Diceless Roleplaying Games Listing

Definition

Historically "diceless" in roleplaying games has really meant free of "artificial" randomizers not simply dice, and such is the case of most of these games. "Non-artificial" randomizers are acceptable, these are generally balanced / non-transitive game choices which often map to real world choices.


Free Diceless Games

Active Exploits - Allocate Effort (actually a fatigue based limit but integrates ability value nicely) and Luck/Revelation - Core Mechanics Free - local copy - also listed under commercial games below.

Ancient Arenas - a Lost Worlds Roleplaying Game - a card based extension to transform this gladiatorial picture book game. The core game is an elaborate combat resolution matrix wrapped in booklets.

Argument Diceless Roleplaying - think of the title like a fencing term rather than an evocation of belligerance. The argument site is not always too reliable so a backup may be in order... I have to mention Accord not because it is diceless or should I say lacking in Fortune based mechanics but because the irony of its name being entirely well oppositional to Argument.>

Alternate Roleplaying Concepts a Diceless Roleplaying Game with an absolutist bent which attempts to eschew numbers and invoke the cinematic.

Attack of the Mutant Rules System! , this is Amber in a superhero genre... new stats include Invulnerability and Speed

The Challenge System - very interesting, simple mechanics, terms are generalized to conflicts and abilities used to oppose one another are open ended. A core deterministic action resolution system without any other systems.

Cryed - Dynamic (design as you go) character creation assumed, interesting use of statics and potentials, check it out. Local Copy (name stands for Crunchy Yet Diceless - but it is better than its name.)

Daidolos a german language diceless rpg... would that I spoke german.

The Delta System - A rescued English version... tidbits are a little hard to get at due to language differences but they are in there ... the use of distribution of attention mirrors my own nicely and the dual use of HP for hit points and Hero points is intentional and sweet.

Destiny a Decision Driven Roleplaying Game - Analyse action descriptions into 5 non-transitive methods with goal directed allocation, modify with deep resources like luck and inspiration. Uses a verbal scale of degree, ranging from somewhat to unimaginably. Character design hinges on description and character advancement is managed by allotting man-hours and inspiration.

Destiny - Hand of Fate - edition. - diceless plug-in for use with Fate, derived from the decision driven methods.

Diceless Risus - the pretentious edition - Core Risus has an eleagance that is inspiring. This game makes the bidding concept explicit not sure I like the numbers being so much in the players face, Jockying for modifiers has existed since Amber but somehow this makes it noteworthy. Risus is elegance in and of itself. and I am much pleased to see the diceless version come out.

I always wonder that folks think diceless gaming is "pretentious" or has "attitude" well the following has attitude but pretentious it is not.

Diceless - by Mark William Henshaw - add helping and subtract hindering traits. Toss in a rock paper scissors... crude sense of humor but good system. (And I think I helped inspire some of the recent version) I also find the traits descriptive in there high focus. Rock Paper Scissors, can be presented as a choice of acting Simply, Reactively (aka Directedly) or Deceptively.

Diceless d20 a diceless roleplaying game where you take control of your characters fate compatible with various d20 games including D&D and Mutants and Masterminds. Is it a joke? Well to Quote Ryan Dancey of Wizards of the Coast "There is a clear path, in fact, to a way to make D&D completely diceless! We may experiment with some of those options (or other people may choose to invest the time and energy to do so) via the D20 rules and the Open Gaming movement. Only time will tell."

Diceless Hero variation by Bob Greenwade - currently printed in Advice Alley of Digital Hero issue 1, At its core this was an example of how with sufficiently complex set of maneuvers and mechanics using averages can make a game less than 100% predictable. Even though deterministic.

Disc World Diceless RPG inspired by Amber (like many) but with connections to GURPS

DRATS (Diceless Role-playing And Tactics System - a bit of space genre inspired by trek.

Epitome - a bit vague for my tastes, but uses some interesting visual methods of mapping a characters emphasis, with an outer ring representing "demeanor", a middle ring of "nature", and the center circle representing "soul".

Fiat Diceless Compact - Success at a price... and a Token economy.

Future Tense - Amber House Rules, but which elegantly bring in a few features from other modern diceless games.

Fudge - optionally diceless - Fudge's effect centered attribute usage and fudge points lend itself very well to diceless play even if the default implementation does use dice.

Gentlemen and Players - basically a setting adaption for Amber more than that it shows how traits should reflect the setting and genre not be wired to preconcieved generic notions of human ability.

