Art by Gwynn Tavares
The Contract is a TableTop Role Playing Game about ambitious individuals who agree to go on deadly missions in exchange for fantastic Powers. Set in a world where the advent of camera phones confirmed the existence of the supernatural instead of disproving it, the Contractors operate on the front lines between the mundane and extraordinary. Those who survive are forged into some of the most fearsome beings in existence.
A game that plays like a gritty action flick crossed with a shonen anime.

Be Unique. Craft novel Powers for your Contractors using The Contract's robust Power-building system. Any Character concept-- from a psychic gambler to an undercover alien-- is easy to create, progress, and balance.

Get Creative. The missions (called Games) may take any form, from monster hunts, to heists, to corporate espionage, but the Contractors' lives are always on the line. Instead of relying on their raw stats, they must use their wits and resourcefulness to survive and succeed.

Any Group. Any Time. Each session of The Contract is a self-contained Game. You don’t need to cancel if one of your Players can’t make it, and each Player who shows can play and advance their favorite Contractor. The responsibility of the Game Master (GM) also rotates as desired, preventing “forever GM” burnout.

100% Free. The Contract eschews traditional publishing in favor of a 100% free website. There are no source books to track down and buy. All new content and updates are available immediately to all Players, and the Website is rich with features that make learning and running The Contract easy. Join our Discord Server to find other players or drop into one of our frequent, Newbie-friendly sessions.

Interested? Click below to dive in.
Start Playing

Or continue scrolling for more information.

Contractors

"I am not like you. We share only our willingness to sign on the dotted line."
- Five, novice Contractor

Players control Contractors: ambitious and competent individuals who risk their lives in the Harbingers’ Games. Each victory awakens their latent Powers, transforming them from ordinary humans into something more.

Making a Contractor could not be easier. Surviving, on the other hand . . .


Introductions
By David Emery

“Will someone tell me what the hell is going on?” The rest of the Contractors, most of whom could still pass for human, turned to regard the speaker. “Well?” she asked, unfazed.

“You can't tell me this is your first Game,” said a thin man with dull red hair. “I mean, Harbingers never throw newbs in with a crew this experienced. I don't even think They can.”

The young woman glowered. “Harbingers, plural? I’ve only worked with one before this job. Who are you guys? Why am I not with my normal team? What the hell is going on?”

“Uh...” The timid sound was accompanied by a pudgy hand raised childlike into the air. “I'm new here, too.”

A thirty-something woman in a stylish suit rolled her eyes in exasperation. “MacIntyre, you're good with new meat. Sort out the girl and her toady little friend. 

“Everybody else, we're on Game. You heard the Silent Man. We need to find that statue. That means we track every bizarre or significant murder committed in this city in the last two months. I'll take standard leads. Prat, you chat up ghosts. Isabelle...” She ground to a halt while regarding the child-sized Victorian doll. “You... do whatever the hell it is you do.” 

The doll nodded.

“So, you're new to the group, but not the Games, right?” the red haired man asked the young woman. She shrugged. Undeterred, he made his way over, dragging the other recruit in his wake. “I'm MacIntyre.”

“Keller,” interjected the pudgy man. 

MacIntyre raised an amused eyebrow, then turned back to the young woman. She looked at him a moment, then sighed. “Winters. I'm Tanya Winters.”

“See? Didn't hurt at all did it? Alright Winters, Keller, what's your kit?”

“Kit?”

“Yes, kit. Your pay. Tricks. Theme. What is it you do that no one else can?”

“I'm a shaker,” Keller blurted, then wilted under MacIntyre and Winters confused stares. “I... I mean I make things shake or vibrate. It's really handy... Promise.” His words trailed off into an embarrassed whisper.

“Photographer,” Winters said, raising a camera as proof. “It's pretty tricked out. I can use the flash to stun people, snap shots that include their auras, that kind of thing. You?”

MacIntyre beamed, and raised his hands, as if holding an invisible basketball. They glowed emerald, then a column of rich green fluid spiraled from each palm, coiling through the air until they met in the middle. The tendrils flowed into a luminous ever-moving knot. “Acid generation and control,” he said proudly.

The glowing liquid unwove and seeped back into his hands. “The, uh, assertive lady in the suit is Jane. She's a detective and her kit reflects it. The Middle Eastern guy talking to the wall is Prat. He does ghost stuff. Skinny guy is Benten. He does potions and is about the best support you can get. Does some minor healing, too.”

