This jam is now over. It ran from 2023-01-15 00:00:00 to 2023-03-15 23:59:59. View 168 entries

An analogue game jam in 12 words

This game jam is for 12-words RPGs, open to game designers of all experience level. The goal of this game jam is to get people to create RPGs (12 words should be easy, right?), and to experiment with rules-lite mechanics, seeing what can be produced when RPG ideas are stripped down to their bare minimum.

Why 12-words?

Riverhouse Game's one word RPG We Are But Worms has inspired many nano-RPGs* in the community. While most of the nano-RPGs are solo games with a single instruction, a 2-word RPG can be a two-step gameplay loop or a duet game. An RPG with x-words can have up to x-number instructions/steps, split between different roles. 12 is a superior highly composite number divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Thus, a 12-word RPG can potentially offer 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 sets of instructions of equal word count. This is just one of the approaches to design a game around 12-words, so feel free to approach it in other ways as well!

*I am using the term "nano-RPGs" for games that are only a couple of words or less, as I have seen the "micro-RPG" label applied to games from ~200 words to under 4-pages (some even longer but they are the exceptions).


  1. Write an analogue role-playing game (such as TTRPG or LARP) in 12 words.
    1. Analogue games are games with human facing instructions, contrasting video games with code executed by a computer.
    2. The rules/mechanics need to be in 12 words, but the game may have a separate title and introduction.
    3. It should be a standalone game, without the need for other game texts.
  2. The game has to be made within the jam period.
    1. It's fine if you have the idea before 15/1/23. Just make sure your project is created within the jam period.
  3. Multiple entries are allowed.
  4. It is recommended to mention RPG safety tools in the game description.
  5. No AI or crypto-art! Entries containing them will be removed.
  6. No hate speech or bigotry!
  7. We reserve the right to remove any submissions that are against the spirit of the jam.


I want people to be creative with the 12-word rule (but not ignore it). I wrote the FAQ mostly to inspire rather than to place restrictions.

  • Are graphic elements and symbols allowed?
    • It is in fact encouraged to use graphic elements to enhance your game! Punctuations and simple mathematic symbols are allowed and they don't add to your word count. However, if a symbol is used in place of a word, it counts as a word. When used in a list, bullet points are exempted from the word count.
  • What about numbers/numerals and dice notations (1d6, 2d20, etc.)?
    • Each individual number/numeral counts as a single word when used on their own. A dice notation counts as a single word rather than three. Both bullets in bullet points and numbers in a numbered list are exempt from the word count, with the former preferred over the latter to reduce confusion in word counting.
  • Are emojis allowed?
    • They are frowned upon.


Here are some optional themes for the jam. A point is awarded for each of the themes incorporated into the game. Any participant with a submission to the game jam is considered a winner, and they are awarded a bronze star for 1 point, silver star for 2 points, and gold star for 3 points. (There will be no physical awards given out by the jam organisers.)

Theme #1: Folklore (from one's own culture)

Incorporate elements of folklore/myths/urban legends from your culture. This is #FolkloreJam2023 in disguise.

Theme #2: Cartography

Make a map drawing game!

Theme #3: Forbidden

A forbidden place that people are not allowed to visit, forbidden knowledge of unspeakable horror, forbidden relationship between star-crossed lovers, or something else?

Examples of Nano-RPGs (For Inspirations)

1-letter RPGs:

1-word RPGs:

2-word RPGs:

3-word RPGs:

4-word RPGs:

8-word RPGs:

10-word RPGs:

  • game poems by Anna Anthropy (collection of games with the shortest being 10 words)

13-word RPGs:

Near Nano-RPGs:

Micro-RPG examples: