Advanced Search

VERSE Quickstart (Playtest)Click to magnify
Full‑size Preview

VERSE Quickstart (Playtest)

Suggested Price $0.00

Amalgamated Adventurers in a Mutating Multiverse

What Is It?

This game is a player-driven, rules-moderate NSR/OSR game that follows eccentric multi-classed explorers from various dimensions, questing to discover the answers to why the universes are blending together, why they're some of the only ones who notice, and how to stop it. The setting is intentionally vague and predisposed to multiverse shenanigans because the game's meant to work with any evolving setting, allowing your group to craft whatever story and world emerge from your adventures, campaign, playstyle, and your motley crew of characters.

Reality keeps changing. Different worlds and times blend and merge as naturally as rain with the ocean, rewriting memories to seamlessly erase or invent places, traditions, and lives. Most are spared this knowledge, but the few whose minds still recall what was see an unending tragedy. They set out to seek the deepest mysteries of this fractured and sutured land, searching for the cause of the Verse.

The game is currently in initial testing (playtest v0.2). The quickstart rules are available here for free, and you can use my two-page adaptation of the famous dungeon Tomb of the Serpent Kings as a sample module, showcasing some of the ways to stretch the approach to adventure design that the game directly supports.

Why Play This Game?

The multiversal setting for VERSE can drive your character's growing abilities in radical, unexpected directions. Players don't gain new levels as they advance, instead gaining new powers from their current class or new classes that combine with their previous ones. Each player can advance to the point of blending up to 4 classes together as the Verse's influence combines them with other beings from any number of other realities, allowing for an eclectic collection of capabilities.

The DNA of VERSE is most similar to games like Cairn/Into the OddKnave, and Trophy Gold, with maybe a PbtA sensibility or two thrown in, and development will allow it to grow from there. At this early stage, it seems that its biggest selling points are (or rather, will hopefully be):

  • standardized system built for multiclassing weird characters from diverse settings who gain new classes instead of levels
  • streamlined play without the loss of too much tactical crunch, achieved in part by abstracting dungeon structure, exploration turns, and resource management
  • three-phase encounter rounds that allow for timing your action more precisely at the risk of decreased effectiveness, without bogging things down with initiative tracking
  • accelerated character advancement allowing you to experience your character's full arc in a few months of regular play instead of a few years
  • mostly setting neutral, using random details to help worldbuilding, and made to play most OSR/NSR modules in a slightly abstracted format (though NPC/monster conversions are necessary)
  • (eventually, hopefully) over 100 playable classes with 100s of unique powers between them

The Classes

To the lore and flavor of its whacky, fanciful classes, VERSE tries to add equally peculiar mechanical options, with each class providing a mix of 6 unique powers and a set of 5 special traits to choose from. Currently, the playtest includes a random selection of 10 first-tier classes to try out:

  • Awakened injection-molded mercenary made of mechanically separated meat products
  • Decomp: a zombie from a world where the undead are the best poets
  • Mountain Freighters Crew: a warm, jovial team of logistics experts, carting their wagon wherever they go
  • Ovipar & Child: a small parent and its egg, mystically bound as inseparable partners
  • Park Ranger: part helpful nature guide, part surprisingly capable survivalist
  • Possessed Orbuculum: a crystal ball with a head stuck inside, with the magic that entails
  • Postdoc Researcher: stressed, struggling, and scrambling to apply their specialized knowledge
  • Proxy: a humanoid surrogate device controlled remotely by various unknown operators
  • Sold JER™: an overbearing, peace-keeping robot, struggling to understand the nuances of justice with only intermittent data from its command center
  • War Fae: a vicious, agile combatant from the fairy peoples, or perhaps, an insect posing as one

How Do I Get Started?

To play with these quickstart rules, you’ll need a referee (GM), some players, pencils, and:

  • a copy of the Player Sheet and the Referee Sheet
  • a character sheet for each player
  • a module to play (like my adaptation of Tomb of the Serpent Kings) or to convert
  • at least one set of polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20)
  • 3 index cards per person

*You'll also need sources for interesting spells, equipment, treasures, and potions, since I'm still working on my own for VERSE. Ben Milton's Knave can supply the first two, Arnold Kemp's Goblin Punch blog can provide T1 treasures, Chris McDowall's Bastionland blog can provide T2 treasures, and Goblin Punch also has a big list of potions.

What's Next?

I'm interested in how much the "mutating multiverse" angle can be gamified without adding too much cognitive load, as that aspect's kind of thin in this version. I'll need to finish the Verse resource rules and begin working on the referee guidance and perhaps a custom sample module. I intend to eventually include conversion guidelines to adapt material from other game systems, but that probably won't come until much later, once the core system of VERSE stabilizes through development.

Other than that, there's obviously tons of general development and content writing work (classes, treasures, spells, gear, etc.) to still be done, and the game will certainly evolve as I continue to work on it. If you play it, please, tell me what's good and bad about it! You can also check the current progress of the project here or join my mailing list for updates (and free games)!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Evan L December 02, 2022 8:17 pm UTC
Why is this filed under DCC RPG?
Narrow Results
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Publisher Stock #
File Size:
7.15 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
December 15, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on November 25, 2022.