Upshift 004 – RAW, RAI, and The Rules

As is common with roleplaying games, Essence20 GMs and players need to parse the meaning behind some unclear rules. Do they use the rules as written (R.A.W.) even if they have reason to believe something is wrong? Do they try to interpret how to run the rule as intended (R.A.I.)?

One of Essence20’s authors and designers Ryan Costello and Essence20 developer Jason Keeley weigh in with their experience on both sides of the R.A.W. vs R.A.I. debate.

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Featuring Letter From Snake Eyes 4, generously provided by Wordburglar. Check it and other amazing 80s-inspired out at

Although the hosts both work for Renegade Game Studios in some capacity, this podcast and the network that hosts it are not affiliated with Renegade Game Studios.

Ryan Costello

What started as one gamer wanting to talk about his love of a game grew into a podcast network. Ryan founded what would become the Know Direction Podcast network with Jason "Jay" Dubsky, his friend and fellow 3.5 enthusiast. They and their game group moved on to Pathfinder, and the Know Direction podcast network was born. Now married and a father, Ryan continues to serve the network as the director of logistics and co-host of Upshift podcast, dedicated to the Essence20 RPG system he writes for and helped design. You can find out more about Ryan and the history of the network in this episode of Presenting: