Samsara:Main Page

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Please be aware that this is not to be confused with the trademarked board game forthcoming from Strategic Space, Inc. (

This is the work-in-progress home of SAMSARA, a rules-light game mechanic. The design goal is to produce a mechanic that is

  • unified, without any dedicated subsystems required; but
  • with modular applications to tweak the rules to support your style of play; and
  • plays well with others

Added a page with some conversion notes for the al-Qadim setting.--The Fiendish Dr. Samsara 19:03, 14 October 2005 (PDT)


SAMSARA is a role-playing game rules-set; a system of mechanics. It is not an RPG in itself. You will find no setting materials herein, although there are some broad, setting applications and the rules are more generally applicable to roughly human-levels of power. There is no theme or premise, although SAMSARA’s mechanics tend to support play which rests upon social interactions and internal struggles at least as much as combat, which is correspondingly downplayed. It is, however, not a “generic” system, since I’m not sure that there can be any such beast.

SAMSARA is based upon the resolution of contests, rather than of actions, and is a rules-light, abstract engine of play.

There are also no inviolate rules. The game belongs to whoever is playing it and they can do what they want to change or modify it. To that end, you will find a number of rules implementations which are marked as Variations. They are possible modifications which can change the nature of play and so be more aptly suited to your own preferred game. For example, if you don’t care much about specifying character’s attributes, the default number of attributes, which is twelve, can be easily reduced to six or three or even one. If you don’t care to differentiate between weapons and tactics, then the rules for Effect rating can be simply ignored. If you prefer a less flat probability distribution, the default twelve-side die can be replaced by two six-sided. Or use three six-sided, so as to increase the curve, but also increase the potential dynamic range of outcomes.

These are merely suggestions. Please do what you will most enjoy. Again, it is your game.

Main Page



3.Modifiers and the Character





8.Character Generation

9.Samsara Points

10.Long Term Play

11.Examples of Play

12.Appendix A - Ultramundane Abilities

13.Appendix B – Settings