Three Sessions and lots of new Inspiration


Hello people,

over the last week I started three new groups, all of which using the ICRPG Core Rules. No homebrew except for Quantum Supplies (to make my life as a GM easier). Here I wanted to share some of the encounters that emerged from play. My players had a lot of fun during the sessions and that showed me the real beauty of ICRPGs simple and solid core rules. I am guilty of homebrewing a lot and more than I probably should :slight_smile: Maybe you can take ideas from the encounters or have had similar encounters and could share how you handled them. I´m interested in hearing all your experiences.

The Infinite Key Chain: This moment emerged as my players woke up in a sort of asylum and tried to flee from it. They were chased by guards, which resulted in a wild chase through asylum hallways and past other guards and down into the basements. There I set a timer after which the guards would be arriving in the basement. Previously they aquired a key chain with lots of keys. This key chain became the center piece of the whole next encounter, because to get away from the guards, they wanted to proceed into “that evil looking door at the end of the hallway”.
I didn´t know if I should just let them succeed in finding the key, or if they should have to make WIS Checks to find it, or to just roll a timer and see how long it takes to check all keys. Therefore I ruled that everytime they tried, they could roll a d4 and on a 4 it would be the right key. I didn´t think to much of it, because they had like three turns until the guards would arrive. So I thought they would find the key quickly and this section would be over with little to no tension. But oh man did it take long to roll a 4 on a d4. They managed to find the right key, the moment before the guards would come into the hallway, and cried out in relieve.

Just today I could reuse the same method, when my Warp Shell group had to reactivate their broken Warp Shell, while it was plummeting through the athmosphere of an unknown planet and was going to crash. They took turns trying to “Turn the Ignition” and were really excited to do so. The whole group got anxious and excited to roll the d4 to save the Warp Shell.

They had previously started their campaign with the adventrue “The last flight of the Red Sword” and at the start of this session I had the whole planet explode, while they were still in range of its blast radius. For that I set up the following parameters, which due to the simplicity of ICRPG didn´t take longer than 20 minutes (so grateful for that):

  • The Warp Shell had 3 HEARTS: This would serve as a passive timer, because when the Warp Shell is broken the encounter is over
  • On the first GM turn, an asteroid would hit the Warp Shell and cause the following problems:
  • Hole in the Shell - 1 HEART: Air was sucked out of it and everything and everyone was thrown around
  • Engine Broke - 1 HEART: Someone would need to climb out of the shell to fix the engine
  • Faulty Electronics - 1 HEART: Due to the radiation of the star the electronics would be faulty and needed to be fixed.
  • On every GM turn I would hit the Warp Shell for another ENERGY damage, if the pilot doesn´t succeed a Check to maneuver the Warp Shell.

This whole encounter was a beautiful chaotic mess, because one PC had to climb out of the shell while asteroids would fly towards them, two PCs tried to pilot the shell to help the others, two PCs were desperately trying to fix the hole in the shell and ultimately one of the pilots fell unconscious. Said pilot tried to fix the electronics and rolled a nat 1. I gave her 1 damage and that was enough to put her out. So the others now had to try to revive her aswell.

The last Moment I want to share occured in the first game. They went into “that evil looking door at the end of the hallway” and there was basically the evil genius controlling the Asylum. He was a vampire, lying on a Frankensteinesque machine and things got out of hand real quick. Players were desperately running for their lives (NEVER HAD THAT HAPPEN IN A DND GAME), while the vampire awoke and transformed into a more powerful version of itself. It all resulted in one player being left behind with the vampire.
Her idea was to turn on the Frankenstein-Machine and stand in the lightning. I panicked because this would kill all her chances of getting out, ´cause it would logically kill her. But my brain fortunately halted any of my attempts to straight away kill my PC and I offered her a deal. She could stand in the lightning and do a HARD CON Check. Should she succeed, then a superpower will be granted to her character. But should she fail, then lightning simply strikes her and does what lightning does ^^ She didn´t make it.
But the others made their way back and helped her and with combined efforts, they were all able to flee the BBEG.

Let me know if you´ve had cool experiences and encounters or found oddly fitting mechanics and rulings during your last sessions and share some of that stuff :slight_smile:


This is great stuff. Cinematic action! The targets, the timers, and the tension of having fragile characters (the three Ts) plus the simple rule set make for some great flexible fun.

I’ll just relate a fun moment - I was running a setting where all the characters were playing intelligent animal protectors of a fey-forest and were trying to foil a mining operation. The bear managed to fall in a cave on top of the explosive barrels and crush a bad guy, and at the end the fox and possum had to chew through a lit fuse to prevent a massive explosion that would have killed them all. It was tense as the fuse burned it’s way to the barrels!


