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A member registered Nov 06, 2018

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Would love to see these too!

Looks amazing, but how do we actually download this rather than use it online-only via Google docs?

This is a fantastic tool that the community really needs, thanks so much for your hard work!  However, I do find that it tends to not create completely accurate matches to the "real" cards, especially in terms of text formatting. For example, the card back text is slightly bolder and itallicized on the official cards but not the ones from this program (using text tags doesn't achieve the same result, either). Line spacing on some cards, especially equipment/treasure/spell cards, is too cramped and not  reflective of the "real" card spacing. I get that might be to allow more text, but I would definitely prefer either authentic spacing or a way to change line space.  Again, this is a fantastic tool for the HQ community and I would really like to see its minor issues ironed out. The only obvious missing feature is of course a way to save/load cards, but while that would be very welcome, being able to create completely accurate cards is my main wish.

Thanks for the update. Is the physical version that will be on your store (link please?) the same as the KS version or will   "Soul Muppet" be selling a more complete version?

Thanks for the reply and good to hear that! Does that mean the revised version will be free to those who bought the current (1.1) version here now, or will it be a separate product?  Just wanting to know if it's safe to buy now or if I should just wait until next month.

Glad to hear it will be available physically too, but I still wish I'd known about the Kickstarter as I suspect getting the zine physically in Australia would otherwise be cost prohibitive (KS has been the only affordable way for me to get stuff like Mothership, etc. physically in the past). Who would you be selling  it through, may I ask?

I play a lot of solo and don't normally like "journalling" games so much, but I'm a *huge* post apocalypse fan so I'm keen to give your game a shot.

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I just discovered the game (so sad I missed the Kickstarter!) and am very tempted to buy it, but I wanted to ask if this Revised version was ever completed or if it got set back? I'd hate to buy it here and then have a better version get released shortly afterwards!

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I'd be honored, although don't do it yet please as I have a few edits to make and a few new things to add. I was planning to turn these into a pdf anyway eventually, though, but wanted to ask you first! :)

I really like the game and have had a few good playthroughs so  far. I hope my addons being posted on my blog (with a link back to the game page here) have got you some extra sales and expanded interest in it, too.

I've never used Discord but can try and figure it out to chat.

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These are the  revised the search tables I made for SBTD to give myself more  item options and to better go with my homebrew rule additions (such as the need to eat and sleep). I am sharing them in case others find them useful.

Use these with the search procedures outlined in the core  SBTD rules, but replace the original Search Tables with the ones below.

