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By Chris Sakkas.
Download a PDF of the game here.
Playtest Release 1.
Copyright 2009 (some rights reserved).
The Simple Game System Rules on One Page
Core Mechanic: When you do something risky or are put at risk, you will roll dice. If you have the highest dice pool (usually this means having the highest die) you are successful.
How many dice you roll depends on if one of your abilities applies: 0 if a disability applies, 1 if no ability applies, 2 if an ability applies and 3 if a doubled ability applies. If a skill applies, roll an additional die (or two if a doubled skill applies). If circumstances work against you or in your favour, roll one or two extra dice.
When someone opposes your action or you oppose someone’s action (dodging a punch, countering their argument, etc), they also roll dice based on their abilities and skills. Whoever has the highest dice pool wins. If you have the highest die, you have the highest dice pool. But if you and your opponent are tied for highest die, you must compare second highest dice. Then third highest, until someone has a higher die or the other person runs out of dice. If both run out of dice at the same time, it’s a mixed success.
When your action is opposed by a thing rather than a person, you roll against a Difficulty set by the Game Master. Your highest die has to be higher than the Difficulty. If the Difficulty is two numbers, your highest die has to beat the first number and your second highest die has to beat the second number.
Abilities (Disabilities): Strong (Weak), Tough (Sickly), Clever (Dense), Wise (Foolish), Dexterous (Fumbling), Agile (Clumsy), Fast (Slow), Charming (Unpleasant), Attractive (Ugly). You get three abilities, although you can take abilities twice (‘doubling up’) – then you’re ‘Very Strong’ or ‘Very Clever’. If you choose a disability, you get a fourth ability or an existing ability is doubled.
Skills: Skills are things your character knows or knows about. Yes, you can double up to have Swordfighting +2 or Journalism +2. How many skills do you get? Roll a die and add one. That many.
Combat: Violence works a little differently.
Initiative: An Agile or Fast roll. Whoever has the highest dice pool goes first, then second highest and so on.
Your Turn: When it’s your turn, you can move: 20 feet if you’re Slow, 30 if normal, 40 if Fast, 50 if Very Fast. You can also attack: a Strong or Dexterous roll for melee (or Agile if you know martial arts), Dexterous for ranged. When attacked, make a defence roll – Agile (or Fast if you’re running or Strong if blocking a melee attack).
You can wait and move or attack later (you can move now and attack later, or vice versa, or attack and move later). When you attack later, you act simultaneously with anyone else acting at that point.
Wound: If the attacker, not the defender, gets the highest dice pool then the defender takes one wound point – two if a melee attacker is Strong, three if Very Strong; two if a ranged attacker is Dexterous, three if Very Dexterous).
Subsequent Roll Penalty: Each time you roll attack or defence dice in a round, you accrue a -1 to all subsequent rolls this round. So if you’ve defended against two attacks, your next attack or defence will suffer a -2 penalty. When two characters attack one another simultaneously, each chooses whether the attack or defend roll occurs first for the purpose of this penalty.
Wounded: You took a wound? Immediately roll Tough against a Difficulty equal to the number of wounds you have. If your roll fails and the attack was unarmed or blunt, roll two dice – that’s how long you are unconscious for; if the attack was with a lethal weapon, roll a die – you will die in that many rounds.
You’re dying? Another character can roll Clever with a Difficulty equal to the number of wounds you have. Success means you’re unconscious for a number of rounds equal to the roll of two dice.
While wounded, you lose dice equal to your wounds on Strong, Agile, Fast, Dexterous and Tough rolls – except Tough rolls to avoid succumbing to injury. Also, your speed is reduced by 10 feet.
Healing: If you sleep for eight hours or get treatment from an expert, make a Tough roll with Difficulty equal to the number of injuries you have. Success means you lose one measly wound. You can get treated once a day, plus once after each incident in which you’re injured