200 Word RPG Challenge Entry: Carfax Abbey

Here’s my other entry for the 200 Word RPG Challenge…

Carfax Abbey

by Keith Garrett

Do you love aristocratic family drama but feel it needs more bloodsuckers? Or do you fancy gothic horror but believe it would be improved with the addition of servants and scandals? Then mash them together in the setting for this gothic aristocratic vampire drama: Carfax Abbey.

Set at Count Dracula’s English residence, the game asks players to imagine Dracula (and associated characters) as part of a family of nobles—or their servants.

Players choose characters from those featured in either Dracula or a beloved period drama. Mix them up! See how Renfield would do as the resident cook, or picture the family matriarch as one of Dracula’s brides.

The GM then presents the players with a situation inspired by both sources. Some stories can come from one source, some from the other, but the really fun ones will likely be a blend. Sure, Dracula knows how to handle a group of hunters arriving to stake him—but what will he do when the chauffeur gets his granddaughter pregnant? How will the butler handle things when visitors from Transylvania show up and turn out to be messy, bloody eaters?

Players then resolve the story with dialogue, drama, scandal, and horror.

(Also available on the 200 Word RPG Challenge website.)

200 Word RPG Challenge Entry: #Resist

Now that the contest is over, I wanted to share my own entries. Here’s my first…


by Keith Garrett

Everyone chooses a different type of Resister made up of an adjective/noun combination, such as Veteran Activist, Socialist Politician, Social Media Warrior, or Newly Woke.

Choose one player to start as the Mouthpiece. Instead of playing her Resister this round, the Mouthpiece invents an Order: some harmful law, executive order, or other legislation. The Mouthpiece can announce the Order as she likes, such as a line from a bill, a quote from the Press Secretary, or a tweet from the President.

Then, each Resister states what their character would do to oppose the Order.

Next, the Resisters state what their character would do to conflict with the stated efforts of one other Resister. This conflict could be spun as intentional or unintentional.

Finally, the Mouthpiece states which Resister's action stymied, impeded, or annoyed the Administration the most. Similar to the Order announcement, this response might come as a pundit's rant, a midnight tweet, or an SNL parody.

Continue play for a predetermined number of rounds (switching the Mouthpiece role each round). The winner is the player with the most successful resistance.

Alternatively, the game may end when a simple majority of players agree that we are all screwed.

(Also available on the 200 Word RPG Challenge website.)

200 Word RPG Challenge

I’m working on a 200-word roleplaying game. And so are lots of other people!

The 200 Word RPG Challenge is a pretty casual contest where anyone can submit up to two bite-sized RPGs. Organized by David Schirduan and Marshall Miller, the contest encourages creativity and judges only content, not formatting. Submissions must be in plain text, with no art or fancy layout involved.

The contest website contains all the entries from the past two years, and you can already start reading the submissions that have come in for this year.

Prizes for the three winners include free graphic design, artwork, and layout for the winning RPGs; mentions on two gaming podcasts, inclusion in a gaming fanzine; and copies of a few RPGs. And two of the judges are Jef and Jon, the hosts of one of my favorite gaming podcasts: System Mastery!

The submission period is open now and runs through this weekend (closing at the end of April 23).

Wish me luck on my submission (or, if I’m being optimistic, submissions). It might be difficult, fitting something that could be called an RPG into the exact length of this post.

If you submit something, let me know!