Alternate Search Tables

  • 0. Junk (you can always roll for junk at any location)
    1 - Brick or large rock 
    2 - Old papers suitable for kindling
    3 - Tattered rags (ripped clothes, old sheets, etc.)
    4 - Sharp metal or glass (can be made into a shiv)
    5 - Wood or metal that can be made into a Club
    6 - Empty glass bottle
  • 1. Abandoned house
    1 - Canned food (0.3kg) (roll 1D6: 1 dog food, 2 vegetables, 3 fruit, 4 soup/stew, 5 beans/spaghetti, 6 meat/fish)
    2 - Light/fire source (roll 1D6: 1-3 2D6 matches, 4 lighter, 5 1D6 candles, 6 lantern (1kg, roll 1D6: odd = oil; even = propane ))
    3 - Clothes
    5 - Bedding (roll 1D6: 1-3 towel (0.2kg), 4-5 blanket (2kg), 6 sleeping bag (1.5kg))
    5 - Container (roll 1D6: 1 duffel bag, 2-3 thermos bottle (0.5kg), 4-5 empty water bottle (0.2kg), 6 backpack)
    6 - Fuel (roll 1D6: 1 camp stove fuel canister (0.3kg), 2 half-full propane cylinder (6kg), 3 full propane cylinder (10kg), 4-5 half-gallon of gasoline (4kg), 6 gallon of gasoline (6kg))
  • 2. Retail store
    1 - Clothes
    2 - Books or toys (roll 1D6: 1-2 toy (0.3kg), 3-6 book (0.2kg))
    3 - Snack food (roll 1D6: 1-3 chocolate or candy, 4-5 bag of salted snacks, 6 box of biscuits (0.2kg))
    4 - Bedding (roll 1D6: 1-3 towel (0.2kg), 4-5 blanket (2kg), 6 sleeping bag (1.5kg))
    5 - Camping (roll 1D6: 1 lighter, 2 2D6 candles, 3 fishing rod (1.2kg), 4 canteen (0.2kg), 5 vacuum flask (0.5kg), 6 camp stove (3kg))
    6 - Sports (roll 1D6: 1 ball (0.2kg), 2-3 bat or stick (1kg; treat as club), 4 armor (5kg; -1 INJ), 5 bow/crossbow (3kg) and 2D6 arrows, 6 hunting rifle (5kg) and 2D6 bullets)
  • 3. Market, restaurant or cafe
    1 - Snack food (roll 1D6: 1-3 chocolate or candy, 4-5 bag of salted snacks, 6 box of biscuits (0.2kg))
    2 - Canned food (0.3kg) (roll 1D6: 1 dog food, 2 vegetables, 3 fruit, 4 soup, 5 beans/spaghetti, 6 meat/fish)
    3 - Dry food (roll 1D6: 1-2 box of cereal (0.2kg), 3 flour (1kg), 4 sugar (1kg), 5 dry pasta (0.5kg) 6 rice (1kg))
    4 - Hygiene (roll 1D6: 1 toilet paper (0.2kg), 2 bar of soap, 3 toothbrush, 4 toothpaste, 5 bleach (1kg), 6 disinfectant (1kg))
    5 - Small bottled drink (0.5kg); roll 1D6: 1-2 soda, 3-5 water, 6 = alcohol)
    5 - Large bottled drink (1.5kg); roll 1D6: 1-2 soda, 3-5 water, 6 = alcohol)
  • 4. Pharmacy, clinic or hospital
    1 - Hygiene (roll 1D6: 1 toilet paper (0.2kg), 2 bar of soap, 3 toothbrush, 4 toothpaste, 5 bleach (1kg), 6 disinfectant (1kg))
    2 - Over-the-counter medicine (roll 1D6: 1-2 vitamins, 3 cold and flu tablets, 4 antihistamine tablets, 5-6 painkiller tablets)
    3 - First aid item (roll 1D6: 1-3 bandage/dressing, 4 splint, 5 antiseptic (0.3kg), 6 first aid kit (0.5kg))
    4 - Prescription medicine (roll 1D6: 1-3 strong painkillers, 4 antidepressants, 5 sleeping pills, 6 antibiotics)
    5 - Specialist medicine (roll 1D6: 1-2 insulin injection, 3-4 heart/blood pressure tablets, 5-6 Epinephrine injection)
    6 - Hospital item (roll 1D6: 1 surgical instruments (0.4kg), 2 oxygen tank (5kg), 3 serum bag (0.3kg), 4-5 manual pulmonary resuscitator, 6 field medic kit (1.5kg))
  • 5. Tool store
    1 - Building supplies (roll 1D6: 1-2 bag of nails (0.2kg), 3 box of screws (0.2kg), 4 spool of wire (0.2kg), 5 tube of superglue)
    2 - Small tool (roll 1D6: 1 hammer (1kg), 2-3 screwdriver (0.3kg), 4 pliers (0.2kg), 5 chisel (0.4kg), 6 saw (0.5kg))
    3 - Large tool (roll 1D6: 1-2 shovel (3kg), 3 rake (2kg), 4 hoe (2kg), 5 pick (4kg), 6 axe (3kg))
    4 - Rope (2kg)
    5 - Blade tool (roll 1D6: 1-2 box-cutter, 3 multitool, 4 hunting knife (0.4kg), 5 hatchet (1kg), 6 machete (1.5kg))
    6 - B&E tool (roll 1D6: 1-2 wire cutters (0.2kg), 3 hacksaw (0.8kg), 4 bolt cutters (5kg), 5 crowbar (5kg), 6 sledgehammer (6kg))
  • 6. Police department or abandoned military checkpoint
    1 - Police item (roll 1D6: 1-3 handcuffs (0.8kg), 4-5 baton (1kg, treat as club), 6 gas mask (1kg))
    2 - Emergency item (roll 1D6: 1-4 2D6 flares (0.2kg each), 5-6 First Aid Kit (0.5kg)
    4 - Ammunition (roll 1D6: 1-3 4D6 handgun bullets, 4-5 3D6 shotgun shells, 6 5D6 rifle bullets)
    5 - Weapon (roll 1D6: 1-3 pistol (2kg)  and 2D6 bullets, 4-5 shotgun (5kg) and 1D6 shells, 6 = assault rifle (6kg) and 3D6 bullets )
    6 - Armor (roll 1D6: 1-2 riot helmet (2kg; -1 INJ), 3-4 riot armor (8kg; -2 INJ), 5-6 bulletproof vest (2kg; -2 INJ))

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog here.

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In the core SBTD game, the goal is to survive a certain number of Events and escape the city. "City Hunter" is an alternative homebrew game mode I came up with in the same setting, where you are not trying to leave the city but rather searching it for someone or something.

What are you searching for?

Roll 1D6 (or choose, if you prefer) to find your goal to "win" (i.e. finish the adventure):

1 = You were beaten and left for dead (start Moderately Injured). You must recover and then find the 1D6 people responsible. 2 = Someone you loved was killed. Now you must track down and kill the 1D6 people responsible.

3 = Someone you love has been kidnapped. You must find 1D6 Clues in order to find their location and try to rescue them. 4 = Something valuable of yours was stolen. Decide what it was. You must find 1D6 Clues to track down the item... and the thief.

5 = Someone has hired you to find something of value to them. Roll on the Search Table to find out what it is. If it is a common item (food, painkillers, etc.), they want you to find 1D20+5 of those items. 6 = Someone has hired you to find someone they care about. Roll again: 1-4 they are missing; 5-6 they have been kidnapped. Regardless, it will take 1D6 Clues to find their whereabouts.

Finding your target(s)

When you are searching for a person or stolen valuables, whenever an Event occurs, roll 1D6. On a roll of 6, someone involved in the Event is important to your quest in a relevant way.

Example #1: You are looking for 3 people who tried to kill you and roll "Someone asks you to rob a passerby" then either the person who asks you or the person they want to rob is one of the 3 people you are looking for!

Example #2: You are trying to find 4 clues to the location of a kidnapped loved one and roll " You find a seriously injured person". This injured person provides 1 Clue.

The final clue

When looking for Clues, the last Clue you find is actually the location of person you are searching for.

Example #1: You are trying to find a stolen valuable possession and roll " You find a person trapped in a collapsed hiding place". This person will have your possession and is likely the thief that stole it.

Avenging yourself (or a loved one)

When looking for killers to avenge yourself or a loved one, it is up to you what you do once you find them. Killing them will cost Nature as normal, but will also reward you with 1 bonus Resilience. Whether you spare them or not, they are still "crossed off your list".

Rewards when hired

When hired to find a person or items, completing the job earns you the reward of your pick of any three items off the Search Tables.

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog here.

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I added the following homebrew rules to my last playthrough and like how it increased the feel of "survival" and limited resources. It also let me regain lost Resilience and made food items have a game effect.

For better control over game time flow, I divided each day into four Time Periods: Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Night. For each Time Period of every day, roll 1D6 to see if an Event occurs.

    Time is...                                                   Event  on roll of...

    Morning                                                    5-6
    Afternoon                                                           4-6
    Evening                                                         5-6
    Night                                                                          6

If an Event occurs, roll on the Encounter Table (in the official rules).

If no Event occurs, you can pick an Activity for that Time Period from the list below:
- Eat a meal (if you have food)
- Sleep
- Search your current location (roll up to 3 times on the Search Table in the official rules)
- Move to a new location

Eating and sleeping allows you to regain Resilience, while failing to eat or rest causes you to lose Resilience.

If you do not eat for a whole day, you lose 1 Resilience at the start of the next day. If you eat at least one meal (or two snacks), you lose no Resilience. If you eat two or more meals, you gain 1 Resilience at the start of the next day.

If you do not spend at least one Time Period in a day sleeping, you lose 1 Resilience at the start of the next day.

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog  here.

Thanks for the reply. It was this one where your game was mentioned.

I absolutely love the look of it but I'm not a fan of playing solo rpgs with "oracles" (e.g. Mythic) so tend to lean towards ones with built-in solo modes. I would definitely be very interested in Breathless if it had a solo mode/version.

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I made these tables for my own use to generate random NPCs (enemies, those in need, etc.) but thought others might find them useful. Feel free to only roll for the things you need (for example,  you might not need to know what weapons a friendly NPC is carrying) or ignore things that don't make sense.

