For my Master’s thesis I made a tabletop roleplaying game based around the fundamental design-aspects of accessibility and possibilities. The result was an unconventional RPG set in a world overrun by massive walking islands, and the anthropomorphic characters that live on them. Each of the five main races visualized one of the five attributes used to describe a character: bears for strength, frogs for agility, foxes for charisma, tortoises for intelligence, and mice for perception.

Art of the five races.

The world is governed by 3 major factions, with the players belonging to a neutral fourth faction. Additionally, there is a single clear antagonistic party which can be used as the villains for any campaign. Each walking island – or gargan – has its own habitat and cultures, allowing for concise fields of exploration and adventure, with clear boundaries. To make the world feel more alive, a travel-mechanics is used to have players feel the weight of adventuring through hazardous terrain.

Art of a gargan.

The game uses 5 unique dice for its action-mechanic. Blue Action dice increase the chance of success (one for each rating in the tested attribute), a green Skill die is added when proficient in the tested skill, red Defiance dice increase the chance of failure (one for each level of difficulty), and white Benefit dice and black Detriment dice are added to show the advantages and disadvantage the player might have.

The dice hold icons instead of numbers. Success-icons are counted against failure-icons, whichever is more present determines the outcome. Advantage-icons are counted against hindrance-icons to see to what degree the action passed/failed. And there are some more icons that relate to the exhaustion of the character and the passing of time.

Awesome art by Isabella Koelman.