The Basic Game
This heart of the game is about attributes and checking them. All characters have five attributes.
- Agility represents your character's physical agility and manual dexterity.
- Smarts is mental acuity, knowledge breadth and memorization skill.
- Spirit is the character's spiritual strength, wisdom, willpower and charisma.
- Strength is the character's physical power and prowess.
- Vigor is your characters fortitude, toughness and resistance to damage.
For each attribute roll 2d6. Round odd numbers up to the next even number to determine the die to use for that attribute. Any roll less than 4 is a d4 for that attribute, so the possible attributes are d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12.
As you adventure you will be confronted with tasks. When your character's ability to perform the task is in question you'll make an attribute check. To do this you roll the die associated with the score and a d6 and compare both to a number representing the difficulty of the task and chosen by the game master ( usually 4 ). Do not add the two dice together.
If either die comes up on its maximum value - it has aced and is rerolled. Each reroll is added to the total. This is open ended, so if you are rolling a d6 and it comes up 6 you roll again. If you get a 3 on the second roll that makes for a total of 9, but if you roll a second 6 you roll yet again until you no longer ace. After all the rolling is done if either die meets or exceeds the number chosen by the game master you succeed.
If two characters compete with each other they both make attribute checks in this manner, but unimportant characters controlled by the game master do not roll the extra d6. Whoever rolls highest wins. Ties are won by the attacking character.
When the order of character actions is important (usually, but not always, combat), a 52 card deck of playing cards is used to determine initiative. Each character is dealt one card each round. Characters go in the order indicated by the card - Aces are high If two players have the same card value but in different suites then Spades go first, then Hearts, next Diamonds then Clubs (reverse alphabetical order). On your turn, you choose one action: attack a foe, move a set distance, and so on.
To attack in melee someone you and your target make a strength check. If you win your opponent must succeed at a vigor check with a target number of 4 or be knocked out. Shooting works the same but uses agility instead of strength.
That's it. Everything else in this book is an elaboration of this core. For example, with the above there's no difference between punching someone and running them through with a sword. There are no formal rules for taking cover from enemy fire, instead the game master should apply a penalty to the attacker's roll. If you want you can stop here, not read the rest of the book and not worry yourself with detailed rules for skills, talents, edges, hindrances or anything else if you want.
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The "essential" game. One page. The GM has a lot of judgement calling to do in this version, but that's as close to the bone as the game can be cut that is still recognizable as SW in my opinion. And yeah, I'm working on a scenario using just these rules - a toon game. Though that Fistful of Muppets scenario I saw in this forum is reasonably well suited to this approach as well.