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Everywhere RPG

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Disclaimer: This is a work in progress, and the rules listed here are subject to change without warning.

Introduction

Everywhere RPG is an RPG system which was designed from the ground up to be mechanically as straightforward as possible. It has a heavy emphasis on roleplaying, as opposed to "rule-playing" or "roll-playing"; most of the time, you won't even need to roll the dice! Character creation consists entirely of talking things over.

This document assumes you already know what roleplaying games are all about, so it won't define terminology like "2d6" or anything like that. The term for the "game master" is Judge, so named because he or she also functions as the jury and the executioner when you think about it. For simplicity's sake, the Judge will be referred to as "she", the other players will be referred to as "you," and the player-characters will be referred to as "he" unless the subject is obviously a female player-character.

The zeroth law is to have fun! If the mechanical bits aren't working out, the Judge can adjust them to fit what she wants, or even change them completely. After all, the rules of an RPG are never meant to restrict, but rather to provide a framework for your enjoyment. (This is not, however, permission to waste time bickering about minutae or technicalities; the Judge has the final vote.)

Character Creation

Creating a character is simple: all you need to do is discuss the character's concept and capabilities with the Judge, to see what would work best with the adventure or story she has in mind.

The first things you will list are the Name of the character, which is their name, and the Flavor, which is a reasonably short description of the character's concept, such as "a dimension-hopping plainclothes-superheroine and coolkid" or "a lean and hungry gentleman with a penchant for thievery (much the way the ocean has a penchant for dampness)." This can also include personality traits and/or physical appearance in any level of detail you like. After that's done, you and the Judge discuss his Capabilities, Perks and Flaws, and Alignment.

Capabilities

Capabilities are sort of like "skills" or "attributes" in other RPGs, and sort of like "character classes" depending on what you chose and what the Judge will let you do with them. They can be as broad as skillsets Super Crime-Fighting or a title like Royal Guardsman, or as narrow as constructing and maintaining a specific type of revolver, or writing a specific kind of poem. They also don't directly have to be skills; they can be descriptive terms like Offense, Defense, and Majyyks, or attributes like Strength, Intelligence, and Pulchritude.

Each Capability has a Level between 1 and 24. The levels are divided into tiers of six levels each (listed on the table to the right). This is primarily for the purpose of categorization; it has no direct effect on the game, apart from the fact that any Capability with a level higher than 18 is said to be superhuman. (Of course, if a Capability is itself "superhuman," such as magic or X-ray vision, then 18 is merely the maximum for humans who have that Capability.)

Your character can have as many Capabilities as the Judge will allow, but a character just starting their carreer probably shouldn't have more than two or three broad Capabilities or five or six narrow ones, and none of them should have levels above tier 2. Which isn't to say that you need to create a character who's just starting their carreer; it depends on what the Judge has in mind for the game. For that matter, the different characters involved in the game should have roughly the same number of Capabilities.

The Judge can optionally also decide that every character must have a specific set of Capabilities, in addition to the ones chosen on a per-character basis. These preset capabilities are called Qualities, and she may specify any number she likes.

Each character has a particular Quality called General Competence (GC), which describes their general ability to do anything not covered by their other Capabilities. This serves as a sort of fallback in cases where you need to roll the dice, but none of your Capabilities are appropriate.

Discuss with the Judge what you want your character's Capabilities and GC to be. There are no rules about which should be which. For instance, you might have a costumed vigilante with a "Super Crime-Fighting" Capability at level 17, a "Mild-Mannered Civilian" at level 7, and a GC of 10; or, if crime fighting and civilianning is all they do, you could have the level 17 "Super-Crime Fighting" Capability and use a GC of 7 to represent the mild-mannered civilian persona; or super crime-fighting might their default capability, so that their GC could be 17, and they'd have the level 7 "Mild-Mannered Civilian" Capability.

Varying the number of levels and tiers

If the Judge does not wish to have superhuman Capabilities, she may specify that the maximum tier is 3 (and thus the maximum level is 18). Alternatively, if she wants to have characters who are even more superhuman, she can raise the number of tiers, i.e. having a "god tier" of levels 25-30, or even having three tiers comprising levels 19-36 (or more!) before getting to gods.

Perks and Flaws

This is an optional rule for adding flavor.

Perks and Flaws are traits which your character has which cannot be expressed as a numerical Capability; he either has it or he doesn't. The difference is that Flaws are meaningfully negative, and Perks are not meaningfully negative. Perks might include a magic spell the character knows, a suit of powered armor, a personality trait like "fearlessness," or whatever; Flaws might include curses, negative personality traits like "curiosity" or "arachnophobia", and so on.

Alignment

This is an optional rule for adding weird mechanical shenanigans.

If the Judge wishes to include a system for quantifying morality, she may specify that each character has Alignment Scores, which measure Good and Evil as percentage values. If the character does good deeds and has selfless motivations, the Judge applies Good (percent) Points to the character's Good Score. If the character does evil deeds and has bad/selfish motivations, the Judge gives him Evil Points. The Judge can apply as many or as few of each as she thinks the deeds warrant. If a character is less than 30% Good or Evil, they are considered Neutral with respect to that score. The minimum for each score is 0%, and the maximum is 100%.

The two scores are measured separately. Gaining Evil Points will subtract from your Good Score, but gaining Good Points will NOT subtract from your Evil Score. Furthermore, every Evil Point over 30% subtracts from your maximum Good Score; with an Evil Score of 40%, your Good Score can only go up to 90%, with an Evil Score at 100%, you can only have a Good Score of up to 30%, and so on. This is all because it doesn't make sense that the character could make up for evil deeds by doing a few more good ones with the same point value. Redemption requires admitting that you were wrong, a large amount of effort, and lots of good roleplaying.

The Judge may also specify other sets of Alignment Scores in addition to or in place of Good and Evil, for the purpose of different aspects of morality, i.e. Law and Chaos, Light and Dark, Paragon and Renegade, etc. These other pairs can follow the same limitations as Good and Evil as defined above, with the "Evil" values superseding and limiting the "Good" values; they don't have to, though, and the Judge can even set entirely new rules.

The character's motives matter as much as their actual deeds; either or both can be the deciding factor, depending on circumstance. Mere good intentions won't save anyone from getting Evil Points if their actions are bad, and fact that the net effect of one's actions is positive doesn't matter if their motives are corrupt. However, it doesn't necessarily count if someone Good is coerced or tricked; if your heroic character retrieves a MacGuffin on his quest to save the world, and its removal from its initial resting place turns out to have killed a large number of innocent people without his knowledge, he won't get any Evil Points when he finds out as long as you display a suitable degree of shock and horror and/or anger at whoever tricked him. (Bad roleplaying won't save anyone from getting Evil Points, either.)

Unless the Judge specifies otherwise, your character's Alignment Scores are abstractions which don't actually exist in any meaningful way in-story, just like the numeric levels of his Capabilities. Ignorance or uncertainty about a character's morality can be the source of all sorts of fun and drama!

When creating your character, you may specify any values for his Alignment Scores as long as they fit the above rules or those specified by the Judge.

Discussing the concept

It is vitally important for the Judge to get everything important across before beginning character creation. For example, a sword-weilding loincloth-clad barbarian who hates witches would probably not be a good character concept for a hard-science space opera where everyone has standard-issue machine guns. However, it would be equally inappropriate if the the other players' characters are all witches, and the first step of the adventure is to get into some sort of magical stronghold which can only be entered by witches.

In the latter example, the Judge shouldn't just say "it's an adventure in a swords-and-sorcery fantasy setting", she needs to specifically say "the player-characters are all witches, and it mostly takes place in this stronghold that only witches can enter." (Not to mention "No, you can't play as a barbarian who hates witches.")

And that's it!

Completed character sheets might look like this:

Cowl Man

A costumed vigilante who stalks the night.

Qualities:

  • General Competence: 17 (Tier 3)
  • Style: 16 (Tier 3)
  • Substance: 10 (Tier 2)

Capabilities:

  • Mild-Mannered Civilian: 7 (Tier 2)

Perks:

  • Strong sense of duty
  • Unbreakable will

Flaws:

  • Dark secret: well adjusted to society
  • Inflexible
  • Irresistable urge to get involved

Alignment:

  • 100% Good / 5% Evil
  • 50% Lawful / 50% Rulebreaker

Wizardly Alice

She's totally not a witch.

Appearance: An old woman in a blue robe covered in stars and wearing a pointy hat.

