Tabletop RPGs Inspired By Adventure Games

cover art for Parsely, showing a variety of icons in pixel art

It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of tabletop rpgs based on video games. They often have an interesting universe to base a tabletop game on and many already have rpg mechanics, where while it’s not a 1:1 conversion to a tabletop game it does give designers a place to start. What I was surprised by was the number of tabletop rpgs that are based on or directly inspired by adventure games. I knew a lot of ttrpg creators grew up playing them but there’s quite a few that mention specific games or license the IP. Here are the ones I could think of but please let me know if the comments if I left anything out.


With Myst being one of the best-selling games ever, it’s not surprising that it has inspired a few tabletop rpgs. Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of MYST and Beyond is a game that uses the Myst license and uses the FATE core system for the foundation of its rules. The game is strongly influenced by Uru/Myst Online and has players exploring modern or historical D’ni and the ages connected to it. The game has received a few smaller supplements as well as a larger sourcebook that was recently Kickstarted and focused on the reconstruction of D’ni

There’s fan games too. Bring the Page With You is a free one-page ttrpg where there is no GM/DM and is focused on players collaborating together to create Myst ages.

Text Adventures

There’s also a few games inspired by the Infocom-era of text adventures. Parsely is a collection of games where a group of players control one character by telling one player, known as the Parser, what they would like to do in the form of text adventure commands and the Parser describes what happens next. The collection even features a trilogy of Zork-like games known as Action Castle. The creator of Parsely has a few games in the series on their Itch page.

They’re not the only one to develop group text adventures. Goldfinch Games has developed a couple Out-Loud Text Adventures as well, with one in an abandoned amusement park and one at an abandoned spaceship.

Uresia: Grave of Heaven is a system-neutral setting book by S. John Ross that is strongly inspired by the Zork series, with there even being a section explaining how it influenced the book and why they love the series so much. The book is now available for free here. Check it out and then consider hiring him for book or map design if you’re a ttrpg designer. The author also wrote a Z-Machine text adventure game that ranks as Polite on Andrew Plotkin’s cruelty scale. This game is also available for free.

Point-And-Click Adventures

I found a few games on inspired by point-and-click adventure games. Pocket Full of Stars is a cozy two-player ttrpg inspired by Samorost where the players have the roles of an Astronomer and the Storyteller and work together to tell a story about a giant jumping from planet to planet and meeting people.

Loom is a fan fiction game based off the classic Lucasarts adventure game of the same name. It’s a solo journaling game where you explore the game’s world using the mechanics described in the book and write about what happens. Both games are available as Pay-What-You-Want.

Citizen Sleeper

With it being so strongly inspired by indie tabletop rpgs like Blades in the Dark, it would make sense that Citizen Sleeper has its own tabletop rpg. It’s not actually out yet so I can’t say much about it but it is available for pre-order here.

TTRPG Supplements

Instead of developing their own systems, many designers have created supplements for existed games. Blood Mountain Resort & Spa is a free download for fantasy ttrpgs. Inspired by the Monkey Island series, players explore a pirate themed resort. The NPCs are statted for DURF but the rest of the supplement is built to be system neutral. Lost to the Starlit Reptiles is another adventure for DURF by the same folks that is inspired by adventure games.

In Other Waters: Tidebreak is a supplement for the horror ttrpg Mothership that is set in the In Other Waters universe. The supplement is playable in either as a group or solo and designed to be less stressful than the typical Mothership adventure.

Let me know if I’ve left anything out. I would love to know what else exists out there. If you enjoyed this article you can play any of my tabletop rpgs inspired by adventure games like Accomplice, my Gabriel Knight inspired solo game, Alone in Cyberspace, inspired by Hypnospace Outlaw, Friendship Quest, my two-player map drawing game, and ERROR, a play out loud text adventure. The first two games are paid but just take a free community copy if you’re interested.

Indie Game Roundup ( Nov. 24, 2023)

screenshot from In Stars and Time showing the game's first person combat mode

It’s’s Creators Day, where they aren’t taking a cut from sales today. I’ve put all my paid games in a little bundle you can pick up if you want some solo TTRPGs.

Shannon McMaster has a cool and free system-neutral guide to hex crawling in time dimensions for your tabletop rpg.

Misty has a great post on Cohost about all the games she enjoyed playing while judging for the Independent Games Festival.

Hand Eye Society’s Super FESTival is still going on. Check out all the great talks and indie games going on.

Goose has made a very good demake for the Game Boy of a game they previously made a decade before for a game jam.

James Chip has a new solo journaling game set in space. It’s based off their previous game The Adventurer and seems very cool.

The results of this year’s IFComp were just announced and as usual, it’s another great batch of interactive fiction games that are worth your time.

In Stars and Time looks like a very nice time loop rpg that’s now available on Steam.

There’s a new Indie Tsushin, highlighting indie games from Japan.

Tristam Island is now open source and released under a Creative Commons license. It seems like a great reference if you’re looking to build a text adventure game in PunyInform for retro platforms.

Making Niche Games Popular

I keep seeing a post on one of the social media sites that instead of trying to make niche genres like Interactive Fiction more mainstream and financially viable, people should just focus on the craft instead. And since people keep sharing this weird take that I strongly disagree with, I guess I have to explain why I don’t like it.

I really don’t think it’s unreasonable to want interactive fiction to be more mainstream and commercially viable nor do I think it’s an unobtainable goal. A lot of people read so why couldn’t reading with some interactivity be commercially successful too? It was a financially viable genre for like, 10-15 years, and could still be considered one if you’re talking about companies like Choice of Games and games like Lifeline being huge hits. Depending on your definition of the genre, visual novels are a part of IF and are massively popular.

Obviously capitalism is bad and there’s more to making games than if they can make a lot of money but why shouldn’t we push for more visibility of games that are only considered “niche” because don’t pander to some bro gamer culture. If we’re talking about games made with Twine and Ink, it’s one of the most approachable ways to make games and one of the genres where I see the most queer stories. I really think that the thing that keeps IF from being bigger, especially with non-parser IF, is that a lot of people who love to read just don’t know about it.