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Math Class and Manticores:

We’re making a tabletop RPG called Math Class and Manticores where you and your friends
control students who encounter and fight mythical creatures. What’s a tabletop Role Playing
Game? Imagine a Choose Your Own Adventure book you read with your friends that has an
infinite number of pages, except you’ll have total control over your own choices. The only limit is
your own imagination!

The M&M rulebook only exists to enhance the fun! If you wish to modify rules or redesign the
game all together, it’s totally up to you. Included with our rulebook will be an adventure that
allows you and your friends to get used to fighting monsters. If you’d like to put goofing off with
your friends to paper, make boredom a thing of the past and take a look at Math Class and
Manticores coming soon!

RPG Basics:

Unlike a game of make-believe, Math Class and Manticores (M&M) gives structure to the
unbridled imagination of players. Players roll dice to determine whether their actions (like
picking a lock or persuading a teacher) succeed or fail. Anything is possible (As long as the
Game Master allows it), but the dice and your character scores (described later) make some
things more probable than others. When you play M&M, you take on the role of a geek, a
teacher’s pet, or a jock. With some friends and a little imagination you’ll save the world from evil
vampire cults and test yourself against spooky scary skeletons.

One player takes on the role of the Game Master (GM), the game’s storyteller and referee. The
GM is in charge of the adventure while the player’s navigate its dangers and decide what to do.
The GM might describe the entrance to a dark portal and the players describe what they want
their characters to do. Do they stride confidently up to it? Cautiously creep forward?

The GM determines the results of the characters actions and narrates the characters’
experiences. Because the GM can improvise to adapt to anything the players attempt, M&M is
infinitely flexible and each adventure can be both exciting and unexpected.

There is no traditional winning or losing in M&M. The GM and the players create a story of a
brave group of teenagers willing to risk it all to defeat evil. Sometimes, a character might come
to a gruesome end, done in by a dastardly werewolf, but nothing stops that player from making
a whole new character to continue the fun.

You don’t need to memorize all of the following rules to play the game, but it helps to get familiar
with the rules.

This game uses six-sided dice as a base for all rolls. Often, in this book, you’ll see something
like this:

Roll Xd6

Let’s break down what this move means into pieces. The first number, X represents the number
of dice you’re going to roll to attempt the action. The letter d between the two numbers is
shorthand for dice. Finally, the second number at the end represents the number of sides the
dice you’re rolling have. Although there are many different types of dice to choose from, the
most common roles will be made from the six-sided die, or ​d6​. However there are many other
types of dice that can be used, such as d4, d8, d10, d12, and lastly, the most common besides
d6, d20.

There are also modifiers to rolls, such as ​roll 2d6, and add X ​(X representing the modifier) ​to
the overall score.​ Other common dice modifiers are listed below:
3d6 keep 2 highest dice (In a case of advantage) or 3d6 keep 2 lowest dice (In case of
Roll 2d6 and add/subtract X from overall score
Roll 2d6 and multiply/divide overall score by X

Moving in the case of RPGs does not always mean walking somewhere (although it can if the
players want it to). In M&M, a move is anything that a player tries to do. See: ​For the GM​ for a
more in depth explanation of moves.

For the GM
Being a GM is not an easy job, and how a GM runs the game can change how fun the whole
game is. This makes the GM’s knowledge of the rules (as well as the do’s and don’ts of running
an RPG campaign) absolutely crucial for a fun time.

While the GM may have a detailed map of the dungeon, they should not show it to the players.
The players should draw their own map as they go through the adventure, drawing rooms and
the objects in them. The GM should have each room numbered on their map, and each number
corresponds to the description in the module book. The description should have the objects in
the room listed, as well as the monsters or NPCs. There is a description that is always read to
the players, but there will also be a more detailed one for the GM.

Flow of Play

1. The Gamemaster describes the environment

The GM tells the players where their characters are and describes a few basic options available
like how many doors lead out of the room, what’s on a table, who’s there, if something is
attacking, and so on.