Capabilities:

  • General Competence: 12 (Tier 2)
  • Flying: 6 (Tier 1)
  • Sorcery: 10 (Tier 2)
  • Wizardry: 14 (Tier 3)

Perks:

  • Magic broomstick
  • Winning smile

Flaws:

  • Irascible
  • Arrogant

Alignment:

  • 70% Good / 40% Evil
  • 20% Light / 80% Dark

Action Resolution

The majority of the time, the players may simply roleplay what they're doing — that is, they describe the actions, words, and deeds of their characters, and if it is meaningful to do so, the Judge describes the results of those actions. It's also relatively bad form to have the characters fail at something (looking for clues, for instance) which would simply prevent them from meaningfully continuing the adventure. Sometimes, though, you'll want to have some kind of objective (which is to say, random) method of determining whether something succeeds or fails.

Action resolution is when your character attempts to do anything which is neither impossible nor an automatic success. To arbitrate, you or the Judge roll two standard dice, add the result to one of your Capabilities, and compare the result to some other number to determine if it's successful.

The Judge may also apply modifiers, which is a number added to or subtracted from the Capability based on the situation. It is called a bonus if the number is added, and a penalty if the number is subtracted (or negative). For example, if your character has a "Swordplay" Capability at level 10, if you don't currently have a sword, the Judge might give it a penalty of -4. If a giant is trying to shove your character aside, the Judge might give it a +6 bonus due to its size. The Judge may also give you a bonus to a particular roll for good (i.e. entertaining) roleplaying.

The Capability used doesn't need to be all that important; a "tightrope walking" Capability wouldn't be very useful for balancing your character's checkbook. However, with the Judge's permission, you can still use it if you roleplay the action really well. Fail to do so, and the Judge is free to apply a stiff penalty.

There are three types of actions: unopposed actions, opposed actions, and contests.

Unopposed actions

An unopposed action is any action which is not against another character. An example might be jumping across a chasm, or shooting a pistol at a wooden target.

Choose an appropriate Capability for the action you're trying to perform, such as Action Archeology, Acrobatics, or Sharpshooting. If no Capability seems particularly appropriate, use General Competence. You must roleplay what you are trying to do. The Judge then picks a target number between 4 and 36 (or whatever the maximum Capability level is, plus 12), based on the difficulty of the task, the appropriateness of the Capability (Action Archeology works equally well for shooting a wooden target and jumping across a chasm; Sharpshooting is more appropriate than Acrobatics for shooting the target as opposed to crossing the chasm, and vice versa), and any circumstances that might affect the situation. Roll two dice and add the result to the Capability; if the result is greater than or equal to the target number, the action succeeds.

Critical Success: When you roll boxcars (a term from the gambling-game craps for when both dice come up as 6), it is considered a critical success. The action is pulled off without a hitch, or very well or stylishly, or some other such situation. This cannot happen in a way which negates the success, nor can it injure you or cause other complications not intrinsic to the result itself; for instance, the Judge can't rule that you pulled a sword out of a sone so hard that it went flying and shattered against the ceiling (but if you destroy a dam by kicking it, of course you're going to get hit by water and debris and people are going to get mad at you).

Critical Failure: When you roll snake eyes (a term from craps for when both dice come up 1), the result is a critical failure. The action fails in a way which increases the difficulty the next time you try it or makes it impossible to try again, your character is injured, it fails with further complications, or some combination of the above.

Opposed actions

An opposed action is any action in which more than one participant is working against each other. An example might be trying to grab to the MacGuffin before the enemy gets it, drawing your pistol before the other cowboy does, or shooting a pistol at a running target.

Each participant chooses an appropriate Capability, and again, if no Capability seems appropriate, use General Competence. Both participants must roleplay what they're trying to do. Each participant then rolls the dice, and adds their respective result to their Capability. Whoever has the highest total wins the opposed action and their action succeeds, and their opponent loses the action and fails in whatever they were trying to do. If the results are equal, neither action succeeds: the actions cancel each other out, or in any case the status quo is maintained (which may count as a win if one of the participants was merely trying to prevent the other's action, i.e. the acrobat trying to dodge the sharpshooter).

Critical Winning: If you roll boxcars, your opponent rolls snake eyes, or both, the result is a critical win, even your opponent's total is mathematically higher than yours. It functions as a critical success for the winner, a critical failure for the loser, or both. If, on the other hand, both participants roll boxcars, or both roll snake eyes, the two criticals cancel each other out, and victory is computed normally.

