The title gets at the heart of what I wanted to talk about, but let me rephrase it slightly:
"Is there room for another tabletop RPG system in the industry, or is the market already "oversaturated?"
Of course I'm talking about our Bastard System, technically...
This is a fairly common discussion, especially among 'armchair publishers' -- i.e. those gamers whom have been playing for years & feel they have a handle on "how the industry works" etc. And most of the time, this question isn't even asked without a presumed answer and I'd say most of the time that answer is "No, we don't need another tabletop RPG system."
I'm not going to say that that thinking is totally wrong, but my quip of a reply would be:
No one can make YOUR GAME except you.
To which I'd add the a big caveat of...
BUT, no one but you might buy your game, either.
No one can make your game but you, but that doesn't mean anyone will buy itSo, there's an idea out there I've read before:
And I think this kind of applies well to gaming. Most gamers whom have been at it for a while start to do a lot of "house rules." In some ways though, how many "house rules" for how things are handled till its not really even the same game? Famously, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is really Jason Bulmahn's "house rules" for 3.5 edition codified and republished as The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Additionally, not everyone wants or cares about the same kinds of things. There are hundreds of different RPG systems, and many of them are even "open" (made all the more unimportant because you can't properly "copyright" game mechanics per se, only the specific wording for them etc.).
But I'd read the comment "You never know what is a sacred cow to people, until you try to serve them hamburger." And that can be true. A lot of people question if the Starfinder Roleplaying Game is some kind of Pathfinder 2.0 soft boot, which maybe it will be (but I mostly doubt it). But what's funny is, if you ask 100 gamers "what would you fix about Pathfinder?" I bet you'd get 100 different answers. Maybe SOME would correspond, but their "solutions" would likely vary drastically. I'm sure a "better version" is possible, but I don't think I want to be the poor sap that tries to make it!
What's You're Point, Lucus?
Just that The Fattest Goblin and I are making the Bastard System "our own, " and that "yes we know people perceive the market as oversaturated, but we don't see OUR system."
And if you asked ME what the key differences between our plans for The Bastard System are compared to other systems that exist and other just splatbooks we could release for an existing system, I'd summarize it like so:
What Makes the Bastard System Different from Others:
Its a 2d6+Bonus system. A lot of games use something like this (Powered by the Apocalypse would be a simple go-to that's fairly popular).
The KEY FEATURES of the Bastard System, compared to others, are:
1 -- Non-static Target Values. The GM rolls an opposing 2d6+Bonus, which represents the enemies/environments/etc. portion of the equation. That potentially means a shit roll or 2 or 3 and "easy difficulty" for you, or a roll of a 11 or 12 and a "hard difficulty" for you. And the dice then are the first Bastards of the game, because a GM rolling Boxcars will likely have you pissed at him and saying between gritted teeth "oh you Bastard!"
2 -- The Difference Matters. This is the bigger one -- the Difference is supposed to always matter. The Difference being Greater Value - Lesser Value of the opposing rolls. So if you roll high, and the GM rolls low, there's a greater Difference in your favor. GM rolls high, you roll low, there's a greater Difference against you. etc. Damage is the easy one -- assume a weapon deals # + Difference, so a dagger might be 1 + Difference, while a longsword is 4+Difference. So the longsword is "more deadly" in general, but at the point that the Difference is equal to 12 or more, who cares what the first number is -- I gutted you like a pig with my knife, or I sliced your head off with my longsword.
Anyways, this has been on my mind now for a few weeks (as I made the internal document for the Bastard System to hopefully start on making a proper game soon). We also feel there are whole genre's of film/television/fiction that are not getting adequate support (say "cop dramas") in the tabletop RPG industry, and we're hoping to make some Bastard System games for those things specifically.
Regardless, we're going to make our own little system that works "just right" for us, and you don't have to buy it if you don't want (maybe you don't spill your potato chips while playing Pathfinder, but MAYBE we do!).
There's more I could say (like for instance, sharing a story about my Mother who wasn't into video games -- until we found the right game for HER) or that I'd agree 'We don't need 'another D&D' but what about something actually new or relatively unsupported in tabletop RPGdom?
I'd even make a comparison of "After Star Wars first came out, a LOT of companies try to 'remake Star Wars' but the really interesting things we're just 'their own thing'." And while the OG Battlestar Galactica was maybe more a Star Wars-clone, think about the Reboot and what they were able to accomplish with that (the ending not withstanding).