Tales from the Shard: Creating an Indie TTRPG

The idea behind this project is to build a brand new TTRPG system in cooperation with my GM. Creating a TTRPG from scratch is usually the work of an entire team, which is why I believe this project may still be eligible for a master’s thesis, in a reduced capacity (a “starter set” if you will) and if co-authorship is allowed.

A TTRPG system needs mechanics for different game aspects, such as roleplay, utility, and combat. In the case of TFTS, there would be rules for a character’s culture (as opposed to racial abilities, as is often the case) and vocation (a modular system that replaces the at times rigid classes system). Although not mandatory, TFTS includes a setting native to the mechanics, called “the Shard” (some TTRPGs are made to adapt to any setting, which would not be the case here).

The two design fields that apply here are those of game design and usability. For one, creating a functioning TTRPG needs careful planning of the rules and mechanics to maintain a balanced gaming experience. Second, these rules must be playtested over and over again before the finished product can be published. (Lastly, the product itself will need accompanying artwork and layouting.)

The goal of this project would be to create a functioning prototype (a version 1.0) in the form of a hardcover book. My responsibilities would most likely include the creation of the accompanying illustrations (including the cover), the planning and analysis of the playtests, writing up some or all of the texts, and assisting in the creation of the game rules.

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