About SLURPS

SLURPS is an acronym for Simplest Little Unitarian Role Playing System. Each Player takes on two different roles, that of Divinity and that Divinity's Supplicant. In the unitariverse of SLURPS, every Supplicant carries his own interpretation of the Divine Being. And according to the rules, each of these interpretations is true.

The material required for a game of Slurps is a pair of ten-sided dice, of different colors, and writing supplies. This is always rolled as a percentile, meaning one die is always the tens digit, and the other is always the ones digit. A roll of 00 is read as one-hundred.




Supreme Being

Where most other games have one gamemaster, SLURPS gives each Player a chance to be Supreme Being. Every Player takes a turn at being Supreme Being at least once. When you are Supreme Being you create the locations, situtations and any non-Supplicant characters, as well as control your Supplicant. You basically take the role of a gamemaster who also plays a character. Try to stay consistent with what the other Players have created before you as Supreme Being.

At the beginning of a SLURPS campaign, each Player should roll the dice. Whoever rolls highest goes first as Supreme Being.

First of all, you all need to figure out the Divine Tenets of the Supreme Being. Each Player assigns a single Divine Tenet to the Supreme Being. These can be anything from Don't Kill Anybody to No Eating Meat on Sundays.

Example: We pass a piece of paper around and write the Divine Tenets: Never Sit Without a Prayer, Fast After Sundown and Never Speak to Men in White.

After an hour of play or when every Player has lost at least one Supplicant, whichever comes first, a new Supreme Being must be chosen. Any Players who have not yet played Supreme Being compares their Divine Ranks. The Player with the lowest Divine Rank (roll to break ties) becomes the next Supreme Being. After everyone has played Supreme Being, the game is over or everyone can agree to another round of play. To keep fighting at a minimum, you all may want to agree to the number of rounds beforehand.




Divinity

Next up, each Player gets to decide the relative benevolence or malevolence of her Divinity. While there is one Supreme Being, there are many interpretations. Your Divinity is your Supplicants' beliefs given statistics. To create your Divinity assign it a Mercy score between one and one-hundred. To put it in statistical terms, a Mercy of 50 represents a fickle God, doling out blessings and wrath in equal amounts. Divinities with a low Mercy manifest terribly and vengefully; kind and benevolent Divinities tend to have high Mercy. No Divinity's Mercy may be set below 25 or above 75.

Your Divinity also has a Divine Rank that begins at zero. At the end of the game, whoever has the highest Divine Rank wins.

Example: I would like to spare my Supplicants most of the time, but keep some margin of wrath for smiting Supplicants. I give my Divinity a Mercy of 70. This means that when I make a Mercy Roll there is a 70 percent chance of mercy and a 30 percent chance of divine wrath.




Supplicants

Supplicants are the poor mortals who worship the Supreme Being through myriad reasons such as fear, awe, hope and love. Each Player controls one Supplicant at a time; when that Supplicant dies, a new one is created.

Creating a Supplicant is very simple: Give your Supplicant a name, a Mission and three points of Fate. The only thing that needs explaining here is your Supplicant's Mission. A Mission is a driving force behind existence, no matter how mundane. Some Supplicants find their Mission through their job (Royal Guard, Carpenter, Sign Painter), others work for a higher purpose (Spread the Tenets, Promote Unity) and a few because they are insane (God Speaks Through my Pet Turtle).

If your Supplicant dies at any time, you must make a new one. You may come up with a new Mission, or continue a legacy of sorts by repeating your late Supplicant's Mission.

Example: I create Ezekerias with a Mission to Sow Discontent Among the Faithless. After drawing three circles for my Fate points, I am ready to play.




Chancy Situations

Whenever your Supplicant performs an action with a good chance of failure (which means no rolls for shoe-tying, jogging or crossing the street), the Supreme Being will ask you to make a Chance Roll. You roll the dice and any roll equal to 50 or below is a success, any roll above 50 is a failure.

If your Supplicant's Mission is tied closely to your Mission, you get to switch the tens and the ones die. For example, your Supplicant's Mission is Spread the Word Through Song, he is forced to sing worthy praise to the Lord before the Emperor, and your Chance Roll comes up 73. Since the action is closely tied to your Mission, you can switch the dice and turn your failure into a 37: Success! If it is not clear whether your Mission applies to the Chance Roll, the Players (including yourself) should vote on it, with Supreme Being breaking any ties.

Example: Ezekerias is trying to explain the virtues of monotheism to a surly band of pagans. I do some clever roleplaying, telling a fable about the wise turtle and the fickle pigeon, and roll the dice. I fail with an 82, way higher than 50. Supreme Being grins and announces that the pagans make moves to tie Ezekerias up.

Example: Poor Ezekerias is tied up and put under watch. He decides to follow his Mission, Sow Discontent Among the Faithless, and tries to pit the watchman against the pagan leader. I roll a 71, which would be a failure. Since the task at hand is related to Ezekerias' Mission, I can flip the dice around for a "new" roll of 17, a success!

