This is the Stage I ruleset for Twilight: 2013. It includes everything you need to get started fighting WWIII in Europe using Stage I rules.
Individual play groups often use "house rules" to tune their game systems to a specific preferred level of complexity and realism. To facilitate this, we've written the Reflex System with three stages of rules. This book is written with a default level of Stage II in mind. However, scattered throughout the text, sidebars and optional rules sections will highlight ways to simplify or enhance the rules for Stage I or Stage III complexity. Future supplements will also provide additional focused rule sets for Stage III play.
Basic. Stage I rules are the minimum necessary to numerically define a character and play a fast-running game. Stage I rules tend to boil fairly complicated events down to simple abstractions. This level of complexity is recommended for introducing novice players to the Reflex System and the world of Twilight: 2013.
Standard. Stage II rules contain a default level of complexity that strikes a balance between speed of play and realism. The complete Stage II rules set incorporates all of the systems that we consider essential for capturing the realities of survival in a postapocalyptic environment.
Advanced. Stage III rules are written with the hardcore wargamer in mind. Stage III rules provide extra, often gritty, details of various aspects of play. However, Stage III play does tend to require a greater amount of bookkeeping and numbercrunching.
It is the near future. The Collapse is over. Years of accelerating decay culminated in a brief and vicious global war. When it came, the final conflict seemed almost an afterthought in the wake of disease, famine, natural disasters, and economic and political failures on a previously unimaginable scale. None of these calamities could have ended the world by itself. Together, they brought the engines of civilization to a grinding, blood-soaked halt. Now, as the apocalyptic Last Year draws to a close, scattered survivors band together against the darkness. You are one of the ten percent of humanity to make it this far. Some would call you fortunate. You're not so certain.
Twilight: 2013 is the licensed third edition of Twilight: 2000, GDW's classic roleplaying game of gritty military conflict and grueling daily existence in the devastation of World War III. This core rulebook provides a complete setting in which players can take on the role of any survivors of the end of the world, from soldiers fighting the desperate last battles of the Twilight War to ordinary men and women struggling to rebuild shattered lives and cities. The staged complexity levels of the Reflex System, Twilight: 2013's all-new game engine, allow gamemasters to balance speed, detail, and lethality according to their own preferences.
Will you raise the flag of a fallen nation in the hope of rallying dreams to rise phoenix-like from radioactive ashes? Walk across half the world to see home one more time? Carry on a fight in the name of causes and leaders you've outlived? Cast your weapons into the weeds and carve out a new life where you now stand? Will you light the watchfires against the coming night - or will you help kindle the pyre of history? The choice is in your hands now. The last words from home set you free:
Good luck. You're on your own.