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D&D General FKR: How Fewer Rules Can Make D&D Better

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
A lot of the time, I fail my own wisdom saving throw. I sometimes will refer to FKR with the assumption that people will know what I'm talking about, given that I've written about it in the past. However, as @Micah Sweet recently reminded me, that is not the case. So, since it has been a while since I've gone into this, I thought I'd post some collected thoughts on the subject, and end with a conclusion as to how, even if you do not choose to play FKR games, some of the concepts can be used in your own D&D game.

1. What is FKR?
Despite being the stuff of nightmares, Santa is the world’s most popular home intruder.

To start with, there isn't a single answer to even the most basic of questions. The "FK" part is easy- Free Kriegsspiel. As for the R? Well, it is usually used to refer to Revolution, although it's also Revival as well as Roleplaying. But before even getting into the debate over RRR (hat tip, BOLLYWOOD!) let's look back at the history to remember what Free Kriegsspiel is!

Dave Arneson was prepared for Wesley's Braunstein game. It was a simple scenario ... a banana republic in the throws of revolution. Arneson would receive his points for distributing leaflets. But Arneson convinced other players, using his fake CIA badge, that he was an undercover agent and easily "won" the scenario by stealing all of the money of the country, boarding a helicopter, and casually throwing down all the leaflets on the riots and burning embers below.

To understand D&D, you have to first understand the wargaming culture of the 60s and 70s, and the nature of rulings as opposed to rules. Specifically, this dichotomy was already explored and known ... in the latter part of the 1800s. Back then, there was a German wargame (of course it was German!) known as Kriegsspiel. The game became more complex over time, and an umpire was required to help interpret the rules and to make decisions given the opposing sides might not be aware of everything going on. Over time, there was a gradual realization- the rules were so complex that they were slowing the game down for no good reason, additional rules kept getting added to allow for more realism yet never could accurately simulate the battles, the rules constrained the umpires' decision making in unrealistic ways, and most importantly, no one wanted to be an umpire because the whole system was too complicated to learn.

Because of all of these issues, a new system was devised. And by "new system," I mean, effectively, no system. Free Kriegsspiel ("FK") got rid of all of the rules and cruft of Kriegsspiel and simply let a neutral referee make rulings. This was popular, because the players didn't have to learn complicated rules, and because the referee could use their own applied experience instead of complicated rules that often wouldn't match what happened in combat. Players were encouraged to try anything that might work instead of just playing to the complicated rules, allowing for better wargames.

And from there, we fast-forward a century later. You have numerous wargamers- the famous ones today like Gygax and Arneson, but also the less well-known like David Wesley. All of them were familiar with this backdrop of neutral referees making rulings. Of FK. So the original major turning point for the history of D&D was Wesley's Braunstein games- the first one, and most importantly, the fourth one. When one of his players, Dave Arneson, used his imagination and played a "role" in order to win the scenario. Something that inspired Arneson so much that he chose to continue running this style of game himself, in a little place called Blackmoor.

Here, again, we can understand the FK basis for this proto-D&D. Instead of a modern country in the throes of revolution, Arneson transposed the ideas to a fantasy world. And from that point on, he would listen to players, and make rulings as needed. If someone was a vampire, they were a vampire. If someone hunted them, they were a vampire hunter (a cleric). If he needed combat rules, he would borrow them from various places, including some rules he saw from an acquaintance- a certain Gary Gygax.

This story is so well known by now (albeit contentious) it hardly bears repeating, but here goes- Arneson had previously worked with Gygax, and knew that Gygax had contacts to help him commercialize this new "thing" he was doing. What started as a collaboration grew contentious, as (depending on your sourcing) either Arneson's more free-wheeling style wasn't conducive to a written product and led to clashes and frustration with Gygax and others at the nascent TSR, or Gygax began to freeze him out over time.

