I’m working on a design with a friend—my first game design ever—and I wanted to run it by the community and get some impressions. For the purposes of this post, it’s a traditional fantasy RPG with a Blades-esque dice pool and a Trophy-esque skill system (occupation & rituals), with an emphasis on language kind of like TechNoir (verbs/adjectives). Put simply, it’s a game designed around different kinds of tags: skill tags (investigate, sneak), arcane tags (fracture, hivemind), gear/weapon tags (loud, reload), stress tags (fracture, paranoid), etc. There are no weapon/armor bonuses or anything; the world and the interactions are narrowed only through the tags themselves. You get 1 die and add to the pool for skill/arcane tag, leaning into a drive, or helping another (4 dice max).
Players and the GM are asked to play with these tags, use the flexibility of language to promote creativity, and advance or narrow their terms as they grow. I provide a short list of some interesting tags, but there is no definitive list to pull from. Just the dictionary (from Oxford to Urban). It’s intentionally stripped down, as it was originally designed for (and playtested with) English undergraduates hopping in and out of a weekly game with little to no experience in RPGs.
I’m not even sure what questions to ask, since I’ve never done this before. I know it functions, but I don’t know if it promotes creativity as much as I want it to. How do you encourage wordplay mechanically? And is wordplay a stable enough mechanic to run a game (in your mind)? Given this description, what questions would you have/need addressed before playing/GMing? What am I missing?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks