The Ultimate List of GMless Games

In 2011 Double Ninja put together a list of GMless games. I would like to continue to build the list and add GMless games that have since be published; for example, I could add House of Reeds, Kingdom, Follow, Perseverant, Downfall, Fall of Magic, Dog Eat Dog, etc. I also would like to weed out any games from the list below that aren't published on a website, or in PDF or book format. Also, the games should be adequately play-tested and have a decent following.

Why put together a list? I think it would be a good resource.

Want to help? Either suggest adding a GMless game that fits the criteria above or suggest removing a game from the list that doesn't fit the criteria. Thanks :)

Here is Double Ninja's 2011 list:

Ace of Hearts
Agon
Ancient Odysseys
Annalise
Apocalypse Girl
Archipelago
Atlantis
Archangels
Bacchanal
Beasthunters
Before the Flood
Behind Drawn Courtains
Believers
Beyond the Mirror
Black Hole Girls
The Black Spot
Blazing Rose
Blood and Bronze
Blood Red Sands
Blowback
Breaking the Ice
Capes
City of Brass
City of the Moon
The Color Game
The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries
Conquer the Horizon
Contenders
Console Legends
Cookie Jar
Cosmic Patrol
The Court of the Empress
Crime and Punishment
Cutthroat
Danger Mountain
Dark Spell Diceless
The Daughters of Verona
Dawn of Worlds
Death’s Door
Deicide
Department Nine
The Dinner Party
Dirty Secrets
Discernment
Divus Ex
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple
Doodlerama
Doublecross
The Dragon vs the Gun
Drama
Dream Palace
The Drifter’s Escape
Drowning and Falling
Dulse
Durance
The Dynasty
Engle Matrix
Engle Matrix Chtulhu Madness
Engle Matrix Sherlock Holmes
Ensemble
Ergo
Escape from Prince Charming
Escape from Tentacle City
Executive Decision
The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Falling Leaves
Fiasco
Final Hour of a Storied Age
Forsooth!
Frigid Bitch
Fuck Youth
Fungeon
24 Game Poems
G x B (Girl x Boy)
Game Poems Blog
Geasa
Geiger Counter
Genesis: a game of creation
George’s Children
Ghosts
Giving and Taking
The Glass Bead Game
Gnostigmata
Gods
Golgotha
Great Ork Gods
The Great Tournament
Grey Ranks
Grover Cleveland
Gun Thief
Happy Birthday Robot
Heart of the Rose
Hell for Leather
Hermetic Order
How we came to live here
House of Masks
Iliamna Unknown
Inuma
InSpaaace
Island at the Dawn of Time
It’s Complicated
It was a Mutual Decision
It wasn’t Me
Joe in Ten Persons
Kagematsu
Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan
The Last Challenge
The Leftovers
Legends of Alyria
Lexicon
The Logic of Tales and Dreams
Lords of Titania
Love in the time of Seid
Lucid
Mare Caspium
The Marriage of Persephone
Mars Colony
Mexican Standoff
Microscope
The Mist Robed Gate
Montsegur 1244
MSG Executive Edition
Mystery of Life
Mythic GM Emulator
Nicotine Girls
Nordland: Returning Home
Not Too Silly Stories
Nowhere Road
Ocean
Once Upon a Time
One More Hour
Ophite
Pantheon
Peerless Food Fighters
A Penny for your thoughts
Perfect
The Perilous Realm [reduced GM role]
The Philosopher’s Stone
Piledrivers&Powerbombs
Pixel Bitch
Pocket Things
Polaris
Polaris – Aurora (derived from Polaris)
The Prince
The Princess Game
Pyramid
That Oh So Little Death
The Quiet Year
QuIRC
Radiance
Rajah Spiny Rat
Red Beauty
Reel Adventures
Remember Tomorrow
Ribbon Drive
Rune
Runeblade
Sawmill
Scarlet Wake
Schyzonaut
Sea Dracula
Seabird and Stella
Seasons
Serial Homicide Unit
Sign In Stranger
The Shab-Al-Hiri Roach
Shock: Social Science Fiction
Shooting the Moon
Showdown
S/lay w/me
Sloshed: Booze and Secrets
Soap
Someone to Love
Sons of Liberty
Spectre of the Beast
Spione
Storyboard
Tales of the Fisherman’s Wife
A Taste for Murder
Terra Nova
That’s Drama
They Became Flesh
Thou Art but a Warrior (Polaris Hack)
A Thousand and One Nights
A Touch of Fate [limited GM responsibility]
Tramp Stamp
Trilogy
Tulip Academy’s Society for Dangerous Gentlemen
Umlaut – Game of Metal
Under the Bed
Under My Skin
Universalis
Until we sink
Up Go the Heads
The Valedictorian’s Death
The Vampire
Vector
The Venetian Tragedy
Verge
Western City
What to Do about Tam Lin
While the World Ends
A World of Sand and Fire
World vs Hero
Wounded
WTF
WWID
Xochitlcozamalotl
XXXXtreme Street Luge
The Year We All Died
Zombie Cinema
101 Zombies

Games to add to the list:

House of Reeds
Kingdom
Follow
Perseverant
Downfall
Fall of Magic
Dog Eat Dog
The Name of God
Touched by Evil
FateLess
King of the City
The Trouble with Rose
Enter the Avenger
Dream Askew
Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands
Lovecraftesque
Society of Dreamers
Nod
Amidst Endless Quiet
Shahida
Serpent's Tooth
Hot Guys Making Out
Left Coast
Sexy Deadly
Ravendeath (more like "rotating GM" maybe)
The Starlit Kingdom (Polaris hack)
The Academy
What You Wish For
Cartooner
Doll
Fifth World
Magicians (GMed and GM-less play modes both available)
The Marquis of Ferrara
Posthuman Pathways
Precious (not sure whether already available in English; it's been published in Italian)
Romeo's Quest (old solo RPG found on the Internet Archive)
The Invisible Empire
Sorceress Bloody Sorceress
Abnormal
A Grail Epoch
Alienor
A Place to Fuck Each Other
A Thousand Years Under the Sun
Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut & Other Fairy Stories
Being a role-playing game on the topic of the High-Flying adventures of Beatrice Henrietta Bristol-Smythe, DBE, daring Aviatrix and accomplished Exploratrix, and her Gentleman Companion, who for a Modest Fee, accompanies Beatrice Henrietta Bristol-Smythe, DBE, when the Occasion warrants her an Escort.
Bibliomancer
Brave Sparrow (solo pervasive larp)
Carolina Death Crawl
Witch - The road to Lindisfarne.
Musette
Chronicles of Skin
The Dreaming Crucible (or maybe it's just two GMs, cooperating)
Dungeons and Bananas
Fall of Electricity: the Return of Grunge (Fall of Magic hack/reskin)
Fragile Minds
How We Are Like the Storm
Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
Island in a Sea of Solitude
Journeyman (lots of GMs)
Launch Day Part 1
Lost in the Rain
Vast and Starlit
Midsummer Wood
Misericord(e)
The Mustang
Okult
Pickets & Blinds
Questlandia
Skew
Tales by the Fire
The Cat of Excellence
Tonight We Slay a Dragon (GM optional)
Unverifiably Remarkable Fauna
Valiant Girls
Vampire Discotheque
Viewscream
What is a Role-playing Game?
Wilding Tales
Hell 4 Leather
The Warring Woods
Watch the World Die

Comments

  • I don't know about the decent following, but these are all published and actively sold:
    The Name of God
    Touched by Evil
    FateLess
    King of the City
  • Do GMless freeform/larp type games count? Because that's a whole other can of worms.
  • Do GMless freeform/larp type games count? Because that's a whole other can of worms.
    I think doing a list of those are definitely worth while. If you add a free form or larp type game please label it as one so I can put it under a different heading :) Thanks :)
  • I don't know about the decent following, but these are all published and actively sold:
    The Name of God
    Touched by Evil
    FateLess
    King of the City
    Alessandro, as a quick aside, do you happen to have an actual play video of King of the City? I think it looks interesting but wanted to see it in play. Thanks :)
  • Care to add The Trouble with Rose to the list?
    http://tangent-zero.com/trouble.htm

    [Note to self, update the page.]
  • I have a list of games I put together. It is mainly GM-less games, but there's a number of other RPG's as well.

