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Incubate - 200 word RPG 2019

I'm quite pleased with my entry for this years 200 word tabletop rpg competition. Firstly, I think the central mechanic is just silly fun. Tossing an egg round a circle and trying not to break it. I took my time with it, fine tuning the words and really trying to match the criteria of the competition (actionable, new and overlooked stories, engaging). In the end it's a nice little playable game that I think is quite thematic.

I made it into one readers top 10 who gave me some great feedback, but didn't end up among the finalists. As always it's a tough competition. Congratulations to the winners!

This game requires:
- 4 players (3 Bearers, 1 Serpent of Death)
- One egg (a real one)

This is the World-Egg. Your sacred lands have been killed by the High Cities of Troke. The World-Egg must hatch to start the Universe anew.


- You must take the World-Egg to the World's End. 
- Stand about a meter away from each other. 
- One of you holds the egg.

Each Bearer chooses a different duty:


The Serpent of Death:

- You desire to see the World-Egg shatter.
- Stalk around the circle 
- Conjure up obstacles between Bearers and the End.

Example Obstacles:
-- Citizens of Troke where they disdain belief in the World-Egg,
-- Shadow creatures that use dreams as blades,
-- Twisting landscapes that trick and snare,
-- All else that is evil.

Bearers describe how they overcome obstacles, then must throw the egg to the Bearer with the relevant duty. If that Bearer already has the egg, Bearers must find another approach.

After catching the egg, take a half step back.

If the egg breaks, the Universe dies. 

If Bearers overcome nine obstacles, they have reached the World's End and the World-Egg hatches. All of time and space is reborn. The Serpent hibernates. Rejoice.

Let me know what you think! Designing tabletop roleplaying games is always a fun challenge, and making a micro-rpg that fits into 200 words is super tough. If you're at all interested in RPG design, I recommend giving it a try even if it's not part of the 200 word rpg challenge. Then either get someone else to playtest it the way they think it should be run based purely on the rules without your help, or just get them to describe an example of play back to you. I find that's a really useful way to see whether you've made your design clear and actionable.

I think this years 200 word rpg was my most successful yet!

Posted on November 9th, 2019 by RhysHexmapping Tool | Twitter | Patreon