TTRPG Design Lenses
A downloadable deck of design lenses
Here's a tool for designing and playtesting ttrpgs or other physical games. I made this to help myself update my old work, and hopefully it will help others. As far as I know, there aren't any decks made specifically for TTRPGs available elsewhere. I tried to make it applicable to card games and boardgames the best I could, but you may have to ignore a few points that don't apply.
If you're unfamiliar with design lenses, they are cards that help you to focus on an important topic across all aspects of the game without getting distracted by other things that need to be done. Each card contains a list of items to contemplate, most often phrased as questions to get you thinking. The goal is not to answer each question so much as it is to use them as a starting point to consider what might need to change. Game design is a massive domain, and each item on a card is approximately a whole twitter thread's worth of theory, so feel free to research a topic if you feel you could learn more about it.
There's no particular order you need to use them in, and my recommendation would be to take a break of at least an hour after using each card. If you're not working to a tight deadline, it can be easier to just pick a single card for the day and apply it to however many projects you're comfortable working on in a day.
Please address any accessibility requests to my twitter.
Pricing note: This design tool is not paywalled, but I ask $20 for it.
The "Crowdfunding" card is based largely on Riley Rethal's PUNCHGO! and Trinity Knot Studio's TKS Pre-Crowdfunding Checklist, which are both great resources from Ken Davidson's TTRPG Resource Jam.
This is a submission to TTRPG Resource Jam and Itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality.
Feel free to give me a shout if you found these useful. I'd love to hear from you.
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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