is there a chance for community copies being available again?
A downloadable experiment
What is this?
Have you ever felt like running or playing an adventure module you found out there but you weren't in the mood to engage with all the finicky rules that come with it? You just wanted to roll your shiny d20 and enjoy the quest? Maybe the thought of learning a new system or converting it to your favorite ruleset seemed daunting? Or you couldn't be bothered to create a full-fledged character just to try it out?
Well, worry no more!
This ruleset was designed for you to play your fantasy adventures while blatantly ignoring every number that might have come with their systems. You can combine bits and pieces of all the games you like and not worry about restrictions, balance, mechanics (or logic).
You will need a single d20 to play and a copy of the character sheet. A single roll solves all kinds of conflicts you may encounter in the adventure. You can even play it solo if you want to.
What is included?
- 32-page fully bookmarked and illustrated ruleset
- At-cost link to purchase the print-on-demand zine version
- 40-page expansion booklet with an extended example of play and optional rules
- At-cost link to purchase the print-on-demand zine version of the expansion
Check out this special episode of The Top Shelf by TPK Roleplay as they play a full session of Kismet. It was a lot of fun!
Here's a written actual play of Kismet in Spanish, using DCC level 0 characters, by Rol Con Cosas:
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Get the game here!
Get exclusive access to this experiment by purchasing while quantities last.
Full game + Print on Demand + 1 Community copy
Choose this option to get:
- Full game in PDF format
- Character sheet
- Print-on-demand at-cost link for the saddle stitch zine version
- Create +1 Community copy
If you're in need and can't afford a copy of the game, help yourself to a community copy.
You will get access to the following files:
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Ordering these for playing Kismet solo with a group of characters, using them to track their individual Kismet scores:
I am liking a lot what I am seeing about Kismet, but I would like to know whether it can be used as an add-on to other systems (like the Mythic GM Emulator), or it is intended to be played on its own. Thanks!
Thank you! Oh, it can absolutely be played both ways! As a standalone product, you'll probably need some heavy lifting of your own in terms of oracles. The main dice roll covers the equivalent of a Yes/No Oracle, but there are no random tables for other things, nor there is a designed structure of play.
I think it would work quite well with MGE or other tools, the main intention of Kismet is to bring all the stuff you like from other games and rely on a single roll for the conflict resolution mechanics, so you can combine all you like into one experience
Sorry, I completely forgot to see if there was a reply to my comment! Thanks a lot, Cezar, your explanation is really helpful. I bought it, and intend to try it soon. I honestly think you are one of the best indie rpg designers around these days.
Definitely going to be streaming some solo play of this soon, co-op is in the works as well.
Kismet is unbelievable!
Thank you so much for making it.
Here are my house rules (shamelessly stolen from FKR):
-Note only Strengths (+5) and Weaknesses (-5)
-Write evocative character sentence
-Choose 5-10 skills (+5)
-Choose 2 powers (+5)
-Roll d20 twice, total, remove d20 starting equipment
-Kismet resets to 10 on 1 or 20
-Make random tables as you play (very immersive for soloing!)
Thank you, I love your house rules! ^^
I noticed what I think is a typo in the Expansion.
In the section about Success Points and Failure Points it looks like the page for Failure Points keeps using the acronym "SP" rather than "FP" e.g. 1 SP rather than 1 FP.
Oh, thank you! I'll look into it
Fixed! I pushed an update to the PDF and the PoD file as well. Thanks again!
As usual, I absolutely adore your vision here. You're quickly becoming one of my favorite game designers.
For other folks who are drawn to this game, here are a couple of articles that I think will nicely supplement this approach:
1. John Harper's piece titled "50/50 - A Game of Fictional Positioning":
2. Samuel Doebler's article titled "Advantage and Impact":
I love this game SO MUCH. So simple, you can literally play it in your sleep (I have). Yet, somehow, it is not TOO simple. I play lots of simple systems--FKR systems, Bivius, 24XX, FU; just to name a few-- but Kismet does something special: with a single rule, it naturally creates the ups and downs of an interesting narrative. It is both resolution mechanic and narrative mechanic, in one!
I am ashamed to admit that I had to watch an Actual Play of this game before I "got it". Which seems ridiculous, considering how simple it is, but a part of me just couldn't believe that it works. It does work; just play it and see.
That's a very kind review, thank you so much!
If I had one quibble-- and this is a very minor thing, because it's more on me than the rules-- it would be that rolling a 20 always elicits a groan from me. It's supposed to be the best roll, but I don't get excited, instead I get sad, because I know my next action will fail, no matter what it is. That seems counterintuitive, to me.
I have been trying to make 20's even more significant, really trying to milk the specialness beyond my first ideas, but I've also been considering a house rule that, when you roll a 20, your new Kismet resets at 10.
Who do you use for print on demand?
Not the best of times, for my wallet, to acquire yet another RPG… Anyhow I bought it more as a way to pay you a drink (your choice) for your birthday, and saying thanks for everything you create and I already had the pleasure to read/play.
Btw, for those who don’t know yet, Cezar also developed a RPG currently not available on Itch: “I Guess This Is It”, published by Button Shy Games, an indie boardgame publisher. (I’m in no way affiliated to them… just a fan)
What a simple yet wholly flexible mechanic Kismet is, this will be a talking point in the Solo RPG community sooner than later. So glad you have created this Cezar!
Push SRD was a pearl, Kismet is a jewel.
Your new RPG is minimalist, inventive but mostly elegant.
Am I wrong when I say that "KISMET" refers to the arabian word meaning "FATE" or "DESTINY" ?
Thank you so much!
Yes, you're correct! I hadn't heard about said word before, but came across it when research synonyms for Karma, since I thought that was a evocative concept for the only number that governs this game.
Apparently, Kismet has been absorbed as part of the English lexicon as well!
This is genius. That's it: get Kismet and go play it.
My print copy arrived. Looks great!
Great read, really excited to give it a go! I have a group that like to switch system / setting after major plot arcs, so I can see this working really nicely for interlude adventures between those switches.
This is great! I like how the text doesn't imply the need for a GM, while letting you have one if you want.
I think a simple play example would be helpful, for instance explaining how a character would succeed or fail in a situation where they have applicable tags vs no applicable tags, especially if they have low Kismet.
I could picture myself becoming over cautious after rolling a 19 or 20 and not participating much. Unless I was told that I don't risk much rolling for something my character is really good at, essentially resetting my Kismet at a low cost.
The game for me would be to find such an opportunity for a low risk roll before danger shows up again.
Indeed, an example of play is one of the goals of the expanded version, as well as optional rules on how to make tags mechanically relevant.
But you grasped the premise really well. I personally enjoy the idea of watching players seeking in-game opportunities for "resetting" the Kismet in lower-stakes scenarios. Game the game!
The original idea of not having tags influence the die roll is to avoid the "is this tag applicable?" conversation that permeates similar games. Nothing wrong with that, I just wanted a faster approach, tags as a roleplaying compass.
But I understand your point and I shall address it with the upcoming optional rules!
This is a curious game. I like how it leans into the swing of the d20. I do think the game could use a couple of examples of play. I'm also curious if there is a way that Tags could have a more mechanical meaning in play for those of us who prefer a bit more "game" in our gaming.