A complete roleplaying game in one post
I can't post this as an Instructable, because it's not my game at all. It surfaced in the sorting out of my lab as my school closed.
My original copy of the game was a page in Games and Puzzles magazine, but this is my own re-type of it, which I had to re-type again because the first digital copy was lost during one PC upgrade or another.
The document gives me permission to pass it on (even though it pre-dates the Creative Commons movement), but I have emailed the author to let him know I'm posting it anyway. I've not had a reply, but the page I found his address on had not been updated since 2009.
UPDATE: Frank has been in touch, is happy for the game to be published like this, and is even going to send me copies of v2 if he ever finds them.
FURTHER UPDATE: Frank has sent me a scan of the v2 rules, which I have added as the first image below.
I thought older members might like to be reminded of their youth, and younger members sometimes need reminding that roleplaying games didn't always need a computer with a high-speed internet connection
Here is the text, and I have attached a tidier-looking PDF of the same text:
S.I.M.P.L.E. by Frank Carver
Shared Imagination Multi Player Leisure Experience
Have you ever been sitting around with a few friends and wanted to play a game – but hadn’t brought the rule books, supplements, charts & tables, character sheets, funny dice, metal figures etc? Here is the answer: a game simple enough to fit on one sheet of paper, and easy enough to remember & explain, even if you haven’t got that!
SIMPLE is a roleplaying game (RPG), in which each player controls the actions of a single character in an adventure. An adventure takes place in an imaginary world, which may be very different from the real world. Sometimes it’s outer space, the far future, wild west or fantasy. The background from any book, film, TV show may be used, or one from your own imagination. The adventure is usually organised by one player acting as Game Master (GM), who knows about the setting and provides things for the characters to do – problems to solve, enemies to defeat, victims to be rescued, riches to be gained ... anything the other players might enjoy. Problems are solved by thinking them through, talking to the other players and the GM, and rolling dice to see if your plan works. Details of each character are recorded on a character sheet, which develops from game to game. Travel the Universe without ever leaving your chair!
You need at least two players (more than 5 or 6 is hard work), a copy of this sheet, at least one normal 6-sided die, a pen or pencil (an eraser is handy), some paper to write on and your imagination.
THE SIMPLE CHARACTER
Each SIMPLE character is described by three things – Body, Mind and Abilities. Body is a single number showing how strong and tough the character is. Mind is also a number, showing how clever and aware the character is. Abilities are things the character is good at. Each Ability has a description, and a number which shows how much better than average the character is. If your character is just average at something, it doesn’t go on their Ability list. Each character starts with 10 character points, which may be put into Body, Mind and Ability. For each point put into Body or Mind, the number goes up by one. For each half point put into Ability, the number goes up by one. Abilities may be anything that suits the setting. The GM and other players must agree with them. For example: running, science, driving, casting spells, seeing in the dark...
EXAMPLE CHARACTER SHEET
Name: Gus Goodguy Player: Frank Body: 5 Mind: 3
Abilities: Gunfight 2, ride horse 1, drink whisky 1
Description: A gunfighter in the Old West. Rides tall in the saddle, tips his white 10-gallon hat to ladies, calls men “Pardner”, travels the dusty plains looking for bandits to catch or farmers to rescue. Likes his whisky, and wil never resist a call to a shoot-out.
USING THE NUMBERS IN AN ADVENTURE
To see if a character succeeds at a task, the GM decides on the difficulty (5=easy, 8=average, 11=hard, 14=very hard and so on) and whether it is a physical (Body) task or a mental (Mind) task. The player then rolls a die and adds the character’s Body or Mind and any matching Abilities. A 6 means roll again and add the result. If the player’s total is better than the GM’s target, then the character has succeeded. The difference between the two numbers gives how well it was done. Gus Goodguy has Body 5 and Gunfight 2. To shoot Bill Badguy is an average (8) Body task. Gus rolls a 3, plus his body of 5, plus his gunfighting 2, making a total of 10 – succeeded by 2! Bill has been shot, and until his wound is treated his body is reduced by 1 point. If his Body falls to 1 he is unconscious, if it reaches 0 he is dead! At the end of a game, the GM may award up to one point to good players to spend on their characters.
DOING EVERYTHING ELSE
Most problems should be decided by the GM and common sense. Some useful hints, though: when time is important, like in a fight, do things in one-second rounds, with the character with the highest Body going first. A character can run Body (plus running Ability) metres per second. An “average” person has 4 Body and 4 MNind with no extra Abilities. If you need some enemies in a hurry, roll some dice onto the table – use the numbers on top as their Body score, and turn the die down one when they are injured.
If you like this game, please copy it, give it to your friends, take it to conventions etc
If you like it a lot, why not write to Frank Carver at: The Albion Guard Games Club, 62 Tomline Road, Ipswich, IP3 8DB, United Kingdom.
This document is copyright Frank K Carver, 1992.
Permission granted to copy and distribute this document, provided that only the complete document (including this provision) is copied and/or distributed. Enjoy!