Building LitRPG Systems?

#1
Hey ya'll. New author here. I wanna ask how you guys come up with your systems for your litRPG fics?
I'm not the best with that kind of technical shizzwazz so I've made my system pretty loose and adaptable but I also wanna try and get into more detailed and technical system for future fics. How do you guys go about building this stuff, especially the more technical systems I've seen with a lot of numbers floating around?

Re: LitRPG Systems?

#2

Dev Wrote: Hey ya'll. New author here. I wanna ask how you guys come up with your systems for your litRPG fics?
I'm not the best with that kind of technical shizzwazz so I've made my system pretty loose and adaptable but I also wanna try and get into more detailed and technical system for future fics. How do you guys go about building this stuff, especially the more technical systems I've seen with a lot of numbers floating around?

For the one I am working on, I have set up an excel sheet with pages for each section. Rules, classes/levels, items, spells, etc. That way I can order it how I see fit at any time, only want level 4 spells? Then select a filter for those and write it into your chapter.

Also keeps me honest, I can't do something 1 chapter and then 10 chapters later it works differently. 

As for the creation process, mostly just a lot of imagination and having played plenty of RPGs and TTRPGs to pull inspiration from.

Re: LitRPG Systems?

#3
skeleton > story > meat
let me explain in detail. i really love game systems so i have no problem creating complex ones without effort.

first i start with the skeleton - how the system it self work. what are the rules, how it functions,

then i shift focus to what kind a story is built around it.

then i start making examples of classes and skills that fit
and as the story progress i invent content according to what the story need.

then i rethink everything i made and readjust in order for it to mash better. or be more fun to mass with the system.

for example: regular cultivation but add a system that let you buy skills but with maintenance cost of the cultivation
then i go for a regular xianxia weak to strong,
then i invent a cheat for the MC that give him access to restricted skills, such as reduced maintenance cost of skills.

Re: LitRPG Systems?

#4
Eh, I just start by copying an existent system from an RPG I like and then I tweak it to be what it needs to be. Most litRPG stories don't read as games, because they copy from each other rather than copying functional systems. Which is fine, much of litRPG is power fantasy anyway and you can't truly be OP in a balanced RPG system. But I prefer to write more balanced systems, and actually creating a balanced system from scratch would take... a lot. It's not something you just come up with in an afternoon, it takes entire game dev teams months of full time work to get right beyond the conceptual stage. I can't justify spending so much time on something that isn't even the story. 

And if you think this makes for unoriginal systems, think again. Like I said, most litRPG's do not copy RPG's, they copy other novels. For example, have you ever read about a pokemon-inspired system with a hard level cap, a hard cap on EV's/distributable stat points, only a small number of available attack slots, and a world where everyone know of those limitations and can plan accordingly? Or, heck, even just a litRPG where you don't have to murder everything to level, you can just fight them and they'll be fine? I'm sure they exist but I've yet to read one. It's probably the most sold RPG franchise ever, and it'd STILL be a fresh breeze in the litRPG world. 

What I'm saying is, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. What makes a game fun to play is the limitations, not the possibilities. The limitations are what you need to plan around and overcome, that's what gives you a challenge, and that's what a good litRPG system gotta do, I think. I still enjoy the OP gamelit stories where characters just break the mold and go OP, just like I enjoy overleveling my pokemon team and just steamrolling the Elite Four with op legendaries. But, the basic rules of the game are still there, regardless if I'm taking on the end game with a single Magicarp or a lvl 100 Rayquaza. That's what makes the game enjoyable. 

Re: LitRPG Systems?

#5
It's definitely helpful to find a game or two, or another litRPG, that has a system which fits the feeling you want.  For example I wanted a system where you have to gain stat points by grinding at a related activity, and to support that I wanted to eliminate the standard level-up reward of assignable stat points.  What, then, would be the reward of leveling up?  I considered some different options but went with points that could be spent in a shop, and then I had to figure out what was okay to put in the shop (appearance customizations, pocket money, consumables for survival situations) vs. what was not ok to put in there (spells/skills, live animals, food other than emergency rations).  And that was based on what I wanted the player to be earning directly through the main activity (stats and skills) and what I wanted to encourage the player to do (shop, fight monsters, capture pets, do indoor tasks for pay.)  Then, this was a setting where everyone could see their levels, so since I had already tied levels to appearance I decided that culturally levels = age, so the player had to start as a child and regaining an adult height and appearance became a major motive.

Currently I've been pondering a dungeon core system and thinking it needs to be something like a sim game and something like an idle game.  I want the core to have to make a lot of decisions about which resources to make an effort to gain, and then how to use those resources.  So maybe... the core creates a fish, and places it in an appropriate environment.  The fish then takes action on its own, gaining xp or ep or whatever.  Then the cores attention gets called when the fish is "full".  And the core can then choose between getting more fish or one improved/mutant fish or using the fish as evolution food for another monster.  And the core can also merge two fish with different traits to get a single fish with both traits.  Meanwhile the core needs to gain mana or XP which is spent on landscaping, decorating, loot creation, and spawning monsters from templates.  Probably both adventurers and all other creatures in the dungeon will be sources of this.  And the leveling up rewards would probably be skills and some kind of choice between templates or resources.

Re: LitRPG Systems?

#6
Mine is a hybrid system. First I used a typical dungeons and dragons type levelling system, each level they get additional skills/spells, but there are no hard numbers visible anywhere.
Additionally, there is another underlying system involving Spheres which work like batteries and limit what your body can and cannot do (this system can be compared to cultivation a little, and again no hard numbers). People can get stronger independently from levelling by training these spheres. Theoretically, you could have a level 60 player with a huge variety of skills and spells ensuring they can be prepared for any situation. And you can also have a level 1 player with only two skills, but spent all his time training his Spheres and advancing their ranks making him stronger, faster, and using the 2 skills he has to obliterate that level 60 player. Both can be advanced and do not interfere with each other, all it takes is time and effort.

The idea was that there was no way to just look at someone and know how strong they are or what they can do, information becoming a valuable commodity.