RPGaDay 2017, Day 21: Which RPG does the most with the least words?

RPGaDay 2017 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying. This is the first year I’ve tried to do it.

Which RPG does the most with the least words?

John Harper is the fricking master of this. Of the seven games currently listed on the homepage of his website, one.seven design, one is 1 page long, three are 2 pages long, and one is 4 pages long. That 1-pager is Lasers & Feelings, which is a pretty impressive RPG inspired by shows like Star Trek, and while it would therefore seem to be the obvious candidate I’m actually going to pick some of John Harper’s other work instead.

Specifically, I’m going to give it jointly to the three chapters of the Tales from the Wild Blue Yonder: Lady Blackbird (16 pages), Magister Lor (9 pages), and Lord Scurlock (11 pages). Although connected by a single setting, these are completely separate games. Each booklet presents the relevant parts of the setting in sufficient detail, a backstory and an inciting incident, then pre-generated character sheets for the cast of characters. These characters are fully statted but have room to grow, with personalities sketched in just enough detail to inspire without constraining, but most importantly with motivations and relationships with all the other characters. Each character sheet also has the complete rules of the game, so the booklet literally has everything you need to start except dice.