2. The players describe what they want to do.

Sometimes one player speaks for the whole group, saying, "We'll take the door on the right."
Other times, different characters might do different things. One character might search a desk
while another examines a strange symbol on the wall. The players don't need to take turns. The
GM listens to each player, then resolves their actions. Sometimes, resolving an action is easy. If
a character just wants to walk across a room and open a door, the GM might describe what lies
beyond. But the door might be locked or even trapped! In a case like that, it is the GM's
responsibility to narrate what happens, often relying on the roll of the dice to aid them. Which
brings us to:

3. The GM narrates the results of the characters' actions.

Describing an outcome often brings the group back to a decision point, described in step. These
steps hold true in most, if not all scenarios the players will find themselves in. However, in the
cases that the characters’ decision(s) do not come back to a decision point, then it may be
necessary to improvise or skip the characters next decision point all together; for instance if the
player walks into the room, tries to open another door, and is attacked by a swarm of vampire
bats that fall off the ceiling.


First, what is a move? A move is an action the a player decides to make, that takes a skill or
effort more than normal. Movement is not necessarily the act of moving from one place to
another, but is represented by a variety of actions, ex. Persuading an NPC to do something,
picking a lock, or attempting to use stealth. Sometimes moves can affect real world play, for
instance if the party is attempting to move stealthily through a section you could require them to
whisper as they discuss things. Another example of this is if a player wants to do something that
may not necessarily advance the storyline but will take a long time. For instance, a player wants
to put a shattered mirror back together that the player thinks is magical, which in turn makes
them think that putting it back together might make something happen. In reality, the mirror
actually does nothing, however the GM might make a player take a multitude of small pieces
and have them put it into a box one at a time. When they are finished, the GM may announce
the mirror fixed, although the said fixed mirror will do absolutely nothing relevant in the end.
Keep in mind these are examples, and the GM may make whatever decision they please on the

In M&M there are a multitude of basic moves, some which are class based. Class based moves
and modifiers will be listed under their respective classes, while all basic moves will be listed
Moving- When not in combat, characters are free to move as they please, as far as they want
and when they want to. However, when in combat a player may use their turn to move, possibly
moving out of range of an attack or towards their next target. When a player chooses to move,
they may move up to 15’ per turn, but they will not be able to do anything else for their turn. If
you’re in a situation where moving may come with a particular difficult or risk, roll+Swift.

On a 10+, you’re graceful, swift, or acrobatic, and you do it. On a 7-9, you do it, but choose 1:
•You’re off balance or rushed, you have Disadvantage going forward.
•You’ve left something behind, the GM will tell you what.
•You’ve twisted your angle or put weight on something funny. Take 1 harm.

Attacking- When in combat, or when initiating combat, a player may choose to attack. They may
attack with any weapon of their choosing, however certain weapons or random objects will have
modifiers. Hand-to-hand combat has its own advantages and disadvantages. When you attack,
add the relevant modifier to your attack. When you open yourself up to harm and exchange
violence with an enemy, roll+Physical

On a 10+, exchange Harm and choose 3.

On a 7-9, exchange Harm and choose 1:

•Push yourself to your limit. Deal double damage and suffer 1 harm.
•Be careful and suffer no harm.
•You hold a position or halt an advance.
•You impress, dismay, or frighten your enemy.
•You are able to disengage and take a moment to recover 1 harm.

Moving objects- Moving objects is related to the manipulation of objects through physical
means. Pushing open a rusted door, picking up a heavy box, and so forth are all moving objects
moves. This does not include throwing weapons and pulling things from your current inventory,
especially during combat.

Sleight of hand- Sleight of hand moves involve things like picking locks, picking pockets, and
generally doing anything that requires higher level dexterity. When you attempt to use sleight of
hand, roll+Adventurous.

Observe- Observing is an important move, as it is the action of absorbing information and

drawing conclusions from it. It helps in memory recall, thinking skills, and general informational
gathering, like the fact that there are ten sets of glowing eyes peering from the dark at you
instead of three. When you make an observation action with a chance of failure (i.e. not finding
what you’re looking for), make a roll+Academic
Persuasion- Persuasion is the act of using your charisma (or lack thereof) to get someone to do
something for you. It involves talking to NPCs (Non Player Characters) and is used to extract
much needed information, get a lower price on an item, or get another adventurer to join your

