These rules are designed to
be as quick and simple as possible.
The object is to allow play to proceed rapidly with the minimum of interference
from the rules. Wherever possible the referee should attempt to resolve actions without
using dice, but some situations, such as combat, benefit from a random element.
These rules have been used for many games, varying from a 1930's Lost World game to a
modern Conspiracy game.
You are free to use them for any game you like. I only ask that, if you do use
them, please let me know how the game went and what you think of the rules.
Note: She is used to denote the referee and He to denote
The player should define the following factors about the character:
||Secondary Ability No. 1
||Secondary Ability No. 2
Factors should be defined as short phrases, the only limit upon choice being
common sense and the referees agreement.
Here is an example from a 1930s Lost World game
||Cpt. Jack Parnell
||Strong Jawed Hero
||Ex Royal Navy Captain
||Secondary Ability No. 1
||Good with his fists
||Secondary Ability No. 2
||Speaks Fluent Chinese (served in South China Sea)
||Acts as 'An Officer and a Gentleman' at all times
||Has an illegitimate Chinese daughter in Britain
||To uphold the honour of the British Empire
A player may use either special Outcome dice or ordinary d6, 4 should be enough.
These are six sided dice, with a tick mark on one face and a tick mark and
Roll Again on another (see diagram below). All other faces are blank. These
may be made by modifying ordinary dice, or marking special blank dice. Whilst not
essential to the rules, they make success determination much quicker.
The Dilemma Die
This is an optional rule and is more suited to action/adventure games. When
used, the player also rolls a dilemma die. This may be a six-sided die of a different
colour to those rolled for the action, or a special dilemma die may be used. This
is a six sided dice with DILEMMA on one face, all the other faces are blank.
Playing the Game
Whenever the referee decides that a player must roll to determine the outcome of
an action, the player makes a task resolution. To do this he rolls a number of dice
between 1 and 5. The number rolled is determined by the referee, depending upon how
skilled he feels the character to be and whether there any other influences upon the
The player rolls the dice, determines the number of successes and, depending upon these
and the difficulty of the task, the referee determines success or failure. For most tasks
a single success should be sufficient, but for a particularly difficult task, or for one
that will take some time to complete, the referee should decide how many successes are
Rolling the Dice.
When a player rolls the dice she must determine the number of successes. If
using Outcome dice this is easy, as every tick mark indicates a success. If the die face
also has roll Again, count this success along with any others and roll this
die again, adding any further successes rolled. It is possible to reroll a die several
times if Roll Again continues to be rolled. If using ordinary six-sided dice,
a 5 counts as a success, and a 6 as a success with Roll Again.
Sample dice rolling application
If you are using the Dilemma rule and the dilemma die comes up 1 (or
indicates Dilemma if using a special die), then something has gone wrong for the
character. The characters action may have succeeded, depending upon what the outcome dice
indicate. The dilemma is independent of success or failure, though if the character fails,
a dilemma could make the outcome worse. Examples of dilemmas include:
guns running out of ammunition (if the action was successful then after
Characters slipping or falling
Plot points allow players more control over the game, and may be used to rescue
a character from a potentially fatal situation.
Players should be assigned a number of points at the start of a game or campaign.
Extra points may be earned for good role-playing etc.
The number of points assigned at the beginning of the game depends upon the type of game.
In a heroic action game, more points will be required than in a realistic investigative
The referee may override the use of a plot point if she does not agree with its
use, but, if this is done, the player keeps the plot point.
Examples of Play
Kato charges into the corridor, armed with his katana. He sees his arch enemy,
Koroda, standing facing him.
Without pausing, Kato charges towards Koroda and slashes with his Katana. Kato is highly
skilled with his sword, and the referee has him roll four dice. He gets 3 successes, two
of which are roll again. He rolls again, getting two further successes, one of
which is another roll again. Rolling this again he gets one further success, giving
him six in total.
The referee decides that this is a fantastic outcome, but, unfortunately for Kato, the
dilemma die came up dilemma.
The dilemma cannot affect the outcome of the die roll, so Kato's fantastic success still
The referee decides that Kato slipped on the floor and lost his footing. As he fell he
swing wildly with his Katana, taking Koroda's legs off at the knee. Kato has taken out his
arch enemy, but had better hope there are none of Koroda's henchmen in the corridor!
Jack Parnell has been ambushed by an unknown assailant in a litter strewn back
alley of Paris. He looks up to see his attacker advancing upon him with a knife.
Jack is unarmed and, although good with his fists, does not fancy his chances against a
knife. He decides to use a plot point.
"Reaching back, my hand closes on a length of wood hidden amongst the litter"
he declares. At this point the referee has two choices.
If it is important that Jack is captured, the stick could be too long to use, or could be
rotten. In this case Jack should have his Plot Point back.
Jack could be allowed to use the stick in the ensuing fight. The Plot Point is
then used up.
Jack is pressing a villain across the Paris rooftops, and has to jump the gap
between two houses. The referee decides that, due to his background he must be fairly fit,
and so she allows him to roll three dice.
He rolls the dice, getting no successes and a dilemma.
The referee decides that a failure indicates that Jack falls to the street below, possibly
injuring himself badly.
Jack spends a plot point to avoid the fall and declares "I miss the roof and crash
through an upstairs window of the house opposite".
The referee agrees to this, but there is still the dilemma. She decides that the window
Jack crashed through was into a bathroom, and the bath is occupied. Jack will now have
some rapid explaining to do!
Jack has got himself into a sword fight with Otto Klenk, an old enemy of his.
Otto is an experienced swordsman, so the referee gives him four dice, to Jack's three.
Otto makes a feint attack, rolling three successes. Jack gets two successes as he tries to
defend himself. The referee decides that the feint was partially successful and penalised
Jack 1 die on the next move.
Otto attacks again, this time trying to stab Jack in the chest. Otto gets only two
Jack desperately tries to ward off Otto's attack. He gets three successes! (one on a roll
The referee decides that, because he got more successes, Jack may now attack Otto, which
he does, lunging with all his strength. As he is making an all out attack, the referee
assigns Jack an extra die, giving him four. He rolls, getting four successes ! But he also
rolls a dilemma.
Otto tries to block the blow, but fails to get any successes. He goes down with Jack's
blade buried deep in his chest. As he falls, Jack's blade snaps off (dilemma), leaving
Jack without a weapon.
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.