How forgiving was the timer for the exploding barrels? And how did they end up in the ditch? To me this sounds like a stealth plan gone wrong ^^

My PCs usually stealth by failing all rolls and then fleeing from the alerted guards.


Great ideas! I’ll share a couple. these are less about mechanics and more about tone, RP and such:

  1. like giving my players hard choices. They accidentally released a very powerful entity (it casually called a PC’s god “a youngling”), which believes very much in making deals and letter-of-the-law, so they need to word things carefully but it could also be used to gain advantage. That entity would let them achieve ANYTHING, including breaking the game, but it wants them to cross their own red lines willingly and the bigger the ask, the higher the price. Don’t hold back! They saved themselves from 2 certain TPKs and wiped out a whole faction’s command structure, but now they have to sacrifice their most precious NPCs themselves, help an assassin kill the governor they fought very hard to put up, which would plunge the capital into chaos during a massive orc invasion etc. Most of them jumped at this, but when it came time to pay the price started to frantically look for a way out- it led to some incredible RP moments and creative use of words and deals, with nail biting desperate actions.

  2. From time to time, especially after a tense session, my players want something humorous, but with the same characters. I still try to tie it into the world and give them options to gain advantages or insights. This time they wanted something surreal and trippy, so of course Troika! came to mind. I adapted Blancmange & Thistle (the adventure in the free rules) and got them into it, it plays great with minimal conversion. In it I gave them potential access to a spell named “awareness”- upon completion of which they felt weird, like puppets on strings, they felt like they were being watched and then it dawned on my players- the PCs were becoming aware of them. At this point, I took over the PCs and asked the players questions- they were delighted and in return took over an NPC and asked me questions. One PC came out of it with a weaker hold on reality, the player wants to explore this angle so I plan on letting his PC invest time and effort in this and basically become mini Neo, but with the danger of losing grip on reality and either going insane or gaining free will to a degree that he stops being a PC. Not for everyone, but is very fun for us.

  3. Each time they roll a dying timer, I let them glimpse something about their goals and aspirations, clues to the mysteries they’re interested in etc., but only when the danger is real and imminent, and usually only when there’s 2 at most on the timer. Creates an interesting dynamic and represents how close they come to the other side.

  4. This is 100% an anecdote, I have no advice on how to replicate it. One of the coolest moments my players had was coming across a pirate ship about to board a merchant vessel deep at sea. they had no cannons (but had A LOT of explosives) and were one hit away from sinking. One of them could turn into a shadow for D4 rounds in this time he’s incorporeal but cannot move in direct sunlight, another could summon a huge hawk made of fire for the same duration. So the shadow-y one fills a lifeboat with explosives and stealths to the pirate ship, the other summons a giant hawk as a distraction. The first one lights the fuse, turns into a shadow, uses the shadows created by the fire hawk to traverse the waters back to their ship, a huge explosion and the pirate ship begins sinking. They then proceed to conscript the pirates to work for them, convince the merchant vessel to anchor at the village they liberated and boost its import business and just move on with their day- not 1 HP damage suffered…


The smaller creatures succeeded getting in the cave though a small hole and made their stealth roles, but the couldn’t fit so he dug a hole and didn’t realize it opened up into a big cavern. So, yeah, it was definitely a stealth plan gone wrong. The timer activated when the bad guy miners lit the fuse to the barrels.


The glimpse into the future thing sounds like something I will be trying myself :wink: and the first point about the devilish entity also sounds super interesting. As I understood it, it’s used like plot-point bargaining, right? They are in a tight situation and can get the advantage by pushing the real drama and tragedy out by a few more sessions. Awesome stuff :love_you_gesture:

I think my most memorable encounter was a room filling with water. The party moved down a mineshaft and they came upon a rail-hub with a jammed door and only one small mineshaft with a rail-attached power drill. The room started filling because of a loose cavern wall with water behind and they had to pull the power drill up, from the mineshaft before it was too late. At first they didn’t realize the danger, because while filling with water, nothing happened except that their rolls were HARD. But then they had to hold their breath and the one pulling the power drill rolled a 1 and then an additional 1 on the blunder. Therefore the drill rolled all the way back down into the shaft and then the first PC ran out of air and fell unconscious. The dice were trying to turn the game into a hollywood action movie that session.


It’s a way to test the strength of their convictions and the limits of their ambition, plus demonstrate the gravity of consequences.

They understand it must be banished, but until then they can call it at any point and ask for anything, if they’re willing to pay the price. It won’t work for players who aren’t invested in the world/ characters

Ooh, that’s great!
I’ll remember this idea, they may head towards a mine soon. Nothing like that nat 1/ 20 at the perfect moment… I think I need to improve at mechanical challenges for encounters