While cleaning my room at my parents’ place today, I found two of the many RPG systems I created while in elementary/middle school. The first of them reminded me of 1st ed. I’ve never played 1st ed other than in video games, so I don’t know much about it other than from what people have told me or what I’ve read online.
In this version that I found, there were no race/class options. You were either a human cleric/fighter/paladin/whatever, or you were a Dwarf, Elf, etc with no special abilities. Spells had a limited number of uses per day. I couldn’t find the spell list anywhere, but the character sheets had spells on them, so I knew I had made one at some point.
Included in the bag were 12 d6s in three different colors: white, red, and green. I recall that the colors as well as evens vs odds had some significance, but I can’t remember what. No other dice were around, so the system must have been d6 based. I think I may have made this system in elementary school; the lack of other dice in the bag or in the rules themselves suggests that I made the rules before acquiring a complete set of dice. Also, most of the concepts in the game aren’t very similar to anything I ever played before, which probably means I made this after watching my parents play 2nd ed but before playing it myself.
Also in the bag were numbers on slips of blue paper. These numbers seemed to range from 1 to 50. I can’t remember what they meant. They could be anything from experience to gold, or they could’ve represented a loot chart that had fallen out of the bag at some point.
The next system I came across is one that I was quite proud of. The system was based loosely off 2nd ed D&D (maybe also a touch of 3e) with several Diablo II concepts thrown in. There appeared to only be two stats: HP and DF (defense) which were determined by race primarily, but boosted by class. I would love to see a system that did this. For example, a Pixie would have 20 HP and 3 DF, but an Orc would have 50 HP and 6 DF. However, choosing “fighter” as a class awarded the character 20 extra HP and 3 more DF. Wizard, on the other hand, only earned 5 HP and 1 DF. Certain classes were off limits to certain races and some classes were off limits unless another class was in the party. I forget my reasoning for the latter restriction and the DM notes about the classes impacted by it are either missing or never existed.
This was a d20 system. I remember it clearly. However, there were no to-hit bonuses except for from magic items, the highest possible being a +2. Everyone just rolled a d20 and hoped to break through the DF of the monster. DF was never over 10 for a monster, but it appears it was possible for a PC to get as high as a 12 with the right race, class, and armor.
Leveling didn’t appear to reward HP or DF. However, the character could take a new skill from an elaborate skill tree. Every race and class had an associated skill tree, similar to Diablo. Druids gained more and more powerful summons as they leveled. If multiple points were put into the same skill, then the druid could summon more of that creature. Paladins learned healing, buff, and teleportation skills. At higher levels, they could instakill a single non-boss monster a number of times per day equal to how many points were put into the skill. Who needs more HP when you have a swarm of dire rats as a meat shield protecting the guy who can drop 5 monsters a day just by thinking about it?
As for racial skill trees, Pixies learned aerial maneuvers and Orcs gained feats of strength. I can’t remember if characters got to choose one from each tree per level or if they had to alternate between each tree or if it was a free-for-all and PCs could pick whatever they wanted.
What each character could carry was determined by race and represented with a grid. An Orc would have a large grid, possibly 10x10, while a Pixie would have a smaller grid, maybe 4x4. This grid functioned similarly to the inventory in Diablo II. Each item was worth a certain number of squares. If you were unable to fit an item in your grid, then it couldn’t fit in your bag or was too heavy and had to be left behind.
This system is almost playable. However, it’s missing a lot of checks and balances, and it also seems to be missing most of the rules. Sadly, I’m pretty sure I never wrote these rules down. :/
I made tons of similar systems while I was a kid. I’ll probably find more of them as I continue to clean my room.