Before We Start
Content Warning: [...]
Before you start, define lines that should not be crossed. Pause or rewind the game if something uncomfortable happens during a session. Always make sure everyone is comfortable with the direction of the story.
Playing The Game
One person is the game master (GM), the rest are players.
GM: Guide the story, present challenges to the group. Be a fan of the players. Ask them questions, fill the world with their answers. If it's cool, let them try or split complex challenges into multiple checks.
Player: Narrate what your character does. Make checks when things are risky. Give everyone a time to shine. Fill the world with your ideas. Take risks, and rise up from failures.
When there's a challenge that needs to be overcome, you make a check to see how it plays out. You only need to roll if what you are doing is risky.
The GM telegraphs the risk of your action, you then pick a skill, and roll the die that matches its rating. If an ally helps you, they also make a check, but share the same risks as you. Take the highest die and interpret the results.
- On a 1-2, you fail, and something wrong happens.
- On a 3-4, you succeed, but at a cost.
- On a 5+, you succeed. The higher the result, the better the effect.
Surviving is hard. Everyone who rolled reduces the rating of the skill they used by one level: d12 » d10 » d8 » d6 » d4. Skills cannot go lower than a d4.
The GM can disclaim decision-making by testing for luck. To do so, pick a die rating simply based on the odds of a thing happening, roll, and interpret the results.
Catch Your Breath
To reset all your skills to their original rating, you can ask to “catch your breath”. This is a brief break in tension. It can be done at any time, even during combat. When a character catches their breath, the GM looks at the scene and introduces a new complication to the group.
When the fiction allows it, you can make a loot check to scavenge for tools, weapons, med kits, etc. Be careful of what is lurking in the shadow. When you do a loot check, roll a d20.
- On a 1, something bad happens.
- On a 15-16, you find a d6 item.
- On a 17-18, you find a d8 item.
- On a 19-20, you find a d10 item —or— a med kit.
Items in your backpack can be used in place of your skills. They start with a die rating which decreases after each use. When reduced to a d4, the item either breaks, gets lost, or fades away from the fiction until it’s made relevant again.
Characters can only carry 3 items and one med kit at once in their backpack.
When you pull off a stunt, you use a d12 instead of a skill rating to do a check. Once used, you'll need to "catch your breath" to use it again.
When you face a consequence as a result of one of your actions, the GM can decide that you take 1 stress. If your character reaches 4 stress, they become “vulnerable”.
When vulnerable, failing a dangerous action could mean being taken out —or— sudden death.
You can use up a med kit to clear 2 stress, or lay low someplace secure awhile to clear 1 stress.
On your character sheet, write down your character’s name and pronouns. By default, skills have a d4 rating. Assign a d10, a d8, and a d6 to three skills you think your character is good at. Characters have a total of 6 skills:
- Bash: wreck, move, force.
- Dash: run, jump, climb.
- Sneak: hide, skulk, lurk.
- Shoot: track, throw, fire.
- Think: perceive, analyze, repair.
- Sway: charm, manipulate, intimidate.
Think of an item that you got before leaving for your adventure, and add it to your backpack as a d10 item.