Ken Burnside of Ad Astra Games emailed me yesterday to show me this creation of his. It is brilliant in its brevity. It is a table-top RPG whose rule set fits entirely on one page -- and that includes a sample character sheet that will fit on an index card (pictured to the right - click to enlarge.)
Here's a snippet, the first two paragraphs on creating your character:
Write down five things about the character you want to play. Pass the paper to the person on your left; that person takes your five things and makes 7 skills out of it.
Pass the character sheet one more place to the left. Everyone takes a look at the five things defined, the seven skills, and defines two positive special abilities, which are adjectives that end in exclamation points, like Tough!, Smart!, Fast!, Keen Eyed! or Detective!
One really cool thing I noticed with Minimus: there does not appear to be a way to min/max, nerf, power-game, or otherwise "break" the rules without the help of all the other players, including the GM.
I haven't tried playing with this system yet, (but I've read the entire core rulebook three times) so I can't attest to its actual playability, but I think that if your gaming group really gets into the role-playing, and if your GM is a decent storyteller, this system will reward that amply.
The PDF is freely available here from Ad Astra Games. They ask only that you donate $2.00 if you like it.
Ad Astra Games is the same group that brought us the Honor Harrington "Saganami Island Tactical Simulator" board game, whose rule set still rattles my simple mind. Seeing both Minimus and Saganami from the same game designers leads me to wonder whether, at some point in the recent past, Ken Burnside and his team ran out of disk space and were forced to make their next offering a masterpiece of concision.
If you play table-top RPGs, I think you owe it to yourself to read through these rules and ponder their implications.