It’s been quite some time since I posted an update on the Myers-Briggs RPG. Mostly because I actually have not been working on it. I took that big ole hiatus in March (March? Really? That seems like a world away), and during that time I did pretty much nothing Myers-Briggs related. Since I’ve come back, my energy has been focused on projects like the Fire Emblem Fates Guides, the indie game reviews, the Mario Party and Zero Escape crossover fanfiction…it’s been a pretty extended break from tabletop creation. In that time, I have decided to reboot the project. Pretty much anything I have ever posted about this tabletop is going to be thrown out the window in favor of some new ideas. This post is to talk about that decision, and to introduce you to the new concept driving the finally-named RPG (more on that in a bit).
So why trash all my previous work? Well to start with, pretty much everything I had before was conceptual. Almost nothing was on paper, so it’s not like I am really losing anything. My main reason, though, is this: I wasn’t really creating my own RPG. I guess I should explain what I mean by that. When I started this whole thing, I was in the throes of Dungeon World fever. I mean, if you’ve read a Tabletop Tuesday post from me lately, you know I love that RPG. It’s a ton of fun and I think it does a lot of things right. But just because it’s currently my favorite RPG does not mean that it is the only viable way to make a game. I felt so attached to the idea of making a narrative-driven, rules-light experience that I wasn’t really incorporating any of my own ideas. I would think of something and be like “eh, this doesn’t really fit a rules-light approach,” or “this doesn’t fit a narrativist game.” I was so fixated on my newly-discovered favorite RPG that I couldn’t even detach from it long enough to have an original thought in my head.
Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with narrativist tabletops, low crunch mechanics, or Dungeon World. I love all of those things. However, I have now reached a point where I have a healthier understanding of what ideas I’m drawn to because I am legitimately drawn to them versus what I think would make a game that’s just like Dungeon World without literally being the same. I want this Myers-Briggs inspired game to be its own thing, not a remake of something else or a supplement guide you use in tandem with another game. I want to legitimately create my own tabletop experience, an experience that all the people craving a Myers-Briggs game might enjoy.
Is it going to be perfect the first time? Not even sort of. Probably not the second or third time either. But I’m going to keep working until it gets there, and when it finally does, what we should have is something unique for everyone to enjoy.
With that in mind, let’s talk about my basic concept for the game. The title I’ve settled on is Sixteen. The obvious reason for this is because there are sixteen different types established by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In addition to that, I am working the number sixteen thematically into the game in a number of different ways.
Way #1: The Setting
Sixteen is going to be set in a land with four major countries: Myerreach, Briggsea, Junglund, and Keirskies. Each country will then be divided into four states or regions. That makes sixteen total regions for characters to explore and adventure in. While the four states within one country will be thematically similar, they’ll still have key differences that make them unique to explore.
Way #2: Character Age
So the idea behind Sixteen is that in this world, age sixteen is considered the beginning of adulthood. The characters will have just graduated from their schooling and will now be expected to contribute to society. They’ll take on jobs and band together to go on quests, performing services for folks who otherwise cannot help themselves. These quests will range from monster fighting to message delivering to material acquiring, and many more.
Way #3: Jobs
As you may know, the theory of personality that inspired this RPG addresses sixteen possible personality types. These types will make up the job system that drives this game. Each character will have one job, but no job is simple – each one is made up of four potential roles that the character is capable of filling. Having a variety of jobs on your team means being able to fill any role that is needed, and having multiple people in one role when necessary. The roles filled by each job will be named after the traits in Myers-Briggs theory, but they won’t be literal interpretations. For example, an “Extrovert” will be someone who specializes in combat, while an “Introvert” would specialize in stealth.
Way #4: The Core Mechanic
Now this part is the rockiest one right now, and the one most likely to change. But what I would like to do is build the core mechanic of the game around the number sixteen. 16 would be the only difficulty class you ever have to roll for, but the tricky part is that you would have to land right on it. Unlike other RPGs, rolling above the difficulty check is just as bad as rolling under. To help with this, Ability Scores in this game will be referred to as a character’s “control” of the stat, because they can adjust the number rolled on the dice in either direction to get them closer to 16. I’d also like sixteen to be the highest level in the game, and perhaps the amount of experience needed to level up, but again, this is the most likely part of the game to change.
I’ve still got a LOT of work to do. Working out the core mechanics, designing the world in more detail, developing the abilities of each role and, by extension, each job – it’s going to be pretty extensive, but that’s part of what I want for this game. I don’t want Sixteen to be a one-and-done project (a trap that many narrativist games fall in to). Rather, I want in the future to be able to add supplements and expansions, adding not only to the world but also to the options available to the players and the GM to make the game even more entertaining.
I hope, adventurers, that you’re excited to see this project coming back, and that you enjoy the new direction. I’ll be sure to keep you updated about what’s going on with Sixteen, as it is still my goal to have a solid first draft of the game ready to go by year’s end.