For example, the Metacritic review for Labyrinth of Refrain calls it a “DRPG”. I have found other video games tagged as “DRPG” in blogs, but with no explanation of the term. They all seem to be Japanese RPGs but I thought the initialism for them was JRPG. Are DRPGs some subset of JRPGs?

Other searches turn up definitions for pen-and-paper RPGs or other wrong context definitions.

1 Answer 1


It appears to be a somewhat unofficial term to describe a first-person turn-based dungeon-crawling RPG, based on the discussions and games posted on the DRPG subreddit. I haven’t found an explicit expansion of the term ‘DRPG’, but Dungeon-crawling RPG seems like a safe bet.

Some examples would be the Etrian Odyssey series and their spinoffs (like Persona Q), Mary Skelter: Nightmares, and, of course, the game in question, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk.

  • A couple sites (although not completely reliable, better than nothing) seem to be referring to it consistently as a "Diceless Role Playing Game". I'm not sure if they all reference each other or not; but there are several instances of it. I was assuming it would be "Dungeon RPG" or "Dungeon Crawler RPG" but Diceless also makes some sense, especially if the term was adopted many years ago when you were seeing more D&D type games start to show up on PC's/Consoles.
    – JMac
    Dec 11, 2018 at 18:21
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    @JMac While diceless RPGs are certainly things, 1. I’ve not heard them referred to as DRPGs, and more importantly 2. they aren’t video games, but tabletop games, like Dungeons & Dragons (but, ya know, without the dice). Tabletop games traditionally use dice (or other randomization strategies like cards) to inject uncertainty into the game play in order to prevent conflicts from being foregone conclusions. Diceless RPGs eschew randomness in favor of some other method (hidden information, tactical choices, etc.) of making it uncertain who will come out ahead in a conflict.
    – KRyan
    Dec 11, 2018 at 19:41

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