Random NPC Generation Tables

  • Age (roll 1D6):
     1 = child
     2 = teenager
     3 = young adult
     4 = middle-aged adult
     5 = older adult
     6 = elderly
  • Gender (roll 1D6):
     1-4 = male
     5-6 = female
  • Stats (roll 1D6):
     1 = Vigor 3, Trauma 1, Cunning 1
    2 = Vigor 2, Trauma 2, Cunning 1
     3 = Vigor 2, Trauma 1, Cunning 2
     4 = Vigor 1, Trauma 3, Cunning 1
     5 = Vigor 1, Trauma 2, Cunning 2
     6 = Vigor 1, Trauma 1, Cunning 3
  • Injury State (roll 1D6):
     1-4 = Uninjured
    5 = Lightly Injured
     6 = Moderately Injured

  • Close Combat Weapon (roll 1D20):
     1-4 = No Close Combat Weapon
    5-9 = Knife/Shiv
     10-14 = Club
     15-18 = Machete/Sword/Hatchet
    19-20 = Axe/Sledgehammer

  •  Ranged Weapon (roll 1D20):
    1-6 = No Ranged Weapon
    7-9 = Pistol (3D6 bullets)
    10-11 = Revolver (2D6 bullets)
    12-13 = Shotgun (2D6 shells)
    14 = Sawn-Off (1D6 shells)
    15-17 = Hunting Rifle (2D6+1 bullets)
    18 = Bow/Crossbow (1D6 arrows)
     19 = Submachiengun (2D20+3 bullets)
     20 = roll 1D6: 1-4 = Assault Rifle (2D20+6 bullets), 5 = Machinegun (2D20+10 bullets), 6 = Flamethrower (1D6 gasoline)
    Note: do not roll for ammo until combat is initiated.

  • Explosives (roll 1D6):
    1-4 = No Grenades
    5 = 1D6 Grenades/Bombs/Molotovs
    6 = 1D6+2 Grenades/Bombs/Molotovs

  • Appearance (roll 1D20):
     1 = little more than rags
     2-5 = tattered casual clothes (jeans, t-shirt, dress, etc.)
     6 = tank top and shorts or tracksuit pants
    7 = dirty overalls
     8 = heavily patched business suit
     9 = puffy jacket and tracksuit pants
     10 = hoodie and cargo pants
     11 = lots of exposed skin and tattoos
     12 = leather jacket and jeans
     13 = biker leathers and wild hair
     14 = fur coat and dyed hair
     15 = long dark coat and sunglasses
     16 = old work uniform
     17 = hooded long robes
     18 = makeshift armor (hockey mask/baseball protector/football pads/etc.); -1 to all Injury rolls
     19 = military uniform
     20 = military uniform and body armor (bulletproof vest/plate carrier); -2 to all Injury rolls

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog here.

Thanks for the reply!

I have run a few games now and definitely found that I needed re-divide the Attributes into Physical (Vigor), Perceptual (Trauma) and Intellect (Cunning) for better balance, otherwise I was pretty much never using "Trauma" except for something like "I found a dead child, roll to see how freaked out I am".

That means I used them as follows:

Vigor = feats of physical strength or endurance (brawling, climbing, dodging, resisting poison, etc.)

Trauma = feats of mental fortitude and perception (shooting, spotting something hidden, resisting fear, etc.)

Cunning = feats of intellect, charisma or  deception (solving problems, lying, bartering, math, science, seduction, etc.)

Doing that his saw me using all three Attributes fairly equally.

I was recommended this game via a solo rpg group. Is it actually possible to play solo, though? The description says 2+ players suggesting needing a traditional GM. No problem whichever the case, just wanted to make sure before buying it.

Just sent you an email (sorry it took so long). Also found my receipts for both purchases. No rush but let me know here if you don't receive my email!

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To "win" the game, I need to survive 9 Encounters, correct?

Since events are divided into Morning, Afternoon and Evening, does this mean 3 Encounters happen each day Or is there only one Encounter per day and the time of day it happens is picked by the player (in which case I think it would be better to randomly roll)?

How does Searching factor into this? How many times a day can I search my current location? Once or twice (that is, each day there is one Encounter and two "free" timeslots which can be used for Searching or resting or other things)?

What about resting or healing? Do I need to use up a Morning/Afternoon/Evening "slot" to rest (and possibly recover some Resilience points?) or is it just assumed that I rest at night as well as whatever I do in Morning/Afternoon/Evening. What if I want to skip resting for some reason?

