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James Windham

A few things you should do first when designing an online pen and paper game are to decide on what type of game it will be, how many classes there will be, what species will be available, and what character skills each class as well as race can use.

Types of pen and paper games vary between toddler oriented to teen rated games. This is where having a storyline writer comes in handy. The writer will be able to use your ideas to write a basic back story for your game, and write what is needed for the in game quests easily while keeping the information in your genre and rating level. As the game director, it will be your job to keep each of the different departments that are working on the game on the same page. If your game needs alterations at some point, it will be your responsibility to go around and make sure they have a copy of the alteration log. The writer will be in charge of keeping this log as they continue to write for the storyline and quests. A good writer will do at least four revisions of the storyline before it is finished.

It is important that you have a common class that all beginner characters start out as when they first enter the pen and paper world. Beyond the common class, you should at least have three to four classes. Many pen and paper roleplaying, war, or simulation games have a warrior, mage, priest, and ranger class. Warriors are the characters that can openly melee against monsters. Mages can use fighting spells and enchantments usually. Priests generally are more supportive players that heal other players in their group. Rangers use range weapons to hit their opponents from a distance.

Species are also important when thinking about the basics of your online pen and paper game. Some games only have humans as the specific race for the game. However, there are some pen and paper games that allow different races to be playable. The most common are humans, elves, dwarves, and giants. Elves are generally more connected with the game world while dwarves are only interested in blacksmithing and crafting items. Giants usually live high in the mountains and have a hard time getting along with other races.

Once you have decided on classes and species, you will need to think about class and species specific abilities. For example, elves often are given night vision as one of their species skills. Rangers sometimes are given the ability to tame an animal or creature companion. Mages are often able to summon spirit monsters to help them. Giants usually have more strength than the other races.

Having a writer to collaborate with will make creating your pen and paper world a lot easier. You will be able to maintain the specific genre and play rating you want to provide to your players. When you have chosen your in game classes, in game species, and in game character skills you can begin working on other mechanics of the game.

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