Judgement calls, Challenges, and Rolling

A GM’s job is to narrate a game, not necessarily to guide it. While a GM and a module book can
make a game interesting, the players are the people that really matter. Sometimes players
come up with jokes or ideas that make overall gameplay more fun. As long as said things are
not too counterintuitive, then a GM should allow them. The GM has final say in all things that
happen in a game, unless it’s something that can be resolved within the party of adventurers.
On the other hand, a GM controls the world around the player’s characters. A GM should not be
afraid to step in, in or out of the game, in order to progress the game and encourage better
gameplay. If players are making poor choices, or are missing something obvious, don’t be afraid
to give them a nudge in the right direction. However, a GM should not make a game too easy.
Players should be given a decent amount of challenge, and making a player’s character fail at
something sometimes is OK.

Rolling has already been covered in another section of this book, but rolling is a very important
part of GM’ing. Rolls are the action of allowing chance (and some modifiers) to determine the
outcome of an action. As such rolls ​cannot be used for everything.​ If a player chooses to roll
for an action, let them. However, a GM should use common sense and judgement in some
cases, even if a roll says otherwise. As the GM, your job is to narrate the story and make it fun
for the players, and having everything be determined randomly doesn’t make the game as
interesting as it could be.

Advantage and Disadvantage

Sometimes, a special ability or circumstance imposes advantage or disadvantage on a roll. This

means that the dice you roll will be modified to better represent your situation.

When you receive disadvantage on any roll where you would normally roll two six sided dice,
you instead roll three six sided dice and add together the two lowest results to get your total.

When you receive advantage on any roll where you would normally roll two six sided dice, you
instead roll three six sided dice and add together the two highest results to get your total.

You can never have double advantage or disadvantage. If you would receive both advantage
and disadvantage on a roll, you instead receive neither and roll normally.
When you reach the end of an Episode, go through the following list:

Ask the following questions and discuss them as a group. Vote on the answers if you like:
•Who was the MVP, and made the crucial roll or pulled off the right Move that ensured success?
•Who was the Workhorse, and always reliably supported the squad in their actions?
•Who embodied their character the best, or had a particularly moving, entertaining, or funny
roleplaying moment?

For each answer, the player mentioned gets an experience point. If the votes are tied, both
players gain an experience point.

Ask the following questions and answer them as a group:

•Did we gain an advantage over our enemies?
•Did we learn something new and important?
•Did we make a new enemy, or thwart an existing enemy?

For each yes, all players get an experience point.


Popular Kid (Popular)

Jock (Physical)
Geek (Academic)
Teacher’s Pet (Swift)
Weirdo (Adventurous)

Each player creates a character. The process is shown step-by-step and then explained more
thoroughly. There are four pre-made characters at the end of this book. These can be used to
start playing immediately, or as a template to better understand the creation process.

1. Choose your cliche

2. Determine your age (14-18)
3. Determine your luck points, equal to 18 minus your age.
4. Distribute the numbers 2, 1, 1, 0, and -1 into your base stats: popular, physical,
academic, swift, and adventurous
5. Distribute a number of additional points into equal to your age minus 14.
6. Pick a problem
7. Pick a drive
8. Define your relationship to the other characters
9. Name your character
10. Write a short description

The Popular Kid

Signature Move: A Face You Can Trust
When you attempt to charm, deceive, misdirect, bluff, or persuade someone, roll+Popular. On a
10+, you are masterful, pick 2. On a 7-9, your charm will work, for a while. Pick 1 so long as you
are spending time keeping up your lie.

-Suspicion or blame is shifted away from you

-Something small escapes their notice
-The person you’re speaking find you charming, interesting, or funny.

Background Bonus(choose one)

Oh my God! Look at her boots!

You are naturally gifted at some kind of creative performance like singing, dancing, or an
instrument. Whenever you use this skill in tandem with your ​Signature Move​, gain advantage.

Daddy’s Girl/Mommy’s Boy

Your family is especially wealthy. Whenever you want to purchase something, you can
roll+Popular for someone in your family to buy it for you.

On a 10+, pick 1
On a 7-9, you’re pushing the limits of your allowance. pick 1, but you can’t use this feature again
for a time period at the GM’s discretion.

On a 6-, you totally fail with your pleading and go overboard. You’re going to need to wait a
while before you’ve redeemed yourself enough to ask for more stuff.