Does thirst and hunger (that is, if I have no food or water) cause me to lose Resilience?

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I normally tend to avoid journal-style solo games as I'm more interested in a "game" experience than a "creative writing" one, but I'm genuinely interested in this one since I'm a huge post apocalypse genre fan.

So far, I like what I've read, but I do wish it was a bit more "fleshed out" (that is, provided basic combat rules and a few more tables).

I'd also like to possibly later contribute a few fan additions of my own if that was okay?

Full disclosure: I snagged a free copy to try it out but if I like it enough I would be happy (time permitting) to proofread and help you with any translation issues if you're interested. I'm a native English speaker and writer by trade but have a passion for editing. :)

Some questions...

Attribute Usage

Since there are no "skills", just attributes, can you help me work out which attributes are used for various tasks?

Some are obvious, but others not so much (at least to me).

For example, dodging or climbing or pushing something heavy would obviously use Vigor. Is that correct? Is it also used for "endurance" and rolling to resist things like fatigue, starvation, radiation sickness, blood loss and poison? Does Vigor effect how much I can carry or am I limited to 4kg base + 20kg backpack regardless of Vigor?

Bartering or seduction or lying would use Cunning, obviously, but is Cunning  also be used for intelligence-based technical skills such as repairing a generator,  crafting a water home-made filter or fixing a jammed rifle?

If Trauma is mental fortitude, when would you use it?  Maybe when you see a gristly or tragic sight and need to roll to avoid losing  Nature?

What attribute would I use to shoot an old tin can with a pistol? Or to spot a hidden sniper in the ruins? In other words, what is the game's version of "perception" ? I almost feel like there's one attribute (that one) "missing"... or am I the one missing something obvious?


I like the minimal system but had a few questions how to resolve certain situations. The main thing I couldn't understand was how does the system work when it is one character versus another? When a player wants to achieve a task, they roll D20 equal to their relevant attribute to try and score at least one 14 or higher, is that correct?

How about when an NPC tries to shoot a player or a player tries to shoot an NPC? Or if a player wants to barter with an NPC? Or the player tries to talk a hostile NPC into not attacking?

Is it as simple as both rolling D20 equal to their attribute and whoever rolls the highest on one die "wins"? I am just guessing!

Example situation: an NPC sees my character looting and takes a shot at me with their rifle. What do we each roll to determine if I am hit? Do I need to dodge or is this factored into the opposing roll (their shooting attribute versus my dodging ability)?

Is there any initiative to determine who attacks first in combat or does it happen simultaneously (I think that would be simpler)?

Incidentally, what attribute is used for shooting and noticing things (that is, "perception" and vision/hearing based tasks)?

Finally, what about damage? If I am hit with  by a shot from the NPC's rifle, what happens? Do injuries decrease Resilience? Is Resilience my "hit points" as well as being something I can spend to increase success? Or are there *no* "hit points" and I can die from a single shot *unless* I spend Resilience points to avoid a fatal injury?

Again, I like the simplicity of the system and appreciate keeping it short but was confused about the lack of any combat system in a setting where I expect to get attacked a lot! :)

Sample NPCs

What would be an example of the following average NPCs the player might encounter? What would their average attribute scores be?

1) A dirty, desperate scavenger, scrounging for supplies and willing to kill to keep what's theirs.

2)  A member of a small community wary of outsiders but willing to provide help  to those who don't pose a threat.

3) A raider who actively attacks others to steal what they have and kill them (possibly even cannibalize them!).

I just thought up three very  generic NPC types that an encounter might have the player meet, and was wondering what basic statistics you would assign them compared to the player's attributes.

Basic stats: Vigor, Trauma, Cunning, Resilience, Nature?

Thanks for creating this! I reposted my feedback here that I sent you on Reddit.

I also hope you don't mind me posting some specific questions for you. I absolutely understand and appreciate that this game system and rules is intended to be very "lightweight" and minimal, but I was a bit confused how combat works and also wanted an idea of what sort of statistics average NPCs and weapons would have in this setting. I am happy to come up with all that myself but wanted to check if there was any official word before I did! :)

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Some example weapons and healing item stats I created,  for use with my homebrew combat and injury rules here.


