Inclusive RPG Logo

Inclusivity in RPGs is important. Use this seal to show your game's support for inclusivity!

Inclusive RPG Seal, use this for your inclusive RPGs!

Back in 2012, I created my family friendly RPG Michtim: Fluffy Adventures. It was supposed to be a happy place for all sorts of gamers. Something worthwhile to protect against human intrusion. It is kind of utopian, though troubles and intrigue are still a part of the setting, of course. One thing is set in stone though: Michtims are an inclusive lot. They do not discriminate against others based on sexuality, identity, creed or fur color.

I wanted to make a stand for inclusivity in my game. I was highly disappointed of many games I came across that always made a point about heteronormative rulings (“characters of the opposite sex…”) or forcefully separated different genders in available roles or regarding stats and social status.

I wanted a game that just doesn’t care about my sexuality. There isn’t even a gender field on the character sheet. It wasn’t forgotten, it simply isn’t important. Female characters can have typically male features and vice versa, and there are also Meschne Michtim, who are in between or completely different from Male or Female stereotypes or bodily functions. They aren’t even seldom. Many Michtims are Meschne. My alter ego, who would be identified as male, is able to breastfeed, and nobody gives a damn. He’s technically Meschne. No need for labels.

Fast forward to 2016. I read a lot of negative feedback about games that fail to be inclusive. But all I think of is: why does nobody discuss the games that handle it in a good way? What about spreading some good vibes? Recommendations? I was waiting to be featured by fellow LGBT-friendly sites, but there wasn’t much coming out of that direction. I faltered. Maybe my game isn’t queer enough? Well. I want to make inclusive games more visible! That’s why I came up with this logo you can use to show your game’s support for inclusivity.

Go on! Share this post! Let’s make inclusivity in RPGs a thing that you can actively look for!

Let me know your thoughts!

Sneak Peak at Creature Cards

Creature Cards

These cards provide basic info about different species, like stuff you would find in a bestiary but without stats because those are found on Personality Cards. You combine a Creature Card, one Personality Card and up to three Calling Cards (if need be).


Magical Folk (Tiny)
Health 7
Beast Tongue (Squeak Dialect
Enhanced Senses
Expert Climber
Fall safely from any distance
Cheek pouch storage
Shift fur during sleep

Want: Charity, Conservation, Culture


Magical Folk (Tiny)
Health 7
Beast Tongue (Croak Dialect)
Aquatic Sense
Expert Swimmer
Frog tongue catches Diminutive prey or objects
Chameleon skin at any time

Want: Unity, Conservation, Honor


Animal (Small-Medium)
Health 9-15
Beast Tongue (Bark Dialect)
Dog Senses (Scent)
Expert Runner
Relentless (Joy+1)
Mighty Jaws (Anger+1)
Toughness (Physical Armor 2)

Want: Loyalty, Dominance, Territory


Animal (Small)
Health 9-11
Beast Tongue (Meow Dialect)
Enhanced Senses
Expert Ambusher
Silent Hunter (Fear+1)
Fast (Joy+1)
Claws and Fangs (Attacks inflict Bleeding Wounds)

Want: Curiosity, Affection, Mystery


Animal (Small)
Health 9-11
Beast Tongue (Uhu Dialect)
Enhanced Senses
Expert Ambusher
Silent Hunter (Fear+1)
Claws and Beak (Attacks inflict Bleeding Wounds)

Want: Wisdom, Secrets, Freedom


Magical Folk (Small)
Health 7
Beast Tongue (Song Dialect)
Expert Climber
Always Vigilant (Detect+2)
Blazing Speed (Jolt+2)

Want: Beauty, Friendship, Freedom


Animal (Medium)
Health 15-20
Human Tongue (Uncountable Dialects)
Dull Senses
Mighty (Inflicted Damage+2)
Toughness (Physical Armor 2)
Too Slow: when attacking a Tiny creature -2 Dice to Attack.

