Homebrewing is the art of creating personalized content that allows your players to truly step into your world. This is something that appeals heavily to almost every DM, GM, and Narrator I’ve spoken to. With that in mind, let’s briefly discuss some tips on Homebrewing in a way that is safe, fair, and fun.
1. From start to finish, DETAIL: The most important thing when making something homebrew is to make it as detailed as possible. This is something coming directly from your mind, and nobody will see it and understand it the way you do unless you make it crystal clear. This is so important because you never know what questions your players will ask, or what ways they will attack your ideas. Keeping things detailed limits these variables and ensures that you are ready to answer when they slip past.
2. Balance: I know everybody wants their unique ideas to be cool and powerful, but trust me when I say that you need to keep it balanced. Otherwise, the game becomes less fair and fun for the players and you will have to struggle to balance your encounters. I’m not saying that you have to play test every aspect of it before implementing it, but you should keep a few things in mind. Try to think of every way it could interact with other things in your world, try to judge the power or difficulty levels against similar non-homebrew elements, and always be willing to adjust it should need be.
3. Make sense and give identity: If you want your homebrew to truly engage the players you need to ensure that it makes sense. If it’s a race, class, or spell, make sure it fits into the world in a way that the players can understand and agree with. If it’s a world or aspect of the world, make sure the details of its existence are fleshed out. Leave no room for debate. In addition, make sure it’s unique. If you’re going out of your way to homebrew something, don’t just make it a slightly different version of something else. Give it a real and powerful identity.
If you ensure all of these elements are present in your homebrew, it should be fun and fair for everyone. Not to mention, having lots of detailed and balanced homebrew will assist drastically with the art of bullshitting.