falkenstein, some versions of D6, Basic Roleplaying/Legend, FATE, and GUMSHOE, among others. It’s exactly what it says: characters have only “abilities”, with no mechanical distinction between innate characteristics and learned skills. “Strength”, “Health”, and the like are just another ability, or cluster of abilities. Abilities need to be largely orthogonal, although “occupations” or the like may make certain combinations cheaper to reflect commonly associated abilities like Athletics and Health.

Postscript (2021-05-17)

Tallying how many of these suggestions have appeared in published works, how many have featured in game designs I’ve suggested, and how many have been emphatically rejected or proven unworkable is left as an exercise for the reader.

  1. (2021-05-17) I rewrote this sentence to remove the original inspiration for this post, which wasn’t really relevant and might be a dead link anyway. ↩︎