The main thing is the result- OD&D. OD&D is a fundamentally bizarre product in many ways, mostly because it's almost unplayable (and it was pretty pretty expensive too!). Simply put, the original written product is simply a codification of the FK-style rulings that had accumulated over time along with some additional material. In order to "play" the original OD&D, you had to have knowledge of the hobby, wargaming, and a desire to make the game work. Perhaps most fundamentally, you had to accept an FK-style system; a neutral referee empowered to make all decisions. The rules didn't cover everything, and it was assumed that the referee would make rulings as needed. In fact, in Men & Magic, we don't even see the term Dungeon Master- it is still "players," and "referee."

So a question might obviously arise- if it was all so simple, if it was all just some FK "rulings not rules" with a neutral referee, why do we see the explosion of rules? Why do we see Gygax, at the beginning of 1e, insist that the standardized rules are to be followed? I am sure others might have their own reasons and speculations, but I would put it simply- money. There is very little commercial return in telling people, "Make up stuff. Then a referee will tell you if it's okay. Maybe roll some dice." On the other hand ... selling rules? And more rules? There ... there you get into the serious money.

So FKR, whatever the R might be, is really an attempt to recapture that original roleplaying spirit- to make do with less, not more. To have players engage with the world without worrying about the rules. To play, as much as possible, in that "Arneson-ian" model. But if you just read that long excerpt, you're probably still confused ... what is FKR?

I've previously had multiple threads on the subject, as well as trying to answer questions, but in the end, my advice is always the same- it's better to just do it than to ask a lot of questions, because many people struggle conceptually with it, and it's much easier to learn by doing.

It was ages ago, but I still remember the first time I encountered a diceless roleplaying game. And it took me nearly a year to be able to run it! I just ... couldn't grasp it. As simple as the concepts seem to me now, I just didn't know what to do. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that I really really really wanted to play Amber, I might have given up. But why ... why was it so hard for me to understand? A big part of it was that I spent a year trying to understand instead of just doing it- reading and re-reading and trying to make sense of it in terms of having spend more than a decade playing dice-based games with heavy rulesets.

And I think that the issue FKR proponents have (from their perspective) is similar- how do you explain to someone who is used to rolling abilities, that they don't need to? How do you explain to someone who is used to checking their skills, that they don't need worry about those skills? How do you explain to someone who has spent years engaging in rules mastery ... that rules don't matter? Fundamentally, the questions that get asked end up being completely orthogonal to the issue, and are usually best resolved by doing.

And that's why we see this as a relatively formless and amorphous thing. What is FKR? What are the real and salient features? The real reason I think it's hard to pin down is because it's not based in a working theory, so much as aspiration. Play the world, not the rules. Get the rules out of the way.

What is FKR? First, it's the description of a movement, of people advocating for a type of play. Second, it's about the reduction of rules. It's about reducing the rules to the absolute minimum, and then reducing them even more.

Rules-lite. This is an FKR game-

That's not the cover. That's the game.

2. Understanding Why FKR Matters
Why are you the one crying when it’s the onion that is getting hurt?

Does FKR matter? I mean, in a certain way ... nothing matters. But having already gone through that awkward phase involving way too much black eyeliner, let me assure you- nihilism is exhausting. It takes a extraordinary amount of energy to not care. Anyway, FKR is a necessary piece of a large puzzle. You can see this by looking at the way that "FKR" approaches different games.

For example, a lot of the early proponents of FKR were drawn from the OSR community, and were people that were attracted to the idea of getting "back" to the concept of play that existed before the rules cruft of 1e- to, in effect, try and capture the early Arnesonian model of play. An example of this would the Landshut Rules. Others have noted that Any Planet is Earth draws inspiration from how Marc Miller actually ran Traveller. You can see it tackle off-beat ideas, such as magic in the time of Napoleon with Dark Empires. Then again, maybe you're a Blades in the Dark fan ... FKR has you covered too with Mersserspiel!

