za3k > games > ultimate archwizards vs the dark lord

playtesting: none

You are an Ultimate Archwizard of your school--maybe you are the Laser Archwizard, maybe you're the Ultimate Genie who can grant any wish, or maybe you're the World Pro Wrestling champion who's so good you can compact opponents into a black hole while monologuing.

The Dark Lord has finally come to your solar system, and they will conquer it without fail as they have all others before yours, unless you stop them! Only you, the most powerful beings of your world, can possibly stop the Dark Lord.

Ultimate Archwizards vs the Dark Lord is a somewhat goofy RP/improv game for 3-6 players (including GM). It's designed to be played in one session of 2-4 hours. Everyone should bring a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a normal six-sided die. The GM should read these rules ahead of time. Other preparation is discouraged.

written 2021-02-03 by zachary "za3k" vance

Character and world creation (part 1)

  1. Draw or describe your character.
  2. Mastery and powers: Decide what you're the Ultimate Archwizard of ("lasers", "genies", or "pro wrestling" in the examples above). The GM will describe how you are the master of your school, and describe your two special powers.
  3. Skills: Pick one thing your character is world-class at (+2), one they're good at (+1), one they're bad at (-1) and one they're unbelievably terrible at (-2).
  4. Seal: You are so powerful, that your powers must remain sealed--describe how. Are you wearing heavy training weights? Do you have a special magical eyepatch holding back your cool glowing eye? Are you lazy? As long as your seal is in place, you can't use your powers. The GM will let you know when it's safe to unseal your powers.
  5. Dark Lord: Describe one special power or strength of the Dark Lord. No one knows the Dark Lord's weaknesses, if any.

Skill List

Character creation (part 2)

  1. Skills: Write down all missing skills from the skill list on your character sheet, with +0 in each.
  2. Skills: You have 4 additional skill points to spend.


Secret GM Guide (players don't click)


You are already Ultimate Archwizard. There is no room for improvement. But, you may be able to broaden your skills. If there's more than one session, you become the Archwizard of a second thing. Pick that thing, and you'll get extra powers.


You win when the Dark Lord is defeated--whether through battle, diplomacy, seduction, or elaborate time paradox.


Ultimate Archwizards vs the Dark Lord was inspired by anime everywhere, as well as various one-page rule systems. In particular, the skill system is adapted from You Awaken in a Strange Place by Jacob Andrews.