If the dice come up the same (a 33 or 77, for example), crazy things often happen. First of all, you get to announce the result of your action instead of Supreme Being. If the Chance Roll is a success, your Supplicant succeeds wildly beyond her aspirations and gets another Fate point. If the Chance Roll is a failure, the worst happens, usually comically, and your Supplicant loses a Fate point. See Fate and Deathbelow for what happens when you lose all your Fate points.

Remember that Fate points can only be lost through a crazy failure (Chance Roll of 55, 66, and so on) or a failed Mercy Roll (see below). If a Supplicant fails at a dangerous task (such as swordplay or wrestling a crocodile), the Supplicant may only suffer cosmetic or comedic harm with no lasting penalties. Your Supplicants are somewhat protected by your Divinity.

Example: A wandering fool challenges Ezekerias to a rock-throwing duel. With the first wave of thrown rocks, I roll a 67 and fail. Supreme Being rules that a rock smacks Ezekerias in the noggin, but only causes an unsightly lump. For the second wave, I roll a 88 and fail miserably. Supreme Being not only strikes out a Fate Point, but declares Ezekerias unconscious and at the mercy of the triumphant fool.




Breaking Tenets

If you see another Player's Supplicant acting against any Divine Tenets, you can call it out. The accused Player must somehow justify her Supplicant's actions through good roleplaying. After the justification, every Player votes on whether the justification was believable or not with Supreme Being breaking any ties. If the accused Player loses the vote, she must make a Mercy Roll. If her Mercy Roll is equal to or under her Mercy, everything goes smoothly. If her Mercy Roll is above her Mercy, she decides on the divine wrath inflicted on her Supplicant and her Supplicant loses a Fate point.

Example: Belias' Player catches Ezekerias breaking the Divine Tenet, Never Sit Without a Prayer. I have no way to justify my Supplicant's lapse in piety, so I roll the dice. I roll a 58, close but still under my Divinity's Mercy of 60. Ezekerias hears rolling thunder from far above but is left alone.

Example: Ezekerias catches Tobiath forgetting to Fast After Sundown and calls to Heaven for retribution. Tobiath's Player rolls a 46, which is above her Divinity's Mercy of 30. Tobiath loses a Fate point to the tune of a million beetles erupting from his midnight snack.




Creating Tenets

This is where SLURPS gets downright mean. At any time, your Supplicant can try and create a new Tenet, and immediately call out the other Supplicants for not following it. If you wish to do this, you declare your new Fickle Tenet, write it down for your Supplicant and make a Mercy Roll for each Supplicant breaking the new Tenet (including your Supplicant, if needed). If your Roll is equal to or under your Mercy, your Divinity's benevolence overcomes any anger, and that Supplicant is saved. If your Mercy Roll is above your Divinity's Mercy, the Supplicant suffers a heavenly punishment of your choice and loses a Fate point.

Example: Ezekerias condemns Belias and Tobiath for their failure to wash before supper. Ezekerias' Player writes down Always Wash Before Supper as a Fickle Tenet, and then makes a few Mercy Rolls. Belias is saved when I roll a 51, but Tobiath suffers from terrible boils and loses a Fate Point with my triumphant roll of 92.

If you wish to call out another Supplicant for breaking a Fickle Tenet you already created, follow the rules here but don't write it down again.

You can only call out another Supplicant for breaking a Divine Tenet or one of your own. As soon as another Player creates a Fickle Tenet, all others are disallowed from using that Fickle Tenet until it becomes a Divine Tenet.

Example: Belias would like to bring the mighty fist of righteousness down on his fellow Supplicants during dinner. Ezekerias has already claimed the Fickle Tenet, Always Wash Before Supper, so he must come up with something new.

Example: Ezekerias dies from a fatal plague of gnats and the Players vote in Always Wash Before Supper as a Divine Tenet. Now eager Belias (and all other Players) can use this Tenet against each other.




Fate and Death

Whenever your Supplicants runs out of Fate points, he dies. Every other Player adds her Supplicant's current Fate points to her Divine Rank. Then the Players, including you, vote on each Fickle Tenet your Supplicant tried to impose. If the Fickle Tenet gets voted in, it becomes an Divine Tenet for the Supreme Being just like the ones created at the beginning of the game. You then create a new Supplicant as per the rules above.

Any Fickle Tenets that were not voted in are stricken from the records and can be created anew by any Player.

Players may wonder why they would want to vote in a new Tenet. The simple answer is: The more Divine Tenets, the more chances to accuse the other Supplicants of breaking them.




Afterword

Acknowledgements
GURPS - For having such a goofy acronym.
Greg Stolze & Unknown Armies - For showing me the myriad uses of percentile rolls.

Copyright Notice
This entire document and all contents is Copyright 2001, by Zak Arntson. Permission to duplicate for personal use and captions for review purposes is granted. You must receive explicit permission from the author (email: zak@mimir.net) to use this game and any portion therein for public use, such as publication or convention play.