ARC powers lean and tightly-paced stories. The unique blend of real-time and in-story mechanics means that games feel urgent and high-stakes.
During the game, you overcome challenges by rolling a six-sided die after setting a Threshold Number determined by your hero's capabilities, problem-solving approach, and the difficulty of the task. Roll under means success, over fails, and an equal roll generates even more complications.
The rest of ARC's system is overclocked to spark stories that slay.
- Actions come with consequences. ARC explicitly guides players to roll only when there's real stakes involved. In many situations, it's entirely possible to fail intentionally to reap opportunities, or accept success with tangible consequences.
- Celebrate ingenuity. Heroes are naturally adept at their skills, but players articulate how these are applied: whether creatively, carefully, or in a concerted manner. Insightful solutions can ease the Threshold Number.
- A new approach to spellcasting. Cast spells & techniques with different power levels, but take care: replenishing these will require a strange ritual. Burning a memento, sleeping all day, even eating a door.
...and spark groups that just want to play.
- Any fantasy story, any setting. ARC is not tied to a setting and can be adapted to your favorite world—even your own unique creation.
- Manage your hours. The Doomsday Clock allows you to dictate literally how much time you need for your story.
- Scaffolding to sustain dynamics and agency. Session zero prompts to set collective expectations; clear focus on cultivating shared stakes; and structure + guidance to ensure story arcs breathe, live, and respond meaningfully to player action.
Beyond rules, ARC is written to enable anyone—newcomer and veteran alike—to build world-saving stories together. The end may be coming, but that doesn't mean you can't be a new adventurer.
Doom is the centerpiece and the enemy—and running out of time unleashes it on the world. But while it's a turn for the worse, it is not a fail state. Instead, it can even provide the foundation for the next exciting chapter...
Add in bonus content in the form of 50+ items, 40 spells & techniques and 36 unusual creatures, from bunny-eared noblins to moon-eating wyrms, and you have plenty of (optional) flavor for stories as vivid and strange as ARC's art.