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GROK?!

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GROK?! is an adventure role-playing game where you assume the role of an adventurer in a gonzo world of boundless plausibility and use your ingenuity and resourcefulness to overcome strange and perilous threats.

Planet Grok was once a haven for trans-dimensional migrants and a bastion of advanced technomancy, until a cataclysm rendered it a desolate hollow planet. Now, feral monstrosities haunt its chasms, cities float among the clouds, and a derelict space station encapsulates the planet and bathes the world in perpetual phosphorescent radiation. Yet, a new era of enlightenment is dawning. Civilizations grow from the ashes, relics of immense power await those who would learn their lost secrets, and threats of caste warfare loom as leaders vie for power. All the while, a creeping black nothingness peers up through the hollow of the world.

Inspired by the core tenets of old-school adventure games, GROK?! was influenced by greater works such as Cortex Prime, Electric Bastionland, Fate Core, Freeform Universal, Index Card RPG, Knave, Numenera, Savage Worlds, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Technoir, Troika!, and Vagabonds of Dyfed.

Universal action resolution system with description based modifiers.

  • A universal resolution system means that every action a character takes is resolved the same way, whether they're fighting a mecha-zombie, casting a magic spell, or bartering for equipment.
  • Description based modifiers means that any relevant part of the world can have a mechanical affect on a character's action, and vice versa.
  • Together, this allows for highly improvisational gameplay and encourages ingenuity and resourcefulness. 

Player facing fail-forward mechanic, with non-binary outcomes.

  • Action outcomes are never arbitrary; they always affect the world in some way.
  • A player-facing mechanic allows players to have an understanding of how likely they are to succeed at an action, at least from their character's perspective.
  • The fail-forward mechanic gives players leverage to make difficult in-character choices, and expands the range of non-binary outcomes at the same time.

Slot based resource and damage management system

  • An all-inclusive resource and damage management system means that the amount of resources they keep with them is constrained by the failure of their actions.
  • This also ties in directly with the description based resolution system and player facing fail-forward mechanic.
  • As a result, character traits, actions, equipment, spells, and damage all work within a cohesive system.


The PDF of GROK?! comes with both a full-color and B&W version of the rulebook.

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Reviews (9)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
damian H January 24, 2024 9:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just in case you didnt know - sales at less than 40c do not count towards metals/medals...
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Customer avatar
Lester B January 24, 2024 8:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yeah, I realized that the day after I posted the sale!

With any luck it'll generate enough paperback sales to hit Mithril :)
Customer avatar
Du I September 18, 2023 7:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
hello, my English is not that good. I have a rules question. How can I roll a d4 when 1-4 is a no, and?
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Customer avatar
Lester B September 20, 2023 3:06 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
If the Action requires a roll, and the Attribute you're using is d4, you have to use Effort to succeed.

Alternatively, you can use the Optional Rule of Exploding Dice, so that Attributes of all die types have a chance of success without having to use Effort.

