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Now: the second half of the twentieth century. The powers that be are locked in a tense nuclear standoff, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Away from the watchful eye of national intelligence, a cadre of exceptional misfits is assembled. These soldiers of fortune are uniquely equipped for covert and unusual operations.
In these uncertain times, the line between science and superstition has been broken, and the new arms race is only beginning. You, or your associates, may be faced with weapons, tactics, and actors unlike any you have ever seen. For a price, those exceptional misfits can help. 
When you’re all out of options, it’s time to call FIST.

FIST is a tabletop roleplaying game for one referee and two to six players. It draws heavily from Chris P. Wolf and Olivia Gulin's Offworlders and John Harper's World of Dungeons, as well as being inspired by Metal Gear Solid, The A-Team, and Doom Patrol. In the game, you belong to a legendary rogue mercenary unit called FIST. You are a soldier of fortune who doesn’t fit into modern society. You are one of the little guys, caught up in the death and destruction of pointless proxy wars and oppressive establishments. You may also be someone who can turn into a ghost or control bees with your mind. The paranormal secrets of the Cold War are your bread and butter, and you fight for your life to make ends meet alongside others like you.

  • PARANORMAL MERCENARIES - Use the modular traits system to construct unique and fully-equipped characters in a matter of seconds. Play as a telekinetic alien, a mutant sniper, or a cyborg ninja.
  • BRUTAL ACTION - Experience fast, fluid stunts and combat with the tried-and-true 2D6 mixed-success resolution roll. Play with a rules-light system which deepens organically as characters advance, offering intriguing choices and mechanics but never interfering with the action.
  • TACTICAL OPERATIONS - Plan and execute Cold War espionage missions using enemy, weapon, and mod templates in tandem with the randomized scenario generator. Structure campaigns around a levelling system which uses open-ended character development in place of XP and loot.
  • REVISED AND EXPANDED - Create stranger and more powerful mercs than ever before with 4,950 possible starting character builds. With revised content from CYCLOPS INTEL FILE 01 plus 47 brand new traits, portray kleptomaniac rock stars, genius detectives, and tentacled freaks who have Death on speed-dial. Enjoy a tighter, more randomized, more lethal game inspired by the best of the OSR.


"FIST is legitimately one of the most fun things I've brought to my table. It's PbtA that plays like OSR, and it's Metal Gear by way of Hellboy."

- Richard Kelly, Sprinting Owl

"The ultimate misfit mashup, you create a ragtag team of fighters who operate on a will-call basis, a sci-fi Suicide Squad of idiots with big guns and psionic powers."

- Linda H. Codega, tor.com

"FIST is beautiful in its elegance... if you're into the supernatural, paranormal military genre, especially weird Cold War era stuff, FIST is an absolute must-buy."

- Spencer Campbell, Gila RPGs

Community Support

FIST is easy to hack and built for creative homebrewing. You can check out a library of 70+ (and growing!) FIST-compatible zines, pamphlets, modules, and more made by fans of the game right here.

Active Development

FIST: Ultra Edition is currently in active development! This isn't an early-access situation: FIST has already been out in fully-playable and fully-hackable form since 2020. There's a lot we left out of that version, though, so we're working on a bigger, better, professional-quality FIST. When Ultra Edition comes out, it'll be a free and backward-compatible upgrade to this game (we won't make you buy it again). In the meantime, you'll receive periodic new builds of Ultra and be able to participate in development through our Discord, itch comments, or any other means of contacting us with feedback.

Hard Copies

Hard Copies

If you like your books physical, FIST is available in print from Exalted Funeral. FIST is also available digitally on DriveThruRPG, and will hopefully be available as a Print-on-Demand DriveThru title soon.

Official Discord

Check out our lowkey FIST Discord server for fresh homebrew, inspiration for the missions, aesthetics, and worldbuilding of your game, play-by-post missions, chats about other games and hobbies, and more!

Updated 8 days ago
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(107 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Tagsfist, Horror, military, OSR, paranormal, PbtA, rules-lite, Sci-fi, Tabletop role-playing game
Asset licenseCreative Commons Attribution v4.0 International
Average sessionA few hours
AccessibilityColor-blind friendly, High-contrast


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

FIST Classic.zip 26 MB
FIST Ultra Edition (Pre-Pre-Alpha).zip 1 MB

Community Copies

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

Community copies are available for free to anyone who can't afford to buy the game.

Donate a Community Copy

Purchasing FIST for double the price donates a free community copy of the game for others to claim. Please note: your donation may not show up immediately since the community copies pool must be updated manually.