Want: Power, Influence, Knowledge


Magical Folk (Tiny-Medium)
Health 7-20
Infernal Tongue
Guilt Sense
Terrifying: all creatures in the vicinity gain 1 Fear Marker at the end of every round; if a creature reaches their Fear Marker maximum, a Generic Wound is inflicted instead. Each round thereafter, the wound is upgraded one step.
Resilience (Magical Armor 2)

Want: Punishment, Obedience, Freedom

So much News for Michtim!

Work Log March 2016

My hubby is in hospital and I want to distract myself from being alone. With too much time on my hands, I try to create new stuff for Michtim: Fluffy Adventures that will really benefit the unique style of the game. Also I’ve got new tools to use! Ulysses is really helpful when creating tons of formatted text for blog posts and traditional writing. Love it! Check it out!

Finished Stuff

This is the list of all finished tasks so far.

Michtim Dice

There are now custom d6 for use with Michtim. They feature a variant 6 with the note „+Mood“ because Mood Markers are gained on the roll of each 6. There is also a prototype of an Emotion dice that could be used for mood swings. Sadly the production of these dice is fairly expensive and it has to wait until a later date (maybe a Kickstarter) to be worthwhile to produce.

Custom Michtim Dice!

Personality Cards

These cards help in character generation. If people can’t decide what to play, they can pick from one of ten unique personality cards. The cards also feature some questions to ask yourself when playing this character. These cards are best combined with the already existing Calling Cards to create neat characters.

Personality Cards for ultra-fast Character Generation!

Wound Cards

Michtims can now track wounds with style using Wound Cards. Each card has two faces. One is used for General Wounds (that is, wounds without wound effects). The other face shows rules for a specific wound effect, an illustration and info about the damage type (physical, magic or tech). Tracks run from 1 to 10 in the rare case that a creature has more than 7 Wound Tolerance. The deck contains 3 copies of 12 unique cards, bringing it to a total of 36 Wound Cards. That is the exact same amount as is used for the Calling Cards.

Wound Cards with Effects and Illustrations!

Stuff I’m working on

These are the projects I’m currently working on from time to time, but that are not finished yet.

Updated Core Rules

This is a big update in my opinion. I might want to create a separate book product to combine these into a new tome. For a KS I would instead create a new Core Rules product.

Calling Synergies

There are 66 unique combinations between all twelve Core Callings. I really want to write a short blurb for every combo to get creation started. Of course players can still have unique synergies as well, but to some, maybe a little input is a good idea. I figure that every Calling will receive a spread (double page) detailing each 5-6 Synergies. You would have a spread for the Cook, for example, and then have several synergies that go along with it like:

Cook + ……

  • Sorcerer = Alchemy. You create miniaturized potions. Friends can now carry up to three potions (instead of one meal). They can take any combination of your potions.
  • Machinist = Gadgets. You can create Accessories. They offer the usual boost to the attribute, but they have a Restore condition that says „spend an Action to wind up for one turn“.
  • Witch = Shelf Life. Your creations now last for a year and a day. If you decide to close your shop it no longer has an effect on your creations.

You can combine multiple synergies as well. Felixus Honigpfote is a Master Alchemist combining Sorcerer, Witch and Cook into extended potions that last really long and are super handy.

I am very exited for this new feature and it basically just takes a lot of time writing and coming up with new stuff. Maybe I can finish it soon. It would be a blast.

GM Support for running games

I was kinda inspired by Apocalypse World and Mutant: Year Zero lately. I really like no-prep games and Michtim was supposed to be such a game. It turns out that my example adventure is super railroady and is rather used as a starter to show what Michtim can be about. Anyway, my usual style of GMing is also low prep info graphic. I draw boxes with names and draw lines. Basically what Undying calls a Relationship-Map. You should absolutely use such things, they are terrific.

Mutant: Year Zero on the other hand uses Threat Cards (or tables), Artefacts and all sorts of interesting NPCs to build its stories. Some of those things, Michtim does as well. Michtim has an extended NPC section with lots of plot hooks to roll for. I’m not aware that anyone uses these. Most actual plays I’ve heard about are either completely new content or use the premade adventure Spark’s Flight.

