Long ago, the world belonged to humans. Those days vanished, however, when the Titans came.
The origins of the Titans remain shrouded in mystery. All we know is that their rise was sudden and brutal, and soon, they were everywhere. Massive and all but indestructible, the Titans sought nothing but to eat humans. And eat they did - before long, humans had been pushed to the brink of extinction.
A "Powered by the Apocalypse" Attack on Titan RPG [ edit ]
When the RPG Apocalypse World came out, it created an entire branch of related RPGs that emulated it's rules-light focus to create RPGs that got less bogged down in the minutae, and instead focused more on the higher level plot. These RPGs are collectively known as "Powered by the Apocalpyse" games, and Titan World is one of them.
As a PbtA system Titan World doesn't provide detailed rules for things like how much your character's "omni-directional mobility gear" moves them around the battle map. In fact, Titan World doesn't even have support for battle maps at all. Instead the game relies on a "theater of the mind", where players and GMs take turns making "moves" to describe what their character(s) do.
While this style of game won't appeal to "simulationist" RPG fans, if you're looking for a simple system that lets you recreate the world (and lethality) of Attack on Titan, without having to worry about the details of exactly how many meters your character is away from a Titan, Titan World gives you everything you need ... for free.
Titan World, Second Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse
Character Creation [ edit ]
Before creating characters the group must define the districts their characters come from. This should include its districts, anchors, and threats.
After that (as with any PbtA system) Titan World requires players to select a "playbook" for their character (essentially a combination character sheet and class, with all of the character's unique moves included on it). They are:
- The Natural (excels at using mobility gear)
- The Warrior (excels at martial combat)
- The Tactician (excels at tactics)
- The Leader (excels at motivating others)
- The Survivor (excels at mental fortitude)
- The Shifter (is able to turn into a titan)
- (The Beserker is also available as an optional playbook, provided separately)
Each playbook gets two basic moves that the character gets, as well as several advanced moves that they can gain through leveling. For instance The Leader gets base moves that let them make a Heroic Rescue and deliver an inspirational speech (Stand as One), and also gets advanced moves such as Pull Yourself Together (to assist a panicked ally) or Combat Medic.
Titan World characters have five stats, which they can assign to +2, +1, +1, 0, and -1. Each playbook has a particular stat that is key for it. The stats are Agility, Execution (skill at dispatching enemies), Awareness, Discipline, and Rage.
There's also a sixth stat, which always starts at 2, called Luck. Luck can be spent to gain an automatic success on a roll, but doesn't replenish until the end of a mission.
Names and Gear
The game provides a list of setting-appropriate male, female, and family names. All characters receive the same standard issue gear (maneuvering gear, two Titan-killing swords, etc.).
The above rules are actually for creating "advanced" characters. To create a rookie character, the player selects only stats: they don't get any playbook at all. Also their Luck starts at 0, they count as "Marked for Death", and they don't even get a last name!
Core Mechanics [ edit ]
As with most PbtA systems, when a player wants to accomplish something they describe their intent first, and then the GM decides which of the character's "moves" would be appropriate for it. To determine whether a move succeeds, the player rolls 2d6 and adds their character's appropriate stat (each move has an associated stat).
If the total is a 10 or higher, the move succeeds completely. If it instead is between 7-9 it succeed ... but with a complication of some sort chosen by the GM. On a 6 or less, the action fails.
Combat [ edit ]
As the book itself states "There’s no initiative order, no hit points - everything is total chaos." Or, to put it another way, everything is focused on the story. For instance, there's no initiative because the GM decides who goes first, based on the story and who acted first in it.
In combat actions are handled the same was as they are outside of combat: with moves. For instance, to maneuver into attack range of a Titan (ie. to "mark" it) you'd make a Get Into Position move (on a 7-9 you'd succeed, but the Titan might notice you and mark you as its next target). Then you'd have to make a Strike to Kill to move to injure it ... and then repeat the process (marking again and striking again) to finally kill it.
Meanwhile anytime anyone rolled a 6 or below, or when the GM decides to for the story, they could make a "GM move" to have the titan attack back ... or have a nearby titan pose a threat ... or have their equipment break, etc. The most serious move, "Throw them into the jaws of death", will actually kill a character unless they successfully make a Defy Death move, and the game's creator encourages GMs (in true Attack on Titan spirit) not to be shy with this move.
A Small, Fan-Made Project [ edit ]
Since Titan World doesn't have an official license to use the trademarked Attack on Titan material, it can only be distributed as a free, fan-made project. While this does mean that you can play the entire game without paying a cent, it also means that you'll only get an artwork-less twenty-one page PDF with some fairly bare bones rules ... and a Reddit group.
That Reddit group does offer an extra playbook (the Berserker) as well as some resources (PSD files of maps, titans, and other images) for use in playing the game on the online play site Roll20 ... but that's it. You won't find any further material, bonus scenarios, fan-made actual plays, or anything like that, because again this is just a small fan-based project.
However, you're looking for a story-focused and rules-light take on the world of Attack on Titan, Titan World gives you everything you need to get started. A resourceful GM who's willing to "roll up their sleeves" can create their own supporting material to keep going after that, if they decide they're a fan of the system.