Development log

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Video preview of the Ultra Edition pre-pre-alpha by Brandoff, the off-brand Gandalf

NEST author Brandoff shows off the whole process behind cooking up a mission! 

this is the essence of FIST, the target of the ice-cream mafia is in a firefight with a dinosaur themed robot with a gun way ahead of his time

Hi, would you consider writing a solo module/adventure for FIST?

I've actually been compiling notes for something like this over the past few days but I'm not sure what direction to go with it! What kinds of solo content would you like to see? 

A charity actual play stream of FIST by the amazing D4, with characters dynamically boosted by donations throughout the stream!


Just picked this up, I really like it. Excited to run my first game in the coming month.
I have a question about dealing damage. If a character doesn't have a weapon (one of my players chose two traits that don't provide an offensive ability/weapon), how is damage handled on an unarmed attack. I couldn't find anything in the pdf, and I figure it probably isn't 1d6 cus then it would be as good as a gun, which would seem strange to me.



Okay I had a scroll through the discord and it seems like the answer is Disadvantaged d6 for damage


yeah that's right!! glad to hear you like it; I'll be sure to add a clarification about unarmed damage to the rulebook!


I've still to run the session proper but just spitballing with my group has made for a fun evening. I'm glad that I've stumbled into this. Even more so with all the cool extra books added.

thanks for checking it out and glad you guys had fun! what sort of stuff did you spitball?

We've played around with those deep military conspiracy angles of wild experiments and immoral scientists. Actually, in the few weeks since writing the comment, we've started prepping for a proper set of missions. Starting with odd experiments in small compounds and capping off with an island base of weaponized animals and hybrid soldiers, whole bit being heavily inspired by the Vivisection video game. 


man that sounds so cool!! you cannot go wrong with a good island base 


Hello, I added your game to Goodreads, and wrote a review!



thank you so much for the review!! re: setting info, a lot of people have said similar things, and there's a new edition in store with much more flavor and fluff, hopefully to be released sometime next year!


That sounds great! I have noticed people have been writing and publishing lots of additional material already, so that's fun.

Next up: reviewing the Mandelbrot set.

awesome, looking forward to it!! 


FIST is my current gaming obsession. Character creation is brilliant, the setting and fluff are great. 


thank you so much! ultra edition is gonna be chock full of random tables and lore snippets to flesh out the fluff, I'll be uploading some drafts of them soon 

An intro to FIST by dragonkid11!

Wanted to inquire when the print version might be available again on Exalted Funeral. Was going to pick it up today, but I see it's sold out


Hey there, according to EF the restock should arrive Sept. 21st, barring any complications!

cool, thanks for the update

part 1 of a FIST AP by Roleplay Road Trip, using the popular Red City scenario!


a review of FIST by Larred, who will be doing an AP series soon on twitch!


Thank you for sharing this!


Thanks for makin it 😄


The Discord Link is down.

hey there! do you mean the discord widget on this page or another link?


This looks like an absolute blast and I can't wait to try it out. It does something I've often thought about with PbtA (that you could roll with just the stock "do something dangerous" move and toss everything else in the bin) and mixes it with Fate Accelerated/Condensed Approaches in a really clever and seamless-looking way.

That's all, for now - just blind praise and excitement at giving this one a go!


thank you so much, I hope you like it!!


Actually, getting set up now to run it for my tabletop gaming Discord tomorrow evening and wanted to check in with you. Do you have any freely accessible character creation rules, for sharing with the people who will be playing? Mostly I'd think the Traits/Roles need to be publicly accessible. If not, would you have any issue with those elements being copy/pasted for the group to be able to reference during character creation?


no issue at all!! the physical book is meant to be passed around, so if you're playing digitally go ahead and send the game PDF to the players! 


You may want to also check out World of Dungeons, which takes Dungeon World and cuts it down to basically just Defy Danger. I like 'paranormal cold war' as a theme better, but that's a good fantasy hack if you like the minimalist PbtA approach

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An actual play of FIST using a system agnostic setting created Bleak Horizons Press, ALL MUST BOW!

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Spencer Campbell of Gila RPGs reviews FIST in five minutes!

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I've run a couple missions so far, but I feel like my players felt a little lost with a more rules light game

 For example, I had a player playing an Undead cowboy character that wanted to fan the hammer of his six-shooter to attack multiple enemies, but I felt that would be too strong so I ruled him having done 1 damage to everyone near him. Luckily they were weak enemies anyway, but I was unsure of that ruling.

