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The developers at Fortress Occident have published a blog post that seems to be aimed directly at RPG enthusiasts with which they explain and explore the "design ethos" of No Truce With the Furies. Once you remove the artifice and the pomp, it's a pretty straightforward look at the guidelines the developers have been using when writing the ruleset for the game.
Simple, coarse math, evocative names, asymmetry between skills, and a focus on unorthodox rules are some of the key principles the team is using while developing the title. I'm going to quote from the blog post, as it obviously goes more in depth than I can go with my paraphrases:
4) FIT ON A NAPKIN OR FIT IN THE TRASH BIN
After a while, we want you to be able to draw the entire system on a napkin from your head. That’s how elegant and self contained we want it to be. There are four stats and everything folds back into their value. We only use six sided dice. We prefer the Babylonian system of sixes to the Roman system of tens. (Six is a more comprehensible number, ten is too vague and philosophical and includes a zero). If we have a number in the rules – 4, 3 or 6 – we will reuse it as often as possible. All numbers fold back into themselves, everything is it’s own cap, never multiply, never produce long formulas.
5) SMALL NUMBERS
Congratulations, you just got +1 of something. It’s a big deal. Six is the maximum. You don’t get 28 experience, you get ONE POINT to put into a skill. That one point gives you the aforementioned +1 bonus. You don’t suffer 76 damage, you lose TWO LIVES. The smaller a number, the less you have of it, the more dramatic it will feel. We large mammals have two to three offspring. We have one home. We have two eyes. Our numerical values are large and chunky, losing one is tragic and gaining one is a triumph. Our system reflects that.
6) INNOVATE LIKE A FOOL
Innovate for innovation’s sake. This isn’t a medical procedure, it’s a rule system for a game. If we see a way to ditch experience then let’s do it. Sure, we could divide a point into 100 experience and it would let us balance the game better, but let’s not. Let’s not do levels either, carrying around points has been done less. And how about GAME OVER if you run out of money? Let’s do a clock too. A real time of day system will let us build great systems around it, imagine the great names we can give to talents for evening people! Above all – introduce hugely ambitious superstructures. A great failure is ten times better than a small success.