Now lets assume that you have never played any kind of role playing game (rpg) before, ever. First of all roleplaying games are more than mere games, they are an experience.

A roleplaying game is a storytelling game that has much of the same
elements of make-believe that many of us played as children. You use your imagination, or what's sometimes called "The Theater of the Mind" to imagine the scene and fill in the blanks of what's going on.

A roleplaying game such as Survival provides form and structure, with robust gameplay and endless possibilities.

Survival is a distant future game. You create a character, decide what path you take, explore the world, and kill people. While the Survival game uses dice, the action takes place in your imagination. There, you have the freedom to create anything you can imagine.

What makes the Survival game unique is the Game Master. The GM is a person who takes on the role of lead storyteller and game referee. The GM creates missions for the characters and narrates the action for the players. The GM makes Survival infinitely flexible as he can react to any situation, any twist or turn suggested by the players, to make a Survival mission vibrant, exciting, and unexpected. It's the GMs job to decide what's possible based on the rules, and when and how to use the dice and the rules.

The Players decide where they want their characters to go, what they want to them do, and how their character reacts to their environment and surroundings. The GM will be discribing everything to the players, deciding on the surroundings and acting out the roles of all non playing characters (NPCs). NPCs are anyone or anything living in the game which the PCs (Player Characters) must react to.

For the game of Survival, little is needed other than the information on this site. This is good, for most RPGs require players to purchace many books, special dice, boards, maps, game peices, ect. Which can become quite costly. I started writing Survival when I was a little kid, and it was always my dream to have a complete game up for free. All you really need to buy are dice. A single set can be had for $5 at most game shops, in it you should get.

(1) four sided d4
(1) six sided d6
(1) eight sided d8
(2) ten sided d10
(1) twelve sided d12
(1) twenty sided d20

This is the very basic requirments, but i feel the more the better. I use a sack to carry my dice. I have many. Players too often like to use their own dice.

Now for the basic rules and procedure of game play. The characters are normally seated in a circle. Rotation goes clockwise (optional). Each turn is around 3-5 minutes in length, depending on the number of players and the attacks per turn of the character. The turn should never exceed 5 minutes in normal game play.

Play rotation and starting point may change during combat, as the players may be forced to roll initiative. initiative needs to be determined when the players are in a situation where it is unclear who should attack first. initiative is determined by a single d20 with the highest value being the winner. No modifier or bonus can be added to initiative.

All combat attacks and defensives are rolled with a 20 sided die, defense and attack modifier usually called a bonus, are added to this roll depending on the nature of the action. If offensive then a strike is applied.

There are four types of strikes:

Hand to Hand Strike: Which is used for actual hand to hand attacks, such as a pouch or kick. And blunt or bladed weapons such as swords, knives, or clubs. Or there devices like tasers and such. With a successful strike, the character's "attack" damage is added to the damage of any weapon that deals with hand to hand combat.

Fire Arms Strike: Which is any high power projectile weapon like a rifle or pistol.

Energy Weapons Strike: Which is used for any non-projectile weapon such as Charged Particle Beam weapons, Lasers Weapons, or any Beam weapon.

Assault Weapons Strike: Which are any large projectile weapon such as a rocket launcher, Machine Gun, or Sub-Machine Gun.

There are also ways of avoiding attacks. These are also rolled with a 20 sided die, and the individual bonus is added to that roll.

There are two types of evasion:

Dodge: This is used to avoid the attack completely, by any means handy. Jumping, ducking, flipping, crouching, diving, teleporting, flying, etc.

Parry: This is used mostly for blunt or bladed weapon attacks. The character will use a sword, shield, or anything available to push the attack away. Additionally, the character may gain an additional bonus to their parry by using an ADM shield.

There is one special case, where the one who is defending can decide to not try to avoid the attack, but instead attempt to launch an attack towards their opponent at the same time. This is a Simultaneous Attack. The custom 20 sided it used and the SA is added. If successful, both attacker and defender will take damage.

Example: Bob is trying to shoot Fred with a pistol. Bob rolls to Strike using his Fire Arm Strike. He rolls a 10 +3 from his Fire Arm Strike, totaling 13. Fred notices Bob pull his gun and decides to jump out of the way by dodging. Fred rolls a 7 +2 from his dodge, totaling 9. Fred gets shot. simple.

Another important attack and defense rule is the magical perfect "20", sometimes called a natural 20, because it is not the total roll, but the initial roll. A natural 20 means you hit your target dead on, right where you were aiming and it did just what you wanted to do to it. A 20 on dodging means you dodged like god, I mean an amazing dodge. (GM fill in the blank).

There is also the evil "1" a roll of a 1 means the worst. An Automatic hit or miss, and the worst follows. Broken arms, guns exploding or falling apart. Not a good thing at all.

Minuses to dodge/strike can also apply. Perhaps the character is impaired somehow. Maybe in darkness or by pain. Or maybe the Attacker is attempting to Target a certain area to inflict damage to, like the head. This is a Aimed or Called Shot. The attacker will receive a minus 3 to the strike. All shots not called are normally directed to the main body, since it is the largest and most armored mass. Maybe the attacker wishes to use two weapons, one in each hand. He must roll for each weapon, with a minus 3 on each. Surprise attacks also enact minuses. The defender will receive a minus 3 to dodge when surprised. These penalties are all enacted to the initial roll. They are taken from the roll, then bonuses are added to the new number.

There are also a few Percentages that will be used often. The Save Verses, Trust, and skills percentages.

The Save Vs. are attempts by the character to resist any number of things. From poisons to a massive blow to the head. The Save Vs. are based on a scale of 100. The GM will roll percentile dice against the characters percentage, which is two 10 sided (2d10). The fasted way to use the percentile system is to have to different colored dice. One being the high number (tens place), the other being the low number (ones place).

Example: Bob has a 45% to Save Vs. Knockout. The GM rolls his 2d10 Blue is high, Green is low. The Blue receives a 4 and the Green gets a 2. Which mean the GM got 42% against Bob. But Bob had a greater percentage, therefore Bob only takes damage, and is not knocked out. Simple.

Trust is very simple. It’s used whenever the Character, controlled by the player, attempts to lie. In the early stages of my game I found that the players lied a lot. So I placed The Trust percentage on the front page of the character sheet. The lie has to be believable, the player can’t tell a police officer he didn’t kill some guy, when the police officer just witnessed him kill the guy. It’s just like the Save Vs.

Example: Bob tells Fred he knows where Blank Street is, and he'll tell Fred for $100. Bob has a 55% to Trust, The GM rolls the old percentile dice, and gets 75%. Fred can tell bob is lying. Easy, right?

Skills work the same as the above. The individual skill has a percentage based on a scale of 100. 98% being the highest naturally achievable (Leaving a 2% margin for error).

Example: Bob has 55% on his wood carving skill. He wants to carve a duck out of oak in 20 minutes. The GM rolls against his 55% and gets mere 23%. Bob makes the duck in under 20 minutes, and saves the day. Simple.

Damage is another needed tool. All things are divided into Points. Body points for the body, and Armor Points for everything else. Armor, cars, anything. Damage is based on power, it is dealt according to the location of where it hits too. For example, someone shoots a bear in the leg with a shotgun. The bears leg has 85 Body Points, The shotgun inflicts 120 damage. The leg is blown in two, ouch the bear falls. simple. All Body Points are divided up amongst the varies body parts, this is known as locational hit points. Items such as force fields and some magical beings have non-locational hit points, or one number which damage is dealt to.

That’s a basic overview, everything else is pretty self explanatory.

Copyright © 2008 Charles Bird.