    I've been hesitant to share this link in the past as it's pretty messy (and it shows how compulsive I am about spreadsheets). But I'll go ahead and share it with a few caveats:
    • it's messy and woefully incomplete
    • generally alphabetized but "The" is sorted wrong and new stuff is at the bottom unsorted
    • I'm not going to get into a discussion about whether a particular game is "GM less" or not - I have a categorization that makes sense to me
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zChZg9kkjdhRS-y0VEqbvoFqFGXBdGnZGW8Lb7-3Vck/edit?usp=sharing

    Right now, this is a cut of a much larger spreadsheet that has other data that's really only useful to me (like whether I own it and in what formats or whether I've played it or not) so it isn't "live" data.

    Maybe it will be interesting/useful to this discussion.
  • I have a list of games I put together. It is mainly GM-less games, but there's a number of other RPG's as well.

    I've been hesitant to share this link in the past as it's pretty messy (and it shows how compulsive I am about spreadsheets). But I'll go ahead and share it with a few caveats:
    • it's messy and woefully incomplete
    • generally alphabetized but "The" is sorted wrong and new stuff is at the bottom unsorted
    • I'm not going to get into a discussion about whether a particular game is "GM less" or not - I have a categorization that makes sense to me
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zChZg9kkjdhRS-y0VEqbvoFqFGXBdGnZGW8Lb7-3Vck/edit?usp=sharing

    Right now, this is a cut of a much larger spreadsheet that has other data that's really only useful to me (like whether I own it and in what formats or whether I've played it or not) so it isn't "live" data.

    Maybe it will be interesting/useful to this discussion.
    Awesome wdavidlewis, thank you so much for your list :)
  • I believe my Enter the Avenger qualifies.

    Some more I can think of off the top of my head:
    Dream Askew
    Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands
    Lovecraftesque
    Society of Dreamers
    Nod
    Amidst Endless Quiet
    Shahida
    Serpent's Tooth
  • Hot Guys Making Out
    Left Coast
  • Sexy Deadly
    Ravendeath (more like "rotating GM" maybe)
    The Starlit Kingdom (Polaris hack)
  • The Academy
    What You Wish For
  • @Rafu
    Awesome, Rafu, thanks so much!
  • Cartooner
    Doll
    Fifth World
    Magicians (GMed and GM-less play modes both available)
    The Marquis of Ferrara
    Posthuman Pathways
    Precious (not sure whether already available in English; it's been published in Italian)
    Romeo's Quest (old solo RPG found on the Internet Archive)
    The Invisible Empire
    Sorceress Bloody Sorceress
    Abnormal
    A Grail Epoch
    Alienor
    A Place to Fuck Each Other
    A Thousand Years Under the Sun
    Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut & Other Fairy Stories
    Being a role-playing game on the topic of the High-Flying adventures of Beatrice Henrietta Bristol-Smythe, DBE, daring Aviatrix and accomplished Exploratrix, and her Gentleman Companion, who for a Modest Fee, accompanies Beatrice Henrietta Bristol-Smythe, DBE, when the Occasion warrants her an Escort.
    Bibliomancer
    Brave Sparrow (solo pervasive larp)
    Carolina Death Crawl

    (to be continued)
  • Witch - The road to Lindisfarne.
    https://www.ukroleplayers.com/witch/

