Designer Notes

Here are some guidelines you can use when making your own Breathless game.

Your Setting

Explain briefly the setting, and what the story is mainly going to focus on. Touch on what sort of challenges the PCs will encounter. Go over what is their purpose, and why they are part of the same group.

Your “Catch Your Breath”

The core mechanics centers around characters breathless from overcoming obstacles. It doesn’t mean that your game should revolve around survival, though. Look into when or how characters should “catch their breath”. Can they do it all the times, do they need to rest, or be in a specific location? Think about what is the “cost” of the characters catching their breath, for every mechanic should move the story forward.

Your Loot

The loot checks give a way for players to make an attempt at gaining assets that will make their life easier, and will reduce the rate at which they get tired. Keep in mind that doing this is not 100% risk-free. Your game could use this to handle items, but you could also simulate other types of bonuses using this mechanic.

Your Skills and Classes

To make this game your own, you should customize the skill list to something that better fit the aesthetic of your setting. Another way to do this is to provide classes/archetypes for the players to choose from, where each class could have pre-assigned skills or items.

Your Stunts

The default Stunt mechanic is a tool players can use to look “awesome” once per "catch your breath". Use this to mimic characters using cool powers or doing something extremely lucky.

Your Stress

Stress is the default health pacing mechanism of the game. If you want characters to feel stronger or weaker, adjust how big is the stress track, what happens when a PC fills it, and how they can recover. Be as generous or harsh as you see fit.

Your Rolling Tables

Consider adding rolling tables for the things you consider important in your game. Since this game’s format is short, rolling tables help in two-way. First, they help put a bigger focus on what is significant in your world. Second, they help facilitate sessions for when the players are in doubt about where the story should go next. Plus, it does all this in a very word efficient way. You could include tables for things like items, locations, allies, enemies, complications, missions, etc.


The Breathless SRD is released under Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY 4.0.

That means you are free to use the content of this SRD for your own game, provided you give proper credit.

To do so, copy the text below in your game, and things should be good to go.

This work is based on Breathless, product of Fari RPGs (, developed and authored by René-Pier Deshaies-Gélinas , and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (

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