A downloadable experiment

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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

Media coverage

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:


► This game was made possible by the support of my amazing patrons. Join today and get all my future games for free!

StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(25 total ratings)
AuthorCezar Capacle
GenreAdventure, Role Playing
TagsFantasy, fkr, old-school, OSR, Singleplayer

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 

Community copies

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:

Kismet_full.pdf 23 MB
Kismet_character-sheet.pdf 47 kB
Kismet_at-cost_PoD_saddle-stitch
External
Kismet_expansion_v101.pdf 12 MB
Kismet Expansion_at-cost_PoD_saddle-stitch
External

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

hey! sorry for my broken english but this looks really good love the layout and the structure, mind if i ask for a community copy?

Sure, just put some more up!

(+1)

Thanks for the copy i will give it good use!

(+3)

is there a chance for community copies being available again?

(+2)

Just put some more up! ^^

(+2)

Ordering these for playing Kismet solo with a group of characters, using them to track their individual Kismet scores:
https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Standees-Accessories-Gloomhaven-Frosthaven/dp/B08...

Oooh, that's really clever! Love it!

(+1)

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!

(+1)

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

(1 edit) (+2)

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. 

Thank you, that’s very kind of you! I hope you have a great time with the game ^^

(+1)

Definitely going to be streaming some solo play of this soon, co-op is in the works as well.

This is lovely to hear! If you wanna drop a link here, you're more than welcome!

(1 edit) (+2)

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! ^^

(+1)

Well, I love your game, man!
Keep doing what you're doing, because you're doing it right!

Are you also rolling the d20 for world question/oracle rolls?

(1 edit)

I am, but not adding bonuses.

Over=positive outcome/yes

Under=negative outcome/no

1=Extreme negative/no, reset to 10.

20=Extreme positive/yes, reset to 10.

Equal=Reset to 10, envision two possible outcomes, and re-roll. Outcome 1=under Outcome 2=Over. 1=Outcome 1 with added threat 20=Outcome 2 with added advantage. Equal again is a reset to 10 and re-roll.

Sounds good. I think I was doing the same, resetting Kismet on a roll of 1 or 20 during my little adventure.
Thanks for the reply. I've been fascinated with FKR for awhile for solo. I just need to play more & gain more experience.

(+1)

You bet!
Glad to help.

(+1)

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.

(1 edit)

Oh, thank you! I'll look into it

Fixed! I pushed an update to the PDF and the PoD file as well. Thanks again!

(+1)

Great! Happy to help :)

(+2)

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":
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NLD_KhZwrKRz3sIquZDSW_Wx__7My6Kdg1Jbk6hF7Mw/...
2. Samuel Doebler's article titled "Advantage and Impact":
https://dreamingdragonslayer.com/2020/03/28/advantage-and-impact/

Thank you so much, that's high praise!

And I appreciate the links, great articles indeed

(+1)

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!

(+1)

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.

That's a good house rule, I'd say go for it!

(+1)

Who do you use for print on demand?

(+1)

Lulu, for most of my games (including this one) 😊

(+3)

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)

(+1)

Thank you so much, that’s very kind! 

(+3)

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!

(+1)

Thank you so much, that means a lot to me! ^^ 

(+4)

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" ?

(+1)

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!

(+1)

Some say that Kismet was the last word of Admiral Nelson after Trafalgar, as in "Kismet Hardy".

(+2)

This is genius. That's it: get Kismet and go play it.

(+1)

Thank you so much! 

(+2)

My print copy arrived. Looks great!

(+2)

Neat! I’m glad to hear that! :)

(+4)

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.

(+1)

Thank you so much, I hope it serves you well!

(+3)

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.

(+2)

Thanks, Eric!

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!

(+2)

Yeah, counting tags and negotiating their relevance isn't a game I'm enjoying. Using them for description only is a less demanding/tense way to do it.

(4 edits) (+3)

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.

(+2)

Love the idea! 

I’ll add both to the game if I reach the campaign. goal! :)