Player's Handbook


Welcome to the wonderful world of GUTS, where players work together to progress the story within the game world.

The name “GUTS+” is an acronym for the base character stats, called “qualities,” in the game: ‘‘G'‘umption, ‘‘U'‘tility, ‘‘T'‘hought, and ‘‘S'‘lyness, ‘‘plus’’ additional custom qualities that each player chooses to round out their character. The concept of the GUTS+ System is inspired by the spirit of the Earthbound/Mother series from Nintendo, and is therefore open to quirky or silly facets while still allowing serious themes and moments. This provides a fair amount of flexibility to either build whatever kind of world you want or tell a story in existing worlds using established tropes.

Gameplay is heavily narrative-based and role play (playing as your character) is encouraged. Most of the rules are simply a framework of how the game world works—the specifics of how the world works typically mirrors real life. Playing with a Game Master (GM) who is comfortable either improvising frequently to give players the smoothest narrative experience possible or railroading their players into following a specific path for the sake of keeping the story solid is ideal.

This guide will walk you through the process of creating your character and navigating the game world. The rest is pretty much up to your Game Master and you simply need to play within the world that your character has been placed into.

Note: This book may receive additional updates.

LAST UPDATED: October 21, 2019
  • Text and wording changes for clarity throughout
June 29, 2019
  • Update Inventory system to ignore hands and clothing
  • Remove Bundles and make Pockets and Bags simply have 10 slots
  • Simplify Health by removing Injury checkboxes and Strain
  • Add section about Protection
  • Clarify Check rolls and Using Qualities
April 30, 2019
  • Prevent double 1's from receiving bonus dice
  • Allow only Assisting to give a bonus from double 1's
  • Only allow 1 Experience Point to be earned per Check roll
  • Change Combat from turn order to free-for-all order
March 18, 2019
  • Add clarification to Learning Experiences
December 19, 2018
  • Added Status Effects