RPG Design Theory - Articles and Resources

A number of online resources have been helpful in formulating MULRAH’s design. Below are just a few of the articles and resources I’ve bookmarked during the game’s development.

RPG Design Models & Gaming Styles

  • My Eyes Glaze Over – A succinct overview of GNS theory without all the jabs, tangents, analysis, and verbosity of the original essays. Although MULRAH has been initially designed to facilitate Narrativist play, the most successful sessions have been those with Gamist priorities.
  • The 3D Model of Role-Playing – Takes the GNS “Threefold” model and adds another dimension for player narrative control. Despite the infusion of rules from theme-supporting games, the current MULRAH campaign has meandered among the various combinations of Immersive-Challenge and Centralized-Guided styles, pretty much everything Forge-inspired indie games don’t cover.
  • RPGs, Pulleys, & Microwave Ovens – An excellent article that points to an overlooked distinction in the GNS/“Big” Model.
  • What’s Your Gaming Style? – A nice schematic that lays out a variety of gaming styles without reference to the the GNS behemoth.
  • Law’s Game Style – A clever quiz to help assess your gaming style. When answering the questions how I thought my players would, the result came out as Storyteller-Tactician, though the quiz’s definition of “Storyteller” is that you want to “play out” a story rather than actively create one yourself.
  • I got your threefold model right here! – A fun alternative view on the GNS model that’s actually quite accurate.
  • Retro Gaming: For those with little interest in Stupid or Pretentious games, there’s A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming and Old is new again – a guide to retro roleplaying games.

RPG Design Tips, Tricks, & Thoughts

System Notes

RPG Design Theory - Articles and Resources

The World Beyond: al-Jazira Sadim Mulrah