I Bury the Gods is a roleplaying game for one or more players. It takes inspiration from games such as Ironsworn and The Deep Forest. To play the game, you'll need a couple of ten-sided dice, a deck of wound cards, a character sheet, a skills sheet and the rules on this website.

Introduction

You hail from the Lakelands, once a remote colony of the Batrian Khanate.

The Batrians would use convicted criminals to trap Lakelander gods. Once a god has taken root in its new hosts, the criminals would be executed, bringing an end to the resident spirit.

You were one such host. A nameless nature spirit shared your body and that of your companions. It lent you its power.

Days before your execution, the governor of Lakelands received a missive from the Hundred-Blood Empress: every one of her soldiers were to return to the capital.

The soldiers left. The governor fled.

A fellow Lakelander freed you from captivity.

Your people proclaimed the land a republic and began the delicate process of decolonisation. Your condition as a host to one of the land's gods helped you secure an official position with the new state.

Rebuild your homeland, Lakelander. Protect it from its enemies—the sentient darkness of the forest, the schemers who would welcome a return to the Batrian rule, the evil that consumes the Khanate and will soon turn a baleful eye to the Lakelands.

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Modifiers

A player character in I Bury the Gods has four modifiers:

  • Agility
  • Insight
  • Strength
  • Will

Each modifier represents a permanent aspect of the character.

Agility represents the player character's reflexes, balance and coordination.

Insight represents memory, judgment and intuition.

Strength represents energy, physical power and toughness.

Will represents courage, discipline and perseverance.

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Skills

Skills represent your character's knowledge and expertise.

A skill allows you to re-roll one die when performing an action relevant to that skill.

You cannot re-roll more than one die during any given action.

A skill must be active for your character to use it. Your character cannot have more than three skills active at any given time. You can change which skills are active by taking the rest and resupply action.

You will find a list of skills available to you in Downloads. Feel free to add custom skills if it will suit your game.

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Creating a character

To play I Bury the Gods, you will need a player character. Follow these steps to create your player character:

  1. Allocate your character's modifiers
  2. Choose your character's skills
  3. Describe your character's flaws and fears
  4. Choose a name for your character

Modifiers

Allocate the following scores to you player character's modifiers:

  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0

You must allocate all four scores. Each score can be allocated to one modifier only.

Skills

Next, select four skills for your character. The Downloads section has a skill sheet that you may print and use to track your character's skill. Your choices are permanent.

Once you've selected your character's skill, you must decide which ones will be active at the beginning of the game. Only three of the four skills that you selected previously can be active at any given time. You may place a token in the square next to a skill to mark it as active.

Flaws and fears

Take a couple of minutes to describe a flaw and a fear that your character has.

Name

Finally, give your character a name.

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Actions

If your character attempts to do something with an uncertain outcome, the result will be determined by performing an "action".

Your character may attempt the following actions:

  • Take a risk
  • Help another
  • Hinder another
  • Rest and resupply
  • Face death

If your character is fighting another, you will also be able to attempt the following actions:

  • Strike down
  • Clash
  • Seek advantage

An action requires you to roll two dice and compare the results to a target score.

A die result that matches or exceeds the target score is called a winner. A die result lower than the target score is called a dud.

A score of 10 is always a winner.

A score of 1 is always a dud.

The target score represents the difficulty of the task. It is up to you to determine the appropriate target score for an action.

The following table serves as a guide for you to use when determining target scores:

Difficulty Target Score
Trivial 2
Easy 4
Challenging 6
Difficult 8
Very difficult 10
Impossible 12

Your modifiers reduce the target score, making it easier for you to accomplish certain actions. After determining the appropriate target score for an action, subtract the relevant modifier from the score.

Other actions and circumstances, such as the help another action, may affect the target score of an action.

Take a risk

If you attempt an action that has a chance of failure, you will need to take a risk. This will determine whether you succeed or fail to achieve your goal.

