Using Genesys to Develop Story

Pining for an RPG

Early this year I was working myself into a frenzy of wanting to play an RPG. It's been a few years since my old Edge of the Empire campaign died off, since then I've run a couple one-shots of Age of Rebellion, the D&D 5e beginner box when it came out. Snacks, I was starting to feel really hungry.

As the first couple of months of the year passed into spring, my desire to play was increasing but our game development schedule was starting to take over more and more of my time. I started to resign myself to waiting another year or 2 for a game. Then I found out about Genesys. I really loved the simplicity of the core mechanics in FFGs Star Wars games but I was over that setting. With Genesys they had taken everything I loved about that system and made a new game. I bought it the day it came out.

What is Genesys?

At it's core Genesys is a toolbox for creating an RPG in any setting you can imagine. It takes work to set up - you have to bring your setting! They give you the framework and some examples but ultimately you have to fill in the details that make the world come alive for your players.


Bernie and I had focused our early development on mechanics. Our characters were each a collection of skills and stats with generic names like "Combat medic", "Forager", "Cop". They were completely devoid of anything that made them human. We started to evolve the world and personalities started to emerge in our characters. We realized we needed help making them interesting and representing different world views and reactions to the setting we had created.

It took a few weeks for lighting to strike. Bernie and I were meeting to discuss story, interview writers, and develop backgrounds for our characters. Meanwhile, I was digesting the Genesys rule book in spare time and daydreaming about what sort of setting would make a fun RPG campaign. It was like I had peanut butter in one hand, chocolate in the other, and was looking for a place to set them down so I could go get dessert. Finally it hit me that I had the perfect situation - I could run an RPG campaign and be working on my game at the same time!

Running the RPG has been a great experience. It has helped us develop our game characters as NPCs, create new characters, add depth and detail to our world, and explore creative ideas from our friends as well as our writer. I'm planning to write a few detailed posts about specifics. Let me know what interests you about this & I'll write about it.