Misspent Youth: Core Rulebook (PDF)


Welcome to Misspent Youth: the dystopian sci-fi game that’s all about friendship, standing up for yourself, and changing the world.

I am out of paper books, but I got PDFs. We have Kickstarted a print run of Misspent Youth, as well as a new supplement, Sell Out with Me. This was necessitated thanks to the wonderful news that Wil Wheaton’s TableTop show on YouTube is going to be playing the game in Season 4, and my subsequently selling through all copies of stock. Once I receive copies from the publisher, I will reopen orders on my site.

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Misspent Youth is a tabletop RPG about friendship, standing up to bullies, and changing the world. The game is for 4 to 6 people, one of whom plays The Authority, the force that’s making the world a shitty place to live. The others all play Youthful Offenders (YOs), the only ones who can redeem the future from this pack of assholes trying to fuck it up.

Ever wanted to play The Hunger Games (but focused on friends), Clockwork Orange (but with heroic droogies), Hackers (but less goofy), Mad Max: Fury Road (but, again, with teenagers), or Avatar: The Last Airbender (but sci-fi)? This is the game for you. It’s fucking awesome; if you want to see for yourself how awesome, check out the full text of issue 1.1 on my site, for free download.

The rules

Here’s how Misspent Youth works: First you create the evil Authority as a group, then you create your characters together. At the start of each episode, you ask questions about the friendship between the characters, then you make up some villains for The Authority to employ in fucking up your lives. Each episode has a seven-scene structure which, in every complete session, gives you a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

When it comes to the place in each scene where The Authority tries to stomp you in the face with its massive, fuck-off boot, you have a Struggle. In a Struggle, you attempt to achieve your group’s hope without letting The Authority get her objective. As you throw dice in a craps-like system, you can win it all for your side or fuck up your hopes for all your friends. But not to worry, if you roll a loss, you can sell out one of your convictions! You describe doing something so vile, heinous, and Authority-like that your friends are horrified with you. You win it for your side but now you’re permanently more like The Authority!

Once the first YO has sold out every conviction, that’s the last episode of the series. In each episode, you have the chance to change the world to make it a better place to live. If the last episode of the series ends and you haven’t changed the world enough, a catastrophe that the group authors at the start of the game comes to pass, and it’s your clique’s fault for failing to stop it. But if you beat The Authority, you can fix the world.

NOTE: If you own a prior edition, the main changes are some small editing tweaks, as well as 5 new worlds added to the core text. The rules are unchanged from the prior edition.

This is an enhanced PDF:

  • Entire text re-laid-out from print (portrait) orientation to screen-friendly (landscape).
  • Text boxes and fonts domesticated to be more easy to read, as well.
  • Fully hyperlinked: clickable cross-references, table of contents, and index
  • Hyperlinked sheets: click on a rule on a sheet and you are brought to the page that rule is on
  • Art and background on separate layers for easy printing
  • Selectable and searchable text
  • Character and other sheets included
  • New art not found in the print edition
  • No watermarks

Additional information


PDF, Print (On Backorder), Print + PDF (On Backorder)


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