Is the idea to keep things more loosey goosey and trust the GM's judgement, or would something like a PbtA move-list be helpful? (I am currently thinking of making a moves sheet)


hey there! FIST also takes a lot of inspiration from OSR games and their "rulings over rules" playstyle, so edge cases or complex actions are meant to be up to either the GM's judgement or, ideally, the judgement of everyone at the table! that said, there's no reason FIST can't be hacked to include pbta style moves (traits are basically just simplified moves with some bonuses tacked on, so maybe a pool of generic traits players could choose from?) 

if you do end up making a move sheet and you post it somewhere, I'll signal boost it in the devlog!


I've just finished a first session and the reception was great. FIST has a great balance between mechanics and narrative content and the combination of traits and roles allow for really interesting and memorable characters. Great game !


thank you, glad you had fun!!


In FIST, you play as a bunch of misfits turn paranormal mercenary in the dystopian future. It has fast brutal action, and reminds me of 90s action flicks.


has anyone decided what CYCLOPS stands for (as an acronym)? 


that's classified


haha. I’m about to run our first game and the players were asking me. 


jokes aside I haven't thought of anything specific, perhaps it's derived from the mythology of some shadowy cult or the name was inherited from a surveillance satellite program? could be anything!!

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Midgardia plays the beta version of FIST Revised and Expanded for a trans rights charity stream !


overview of FIST by Cezar Capacle !!

Hey, I've been reading through the new rules and I'm unclear on if War Die are meant to return between missions. They aren't consumable items or HP, but I can't imagine taking a 1 use War Die instead of a trait is an option many are going to take (especially as some traits give War Die). Are these dice one per mission or literally once ever?

Loving the look of the game, hoping to run it soon!

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okay, so I went back and checked my design notes, and i guess i got things twisted somewhere along the way 😅 

originally, War Dice were supposed to be single-use, and you were able to gain +1D6 War Dice when levelling up, not just one. that way, you can either take a trait and get a reusable, specialized buff, or gamble for multiple, universal consumable buffs. some traits give one War Die and a small reusable buff as an in-between option.

somewhere along the way I got the idea that War Dice were reusable and then "balanced" +1D6 War Dice to just +1. thanks for catching this pretty big design error!! I'm going to upload a version with this + a few other fixes, but to definitively answer your question, War Dice are single-use and you can choose to gain 1D6 War Dice when your character advances!

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This game is amazing, but is missing one simple thing: Numbered traits. Would make randomly rolling for traits so much easier if the traits were just numbered 1-100.

that's an awesome idea!!


So when you advance and pick health, that health is added as max health, right?


correct! thanks for catching that typo, it should say +1D6 MAX HP


Sweet, thank you! Haven't gotten a chance to play yet but I've been putting some characters together and can't wait to actually play them.

Deleted 320 days ago

accidentally deleted my last response lmao but hell yeah!!


I almost want to play this with someone just so I can pretend it's a spinoff of Forged In Shadow Torch. XD

I bet it's not related, though. I just really like Forged In Shadow Torch.


i meannnn there's no reason you couldn't change the setting a little and play in the universe of The Other FIST !!


Hey - I recognize that patent drawing! :laughing:


the next edition of FIST will hopefully have proper illustrations!


The patent drawing looks great, just amused that I recognize it!


you've got a good eye!!

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I got FIST in a bundle and did not paid much attension to it at first, but man is it fun. I did not played TTRPGs other that DnD 5e with my pals, so no prespective and overall feel compared to other ones, but still it's fast paced and easy to grab shenanigans. We play it as a gloryfied action movie, with conspiracies inbetween fights, and i think it's supposed to be played like this.

I'v been so pumped about it, that assembled a map with cunstom character sheet for Tabletop Simulator and wanted to share. It does not contain FIST rulebook, however if you want it be avalible on said map - let me know, i will gladly add it. Here is a link for it and anyone who wants to check and play it - https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2432850101


this is awesome !! the character sheets you made look great - feel free to put the rulebook on there too. i'd definitely say that your guys' action movie style is exactly how the game is meant to be played. i'm glad yall are having fun with it, keep an eye on this page cause the second edition of FIST is nearly done 😁


I will update as soon as I can(and try to keep the map up to date), thank you for allowing the rulebook. Well, now I eager to see what's new! Again, thank you for making such a rad TTRPG!

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thanks for playing, and making such a rad digital version 🙏


Hey I'm wondering if you have any reading suggestions for inspiration! I haven't read much in this genre.


honestly, i haven't either! most of the inspiration for this game came from comics, video games, and tv shows - it's a very pulpy, action-movie type gig. in the game's credits page i did list some media which inspired the game though !