Or, perhaps, you've seen me post something stupid.
YOU ARE A DISCO PARTY ANIMAL. YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. You are navigating a complicated world of fans, drugs, and disco. The dancing lights, the blinding lights …

You don’t want trouble. You and your fellow sports-friends just want a good time after a hard day of playing your sport for fame and money. And yet … trouble always seems to find you. Aliens, animal/hybrid athletes, undead worshippers of yacht rock, robot narcs with bad blow, living nightmares summoned by cursed relics, that guy 'Chad' who only nods his head to the music, and worse … they all stand between you and your bliss- partying on the dance floor and busting out your insanely superior dancing styles. You might not have a “badge” or “official authority,” but you’re a famous person with impeccable dance moves. People know who you are. THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE. They are looking to you to keep the party going.

You have three abilities:
FAME How recognizable you are to the commoners you sometimes have to associate with. This is not your brain, just the flame, it puts you in charge to keep you sane.
MONEY How many of your millions are left after your agent, your family, your agent’s family, your drug dealer, your dealer’s family and your entourage have taken their cut. The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees- you have to pay to play.
DANCE You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life. Let the music take control, let the rhythm move you- everybody dance now! Just ... not as good as you.
You have-a 1, and-a 2, and-a 3. Assign one number to each ability.

1. On the field legend. It’s just about the rings.
2. In commercials for brands. What brands? All of them.
3. Social media superstar. More people watch you on TikTok than watch the World Cup.
4. Tabloid wreck. You’re shambolic, and people love to root for you falling (to get back up again).
5. You’re famous for partying with all the famous people. Every rose its thorn, and every ‘gram has its you.
6. Your golden-honeyed voice powers a singing career that has eclipsed both your on-field exploits and your off-field dancing.

1. Moon
2. Booty
3. Natural
4. Void
5. Shadow
6. Running
7. Cha-cha
8. Drunken
9. Crazy-legged
10. Robotic
1. Chicken
2. Hammer
3. Slideriffic
4. Rabbit
5. Faceplant
6. Sidelick
7. Elephant Trunk
8. Elevation
9. Vertigo
10. Shakeyshakeys

1. Path of the Racket
2. Way of the Track
3. Keeper of the Eighteen Holes
4. Baller of the Baskets
5. Oath of the Footballer
6. Art of the Rink

Narrate your actions. If you’re in doubt of the result because it’s something that will solve a major problem or provide you an advantage over an NPC, roll d6x(ability number), so an ability score of 2 lets you roll 2d6. Roll for most applicable ability; if you’re trying to score or bribe someone, roll MONEY, but if you need to intimidate the Erudite GOAT with your amazing dance moves, roll DANCE. In addition, you can trade party favors for additional dice.

4= standard
5=risky stuff
6=woah now!

If the highest dice roll>DC, you have succeeded and you get to describe what happens. If it’s the same, you succeed, you get a pooper, and the GM describes something bad that happens as well. If it’s lower, you fail, get a pooper, get a favor, and the GM describes something bad.

When you fail, if your pooper>highest dice, YOU ARE THE PARTY POOPER. You need to take a break to boot & rally, and reset your poopers and favors to zero.

Set up the first domino for the players and let them start knocking things over. If a situation can’t be resolved by dancing, partying, or the player asking the NPC, “Do you know who I am?” ask yourself, “Could I make this situation solvable by dancing, partying, or unthinking privilege exercised by someone famous and/or rich?”

1. Studio 54, but more gaudy and less restrained.
2. The Hacienda nightclub, but more psychedelic.
3. The Limelight, but less feel-good.
4. Le Clique, but more acrobats and less clothes.
5. Mudd Club, themed for Mother’s Day.
6. It’s a warehouse. Somewhere. Don’t tell anyone.