    (There are at least three different RPGs named Witch, so I included the subtitle.)
  • edited January 2017
    Awesome everyone, especially @Rafu and @zircher for all the information :) Please keep them coming :) And if anyone knows of an games in the original list that either went published via Website, PDF, or book; are not playtested thoroughly; or don't have an decent following, please let me know so they don't crowd the list. We don't want every hack ever done by anyone anywhere. We want a list of games that are recognized and played by some community of actual people... even if that community is somewhat small :) Thanks :)
  • I don't want to "sour the waters" here, but I'd like to mention that many/most of these games, since they are being created by designers (and often FOR designers), are not "thoroughly playtested" or don't "have a decent following". Even some games which are talked about A LOT - many of them haven't been played all that many times, and likely even some "never". That's the nature of this rather small but extremely prolific community, I think!

    For instance, I feel quite confident saying that a lot of people have played Lady Blackbird. But if I had to guess how many people have played Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan, I'd guess it's very few (even though I bet many have read it and have been inspired by it).

    Ultimately, though, it's really hard for anyone to guess these things.
  • edited January 2017
    image
    I don't want to "sour the waters" here, but I'd like to mention that many/most of these games, since they are being created by designers (and often FOR designers), are not "thoroughly playtested" or don't "have a decent following". Even some games which are talked about A LOT - many of them haven't been played all that many times, and likely even some "never". That's the nature of this rather small but extremely prolific community, I think!

    For instance, I feel quite confident saying that a lot of people have played Lady Blackbird. But if I had to guess how many people have played Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan, I'd guess it's very few (even though I bet many have read it and have been inspired by it).

    Ultimately, though, it's really hard for anyone to guess these things.
    Paul, by small following I simply mean that it is played outside of the authors own circle...in other words people are playing it besides just the author and his/her immediate friends. For example, Musette would count because it has been played outside of your immediate group and has been tested thoroughly; although, I don't know if you have it up on on a website or not. By playtested I mean that people have played the game enough to know that it works. I think that these requirements are not too restrictive; I don't know, I could just make the requirement be that the game be publicly available. I just don't want to muddle the list with every hack that has ever existed, but who knows there are probably some gems out there :) Thanks :)
  • edited January 2017
    .

  • edited January 2017
    .
  • edited January 2017
    @Paul_T
    It is hard to guess these things but I could look games up and see if they are even still available. Maybe the criteria should just be that the games are publicly available, and qualifiers could be added like "commercial," or "played widely" (meaning played widely within our community not the entire RPG community)...what do you think about going in that direction? Thanks :)


  • No sour waters here, my game (The Trouble with Rose) has been played dozens of times after it was released in the wild. It's even made some international friends. One of my to-do items for this year is to make a version for DTRPG so folks don't have to find my web site and can get all the latest play sets in one place.
  • Of course they can also go here: http://fictioneers.net/games/trouble-rose
    :-)

  • I'm adding @Paul_T's game Musette to the list. My gaming club played it and I plan on doing a write up in a while. My group had a fun time with Musette and it is very playable; I will go into more detail later :)

  • Chronicles of Skin
    The Dreaming Crucible (or maybe it's just two GMs, cooperating)
    Dungeons and Bananas
    Fall of Electricity: the Return of Grunge (Fall of Magic hack/reskin)
    Fragile Minds
    How We Are Like the Storm
    Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
    Island in a Sea of Solitude
    Journeyman (lots of GMs)
    Launch Day Part 1
    Lost in the Rain
  • @Paul_T
    After thinking about it, I think you're right Paul. There are a lot of great games that don't fit the criteria I outlined above. Also, there are always innovative designs that may inspire other game designers. So let's just open the list to all GMless games; hopefully, the authors or others will provide a link to them, so that we can all I have access. If the authors don't yet have them up on the Internet, they could add them to a Google Documents page or some other free hosting option. Thanks :)
  • Chronicles of Skin
    The Dreaming Crucible (or maybe it's just two GMs, cooperating)
    Dungeons and Bananas
    Fall of Electricity: the Return of Grunge (Fall of Magic hack/reskin)
    Fragile Minds
    How We Are Like the Storm
    Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
    Island in a Sea of Solitude
    Journeyman (lots of GMs)
    Launch Day Part 1
    Lost in the Rain
    Thank you for all the games, Rafu!

