Theatrix (role-playing game)

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Theatrix role-playing game
Theatrix cover
Designer(s)David Berkman, Travis Eneix, Brett Hackett
Publisher(s)Backstage Press
Publication date1993
Flowchart-based action resolution, with or without dice.

Theatrix is a role playing game produced by the defunct Backstage Press and no longer in print. Primarily diceless, the game includes rules for using dice to resolve actions.[1] The game applies cinematic concepts to role-playing—the players are "actors" and the GM is the "director." The games attempts to frame adventures in the model of screenplays, which have a structured plot consisting of a number of agreed upon acts, scenes, and "pinch-points".[2][3] Players use plot points to guarantee success of an action or take minor control of the story. This was a relatively new and controversial concept being championed by few in mainstream RPGs at the time of its release.[4][5]

In addition to their numerically-rated attributes and skills, characters possess non-numerically-rated personality traits, and unrated 'descriptors'. Descriptors can act as advantages, but in order to use them so, the player must spend plot points. They can also act as disadvantages, and when they do so, the player gains plot points.[6] The game encourages collaborative roleplaying, using what it calls "Distributed Directing", whereby the players may introduce subplots though the GM remains responsible for directing the main plot. Theatrix has many methods of resolving action and conflict without dice. Most notable is the use of extensive flow-charts, printed on card-stock.[7]


  1. ^ "Theatrix Summary". Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  2. ^ "RPGnet : The Inside Scoop on Gaming". Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  3. ^ "The Raven's Mutterings". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  4. ^ [ttp:// "Essay: The Origin of the Threefold Model"]. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  5. ^ " info". Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  6. ^ "Theatrix Summary". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  7. ^ "The RPG Times - A creative look at roleplaying". Retrieved 2007-10-21.

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