Since I didn’t have time to explain and set up Dungeon World, I invented a tiny dice-pool system and ran that instead! Can I write down the rules in 200 words? Not in time for the official 200 Word RPG Challenge, but that’s fine.
———– BEGIN 200 WORD RPG ———–
Write name, class, species, three personality traits, three physical traits, three items. Everything except name is a Tag that helps you accomplish tasks. Double-edged or multi-purpose Tags are more fun.
HOW TO PLAY
GM describes situations. Narrate your character’s actions. Play to your Tags. When the GM asks, make a check.
Add one coin for each of your Tags that helps with that task. Add one coin for each useful Tag on environment or NPCs. Other players may assist with their Tags, but add only one coin each. Does this Tag apply? Present your case. GM decides. Flip all coins and count Heads.
HOW TO GM
Present challenges relevant to players’ Tags.
Add one or two Tags to important NPCs and locations.
Ask for checks when players try risky things.
Heads >= Challenge, success! Extra Heads improve results.
Heads = Challenge-1, offer success at a cost.
- I could do that
- impressive for normal folks
- appropriately heroic
- hard even for heroes
- Songs will be sung!
———– END 200 WORD RPG ———–
My word processor counts 175 words. We had a lot of fun, but the players deserve most of the credit for that. At least that indicates that the system was not getting in our way. Sometimes adding up Tags took longer than I liked.
Finally, here are some sample characters:
Phil naga barbarian
flexible, fireproof, prehensile tail
stubborn, suspicious, perceptive
spear, horn, sacred charm
Tamyra half-elf rogue
bodacious, athletic, acrobatic
sneaky, greedy, charismatic
rope, dagger, cloak
Pablo human paladin
imposing, powerful, double-jointed
compassionate, fearless, quick study
crested helmet, shield, book of legends
Bonnie American gangster
wiry, iron stomach, tall
disarming, cruel, calm
trenchcoat, Tommy gun, jug of moonshine
Pablo cyborg smuggler
metal bones, sinks in water, high stamina
raconteur, puts folks at ease, determined
hidden compartment, silenced pistol, quick-change clothes
Xithben Icthyoid combat pilot
four arms, water breathing, deaf
social anxiety, good spatial awareness, thrill-seeker
environment suit, trans-atmospheric interceptor, magnetic boots