This site contains information about the Starguild Role-Playing Game which I’ve been developing for… well, more years than I would like to count. Right now I’m moving towards a planned publication though, so I want to use this site to give me a central place to make announcements, post art in progress and muse about changes I’ve made in the system over time.
When did it start?
Back in the 1980’s my friends and I really enjoyed playing 2nd edition Runequest, and after a while we were discussing that it would be a great system to use for a space-themed RPG. That was the genesis of my first real foray into RPG design (although arguably a lot of it was campaign design at that time). We played and enjoyed it a lot, and someone suggested that I ought to think about publishing it – a much more serious consideration back in those days. Desk Top Publishing was in its infancy, digital printing wasn’t really around at all, nor was there licensing of game systems.
My first online publication
The latter was the first of the issues I wanted to address. It didn’t seem likely that I could just produce a game using the intellectual property of Chaosium, so I came up with a new basic mechanic, using d20 (twenty sided dice) rather than percentage dice, and a simplified combat system. I made this available online on my first ever website, and you can still find a 2001 version of it via the wayback machine. As you can see on archive.org it was designed for the days of 800 pixel wide screens!
Moving to the OGL
Then the third edition of D&D happened, and along with it the OGL, the Open Gaming License. This spawned a renaissance of game development, and new companies sprung up in its wake in an explosion of creativity. It seemed to me that this was an opportunity to legally move to a well known and broadly played system, which might help overcome the traditional barrier (in those days) that stopped people trying unfamiliar game systems. There were many iterations of the game system, incorporating some elements from d20 modern, before finally settling on a key mechanism which had been published by Green Ronin for their ‘Mutants and Masterminds’ RPG, and later used in their True20 system. This was the ‘damage save’ instead of ablative hit points. I wanted to take things further though. I wanted to be able to have social conflict handled by similar rules to conflict with weapons. I also wanted to keep my goal of having a combat system that would scale smoothly from personal combat to vehicle combat and up to starship combat. But I’ll put more about that in a separate post.