SLUG is a free role-playing game - feel free to make
copies and give them to your friends. It was years in the making, and
contains both American and Metric units for complete
user-friendliness. If you typeset it right, you should be able to fit
it on one side of a sheet of paper - we do!
Chapter 1: Character Creation
Each character is described any way the player wants. Use words,
numbers, pictures, symbols - whatever. However, the Game Master should
be able to understand it, so be ready to translate obscure character
concepts before play begins. The GM can modify outrageous proposals,
suggest appropriate changes, or ban the character from a particular
adventure or campaign.
"Grok is strong, very strong. He's never met anyone stronger.
He's not real bright, but good with his fists and clubs and throwing
stones. He doesn't speak much."
"Andarra is a wizard who knows how to create an illusion of
almost anything. She can also teleport and sometimes read thoughts,
but has trouble with the latter. On a 3-18 scale, her stats are
Intelligence 17, Dexterity 10, Strength 9, Constitution 11, Perception
13, Will 15, Charm 12, Appearance 14."
"François is dashing, handsome, athletic, and highly skilled
with his sword. He is suave and polished in his manner, and is skilled
at witty repartee. He is very weak in the sciences, though. He is
proud, quick-tempered, and extremely loyal to the king. He is fond of
brawling in bars, carousing with friends, and wooing lovely ladies (not
necessarily in that order)."
"Juanita Martinez is a detective who investigates the occult.
She has an unreliable ability (40% chance) to detect psionic activity
up to 300 meters (330 yards). She is also capable of some slight
telekinesis: she can move objects of up to 1/2 pound (1/4 kg) very
slowly - 6 inches (15 cm) per second. She is highly skilled (i.e.,
better than 70% chance) at Research, Pistol Use, Driving and
Bamboozling her way into places she has no business. She is
moderately skilled at Swimming, Moving Quietly, Lockpicking, Mexican
Cooking, and Photography. She is knowledgeable about New York,
Occult Matters, Computer Use, Obscure Religions and Cults, and
Standard Police Procedures. Juanita is attractive, can be jealous,
and is more curious than is safe at times. She has a few friends
in high places."
"Captain Horatio Quest is a war hero, decorated many times in
the war against the Shleeshlokk Empire. His piloting skills are
legendary. He's a crack shot with a blast rifle, and has extensive
experience with personal combat in zero-G. His intellectual abilities
run more toward tactics and strategy than formal learning. Although in
his mid-fifties, Quest is still handsome (due to the heroic efforts of
reconstructive surgeons) and physically fit."
Chapter 2: Action Resolution
When the GM asks a player to roll some dice, the player should roll
some dice. The GM can specify the number, size, and shape of the dice,
or just let the player choose. The GM will assess the result based on
how far above or below the average the result is - the higher, the
better (unless the GM says otherwise). The GM rolls in secret on
occasion, mostly for information rolls.
- Player: "Andarra creates an illusion of a large, angry dragon."
- GM: "Roll three six-sided dice."
- (Andarra's player rolls a 4 and two 5s.)
- GM (comparing the roll to an average total of 10-11): "The
bandits run in terror of the dragon that appears beside Andarra!"
- Player: "Grok tries to put the pieces of the radio back together."
- GM: "Okay, roll some dice." (Grok's player rolls a 1 on a
d4.) "The scattered pieces confuse Grok so much, he gets a
- Player: "Does François recognize the lady's accent?"
- GM: (secretly rolling two 10-sided dice, getting a 3 and a
5, and reading them as percentiles for a result of 35%): "You can't
quite place it - definitely not Italian, though, and probably not
The GM may assign a modifier to the Action Resolution Roll. A modifier
may be of any appropriate amount, up or down, depending on the
circumstances (and on the number and type of dice rolled). For
example, a magic sword may give a bonus in combat; scaling a cliff is
easier with proper climbing gear; and a character described as a master
of a skill gets a bonus when using that skill. Conversely, a wound
might mean a penalty to most actions; and fighting in poor conditions
will probably subtract something from a combat roll.
Chapter 3: Character Development
As the game progresses, a character will encounter situations that will
test things that weren't written down at first. The player should
explain to the GM how good the character is in such a situation.
"Oh, yes, Grok's climbed lots of cliffs
"François might recognize a Spanish or English
accent with luck. He would recognize an Italian accent easily, though
- there are Italians in the Musketeers."
The GM will probably accept an explanation if it seems in keeping with
the original character concept. However, if it's not written down, the
GM doesn't have to accept an explanation, and can decide how good the
character really is.
With the GM's permission, such traits can be added, or existing traits
or skills improved, after the gaming session. For example,
François might spend a week "negotiating" a non-existent deal with an
English merchant just to have a better chance of recognizing an English
accent in the future. It is doubtful, however, that Grok will ever get
the radio to work again.
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