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Some thoughts on pros and cons of an original system design in the TTRPG space:


  • Bespoke, so it can potentially more closely accomplish exactly what your aim is.
  • Perhaps the only way to accomplish something people don't normally attempt.
  • Don't have to master some other system before creating for it.
  • May involve aspects of creativity and design that you find personally appealing.  
  • Don't have to read/understand SRD licences.
  • To the extent that it's perceived  as being holistically "more creative" it maybe boosts  your interactions with curators of indie game fests, or contest judges.
  • Slightly more likely to appeal to your peers in the indie creator community?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


  • Creating something new out the whole cloth is hard.
  • Creating something new at a high quality with depth of complexity is very hard.  
  • Holding complexity of the end product constant, you'll still  really need to add lots more playtesting. 
  • More effort for writing and editing. 
  • No built in audience who already love the system but want more stuff to do.
  • A fair number of people who attempt  this seem to have played very few games, and seem constrained by the paradigms of ones they have--risk of doing the extra work without achieving the benefits of bespoke originality.

One really good point here is the licensing bit. Writing my own stuff lets me throw CC-BY or CC0 on everything and never worry about folks making compatible stuff ever again. Even though very rarely does something bad happen with licensing it's still a bit nerve wracking for folks!