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Abstr

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A member registered Dec 15, 2016 · View creator page →

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I'd like to share some insights I extracted from this inspiring source book.
The full review is available here, and that's the list of topics I dive into:

  • What's so appealing about that diagram-style layout.
  • Key differences between Checks and Saves.
  • Panic Check as good illustration on how to leverage "Anchored Tables".
  • Bottom-up approach to world-building.
  • Additional notes on Initiative, specific entries of random tables.

"Photography is one of my favorite hobbies because it changes your perspective on things. You take a moment to register beauty in detail you wouldn’t notice otherwise. It makes it a great starting point for stories, too. You could imagine the life of anyone in the street and extrapolate narrative from them.

The game proposes several directions, here’s another one that came to mind: what if your picture reveals the clues that would elucidate an upcoming murder?"

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"Great procedure to write and play gamebooks-style narrative on the go. Since you participate to several stories in parallel, there is no downtime, and a good chance that connections start emerging to generate a larger picture. I have to say that the visual could have a bit more attention, but it is very functional.

You could easily add more players, with various rules framing the swapping of stories. What if you have several characters and, depending on which one the choices focus on, you hand it to a specific player? You could also add randomness into the mix with multiple outcomes per choice. A last idea that comes to mind is to apply it to lore instead of a narrative arc, defining the background collaboratively before playing in it."


I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"Duel game in a suggested epic context. Although, it would work in many other contexts. What about a rhetoric contest between two politicians, or a mind game between a cop and a killer? I love the “silence is judge,” suggesting that the pacing is defining who’s winning. Can’t find a compelling counter? Maybe it’s time to conclude."

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"Fun concept with a style that meets the theme. It could see the story go both ways: wholesome or unsettling. I like that a twist is built in the structure (“the end”). It’s probably a niche game, but my partner happens to have stickers… Like a lot of them!

I saw other games leveraging surroundings as a main component of the system, but I think it is the one where I got the impact of it. Do you have concert or brand stickers, or a bunch of cute Christmas themed ones? A compilation of actual play might look pretty cool... and very eclectic. "

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"I’m clearly not getting the reference... Yet, the concept of writing secret actions in advance sounds like a great core mechanic for an RPG. I could see a one scene game where after a quick introduction, everyone writes some actions, and we resolve them in turn. Making a playable “cadavre exquis” in a way."

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"Jam is always a fertile ground for innovation, but there are many aspects to RPG and some get more attention than others. Most are focusing on systems, some on setting and tools, although, that’s one of the very few that emphasis formats. I will say that I have a hard time wrapping my head around the games themselves, but the exploration of the forms and styles is very inspiring.

Personally, I tried to figure out a formula for the Jam, a template I could reuse. This entry is more like a burst of creativity going in many directions at once, and in a way it’s probably more in the spirit of a Jam. If I have to pick a favorite, it would be the bookmark. I’m sure there is a potential to make a quick game that uses the spread you are at, renewing the context every time you progress in your reading."

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"My favorite of the entries with a very literal approach to the exercise. It sticks to the 12 words constraint to provide a great synthesis of the common tools we use in RPGs:

  • The dice roll
  • Random tables
  • Blank text to be completed"

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"The author proposes several systemless small settings, which is interesting because 12 words is probably not enough to do both. Most of mine start with “introduction” or “context” left for the player to define. Here, you would have to do the opposite: you get the hints on the situation, then have to figure out or combine a system to play with it.

It’s a thought experiment at this point, I’m not sure how usable it would be at a table. At the very least, this game is combinable and got me thinking that in addition to my series of small rulesets, a series of nano-settings would go a long way. The formatting could be improved, however, playing with bullet list instead of commas and colons, for example."

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"Abstract vignettes, each focused on a different sense. Meditative in a way, isolating body functions have always appeased me. It’s also intriguing how you can bring memories linked to specific sense without actually using it. Let it grow and spread until you have a complete scene in mind. Reading “music” and seeing this tape went all the way through my brain to form an old radio tune playing in a 60s living room."
I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"12 words for a not longer than 12 seconds procedure that gives you a map. The most important is probably that the tool is fun to use, but it is also heavily combinable. You could plug random tables on each die and tweak the context for different settings.

Another idea is to zoom in (the shape representing a biome or a city), and zoom out (each die becoming a planet instead). Last but not least, I like the presentation, minimalist, clean and functional: the die in perspective gives its perspective to the map."

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"I like the concept of linking the game to a physical action, but would have pushed it further. The balance is probably off right now, since you would be rolling a die every 5 seconds along the way and resting a lot. Just multiply the roll by 200 meters, and suddenly there are stakes on each of them.

I can see a whole range of variation emerging by proposing a “direction” (literary and/or figuratively). Instead of resting, you might be :

  1. Tracking something through the forest.
  2. Exploring unknown territories
  3. Running away from your fears…"

I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

"My favorite has to be numbered 4: In Your Bones. I can picture a puny old hermit sitting cross-legged. He’s sliding erratically is finger from one apparent bone of his to another… His eyes were twitching but suddenly stopped. He lost the count… You just have 7 years to go…"
I wrote this review in my selection of 12-word RPG where your game is featured by the way.

Hi everyone,

I know this Jam is not a contest but I still made a small (unordered) selection of entries that especially catch my attention: https://abstr.substack.com/p/delve-12-word-rpg-jam-reviews

Even though I couldn't parse through all of them, there is still a lot more I could have put to that list. 12 word is apparently enough for a very wide range of ideas. Maybe I'll do another round later. By the way, thanks W.H. Arthur for organizing it!

Hi everyone,
I just released 4 card size games for the 12 word RPG Jam (also on itch). You can go to my Substack to get the designer notes at the same time. Otherwise, each entry has its own page:

Here's a taste of it, "Nuance, The truth lies somewhere in between."


I'm really excited about this Jam concept and wrote a small post about it: https://abstr.substack.com/i/100521089/jam-words-rpg

Soon I'll submit my first entries, looking forward to see yours!

I made a short review of the game on my substack: https://abstr.substack.com/i/100521089/rpg-delve
To summarize:
( + ) The systems successfully drive a specific narrative without being too hands-on.

( - ) It's hard to be emotionally invested without a central figure. (I let you judge if that might apply to you.)

I just wrote a breakdown of the different sections of this game (and tried to extrapolate broader design patterns). You can check out the article on my substack.

Hi everyone,

First, the game : https://bstrct.itch.io/about-time

It plays directly on the browser, it's free and only 5-10 minutes long, so why don't you give it a shot ;)

Now here comes the pitch : "This game is just a slice of life between two characters who may or may not fall in love, depending on subtle shifts in time."

What I would myself love in return is a bit of feedback to improve. A comment with a thing you liked and another you disliked would be perfect !

-Bstr-ct