Bringing Your Brain Back to the Game

Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System

[ What is the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System (TSRS)? It is a tabletop RPG designed to be light on rules and heavy on roleplaying. Most guidelines are optional so GMs can modify, add or drop whatever they wish. GMs can also submit their changes to the site for others to use. And the best part? The entire system is free! All guidelines, support tools, monster books and adventures can be found at the Downloads page. ]

Special All-in-One Kickstarter Backers:

Jeremy D. Milsom, Super Supporter

Jonathan Gartshore-Baxter, Basic Supporter

An extra thanks to these two supporters for helping the TSRS Kickstarter meet and beat goal! Much appreciated, good sirs!

April 21, 2014

When your work life and your personal life both increase their demand on your time, what slides off the list for awhile? Hobbies, of course. My hobbies are writing TSRS and running mobile MTG events... and I'm still running MTG events every month. TSRS work has definitely fallen off since early February. I've done a little bit of work on it but I'm really not putting in the same effort as I did in 2012/2013. There's just not enough time in the week for everything! That being said, I've completed about 50% of the starting campaign adventure "False Promises", EC2 (TSRS2211). Why have I moved away from the other three in the works? Well, my players wanted to start playing again, and they know those other mods. A new series was needed, so I started this one. I'm not going to say too much about it (since my players may read this thread), but it's a 5 part series meant to take 4-6 adventurers from starting PR24 (easy) to PR42 (difficult). they will face things they've never faced before... We began our campaign last week, you can read the details of each session here. Each part of this series should be available for download a few weeks after it is completed by the group.

For the next few months, I can't promise more than the "False Promises" series. Work and life are just too chaotic right now. Take care and enjoy!

January 31st, 2014

January has been a busy and productive month! Where do I start?

The TSRS All-in-One Guide Kickstarter books (hardcover and softcover) have been printed and are now sitting at my home awaiting shipment to KS backers. I'm sending out surveys today to get addresses so that I can pack and ship these nicely produced books out early next week. PublishingExpress (softcovers) and BookBaby (hardcovers) did an amazing job printing these guides, and both shipped them out to me much faster than I expected! The print runs are 35 copies of the softcovers and 46 copies of the hardcovers - I have only a few spare copies of each to limit the runs to a small number. Our target delivery date to backers was March - we'll beat that easily.

The All-in-One Guide is likely the last major revision/production of the Core guidelines for a while. I'm not planning any major additions to the Fantasy theme in the near future besides a few odds and ends (e.g. Falling damage). There are a few more books to produce for the Core line but those are on hold for the time being. There are a few things I'd like to start/finish in 2014: 1) finishing the 3 adventures started last year, "In Defense of Thuil", "The Evil Within", and "Walking Dead in to Umfall" - they are each between 50 to 75% completed; 2) publish all current TSRS adventures to LuLu (for print copies); 3) 2014 Kickstarter - a digest sized boxed set for B/X [not for TSRS] in honor of D&D's 40th anniversary; 4) complete the special crossover GenCon module (AD&D and TSRS) "The First Annual Minecart Race"; 5) and if there is time, begin work on the TSRS Variant Guide (extends the core guidelines to Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, and Espionage). A monumental task.

As mentioned above, I'm hoping to publish all current (and future) adventures to LuLu so that players can have the books printed professionally. I'm still working on the conversion of the first adventure; LuLu has some interesting formatting requirements that other publishers (like the ones I used for my KS work) don't have. This makes it hard to get them out there for printing. If this gets too difficult, I may switch up vendors (if I can find another print-on-demand company). More on this in the next few weeks.

On a different front, the Nomad Gaming part of the business (mobile MTG events) is starting to get busier. We've had a steady number of players each FNM event with the last turnout (January) being pretty good. We have two BNG events planned for February - things are looking good! You can find more information about my mobile game store business at

Until next time, enjoy!

December 28 2013

As this time every year, I think about how fortunate I have been and what we've accomplished. Here's a look back:

(1) We put out several guides and adventures in 2013, (2) the TSRS Core Guidelines book was nominated for a GenCon ENnie, (3) I made the trip to Indy for GenCon and met some wonderful RPG authors, artists and collectors - namely Frank Mentzer, and Tim Kask, (4) had the privilege of working with an amazing artist - Lucas Pandolfelli, (5) started a mobile game store, selling RPGs and MTG supplies, along with setting up Friday night MTG events, (6) launched a Kickstarter project that met goal! There are many more successes outside of Throwigames of course, but these are the relevant highlights to TSRS and NomadGaming.

I'm very thankful for my children, my loving wife (who edits nearly all my work), my employer for believing in my strategic vision to advance IT in our company, my good friends, my collector buddies at Acaeum, TSRS players for playing my system and spreading the word, and my extended family. All of you have helped me accomplish my goals and succeed in what I did this year! Thank you!

Next week, I'll post what's next for TSRS and revise the delivery timelines for upcoming work as necessary. Stay tuned, and enjoy!

