Consensus Fantasy, the Piecepack Matrix Game

Players 1-20
Length ?? minutes
Equipment Required 1 or more piecepacks
Designer ChrisEngle? and RonHaleEvans
Version 0.1
Version Date 2018-05-06
License <license information for the game rules>

Main things missing (180520): (1) random idea tables, (2) solo gaming rules, (3) miniatures rules, (4) three scenarios.


Consensus Fantasy is a generic, miniatures-based, soloable RPG and wargame based on Chris Engle's Matrix Games and informed by Tana Pigeon's Mythic Game Master Emulator. Matrix Game rules are free as in freedom, and an optionally GMless system with decades of playtesting. They lend themselves well to a freeform, improv style of play. They also have some simple miniatures rules, which can easily use the piecepack.

Chris Engle invented Matrix Games. Ron Hale-Evans adapted them to the piecepack and wrote the scenarios.

The turn at a glance

1. Players move the characters they control. While moving, players can talk and roleplay with one another.

2. The gamemaster asks the players to make arguments about what happens next. One argument per player.

3. After each argument is made, the gamemaster decides how strong it is and whether it will cause conflict or trouble. This is totally up to the gamemaster! No arguments automatically cause conflict or trouble.

4. After all the arguments are made, the gamemaster decides which arguments are competing with (inconsistent with) one another.

5. An argument's strength determines what needs to be rolled on a six-sided die for it to happen. Players roll one die for their own argument. If they roll any of the target numbers, then the argument happens. (If an argument will always fail or always succeed, don't roll for it.)

STRONG 3,4,5,A

Piecepack dice have six sides: N 2 3 4 5 A, where N means "null" and A means "ace". In Matrix Games, nulls count as 1 and aces count as 6. N is an automatic failure and A is an automatic success. If you roll either of these special values, roll again. (But don't roll again when settling competing arguments or conflicts.) If your second roll is another special value, this is what it means:

  • NN = "no, and..." extra failure
  • NA = "no, but..." a positive side
  • AN = "yes, but..." a negative side
  • AA = "yes, and..." extra success

The gamemaster determines what these results mean within the game. It might not be what you expect!

6. Players only roll once to see if their argument happens unless their argument is competing with another argument. Competing arguments cannot both happen. Only one can. Players settle it with a dice rolling contest.

Two or more arguments can be in competition. Each player rolls for their own argument. Arguments that fail their rolls drop out of the contest. Keep on rolling until only one argument is left. If all of the arguments fail then a new contest begins. One argument must succeed.

7. Successful arguments happen. They change the "Matrix" of the world by adding to it, taking something away, or altering it.

8. Conflict and trouble arguments that happen cause extra rounds of arguments to find how they come out.

Conflict causes extra rounds of arguments.

Common conflicts: combat, recruiting new characters, stealing things, magic, politics, building things, arresting people, trials

The gamemaster decides who is involved with the conflict and how strong each player is. The strongest player gets to make an argument about what happened in the conflict. The gamemaster decides how strong it is and the player rolls for it immediately. If it happens then the conflict is settled. If it fails then the next strongest player gets to make an argument. Players keep on making arguments until one succeeds. The gamemaster can decide that a conflict argument causes another conflict.

Trouble also causes extra arguments.

The gamemaster decides whom the trouble affects and what status it gives to those who fail to deal with it. Each affected player gets to make an argument about how they deal with the trouble or why it doesn't affect them. The gamemaster rules on the arguments' strengths and if any are in competition. Players then roll to see if they succeeded in avoiding the trouble.

Players who fail must use their regular arguments to fix the trouble or live with the consequences.

Now begin the next turn! Don't be afraid if you're making it up as you go along. That's how Matrix Games are played!

For more information, see The Basic Matrix Game.


You are a small, greedy Pomeranian named Humphrey. Your human is offering you a treat to learn a trick called "dance." When she plays "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, she wants you to stand up on your hind legs and wave your forelegs with a big grin on your face.

Can you do it? You've been training for days, and the gamemaster rates your chances as Strong (3,4,5,A on a piecepack die).

3,4,5,AYou succeed. You learn the trick.
N,2You fail. You can't learn the trick.
NNYou fail! You backflip, fall on your face, and cry. You refuse to learn any other tricks for a month.
NAYou fail, but you do spontaneously learn to dance to "The Liberty Bell", the theme to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
ANYou succeed, but you'll only do the trick when nobody else is watching, like the frog in that Warner Brothers cartoon.
AAYou succeed gloriously, and also learn to dance across the room to any music from the disco era.

Random idea tables


Solo gaming




For more information, see Politics By Other Means.



I will offer at least these three scenarios with the rules.

  1. A wargame matching armies from different places and times, such as a Roman legion vs. a 22nd-century UN peacekeeping force armed only with stunners.
  2. A P.G. Wodehouse "Jeeves and Wooster" pastiche in which a young, upper-class dimwit attempts to extricate himself from confounded hot water with the help of his gentleman's personal gentleman.
  3. DogStar?: A game in which household pets of every description vie to go viral by becoming Cute Pet of the Day on the fabulously popular ZooTube? video service. Play your own pet!


Probably CC BY-SA 4.0


CategoryGame <add taxonomy category tags here>