Flashback is a next-generation RPG where characters advance by adding to their backstory and building personality traits.

As the GM tells the story of the world, the players tell the story of their characters. Flashback turns every situation into a roleplaying opportunity through a unique experience system that rewards players for weaving a detailed backstory and making choices that are consistent with their character's motivations.

Table Of Contents

Selected chapters from the Flashback RPG core book available for preview

Background - Money & Power

My father worked as a day labourer in Steamport. He worked day and night for less than 2 silver: loading and unloading guild ships from Criar or hauling coal down to the Langdale Ironworks. Bent his back so bad that he couldn’t even look up to see how the sky glowed during a Starfall. Hardest working man I ever met in my life… and maybe also the poorest.

Basic Rules - Skill Conflicts

Difficulty indicates how hard it is to make progress on a task. Effort is how much work is required to complete a task. Consider climbing a mountain - the steepness of the slope is represented by the Difficulty; the height of the mountain is represented by the Effort.

Background - Steam & Stars

The horizon was on fire. Far away on the other side of the Atwater Estate, clearly illuminated by the otherworldly red glow of the heavens, stars were falling.

The System

Flashback is an RPG system that keeps things simple and fun. Character growth, storytelling and player interaction are always in the spotlight - combat and dice mechanics are just a way to resolve disputes. Even first-time RPG players can learn to the game in under 10 minutes, and character creation is only 2 steps.

The system's innovative card mechanics also make it quick and easy for beginner GMs to generate fantastic adventures on the fly. Just construct an Encounter deck and an Item deck, mix in some print-and-play locations for instant campaigns and quests. Experienced GMs can focus on crafting epic stories for the players without slowing down to roll up random NPCs, events or treasure.

The Rules

As the GM tells the story of the world, you are telling the story of your character. Flashback turns every situation, even combat and dungeon crawls into roleplaying opportunities.

The rules are based around a simple resource-based dice mechanic for all actions: the more effort a character expends on an action, the better their chances of success. Flashback's unique experience system rewards players for weaving a detailed backstory and making choices that are consistent with their character's motivations.

The World

In the midst of an industrial revolution, a strange new metal falls from the sky that changes everything it touches. As faith in the old ways fades and society struggles to adapt to the new steam-powered economy, a mysterious spore-sickness starts to spread from city to city. Even the Imperial Army is forced to retreat from the frontier when Titans, huge monstrosities forged from natural and elemental forces, appear and begin to rampage unchallenged throughout the empire.

The players must shed the chains of the past and change themselves to survive in this evolving world, but the blue-blooded aristocracy will do everything they can to hold onto their power.

Learn More

I loved all of it so please don't change anything!


I liked the different perspectives given, as it also made it seem like there were multiple small-scale, personal stories happening in a big, large-scale world -- perfect for an RPG!

A reddit person

I dig this so much.

Steve Dee, Tinstar Games