-You have the exactly what you want.

-You have the exact amount of what you want.
-You get it quickly.

Class Moves

People Person
When you have a charged interaction with a person, roll+Popular.

On a 10+, you get a good read on them, ask 3 questions below and get truthful answers.
On a 7-9, just pick 1.
•Is your character telling the truth?
•What is your character truly feeling?
•What does your character intend to do?
•What does your character wish I’d do?
•How could I get your character to __________?

On a 6-, you have Disadvantage ongoing to interact with them until you gain their trust

I’m rubber, and you’re glue.

Any time someone tries to insult, berate, or threaten you, roll+Popular. On a 10+, pick one.

-You turn it back on them and put yourself in a position of power.

-You gain a piece of vital information from them.
-Gain one stress and have advantage when speaking to that person from now on.

Peer Pressure
When you perform a task with a chance of failure and people are watching whom’s opinion you
care about (at GM fiat), gain a +1 to the task for each person (to a maximum of +3).

In the Know
You’re in the know. When you need to recall the latest news about Kim K or some other pop
culture nonsense you gain advantage to do so. Furthermore, you may choose to roll+Popular.

If you get a 10+,

The knowledge directly aids your current situation.


You misremembered something, how embarrassing! Gain 1 stress.

Signature Move: More Than a Little Special
You’re different from others in a fundamental way. Finish ​one​ of the statements below to
describe how you differ.

I spend watching and rewatching this TV Show/Movie called _____(media) as well as stalking
it's forums. - Gain advantage on all checks using knowledge from that show.

I’m never separate from _____(object), I keep it with me at all times. - Gain +1 to an attribute of
your choice while you are using the object to perform a task.
Adults seem to want to watch out for me for some reason. - Gain +1 when making a ____(stat)
check against an adult.

Background Bonus(choose one)

Professional Pariah
People other than your friends have a hard time getting comfortable with you around. You gain
advantage on any attempt to instigate, unnerve, or intimidate an intelligent being.

Social Skills
You might not be great at making friends, but you’re getting better and you’re not gonna stop!
Gain an experience point every time you make a new friend (as determined by the DM).

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ They say I’m the most curious person alive.
■ I’m drawn to anything different or strange.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ I don’t know why people don’t like me.
■ My sister is really sick

Class Moves

Go Sportsball!
When you ask another member of your squad about something that is strange to you but
common to them, and they explain it to the best of their ability but you fundamentally
misunderstand, you have Advantage going forward when acting on their words.

My Dad’s a Scientist
When you display a unique ability or knowledge to solve a simple problem, fill in one of the lines
below and you do it.
I have the unique ability to ______________.
I have the unique ability to ______________.

Mo’ Money…
You gain an extra problem (either make one up or draw from the list), but also gain another
bonus from ​More Than a Little Special​. This move can be taken twice.

Do The Worm
You know how to get to places others can’t. When you try to get to a hard to reach place or
tough squeeze, roll+Adventurous
On a 10+, you get there, no problem.

On a 7-9, choose 1:

•There’s trouble waiting when you get there.

•Getting back won’t be easy.
•It takes longer than you expected to get there.


Signature Move: Teacher, leave us kids alone!

You’re considered a little bit of a problem case. Whenever you act contrary to authority or defy
the status quo, gain 1 Storm.

When you lash out or act destructively,you may spend 1 Storm to pick one of the following:

•Something is broken beyond repair.

•Someone is frightened or cowed.
•Someone is injured or scarred.
•You have Advantage on this roll.

When you gain Storm while at your maximum Storm capacity (5), the strain causes you to either
lash out immediately and spend all of your Storm at once, or mark 1 Stress.

Background Bonus (choose one)

Without a Cause
Whenever you go against authority or status quo for its own sake (rather than for personal gain),
you gain twice the storm you normally would.

Not Just a Phase

Whenever you suffer frustration, disappointment, or emotional hurt, gain 1 Storm.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ I’ll do anything to get away from home.
■ My friends and what we do is the only thing not broken in my life

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ My parents say that I’m good for nothing.
■ We are short of money.
Class Moves

Work Smart, Not Hard

On any attack where you would ordinarily roll+Physical, you may roll+Swift instead.

