Epilogues in a Single Roll

I was thinking about this after posting in the multiple-system campaign thread. While I have used GM-less systems for shared finales, I have also tried to do single-roll epilogues. These were directly inspired by the end of Fallout: New Vegas, which has vignettes for all the companions you meet, colored by your choices. Also by the books of Guy Gavriel Kay, which often take place over a short period of time and then extrapolate out into a broader history for character epilogues. In many cases, I like these condensed stories more than our finales themselves.

From my Masks Campaign:

Roll + the Stat that you will rely on most in the coming years:
10+: Choose 3
7-9: Choose 2
Miss: Choose 1

- You survive the turbulent transitional period.
- You help someone you care about adjust to the new intergalactic society.
- You gain influence and power beyond your current station.
- You leave a legacy that last far beyond your lifetime.

Players take turns rolling and then describing an epilogue based on the Stat and options they chose. One of the players died but changed the life of a rival. Another became an intergalactic shock trooper but was forgotten by history. Yet another had a hyperspace gate network named after her a thousand years in the future. This felt like a good match for the campaign: epic outcomes with personal stakes.

Blades in the Dark's retirement system is a good match to the setting. There's no roll, but the amount of Coin you have stashed away determines how well things pan out for you. Compared to the Masks roll, it's not what your character believes in, it's about how many scores they succeeded in.

I'm curious if people have tried this with other systems.


  • The grand-daddy of the epilogue idea is, of course, My Life with Master. There's a bunch of games out there that run with it. Tales of Entropy comes to mind, as it's something I've fiddled with relatively recently.
  • Fiasco, Protocol etc all have it.

    I love that in The Last Stand the fast and crazy epilogue is the phase which feels like a tragic but trad RPG session and most of the session is just setting making building up to the blaze of glory.
  • Ah yes, the fiasco epilogue system is great, especially when each die is a tiny bit of narration.

    Haven't played My Life With Master. I'll have to finally get around to reading it.
  • Yeah, for me it's Fiasco and Tales of Entropy that come to mind. Both handle this in a more nuanced way, which is pretty cool. (And in both games, the way other players see your character becomes very important for how things turn out for them!)

    I was working on a system for this for an OSR-style game I was playing for a while... maybe I should dig it up and finish it.
  • (And in both games, the way other players see your character becomes very important for how things turn out for them!)
    This is a great point. Being able to share insight on other people's characters is usually more interesting than sharing insight on your own character.
  • I like it how Psi*Run does epilogues without dice but it actually depends a lot on previous rolls and allocations.
  • How does that work? I've never played Psi*Run.
  • Are you familiar with Otherkind?

    You all play amnesiacs and create interesting questions for your character. At every roll you can allocate dice to suddently remember things. The standard game stops when somebody have remembered all of the answers to her questions. When the endgame begins, you all choose one option for your character in the order of how many of your question got answered.
  • Yeah, I'm familiar with the game and its procedures; was just curious about the endgame. That makes sense to me! Thanks.
  • I like it how Psi*Run does epilogues without dice but it actually depends a lot on previous rolls and allocations.
    This was a great resource for me. Thanks for the tip!
  • I hope we will see the end results!
  • You definitely will! Working on a small adventure-and-exploration system where there are procedures for starting a campaign, playing through seasons, and ending a campaign with an epilogue.
  • edited January 2019
    My favorite mechanic here is Taking the Plunge in Unknown Armies 3:
    So, during game play, PCs work toward achieving an Objective. Objectives are measured in %. The closer you get to your objective in-game, the higher the percentile. At 100%, the objective has obviously been achieved.
    However, even before reaching 100%, you can take the plunge:
    So, i.e. you have already reached 70% and instead of going further you force your hand. You take a risk and roll d100. If >70% you fail miserably. Else you succeed. The outcome is narrated accordingly and has consequences for further sessions.

    This is not a character-centric approach. But it works great because it gives the players a choice between balancing effort and risk.
    Personally, I like using this mechanic to finalize a one-shot with an epilogue.
  • This also reminds of Solo, a resolution system for Traveller that takes all the modifiers for a scene and boils it down to one roll. And then, the player and referee narrate the outcome of the whole scene based on that.
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