- Draft is a free role playing game system. Free means that you can
use and copy it freely without being charged for anything. Role
playing game system means that it comprehends a rule set for being
used for role playing. Draft does not provide a role playing
setting or background - just rules. These rules have been designed to
work with as many possible settings as possible, although it mainly
covers human or at least human-like characters. Unlike
another home-brew RPG rules set, Draft's approach is to simulate the
game world as realistic as possible, taking into account a certain
level of complexity to achieve this approach.
- Previous versions of the project had no name at all. All
references to its name have been represented by empty placeholders.
The project itself has been called a "draft" per default. Halve a
decade later, the project is still unnamed - and the placeholders have
been kept. Thus the name.
- History - The Past
Back in the late 1980s, when I was young and unforgiving, I
longed for the ultimate role playing system as so many other role
players do. In those days I preferred detailed rules and came across
Rolemaster. I liked Rolemaster's level of detail, but disliked its way
of asserting its rules. Rolemaster uses tables, tables and tables over
and over again, indexing and cross-referencing them, thereby hampering
the game flow and contradicting my style of playing. Because of this,
I started building my own systems from scratch. I had done this
several times before for smaller projects, but this time I took my
duties more seriously. The project grew and thrived for several years
- only to be given up when I came across Columbia Games' Hârnmaster in the beginning of the 1990s.
Hârnmaster provided exactly the level of detail I liked in conjunction
with usability I always longed for. It met (almost) all my
requirements, yet need some customized patches here and there.
Some years later, my preferences changed, causing my requirements
to be altered. With the appearance of narrative style RPGs, which had
not been available to the public before, I made an attempt to descent
back to my roots: RPGs with simple rules like D&D. However, I always disliked certain aspects
in all of the systems I checked out. As a result I sat down again and
modified Draft to meet my current needs. For the purpose of
simplicity, Draft had to be downgraded seriously with most of its
special rules and options being dropped. From version 0.2 to 0.3, I
replaced the d100 core rules by d10 - a drawback of precision by the
factor of 10 (!), but still more than enough to provide reasonable
game mechanics. Soon, I started to fall in love with the simplicity,
which unfolded in front of me.
Again, even before Draft had been finished entirely, I came across
another fascinating system - FUDGE. Steffan
O'Sullivan had created FUDGE to servce as a free, generic role playing
system, too. FUDGE provided some mechanics that made it the first
choice for people who wanted as much flexibility as possible, but
still did not want to spend hundreds of bucks on GURPS. I liked FUDGE
very much, but yet finished version 0.4 of
Draft after some time.
- State of the Art - The Present
After years of development and continuous changes, the progress
meter has finally stopped ticking. There is no need for further
development any more. First, because I more and more come to
appreciate the role as a player, thankfully leaving the task of game
mastering to others, and second, because Draft's purpose of existence
has been replaced when my personal preferences and style of play
shifted downwards on the scale of complexity.
Maybe one day, when I come back to monitor games in simulation
style, I will take out Draft's manual once more out of the drawer. In
this improbable case, Draft is likely to grow back to the state it was
in version 0.2, an arithmatic riddle, waiting to be resolved. Until
then, other projects deserve more waste of time: the also discontinued
(and even obsolete) Hexatome for quick and
dirty games with lots of action, which, too, gets more and more
replaced by the wonderful works of Jonathan Tweed and Robin D. Laws,
as well as the universally generic Epitome
for narrative styles of play.
- The content of Draft is distributed under the
Please read it before downloading or redistributing it.
- Pick-up Point
- The current version is 0.4. Feel free to download it here: PDF-file (207 KB). You may send your feedback to