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Poet Glorious • 2017 rpg finalist

Kimberley Lam •

3-5 players

English haiku: a poem with three lines and syllable count of 5-7-5


The land is overrun by demons. You are a glorious warrior!

Pick a Theme. Write a haiku about your splendour. 

Write a haiku, using another’s Theme, about your envy.


Pick two characters as focal characters. 

The other players create a Challenge together. Each writes a haiku detailing the Challenge using focal character Themes. 

Each focal character player secretly writes a haiku to defeat the Challenge. Pick one:
- Work together.
- Sabotage the other.

Reveal both haikus.

Both work together: 
- Challenge is defeated.
- Each writes a victory haiku and strikes one line from their warrior haikus.

Both sabotage:
- Challenge is undefeated.
- Each writes a shame haiku and strikes one line from their warrior haikus.

Only one sabotages:
- Saboteur defeats the Challenge and writes a victory haiku.
- Sabotaged character strikes one line from their warrior haikus.

When all lines from your warrior haikus are stricken, your warrior is dead. Choose one:
- Write a glorious haiku commemorating the death.
- Write a demon-inspired spiteful haiku. Any characters you choose strike one line from their warrior haikus.

Rotate to new focal characters.

End when one or none stands alive.

Author Comments

Thanks must be given: though only a small gesture, even nods warm hearts.

Jax Bryk, with stern gaze as dauntless as spring’s coming, pushed me to write.

Albert Andersen made a joke over ramen. From soup springs haiku.

Brie Sheldon slashed his sword-like pen and my craft was honed by his strikes.

Judge Comments

Competitive haiku writing? Sign me up! To me this game is reminiscent of epic films of great warriors such as “Hero”, “The House of Flying Daggers”, or “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. It is a story about real people who have an incredible gift that stand in the face of great danger. I have noticed two broad categories of 200 word RPGs: those that provide flavor text and add the rules to that text, and those games that incorporate the rules into the flavor. This game is a clear example of the latter. There is very little time given to fluff and description, and I can tell that the author very specifically included a few choice words that really spice up the game. Well-written, clear rules, and a wonderful combination of theme and explanation. - Daniel Adams

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