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE DISCOTHEQUE? (Roll 2d6 twice, nest the problems within each other)
2. A cursed dreamcatcher inside the disco ball is manifesting the nightmares of the guest into reality!
3. It’s a non-stop party, and no one can leave or stop dancing while the dancing lights play over the dance floor!
4. The kinky dungeon (INVITE ONLY) is being run by ravenous vampires!
5. The paintings in the unfinished rooms of the building begin to animate!
6. Killer robots? Killer robots!
7. Zombie rock lovers want to turn the beat around and bring the club to the soothing sounds of Michael McDonald. So smooth!
8. Aliens are taking over the bodies of the dancers and replacing them one ... at ... a time.
9. A truckload of tourists infected with a terrible plague breaks in and start line-dancing.
10. A mad scientist is going to use the disco ball as a power source for his laser to melt the polar ice caps, but first ... he must clear the dance floor.
11. The spirits and wraiths of those who have partied before begin to appear throughout the club.
12. The Fire Department has been alerted to code violations, except the Fire Department is a cult that worships a dark demon lord.

2. The Erudite GOAT. The mutated hybrid clone of Tom Brady and Albert Einstein is going to bore you to death explaining the scientific basis for great athletic performance.
3. The Destitute Dragon. The head of the Klan hates how disco music is bringing marginalized people together, and is going to destroy the dance and take your money.
4. The Thin White Dude. This cadaverous figure is going station to station and want to kill you and take your drugs.
5. Le Freak. A monstrous abomination that wishes it was chic.
6. The Woodknocker. A scary monster, but not a super creep.
7. Boogie Oogie Oogie. A ghoul with scent of carrion, the look of death, but the taste … of golden honey.
8. Sheena the Punk Rocker. She's going to carry all the kids away from the Discotheque.
9. The Chief of Police. The very very sexy Chief of Police.
10. The Unappreciated Bouncer, resentful of the party people.
11. The hot avatar of a hot god who'd rather spend quality time with you.
12. The uncaring abyss that is the over-forward march of time, and to which we all must, in the end, admit defeat.

But the important thing to notice is this- other than the paucity of written rules, there can be a lot of variation in exactly what constitutes an FKR game. So instead of focusing on the specifics of the games (which can vary) I think it's more important to look at the philosophy and the approach and to examine why it matters, and what it can bring to our games.

I often think that disparate approaches can be useful analytical lenses with which to view games. One constant tension we see in RPGs is the distinction between first-order design and second-order design. While the game designer can exert direct control over the rules of the game, the actual gameplay depends on the processes that emerge at the table. This gameplay, this "second-order design" can be glimpsed through extensive playtesting, and can be addressed through the rules (the first order), but will always be, to some extent, beyond the ability of the game designer to dictate.

Thinking about this issue, you can see that there might be two disparate ways to approach a problem. Imagine that you have a table playing a game (say, D&D 3e). You're enjoying it, but you keep finding that the game itself, the rules, they aren't conducive to the type of game you want! From there, you could then think of two possible solutions-
1. Focus on the rules, and change them to match the style of play you're looking for. If the rules are the problem, and the rules .... matter ... then the solution is new rules.
2. If the rules are the problem, get rid of the rules. The difference between a board game and a TTRPG is you are not constrained by the rules since you have a human that can adjudicate.

Same problem, different solutions. One is design-centric, one is table-centric. One focuses on the first-order design issue, and one focuses on the second-order design by, for all practical purposes, punting on first-order design. That's not to say that FKR proponents have no thoughts on issues like preferences for opposed dice rolls, or dice pools, or even the high-falutin' topics like the "division of authority" between the players and the DM- but that these issues are subsumed under the more general gestalt of looking to make the rules minimal and subservient to the fiction.

The goal of FKR proponents is to shrink the size of the rules to the point where you can drown the stragglers in a bathtub.

3. Some General Questions About FKR, Answered
Why do we need police? Because one in twenty people have been the victim of crime, which means that nineteen out of twenty people are criminals.

