Those who know what is hidden protect the world. These Outsider characters are run by the players. Everything else is run by the Other. Characters are a brief written description outlining look, attitudes, background, skills and experience. The group shares these descriptions and makes changes to their histories to link them to each other. When a character tries something where failure would be interesting make an Action Roll: Player rolls 1, 2, or 3 D6s if their character is Unprepared, Ready, or Prepared (respectively) based on their character description and previous actions; Other rolls 1, 2, or 3 D6s for Stressful, Hard, or Long-shot actions (respectively); Player succeeds with one die higher than the Other’s highest. Two higher is a bonus and three higher is a crit. A tie means success with Difficulty or deadlock. Two dice under the Other’s top die is failure and Difficulty. Three under takes a character out (eg: KOed, flees in terror, mark makes public scene, etc). Difficulty is a die added to Other rolls against that character. Difficulty is mental, emotional or physical stress that reduces character performance shown with coins or tokens placed on the character sheet and removed through meaningful character action.
My inspiration came from Lovecraftian horror and urban fantasy such as Forever Knight, Dresden Files, Blood Ties etc. The idea that once you see the things hiding in the shadows you are drawn into a whole new dangerous world. You come into contact with the supernatural until it kills you. I’ve been thinking a lot about horror in RPGs lately.
The expanded version is here: http://searching-for-magic-blog.blogspot.ca/2017/04/the-outsiders-200-word-rpg-contest.html