The Narbonic Diceless Roleplaying Game

Ah, the first Narbonic roleplaying game. I was so jazzed when I got this. I had never done any gaming; it’s the one nerd thing I haven’t gotten into. Recently, I’ve done a couple of campaigns run by my friend Jason Thompson (one Call of Cthulhu and one d20-based pirate game, for the curious).

I spent a lot of time on the cover illustration, which is based on the cover of the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game, the system Jude and Brian used:

I really like that I included a tiny little screaming Scott McCloud, a nod to Andrew’s guest week. In the lowest box, I accidentally left off Madblood’s moustache, making him look kind of Amish.

At one time I worked on a story featuring these sword-and-sorcery Narbonic characters. It was one of several Sunday serials I planned to do after the Victorian story, but the Victorian story ended up taking all six years to finish. If I remember correctly, Helen would have been a magician/alchemist, Mell a barbarian, and Dave a guy who makes leather hats.

From the last line on this page, I gather Jude and Brian were Sluggy Freelance fans.

I know the scan of the pencil sketch is too light to make out details, but, yes, that’s a pretty skimpy costume.

Even though it’s a diceless game, Dave’s brought his dice. He’d probably like to be an NPC in a more hardcore system. He also still has a cigarette, but, you know, they’ve somehow got tobacco in Middle-Earth, too.

6 thoughts on “The Narbonic Diceless Roleplaying Game

  1. I think Middle Earth’s pipeweed bears resemblence to more druglike drugs, too… There’s a bit somewhere about how Gandalf has smoked so much that his memory is mildly affected by it.

  2. Now this is genius: “On the following round, the character must flip a coin. On heads, the character blows up.” Not the player, but the in-universe character, must procure and flip an in-universe coin to determine if an in-universe explosion occurs.

  3. Leon:  well, having the player’s head blow up would be rough on group attendance….  😉

    Sarge:  I thought that was his coin… 


  4. I’m guessing Dave’s stats would go up considerably once he goes mad.

    Also, how can Helen (Beta, obviously) not have a Cute score? She’s adorable! (Though not nearly on the level of Sir Pounce, of course.)

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