A. That's a lot of words, Snarf. I still don't get it. What is FKR?
When in doubt, substitute "rules-lite." That said, I will quote Jim Parkin-
You play worlds, not rules. Have you read Brideshead Revisited? The Wizard of Earthsea? Foundation and Empire? Any captivating novel, regardless of timeframe, setting, or genre? Well now you can run a full FKR game based on that book. You don't need an RPG sourcebook because all books are now sourcebooks. All television shows are sourcebooks. All movies and songs and comics and memes and medical brochures are now sourcebooks.
At its heart, FKR suggests that the world is a real place, the players/characters can act in any way which reasonably interacts with the fictional environment, and that narrative concepts reign over and above numbers and abstraction. John Ross sums this up wonderfully with the term "Tactical Infinity":
The freedom of the Player Characters to attempt any tactic to solve a problem, subject to the adjudication of the Game Master.
Any tactic. Not the tactic on your character sheet. Not the tactic from your equipment package. Not the tactic associated with being a fighter or a magic-user. Any tactic. You're French fur trappers in the 1700s. How would you solve a problem? You're post-apocalypse water scavengers. How would you solve a problem? You're underpaid interns working in an anthopological lab. How would you solve a problem? The answer to all of these questions is "however it makes sense, given who you are, what the environment suggests, and however the fictional context allows." Now, in any of these situations, the stuff on your meager character sheet, be they keywords or items, certainly inform your choices, but they do not constrain them.
Typical FKR games simply proceed as the players and referees describe. If there is chance, perhaps you roll opposed 2d6, or roll 1d00, with anything 80- being bad news and anything 80+ representing a critical boon. Maybe the referee and player don't have control of the narrative unless they win the dice contest. Maybe you succeed at your risky 2d6 endeavor on a 9+, or 7+ if you have any realistic advantage?
The point is that the rules are not the crux of the game. You can have a rich, trusting game experience with little more than "you've got three hits and can roll 1d6 when things go south," as the entire game system. The point is that you enter into a world and treat it as reflexive, malleable, and responsive. You're actors on a stage not contrived by guidelines, but by actual roads, fences, scenic byways, and other travellers. You sit down to play a game with your peers. Don't bring your splatbooks, classes, and modifiers. Bring your imagination and the daydreams you've had since reading the Prose Edda.

B. Is FKR for everyone?
HA HA! No. People like what they like. For example, if you are the type of person who gets into fiddly bits and loves chargen and min/max, FKR probably isn't going to be your bag. If you love massed combats on tables with minis, FKR doesn't offer a lot. If you've got a great group playing PbTA variants and enjoying deep character complexity, I don't think that FKR games will give you anything in particular that you are seeking. Finally, because FKR is so resolutely anti-commercial, it's just not going to have a lot of products. FKR is, and will likely remain, a rounding error even when it comes to the indie games for TTRPGs.

C. Is FKR just OSR with different letters?
Absolutely not. While some FKR proponents certainly came from the OSR crowd, OSR is concerned with recreating the rules of early D&D versions as well as the styles of play (see, e.g., OSE, OSIRIC, etc.). FKR is focused on removing rules, and the games encompass an infinite variety of genres ... from the profound to the profoundly stupid.

D. Some of the links you have below talk about "high trust." Is this just the "big con" for DMs to do whatever they want?
Nope. "High trust" means that everyone at the table trusts each other- the players trust the referee to make fair rulings, the referee and players trust each other to engage in the fiction in good faith, and so on. If you looked at the various games I've linked to (or even looked at Perfected ....) you will notice that FKR games don't have a unified view of authority. A great example of this is Cthulhu Dark. This is how the issue of authority is addressed:
Who decides when to roll Insanity? Who decides when it’s interesting to know how well you do something? Who decides when something disturbs your PC? Who decides whether you might fail? Decide the answers with your group. Make reasonable assumptions. For example, some groups will let the Keeper decide everything. Others will share the decisions. These rules are designed to play prewritten scenarios, run by a Keeper. If you try improvising scenarios or playing without a Keeper, let me know.