HIT = add/subtract this from your rolls to hit someone.
INJ = add/subtract this from rolls on the Injury Table  when hit by this weapon.
CAP = maximum ammunition capacity; how many attacks you can make with this weapon before reloading.
AMMO = type of ammunition the weapon uses.
NOTE = special notes about this weapon.

For simplicity's sake, ammo types are "generic types" rather than specific calibres, but feel free to substitute greater firearm detail if you desire that level of realism.

 Knife (or shiv): HIT 0, INJ 0.

 Club (baseball bat, pipe,  2x4, etc.): HIT +1, INJ 0.

Machete/Sword/Hatchet: HIT 0, INJ -1.

 Axe/Sledgehammer: HIT -1, INJ -2.

 Pistol: HIT 0, INJ 0, CAP 12, AMMO Handgun Bullets.

 Revolver: HIT 0, INJ -1, CAP 6, AMMO Handgun Bullets.

 Submachinegun: HIT 1, INJ 0, CAP 20, AMMO Handgun Bullets, NOTE Fires 4 bullets per attack.

 Shotgun: HIT 1, INJ -1, CAP 6, AMMO Shotgun Shells.

 Sawn-Off: HIT 2, INJ -2, CAP 2, AMMO Shotgun Shells.

 Hunting Rifle: HIT 2, INJ -2, CAP 6, AMMO Rifle Bullets, NOTE +3 to hit if ambushing.

 Assault Rifle: HIT 2, INJ -1, CAP 30, AMMO Rifle Bullets, NOTE Fires 3 bullets per attack.

 Machinegun:   HIT 1, INJ -1, CAP 10, AMMO Rifle Bullets, NOTE Fires 6 bullets per attack.

 Flamethrower: HIT -3, INJ -2, CAP 8, AMMO Gasoline.

 Grenade/Bomb/Molotov: HIT -1, INJ -1, NOTE Use Vigor to attack since thrown.

Bow/Crossbow: HIT 0, INJ 0, CAP 1, AMMO Arrows (roll 1D6 to recover arrow after firing; even roll = it can be reused)

Healing Items

 Dressings or Painkillers (or other relevant medications): worth 1 Resilience point when healing.

 First Aid Kit: worth 2 Resilience  points  when healing.

 Field Medic Kit: worth 3 Resilience  points  when healing.

 Access to hospital surgery or  physician's office: worth 4 Resilience  points  when healing.

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog here.

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After playing a few adventures, I found the lack of a combat system  tended to make for less of a "game" experience than I was hoping for, and having all challenges be based on my own stats vs  a single set difficulty rather than against NPCs of various skill levels felt a bit bland, so I came up with the following simple homebrew opposed task and combat system rules. Hopefully they are minimal enough that they fit the spirit of the game! I'd love to hear what other players thought.

Opposed Challenges

 When you attempt to do something opposing an NPC (for example, lying convincingly or sneak past someone), roll D20 equal to your relevant attribute. Also roll the NPC's relevant attribute. Whoever rolls the highest on a single die "wins".

 Example #1: You try to sneak past an NPC sniper. You roll your Vigor (physical/dexterity task). They roll their Trauma (mental/perceptual task). If you roll the highest roll, you sneak past successfully. If they roll higher, you are spotted.

 Example #2: You try to charm a hostile NPC into trusting you. You both roll your Cunning (intellect/charisma task). If you roll higher, they trust you. If they roll higher, they don't.


Combat is divided into simple Rounds. In each Round, you and your opponent(s) perform an action such as attacking, reloading, retreating, attempting to negotiate,   etc.

Initiative - the order in which combatants take action in a Round - is based on the Vigor attribute; highest to lowest determines action order. The exception is if  combat is a surprise ambush, in which case the ambusher always gets to act  first.

To perform an attack or defend against one, characters simply  roll a Combat Challenge - an Opposed Challenge, as explained above - using the relevant Attributes.

 Close combat uses Vigor to both attack and defend.   Ranged combat uses Trauma to attack and Vigor to defend (dodge/take cover).

If the attacker  wins the Combat Challenge (rolls highest), they hit the defender. If the defender wins (rolls highest), they are not hit.

Anyone hit by an attack rolls on the Injury Table below:

    1-6 = crippling or mortal wound
    7-12 = severe wound
    13-17 = moderate wound
    18-20 = light wound.

 You may spend Resilience as normal when rolling on the Failure table to determine injury.

