Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game

Created by Magpie Games

A tabletop roleplaying game based on the award-winning Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right board game.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Backerkit, Covid-19 Updates and Plans
4 months ago – Sat, Apr 04, 2020 at 02:12:34 AM

Bloviating badgers! It’s time for our March 2020 update on Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game!

We’re going to talk a bit about what how everything going on with covid-19 around the world has affected the production of Root: The TTRPG, and what we’re planning moving forward.


Firstly, we’re closing the Root: The TTRPG Backerkit. We’d planned on officially closing it down today, but we’re going to give just a couple more days—until Monday, April 6th—before we fully close it down, just so you can get in any final changes.

So to be very clear—the Backerkit will close on Monday, April 6th. You can still find the Backerkit here:

If you have any questions, please drop us a line at

Covid-19 Effects on Production

Firstly, we want to say that we at Magpie Games are taking this global crisis very seriously. We’re all following social distancing rules, and we’ve all transitioned to working from home. We’re going to continue to adhere to all guidelines to make sure we stay safe, even though it means some things—like our warehouse—have been shut down for the time being. But it’s most important that people take necessary measures to help curb the spread of covid-19 right now. We hope all of you are doing the same as best you can, staying safe and healthy in this troubled time.

With that out of the way, let’s talk a bit about how covid-19 has affected the overall production of Root: The TTRPG.

As we said above, a lot of what we’re doing can be managed remotely. Writing the book, developing new playbooks, working on initial layout elements—we’re doing all of those from our homes now. The crew at Leder Games has been great at working with us while they, too, are social distancing and working from home. Everything we can do continues apace.

That said, there are some things that have been delayed. We’re working with our manufacturer to get the correct templates for our myriad pieces, but that process has been understandably delayed as the manufacturer closed down for a while to protect its employees. In general, we’re conscious that production timelines are hopeful, but are entirely likely to change in the long run.

We’re going to give you all a better update on the actual likely timelines once we feel more confident in them, but suffice to say we’re doing everything we can to make sure that Root: The TTRPG is developed, produced, and sent out to you with as much alacrity as we can manage.

We did complete the Free RPG Day booklet for Root shortly before our printer similarly closed down for safety, and before Free RPG Day itself was delayed into July. As things stand, we remain uncertain about exactly what’s going to happen with that booklet, but we’re currently still planning on producing physical copies when or if our printers reopen, and we will definitely be releasing the Free RPG Day booklet in digital form.

In the meantime, here’s a cute look at one of the pre-generated characters we made for the Free RPG Day booklet! The booklet is designed to provide a quick and easy way to get playing the game, so we slimmed it down to include pre-generated characters and only the rules needed to play a session then and there. We modified the character sheet we showed you last time to get this down to a single page. Without further ado, here is Nimble the Thief!

Traveling the Road Together

We know that things are pretty uncertain now, in so, so many ways, and we can’t say enough how grateful we are to have such a supportive, awesome group of fans in times like these. Thank you all for being patient, for understanding the current situation, and for sticking with us. Vagabonds can survive on their own, but they can reshape their world together, and in times like these that’s the most important thing we can do—stick together and help each other out. We hope all of you are staying safe and supporting each other in these tough times. Keep being excellent to one another! We’ll be back next month with more updates!

Updated Character Sheets and More!
5 months ago – Tue, Mar 03, 2020 at 12:07:46 AM

Ruminant raccoons! It’s time for our February 2020 update on Root: The TTRPG!

We’ve been working on new layouts, the book text, and getting the Free RPG Day booklet prepped!

Overall Schedule

We’re still sorting out exactly what the long-term schedule is—a process we fully anticipated during the Kickstarter. We want to make sure we’re getting all the best materials for the project that we can, so we’ve been checking in on printers, investigating what’s possible at what rates and over what timelines. 

This has been complicated a bit by the effects of the coronavirus, of course. We’re not at print by any means, but we’re aware that the coronavirus’s effects on printing in China may ripple out even to affect Root: The TTRPG’s printing and publication down the line. 

(For those who might be unaware, the coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on printing in China, as factories were shut down for weeks to prevent further spread of the virus, and a backlog of printing built up at those factories.) 

Suffice to say, we’re staying on top of it and doing our best to figure out the best way to get this project printed.

New Character Sheets

We’ve been working on a redesign of the playbook layout, and we’re pretty happy with what we’ve developed! A lot of credit goes to Miguel Angel Espinoza, who is building out the final layout for the book!

Here’s a look at the Ranger in the new layout:

Ranger - Front
Ranger - Back

Our goals were to help give everything the space and clarity that it needed. The original layout was matched to the original design, but certain design elements have changed since the original quickstart layout. So the new design elements were fitted to the original layout, but now, starting with a better idea of what all would be needed, we could better plan how much space things would take.

It meant we had to give up on one thing we’d liked in the original layout—that all the mechanical elements were on one side of the character sheet. But we still think the majority of elements you’ll reference throughout the game are on one side, and the other has only a few elements you’ll reference more infrequently. It helped us give everything enough space to breathe, and to make more blank spaces for future additions—like a big blank area where you’ll be able to write in your own equipment!

As a reminder on that, the pre-written equipment in the quickstart was always set up to facilitate quick play. In the full game, we intend for PCs to choose their own equipment, so they can fully customize what they’re carrying to their own weapon skills and desires.

Miguel also set to work on a new version of the basic moves, incorporating all the rules changes we’ve made to the quickstart, such as the new version of roguish feats:

Basic Moves

We’ll definitely be supplying all these files in a full color version—one that still shouldn’t kill your printers!—and a printer-friendly version.

Having these done is going to help inform the overall book layout quite a bit—we won’t be able to put these in one-for-one, seeing as these are 8.5” x 11” and the book is 6” x 9”, but a lot of the same styles and elements can contribute to the book’s internal pages!

Making Room for Clearings

What’s more, in addition to working on the core explanatory text of the book, we’re working on the myriad clearings that are going into the Clearing Booklet! The idea for each of those clearings is to present a complicated and interesting situation, one that will draw the vagabonds in and stop them from finding any easy answers. 

Each clearing will come with a cast of characters to flesh out the situation, alongside guidance on the primary issue of the entire clearing and a series of smaller conflicts. The GM will receive guidance on how each problem would develop independently, if the vagabonds never arrived in the clearing, but the whole point of these set ups is to let them develop organically in reaction to the vagabonds and their actions—who knows how things will go when you throw a bunch of volatile, expert criminals into their midst?

Free RPG Day

All of these disparate elements—the new playbooks, the new basic moves, the clearing frames—will come together in the Root:The TTRPG Free RPG Day booklet! We'll be using a brand new clearing for the Free RPG Day booklet—one that's different from the others promised in the Kickstarter—and we've shaved down the content from the quickstart to better support getting to play quickly and for one or two sessions. We're also going to provide "pre-generated" characters for the Free RPG Day booklet, each of whom is tied to the situation therein. Keep an eye out for more as Free RPG Day approaches in June!

We’ll show you more previews of these clearings as we go—we’re excited to see what you think!


We’ve decided to extend the Backerkit until the very beginning of April—we’ll be closing it officially on Friday, April 3rd. We’ve heard some of you asking for a bit more time, and on our side, as we’re sorting out the specifics of the schedule, we think another month makes sense. So again, expect the Backerkit to close on April 3rd. If you have any questions here, please drop us a line at

Remember, you can find your Backerkit here:

We still plan on charging credit cards in June, but we'll keep you posted.

Next Steps

We’re going to come back to you at the end of this month with more examples of the upcoming book to show off! Until then, may the Woodland treat you well!

Updated Play Materials and Backerkit!
6 months ago – Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 01:54:21 AM

Bountiful bunnies! It’s time for our January 2020 update on Root: The TTRPG!

We’ve been working to get the ball rolling after our December break, and we’ve got plenty to share! We’re going to break it down into sections instead of doing one big project update.

