Artifact : A Roleplaying Poem

So I was in the pub this evening with some friends, reminiscing about old games and punitive GMs so I came up with this RPG poem. We played a round of it, and it was fun, so I thought I’d share it…


Players: Exactly 3

Duration: 2 Minutes

Props: Some kind of countdown timer

You each take one of these roles:

The World: Briefly describe a world and something that needs doing. “We’re in middle earth and Shelob is about to eat you, escape”. During the scene you will describe problems that stop the Victim from accomplishing their goal. If you win describe the victim failing to achieve their goal.

The Artifact: Briefly describe a magical artifact in the possession of the victim, it must have potential up sides and down sides but should be left relatively vague. “You have the Hand of Vecna, capable of channeling powerful necromantic magics”. During the scene you will describe problems with the artifact. If you win describe the artifact taking a terrible toll on the victim.

The Victim: You are trying to accomplish the goal set by The World and have access to The Artifact to do it. During the scene describe how you are going to do this. If you win describe your victory.

Set a timer for 60 seconds (or a random time if you can and prefer), concealing the exact time from the players (it needs to make a noise when it’s done so you know)… we used a screen-down phone with a egg timer app.

The victim starts narrating how they achieve their goal and the artifact or world can interrupt with problems at any time. The victim can then interrupt when they want to narrate a solution to the problem. Repeat until the timer goes off.

Whoever last narrated when the timer goes off wins and can narrate the ending.