 Whenever an opponent is wounded, they must pass a Trauma Challenge. If they fail, they panic and try to flee or surrender.

If someone needs to reload a weapon, they cannot attack that Round while doing so (but defend normally).

Combat Modifiers

In an ambush where the   defenders are caught unaware, all ambushing characters    get +2 to their Combat Challenge  rolls for their first attack, while ambushed defenders are -1 to all  Combat Challenge  rolls in that same Round.

 When fighting multiple opponents at once, reduce the outnumbered party's Combat Challenge    rolls by 1 for every opponent you are outnumbered by.

Using Weapons

Weapons typically  have modifiers to hit (add or subtract this to Combat Challenge rolls when attacking).

Weapons also sometimes    have modifiers to damage (add or subtract from    Injury Table rolls when hit with this weapon).

Example #1: a Knife is HIT 0 and INJ 0. You add nothing when using this weapon to attack and roll normally for Failure when hit with this weapon.

 Example #2: a Revolver is Hit 0 and INJ -1 You add nothing when using this weapon to shoot but subtract 1 from Failure rolls when hit by this weapon.

 Example #3: a Shotgun is HIT +1 and INJ -2. You add +2 to your rolls to shoot someone with this weapon, and subtract 2 from Failure rolls when hit by this weapon.

See    here    for some common example  weapons.

Character Injury

All  characters (player and NPCs)    have six Injury States: 0 = Unhurt, 1 = Lightly Wounded, 2 = Moderately Wounded, 3 = Severely Wounded, 4 = Mortally Wounded, 5 = Dead.

 Injury levels are cumulative; i.e. if you are Moderately Wounded (2) and get Moderately Wounded (2) again, you are now Mortally Wounded.

 For each Injury State, reduce all Challenge rolls by 1 die, with a minimum of 1 die.

 Example #1: You are Severely Wounded (3). If you need to roll for a Vigor Challenge and your Vigor is 3, you roll just 1 die.

 Example #2: You are Lightly Wounded (1). If you need to roll for a Cunning Challenge and your Cunning is 4, you roll 3 dice.

Crippling Injuries

Whenever a character becomes Morally Wounded, roll 1D6; on a 6, the wound is also Crippling. This might be a lost eye, partial deafness, lung damage, a lost finger, a damaged limb, etc. Regardless of the specific injury, the result is a permanent reduction in one of the character's Attributes. Roll 1D6 again: 1-2 means Vigor is reduced by 1, 3-4 means Trauma is reduced by 1, 5-6 means Cunning is reduced by 1. Even if wounds are completely healed, a Crippling Injury effect can never be removed.

Healing Injuries

 In between encounters, you can spend Resilience equal to your current Injury State to decrease it by 1.

Healing items can be used in lieu of Resilience points to heal if you pass a successful Cunning Challenge.    Attempting to use a healing item and failing the Challenge uses up the item without effect, but you may still spend Resilience to heal if you wish.

 Remember that Injury State reduces your dice rolls, including when rolling a Cunning Challenge   to use healing items!

 Example #1: You are Moderately Wounded; it would cost 2 Resilience to reduce that to Lightly Wounded, or 1 Resilience plus Dressing/Painkillers, or no Resilience if you use a First Aid Kit or Field Medic Kit.

 Example #2: You are Lightly Wounded; it would cost 1 Resilience or any healing item to reduce that to Unhurt.

See    here  for some basic    healing items and their Resilience values.

For more of my Sky Beyond the Darkness (and other game) homebrew content, see my blog here.

Just discovered this (and Legacy) and was  curious to ask if either is playable solo or is it a "players+GM"-only game?

Thanks so much for the quick reply. The game looks pretty awesome but I'll have to pass for now if it's not solo-playable, but I still might give it a try someday.

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I already bought this game on Desura (*sob*) and then forced to rebuy on Steam when Desura went under and took our purchases with it. Is there any way to get it here (if I can prove I paid twice already) or do I need to rebuy it a third time? Regardless, I love this game and am at least very happy to see it available DRM-free once more!

Ha ha ha! Considering The Mansion Incident and this, I think it's safe to say I've found a kindred spirit in terms of favourite games/movies/media. :)

Care to go three-for-three and say you're a post apocalypse fan too? LOL!