That said, there are a fair number of games that will default to the Arnesonian model (which is more referee-centric). This is an example from Dark Empires-
Action, Risk and consequences...
The game master clearly describes the situation and environment to the players. The players use common sense and what they already know about the world to decide upon and then clearly describe their characters actions.
The gm will then decide if their suggested action is feasible and then apply the consequences.
If the outcome of the situation is unclear, is very risky or has a poor chance of success the player and gm both roll 2d6. If the player rolls higher than the gm they succeed! If the gm rolls higher, the player fails in some way or the action succeeds but at some cost.
The difference in the results indicates the degree of success or failure.

The one theme going through is that there is trust at the table; this is what I often refer to as the assumption that everyone is playing in good faith, but has also been stated, more colorfully by Mike Mornard, as The Rules can't fix stupid, and they can't fix a*h**.

E. So What is FKR Good At?

Fun. FKR is FUN! I don't want oversell it, but if I want to do a one-shot, or do an limited-time adventure, this is exactly perfect. And the best thing is ... there are no limits in terms of genres or subjects. Any thing that tickles my fancy ... I can do. I don't have to wait for BigRPG to publish a sourcebook. I don't have to worry about balance. I don't have to get all concerned about whether my synergistic character options for my 5th level MC character are actually a TRAP at 10th level.

And these experiences carry over, too. FKR makes me a better and more agile DM in other games, and it make my players better and more interesting players in other games as well. If you've been playing rules-heavy games for a while (and compared to FKR, they are all rules-heavy), it can do wonders to actually play games where there is no real focus on the rules, the mechanics ... the game ... and the focus is entirely on the fiction. It can refresh and reinvigorate your approach to other games.

F. Uh huh. So, again, if FKR is so magical, is it bad at anything?
In my opinion? Yes. First, it is harder to run long campaigns. This is a personal opinion- if you go around on-line, you'll find FKR people that will swear up and down that they've run FKR campaigns for years. And, of course, the original Arnesonian model was a campaign as well. But my honest opinion is that without scaffolding it becomes harder. And that scaffolding for advancement ... well, that's usually going to be rules. It's not impossible to run FKR campaigns for a long time, and people certainly do it, but it will take additional effort (IMO).

The other issue is slightly more abstract, and is what led to my series of posts (which I will finish any month now) on dice- FKR, much like PbTA games, can lack a certain "gaminess" feeling. It's not that it isn't fun, and rewarding, but it does less to tickle that part of the brain that is there for the joy of playing a game. Or, put another way, say what you will about the slog that is D&D combat, but there is something about seeing a 20 pop up when you're fighting for your life.

4. Conclusion- What Can I Use From FKR in my D&D Game?
Some of Churchill’s words were immortal. If he was alive today, imagine how good his tweets would’ve been.

I think that there are a few things that I have learned. The first is that FKR is an amazing palate cleanser. The versatility and lightness of the rules means that it's not intimidating for players, and I can run an FKR game on those nights when everyone doesn't show up, or just as a break. It reinvigorates and recharges.

Next, it gets the referee and players thinking more about the fiction in D&D. I believe this to be important- far too often, players are looking at their character sheets for solutions, and DMs are thinking about the rules in order to say no. When people are engaged with the fiction in D&D, it provides for a better experience. D&D will always have a ton of rules, but remembering that the rules are supposed to be the servant of the fiction, not the master ... that makes the game better for my table.

Finally, and this may not be for everyone, my main gaming table simply incorporates certain FKR concepts into D&D. Even though 5e is simplified (compared to other editions), the basic concepts of FKR allow for even further simplification. Imagine the following-

Your player says she does something.
You disagree.
You both roll dice.
If your player rolls high, her view of reality prevails.
If you roll high, your view prevails.
If you roll within 3 of each other, you negotiate.

I mean ... why not, right?

I do not agree with everything that is stated by these other sites, but they all provide additional and interesting information if you wish to look further.