Backerkit Live

Firstly, the Backerkit surveys should be reaching you! We needed some time to sort out some of the details on the surveys and find out what we could do to best make them easy to use, but they’re finally ready! You’ll get an email for your survey, and you should also be able to find your survey if you visit:

We’re planning on locking down the surveys at the beginning of March, so you have about two months to confirm everything, purchase any add-ons, and make sure you’re set. You will still be able to alter your address even after we lock down the Backerkit!

It should be possible for you to switch your pledge level if you want, or to add-on any of our other offerings. Please let us know if you have any difficulties by emailing us at .

For international backers, make sure you pay attention to the advanced shipping add-on! If you’re interested in tracking information and expedited shipping, you’ll have to put the advanced shipping add-on in your cart and check out. You won’t have to pay anything right now—we’ll be contacting you with more details about the process and the exact process as we get closer to the shipping date. You will ultimately have to work through our webstore to get your advanced shipping.

If you don’t put the advanced shipping add-on in your cart, you won’t be included in the future when we send emails with further information about advanced shipping. Even if you do put the advanced shipping add-on in your cart, you will have the opportunity to opt out later.

For domestic backers, you don’t have to worry about anything for advanced shipping!

Vagabond’s Satchel Reminder

We’ve seen a few comments asking what exactly is going to be included in the Vagabond’s Satchel, and who gets it, so here’s a quick reminder.

You will get the Vagabond’s Satchel if you pledged:

  • $100 for the Both Books and Satchel level
  • $150 for the Deluxe Books and Satchel level
  • $200 for the Deluxe Books, Base Books, and Satchel level

If you’re a retailer, you’ll get 4 copies of the satchel at the $300 deluxe retailer level.

Included in the Vagabond’s Satchel are:

  • The Equipment Deck
  • The Denizen Deck
  • The full dice pack with 7 sets of dice
  • 4 maps
  • GM's Screen
  • Woodland and Clearing Notepads
  • Clearings Booklet
  • Cloth Bag

To repeat, if you get the Vagabond’s Satchel, all of the above items are included!

Wow, just typing all that out again reminds us of how much awesome stuff you unlocked with your support!

And now, with the Backerkit stuff out of the way…

Updated Play Materials

We’ve made some adjustments to the play materials for Root: The TTRPG! We’re going to include the new play materials on the DriveThruRPG page here, labeled clearly with the 01/29/20 date.

Look for the files titled:



(The only difference is that the file labeled "bw" is in black & white.)

We are unlikely to keep updating the quickstart as a whole—doing so would ultimately cost us time we could spend on just fleshing out the book. As a result, we’ve only updated the play materials themselves, meaning the playbooks and the moves sheets. So there are a few changes to call out.

Here’s a change log:


  • Minor changes to drive wordings
  • Changed playbooks to include roguish feats
  • Changed “Attempt a Roguish Feat” move
    • Added “mark an exhaustion to remove the risk” element to “Attempt a Roguish Feat”
  • Changed “Trust Fate” wording
  • Changed the “Watcher” connection wording
  • Changed some of the connection wording
  • Change the Arbiter’s move “Carry a Big Stick”
  • Changed wording of moves that vie weapon skills to make clear that they don’t count against the maximum for advancement
  • Changed the Ranger’s move “Silent Paws”
  • Changed “Your Look” to “Your Details” and changed list of genders to list of pronouns
  • Changed Weapon Moves terms (which moves need weapons tagged appropriately to trigger)
  • Removed “Murder” weapon skill
  • Added “Storm a Group in Melee” weapon skill
  • Added “Blindside” roguish feat
  • Changed “Decay” to “Wear” and “Depletion”
  • Changed “Blind” weapon move to “Confuse Senses”
  • Changed “Darkened Blade” Ranger move to “Poisons and Antidotes”
  • “It’s a Distraction” changed to include Blindside
  • Changed Vagrant’s longbow to shortbow
  • Changed “large” tag on Arbiter’s greatsword
  • Changed the array of weapon skills for the different playbooks

The most important changes to make you aware of have to do with changing “Attempt a Roguish Feat,” replacing the “Murder” weapon skill with the “Blindside” roguish feat and the brand new “Storm a Group” weapon skill, and changing “Decay” to “Wear” and “Depletion”.