Just discovered this by way of comments on biggayuniverse's amazing "The Mansion Incident" and as a fellow massive RE (especially classic RE) fan, I was very interested. Is it a traditional (GM+players) game or a solo game, though? Given the price, I didn't want to blind buy and not be able to play it alone! :)

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This is REALLY cool. I'm a massive Classic RE (i.e. RE1-2-3) fan, zombie fan and dungeon crawler boardgame fan, so this ticks ALL the boxes for me! Love the playing card layout idea, too. I also like how - although not stated - it's obvious that you can either make the game an immersive journal-writing experience (i.e. writing up various memories and encounters) OR just ignore the fluff and play faster by simply awarding yourself "Grit points" for finding teammates, etc. and get the same mechanics.

Some rules questions:

* How exactly do rolls of "1" work with clubs/spades where a bonus zombie is spawned? I assumed that you fought the zombie (like a club card) then re-rolled to fight/resolve the original drawn threat or trap, is that right? What if you roll another "1"?

* 7 of Spades: Does a roll of 1-2  (escaped subject)  only cause 1 Damage and  nothing else? Or do you have to fight that Club monster normally (i.e. the room becomes a Club room)? Also, do you replace the Club card (escaped subject) you drew into the deck before reshuffling or is it considered "played" and discarded? Or does the Club card you drew become one of the adjoining rooms when you check for doors leading from the menagerie?

PS The only mod I made to the rules as written so far was to have Red Herb + Green Herb = Mixed Herb (instead of 3 Green Herbs), with Mixed Herbs restoring 3 Health Tokens. I just preferred that for inventory stacking purposes and hewing closer to the source material. ;)

I wonder if it might be interesting to also play without The Nemesis and/or Beloved mechanics for a change of pace after a couple more games? Or making  new characters to play? Or starting with a "team" but increasing lethality? I love that even a lightweight game like this has  so much flexibility for modding/alternate modes/etc.

I DID have the  urge to hack THIS game into a city-wide zombie survival version or an "Aliens" sci-fi themed version, too. :)

Is this a "choose your own adventure" type game? A more complex gamebook? A solo boardgame? How long is it? I love solo games and the theme sounds really fun, but I'm hesitant to buy without knowing more about this.

Hi! Thanks for the reply (I forgot RADIX too, I think that had a shareware version?).

I just tried "inserting" Jill into your collection and got it working to return to the batch/platformers menu. If you need a hand with anything. please drop me a message or email; I'm an old DOS vet and grew up with these games as well as pretty pretty adept with DOSBox, and would be happy to help. :)

This is really a fantastic idea; reminds me of a modern version of those shareware CDs I used to buy in newsagents as a kid!

The main games I felt were "missing" were Commander Keen, Duke Nukem and Crystal Caves. I feel they are among the most iconic shareware games, after Doom and Wolf3D.

I would also love to see added (shareware versions):


Vinyl Goddess From Mars

Jill of the Jungle

Jazz Jackrabbit


Traffic Department 2192

Highway Hunter

Solar Winds

Is there a reason any of those could not be added besides personal preference? Just checking because I'll make a private patch that adds them for me if not! :)

I really wish the DLC was available outside of Steam, as I try to avoid that platform (I buy my games on GOG  or mostly) if I can.

Awesome news!  I'm a huge CYOA and gamebook fan, as well as a big fan of "survival" themed games and stories, so quite excited by this!

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Just bought this game an absolutely adore it. Great, simple and thematic rule system!

My only real complaint is that it contains just one "scenario" (rainforest plane crash) where I think two or three (island shipwreck, arctic expedition gone wrong, etc.), would help "sell" the concept better.

That said, the huge amount of flexibility in setting makes coming up with new stuff a breeze; I've already developed a fair bit of homebrew for it and am writing up more right now!

One big question regarding the rules, though: how would a "hunt" under the vanilla rules work? For example, if a player is hunting a deer? If a player has the Hunting skill, they'd normally get a +2 to their Challenge rolls... but the rules say that a Contest of two opposing living beings (in this case, a deer vs player) should only use a player's raw CD without any Fortitude or skill bonuses. Does that mean the Hunting skill (and others like it) wouldn't be used in trying to kill a deer but only - say - in tracking/locating it? What about if a player wanted a Sharpshooter or Unarmed Combat skill (they're playing a military character)? If they can't use those skills in combat, would any combat-type skills be pointless to the system?