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What is Extinction Punk?

Extinction Punk is a table-top role-playing game (TTRPG) that blends elements of science fiction and science fantasy to envision a future where humanity fails to stop a man-made extinction event such as a climate cataclysm, a nuclear holocaust, or a biological war.

Players of Extinction Punk get to explore the ruins of an Earth that is no longer under humanity’s control and encounter the (not necessarily) human civilizations that rise from the ashes. Together with the person organizing the game (the Game Master, or GM for short), the players create characters that will fight for survival while searching for powerful artefacts or useful mutations. 

All you need to play the game are this Core Rulebook and a set of six-sided dice. The Rulebook contains everything you need for character creation and advancement as well as guidance on how to manage exploration and combat. Additionally, this Rulebook provides guidance for the GM on how to create worlds, monsters, and expeditions for their friends.

So, if any of this sounds enticing to you, continue reading! 

What differentiates this game from other roleplaying games?

Extinction Punk and its mechanics are largely based on Apocalypse World by D. Vincent & Meguey Baker and games like it, mainly Dungeon World and Monster of the Week (which are all excellent and you should check them out).

Like those games, Extinction Punk is a narrative-driven, streamlined tabletop role-playing game. Its main features are:

  • Fast and guided character-creation
  • Easy to understand rules thanks to the PANIC system and its corresponding 10 moves
  • Empowered game master (GM) mechanics, which allow for more cinematic play through open narration
  • Mutation mechanics, which give players another vector for growth and self-expression
  • Hostile world events to give the GM an easy way to improvise encounters on the way to an expedition’s goal
  • Mechanics split into basic rules which are focused on the characters and their actions, to be used for one-shots and in the beginning of the adventure as well as advanced rules, if the players want to shift their playstyle towards resource collection and base-building

So how do I play?

The game can be played with a minimum of three players. One player acts as the Game Master (GM), while all other players act as characters within the game. These player-created characters are the protagonists of the story that the GM will tell. This means that the GM will act as the guide for the players, setting up obstacles and consequences for their characters to overcome as their adventure unfolds. 

The players and the GM come together to tell the stories of their characters and the dangers they face on their journey. The players do this by narrating their characters’ actions and using dice rolls to determine whether these actions succeed. The GM facilitates this process by playing as non-player characters (NPCs), which can be either allies or enemies.  Think of this game as creating a story with your friends, with flexible rules to guide the characters and their actions.

Enough Exposition! What do I need to play?

If you are a player, you can lean back and let the GM do all the hard work. The only things you need to do are:

  • Find a pair of six-sided dice (known in TTRPG lingo as 2d6).
  • Select one of the characters (from Chapter 3) that you find interesting and print out the character sheet (double-sided). Or you can get a sheet from our website (quickphix.ch/extinction-punk). Don’t worry if you stumble across words you don’t understand yet—just read the first paragraph to see whether you find the character concept interesting.
  • Grab a pencil and some notepaper
  • Don’t forget snacks and something to drink!

That’s it! Your GM will explain the rules while you play. If you want to lighten the burden on your GM, however, you can also read the general rules in Chapter 2.

What do I need to do if I am the GM?

So, you are the GM? My sympathies – you’ll have to invest the actual work before the others can play. Most of what you will need is just the knowledge found within this book. To take shortcuts, follow this guide. If you have…:

  • …never player any TTRPG: In that case, it is probably best for you to read the entire chapter 2, at least one entry in chapter 3 and all of chapter 5. Once you are firm in your understanding of those rules, you can read chapter 4.
  • …played TTRPGs, although not ones “powered by the Apocalypse”: You’ll probably be fine by checking out chapter 2, at least one character in chapter 3 and chapter 5.1.
  • …played Apocalypse World (or other pbta games): You should feel right at home – this game’s unique mechanics can be found listed in chapter 5.1 and explained in detail from chapter 2.6 onwards.

Extinction Punk features two sets of rules, basic (chapter 2 & chapter 5) and advanced (chapter 4). We recommend starting out using only the basic rules for the first few play sessions. Once you feel at home with the basic rules, the advanced rules are there to help you deepen your experience.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
AuthorExtinction Punk
GenreRole Playing
TagsMultiplayer, PbtA, Sci-fi, Tabletop, Tabletop role-playing game


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Extinction Punk_Playbook_1.0.pdf 7 MB

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