We decided that “attempt a roguish feat” wasn’t quite working the way we wanted it to, and that we had the opportunity to actually make the characters more distinct in their roguish activities by making roguish feats an actual list of things you’re skilled at. It let us make the Thief, for example, particularly adept at roguish feats with 4 different options to choose from, while the Arbiter has far fewer.

Furthermore, it let us clarify when you’re attempting a roguish feat, and when you’re trusting fate. If you’ve got the feat marked on your character sheet, you’re attempting a roguish feat! If you don’t and you’re trying to do the same thing, you’re trusting fate! Attempting a roguish feat can then be way safer than trusting fate, making it clear why PCs would stick to the feats they’re good at, but allowing them to try crazy maneuvers if they need to!

Then, we significantly changed the “Murder” weapon skill. This decision had a couple of components to it. We heard your feedback that “murder” was the only weapon skill that seemed to have a moral component, making it stand out in contrast to the others. Our goal here was to make sure that the vagabonds, these sneaky roguish types, had the ability to leap out of shadows and take foes down, quickly and without warning.

What we came to realize, especially with the prior change, was that we were describing a roguish feat, not a weapon skill at all! So we created the Blindside roguish feat. Now, if you want to be the kind of rogue who can strike someone suddenly and without warning, especially right after you use the Sneak or Hide roguish feats, you can take Blindside to do that exact thing!

To keep the overall number of weapon skills the same, we added in the new “Storm a Group” weapon skill. This is a skill for fighting an entire group of enemies all at once—a truly dangerous proposition, but one that you might be able to pull off with this skill. Engaging an enemy in melee can still handle fighting a group if it’s all you have, but you’re much more at risk then—a group can deal far more harm than you can handle! Storming a group will give you some more options to help you handle those foes, including using their own strength against them!

Finally, we’ve been aware of issues with “Decay” as a term for a while. Part of the problem was that we were after a catch-all term to cover both resource usage and damage to equipment. We thought it would simplify things, but actually using the same, only-kind-of-fitting word for both wound up causing more trouble than helping.

So now, we’ve split those two ideas into two different terms. “Depletion” refers to the track each vagabond has at the top of their character sheet, and it covers a vagabond’s supplies. As a vagabond marks depletion, they’re running out of their assorted supplies in their pack. “Wear” refers to the track on each individual item. As you mark wear on an item, it’s getting more damaged and less effective, until it breaks. We think the division will make it much easier to more clearly explain those mechanics.

Next Steps

Whew! That was a lot! Thanks for sticking around!

We’re already at work on the book text, especially setting up those sample clearings and situations. In particular, we’re planning to release a slimmed down version of the play materials and quickstart for Free RPG Day, along with an entirely new clearing just for that booklet. We’re already designing the new playbooks and the rules for the new factions, too! So much good stuff in the works!

Thank you again for your patience and your support! We’ll update you again at the end of February with more awesome stuff!

Cleaning Up Rules and Denizen Deck Preview!
8 months ago – Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 01:37:18 AM

Efficacious eagles! It’s time for our November 2019 update on Root: The TTRPG!

Project Update: November

Firstly, it’s been a bit over a month since we funded, and we’re still thrilled with all the support you showed us! Again, thank you so much!

Second, this month has mostly been about getting our ducks in a row to move forward clearly and carefully, with plans for all the awesome stuff you helped fund. We’ve got a great team, but not a huge one, so it’s important that we make sure we know who needs to be working on what, when, to make sure we deliver great books and cards and whatnot to you.

In addition to finalizing our internal process, we’ve also been working on the rules. You all have provided lots of great questions and feedback for the quickstart, and we’re working on the best way to improve the core elements of the game as we go forward. Everything from modifications to some of the moves to word choice changes is on the table.

