The Basics: Start Here!

What is a Role-Playing Game?

This is a game where players create characters – much like a movie or TV character- that fit in a certain world that another player the Gamemaster (GM) presents. The players then pretend to be their characters and face any kind of challenge the GM comes up with.

It may sound like the players are working against the GM and vice-versa, but they’re not.  Think of players as actors, the player’s characters as the main characters of the show, and the GM as director and producer.  You can think of a single adventure as an episode of a TV show or comic book, and multiple related adventures as a series – a campaign, to use the old-school term.  But in this analogy, there is no writer and no script- the players and GM write the script themselves as they go.

What Makes Sin Nombre RPG Worth Playing?

A few things, actually…

  • Sin Nombre RPG is universal.  The core rules work without modification in any setting you can imagine: fantasy, science fiction, steampunk alternate Earth, Gothic horror, superheroes, modern secret agent espionage, magical pony adventures, and…whatever else.  All the GM has to do is choose which character abilities fit the setting.
  • Sin Nombre RPG has no classes or species.  Characters are built ‘ala carte’- you don’t follow a template then tweak it slightly.  You use building points to ‘buy’ the traits and abilities the character you want to play has.  Character species are built in the same way: you spend some of your starting building points to buy species traits, too.  This allows characters to be infinitely customizable and unique- or you can follow a favorite character class template if that’s what you’re comfortable with
  • Sin Nombre RPG has no levels.  You don’t gain experience or karma or whatever the term is for defeating opponents and completing missions.  Instead, you gain more building points each time your character or a group of characters completes a stated objective.  The more objectives you can think of based on the campaign or your character’s personal background, the more building points you earn.  So be creative and use your imagination!
  • Sin Nombre RPG has a simple core mechanic.  Success and failure are determined by comparing two numbers.  Bonuses, penalties, and stats progress in even steps.  There are no derived stats – eight numbers describe everything about your character that isn’t acted out.


What Do I Need to Play?

All you need to play Sin Nombre RPG are the rules, a group of players, a handful of ten-sided dice (d10s), pencils and paper, and ideas for a story.  Right now Sin Nombre RPG is in open beta testing, and that means everyone is welcome to get a copy, try it out, and provide feedback.  Send an e-mail to with the subject, “Open Beta Request” and we’ll send you a printable .pdf copy right away.  There’s no obligation, but we do appreciate feedback.


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