Heritage - nicely written homage to Amber in some ways, but also includes elements of Theatrix...

Mortal Coil - tokens tokens whose got the tokens. actually rather in depth mechanically, worth far more analysis. Nice examples on random average bears wiki pages

Nobiles of Amber - Nobilis in an Amber Setting - Very interesting may just be a very good presentation of Nobilis game mechanics in a dramatically different context.

Pace - designed in 24 hours, now that is a trick, and an exercise in decisive game design. I will avoid the puns (this too has the bidding of failures).

PageQuest - hmmm solitaire diceless fantasy adventure,remeniscent of the adventure page flip books without most of the verbage which gave them a sense of story.. certainly a stretch but one might use it for roleplay, combat is a simplified LW like mechanic(11 moves and 2 of them specific spells and 2 of them are enemies only moves?), spell craft is combining runes which become drained periodically.

Panels - super hero roleplaying... pane by pane, in some ways replaced by MURPG below

Soul Engine just starting out..

Success A description based roleplaying game.

System DL Interesting... use of bidding "significant" failures to gain luck points, I like this..., try this - the pdf or the version for sale full version

Tyranny - demonic diceless manga

S.A.G.E. (Story Advanced Game Engine) - hard to read because its rules are distributed in messages on the yahoo group may be something in there if you can find it.

Super Human High School - take ordinary high school kids and hit them with comic book mutations, no tights needed )would you honestly wear those to school?) Uses Amazing points... and stats which sound remarkably like Amber plus Intelligence ;-)

Commercial Diceless Games

Amber Diceless Roleplaying The first!!! a very simple trait comparison with mostly non mechanical methods for shaking it up, well written - time allocation plus lots of general ideas about switching the combat to another mode. Still very solid and its offspring include just about everything on this page. Published originally by Phage Press...

Active Exploits The core rules are free but this is the basis of many specific commercial games ranging from Blood Island to HeartQuest, Shaded Veil to CORPS. Really a happening game not tied to a specific genre. The game now sports a simple and advanced divisions, difficulties can now be more clearly set.

Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game - allocating stones of effort towards often guessed at difficulties till your overcome the resistances, this is one of the most recent produced (Marvel not being a game company don't grok the economics of rpgs but they are nothing if not innovative) This game deserved a second edition but we will have to live with house rules and interpretations of posts on the newsgroup sigh.

MURPG yahoo group - Check in the files sections there is some slick compliations that could serve as an edition 2. Some of which help clarify the game others also include blue drama stones for the narrative touch.

A Captains Shield of Strategic Methods decision driven rolegamings techiniques styled and scaled for MURPG

House Rules - also adds blue drama stones and a few other touch ups.

Nobilis a very beautiful game physically its mythic genre goes further on the path of power than even Amber.

Theatrix (commercial) this is probably the second major diceless game its Movie based model is cool, its first genre was ironwood and strictly sexual adult oriented which may have stifled its commercial viability.

Amadans - Theatrix Site - Includes some highlander variations. (This is interesting stuff)
The train Combat
The hotel fight
An informative review

Persona

Epiphany

FateStorm - well not too much is revealed on the nature of this game... setting and system intermingle with an emphasis on mythic ... and players choosing " how fast and when their Avatars advance in ability" has an interesting ring to it...and exactly what does VRS stand for?

Lost Worlds - flip book combat not really roleplay but... see earlier.

flying buffalo - http://www.flyingbuffalo.com/lostw.htm
fan site - http://lostworlds.20m.com/

Bidit - Play Test Version

 

Miscellaneous Dicelessness

Causality in RPGs - very interesting, choice modeling of a more complex sort.

HGWells an early diceless game designer? ok so it wasn't an rpg but a war game but we are talking heritage and history here and its diceless and yes the war games of the time were indeed dicey.

Diceless Certamen - diceless dueling wizards Ars Magica style

Ars Magica Fighting Styles - a primarily diceless fighting style implementation combine with the above perhaps?

Random Average Bear -blogging good fun.

Diceless.com Being from the creator of the grand daddy of Diceless Roleplaying and with a domain name like that I had to mention it

Dice and Diceless: One Designer's Radical Opinion - every diced roleplaying game has diceless methods in it.

All I ever needed to know I learned from Amber - life lessons wrapped in dicelessness (Now both Bad Stuff and Good Stuff Lessons)

rec.games.frp.advocacy FAQ - diceless

Dragon Lords Domain home of Decision Driven Gaming