Let’s face it. Don’t we all do this. We just want that perfect that does everything that we want it to. What exactly that is different for each person. Heck, if ask ten people, you just might get fifteen answers.
I was thinking about this again the other day. I know I’ve posted about this before but it’s something pops into the old brain pan now and then. The old-school scene, or OSR, or whatever you want to call it is great for these little mental exercises. There’s so many darned retro-clones, recreations and other stuff that any GM could use for source material. Like a rule in one game but it’s not in the game you are running then add it. You want skills. You don’t want skills. Want a different way to handle character death? Don’t like a spell. Well, there’s an alternative.
The old-style games are good for this because so many of them are very similar with only some minor differences or additional rules tacked on. That’s OK. Pull all that stuff you like from here and there. And if you can’t find some thing you like then make it yourself.
But I don’t want to haul around a dozen core books. And all that stuff might confuse the players. If you’re reading this then there’s a good chance that you have gaming PDF’s and a word processor plus some other technological options. Cut paste, edit and basically make your own book. Print it. Use it. Heck, if it’s for you own use you can covert whatever rules want from any system.
With all that said, it doesn’t mean that your first idea will always be right. So don’t be afraid to go back and change something. Listen to the players. It’s OK to change or evolve your house rules.
And finally, I get this vibe in some gaming circles that there’s something that some folks need to hear. You don’t owe it to any publisher or game designer to run your game the way they wrote it or intended to write it. You bought it. You prepped for the session. You brought your friends together. It’s your group’s game. Play the way you want. If anything some of them need to shut up and let people play.