My experiences in tabletop role-playing some ideas i had


Some years ago, when I played a lot of heavy boards games, I attempted to design two games up to a playtesting stage. I also wrote down this as the type of rpg that I wanted to play

sci-fi in space one where one player is the hero and the other players the evil world power trying to kill the hero.

Have you ever wanted to be the strongest hero in the galaxy?

Have you ever wanted to be the evil world power trying to kill the hero?

In Kill The Big Fucking Gun you can do both

Set up-

• Every player starts with a set amount of action points

• Pick a problem the hero is trying to solve (save the city, escape the planet, kill the monster)

• a starting point and win condition


• The starting world player interacts directly with the hero for free trying to kill him with certain limits and conditions

• The world player can spend action points to take away some of these limits and conditions

• The hero player describes how he would counter these situations for free unless he wants to use a weapon

• The big fucking gun is his only weapon it can destroys anything and will damage the surrounding environment

• If the hero player wants to use the BFG he must pass a test which is modified by the hero player’s current action points

• If he passes the test he can use the BFG

• If the Hero uses the BFG he must roll on a chart where something bad will happen

• If the Hero doesn’t pass the test the player on his right must place the hero in an even worse situation

• After a counter from either Hero or world player any other non-active player can spend action points to?

After an encounter is resolved where the hero is still alive

• Non active players rate the world players actions giving him more action points

• the current world player and hero switch roles

As the hero I want to

• Meet the winning condition

• use the BFG sparingly

• Keep actions points

As the world player I want to

• kill the hero by sending enemies

Design elements?

Recently, about a month ago I come back to this idea and brainstormed this  

      A Conjurer of dark things for a warlord, was told under punishment of death ,to create a being of power and strength. After months of failure, the perfect monstrous being was produce. In his arrogancy the Conjurer considered it an Error ,and threw the being away with the rest of his discarded creations. Discarded no more, as they in turn awaken the Error and point it in the conjurer direction.


     What is the game about? A monster is attempting to kill a magic user that created it. To kill the magic user the monster must encounter player made npc’s. What game play shows that? Combat. You can role play an evolving monster driven by rage attempting to kill a magic user who can summon monsters by gathering resources

Core resolution system? exploding dice, press your luck go again mechanic, tug of war, d12,d6, d8, d4…

Stats? Memory, power, personality, weapons, madness, fear


 The Conjurer’s Error

  • is a referee-less, three player, storytelling, rpg, with boardgame elements, in a dark and hopeless world
  •  One player will simulate the actions of a monster like character attempting on getting revenge from his creator
  • One player will simulate the actions of a conjurer of monsters with two minions at his command, they are trying to prevent the death of the conjurer
  • One player will simulate the actions of a living world of darkness trying to kill both players by using the actions of npcs and a moving environment  
  • Then players will alternate between characters each taking the role of the player on their right
  • The goal of the conjurer and monster player is to eliminate their opponent on their turn
  • The goal of world player is to extend the game, if at the end of the 50th action both players are living, then the world player wins.

Each stat has a dice each to it Memory is a D8 Power is a D10 Madness threshold is a D6 Fear threshold is a D4

World player rolls for actions of locations NPCs

With each success the current player must burn off the total sum of success rolled?

Memory relates to mental activities that require force of will, or intellect

Powerrelates to physical activities that require strength,

 or endurance

Madness threshold- is how much your environment is causing you to go crazy 

Fear threshold- is how

Personality “I am an (adjective) (noun) who (verb)”   

your adjective is

your descriptor.

A noun to describe your character type.

A verb to describe your goals


The Error


the Error for an action can attack, move, communicate, eat a sacrifice, destroy things




  • Direct Attack



  • Indirect Attack





  • normal movement
  • slow movement
  • fast movement






Allows the current players pc to searches it surroundings and if anything is in its surrounding that aligns with the pc’s current temperament the pc can engage with the NPC



Eat a sacrifice




Destroy Things



                        Gameplay Elements


  1. The Error player must first state where they are in the game space in relation  to all player controlled game space players. ( iam in the shadows behind a hut and while one of your character is in a town two days over and another one of your characters is in a building two streets away waiting for me  
  2.  Next the error player states a Scene.  
  3. The world player Seeds the Location with player premade npc’s that were created on session 0 together with major locations and items.
  4. The Error player then Selects actions they wish to preform
  5. All logical non conflict actions succeed
  6. Actions that defi logic require a die roll for how much they succeed based off a difficulty?    
  7. The world player then plays out the Unseen Consequences for every success of the pc’s actions
  8. Time moves which causes unseen consequences at every named location based on the world players number of successes
  9. All players pass their character sheet to the player on their right they are now that role.



Scene a sequence of continuous action and or dialogue, in a single location, that moves the story forward



  1. The current player will choose a type of scene they want to create . each scene has a different length of time attached to it. (drama, action, suspense, horror…)
  2. The current World player will Seeds the Location with premade npcs based off the location of the scene and other factors
  3. The current player must tell the table what the pc’s is
  • Why are they there
  •  Current Emotion
  • Current goal
  •  Long term goal
  •  Any dialogue spoken
  •  The actions the pc will take


the selection of actions will be based off the pc’s character, chosen temperament, and current intensity. All logical non conflict actions succeed


  1. Based off the pc’s goals compared to his action the World player will roll on a table that shows the consequences of the pc’s actions 
  2. Time changes along with a scene transition to a new surrounding




         The Player of the World


  • The world player must inspire and facilitate then disrupt

1.     each npc in the scene is controlled by the world player

2.     the actions available for the world player is based off the intensity level of the monster





The Conjurer






  • The conjurer has minions that he creates in his factory and he send them after the monster to delay or kill it
  • The minions can gather resources from the environment and bring them back the Conjurer
  • The Conjurer can travel to a location to gather resources
  • Resources are used to make monsters and minions to counter the monster that’s coming account


  1. the summoner must gather resources with his minions to try to create another monster that can counter the hero monster




The Hex Map

  • There are five major locations in the Summoner’s Error
  • Players roll on thematic tables to create the five locations
  • Every location has a major resource and a minor one
  •  every non-town location has three groups of roaming enemies
  • resource build up over time
  • a living history system is in place where resources from the location return
  • events are predetermined on a card for every location

 I will explore these ideas farther as I play more.

