The Legend of Zelda video games have always served as great inspiration for me, and my wheels have really been turning lately. I've always wanted to be able to run adventures in Hyrule as a table-top RPG, but I always run into the same problem when I start working on it: the story is always focused on a single character. While this would be okay for one-on-one gaming, it's not really what I'm after.
Instead, I want to capture the essence of what makes the gameplay fun and interesting and apply it to Microlite-type D&D.
Puzzles, riddles, secrets: this is a huge part of what makes Zelda games fun, but obviously this aspect will be confined to adventure/dungeon/world design. I want to make this as old-school as possible. Characters won't be making any "search checks".
No levels. All growth in character power is by way of earned items. This is something I love about the games. It doesn't matter how many monsters you kill or rupees you collect, you've still got to earn the Master Sword by solving the riddles to find it.
Sandbox. The first two Zelda titles on the NES featured big, wide-open sandboxes to explore. There were hidden secrets everywhere, it seemed. Some places were much more dangerous than others, and it was easy to get in over your head.
I will basically be developing a sandbox setting and a set of Microlite-based rules to go hand-in-hand, specifically for running Hyrule-esque adventures with my kids. They are all in love with the Legend of Zelda video games, and table-top adventuring in this style with all of them should be tons of fun.
This won't mean the end of our Night Below Underdark adventures on Sunday, however! That game will continue on Sundays.