Playwright is a 3d20 tabletop RPG system that puts emphasis on gradient action results and narrative-influencing combat mechanics. It is currently in beta as character abilities and rates of progression are being playtested for balance. Playwright has been developed entirely by myself as a hobby project over 3 years.

Playwright’s Player Guide is currently a live Google Doc, being tested by a control playtesting group. A basic quick rules PDF for Playwright is available to view below while player Abilities are being tested and tuned. Once the core abilities and a more-robust Game Master guide are fleshed out, Playwright will be released for public testing, available here and on DriveThruRPG (for free of course).

Playwright started as a collection of homebrew rules meant to improve and mechanically solidify the rules-lite TTRPG Tavern Tales. I wanted to create an RPG that had impactful abilities and fluid-yet-simple combat gameplay; something that new players could easily get into and old players could uncover strategies with. Many combat and grid-based mechanics are inspired by some of my favorite tabletop RPGs: D&D 5th Edition, 40K’s Deathwatch, and Fate Core. My core design goal was to create a network of rules that challenged the player with learning how the gameplay elements worked together to strengthen characters in-game, rather than making the individual mechanics complicated or isolated.

If you’re curious to try it and give feedback, I’d love that. Just email me at with a short bit about why you want to try it and I’ll email you back with the most current PDF and some tips on running the game as a GM.

Some mechanics from the current Player’s Guide are below, showing the action structure during an encounter, the NPC Disposition system, and the start of the career tree abilities for the Leader role.