the incompetent heroes

In Behind the Magic, you’ll create a fantasy mockumentary by playing a group of incompetent adventurers on a quest to save the world. Players will take turns setting and acting out scenes and also have "confessionals" with the Bard who is documenting their journey.

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Key Facts

  • Players: 4-7, no facilitator needed
  • Time: 2-3 Hours
  • Preparation: none, though one player should be familiar with the rules
  • Location: A single large space where players can move around and act out scenes
  • Materials needed: A printed copy of the rules, at least one chair, nametags (optional)

Zine Format

Behind the Magic is available as a 24-page Zine. You can but it via this Mixam PrintLink: Buy the Zine and it should ship within two weeks.

Digital Version

You can get a digital version of the game on, which includes printer-friendly files for running the game. Click the below embed to visit the Itch store.

More Info

the bard and thief

The game starts with ~30 minutes of setup where you select a quest, build the setting, and create your characters. Then you'll spend 60 - 90 minutes playing out the adventure and seeing if the heroes succeed... or at least don't make things worse.

The rules are written for embodied play, walking around the room in character. However, there are variant rules for playing it at a table. The game has been playtested thoroughly with beginner and advanced storytellers and works well for players of all skill levels.