About Simply Roleplaying

Simply Roleplaying started in 2013 at a friend's birthday party in college when somebody suggested I run a one-shot session. There were six players, ranging from people who had lots of experience with TTRPGs to people who had only ever heard of roleplaying. At the time I was running two weekly campaigns and I was eager to play-- there was just one problem. I didn't have any of the books for the system I had been running. All I had was a single set of polyhedral dice.

So I winged it.

I used the d12, d10, d8, d6, and d4 as the way to distribute character strengths and weaknesses, decided on five categories (Agility, Brawn, Mental, Charisma, and Luck), and had each player distribute the five dice between them. For character creation, I gave them a quick writing prompt of "You're in prison, about to be executed. What are you accused of?" to chew on while we played and we got to the business of playing the game -- starting with a jailbreak.

The one-shot turned into a campaign and it became clear that the system worked for my players, but it needed to develop to handle progression and other elements that the longer-length nature of a campaign promised. As players asked me for systems to do certain things, I improvised ways it could be done. Whatever worked, stuck.

If you asked me, I'd say the system as it is now is still a work in progress -- it's been through many revisions and there are still elements of it that I'm not happy with. However, no matter how much my art-is-never-truly-finished brain really wants to protest it, it is ready to be run by people other than me. So, here it is.

If I had to say one thing about the design of my system, it's that how simple that first session was to set up and go sticks with me. No matter how much I add to the system I will always endeavor to make sure that others can still recreate that magic with their players, should they wish to.

About Me

Hey! I'm Richard. When I was younger, I loved to tinker with the rules for any board game I played. Sometimes before I had even finished playing them through once! When I joined my parents' AD&D group, I started writing rule supplements for doing things that I thought would be cool, like overhauling the process for crafting and enchanting a weapon.

I started putting pen to paper on my own games and systems in middle school. Any system I made was something that needed to be simple enough to be played on a whim at the lunch table or on a campout-- so that meant no dice or character sheets, let alone prep material. As a result, the systems I made were heavily narratively focused and had few mechanics beyond my players describing what they wanted to do and me improvising a world in response. In high school I built out a simple system with proper mechanics that was heavily inspired by Fire Emblem, and in college I started devouring other systems to learn from all the cool stuff that's out there!

Outside of roleplaying games, I dig video games and I have a rather sizeable collection of board games of which I'm proud to say there are only a few that I've never played. I also "spend a lot of time thinking about time" as my roommate puts it-- there's something about having a good todo list and time tracker going that just really helps me keep everything in my life running smoothly.