A question for RPG designers (pro and amateur, whatever):
What is the bare minimum core rule set required to get a game off the ground?
- Characters are already created (half a dozen pregen).
- Character-specific rules are attached to the character sheet and don’t need to be repeated, spells and feats and skills and stuff count for this, as does character advancement.
- Truly introductory stuff (what is an RPG?) is irrelevant, at this point this isn’t going to be picked up by someone who doesn’t already play.
- Probably focus on D&D-trope play. Maybe have the seven iconic classes (fighter, cleric, wizard, thief, elf, dwarf, halfling) as sample characters. Oh, and ‘bear’ because I’d goofed on the original version of this post (“the bear minimum core rule set”) and got caught… and decided why not go for it?
- There would be a simple adventure or something (because this does not provide the rules or guidelines for constructing one) with the information needed to run them. “This room has a fire trap, so roll a Reflex save to avoid when someone triggers it by stepping on the red square. A character with the Trapfinder ability can roll a Spot check to notice it before anyone steps on it” sort of thing. Probably five rooms or so, to exercise more than move, kill, loot.
- common game elements (ability scores — what each one does; does not need ability score modifier tables because those are on the character sheets already).
- task resolution (including basic combat and skill/ability checks).
- game processes (like ‘how a fight works’).
- … I’m out.
This is not for a rule set to be built upon, nothing about character design or construction, nothing about writing adventures, no monster or spell selection or design considerations. These things should be known in order to build this package, but I’m looking for the bare bones get-to-the-table content.