Fabletop was launched on December 21, 2011 and is currently still in Beta.
It is developed by Joe Lesko, an independent game designer/web developer in Silicon Valley, USA.
Inspiration for the Fabletop system came from many story-centric RPGs with light-weight rules. Many are available as free PDFs.
Also, the Thursday Knights livestream, a group of gamers who run very story-centric games each week.
Special thanks to:
• Brandon, Nick, Pete, Chris, Jim, caffeine, & blacksmiths everywhere.
• All of my
Why does Fabletop only support chat? Will you add video?
It's true that chat doesn't always capture the human factor of being around a real game table, but there are a lot of advantages to sticking with a chat-only experience:
Why doesn't Fabletop support more rules systems? (D&D, Pathfinder, etc.)
There are certainly a lot of interesting and cool game systems out there, but there are also a lot of advantages to staying with a single built-in system:
Why is Fabletop free-form? Will you add more crunch (e.g. items, damage systems)?
There are literally hundreds of computer RPGs and MMOs that focus on leveling and grinding (aka powergaming) and deliver that kind of experience better than any tabletop RPG can.
Fabletop focuses on the unique strength of tabletop games, which is creativity and collaborative storytelling.
Having fewer rules gives to more creative freedom for players and GMs. Fabletop sessions move at a satisfying pace, without getting bogged down in minutiae.
Why does Fabletop use a d6 dice pool system?
I evaluated nearly every dice mechanic ever made, from the classic 80's era systems to modern indie RPGs. The current system is used for a few reasons:
How are the dice rolls generated?
All of the rolls are generated on the server to prevent cheating. It uses the standard POSIX pseudorandom number generator.
The results are unpredictable and statistically correct, which is as good as (and arguably more fair than) a real-life die roll.
I had a bunch of bad rolls. Are the dice buggy?
The nature of randomness is that it is sometimes very streaky. From the outside it might look like there is something wrong, but remember that it is human nature to read significance into random events.
It has also been found in experiments that we feel the pain of loss more heavily than good fortune. This is probably why we tend to focus more on the times when we had bad luck, rather than being thankful for our good luck.
How do I figure out the odds of success?
Here are the probability curves (1-in-3 chance of a Star): Anydice.com
Note that the more dice that are rolled, the more predictable the results will be. This could lead to less interesting games if everyone has very high stats.
Regardless, don't let the math get in the way of telling a good story.