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Greetings Shield Wall.

I wanted to share with you a hack I’m running for my current table. It’s essentially ICRPG meets Dungeon World. Two things first: I love DW (and PbtA in general); second, the reason I bought DW was because of Hankerin’s review of it oh so long ago.

That said, one thing I think I’ll always have in my campaigns is a partial success mechanic because it makes everything more interesting. In my game I’ve re-written basic moves (not using class moves, currently) to govern partial successes in ICRPG. Here’s the two templates I’m using.

When the DM calls for a CHECK to see if you can do something quick roll 2d20+STATS. If both dice meet or beat the TARGET, success. If only one die, partial success. On a partial success you…

  • achieve your goal, but at a cost.
  • achieve your goal, but only partially.

When the DM calls for an ATTEMPT to see if you can do something roll 2d20+STATS. If both dice meet or beat the TARGET, success. If only one die, partial success. On a partial success you…

  • achieve your goal, but at a cost.
  • achieve your goal, but your EFFORT is rolled with DISADVANTAGE.

For anyone who’s played a PbtA game I hope your mind can see all the possibilities. For those who haven’t… I highly recommend you give one a … one shot. Here are some additional notes, though.

I am using GM moves as guidance as well, so if a player fails a roll something happens. Many times the monster they were attacking makes an attack against them right away. Other times I advance the timer. But on every roll, something happens.

I’ve added durability to all weapons and armor (even the hammer) and use DWs ammo system, so when the move costs them something many times that cost is mark an ammo or durability. When durability is depleted the weapon/armor breaks. Base durability for everything is 3. Armor, shields, and hammers have extra durability.

When monsters attack I have the players roll an attempt to defend using this template. I don’t roll vs their AC. So there armor is damage reducing instead of a target number. On a partial success the armor is what takes a hit to durability.

I haven’t finished rewriting all the moves from DW and essentially use this template for everything currently. I’m also going to be writing class moves that can be earned either via milestones or with an XP system.

Hope this inspires or intrigues you.

May your mugs never run dry.


I’m not seeing the ICRPG influences here? Maybe I missed it.


Wow, this looks cool. Totally gonna use this.


Lol…it’s ICRPG in the TN, and effort…probably other little things here and there.

There have been a ton of discussions on this type of thing Octoberish of last year on the forums.

@Cooksadventures that’s pretty elegant actually. Good on you!!!


Ah. I should’ve clarified. I’m running ICRPG with the addition of these rules.


Thanks. I realized I didn’t clarify that I’m running ICRPG with the addition of moves and some other house rules. Not the other way around. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Ah I see And to further the conversation Can you provide and example of the loves you are talking about and why you feel moves are a good addition to ICRPG.


I get enough of a partial success flavor by the following mechanic:

If a PC misses a roll by 1 under, they may request (or GM may offer) a Costly Success.

The costliness of the success should generally be in proportion to the costliness of keeping the failure. Meaning, there is as much of a consequence but it’s in a different domain of effect.

I do use the DW style list of GM Location or Threat moves as inspiration, when offering a Costly Success.

This works fine for my table. YMMV.


Sure! First, I think moves are a good idea in any rpg because it welds the mechanics to the fiction. To quote Hankerin, “Oh my god, it’s awesome — Moves! Moves! Which are the bread and butter of Dungeon World are totally fantastic.” (7:00 or so minutes into his second review of DW). I couldn’t agree more. Moves elevate any rpg because there’s never just a roll. Rolls are always triggered by the fiction so the game never leaves the narrative space. That’s why I use moves in my game of ICRPG.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m only using the basic moves at the moment because I haven’t written any class moves for ICRPG. But your question got me thinking, so instead of presenting a rewritten basic move (which isn’t too different from how they are in DW) I wrote up a class move for Guardian.

Unto Others

When you rush to the aid of an ally overwhelmed by enemies roll+STR or CHA. On a success both, on partial choose one. Roll 1d4 and for that many rounds:

  • Any enemies close to your ally only attack you.
  • Your ally, emboldened by your presence, always rolls ultimate.