Here I’m currently in the ideation phase. Since I do a lot of Cards lately, I might try to stay within this medium… but I’m just exploring options at the moment. For Creatures (I don’t like calling anything a monster) I thought about using the typical stat blocks from the adventure, but actually these blocks could be handled by personality cards or hand-waiving stats anyway. Just pick two stats the creature is good at, and you’re ready to go. Special Mechanics for creatures can be derived from Callings. The system flourishes when you use existing parts. That way expanding Callings would probably offer a lot of new content for Antagonists as well.

The only thing that’s usually different is Health (Wound Tolerance) and Armor as well as Hit-Modifications. Humans have tons of Health, are super resistant to Michtim-inflicted damage but they suffer immense penalties when trying to attack a small (but very fast) Michtim. There you have it. Humans are the game’s dragons already. Customize them with Gear and Callings and you’re good to go.

Gear Cards / Inventory Book

I tried to showcase how the game works right in the core book. But it helps to have options to pick and discover rather than create at the table. I will probably create new stuff in five areas:

  • Tools. For every Emotion there should be a lot of tools. Anger-Tools (Weapons) are the easiest to create, based on Wound Effects, but let’s not forget the other four Emotions. Grief-Tools could be shields. Joy-Tools are vehicles and Fear-Tools are stealth assets.
  • Accessories. These offer a one-time effect and a restore condition. Maybe I can make rules for Accessory creation. The Gadget-Synergy (Machinist+Cook) already offers stat-boosting rewindable accessories for example, but there could be a lot of other interesting things. Combine different Restore-Conditions with different effects (maybe based on Callings) and you’re good.
  • Cloaks. Cloaks are pretty easily created. The ones in the core book are basic ones consisting of one option. The new ones will offer two options. One option buys you:
    • 1 Armor to all sources
    • 2 Armor to a specific source
    • a special ability.

    If there’s no special, you might increase general Armor by 1 or specific Armor by 2… that way you could become Magic-/Tech-/Physical-Immune for example. The challenge is creating new Cloak effects, but again, these can be related to Callings as well. I want to keep things interchangeable. For example there’s this special ability that allows you to hide in plain sight. There might be a stealth-related Calling in the future that does that also.

  • Potions. One-time usable stuff like Potions should be very helpful. Alchemy and Bocicne are such an important aspect of the game that they might need a small boost by getting their own slot. These could use miniature cards instead of the bigger ones.
  • Valuables. Coins or Gems could be really useful. These will most likely also use miniature cards.

Creating Adventure Content

I’ve started to work on several adventure modules, but none comes easily at the moment. I wanted to do stuff for my overarching Restore the Veil campaign, but it just can’t be helped. At the moment, I’m not good at creating dungeon maps, so this will have to wait. Maybe some other aspect is more conducive to my abilities. I want to get the most out of my creative abilities.

Boxed Set

I created a mockup of the Boxed Set as I imagine it. At that time I didn’t know I would have 36 Wound Cards, so that part of the info is wrong. The general idea is as follows: Michtim requires a lot of stuff to be really useful.

  • Hardcover Book. I would love to use a traditionally printed and bound hardcover. The Print-on-Demand version is really good and more than sufficient, but when I get the chance to update the game, I’d at least think about doing a traditional print run for a Kickstarter.
  • Calling Cards. These exist now for a fairly long time and they are really, really useful. When I decide to create new Callings, I will need to update the Calling Card deck as well, bringing it up to around 17-20 unique Cards times 3. That’s quite a lot of cards. Maybe I’ll just have doubles instead of tripples because of that.
  • Personality Cards. These are fairly straightforward. Ten unique cards, no multiples.
  • Wound Cards. As established there are 36 of them.
  • Mood Markers and Karma Beads. Glass beads. Regular stuff.
  • Custom Dice. The dice would be one of the reasons a Kickstartered Box Set would make sense. You can of course play the game with just the book, but the set makes more sense to me.

What a Michtim Boxed Set could look like

What really bugs me is the amount of money required to do packaging and orders. I will have to do the math before coming up with a KS. Especially the delivery aspect can be pretty tedious I think. Maybe there is a way I can team up with an US fulfillment company that handles printing and packaging? The dice are already an US product for example. Chessex makes them.

