Free Kreigsspiel Revolution! play worlds, not rules.
Free Kreigsspiel Revolution (FKR) is a tabletop RPG movement and playstyle somewhat adjacent to OSR. Instead of looking back to the early RPGs for inspiration, it explores playstyles from before D&D (or the term RPG!) was invented. Because of that it's sometimes also refereed to as Ancient School or Arnesonian style. However, the real point of origin for FKR is Free Kriegsspiel - a XIX century Prussian wargame which abandoned complex rules of its predecessors in favor of having a knowledgable umpire (referee) deciding the outcomes and generally running the game.
Just like the games it takes inspiration from, FKR gives priority to the fiction of the game over rules. Players interact with the fictional world directly and rely on the impartial referee to create the outcomes. While it requires more trust between the participants than traditional RPGs, it doesn't constrain the player choice with mechanical systems. Simply say what you do and the world (via the referee) will respond accordingly.
At it's core, FKR is more of a style of play than it is a game. If you are looking for a mechanical puzzle that you can figure out and min-max, FKR might not be for you. However, if you are after staying in character and experiencing fictional worlds, you should give it a try.
FKR systems: #
While FKR is not really about rules & almost any game can be run in a FKR style, the below games are either made with the playstyle in mind or are just very highly compatible:
- OKRPG! - a really good introduction to the playstyle. Comes in a trifold pamphlet format, explains the core concepts and gives advice on how to play/run games using a much more narrative system in a really short & sweet manner. Highly recommended!
- Cthulhu Dark - Graham Walmsley's ultra light take on Mythos roleplaying. The stress mechanic and no-failure rolls are the highlights here. The version linked above is the full book filled with great advice, but there's also the original free version that only includes the system.
- 2400 - Jason Tocci's collection of 1 page games that pack a lot of setting and are perfectly FKRable even that they use such blasphemous ideas as "skills" and numeric values ;)
- Minimalist games/rulesets/resolution mechanics that came out from the FKR movement on discords: Messerspiel, Revenant's Hack, Primeval2D6, and Deluxe Kriegsspiel RPG.
- More verbose (than above) fantasy RPGs that provide more guidelines and advice about the FKR playstyle: Shadows in Eriador, and Running With Swords.
FKR Resources: #
- Great posts explaining FKR by Jim Parkin and Ben Milton.
- The FKR Collective Discord server.
- Pdf of the original Free Kriegsspiel book in English.
Old School Renaissance is a style of roleplaing aiming to recapture the magic of early RPG games, especially Dungeons&Dragons. It focuses on relatively light mechanics and rulings over rules. ↩︎
Dave Arneson was a co-author of the original Dungeons&Dragons, known for running his games in a more narrative way, where players didn't have to worry about the rules of the game, and could focus soley on the fiction. ↩︎