I hope that helps, and thanks for supporting my game!
Customer avatar
Ed S July 21, 2023 1:59 am UTC
is this the same release version that is on itch.io?
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Customer avatar
Lester B July 22, 2023 3:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, this is the same version.
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Customer avatar
Ed S July 22, 2023 7:09 pm UTC
ok thank you. I already purchased it there and man is it a cool system.....
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Customer avatar
Lester B July 23, 2023 12:30 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks a lot, I'm glad you like it!!
Customer avatar
Stefan S June 02, 2023 11:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
I bought this in book form in a local bookstore. Is there any way to get the PDF without paying again?
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Customer avatar
Lester B June 05, 2023 9:13 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for getting the game and supporting your local shop! Send me an email at Lestortoise@gmail.com and I'll get you squared away!
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Customer avatar
Stefan S June 09, 2023 9:43 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Lester. I did after your response. Looking forward to the PDF. :)
Customer avatar
Timothy M January 30, 2023 2:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
I LOVE this. I am inspired by the simplicity and elegance. Matias Viro's art is like Adventure Time meets Heavy Metal with splash of Lovecraft, and I'm here for it. Also, I've been looking for that mechanic to express the wear and tear of adventuring; that abstract quality that blends damage, loss and encumbrance all at the same time. Resource Slots are that elegant blend. Coming from ages of DnD, I haven't been this inspired since discovering the PbtA engine. Cheers.
Customer avatar
Jeffrey D August 26, 2022 11:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
What a great time. The art is amazing and the tables make for a fun and enjoyable game. We played a one shot before I set up a full arc and both were so much fun. Lots of options to choose from and the setting is just plain interesting and beautiful to imagine in.
Customer avatar
richard F August 25, 2022 6:32 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yea, grab this for a dollar. Good setting, useful tables, and a decent system (I just stole the lore).
Customer avatar
Bailey G June 08, 2022 12:23 am UTC
I accidrntally deleted my post whrn I meant to edit it. I hope you can still see it at all, but I'll refine it. God tier game. Gold. It has i spired creativity in ne like never before. It gave me my first rral gm experience, and I plan on continuing that. I've extolled the virtues of thid game in many places on the internet and even in person. I've made rules additions and hacks galore, and stapled them along with dungeon tools inside a home printed zine of the game. It's inspiring me to mske my own game even. Fucking gold man, up there with the greats of all RPGdom. Keep at it.
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Customer avatar
Bailey G June 08, 2022 12:25 am UTC
Mind the typos, I have poor hands due to motor skills issues and drivethru won't let me edit it yet.
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Customer avatar
Lester B June 08, 2022 1:27 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Wow, thank you!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you saying that. Just knowing that the game has inspired you so much and contributed to your fulfillment of the hobby warms my heart. THANK YOU!!
Customer avatar
Luigi C June 01, 2022 1:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
As a seller I can't leave reviews, so I'll put it here: buy this game.
It''s the best way ever to spend a dollar.
I'm sure to get POD as soon as it's available.
Reply
Customer avatar
Lester B June 02, 2022 10:06 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you so much!!
Customer avatar
De la Viscario R May 23, 2022 12:35 pm UTC
Hi, do you have an email address? or another way to talk to you?
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Customer avatar
Lester B May 24, 2022 1:21 am UTC
PUBLISHER
The best way to reach me is through twitter at twitter.com/Lestortoise or by email at Lestortoise@gmail.com

I'll add this to the end of the game description in case anyone else has the same question - thanks!
Customer avatar
Jeremy H May 04, 2022 2:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
For the author: Why does the character sheet include a D20 option for Attributes when it's stated on page 8 (under Milestones), "An Attribute die cannot exceed d12"? And, please add a few sample characters for examples to follow. I'm not suggesting adding anything to main document, just a couple examples as extra downloads. In very light systems like this it can sometimes be hard to "grok" the meaning.

For the players: There is a ton of cool stuff here for just $1. If you like the system and need some more ideas to fuel your fiction, I heartily recommend The Metamorphica from Chthonstone Games. Loads of great inspirational tables there.
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Customer avatar
Lester B May 05, 2022 1:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for the feedback! That's definitely an error on the character sheet - I'll have that corrected and the file updated by the end of the week.

I'm brainstorming an adventure supplement for more "fiction fuel" but agreed that Metamorphica's great - awesome generators within.
Customer avatar
Corbin H May 04, 2022 2:01 pm UTC
Backed this during kickstarter so I can't leave a review here, but just want to say $1 is an absolute steal. OSR, lightweight mechanics, vivid gonzo setting with some great randomization tables, and amazing art.
Reply
Customer avatar
Jeremy H May 04, 2022 2:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Agreed. For a $1 there is a lot here.
Reply
Customer avatar
Lester B May 05, 2022 1:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks a lot!!
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Product Information
Platinum seller
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40
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88.54 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 02, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on May 03, 2022.
Publisher
Lester Burton
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