Queer Gaming for Kids?

When I set out to create Michtim: Fluffy Adventures, I already had a dozen years of experience playing and game-mastering pen & paper roleplaying games. It was only after 2007 that I finally accepted that I was indeed gay. Before then, nearly all of my characters were straight, and I tried hard to be something I was not.

After 2007, I had a different perspective on many of the games I owned and used to play. I stumbled over game mechanics that were heteronormative; wordings like “members of the opposite sex….” That really bugged me. What if – I argued – my gay character met a sexy female that tried to charm him? Why should I fall for it? I thought that my sexuality, and well my essence, was being excluded.

Now sex was seldom of importance in my gaming circles. It was just that I felt the vibe of non-normalcy. It is something that isn’t very comfortable. Geeks are often already ridiculed when they’re kids. If you’re geek on the brink of accepting who you are, you need every friend you can get. A rulebook that basically tells you “Erm, you’re not okay.” hurts my feeling. Sure, I can try to ignore it, but if it’s part of the rules, then someone probably is going to pull it out on you. Saying stuff like “You know, it’s in the rules.”

There’s a game by a German designer that’s really cool. It has an awesome noir steampunk setting. Mixing elements of gothic intrigue with the hunt for fragments of your lost soul. That game has awesome artwork and it really caught my attention. Then I read the game’s view on homosexuality. It was deemed a deviancy by the setting’s inhabitants. A shame to be hidden. Well. That was the moment I lost all further interest. It sits on my shelf, but I have the feeling of being rejected by the game. Why does it need to tell me that I’m not okay? Yeah, in the setting homosexuality might be deemed inappropriate, but if I want to explore that, I can just go out into the real world.

I need a safe place. Something to comfort me. Tell me that I’m okay the way I am.
That’s Michtim. It is a game that’s suitable for kids, but it also has a variety of political messages. Humans destroy the environment, and we have to stop them! Or taking care of those who have fewer than us, is important. Michtim has a rich interaction between three houses, who each emphasise different values. But you know what’s not a matter of controversy? Sexuality.

Michtim culture is open and accepting of queer love. There are even polyamory couples who raise a nest of young Michtims. Gender is also an open field. On the outside, there is no true visual distinction between Females (Moschischke), Males (Michterische) and Intersex (Meschne) Michtims. All sexes can be everything, and be damn good at it. There are big, muscular female warriors like Apollonia Stahlfaust. But there are also more feminine Moschischke, like Thekla Leckertopf. The game does not ask the player for the sex of their character. Because it is not important. This is established solely in the fiction, and that’s for a reason. Meschne Michtims are quite common, and they encompass all sorts of in-between variations. The reason these have a label is for Human players to understand the distinctions. Michtims do not really care about that at all.

So when kids play Michtim, will they be endangered by all this equality and LGBT “propaganda”? I hope not. But I want kids to know that even if they think “I’m different.” that they see value in that. An opportunity, not a threat. And I want them to know that everyone deserves a place in society, no matter how they were born.
If I had been told earlier that I was okay no matter who I fell in love with, I would have had an easier time accepting myself.

That’s my message.

Tinkering with Coldville X

So I’ve decided to spend a little time on one of my previous projects. The aesthetic here is to have ordinary people with dark secrets commit terrible deeds (against each other). Each character has secret objectives that are often in conflict with the other player’s plans. In this game, you don’t necessarily win or lose, but there is a certain level of backstabbing involved here. This game isn’t for everyone, for sure.

This time, I’m going to talk about the core mechanic I’m working on. I’ve been inspired by L5R’s Roll and Keep mechanic, but I’m probably going to take a little inspiration from Michtim as well.

Players have four core Attributes. These have either fancy or more concrete names. Each Attribute is opposed by another Attribute. So Blood (Violence) is the opposite of Bone (Tenacity), and Shadow (Deceit) is the opposite of Flicker (Paranoia).

