On The Creeds (Them Deeper Bones, design diary 2)

A bookshelf with many Powered by the Apocalypse games on it, starting from D. Vincent and Meguey Baker’s Apocalypse World.
Powered by the Apocalypse games


  • Play with victory in mind but be accepting of your failure
  • To do something, tell how you do it
  • Be smart, think long-term
  • The character sheet is there to save you, not limit you
  • No gotchas
  • Don’t rely on the dice, but let them fall where they may
  • Reward being clever, and err for the players’ benefit
  • Apply pressure through procedure
  • Be consistent and telegraph change
  • Serve each player according to their needs


  • Simplify when possible.
  • Dice are not the way to solve things.
  • Combat is dangerous and becomes more dangerous the longer it lasts.
  • Magic is not a reliable limited resource but unpredictable and fantastic.
  • Exploring the world and finding out the secrets of old is the biggest reward.
  • Character investment through hardship and survival.
  • Imply the setting, don’t tie it too strongly to the mechanics.
  • Central conflict should be between the way things are and the way things were, not between civilization and the wild untamed other.
  • The game should call back to the shape and design of classic BECMI D&D when there are no rules that make it better or steer it more to the other design tenets.




Game developer, cat owner

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Petri Leinonen

Petri Leinonen

Game developer, cat owner

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