  • I don't know about the decent following, but these are all published and actively sold:
    The Name of God
    Touched by Evil
    FateLess
    King of the City
    Alessandro, as a quick aside, do you happen to have an actual play video of King of the City? I think it looks interesting but wanted to see it in play. Thanks :)
    I think I can dig up actual plays (maybe in italian, but maybe in english too).
    But no, I have no videos to offer :(
  • Oh, nobody mentioned Vast and Starlit !
  • I don't know about the decent following, but these are all published and actively sold:
    The Name of God
    Touched by Evil
    FateLess
    King of the City
    Alessandro, as a quick aside, do you happen to have an actual play video of King of the City? I think it looks interesting but wanted to see it in play. Thanks :)
    I think I can dig up actual plays (maybe in italian, but maybe in english too).
    But no, I have no videos to offer :(
    If you find any APs in English I would love to check them out :)
  • Midsummer Wood
    Misericord(e)
    The Mustang
    Okult
    Pickets & Blinds
    Questlandia
    Skew
    Tales by the Fire
    The Cat of Excellence
    Tonight We Slay a Dragon (GM optional)
    Unverifiably Remarkable Fauna
    Valiant Girls
    Vampire Discotheque
    Viewscream
    What is a Role-playing Game?
    Wilding Tales
  • Hell 4 Leather (not the same game as Hell For Leather)
    The Warring Woods
  • Are we limiting ourselves to games with player characters?
    Does "Watch the World Die" count?
    http://asifproductions.com/watch-the-world-die

  • edited January 2017
    Are we limiting ourselves to games with player characters?
    Does "Watch the World Die" count?
    http://asifproductions.com/watch-the-world-die
    No, is it like The Quiet Year, where you don't play individual characters but groups of people while you create the apocalypse?

    ...the primary question is do you create a story? and is there a narrative? If the answer is 'yes,' it counts. Thanks, Tod :)
  • edited January 2017
    @AsIf
    I took a look at a play through of "Watch the World Die. There is a story and a narrative, so it counts. I'll add it. Thanks :)

    @Rafu
    Thanks for all your contributions :) You are awesome :) If you have played some of the games you are listening, I would love to pick your brain some time to see what you think of them :)
  • edited January 2017
    I'm just going through my collection of game books and files and listing relevant titles. It felt like I had to. :)
    I've played some of those, but definitely not all. Maybe just about a third of them? Do ask me about specific games, and I'll try to answer.
  • Found an old AP, but unfortunately it's in italian :/
    Other than that there is the KotC original thread here on StoryGames: http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/20184/king-of-the-city-a-chess-powered-rpg-of-scheming-sacrifice
  • Resurrecting to add... Pocket Things, a silly game about the things in your pockets. Excerpt: "By enacting characters in turn, the players will collaboratively recount the history of how the Thing came to be in the Place, starting from its first possessor. Each Thing Handler must try to make sure that their Scene includes at least one of these Doozies: (1) emotional conflict, (2) physical conflict, (3) chilling horror, (4) sexual tension, (5) sexual release, (6) somebody most of you know, or (7) Chuck Norris."
  • AsIf said:

    Resurrecting to add... Pocket Things, a silly game about the things in your pockets. Excerpt: "By enacting characters in turn, the players will collaboratively recount the history of how the Thing came to be in the Place, starting from its first possessor. Each Thing Handler must try to make sure that their Scene includes at least one of these Doozies: (1) emotional conflict, (2) physical conflict, (3) chilling horror, (4) sexual tension, (5) sexual release, (6) somebody most of you know, or (7) Chuck Norris."

    Added :)
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