Interaction Patterns and Role-Playing Games

Here is a "cheat sheet" summarizing the "Interaction Patterns" concepts into one page for RPG design. I'm thrilled to see it being adopted by professionals and professors in various universities across the USA for their Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist degree and other programs. This short hand tool is useful for explaining and developing role-playing games in various formats and goals. Check out the references for more information on about it!

It has been a decade since I first created the "cheat sheet" that summarizes many pages of the Avedon "Interaction Patterns" concepts into one page, with specific notes for all forms relevant to role-playing games. I hope you find it as useful a shorthand reference for RPG design as others have. This covers tabletop (TRPG), live-action (LRPG), electronic (ERPG), and various hybrid (HRPG) RPG formats.

This was further propagated as presentation at Seattle Children's hospital.

Much to my surprise this has since been adopted by a number of professionals as well as professors at various universities around the USA in their Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) degree programs as an example for specific a specific modality for applied role-playing gaming across recreational, entertainment, professional development, educational, and healthcare disciplines.

I have found Avedon's "Interaction Patterns" and analysis very useful as an additional short hand tool for explaining and developing role-playing games in each format for various goals. In addition to the various textbooks and professional manuals that reference it in various summaries, I am fortunate enough to have in my vast library an original of the 1974 book, "Therapeutic recreation service: An applied behavioral science approach".

I hope you find it as helpful as a short hand for some interesting concepts.

You can follow the most up to date version of this here:


Avedon Interaction Patterns and RPGs by W.A. Hawkes-Robinson:

Updated 2019 PDF version:

Seattle Children's Hospital presentation:

#RPGdesign #TherapeuticRecreation #InteractionPatterns