December 9, 2013

Thanks to many backers, the TSRS All-in-One Guide Kickstarter project is fully funded! In less than 2 weeks, I'll send the print counts to both printing companies for the soft and hard covers needed for all backers. I'll also send orders out for the supplies (boxes, envelopes, labels, etc.) so that I can ship the books out once they are in. Although I have a ship date of April 2014, I believe I'll have the books out to folks a month or two early, as long as the printing companies print them quickly. I'm extremely excited about this project being funded! Additionally, I may run a celebratory game session at a CT game store (name to be announced) in January/February - I'm likely to have some giveaways with me for players.

In other news, I'm behind schedule with my adventure releases - my primary gig has been exceptionally demanding and I've been working a lot of extra hours. I hope to catch up after the holidays, as long as the work schedule dies down. I'm so close to finishing three of these adventures! Keep your eyes open for new releases as they become available!

High level design of the multi-level megadungeon is nearly complete. I'm leaning toward a double release, i.e. a version for TSRS and a version for B/X. I may offer the B/X version as a Kickstarter in mid-2014. I might even release it as a boxed set, maybe digest sized to honor the original D&D books/sets. Nothing is decided yet, I'm just working out some of the high level parts right now. I've talked to a high school alum about cover art and he might be able to help out - he is a well known fantasy artist (freelanced for Wizards, with artwork for D&D and MTG) and if the timing is right, could add some work to the project.

Well, 2013 is closing. Thanks to all of you who have supported TSRS, both with the Kickstarter and by downloading and playing the system. I love writing games and as long as you all keep asking for more, I'll keep doing it! Happy Holidays and enjoy!

November 19, 2013

The TSRS All-in-One Guide Kickstarter project is LIVE! Check it out here: TSRS Kickstarter Project and here. There are a limited number of copies available, so don't delay in pledging. For the next 30 days, I'll double post updates here and on the KS page (except for next week - I'm in FL and will only update the KS page). When I get back from sunny Orlando, I'll try to complete at least two more adventures, while also making my existing pdfs available in print at It's going to be a busy month!

It's funny how this whole system started with the rediscovery of my notes early last year. In the same box, I also found a multi-level megadungeon that I'm thinking about rewriting for next year... keep your eyes and ears open for news in March/April. I still have other work that I want to get done before that epic task, you can see my release schedule here.

If you arrived here via Kickstarter, you're probably looking for the downloads page. You can find the link at the top of the page or click here to go right to it. You're probably asking why I'd develop a Kickstarter for product that I give away here. Well, it will always be free electronically at, but the Kickstarter is for collectible, print copies. If you are like me, you like to have printed materials in hand. That's why there is a Kickstarter. Whether it's digitial or print, enjoy!

November 12, 2013

Many of you know that I recently started a mobile gaming business which has consumed much of my time over the last few months. Also, I've been putting the finishing touches to the first TSRS Kichstarter, the All-in-One Guide. These two things have really filled up my free time, slowing down my release schedule. Well, things have picked up recently and I've been getting some good work done! All but the Kickstarter video is complete for the All-in-One Guide project. I had a video but decided to redo it after some feedback (you know who you are, and you can stop laughing now). Once the new video is done, I'll launch the KS. The realistic start date now looks like mid-November. Also, I've nearly completed the first moderate difficulty solo adventure, Lair of the Goblin King Grasnhak-Kul! The release schedule indicates November 15th, and we should meet that. I have to finish the last edits and one player handout, and it will be ready for download within a couple of days.

Once the Kickstarter launches, I'll devote more time to completing the adventures. I have four adventures more than 75% completed - I just need to finish the darn things! I've also decide to put my entire adventure line on to make them available for print. Yes, they will still be available here for free as a PDF, but for those who want professionally printed books, they will finally be available. I will start uploading them to in the next couple of weeks. I haven't decided if I'll have the main guides available in the same manner yet. At the moment, I'm not thinking that I will. I definitely will not have the All-in-One Guide available in any format after the Kickstarter ends. This will be a one time offering! Well, back to writing, I have two or three adventures to finish before the end of the year. Enjoy!

October 3, 2013

Where did September go??? Wow, the last few weeks went by so quickly. Between my day job, family, a new mobile game business, and TSRS (note how TSRS was last), I've been flat out all month. The good news is that I finally finished the Terra Minor World Guide, available for download here. I'm very happy with the finished product and hope that you will be too! All of the adventures that I write for TSRS will take place in this world. Also, I've updated the Product Release page with new timelines for upcoming product. You will note that the Kickstarter is nearly ready to go live, so keep your eyes and ears out for that announcement.

A few of you have asked what tool I used to build the dungeons in 'Crypt of Mandazed' (ES1). Surprisingly, it was not CC3 (although I like their software, it is a slow process to use) but a freeware online tool at This site was offline for many months but now it is back! It's easy to use and can take just a few minutes to build out many maps. I know I'll go back to it for more color mapping. Thanks to the diligence of my son Ben for finding it had returned (I had just about given up on it).

