Tabletop RPG Rules reference


I am learning graphic design, so I am working on this rules summary sheet for a tabletop roleplaying game called Viking Death Squad (published by Modiphius, I suggest having look at their product page to see what the game looks like). I am not getting paid for this, this is simply for my own amusement.

The idea would be to print this to teach the game and get an overview and quick summary of the rules, so teaching the game to everyone else in the group would be easier.

I understand if the details of the game itself can be hard to grasp, but “pure”(?) graphic design feedback is welcome.

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Hello! This is such a great practice idea. I might also try it.

My first critique is that without your written summary to us, we would have no idea what game these instructions are for.

The best board games have an introduction page. A glorious title (of the game name), brief story or background info, and a quick summary of the game which may include a very concise list of the gameplay (overall steps per round, what piece or move begins the game, what ends the game, etc.)

There’s also usually a key so that upon opening the box the players understand which pieces are what and have what roles. As well as how many of each piece a player starts with, if any.

I think you meant “Fundamentals” for the header.

You matched the fonts and colors of the game well but I find that even after reading the website game description and text within their images, I can’t follow your layout. This is a large part of design. We not only create the colors, graphics, and choose fonts but we make sure the function and understanding of the piece is strong.

My interpretation of the first part is that if I take 3 blue 6D then the roll total will determine a stat. But is it I choose which stat to use or perhaps increase one stat based on that roll? Can I change multiple? Is it one stat change per die? The lack of clarity seems to continue throughout and that would be most frustrating to a gamer.

I can appreciate that you wanted to keep Fundamentals as its own page and Battle Is Joined as its own but it would be more worth it to go into greater depth, push into an extra page, and risk ending up with too much white space. Extra white space for game instructions is always a great spot for cool art like a sketch of a character design, enemy, or environment. Really adds to the imagination :slightly_smiling_face:.

Hi, and thank you for the comments!

I realize I should have added to the brief that this would be used in conjunction with the rulebook. So you would already have read the rules, and only use this small sheet as a reminder and for looking up the things that are hard to remind yourself of, such as tables, special cases and son on. (It is sized so that it would fit on the endpapers of the book).

I was inspired by the endpapers of another RPG, Mörk Borg. (but it also has fewer rules so it has a bit more room for explicit rules)

I could write down the rules separately but at the same time I am mostly looking for feedback on the visuals, as I have already shown this to players who are familiar with the game and made adjustments. Perhaps it is unrealistic to get “only feedback on the visuals”? If people think so I can try to write some kind of summary.

(Fundaments is intentional, I wanted something more “epic”, sounding, like “the fundaments of the the earth”, but perhaps there is a better word?)