News Article

Learn More About 'Swapnote RPG'

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Now it's getting serious

Just over a week ago we discovered that there's a fan-developed Swapnote RPG waiting to be played. Creator Ben Gray has now posted a follow up video with more specific details on how it can work.

This is useful information for those without much experience in pen and paper RPG games, with examples given for the player simply navigating through rooms and battling with monsters. If you're planning to be the dungeon master, for example, you'll need to track down some dice; the more sides the better.

As made clear in the video, this idea is based on an honour system with trust between players, and can ultimately be adjusted to suit each group's needs. The latest video is below, with illustrations and files available on the video's home page.

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User Comments (45)



Lan said:

I'd totally play this if someone sent me a 3DS. I've played D&D once so I know what's up.



Skotski said:

That is pretty sweet...
I didn't think of doing dungeon master shiz via Swapnote....

This gives me a lot of great ideas. Thanks guys!



KaiserGX said:

Yeah, I used to play these all the time on AOL chat back in the day. I hope my friend is willing/able to play. I so would if I had a 3Ds. These are true RPGs.

Not what JRPGs (no hate).



MNCDover said:

Thanks for posting my follow up video. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to ask away.



Mok said:

I'd be surprised if someone DIDN'T have any questions. This sounds very tiresome, but fantastic!



Magi said:

@KaiserGX me too! I loved the built-in dice in the AOL chats. I actually played a campaign for a while run by DM Dusk in the old TSR chats. Was good times, til a bunch of my fellow partymembers ruined it.



KaiserGX said:

Damn now I really want a 3DS. I can doodle some mean Dungeon Boss Armored Dragons.



KaiserGX said:

If I did create one though I would have the battle system be extremely basic. Anyone have any ones they have created? I kinda don't know what I should do. Do I create all monsters and items before hand or create them as I go along.



Ren said:

Wow, very cool and creative use of this! thanks so much for the great tutorial. I may have to get my Brother a 3DS so we can start a game long distance.



Chobi said:

Ah, that seem like a cool idea. I would like to try this game out.



milkman12 said:

THNX BEN! i just told my 3DS friends the rules. i cant wait to send them my first Dungeon!



Aqueous said:

@MNCDover - Smaller error in there, you said 16 was greater then 18. I think your tongue slipped because you go on as counting the 18 as the winning roll.

Anyways looks like a game maybe starting soon, let's see how it goes.
@KaiserGX - say when you get one, if I enjoy this let's see if SquiggleTail and anyother ponies are interested and try playing with ponies and Equstria



MNCDover said:

@8: I agree, creating adventures can be very tiring. That's why I was usually the player instead of the DM. It can be rewarding though!
@11: Instead of making your own adventure, use the one I provided. Three levels, monsters, and treasure included. Finish that, then try your own.
@12: Awesome!
@13: From a weird guy. But hey, it works, right?
@15: Great! Give me updates on your progress via my email. I might use player feedback for one of my classes this quarter.
@16: Heh. Yeah, I just annotated that. Send me updates on your thoughts, likes, and dislikes. Research and playtesting is always good.



Aqueous said:

@17 - So far so good, started by entering a random cave and went to the right, I did make a character first. However, I have no idea on if I'm alone or if I'm part of a group or even if I've been started in a different part of the cave of other people and might run into them or what quite is happening besides being a Wizard in a cave.



SyFyTy said:

Swapnote Chess (or even backgammon) would also seem a natural here also... Hey we did it with snalil mail years ago then email later, why not swapnote?



MNCDover said:

@18 Tell your DM to give you some more details about your motivation, environment, background, etc. Presumably, this is a 1 player w/DM game only. Multiplayer would be possible, but a giant headache. Are you using my introduction adventure?



KaiserGX said:

Dover can you give me some pointers on how to make stats. I want to us a simple system. Small numbers but I have no idea how much stronger the ATTACK and HP should be for enemies. I'm also a bit confused on your method of missing an attack using dice.

I know for instance if the Knight's attack is +3 then any roll for example 4 will be 7 in the end. But how does it work for attacks that have a chance of missing.

Though if I did it, I would have to leave a space to show a drawing of the Monster if they choose to attack it. First Person, Dragon Quest style. I think using the 3D it could look neat. Though I shouldn't draw a background to save ink. I don't have a 3Ds yet but using your page I want to make a dungeon ahead of time and have everything set before I do. So that way when I do I already have the whole adventure planned out.

Also I have one other question. Can the player choose to go back to a previous area or only to where you ask him to go? Also whats the limit of steps. 1 room?



KaiserGX said:

Edit: Nvm I saw some of the info below your Youtube video. Sorry had no idea that was there! I will study this.



MNCDover said:

@22: No problem man. Remember, this is supposed to emulate table-top D&D, so a lot of the rules are up to interpretation of the DM. You can let the players go through as many rooms as they like if you choose. I put doors in places to section of areas for smaller, bite-sized, swapnote action. Game design behind the scenes!

Also, a guy on the Penny-Arcade forums suggested inserting pictures of monsters into your notes. Use the 3DS camera and take a picture of some DQ monsters (straight off your monitor). Now open a note and insert a that picture. The image will always be on the left, which leaves the right as a perfect place to drop stats or comments. Experiment!



KaiserGX said:

That sounds like a great idea. I am going to draw my own designs and take pictures of them. Or if anyone else wants to use them, I will be uploading them on these forums.

The thing is I have a problems with making the stats for monsters. I don't have an idea how hard they could end up being. Because I am not a game designer. So there are some balance issues for me.

Are you gonna upload more videos of other peoples Adventures? I would love to see that.

Here's one I did called Furfang. Weakest enemy.



KaiserGX said:

I am actually really fond of this one. Spore Drone! Btw I redesigned that bat a bit and now I am making a Fur "Family". Kinda like how the Slimes are. The rat looking one is a Furmin
Untitled .



milkman12 said:


"@15: Great! Give me updates on your progress via my email. I might use player feedback for one of my classes this quarter."

ummm, how do i say this... i dont know your email. email me so i can reply with my results.

feel free to send me your FC via email for this SWRPG. i only have 9 friends, sooo... it gets lonely. feel free to send me your FC!



milkman12 said:

@ Aqueous
im the DM. i think it would be more entertaining to explain the story of my SNRPG to you as you play, and interact with characters.



Supereor said:

Got a beautiful idea, here it is...
To draw a your-choice-blue-or-red-or-each colored enemy or avatar, go to game notes, draw it, save it to your SD card and save them in your notes, and to simplify stat writing, you can draw it with it's stats, and simply save and update it when you need to.

I sent an email. My FC is 0688-5263-5788.



MNCDover said:

@27: Nice artwork! For monster stats, simply start with what your gut tells you, or what the players have. Typically, most monsters should be less powerful than the players, mostly because the players are outnumbered. So, for weak monsters give them no bonuses to hit/def and low hp (like 4). As monsters get stronger, start incrementing up their values. Another thing to do is base monster's design around stats. Make a Rock monster that has a high Def (again, like a 4) and HP. Ultimately, you're the DM and have the final say. Don't be afraid to throw some numbers out there and see what happens. Adjust the stats later based on if the players did well or had it too easy.

@29: LOL! You don't have to give me a blow-by-blow account. A simple email overview of what you think would be great.

@30: my email is in the video description, but here:

@32: I'm not sure I quite follow your idea. Could you re-explain it? Maybe give an in-game example? Loving the brain storming though.



dolly_pop21 said:

@KaiserGX your art is wonderful! whenever Ben makes a site, perhaps you can help him with a monster page.

@MNCDover Hello! I heard recently on one of your videos that your friend list is now full my BF doesn't want to play and my brother is too young. Also i'm a newb at this D&D stuff. If your friend list somehow thins out, say some people don't reply or do anything, i'd appreciate if you'd add me! OTL here i am: 2964-9076-1962



Supereor said:

Sure, here's the how to. I would give a video or picture, but I don't know how to by 3DS. XD

Turn on your 3DS, and at the top of the touch screen, there's an icon with a yellow pencil on it,(VERY in-depth how-to, I know) next to the friend list, tap it to go to the Game Notes.

When in the Game Notes, tap an empty spot and draw you avatar/enemy with black, blue or red. When done drawing, tap the bottom-right button and press Export to save it to Nintendo 3DS Camera. Then, you can go to Swapnote, save that drawing into a note, and voila!

Added you, my FC is listed above.



dolly_pop21 said:

Any other peoples wanting to play? I'll be DM despite my newbness.
Just gimme your FC. Mine's above!



Aqueous said:

@MNCDover - Maybe I'll email you later, I'm thinking of combining the notes into a complete set on my computer, might look over it later out of interested and figure out how to put one together.

@milkman12 - Well it's been fun so far, I'm trying to think inside the chimney, with how this works and like I just sent in a note I've been remembering little things here and there of what I heard, I hope I'm playing this right.
Here is one source,
It runs for 3 episodes and is at the end of a very dark season, now no spinning dice tricks everyone
Once again, thank you for liking my idea with the bomb.



Nilkad_Naquada said:

People call final fantsy 3 old school rpg but this is the real deal! this os from the dnd days, before role-playing game got shortened to rpg! once i get a 3ds i will so play this! EPIC!!!!!



saikun said:

I'm looking for a group of ppl to play with. I don't have much experience on D&D but I do on other RPG like Kult or Cyberpunk.
So if you're looking for a player to explore some dungeons with (or spaceships, I don't rly mind ) Add me!!

FC --> 4167-4617-5230



kyuubikid213 said:

@MNCDover Hello, it's me again asking about SCAD. I think we should become 3DS friends so I can ask you about SCAD info. My FC is 4639 9073 1731. I already added you.

Thank you! Sincerely, kyuubikid



MNCDover said:

@43 Hey. My friend list is already full, but I'll be glad to talk with you via my email. Anything you want to know about SCAD I'll tell you. The email address is in the video description.



Omarsonic9 said:

@saikun OK Then, add me! I created a STABLE MULTIPLAYER VERSION OF SWAPNOTE RPG! (with ben's [MNCDover's] Permission)
Yep,and there are shops,overworld maps,dungeons of course. But it doesnt use much D&D Because I actually didnt know D&D till I saw Swapnote RPG
So yeah,if you want to add me then PM me

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