Thought Process

I had originally posted this on an old blog, but I'm moving it here:

Well, I made another game jam RPG. The theme of this jam was to make a game or resource that fit on a bookmark. At first it just seemed like a more extreme version of the last game jam I participated in, and was going to skip it, but then I had to idea to make the book integral to the game and justify the fact that it was on a bookmark.

I remember reading about people playing D&D in prison, and one of the challenges they faced was rolling dice. Dice were prohibited because they could be used for gambling, and a lot of the clever workarounds the inmates came up with got banned for the same reason. That’s something that has been floating around the back of my head, what kind of solution would I come up with? When I was reading the rules for this game jam, it clicked: books!

Instead of rolling dice, you flip to a random page and count how many letters are in the first word. The same idea is used to “roll” random words in order to name spells or come up with the themes of enemies.

Tome suffers from the same shortcoming that almost all other one-page RPGs and a lot of the OSR do: it’s light on structure and tools for the GM. I dedicated the back page to GM advice, but there’s only so much room. Unfortunately like most other tiny games, it relies on the players or at least the GM having plenty of experience with RPGs.

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