(Generic Immediate System for Tabletop)

Version 2.0

This ruleset is heavily influenced by the Free Kriegsspiel Revolution and Old School Renaissance movements, and draws inspiration from the renowned sci-fi RPG from the old school era. However, it is not restricted to any particular genre or setting, as it is intended to be adaptable and versatile. The rules are designed to be streamlined and flexible, allowing for customization and modifications, which are actively encouraged and embraced.

This revised version has been updated to include more detailed examples and explanations, while still maintaining the core principles of the original.

  • Quick to read
  • 2d6 only
  • Index card character sheets
  • Easy-to-remember rules
  • Quick combat
  • Freeform magic
  • Hack friendly

What is GIST!

GIST! is a roleplaying game that allows players to create and explore an imaginary world governed by a set of rules. Through structured player interactions, actions and events unfold, giving rise to a collaborative, evolving storyline.

In essence, players will take on the roles of characters within a fictional setting and make decisions based on the game's rules, which determine the likelihood of success or failure. The consequences of these decisions will shape the narrative and influence the course of events.

A game of GIST! takes place as a conversation between the Referee and the other players.

  • The Referee sets up the situation, describes the environment and setting, moves the dialogue and actions of the Non-Playing Characters.
  • The Players move in the imagined space of the game through their Playing Character, describing their actions and narrating their conversations. It is up to each player to decide whether to act out their Character or play them impersonally. Players may also ask questions of clarification to the Referee.

To play you will need:

  • At least 2 players, one will cover the role of Referee. The ideal number of players is 3-4 players, maximum 5.
  • At least 2 six sided dice (d6), preferably one set for each player.
  • Writing instruments, index cards and sheets of paper for note-taking.

Game Principles

It is important that everyone at the table feels comfortable and has the following principles in mind:

  • This ruleset is intentionally streamlined and prioritizes storytelling over complex mechanics. If you are primarily interested in a game with detailed mechanical systems, there are other rulesets that may be better suited to your preferences.
  • Although the Referee has different responsibilities than the other players, they should still be considered as a fellow player and should not shoulder more responsibility for the success of the game than anyone else at the table.
  • The Referee does not compete against other players; their role is solely to arbitrate situations within the context of the game. They are responsible for maintaining consistency, ensuring fairness, and resolving any disputes or conflicts that may arise during play.
  • GIST! is intended to be played collaboratively, with a focus on teamwork and overcoming challenges as a group. As such, competition between players should be discouraged in favor of cooperation and mutual support. The characters should work together to confront the obstacles and threats posed by the game world, rather than engaging in individualistic or adversarial behavior.
  • Players should ask the Referee questions in a concise and straightforward manner. The Referee, in turn, should provide clear and detailed explanations of the potential risks associated with each action taken by the characters. This helps to ensure that players make informed decisions and understand the consequences of their actions.
  • When describing an action, players should first provide a clear and detailed description of what their character is attempting to do. Only after the action has been fully described should the Referee request a dice roll, if necessary, to determine the outcome of the action. This helps to ensure that the narrative flows smoothly and that players have a clear understanding of the sequence of events.

Safety Tools

It is important to remember that not everyone at the table may be comfortable with the themes or content addressed by the game, or with the actions of the other players. It is therefore important to establish clear boundaries and expectations at the beginning of the game, and to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of all participants throughout the session. It may also be helpful to establish a system for communicating discomfort or taking breaks if needed.

There are various safety tools and techniques that can help create a comfortable and safe environment for everyone involved in the game, such as Lines And Veils, C.A.T.S., the X-Card, and Script Change.

It is important to familiarize yourself with these tools and techniques and to use them proactively to ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable during the game.



CC BY SA 4.0
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