5 responses to “My experiences in tabletop role-playing some ideas i had”

  1. thoughts on actions

    Conjurer or Error vs

    World Player


    These are the only available that are to be attempted during a scene.

    After picking an action the Conjurer or Error must tell the table how they will accomplish the action

    The World player will tell the Conjurer or Error player when to roll dice

    Once the world player hears the conclusion of the Conjurer or Error player, dice are rolled as unforeseen consequences to their actions.

    The results will vary between three degrees of success in some way.

    Based off the results of the dice rolled, the world player and Conjurer or Error player will go back and forth roleplaying the results.


    Spawn an offspring.

    Gain an apprentice.

    Gain a laborer.

    Start the beginning stages of a series of complex actions that gain resources. 

    Complete a before started series of complex actions that gain resources.

    Attack a living being with intent to kill.

    Attempt to heal a living being.

    Destroy a non-living thing.

    Build a non-living thing.

    Make a living being like you.

    Make a living being dislike you.

    Express your emotions through body language.

    Grab hold of something

    Attempt a search for something wanted.

    Throw something held.

    Snatch something in arms distance not in your possession to hold.

    Communicate an idea to something.

    Allow a living being to influence you to like a thing.

    Allow a living being to influence you to dislike a thing.

    Tell a falsehood to a living thing.

     Show a living thing you believe them.

    Show a living thing you fear them

  2. A lot to do and learn from this point

    Hi Rasheed! Here's a video you might like: Thoughts on board and card games. I posted it to my Patreon a little over a year ago, and it hasn't been publicly visible (this link goes to its Unlisted status).

    You'll see in it that I don't think rules for games like these can be role-playing rules in any direct way, but rather that their rules can be usefully understood toward their own games' purposes, in ways that a role-playing game's rules should be toward its purpose.

    So here, we're looking at designs which arise pretty much from boardgame experiences and which you also say intrigue or interest you as role-playing design too. So … the question is whether you are …

    • talking about the fiction or visuals exciting you, making you "want to play that" in those imaginative terms, with some as-yet-undetermined rules that would be good for it
    • talking about functions and results of specific rules ideas which help/operate toward a certain purpose you'd like to do in role-playing this material)

    I get that it may be "both," but it might not be and it is worthwhile to consider carefully. But whatever it is, A, B, or both, let me know.

  3. I am willing and able

    Hello Ron, I am inspired by the question, thanks. I had an idea of playing a character with this massive weapon that affects the environment in a GM less roleplaying game.  So, I would say everything starts from question A, as there is a certain visual fiction I’m going for, with no play tested rules. As I came back to the design in recent times, I decided to break the game down in “components”.  I wanted to playtest GM less roleplaying, which brought me to try to design the conjurer’s Error. In this idea I would say the focus is more in line with question B, but not with a particular result in mind other than GM less roleplaying.  I'm just trying to brainstorm ideas up to a play testing stage. Yesterday I felt driven to create some actions and I just posted the result.  

  4. Hi Rasheed! This is a good

    Hi Rasheed! This is a good opportunity. Here's what I have in mind.

    1. Adding fiction to a strategy game has been around for a long time … but whether that makes a role-playing game has been a big disappointment. Strategy works great as a subroutine or feature of a role-playing game, and even competitive/contestive goals (think of sports) fit well too … so one might think that simply putting a "story" onto, say, chess, would do the job. But it doesn't.
    2. Building a story through the steps of what's called cooperative strategy games has also been a real aim, which has seen a lot of investigation from the role-playing end. I thought I posted a while back about this after playing many of these games during one of my visits to Italy (e.g., Fog of Love), but I couldn't find it. Anyway, a similar problem shows up that is so much the same, every time that I have to conclude it's conclusive, that the more the story is guaranteed to happen, and it doesn't matter how, just that it does, the less it's created and becomes merely constructed.

    It's a pessimistic conclusion: that the beautiful pictures and the attention to the source material's details in a game like John Carter, Warlord of Mars, are always going to be "skin" for the game. And in this case, the game doesn't care what its skin is, and if you, the player, were to care insofar as how you played, then you'd be playing badly and no fun for you or your opponent.

    Calling it "storytelling" doesn't make any difference to that, and even putting in some kind of fictional ending-state, e.g., the eventual fate of the couple in Fog of Love, doesn't either.

    That doesn't mean what you're doing is hopeless, but I think you'd benefit from shifting the perspective around. Where is the agency of the real people located, in your designs, and toward what end? I define "agency" loosely, but basically, it's the difference made by the fact that you are playing rather than anyone else who could be sitting in that spot with those exact same cards or whatever. In a game like chess or any board game or wargame, we know what that agency is for; it's super clear and that's why any cool box cover is only and ever "skin." But what is that agency for, and what does it look like, when you consider what you'd like to get out of role-playing?

    • Constructed agency?…

      Constructed agency? …

      Hello Ron! Hope all is well. Yeah after looking up john carter I can see where you're coming from. Not a role playing game. Will set it down for now and play more. 

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