CHOOSE, ROLL, TELL, the nitty bitty gritty of “rules inspire story”

When I sit down to playtest with an experienced role player there is something I need to explain clearly, this is how actions are choosen and resolved while playing SEED RPG. There are some foundational changes to this process because of how the game uses rules to inspire a story.

A usual rpg follows the TELL, CHOOSE, ROLL sequence. The player will TELL the GM what they want to accomplish, the GM will CHOOSE what rules are in effect and then the player will ROLL to find the outcome of the story.

SEED RPG changes this sequence to this, the player CHOOSES a game play option, ROLLS to find the outcome and TELLS a story that reflects the outcome of the action. For example take a look at the actions available during a fight on this card.

If it’s your turn you will usually have access to these four actions as well as actions provided by your items or traits. The name of each action is clearly displayed in the black bar, along with it’s action and die type (action type is the circle, die type is the square) . Under the black bar are the possible effects the action may provide.

Lets say it’s the start of a fight task. The GM’s character will act first and choose the “move it” action, he rolls the character’s dice indicated by the action (agility and sense) and his roll is successful enough to get the “Run away” effect, this gives him one point of advantage and the effect listed. after applying the efect he would tell the story of what happened, something like “The bounty head is relaxing in the crowded pavilion, as you approach he catches a glimpse of your rifle and can tell your on the hunt so he bolts, shoving his way into a crowd of people”

Now it’s your turn, the effect attached to “Run away” means the bounty head is immune to “close” action types (that’s what the funny symbol is for), so logical y actions like “hand to hand” have no effect against a target that is running away. You could choose to perform the “taunt” action, or try “moving it” yourself. But like I said you have a rifle.

You pick the aim and shoot option and your dice roll well enough to get the “frighten” effect. It’s 4 damage to the target’s advantage. You could then narrate your turn like this “I see him run into the crowd so I take out my rifle and fire a shot into the air and yell “get down or get shot people, we’re bounty hunters!” the pedestrians drop down, leaving a clear line for me to take a few shots in the bounty head’s direction. One knocks off his hat making causing him to hesitate and trip over a cowering pedestrian” This cycle of “choose, roll, tell” continues to build the scene, until one side loses their advantage points.

With “choose, roll, tell” the story is built around rules and effects. To accommodate this the rules do not try and model a particular time scale or realism, the rules are based around exciting character choices, and a system that models how stories are told. This is one way rules inspire a story with seed rpg.

Hug party,



3 responses to “CHOOSE, ROLL, TELL, the nitty bitty gritty of “rules inspire story”

  1. I really like this and I think you’ve stumbled onto something else without even realizing it; with a little wrench turning here and there, this could be a diceless system. I take it you haven’t decided on which dice will be what yet? Or is it your intention that this system could be substituted for other systems? Example: Although Star Wars Saga uses the d20 system for actions, the stats are generated with d6s. So, with a little conversion your system could take its place and people could play in that setting without all that awful rules and dice accounting –as I call it .

    One thing nitpicky I would change: Most of your system terminology is present tense, even on the cards. So, I would use CHOOSE instead of chose, because CHOOSE-ROLL-TELL sounds a bit more dynamic IMO.

  2. Good vocabulary suggestion! I’m terrible with grammar and words. I thought it said Choose all along! (~_~’)

    As for diceless I could see someone making it happen with a few small tweaks, it would turn the system into an action point sort of game.

    The game is actually fairly far along I’m not sure I could make that kind of shift at the moment but thinking about action points has given me a great solution for something else!

    I think my next post will be about the dice.

  3. Pingback: check for a little more blogging | "SOIL"

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