There is a lot of work in the coming months, so watch for the new releases. Enjoy!

August 26, 2013

Our first Magic Guide, Res Magicus, is finally available for download! This guide provides several simple magical item suggestions and examples for GMS and players. Our next guide, Res Magicus II, will feature only unique items, specific to the world of Terra Minor. RSII should be ready by year's end. I'm finalizing the map for the Terra World guide, our next product for release in September. The entire guide is written and only needs the final inked maps - I'm holding this document up until I'm happy with the maps! This guide is also needed for the September/October Kickstarter project for the All-in-One guide (discussed several times on this page). I really have to get these maps finished for the Kickstarter!

Once I finish the maps and get the Terra Minor guide out (and while the KS project is in the approval stages), I'll return my focus to the four adventures already in mid-development: 'The Great Minecart Race' (TSRS2105 D1 - GenCon 2014 submission candidate), 'Lair of the Goblin King Grasnhak-Kul' (TSRS2002 MS1), 'The Evil Within' (TSRS2102 E2), and 'In Defense of Thuil' (TSRS2201 TSC1) - not quite in that order. I'm also planning to have a special printing of 'The Great Minecart Race' - this will be a first edition version (old AD&D) and will likely be for sale at the OSR booth at Gencon next year. Keep your eyes and ears open for that. That's it for now, enjoy!

August 21, 2013

Well, I've finally recovered from my trip to GenCon. What a wonderful, yet exhausting adventure! I got to meet many online friends for the first time, and played several different RPGs and card games. I also purchased "a few" books for my collection while I was there (the live auctions with Frank and Tim are a blast!). Although TSRS did not win an ENnie, it was a great experience and an honor to be nominated. Unfortunately, silver and gold winners in my category neglected to show up to receive their awards. Hmm. I plan to enter two or three products next year!

So, what's next for us? Quite a bit actually. I'm preparing to release two products next week (mentioned a few times in recent posts): The Terra Minor Guide and Res Magicus. both have survived editing and just need a layout cleanup before they can be released. I'm also making a few, last minute adjustments to the world map before release. Both these books will be part of the Kickstarter All-in-One guide, planned for late September or early October. While the KS is live, I'll finish up two adventures that are in mid-development (they were on hold while I was completing the KS content). Early in 2014, the Variant guide should be close to completed - this guide adapts the current FRP guidelines for use in Westerns, Sci-Fi, Horror, and Espionage. After that, there is plenty to work on, but the order of releases may change for next year's competitions. Check the Release Schedule page often for details.

Most importantly, thanks to all that voted for TSRS this year, and to those who bought my rulebook at GenCon! Enjoy!

July 22, 2013

Voting is now open! Please vote for TSRS in the category of Best Free Game! Here is the link to the ENnies voting page. Put a "1" in the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System for Best Free Game (if you feel it deserves it, of course). Thank you for all your support!

July 18, 2013

That's right, you read it correctly! TSRS has been nominated for 'Best Free Game' at this year's GenCon ENnie awards! Starting July 22nd (through July 31st), voting for your favorite submission will be open to the public; I encourage all of you who enjoy and play TSRS to vote! Maybe, we can just win this competition! I hope to have more details in the next couple of days with respect to voting - where, when, how, etc. For now, here is a link to the Gencon ENnies page: Nominees page. Remember, TSRS is under the 'Best Free Game' category.

The first magic guide, Res Magicus is nearly complete. All content is written and is undergoing the last edits. As I usually do, I'l publish it first with limited art content and at some point later, I'll have art added. I know Lucas would like to draw some cool magical items for the guide, but I'm reserving my capital for the upcoming Kickstarter (later in the post). The guide covers basic magical items, randomization methods, identification detail, and a few unique items. TSRS encourages GMs to create their own magical items so this guide is really just a helpful starter. A second Res Magicus for unique items and artifacts is planned for 2014.

The Terra World Guide is completely written and edited but the maps are incomplete. If you've read about the New England weather this summer, then you know that it's been very hot and humid for weeks; my house isn't air conditioned, so working on maps at night after my day job is near impossible. I hope to complete the inking of the penciled maps soon! In the meantime, I'm going to update the community pages with missing deity information and other Terra tidbits.

My Kickstarter plan is coming together. I've completed the project plan and have begun sketching out the video. Yes, we'll be doing a video! I'm not sure how it will come out but I'm looking forward to it. My daughter Emily will film and edit it for us (she has more skill than her father in this area). We're targeting sometime next week for the filming. I hope to launch the KS sometime between August 2nd and August 14th (before I leave for GenCon). Keep your eyes out for TSRS in print at Kickstarter! Enjoy!

Older Posts and Reference

An archive page now contains posts greater than a month or two old.

Before I shifted gears from Colosseum (see the blog link for reference) to developing the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System, I used several other media channels to record and discuss my efforts. See my 2011 blog here and my little used Facebook page (search Facebook for for past updates. Going forward, the new website will be my primary method of cummunication and interaction with players.

Pages Maintained by Thom Wilson