To call a trait Paranoia already says something about the aesthetic of the game. This isn’t about being a hero. It does not have shiny traits that make you look like a champ. In this game, every Attribute is seen through the dark lens of sinister motives.

  • Blood / Violence: Inflicting harm, being a brutal bastard
  • Shadow / Deceit: Manipulating others, being sneaky
  • Bone / Tenacity: Surviving at all costs
  • Flicker / Paranoia: Always being cautious

Each of these Attributes can then be used in either of two Domains. You get to roll your Attribute worth in dice first, but you only keep a number of dice that is limited by the Domain’s rating.

  • Mind: Mental, social (and possibly magical) actions
  • Matter: Physical or mundane actions

Characters start with one dot in each Attribute and Domain. So you will always get to roll at least one die. The chances of success are slight. I’m thinking about a Target-Number of 6 to allow 1d6 to possibly be successful, if rather unlikely. Players get to spend further dots on Attributes (up to a rating of 3) and Domains (also up to 3).

Four Attributes control the player's role, while a different set of Attributes (Mind and Matter) control the focus of the character.The rules will probably feature example Actions that are “hard-coded”, but also try to allow players to improvise heavily. Maybe even use two Attributes limited by a single Domain in some cases.

This is a first sneak peak, and there probably will be a lot of changes.


Hacking Emotions

Emotions define a character’s role. They also interact with the Mood Marker rules, so you gain a benefit on future rolls. But what if you don’t like that particular flavor of the system? Maybe a different theme would fit you better?

After my work with Michtim was done, I also thought about writing a shinobi hack. I’m a big fan of Naruto and Legend of the Five Rings, so it sounded reasonable to go with an Elemental theme:

Elemental Theme

  • Air: Movement and Perception.
  • Water: Restoration and Building.
  • Earth: Defense.
  • Shadow: Stealth.
  • Fire: Attack.

The oppositions would remain the same though. If you are attuned to Earth, you are less able to attack and move swiftly. If you’re attuned to Shadow, it also means you’re slowing down and can’t channel healing powers.


lying200I like pentagram based systems, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of my previous projects, also used five Attributes. These are much more in line with classical RPG systems.

  • Body: Power, Resist (Physical)
  • Agility: Move, Attack, Evade, Hide
  • Ego: Influence
  • Logic: Reason
  • Psyche: Resist (Mental), Detect

The system was built around the concept of doing nasty, forbidden things. Breaking with moral codes and experiencing a lot of traumatic situations. It was inspired by Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. The game was supposed to be played as one-shot with a lot of randomly generated plot hooks and secret mission objectives. It had high lethality and was very PVP-oriented. It reflected my default gaming group back then. We played a lot of Vampire and other games about manipulation; and our fun consisted mostly of backstabbing each other. That game was co-created by A. Wladkowski, but we never finished development. Sometimes I think I should work on it again.

In this hack I would still use the bonuses conferred by randomly generated markers. But I would remove the penalties, because these traits don’t really reflect actions that well. Also the system doesn’t really benefit from Callings as is. It might help to change the traits to a more active theme instead.

What are your thoughts?

Calling: Paragon

Hey there!

I want to hear your thoughts about this new Calling group I’m working on. Actually this isn’t a single Paragon Calling, but rather you choose to become a Paragon of Fear or Paragon of Love.

The Paragon Calling allows the player to convert Mood Markers of a given kind into the Paragon Emotion. It also offers a slight benefit to that given Emotion, since converting Fear into Fear does not do anything.

My design intention with Callings was that there should not be a required Attribute-combination to make them work. In D&D it makes no sense to play an Int 8 Wizard, for example. I want Callings to be useful to every kind of Personality.

Now I want to offer a new option for players of specialists. If your character is about Fighting, then becoming a Paragon of Anger might be really worthwhile. If you don’t have high Anger, the Calling might still be useful to be “angry when you need to”.

The rules look something like this:

Paragon of (Emotion)

All Emotions except EMOTION: You can reflexively convert Emotion Markers into EMOTION Markers.
EMOTION: EMOTION Markers offer a +2 bonus for each marker.

