200 Word RPG Challenge [2016]

The 200 Word RPG Challenge puts your writing and editing skills to the test!
What can you do with only 200 words?

This year’s challenge is complete! Results can be downloaded below.
You can download it for free, but any profits go to Doctors Without Borders.


These role-playing games should include a theme, goals, rules, and more. The main criteria for this category are Creativity and Engagement. The game doesn’t necessarily have to be fun, but it should grab our attention and draw us in.
This category is more broad, and encompasses anything else that fits the main criteria of being Interesting and Useful at the table. This could include: characters/NPCs, adventures, settings, monsters, house rules, player/GM techniques, etc.

Challenge Rules

  • Submission Window: Submissions are closed for the 2016 Challenge
  • Word Limit: Each entry must contain 200 words or less, submitted through the form below in plain text. We will be using the Google Docs Wordcount tool. Please test your entries before submitting!
  • Number of Entries: Each participant may submit two entries, one for each category. If you want to update or override an entry, simply submit another entry in that same category; the latest submission in each category will be judged. All entries are submitted under the CC-BY 4.0 license.
  • Challenge Results: During the challenge, all submissions will be private, and will only be seen by the judges. If you want others to see your entry, please post it in the G+ Community, or share on other sites using the hashtag ‘#200WordRPG’. After the challenge is complete, all entries will be combined into a book which will be sold as “PWYW”, with all proceeds going to charity. I reserve the right to withhold entries that I deem offensive or inappropriate from appearing in the final book.


Stephanie BryantLast year’s winner, Stephanie has written several rpgs in the past and is currently working on her newest creation: Threadbare.

Sarah Judd: An experienced LARPer and gamer, Sarah represents the players rather than designers in this challenge.

Jacqueline Bryk: A freelance tabletop and freeform developer. She has written and run games on such diverse topics as apotheosis, generational abuse, the Great Depression, finishing schools, and ball culture.

Marshall Miller: A Boston based researcher and game designer. His games include The Warren and Nanoworld: A Game of Clones.

Kat Kuhl: Host of the One-Shot Podcast and Campaign, she brings her extensive GM and game design experience to this challenge!

Grant Howitt: Professional writer and experienced Tabletop designer, Grant has designed a host of incredible games, most recently GoblinQuest.

Selection Process

Round 1 : Semi-Finalists
Each judge is assigned a number of entries to read (so that each entry is read by at least 2 judges). Each judge will select their top 4 from each category, writing a short spotlight about each one and why they chose it.
Round 2 : Finalists
Each judge must select their top two entries of each category from the semi finalists, and pass it to the next judge. That judge will give it a yay or nay, and pass it to the next, and so on. The entries with the most “yays” will be the finalists (might be 3, might be 7).
Round 3 : Winners
All judges will have a long hangout and unanimously agree on the 3 winners of each category.


All winners of both categories will receive a PDF copy of these incredible games.



Screenshot from 2016-03-09 10:22:25c2EOiiScreenshot from 2016-03-09 10:20:46photo-originalphoto-originaltesScreenshot from 2016-04-01 12:09:46

All entries have the opportunity to get featured in Worlds Without Master, a sword and sorcery magazine.

Epidiah Ravachol is going to read through all of the entries and pick out entries that would be a good fit for his E-zine. His choices will be completely independent from the judges. If he chooses your entry, he’ll contact you with his offer, and provide more information.

The three winners of the RPG category will receive a PDF copy of “The Beast” (NSFW).

Find out more about “The Beast” here!