Many people think of tabletop roleplaying games as requiring books and books of rules. However in recent years, there has been interest in rules-light systems. The limit case of this is the Micro-RPG or One-Page RPG.
A Micro-RPG can cover its rules in four-pages or less and is designed when players want a quick-and-easy game or if there are not enough players to continue their main RPG campaign story.
If you want to break into role playing don’t shy away from Dungeons and Dragons or StarFinder because of the book size – the Game Master will likely be able to give you a pre-generated character that will briefly summarize what you need to start. But if you are looking for something quick and easy, or if you are a veteran who wants to try something new, here are some short micro RPGs:
- Roll For Shoes – The most famous micro-RPG has only seven rules. You start with one skill: Do anything 1. As the story unfolds your character finds new skills. (full rules below)
- Honey Heist – You have two stats: Criminal and Bear. Ready for some Mission Impossible style heists as a fricken bear?!? You are in luck.
- Cthulhu Dark – The core rules of C’thulhu Dark are just two pages and available for free, although a longer book is available. This system allows you to risk sanity to succeed at tasks as you confront the Lovecraft Mythos.
- All Outta Bubblegum – You came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum and . . .
- 200 Word RPG Challenge – A yearly contest to make an RPG in 200 words or less
I have recently tried my hand at writing short RPGs, that I might try and expand into a longer system. One, Tantalizing Tales with Tarot, uses tarot cards to represent the past memories of the characters. The other, That Which Hunts Them involves players being chased by an unstoppable monster. Each action they take risks them loosing energy and exposing their position.
Hope some of these spark your imagination.
The minisystem goes like this:
- Say what you do and roll a number of d6s.
- If the sum of your roll is higher than the opposing roll (either another player or the DM), the thing you wanted to happen, happens.
- The number of the d6s you roll is determined by the level of skill you have.
- At start, you have only one skill: Do anything 1.
- If you roll all sixes on your roll, you can get new skill one level higher than the one you used for the action. The skill must be a subset of what happened to you in the action (Say, Athletics 2 if you were climbing a wall, or Teeth of Biting 2 if you were eating a cake).
- For every roll you fail, you get 1 XP.
- XP can be used to change a die into a 6 for advancement purposes but not for success purposes.