[NAME / 9P] Shorten my game's core rules?

edited March 2014 in Game Design Help
A current discussion about short rules prompts me to ask how folks would trim the core rules to my rpg.

I certainly want to design a game as lean as practical. Yet I have found issues such as "friendly to people new to RPGs" and "include many examples of play" make my core rules 23 pages (as I scale Firefox before printing), about twice as long as my original draft.

Perhaps the folks here are wise enough to point out fat and waste?


  • I think the consensus of that discussion was: leave the rules long, but put an overview up front.
  • edited March 2014
    Having just finished reading the new comments in that discussion, I agree, although I am not sure "consensus" is quite the right word.

    That being said, what do I need to put in my game's one-page summary?

    As the designer I surely have a terrible perspective for which rules are intuitive and easy to remember versus which rules need a brief reminder.

    For NAME this may be an especially tricky task because the game is designed so that there is one GM and one Player, and the Player need not know any rules! The one-page summary can be exclusively a GM cheat sheet. So now both perspective on what to include is skewed both as game designer and by my personal style of GM-ing.
  • edited June 2012
    I'll consensitize and heartily agree with the overview idea. :-)
  • edited June 2012
    Make a separate starter booklet that's only a page or two long. Make it the challenge to fit as much of the fully explained rules into those pages as you can but that's all you get. Then have a few simplified character sheets (edit: with example characters) taking up three or four more pages. Then point them to the main book for more.

    I suppose you could put a page of story at the beginning.
  • edited March 2014
    Okay, I put together a one-page summary at the end of the core rules.

    This was actually a helpful exercise to review those core rules and better organize them. I wound up altering the headings and subheadings some, and in one case moved a small subsection slightly.

    Thanks for the help. Additional feedback would of course still be appreciated.
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