Each Paragon would have a special Utility Power that describes the character’s relationship with the chosen Emotion. A Paragon of Fear might be able to Lie in Wait indefinitely, or a Paragon of Anger might be good at Breaking Stuff.

Elemental Paragons

Paragon of Anger: Inflict Fire Wound, Fire Mastery
Paragon of Joy: Gain Power of Flight, Air Mastery
Paragon of Love: Remove Wound Effects, Plant Mastery
Paragon of Grief: Immunity to Wound Effects (Stone Fur), Earth Mastery
Paragon of Fear: Hide in Plain Sight (Mist), Water Mastery

Alternative Utilities

When playing a Michtim character, your Personality defines your group role. Characters with high Love make good healers, those with Anger are expert fighters and heroes with high Fear are hard to find.

Callings modify your character’s capabilities, but don’t (usually) affect your role. The role remains the same, but the way you do your job changes significantly. Sorcerers can do their thing at a distance. Tacticians affect multiple targets. Cybertooth heroes act at blazing speeds. Some Callings offer new Actions, but still rely on the character’s Personality to decide the particular flavor of the effect.

But besides offering mechanical benefits, Callings also come with Utility Powers that offer useful thematic hooks to work with. A Sorcerer has magical knowledge and can cast minor spells that aren’t handled by the rule system at all. A Cook knows everything about Shopkeeping, while a Cybertooth remains unaffected by social interaction, due to their machine-like condition.

When trying to create a fun character, you can pick any Calling and try to tinker with the particulars. Maybe you find new explanations for the mechanics. Maybe you’d like to pick a unique Utility Power that covers your character concept. This time, I’m going to offer new Utility Powers for the Core Callings.

  • Adventurer – Wayfinding: You never get lost, regardless of your current whereabouts.
  • Artist – Empathy: You are very adept at reading Moods and finding out about other’s Personality.
  • Bard – Earing: You are able to hear frequencies that are usually beyond hearing.
  • Cook – Refined Taste: You can pick out hidden substances and identify poisons.
  • Courtier – Etiquette: You know your way around court and enjoy social standing.
  • Cybertooth – Multitasking: You can process multiple mental actions at once.
  • Daredevil – Rogue Tricks: You know tricks of misdirection and larceny.
  • Frostpaw – Cool Down: You can slow your metabolism so you survive conditions like hunger or a lack of air.
  • Machinist – Gearhead: You can build and repair Gear and add Enhancements.
  • Sorcerer – Sense Magic: You are attuned to magical energies and can analyze them.
  • Tactician – Use Environment: You have a keen understanding of environmental factors and can utilize them.
  • Witch – Dryad Friend: You can speak with plants.

Let me know if you like them! Or share your own new Utility Powers!

Also I advise storytellers to allow characters to have multiple Utility Powers per Calling. Everything that fits the Calling’s concept is fair game. Take the new Utility Powers in addition to the existing ones. You should be fine.

Making Wounds Tell Stories

Different types of damage and wound debuffs

3 x Damage Types and 4 x Wound Debuffs = 12 x Ouch!

Many games use hit points to track the sustained damage. Reducing those will bring heroines and heroes closer to death’s door. Besides this obvious meaning, there is usually no further mechanic attached to those wounds. Some games use Critical Damage to provide graphic detail in combats (like Dark Heresy and similar Warhammer 40K RPGs). Michtim RPG has a different way of dealing with damage and tries a more visual approach.

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Philosophies in Michtim Culture

Turnayan Callings show a strong Magic & Arts theme

Turnayan Callings show a strong Magic & Arts theme

There is a lot of room for all types of players. I do not wish to restrict player wishes when it comes to the existence of higher beings or the truth behind less mythical schools of thought. I figured, if you want to provide religious and secular philosophies, you cannot make individual tribes be solely this or that.

My solution is to provide many different approaches, and remind players to create their own belief system, if they think something is missing. I will present at least two approaches for all three tribes (religious and secular). The focal topic is always related to what Michtims from that tribe value the most. Nevertheless, it is absolutely okay to stick your character’s head into a different belief group. Go with what feels right.


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