Deadly Simple

Deadly Simple

A simple role-playing game written by Alexis Rugarcía


What is a roleplaying game?

A roleplaying game is a game where a small group of friends get to interpret a group of heroes to live an adventure. You can play scenarios like the ones on your favourite movies, books or video games!

How to use this rule set?

This is a very simple set of rules that allow you to play in no time, taking away all the complex preparation and character making of other games in the genre. You just need some notes and dice, whether they be physical or digital, and some friends!

One of you is going to take the role of the storyteller, and will set the scenario where the story will unfold, as well as create all the characters and events the other players will interact with. Everyone else will create a character and live the adventures the storyteller creates for them.

Creating a Character1


Skill Checks2




Adventuring gear3

Armor and Weapons4


Playing as the Storyteller5

Creating a Character

Whether it be a medieval warrior, a detective or a rocket pilot, the most important thing when playing a roleplaying game is to create a character. The first step to create one is to think of a general concept or idea. Are you interpreting a noble-born paladin who fights for justice? Or a space engineer capable of repairing even the biggest of ships? Maybe a martial artist from the distant frozen lands? You can play whatever character comes out from your imagination!

Once you have an idea in mind, follow the next steps:

  1. Name your character. You can even add a description, think about titles or shortcomings, or give any other detail that helps your character come to life.

  2. Choose your skills and talent. The combination of all of your skills and your talent make up your class. You start with only 1 hp.

  3. Get your equipment. 

  4. Go on adventures!


Skills are what makes your character stand out from every other character. Each one represents how good you are at carrying out a series of tasks with success. You can use any skill you want in your games, but here are some examples of them:

  • Melee combat

  • Ranged Combat

  • Defense

  • Dodging

  • Medicine

  • Engineering

  • Investigation

  • Spell casting

  • Knowledge 

  • Riding

  • Athletics

  • Sailing

  • Carisma

  • Hacking

  • Swimming

  • Survival

  • Guns

  • martial arts

  • Electronics

  • Explosives

Each character has 5 to spend in skills. Each skill can have a maximum of 2 points assigned to them. You can also spend 1 point to increase your maximum hp by 1. You have 1 hp at the beginning.

Skill Checks

Whenever your character tries to perform any task that could fail, the storyteller must ask you to roll a skill check. Roll 1 dice and look at the results. If you get more than half of the maximum possible outcomes (4, 5 or 6 if you roll a dice of 6 sides, for example) you get a success. If you have any skill related to the task you are doing, roll an additional dice for each point you have on that skill. If you get at least one success, you will carry out the task. Else, if you get none, you will fail at completing the task.

For example, imagine that you are searching for a specific book in an ancient library. The storyteller will ask you to roll a skill check. Since your character has 1 point in the investigation skill, which can be related to searching for a concrete book, you roll 2 dice instead of 1. Imagine you rolled 2 dice of six faces and obtained a 2 and 6. You would get only one dice higher than half the maximum possible outcome, so you get 1 success, which means that you find the book you are searching for.


The talent of your character is the thing that he or she is the best at. You must summarize it within a single phrase. “He is the strongest fighter of his village” or “She can repair anything no matter how shattered it is” would be 2 examples. Whenever you perform a task related to your talent, add one additional dice to your skill check.


Once you have decided your skills and talents, you have given your character a class, which you can put a name to. This class represents what your character has done before the adventure or how he or she earns a living. Once per session you can decide to re roll up to 3 dice when you perform a task related to your class.

For example, imagine that your class is “wizard”. You tried to launch a fireball to an enemy dragon. You have 2 points on the “fire magic” skill, and your talent is “he can hit an ant with a spell from 2km away”, so you roll 4 dice. Imagine you obtained these results: 1,3,2,1. Since you didn’t get any success, the spell will fail its target. However it is very important for the adventuring party to kill the dragon as fast as possible, so you decide to use your “wizard” class and reroll 3 dice. Imagine that you obtained 6,3,4 this time. With 2 success, the target gets hit by the spell. However, since you used your 3 reroll you won't be able to reroll any dice for this game session.


When you first make your character, you have 6 buying points you can use to acquire items. 

Adventuring gear

You can come with any item you want for your players as a storyteller, and set a buying price for it. Any given item should give one additional dice to a character on a concrete skill, or give a substantial benefit, like making them able to communicate from long distances in a medieval world or protecting them from radiation in a sci-fi setting.