Reddit Thread - Brief Introduction to FKR (this has additional links in it as well)

Free Kriegsspeil: Worlds, Not Rules (d66 Kobolds)

How I Run an Ultralight Game (d66 Kobolds)

Free Kriegsspiel Roleplaying (Underground Adventures)

In Praise of Rulings, Not Rules (Revenant's Quill)

Rules, Laws, and Worlds (Dreaming Dragon Slayer)

Table-Centric Design (Yak-Hack)

Invisible Rulebooks (Rolltop Indigo)

Finally, this is an interesting mini-essay where someone considered, and eventually rejected, the idea that they should move toward FKR-
Is My Trajectory FKR? (Roleplay Rescue)

That's just scraping the surface- there are innumerable blog posts, youtube videos, and other resources if you want to look further into these issues, as well as discord communities and so on.

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Always In School Gamer
Interesting thought piece. I have been thinking about this a lot lately (not FKR specifically) but trying to play with fiction forward 5e. PbtA games have given me much to think about since I naturally inclined to more nuanced outcomes than the traditional binary pass/fail of D&D.

As an aside, I think your conceptualization of FKR has a lot of crossover with Improv. I think that is why I like Dimension 20 actual plays because pretty much everyone has an improv background there. The DMs and Players they take big swings that are in line with their Personas/Characters and/or the Fiction they are creating together. D20 are still tied to the rules of D&D (and a few other systems they have played) but they are much looser with it.

Also, don't mind the haters, I for one enjoy the TL;Did Read format you employ.


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
No. I think its high time we stop trying to make D&D something other than D&D. I was just thinking about this in another thread that wanted to introduce FKR like elements, and I like the idea, but not in D&D. I guess I just like the crunchiness consistency of D&D in play, and prefer FKR elements in not D&D RPGs.


Guide of Modos
To start with, there isn't a single answer to even the most basic of questions. The "FK" part is easy- Free Kriegsspiel. As for the R? Well, it is usually used to refer to Revolution, although it's also Revival as well as Roleplaying. But before even getting into the debate over RRR (hat tip, BOLLYWOOD!) let's look back at the history to remember what Free Kriegsspiel is!
Shouldn't the R be a German word as well? Regeln? Ritter? Rammstein?

Your player says she does something.
You disagree.
You both roll dice.
If your player rolls high, her view of reality prevails.
If you roll high, your view prevails.
If you roll within 3 of each other, you negotiate.

I mean ... why not, right?
This should be the default foundation of RPGs. Instead of, you know:

Your player says she does something.
You disagree.
You assign a target number or a special rule that says she doesn't.
If your player rolls above target number, your view prevails.


Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Very interesting stuff! I’ve been reading and mulling over discussion recently about using the Mythic Game Master Emulator 2e “raw”, directly working with the player to create the setting and all that therein is rather than supplementing a preexisting rules set. This is obviously in the same neighborhood. I find that the older I get, the wider the range of settings, characters, and events I trust myself to present on their own, and the smaller the range where I need a game book to bolster my confidence enough to game with them. What I need the game most is for the stuff it never occurred to me to represent [1] at all or that I don’t yet have a good handle on but like I want to engage with.

[1] Oh dear God, this is turning into Schopenhauer, isn’t it? It is. Shoot me now.


No. I think its high time we stop trying to make D&D something other than D&D. I was just thinking about this in another thread that wanted to introduce FKR like elements, and I like the idea, but not in D&D. I guess I just like the crunchiness consistency of D&D in play, and prefer FKR elements in not D&D RPGs.
5e makes lots of things in running the game very optional. A DM can easily keep rules mostly for combat and resolve all other stuff free form.

Under the rules of 5e a DM may call for a skill roll. Or not. :)

DMG page 236:

Dice are neutral arbiters. They can determine the outcome of an action without assigning any motivation to the DM and without playing favorites. The extent to which you use them is entirely up to you.
. . .
Some DMs rely on die rolls for almost everything. When a character attempts a task, the DM calls for a check a picks a DC.
. . .
One approach is to use dice as rarely as possible. Some DMs use them only during combat, and determine success or failure as they like in other situations.

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