Winters whispered each name to herself as MacIntyre pointed them out. “And the big armored guy that looks like he murdered his way out of a video game?”

“Calls himself Death Machine. If you can't figure out what he's good at you might want to consider retirement. He and the creepy little doll are the most experienced Contractors here. They're pretty tight, so try not to piss either of them off. Really, be a team player and everything should turn out well enough.”

“Big team.” 

MacIntyre paused a moment, then nodded. “Yeah. Hopefully doesn’t mean a big job.”

Powers

Payment comes in many forms. Each victory earns your Contractor a Gift that can be used to purchase a new Power or improve one they already have. Create unique, flavorful, and balanced Powers with The Contract’s Power System.

Start from scratch or choose from a collection of 109 premade Stock Powers that can be gifted as-is or customized.

"I want to. . ."


Select from 87 Effects. Customize with 863 Enhancements, Drawbacks, and Parameters.
Advancement Without Min-maxing. Advancement is focused on giving Contractors tools to control chaotic situations, find advantages, and enable outside-the-box solutions.
  • Powers are more likely to open opportunities than they are to help in a direct confrontation.
  • Deadly risk means even simple encounters demand a thoughtful approach.
  • Dice bonuses from multiple sources do not stack; instead the largest bonus is used.

The Games


"When all doors lead to death, make a new door."
- Xin Mei, seasoned Contractor

Mission: Improbable. Though the Harbingers’ Games take many forms, straightforward solutions are rare. Contractors may be asked to win a boxing match against an opponent they cannot beat. They cannot roll dice to win. They must use their creativity, and the incredible freedom empowered by the GM, to blaze their own path to victory. Contractors drug their competitors, blackmail the judges, and doctor the ringside video.

Four Scenarios included.
View one immediately, unlock more by Signing up for free.
Deadly risk. Just how deadly is up to you, but we put our thumb on the scale. GMs are handsomely rewarded for running a Game that achieves the "golden ratio" where at least one Contractor dies while another achieves victory. Players are likewise rewarded when one of their Contractors dies. However, no Game can require a Contractor's death.

Cells


A Shared World. Cells are a group of Players with a shared setting. They may have anywhere from a few to a few dozen members. Contractors who share a Cell spend the Downtime between Games in the same setting, making moves that may dramatically change the world.

Each Cell defines its own setting.

The Default Cell is one where videos of supernatural phenomena go viral every day. Here, witch hunts have merit. Billionaires and Senators employ paranormal advisers and bodyguards, and everyone knows. Charlatans become pop culture icons, and each revelation inspires a new cult. The world is changing. The secret societies that pull humanity's strings scramble to adapt.
Now's a good time to move up.

One Shot at a Time. Any group of Players in a Cell can organize a Game, and any member may GM. Contractors can be invited to join Games in other Cells, after which they are returned home, provided they survive. The Website's bookkeeping features allow you to vet potential Contractors and Players so you can find a good match. Read more about Settings and Cells

The Website

Free and Accessible. The Contract is available in its entirety for free on this website. All new content is available immediately to all Players, and, unlike paper-published RPGs, The Contract is regularly patched as public play reveals balance issues.
Say Goodbye to Tedious Bookkeeping. The Contract's Website offers far more than a convenient Contractor Creator and Custom Power Builder. Automated bookkeeping tools allow you to easily record who attended which Games, how Contractors spent their Gifts and Experience, which Players have seen which Scenarios, and how your Cell's world is changing. GMs are given titles that allow you to quickly determine how deadly their Games tend to be. Cell Leaders can also help their less dedicated players manage their Contractors and Powers.
Save your Brain for the Game. The website's game-ready Character Sheets track Injuries, Penalties, and other stats directly online. We surface rules and information with helpful mouse-over tooltips. Don't bother memorizing the formulas; we'll do all the calculations for you.
Build Content to Share. Create, discover, and share Scenarios with the community. Write in-character Journals to gain Experience and Power Improvements. See the obituaries of fallen Contractors in the Graveyard. Share the details of your Contractors, or mark them private to anyone who isn't actively GMing a Game for you.
The Sign Up page lists and unlocks more features.
We don't try to do it all. The Contract is not designed to replace a tabletop, real or virtual, and we do not offer maps, tokens, communal dice-rolling, or similar features. We recommend using either a real tabletop, Roll20, or Discord with The Contract's site. We organize regular community-run Games for newbies on our Discord Server and are currently working on adding more looking-for-group and matchmaking features for the site. This website is 100% Open Source, so anyone can help develop and maintain it.