Plan of Attack
Roll+Swift and mark 2 stress

On a 10+, pick 2,
On a 7-9, pick 1,

-You keep a cool head, clear 1 stress

-You defy expectation. Pick a class move from any other cliche. You gain that move until you
use ​Plan of Attack​ again.
-The next time someone commits an act of violence against you, you have advantage to not be

Otherwise, you’re head is spinning with all the possibilities. Mark an additional stress.

Ne’er do-well
You gain advantage on +Swift rolls when you try to circumvent authority. For example, picking a
lock to the principal’s office.


Signature Move: Quarterback

When you move forward unflinching towards a goal through an immediate danger or hazard that
others cower from, Discharge this Move and roll+Physical

On a 10+ you are unstoppable, choose 2.

On a 7-9, weariness creeps in at the edges, mark 1 Stress and choose 1.

On a 6- things aren’t looking good, mark 2 stress.

•If you take Harm, take -1 Harm.

•You clear or uncover a clear path for an ally. They have Advantage going forward to following
•You unquestionably reach your goal.

Background Bonus(choose one)

Cubs! Cubs! Cubs!
Your family have been fans of the same sports team for generations. Whenever you meet
someone who is part of the same sport culture, you know exactly how you can push them to
lose their cool or lend their support. You gain advantage when you try to intimidate or

Go The Distance
Whenever you need to push your physical endurance(+physical) to it's limits to achieve an
important goal, you can mark 2 stress to automatically succeed.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ I’m in it for the thrill.
■ It’s the right thing to do.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ My teacher hates me.
■ I cannot read very well, and they want to move me to a special class.

Class Moves

Make Sure to Stretch!

You learned a lot of great recovery techniques from your coach. Once every (in-game) two
hours, you can roll+Physical.

On a 10+

-You or another player recovers one harm

-You or another player recovers one stress

On a 7-9, choose one.

Never Skip Leg Day!

The ​Make Sure to Stretch​ move is twice as effective.

When you take rash action that puts another character in danger, they have advantage to deal
with that danger.

When you roll Recover, you may choose the following as one of the options on the list:

•Give an ally an order. They have Advantage going forward if they follow the order

Signature Move: Favorite Subject

You’ve spent long hours looking over textbooks and as such, there are several topics on which
your are an expert. Choose Two:

-Spirituality, philosophy, wisdom, and mysticism

-Medicine, biology, and zoology
-Programming, applications, viruses
-Robotics, engineering, gadgets
-History, politics, culture
-Chemistry, physics, mathematics

If make a move that is covered by your expertise, you may choose to do one of the following
-If you make a move that makes you choose from a list, you may choose one more or one less
-Ask the GM a question pertaining to your expertise. They must answer it truthfully to the best of
their ability.
-You share your knowledge with another character and they have advantage when acting on
that knowledge

Background Bonus (choose one)

Quizlet Master
You studied for long hours to get to the GPA you’re at now and that same thirst for knowledge
hasn’t left you. Whenever you level up, you can choose an additional expertise instead of
gaining a new move.

Future IT Guy
Working with technology just comes naturally to you. You have such intimate knowledge of all
kinds of robotics, computers, and gadgets, whenever you tell another character what you’re
doing, you gain advantage on any modification or repair you’re performing.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ They say I’m the most curious person alive.
■ Drawn to anything different or strange.

Choose one or make up one on your own:
■ I have crippling anxiety.
■ I get bullied at school.

Class Moves

When you level up you get to choose a new move.

It's pronounced Nu-culuar

When you correct someone else for the incorrect pronunciation or use of a word, you have
advantage on your next three rolls. This can occur in or out of character, but the GM can, at any
point, nullify this bonus if they believe this mispronunciation or misuse is not accidental.

When you have 3 to 5 days time and safety to study an artifact, strange device, or unique piece
of culture you don’t yet understand, ask the GM a question and they will answer it.

Deploy Plan H!
When you describe how you took time beforehand to make a contingency plan for a drastic
situation you find yourself in, roll+Academic. On a 10+, choose 1. Your plan is as described and
will help you. On a 7-9, choose 1, but your preparations aren’t perfect, you have Disadvantage
going forward. On a 6-, all your plans have fallen through.

