Spark RPG, current iteration

Thanks to the incredible feedback over at the two threads here from the Grand Roludothon, I have made some fairly significant changes to the Spark RPG.

Here are highlights of some of the most significant changes.  I have also attached the new and improved version of that summary sheet which I will be using when I run “Seeking Suki” at GenCon.  Yes, this is the first time I am actually publicly posting the outline of my system.   I would love to hear your thoughts!

1) Trainings have been renamed as Talents
2) Pillars have been renamed as Beliefs
3) The old way of framing scenes has been replaced.  Now one person picks the basic situation, one person states what drives people act and one person decides the fundamental question that people want to answer.  I stole this partially from 3:16 and partially from Microscope/Primetime Adventures.
4) I cleaned up spending Fate.  Now you can only spend it in one specific way during a scene depending on the phase, or as a result of a resolution.
5) Fortune is gone.
6) A difference of 1-3 between sides in a conflict now gives each side a Resolution.  It is impossible to get a “wiff” result since every conflict has _something_ happen.
7) I simplified the list of Resolutions and added “Question” since it seemed to come up constantly.
8) Paradigms still exist, but only as an option and not one that I will bring out during the con demo scenarios.
9) Ritual Phrases will define when a conflict is started or when a scene ends.

Please let me know what you think about the changes and thank you all for participating!

Jason Pitre


The gameplay is built from a series of scenes, each of which has 5 different phases.


Phase 1: Open the Scene and define what the scene is about.

Phase 2: Collaboration between participants in freeform roleplaying.

Phase 3: Conflict between participants, when the collaboration stops and participants disagree.

Phase 4: Resolution of the conflicts and dealing with the outcomes of the conflicts.  Go to Collaboration.

Phase 5: Closing the Scene and determine what the scene meant.


1 – Open the Scene

1)    Three different participants cooperate to create the scene.

2)    Roll your Spark dice or Support and compare what you rolled.

3)    The highest roll gets to pick the Platform, Tilt or Question.  The second highest gets the next pick one of the two remaining options.  The third highest gets the last option.

  • The Platform:  Define where the scene takes place and who is present.
  • The Tilt: Define what event or action forces players to interact with the Scene.
  • The Question: What is the essential question that you are trying to answer with the scene?

You can spend Fate to Decide;

Spend 1 Fate to immediately pick the Platform, Tilt or Question before the dice are rolled.



2 – Collaboration

1)    Roleplay freely, speaking in character and declaring actions.

2)    All participants can declare what their character tries to accomplish.

3)    If no one opposes what you declare, it occurs.

4)    If you want to add extra details about someone else’s declaration, say “yes, and” then elaborate.

5)    You can declare things outside of your character such as objects, events or non-player characters so long as they have already been introduced in the past.

6)    If you want to prevent someone else’s Declaration, say “We are in conflict” and move to the Conflict phase.

You can spend Fate to Flashback;

Spend 1 Fate to narrate a short flashback which introduces something new to the story.

Immediately after that flashback, reintroduce that new element to the current scene.

3 – Conflict

1)    Each participant picks sides in the conflict.

2)    Determine what dice you roll, based on your Attribute modified by any Conditions.

3)    Determine the highest Talent bonus on their side, used in step 5.

4)    Roll your dice

5)    Each side has a score made of the highest number rolled, plus their Talent Bonus as determined in step 3.

6)    Compare the scores of each side, with the greater score winning the conflict.

7)    The number of successes is equal to the difference between scores.

You can spend Fate to Confirm;

Spend 1 Fate to switch dice between two participants, if one of your Beliefs is confronted.

4 – Resolution

Every die which shows a value of 1 gives the opposing side 1 Resolution

If you have 0-3 successes, each side gets to choose 1 Resolution

If you have 4-5 successes, the winner may choose 1 Resolution

If you have 6-7 successes, the winner may choose 2 Resolutions

If you have 8-9 successes, the winner may choose 3 Resolutions

If you have 10-11 successes, the winner may choose 4 Resolutions

If you have 12-19 successes, the winner may choose 5 Resolutions

If you have 20+ successes, the winner may choose 6 Resolutions

Below are the 8 different types of resolutions.  You may pick them multiple times.

  • Heal:  Remove a Damage marker from an Attribute
  • Harm:  Add a Damage marker to an Attribute
  • Question: Force a character to answer a question
  • Compel: Force a participant to perform an action.
  • Boon: Add or remove a Boon condition from a character, potentially with a cost in Fate.
  • Bane: Add or remove a Bane condition from a character, potentially with a cost in Fate.
  • Inspire: Offer another participant Fate so they adopt a new Belief of your choice.
  • Summon:  Summon supporting reinforcements to help you in a conflict.


You can spend Fate to Push;

Spend 1 Fate to gain one additional Resolution for every level of Spark Attribute that you have.


5 – Close the Scene

Once the Question has been answered, any participant may close the scene by stating “And we move on.”  Proceed to open the next Scene.


You can spend Fate to Preview;

Spend Fate to narrate a conflict in the near future where you will need an Attribute or Talent. You will gain that Attribute or Talent just in time when that conflict occurs in the next Scene.


Quick update from the Dicemines

The Grand Roludothon was excellent and I was overwhelmed with the amount of excellent feedback.   I am currently in the process of analyzing how the system ought to change to reflect that feedback and how I can ramp up the fun.  I got confirmation that the core premise of the game is rewarding, but I now need to streamline and record what GM techniques work well.

My master plan is to make all of my corrections over the next 3 weeks and come prepared to run some sessions at GenCon.   Not that I know for certain that I would actually have players, but that is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

Would any of you be willing victims participants of a GenCon playtest session?  Let me know!

Salut a tous les Francophones et Francophiles!

Je m’excuse que j’attendais jusqu’a ce point d’écrire un poste en Français pour vous.    Mon Français est loin de parfait, mais je suis entrain de le pratiquer et j’espère qu’il serait au point que je pourrais traduire mes jeux de table dans cette langue. Un de mes priorités c’est de le produire mes jeux sans frais supplémentaires; je trouve comme frustrant comment chère les livres traduit sont d’acheter.

A tout les Montréalais qui ont été dirigées ici par la Grande Roludothon, bienvenus!   La plupart de mes commentaires ici sont en Anglais, mais je serais content de discutez en commentaires dans ce que vous vouliez la langue officielle de votre choix.  En addition, chaque page de mon site web présente l’option de le traduire par le service de Google.  C’est loin de parfait, mais il me semble comme une option que pourrais être meilleur que des toutes lires en Anglais.

Merci pour me rejoindre et si tu la aucun question, je t’invite de le partager ici.


I have manged to cobble together a two-page long summary of my game thus far. While it’s only understandable to me, it is solid enough for me to run a demo game I think and took dramatically less time then a fully detailed revision of the text. I have some pressure to prepare the scenario for a local convention (CanGames) and I want that session to be as enjoyable as possible.

By the way, I am pondering a quick little mini-review series of some of the indie RPG’s which I have picked up from the various DriveThruRPG disaster relief bundles but I am uncertain if there would be much of an audience. Anyone have opinions one way or the other on this? Highlighting the novel technologies and interesting implementations within the design community seems helpful but I am honestly uncertain if anyone would read the things. Can you let me know?