What do I want in a Roleplaying Game?

Submitted by Dusty on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 22:09

One of the questions I have continually thought about is what I want a roleplaying game to be like. What are the optimal features that I imagine in the "Hypothetical Favorite RPG"?

Non-binary success

After the players roll the dice is isn't just one of them succeeds and the other fails.


Wagers from Houses of the Blooded

Arbitrary Character Elements

Your character should have things about them that give them mechanical bonuses which are character based and can be almost anything that the player wants.


Aspects from Spirit of the Century

Fortes from Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies

Dogs in the Vineyard

Rewards for attempting difficult tasks

Very difficult rolls should have some benefit to the player. Higher difficulties should have some reason the player does not want to avoid them and try for easier rolls.


Advancement in Burning Wheel

Player involvement in narration

The players should have some ability to narrate and add things to the story. These are things that are beyond just their character's ability to interact.


Wagers from Houses of the Blooded

Goal driven characters

It shouldn't just be the GM telling players where to go. The players should also have input on the flow of the plot and what they want to happen.


Beliefs from Burning Wheel

Characters of differing skill levels

There are many stories where the hero is trained by his more skilled colleges. I want there to be both weak and strong characters in a group and not have the players feel like it was unfair.


I'll add other things I want in a game as well as more examples as I think of them.