Diceless RPG systems (and clones, I suppose)
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:35 pm 
 

Hola folks---

I'd like to tap into your collective wisdom to pick your brain on _diceless_ game systems.  I've been interested in such systems for awhile, and helped to redesign our Heaven & Earth RPG game (from my first RPG company, Event Horizon Productions) in 1998 to leverage a diceless resolution system, which worked better for it's Fate-driven setting (vs. the Storyteller-like mechanics from its initial draft).  

So, I'm trying to get the big picture of what good diceless systems have been published over the years.  These are the ones that come to mind immediately:

- Lace & Steel (TAGG, 1989):  cards-based action resolution system (and character generation via Tarot!) (ASIDE:  I've long thought that the Highlander CCG resolution system would make a good fencing system for an RPG!)
- Amber Diceless (Phage Press, 1990), while I believe it's not quite the first diceless RPG, it is I think that first 100% deterministic system, and it's certainly the game that popularized diceless RPGs
---- Amber was cloned as Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Rite Publishing, 2012) and again as Lords of Olympus (Precis Intermedia, 2012), which stripped out the Amber IP and replaced it with Greek mythology)
- Theatrix (Backstage Press, 1993), perhaps most-notable for its Bill Willingham Ironwood setting book (also 1993)
- Tokyo Nova (1993); Japanese RPG
- Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth (Last Unicorn Games, 1994); it's been quite some time since I last read Aria, but I've always associated it with diceless RPGs, but I don't recall that it is in fact diceless....
- Castle Falkenstein (R Talsorian, 1994)
- Epiphany: the Legends of Hyperborea (BTRC, 1996)
- Heaven & Earth (EHP, 1999); later sold to Guardians of Order who republished it as a Tri-Stat (diced) game; then republished by Abstract Nova in 2004 (also not diceless)
- De Profundis: Letters from the Abyss (Hogshead Publishing, 2001):  starting to push the bounds of game into more of a free-form epistolary novel format (and meant to emulate the fictional narratives of HPL)
- Dread (The Impossible Dream, 2004):  horror-themed game that uses a Jenga tower for action resolution

Some other games like TORG used a combination of diced + non-diced mechanics (TORG had a Drama Decks of cards that could be used to modify the game play, dice results, etc.), and I suppose I'd be interested in those, too.

What other cool games are missing from the above list?*

Thanks! :D

Allan.

* There are a large number of diceless systems I'm not familiar with on DriveThru at DriveThruRPG.com - Diceless  - The Largest RPG Download Store! and if anyone has recommendations, I'd be happy to hear those suggestions too (if any).


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
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Last edited by grodog on Sun Feb 06, 2022 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:58 pm 
 

Other games which use cards are the Japanese Tokyo Nova (1993) and Castle Falkenstein. The Lost Worlds gamebooks could be used for diceless combat. There is a Japanese take of the same idea called Queen's Blade.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2022 9:15 pm 
 

grubbiv wrote in Diceless RPG systems (and clones, I suppose):Other games which use cards are the Japanese Tokyo Nova (1993) and Castle Falkenstein. The Lost Worlds gamebooks could be used for diceless combat. There is a Japanese take of the same idea called Queen's Blade.


I added CF, which I'd completely spaced, as well as Epiphany (my purchase of that from Matthew Teets is what inspired me to start the thread in the first place!).  

I hadn't considered non-English-language games, so I'll add Tokyo Nova too.  

Thanks!  

Allan.


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
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https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:34 am 
 

Hi Allan, there is also this one which is interesting enough to be mentioned:

Diceless Dungeons - Olde House Rules


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2022 10:05 pm 
 

Chalice by Monkey Paw Games uses a Tarot deck to create characters and drive the narrative.


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James D. Hargrove

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2022 10:10 pm 
 

Also, Aria uses ten-sided dice.


Sincerely,
James D. Hargrove

  
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