Thoughts (#6)

For a quite a while now, I’ve wanted to write a separate document to provide a little guidance to both game masters and players on exactly how to play Tiny d10. I’ve said before, there’s as much – if not more – between the lines of the system as there is on them. This creates something of a paradox: while TD10 is a “simple” system, its lack of guidance can make the learning curve steeper than it actually is.

So, for all these years, I’ve been relying on the creativity and ingenuity of those who play and GM the game to fit the rules to their needs. This has worked out nicely, to be sure – you all are a clever bunch (just look at the great contributions the community has made  to TD10 over the years).

I wanted to write this document, but I haven’t, and now, some fantastic folks have saved me all the trouble. The Principia Apocrypha has said everything I wanted to say, but better, and more. This small guide is a primer to old-school style role-playing, and all the free-form, hyper-creative, DIY-attitude that goes with it. While TD10 isn’t an old-school style RPG, it does share a lot of the style’s design principles and aesthetic, which the Principia Apocrypha captures perfectly. My favorite takeaway from these “elementary axioms & aphorisms”:

When you encounter a situation that the rules don’t seem to cover, don’t get distracted searching for it. Instead, make a common-sense ruling within the spirit of the game and move on. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Later, if you find there is in fact no rule and it could come up again, make a note of the ruling and apply it consistently.

This has been the central axiom of Tiny d10 for some time. As early as 2013 (v2), the sole advice to GMs was:

As is expected of anything so tiny, these rules will leave a lot out. It’s up to you as the GM to make up rules you feel comfortable with.

As Chief Klough said, “You’re the skipper now, and the skipper always knows what to do, whether he does or not.” So be sure to check out the totally free, Creative Commons Principia Apocrypha – every player and skipper has something to learn from it!

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