Bookmark No HP RPG

Welcome to the world of Bookmark HP RPG adventuring. Thank you for visiting! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question via the form in the sidebar.

YouTube Solo Sessions

I’ve begun an ongoing series of short videos demonstrating solo role-play with the Bookmark HP RPG and others, along with products by other publishers.

The sessions fall into two categories:

  1. Oracle play is purely on-the-fly adventure, using random story detail generators such as the GameMaster’s Apprentice deck (my favorite), along with Bookmark HP RPG for character abilities and action rolls;
  2. Programmed adventures published for various RPG systems, converted on-the-fly to D6xD6 RPG rules, because who wants to learn or relearn different game rules every time.

If you’ve come here from that YouTube channel, for a product link mentioned in a video, here’s an ongoing list:

Facebook Group Page

You might also enjoy the BNHP Facebook Group, for play discussion; ideas in the works; examples of play, and project announcements. We’d love to see you there!

Published Bookmark Titles

Here’s a list of Bookmark HP RPG titles currently available.

    • Bookmark HP RPG: The oddity that started this all. It began as a challenge to create an RPG with no HP and ended up as something more deep and concise than I could have expected. It’s underpinned with a tight little “One Role to Rule Them All™” dice system, with meticulous odds on a 1-10 scale. One of my proudest works.
    • Player’s Handbookmark: Adds an experience system for campaign play, along with instructions and advice for adding depth to your character.
    • Game Host’s Guidebookmark: A foe ranking system, mass combat rules, and how to judge the quality of an action—succeed or fail. Plus an overview of designing your own adventures.
    • Dracula’s GetA setting faithful to the vampire’s powers in Bram Stoker’s novel, though not restricted to that time and place. You are a vampire of Dracula’s lineage, spawned by a bride who escaped his destruction. Like him, you seek to survive in a world that wants to end you. (I published this one first because it’s what I most wanted to play.)
    • Supers! Don your costume, thwart a crime, protect your secret identity. Or stalk the grim streets of a noir setting, as someone blessed and cursed by abnormal powers.  This sourcebookmark adds a d20 “Supers Die” to your repertoire, representing a balance between super powers and vulnerabilities.

In the Works!

The following are listed in order of likely release, starting with the most recent.

  1. HandiQuest: A system for adventuring with nothing but a GMA deck in one hand and a pen or pencil in the other, it’s designed for those times you have a few free minutes in a waiting room, public transit, or even just your couch.
  2. Bookmark CyberpunkIn preparation for a Kickstarter bundle with Larcenous Designs, this is the setting in which I’ve been testing campaign rules.
  3. Bookmark Cthulhu: Now in play-test, it adds a d20 sanity mechanic you may never recover from!
  4. A Bookmark of MarsBased on the public-domain Mars tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, this sourcebookmark takes you to a world of valiant warriors, savage beasts, glimmering cities, and airborne sailing ships.
  5. And more! Watch for new settings, adventures, bestiaries, character backgrounds, and more. The bookmarks have just begun!

How the Bookmark HP RPG Began

Not long ago on a Facebook page about game design, someone asked if anybody knew of a role-playing game that didn’t use hit points.

Hit Points by Any Other Name …

Comments that followed mentioned damage bars, damage labels, targeted locations, and various other things that—when you think about it—are really just other names for hit points: ways of measuring attrition from damage so that we can tell when a being in an RPG is dead. Or a limb is crippled, or they’re knocked out. It’s just tracking points.

Challenge—Accepted!

A design circuit in my brain clicked. The dice circuit that brought to life the Dragon Dice game because TSR executives said, “It’s too bad there’s no way to make a collectible dice game.” And the D6xD6 RPG because a fellow designer said you couldn’t make a full-fledged role-playing game with just one stat. And the D13 RPG because how could a game incorporate an easy, intuitive way to make a 1-13 scale?

Before the weekend was over, the basics of the Bookmark HP RPG were drafted: Difficulty on an intuitive 1-10 scale; dice sizes by the four main Attributes in my other self-published RPGs. By the end of the week, that draft had been play-tested, the wording torn apart by eagle-eyed consultants, revised, torn apart again, and revised again to make them express exactly what was in my head.

It seemed too simple to be a real thing. But the math worked—((x-1)/x)^y—and weird as it was to explain:

“The only target number is ‘1’;

“More dice is bad;

“Combat is about not getting hit;

“There are no hit points but every blow hurts.”

it felt right.

There you have it. The origins of the game design.

Titles Matter

Okay, now you know the origins of that HP part of the title. But that’s not really the game’s defining feature, so why have it there?

Because “Bookmark RPG” is bland and forgettable. It conveys a sense of what I term “rules casual.” But when people see that HP in the title, it makes them stop a minute and take a serious look at the content. And I believe that content is convincing.

So when you talk about this game—and I hope you do—please make a point of calling it the Bookmark No HP RPG.