We aren’t going to do constant updates to the quickstart—much of the quickstart is liable to change, if only in the layout/visual sense, so it would be pretty costly in time and energy to both keep the quickstart constantly updated, AND to work on the full books. With that said, we’ll likely do one more quickstart update before moving on, along with a changelog for you to see what was altered within. We’ll notify you when those changes go up.

We’ll still be checking the core mechanics, making sure they work, playtesting them heavily—but once we have these changes in place, then we’ll be pivoting to expanding on all the other mechanics, including the rules for equipment creation, for the other factions like the Woodland Alliance, and for the new playbooks!

Denizen Deck Preview Card

And to share something cool, we’ve mocked up an initial version of what we’re thinking the Denizen Deck might look like. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments!

Into the Holidays

We’re headed to PAX Unplugged from December 6th-8th, so if you’re in Philadelphia, check out booth #3733! We’ll be officially closing down shortly after that for the holidays, so we’re unlikely to do an update in December, but we’ll be back in the new year barreling hard down Root’s trail.

If you want to keep up the conversation, please remember the Magpie Games forums are always open: And as always, thank you all for being so awesome and for all your support! Happy holidays, everyone!

WE DID IT! Campaign Ended! $602,022 Total Funded!
10 months ago – Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 12:53:56 AM

Courageous cats! That’s it! It’s over, and what an ending it was!

Firstly, as always…

Stretch Goal Unlocked

Because we reached $600,000, we will release all the Travelers & Outsiders content for Roll20! Like we said before, we know the value of online gaming, and we’re thrilled to support Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game through Roll20 with all the content of the game! The new expansion module content will be available alongside the core content at no additional cost to anyone.

Final Campaign Overview

Let’s take a quick look at what all you’ve accomplished over the course of this campaign:

  • Funded in the first hours of the campaign
  • $602,022 funded
  • 6,495 Backers
  • 23 stretch goals achieved
  • A Vagabond’s Satchel with 4 maps, 2 decks, 7 dice pairs, 2 notepads, a GM’s Screen, a clearings booklet, and a cloth bag
  • 6 new playbooks included in Travelers & Outsiders, giving us 18 playbooks total across both books
  • 4 new pre-made clearings (all included in that physical clearings booklet)

All of this is an absolutely incredible level of success, and it’s all thanks to backers like you! Thank you so much for coming on this journey and making it so amazing!

Late Pledges

We know the pain of missing a Kickstarter campaign by just a few hours, so we’ve set up a late pledge preorder store through Backerkit right here:

If you backed during this Kickstarter, you don’t need to do anything here—we’ll let you know when it’s time to fill out your surveys! This is only for people who want to make a late pledge.

Next Steps

First—a break! This has been a thrilling campaign, but we’re ready to rejuvenate a bit before sliding into the next steps!

Then—to work! We’re going to be playtesting and writing intensively over the next several months, so stay tuned for more word about the game’s development. We’ll be sharing mockups, examples, and snippets of new materials as we go, so you can keep track of cool new stuff here!

Remember that if you want to get a look at the game right now, you can go download the quickstart right away. We’re going to be honing and improving those materials as we go forward, but it will still give you a good taste of the game. You can download the quickstart here:

You can expect about one update a month from this Kickstarter in the coming days. We’ve found that it’s a good way to keep you apprised of what’s going on without inundating you with updates.

So stick with us as we move forward with Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game and fully develop it into the awesome game we all know it can be!

Coming Home

When we first thought about doing Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game, we were excited by the possibilities, from telling stories we wanted to tell, to working in Leder Games’s awesome world, to featuring Kyle Ferrin’s fantastic art, to getting to share a great game with lots of players.

When Leder agreed to partner with us to make this happen, it was the first step in making all of those possibilities a reality.

And now, you’ve made it possible to to go so many steps farther, with your absolutely unbelievable outpouring of support and help!

We always know that our games come alive thanks to the people who make these projects possible, who play and run these games at tables across the world, who bring the games to life. We couldn’t ask for a better, more interested, more excited group of people to bring this game to life!

Thank you, now and always! And until next time—for the road goes ever on and on!