Here are some example items:



Price in Points

Star map

gives 1 dice to navigation skill


Magic communicator

Allows characters to speak if they are on the same planet


Cloak of invisibility

makes a character invisible


Thermal googles

allows characters to see heat



Explodes and deals 1hp damage to those who can't dodge it, no matter their armor.



allows a character to fall from great distances without dying



illuminates the area



allows a character to display data or write code


Armor and Weapons

Each type of weapon and armor is generic. It's up to the player to decide the looks of the equipment he or she carries. You can also give them other properties, like making them spells or biological features.





Price in Points

Wearing clothes

They look good, but offer no protection



Thick clothes

They can be worn without raising unwanted attention, and offer some protection. They could be leather jackets, thick cloth robes or biker outfits.



Light armor

They leave freedom of movement  and offer decent protection. Some examples could be a gambeson or plastic protective gear.



Medium armor

They offer good protection but are somewhat difficult to hide. Some examples could be chain mail of a light bulletproof vest



Heavy armor

They offer the best protection. Some examples could be plate mail or modern assault equipment.




It can be used to stop attacks and receive damage points. If it’s tier reaches 0 it gets destroyed and other one must be bought.







Price in Points

Bare hands

You use your body to attack



One handed, light

Dagger, light axe, torch, police baton… If carrying 2, you can add an additional dice when attacking.



Two handed, light

Club, quarterstaff, spear… Needs both hands to use.



Ranged, light

shortbow, pistol…



One handed, heavy

sword, mace, laser sword… If carrying 2, you can add an additional dice when attacking.



Two handed, heavy

Greatsword, battle axe, stop sign… Needs both hands to use.



Ranged, heavy

crossbow, assault rifle, shotgun… Needs both hands to use.




Hand ram, rocket launcher, heavy caliber sniper rifle… Needs both hands to use.




Combat plays by turns. Each character must roll one dice, and add any speed or initiative skills related punctuation to the result. The one with the higher outcome acts first, and others will follow in descending order.

To attack, you make a skill check, and add any skill or talent related dice like “melee combat” or “bows”. The opponent can make a skill check to defend himself,adding any skill or talent related like “defense” or “dodge”. If the attacker has more successes than the defender, the attack will hit. If the defender has the same number of successes or higher, the attack will miss.

Each piece of armor offers a tier of protection. Whenever it gets hit by a weapon of a tier lower than it’s own, it accumulates one damage point per each tier of the attacking weapon. When it accumulates up to it’s tier damage points, it reduces it’s tier by 1 and loses all accumulated damage points. When it gets hit by a weapon of the same tier, it reduces it’s tier by 1 directly. When it gets hit by a weapon of a higher tier that itself, it loses one tier and the user loses 1hp.

When your character’s hp hits 0, it dies and you must make a new character.

Playing as the Storyteller

As the storyteller, you can create and give life to any world or history that crosses your mind. Your job is to make the players go through an adventure, and to make sure that everyone, including yourself, is having fun while playing. You are also the master of the rules, and can add or remove anything you from the game if you want to.

To help you create adventures, you can ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What will be the tone? Are you creating a medieval adventure full of magic and monsters? Or maybe a cyberpunk story located in a city overrun by gangs? Deadly simple allows you and your players to play on any ambientation you want, whether it be original or adapted from a movie, book or video game.

  • Where are the players? They can travel through wilderness or have to solve a mystery in a city. Plan the scenes accordingly, as the location can give a very different feel to two similar situations. How is the world they are in? How is the local culture? Do they have any special celebrations or rituals? Feel free to give your player as much detail as you want to let them immerse into your world.

  • Why are the players adventuring? There might be a villain who needs to be stopped, or maybe there is an event that puts everyone in danger. Or they might have just heard of a juicy hidden treasure waiting for them in some ancient ruins…

  • Who will they encounter? One of the most funny aspects of a roleplaying game is to interpret a character. By creating some characters for your players to interact with, you will let them act as their character would and things much more interesting. And you will also get to roleplay some!

  • What dangers are they facing? No adventure is complete without some obstacles to surpass. You can add enemies to fight, mysteries to solve or even traps to avoid. The combat in this game is deadly, so don’t go overboard if you don’t want them to die too soon. It is a good idea to let your player create more than one character if you are planning to run a very dangerous adventure.

  • What will the player be rewarded? The reward gives your players the motivation to keep on adventuring and the satisfaction of completing one quest. You can give them 1 skill point, some buying points or rare items. You could also give more narrative rewards, like titles, properties or greater things like fiefs!

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