•You have something stashed on your person or nearby to help you out.
•You have an ally waiting in the wings to come through just when you need it.
•You have a trap set up in wait for the perfect moment.

But have you tried duct tape?

When you haphazardly use whatever parts you have at Hand to hastily construct or repair a
device, say what you mean to do and roll+Academic. On a 10+, you’ve got just what you need
at hand, choose 2. On a 7-9, you have to make do, choose 1:

•It won’t take long to do it.

•It will do exactly what you want.
•It won’t break the first time you use it


Combat is initiated when two parties engage each other. This could be two opposing parties
spotting each other to one monster surprise attacking a player. In all cases the GM plays for the
monsters, and in combat the GM performs all rolls and maneuvers for the monster (and possibly
the players in order to speed up the game).

You gain stress when you push yourself past your limits or grit your teeth to ignore the pain. By
default, your stress counter 0/5 and you add one to this counter whenever stress is gained
(unless specified otherwise).

Harm Clock

When a player character is hurt in some way, they must mark one step on the harm counter.
The harm counter is as follows:

Scratched Up - I’m Rattled - Feeling the Hurt - K.O. - Uh-Oh

Scratched Up:
You can shrug it off when you roll recover, or when the scene ends.

I’m Rattled:
You’re shaken and shocked, you have Disadvantage ongoing to any +Swift or +Academic rolls.
Can be healed when you roll Recover, or when a Scene ends

Feeling The Hurt:

You’re bleeding and have some pretty bad injuries, you have Disadvantage to any roll requiring
physical exertion . Can be healed by receiving medical attention.

You’ve been knocked unconscious and can’t move, act, or even see anything. Can be healed
when an ally gives first aid.

You better get to a hospital quick. You might not last much longer.

Alternatively, instead of marking on the harm clock, a character can choose to take a point of
stress, but be warned, if stress overflows you’ll lose a mark on the harm clock permanently.

Flow of Combat
Initiative​- Each side of the fight rolls 2d6 for initiative. Whichever group gets the higher number
takes their turn first. If there is a tie, roll again.
The side that won initiative goes-
Movement​-​ ​If a something chooses to move (up to 15’) they may do so now.
Projectiles​- If something chooses to use a projectile weapon (thrown object or otherwise) they
may do so now.
Character Abilities​- If something chooses to use class related abilities or other special abilities
they may do so now.
Melee​- If something chooses to use a melee weapon or attack, they may do so now.
The side that lost initiative goes-​ The side that did not win initiative now takes their turn,
following the same set of steps.
The GM announces special results-​ The GM now announces any special results of combat,
such as an unconscious player or monster awakening, a spell taking effect in an odd way, or a
potion taking effect or losing its effects.

Special Effects
Special Effects are abilities or conditions that your player characters, NPCs, or monsters go
under that require special mechanics and conditions to occur. These usually appear during
combat but can happen at other times.

Surprise - Surprise is when a group attacks another group without the second group expecting
the attack. If a group or thing commences combat without the other group or thing realizing the
person is there, then the surprise effect comes into play. This allows the first attacking party to
take two turns consecutively.

Blindness, deafness, unconsciousness, and so forth- This is an effect that impairs a character’s
or monster’s ability to do something.

DM Fiat: Immersion
If a player is affected by one of these in game, said player should be affected by it in real
life. For example, if a player is struck with deafness, the rest of the party cannot speak
verbally to them.


Ask the following questions and discuss them as a group. Vote on the answers if you like:

•Who was the MVP, and made the crucial roll or pulled off the right Move that ensured success?
•Who was the Workhorse, and always reliably supported the crew in their actions?
•Who embodied their character the best, and played to their weaknesses/problems or had a
particularly moving, entertaining, or funny roleplaying moment?

For each answer, the player mentioned gets an extra move. If the votes are tied, both players
may choose an extra move. Alternatively, the player(s) can increase an attribute by a single

Monsters and Treasure

The main currency in M&M is rubeels. Other treasure that can be found or gotten from fallen
foes is decided by the GM at their discretion, or written into the adventure itself. Each monster
should have a card designating its attacks, abilities, health, and so on. It may even have a
picture of said monster. An example of a monster card can be seen below: