The free PIE RPG.

Something about this RPG is making me hungry…

The internet is a pretty spectacular thing, but I can’t say I’d ever imagine it would bring me an RPG based on pie charts.  It just goes to show that the gaming market is far from tapped out.  There are a million ways to game and a million more are fast approaching.

PIE is a simple and light weight role playing game released under Creative Commons License by a man who calls himself Dull Barbarian.  With this system, he has put together something new and very intriguing.  This isn’t exactly a review as I’ve not actually had a chance to run this system yet, but instead a call to attention for the awesomeness of free stuff.  A lot of work has been invested here and all of it is being put out for online consumption 100% free, which means there’s no good reason not to give it a look over.

What I can say is that there isn’t a lot to dig into yet and I think that might hurt the author’s success a little here in the beginning.  Because he has kept the system universally operable for any time period or place as an in-game setting, as well as no doubt created the project on a low or potentially non-existing budget, the game doesn’t really have much by the way of details at this time.  No equipment charts, no setting, very few suggestions for character creation, and unclear definitions of just what is within reason to keep play balanced.  This can make for a bit of struggle for those that are not experienced gamers.  The whole thing is just a little too open.  Open can be a good thing, but more guidance would be nice just to get started.  For now at least, this is really for someone who needs a non-standard framework to develop, not the game master that wants to start playing right away.  Dull Barbarian is working on a setting for PIE that he intends to release, which may alleviate some of these concerns.

The basic mechanic revolves around each player having a set number of slots on his sheet dedicated to particular attribute domains labeled Physicality, Intellectuality, and Emotionality.  Though the document itself is pretty plain, the character sheet really does draw the eye when completed, a section of which can be seen below. The geometric hard angle graph instead of a typical filled circle chart has a lot of style and I think it looks great.  If this system gets enough interest, I think an online generator of some sort than can create colored sheets would be a wise addition.

PIE Character Chart


I hope Dull Barbarian will continue to expand his PIE system  in ways that will bring players and GMs in.  Sometime soon I’m going to give the system a run through just to see how it translates from paper to play, but I have no clue when that will be.  There should be a follow up post when that happens which will detail how that night goes.  I love these new small-time or independent RPGs, and I want to see them get more exposure, they really grow the hobby in unimaginable ways.  You can download the PDF directly HERE to get your own slice and the accompanying character sheet HERE for a dollop of whip cream.  (Oh bad pun, maybe “pie plate” would have been better?)

Dull Barbarian is desperately seeking some feedback so he can improve the system.  Go check it out, give it some play, and please let him know what you think.  You can leave comments here which I’ll make sure he sees or visit his site HERE to e-mail him directly.

[tags] Role Playing, PIE, RPG, Gaming, indie, rpg [/tags]

7 thoughts on “The free PIE RPG.

Add yours

  1. First; thank you for your support!

    I’m doing something quite naive and unprofessional here and I’m trying to do my best and I’ll keep it %100 free (in both ways)

    About the openness, you’re pretty right, I wanted to make it open to creativity and imagination but it’s also opening into chaos. I guess all the stones will set into their places when Chemiskhezak: The City of Fire, Fury and Fun is released. It will be a fantasy setting (with a little humour) I hope.

    Then, the players -if there are any- will experience the openness of PIE. At least I’ll do my best.


  2. Dull Barbarian, you have my axe! Er… I mean, you’re doing a great thing!

    Seriously – writing and releasing a free RPG for the community to use is excellent. We here at TC will give you as much support as we can!

    Starting off by adding you to our list of A-list links.


  3. Impressions. Let’s see here, short, to the point, flexible, fast, awesome character sheet – a great start. It saddens me I can’t get my group to have a break, but I’ll be incorporating into my Traveller campaign to represent their psychological selfs – how they view themselves and what’s important to them. I’ll be sorting out how that’s going to come about today. More importantly, their PIE selves will be getting use in all the non-material places they end up (ie. dreamscape, astral plane, void space). I think it’ll be a great way to convey the difference and alien nature of these areas while also giving us the chance to see what PIE can do. For me, such fundamentally different areas need entirely different mechanics to set them apart and I think PIE is going to work really well for it. I’m thinking of using some sort of in-character psychological assessment as the catalyst for filling in their charts.

    I dropped Dull Barbarian a line moments ago with more detailed (possibly less organized) thoughts and plans which I hope he’ll get some amusement for. I’ll still have my camera ready for initial reactions. 😀


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