YOU ARE A SPACEFARING SCOUNDREL. You’ve blasted, cheated, swindled, double-crossed, charmed, and hyper-jumped your way across half the galaxy. But now, you’ve made a few bad decisions and gotten into some real trouble. The one thing in all the universe that you really care about is in terrible danger, and keeping it safe might require the ultimate sacrifice. Are you desperate enough to risk everything you have to save what matters most?
Never Tell Me the Odds (NTMO) is a fast tabletop role-playing game about risking everything to save what matters most. In NTMO, you take on the role of a space scoundrel. You’ve gotten into some trouble, and it’s going to take a lot of stone-cold risk-taking to rescue what you really care about.
NTMO can be played with one person taking on the role of risk moderator (RM) and one or more other players taking on the roles of player characters (PCs). All you need is a scoundrel sheet for each character, some pencils or pens, and a little time.
NTMO is designed to be a fast-playing sci-fi adventure story, full of desperate and hilarious risks and rewards. Think of Han Solo relying on a hyperdrive that keeps shorting out, Starbuck going all in when she really shouldn’t, or Mal Reynolds attempting last-ditch gambits that never quite pay off. The swaggering space scoundrels of NTMO might value the wrong things, but they’re sincere in their pursuit of them, no matter how much bravado they hide behind.
A game of NTMO is usually filled with laughter and pathos as your scoundrels make bigger and bigger bets, going up against higher and higher stakes, all in pursuit of saving whatever matters most to them.
NTMO is a one-shot game, built to be played over the course of a single three- to four-hour adventure. In a normal game, you’ll find your scoundrels risking everything they have and often coming apart at the seams. Your scoundrel might die suddenly — in NTMO, death is always just a few bad decisions away — so it’s worth thinking about a backup scoundrel, just in case.
In NTMO, your odds are always exactly fifty-fifty. You don’t add anything or apply special skills to affect your ability to succeed. Rather, you decide what it is you’re willing to risk on a given check. Ready to risk a lot? Your outcome might improve — or you might lose something that really matters to you. You can always choose to play it safe, of course … but that comes with its own drawbacks, as fortune favors the bold. For now, just remember that it’s not about whether you succeed or fail, it’s what you risk along the way.