I like that move because it captures what I think the guardian is all about. Plus (I think) it’s badass. It isn’t just a player moving a miniature closer to his ally and rolling a d20 to make an attack. It evokes emotion and drives narrative because it only triggers when the intent is to rescue an ally facing doom. What is overwhelmed by enemies? I don’t know. It’s open ended. It relies on the narrative situation to define. It creates material for RP, strengthening the bond between characters and players.

Those are my feelings, at least.


This is a pretty good idea. I’ve come up with a narrative dice idea just recently too.

I’ll share mine in case do you or anyone else wants to use it.

I think your role to 2d20 is a good idea. For dice lower than 20 my plan was to use the far end of the dice.

Ex: On a 1 or a 10 on a D10 roll the narrative dice.

My reasoning being that the odds would make it fairly common, but not so common that it was every single roll like in Dungeon World.

Dungeon world is perhaps my favorite system for GM-ing, but thinking up a consequence for almost every single roll does get tiring.

So here is the narrative dice:

Use a fudge/fate dice if you want, or a regular D6.

On a ‘-’ sign you add the word ‘but’. On a ‘blank’ face you add nothing. On a ‘+’ sign you add the word ‘and’.

Giving you six results: Success BUT (complication); Success AND (something else/benefit); Fail AND (more bad/consequence); Fail BUT (benefit/silver lining); and then the two blank faces would be nothing. Just fail or pass with nothing added.

The with a normal D6 just make 1-2 BUT 3-4 BLANK and 5-6 AND.

Alternatively, you can use ONLY a D6 as both success and narrative dice, but then it’s totally random.

1: No AND
2: No
3: No BUT
4: Yes BUT
5: Yes
6: Yes AND


As somebody who was pulled into rpgs by hanks videos. Then was pulled over to pbta games and now doesn’t leave the house without 2d6 in my pocket. I can REALLY appreciate what you’ve done here. This forums the best for creativity man. Even though I pbta more than icrpg, this is the best place for great ideas and discussion, no matter what frankenstein version of an rpg we’re playing.


Hey! I run a similar game for a Gladiator Inspired campaign. I feel the idea of keeping the d20s is awesome but I think it has the problem of meeting target numbers (unless of course you intend to add the bonus to both rolls)

I’d say don’t forget CONDITIONS pbta is so character sheet based that excluding them would make the game feel stagnant.

An idea I just had would be to try and use the MAGIC ICRPG book’s take on Class and Type to diversify characters. Maybe by offering a pool of moves available due to type and moves available due to archetype.

But don’t forget that to their core they are mechanically two different systems when it comes to focus. Pbta prefers narrative based rolls and likes viewing the conflict from that point of view. Combat tends to be short because it’s all zoomed out. But ICRPG has a very in the moment excitement sort of system. Every turn in combat is important because it’s meant to be filled with exciting things like TIMERS, ITEMS, TAGS, BOLD KEYWORDS That put the focus on a zoomed in experience. Finding the balance is difficult but make it your own and I’m sure you’ll get it!

Edit: forgot a word.


Yes, the bonus is added to both dice. The real issue with elegance, as simple as a 2d20 system is, is you lose the bell curve of the pbta system. Also, when a 20 and a 1 come up in the same roll… Technically this is just a partial success, but that feels wrong. Still toying around with dramatic consequences and benefits to this result, as rare as it is.

I’ve found that this is a more easy pairing than expected and my players, so far, enjoy it. The big plus is there are no wasted rolls. Players never just roll and fail and the next player goes. On a fail or partial success the GM makes a move (hard or soft) as you know. This could be maneuvering an enemy, advancing a timer, triggering a trap, increasing the TN, etc.

We play the game in turns following ICRPG recommendations, however the GM doesn’t use their turn to roll and attack with each monster. Instead they make good on any threats that the players ignored during that round, advance any timers that need to be, and set up the next round using as many GM moves as creates more drama and tension.

And the speed of the game is, not always, but usually, greatly enhanced (and both ICRPG and DW are already fast). Because the GM doesn’t usually use their turn to move every minion, rolling against each character’s AC x times, the players are almost always acting. Where as in DW it’s considered poor form and lacking creativity to use the GM move Deal Damage often, it works and feels great in this mashup because dealing damage to players in ICRPG goes a long way to upping the tension and keeping encounters short.