First describe the successful outcome. For example, if you succeed in negotiating with a cult leader, the cultists will agree to free their hostages.

Determine which modifier is applicable to this action and the target score.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, the player character will complete the action successfully.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • The player character will complete the action successfully.
  • A complication will occur.

If you roll two duds, the following will occur:

  • The player character will fail to achieve the successful outcome that the player had envisioned.
  • A complication will occur.

Help another

If another player character is about to perform an action, you may attempt to help them. Describe how your character will attempt to help.

Determine which modifier is applicable to this action and the target score.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, the player character who is about to perform an action will subtract 1 from their target score.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • The player character who is about to perform an action will subtract 1 from their target score.
  • A complication will occur.

If you roll two duds, the following will occur:

  • The player character who is about to perform an action will add 1 from their target score.
  • A complication will occur.

Hinder another

If another player character is about to perform an action, you may attempt to prevent them from succeeding. Describe how your character will attempt to hinder.

Determine which modifier is applicable to this action and the target score.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, the player character who is about to perform an action will add 1 to their target score.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • The player character who is about to perform an action will add 1 to their target score.
  • A complication will occur.

If you roll two duds, a complication will occur.

Rest and resupply

Your character takes time to recuperate from their wounds and prepare for the challenges ahead. Describe what they do to achieve this.

Determine which modifier is applicable to this action and the target score.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, the following will occur:

  • Discard all of the player character's wound cards that are face-down.
  • Flip all of the player character's wound cards that are face-up. They should now be face-down.
  • If you wish to change which of your skills are active, you may do so now.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • The player character who is about to perform an action will add 1 to their target score.
  • A complication will occur.

If you roll two duds, the following will occur:

  • An old wound re-opens. If you have any wound cards that are face-down, flip one at random. It should now be face-up.
  • A complication will occur.

Face death

Your character has suffered a wound. You must now determine the severity of the wound.

The target score for this action is the number of wound cards you currently have. None of your modifiers can apply to this action.

Roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, do not flip the wound card that you drew face-up. It should remain face down. Add it to your character's wound cards.

If you roll one winner and one dud, flip the wound card that you drew face-up. If the card has an immediate effect, resolve it now. Add it to your character's wound cards.

If you roll two duds, your character will perish.

Strike down

You spot an opening in your foe's defenses and attempt to strike them down.

Determine the target score and subtract your strength modifier.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, your opponent will perish. Describe the manner of their defeat.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • Your opponent will suffer a wound.
  • You will lose advantage.

If you roll two duds, your character will suffer a wound and face death.

Clash

You and your foe trade blows, neither one having an edge over the other.

Determine the target score and subtract your strength modifier.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, the following will occur:

  • Your opponent will suffer a wound.
  • You will receive advantage.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • Your opponent will suffer a wound.
  • Your character will suffer a wound and face death.

If you roll two duds, your character will suffer a wound and face death.

Seek advantage

You feint, parry and dodge, looking for an opening in your opponent's defenses.

Determine the target score and subtract either your agility or your insight modifier.

Now roll two dice.

If you roll two winners, you will receive advantage.

If you roll one winner and one dud, the following will occur:

  • You will receive advantage.
  • Your character will suffer a wound and face death. Reduce the target score of the face death move by 1.

If you roll two duds, your character will suffer a wound and face death. Reduce the target score of the face death move by 1.

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Wounds

Whenever your character suffers a wound, you will draw a card from the wound card deck.

When you draw a wound card, place it in front of you face-down and face death. The result of this action will determine whether you should flip the card face-up.

A face-up wound card contains text that will have a negative effect on your character. The negative effect will trigger under specific circumstances described on the card.

If a face-up card is triggered, resolve the negative effect described on the card and flip the card face-down.

To heal your wounds and remove the wound cards allocated to your character, you must rest and resupply.

You will find the wounds deck in Downloads.

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