Contests

A contest is essentially a sequence of opposed actions which would necessarily take more than one action to complete. A protracted duel, an argument, a race, a seduction attempt (you probably shouldn't use Sharpshooting for this), anything.

Each round of the contest, each participant does a standard opposed action (including roleplaying what they're doing that round). The Judge subtracts the loser's dice total from that of the winner to get the damage total, which is then subtracted from the level of the Capability which the loser used as damage for the remainder of the contest. The maximum damage total for a single round is 6, in order to reduce the likelihood of being one-shotted. This does not literally represent a decrease in the loser's abilities (the character doesn't suddenly become worse at Swordfighting, for instance), but is merely the metric by which victory is judged. A participant in a contest loses the entire contest when any of their Capabilities reaches 0, even if they have any other apropos Capabilities.

Obviously, this means that losing once decreases your chances of winning on the next round, at least if you use the same Capability. It also means that contests are likely to be over after only a few rounds. This is intentional; the emphasis is meant to be less on the system and more on the roleplaying.

Modifiers do not count towards lowering a Capability to zero. If the Judge gives you a -4 penalty on a level 10 Capability, your opponent still needs to lower it 10 levels, not just 6. (Yes, this means you can have a Capability with an effectively negative level.) If the Judge gives you a +4 bonus, your opponent only needs to lower it ten levels, not 14.

Critical Winning in Contests: In the event of a Critical Win, it automatically does the maximum of 6 points of damage.

Healing/recovery works whatever way makes sense according to the Judge. If it's an argument, for instance, you instantly recover all Capabilities once it ends. If it's a physical struggle involving injuries, on the other hand, your character would need to get healed.

Group contests

A group contest is one which is divided into multiple sides of multiple individuals each, all of them working together for their own side's goal, such as a large scale battle or a trial.

Each round, the participants on each side roleplay what they intend to do, and each one picks a Capability. The dice roll is treated as an opposed/contest roll between the participant from each group with the highest Capability in that particular round (ties are broken by the Judge), with the number of other participants in their group as the group bonus. The Judge may then apply other bonuses or penalties with respect to the entire side. After rolling, the Judge decides which participant on the losing side will take damage.

If any of a participant's Capabilities are reduced to 0 or less, that participant is no longer able to participate or provide a bonus, though they can still get involved for the purposes of roleplay if it doesn't make sense for them to be removed in-story. A side loses the group contest when it has no more participants.

Mook hordes

A mook horde is a large group of opponents in a Contest whose numbers greatly exceed their individual significance. An example might be a large crowd of people to whom you want to make a big speech, or a swarm of identical monsters you want to fight off. In this case, keeping track of individuals is impractical, and giving one side a group-bonus of 100 isn't likely to go well with the players, so instead, it should be treated as a single character with a single, relatively high General Competence Capability, in order to match the other group's bonus.

Capability Advancement

If you want to increase the level of one of your Capabilities, or even add an entirely new Capability, discuss it with the Judge to determine what would make the most sense for how your character would raise or acquire it. For instance, your character might spend some time between adventures training to increase their abilities, or they might find some kind of powerup within an adventure. Events which happen outside adventures don't need to be roleplayed.

Experience points

An alternative method of increasing the levels of an individual Capability: at the end of each Adventure, go over your Capabilities with the Judge. If you used any of them to any significant degree, each of these Capabilities gets an experience point (or EXP). Experience points are specific to a given Capability, and cannot be shared. Once a Capability has 12 experience points, the level of that Capability increases by 1, and its EXP resets to 0.

Credits and Copyright

Creative Commons License
Everywhere RPG is © 2014 by KimikoMuffin and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This game is more or less directly based on both Fudge, with the bulk of its action resolution, and Risus: The Anything RPG, with its Clichés forming the basis for Sudden RPG's Capabilities (combat/contest-system included).

Special thanks to Ralian on the RPG.net forum for helping me work out the mechanics for Contests.

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Kimiko Muffin

/ Modified by Kimiko Muffin:

Updated rules for Contests. I specified a maximum damage-per-round of 6, in order to mimimize the possibility of getting oneshotted (as I said in the text).