Cool thanks I appreciate it!

Hey - are those Smith & Wesson patent drawings

honestly i don't remember which schematics are which, i don't know the first thing about guns - just picked out ones that looked cool ! i got them from a place that sells reference schematics for repairing firearms if that helps

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A Simple World style game with some tasty traits and a bit of crunch in the combat system. Light paranormal elements, which the table can season with to taste. 


As I read FIST, and its supplements, I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a light and flexible system of paranormal action and thrill.

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TL;DR It's beautiful, it's cheap, it's great fun. You should buy this game.

Overall the system is simple, clear and intuitive, it uses a 2d6 system to play. Players roll 2d6 + attribute for all rolls, the only exception being when a character is inflicting or recieving damage. There are 4 attributes FORCEFUL, TACTICAL, CREATIVE & REFLEXIVE, they were each well defined in the documentation and at no point in playing were myself or any of the players unsure about which attribute to use ina certain situation.

The influence of "simple world" which is listed as having helped inspired FIST is clear, but ultimately FIST does enough to make it it's own.

The documentation quickly establishes a theme and maintains it throughout. Once again some of the items listed as to have inspired FIST have a clear influence but FIST manages to blend them together with enough original material to create something that feels familiar whilst being new and exciting.

The documentation is simple and sleek, but gorgeous. It's simple black & white design and at 19 pages long the documentation is printer friendly for those who wish to print and play. 

There is enough variety of character "trait" options that players can get creative with their character builds, but not so many that character generation becomes a chore. Traits typically offer a mix between powerful abilities, attribute points and weapons or items that could help the character in game. The traits seem balanced and offer surprising depth and huge variety in potential character builds.

The character "role" options helps give players direction in how their character could act without being overbearing. The fact that player advancement is tied to these roles means that players look to fulfil these roles to advance but can get creative about it.

In conclusion, it's a great game and an absolute steal. If you like metal gear solid, deus ex and the a-team, you will LOVE this.


hey there !! just wanted to say thank you for this very kind review, and ask you a question if you don't mind. i'm working on an update for the game that includes a wider variety of traits. you mentioned that there aren't so many traits that character creation becomes a chore - what do you think is a reasonable upper limit for the amount of traits ? i was thinking definitely less than 100, but i'm having a hard time figuring out exactly the right amount.


Whilst I only recently came across your game, I just want to say again I've had ablast playing it and really admire it.

Having played things like pathfinder in the past and having to trawl through the feats, I think anything under 100 is a good number. I think as long as you keep the traits relevant and intuitive to their names as you have done, you should be good. It means that often people can take a good guess at what a particular trait does, or be reminded quickly just by the title, so no trawling through an online SRD and having millions of tabs open.

I think at the moment you have 35 after having a quick count? Maybe try for 50 and see how it feels?

Once again though, I really enjoy it and now you've mentioned an update I can't wait to see what you have in store :)


Here's my initial thoughts/review
It's clearly a Dungeon World hack evolved into a much looser take on a genre mashup of titles like F.E.A.R. and Metal Gear - a world of government conspiracies and exploitation of superhuman mercenaries. Character gen is brief, accessible and unrestrictive. The presentation is really clean and to the point. I think I'd prefer a bit more elaboration on moves and mechanics as this seems pretty loose. Something like a CQC move, a Fire Under Pressure, a Silent Takedown, a Negotiate Under Fire, a Persuade the Civvie. Stuff like that would assist in guiding people in line with genre conventions. The trait system can also seem a little basic (lots of flat modifiers or 1 use items...) and more gear would be cool. Overall I think it'd be great for a oneshot but a protracted campaign might look to other pbta games to steal some mechanics for this game. (And not the other way round). Overall great game,

thank you for the review !! do you have any suggestions for mechanics from other games which players might adapt for FIST to make it a bit more long-lived ? i could throw together a "check out these other games" list at the end of the pdf or something like that !

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FIST is A-Team meets SCP (or alternately Clive Barker's Jericho meets Full Metal Panic,) and I am strongly recommending it on that premise alone. It's twelve pages but packs a decent crunch, and while it runs on PBtA, I think this is one of those cases where it's going to appeal equally to PBtA and non-PBtA fans due to the way it handles combat. So if you're used to OSR or Delta Green or Night's Black Agents, there's still meaningful weapon damage, armor, and HP.

In a typical game of FIST, you play as an elite team acting primarily under your own authority and contending with weird forces. Those weird forces might be a recently unfrozen yeti monarch looking to bring endless winter down upon the world, or they might be a government agency that has become infested with symbiotic bees.

The book itself has a zine feel, but it's a very high quality one. The layout is excellent, and it manages to have a sort of military handbook tone to the art and also to the way the text is arranged on the page. This is really cool and it contributes a bunch to immersion.

There's also a lot of neat elements here that are admittedly small, but really welcome, and that I would not mind seeing standardized. For example, the table of contents is split into PLAYERS, REFEREE, and SUPPLIES sections, meaning the book is not only easy to navigate, but it flows really well. The GMing advice is also really straightforward and good, and emphasizes both challenging the players and supporting them.

Possibly my favorite thing in the book is the Traits system, which is the backbone of character creation. Each Trait includes an item, a stat mod, and a thing that you can just do (rip open doors, disguise yourself flawlessly, fast talk enemies, etc). To build your character, you pick two. To level up your character, you pick another. It feels extremely smooth and custom, and it makes character creation a matter of seconds, rather than minutes.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes pick-up-and-play crunchy games themed around espionage and the supernatural.

Honestly, I'd love to buy (or write?) a mission pack for FIST, and I'd be intrigued to see more of the setting.

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tysm for the review !! it means a lot to hear you liked it so much, and keeps me motivated to continue creating 😁 

this may seem like an odd part of your review to focus on, but i'm really glad to hear you liked the graphic design and organization of the game. both were heavily inspired by chris p wolf's offworlders and west end games' star wars RPG 1E - two games that are well-written, well-designed, and laid out in a very logical and easy-to-use way.

i've been working on a Dyatlov Pass themed mission module for a while now...

...but i've been procrastinating quite a bit. ripley caldwell, author of the also-very-good a wizard, is working on a traits expansion which should be available soon! and if you wanna write a mission module or hack/remix FIST or anything else, by all means feel free to! it's always really exciting to see what creative stuff people come up with that i never could have thought of myself.


That module premise sounds really cool, and a wizard was intense. I'm definitely curious about the traits expansion.

I'll see if I can come up with some material for a mission, and I'll let you know if I'm able to wrestle it into tested/layout-ed form.

Thank you again for writing this. FIST is a great system.


I seem to have started a small mission pack (1/6 missions complete, probably eta 15 pages.)

I think it might end up being zero art, minimal layout, since I'm not sure where to source good art for military hardware schematics, but I'd be happy to send a copy when it's done on...like, Wednesday?

This is a ballpark estimate, but FIST missions are proving really easy and quick to write.


oh sick !! excited to see the missions, sounds awesome. for the no-art look, you could do something similar to the "classified document" pages in the original book - the copier-styled font for that is "univers else" aka "fluxisch else". 

i'm happy to hear fist missions are easy to write - the mission module i'm working on has been "probably ready for release by next week" for like three months now. if i could stop procrastinating, i could probably knock it out in a night or two. oh well !!


I completely understand. I get randomly creatively jammed on stuff, and blasting the right music sometimes helps, but sometimes the best solution ends up being just working on a different project for a while. There's no pressure, and I'm stoked for the Dyatlov Pass stuff whenever it comes out.

For my scenario pack, I've been using Michroma and Space Mono, since those seem to be the fonts the FIST fonts are based on and they're under the open font license. It looks close, but if that's too much deviation, I'll dig into figuring out univers else, space grotesk, and microgramma.

Graphic design and layout are really my achilles heel, though. The first time I ever used either skill was in winter 2019, so I'm learning as I go, and the results tend to be chaotic.

Either way, I'll send a copy once stuff is ready, before anything goes live, and I can remove or adjust anything that deviates from the intended design.

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heya, picked this up with the big blm bundle and really really enjoyed it and cant wait to introduce this to my group! my brain is swimming with complicated military conspiracies, secret bases, and gruff cyborg ninjas, and any game that can get my gears turning like that is one that i think is great!

glad to hear you enjoyed reading, i hope your group likes it too !! tyvm !!



Question about the Mutant Trait: It asks you to "drop one skill you already have and take a new one". 

This is meant to be, "drop one trait" instead, correct? Or is it asking you to reduce an attribute? 

Thanks for your hard work on the game! Getting together a group for play-by-post and one of the players was curious about this.


it is supposed to be drop one trait ! called them skills earlier in development and must have missed that when i changed it over. thanks for checking the game out, hope you guys have fun !!


Thanks, will do! :)


I really dig this game! Bought it earlier this month on DriveThruRPG came over here to give it a positive rating! Keep doing what you're doing, I'm going to share this with everyone I can!

thanks so much for the support, i'm glad you like it !


wonderful game, more than worth the money!

tysm !!