VERS (pronounced the same as "verse," like in a song or poem) stands for Variable Environment Roleplay System, and is a free, open source (CC-BY-SA 4) generic roleplaying system created by Jason Murray. It was started in 2009, and is still currently a work in progress.
Free, Open Source, and Generic
Open Source is a term that gets thrown around a lot, especially when talking about technology. Open Source is not just for software, however, but can apply to anything, in this case text files that form the basis of the VERS rules. What the heck does that mean? Let's break it down.
Free and Open Source
First, VERS is open source. That means that not only is this totally awesome (I hope) system free in the monetary sense (you pay nothing, it is all here, 100%), it is also free in the intellectual sense, meaning you can share it, print it, make your own settings for it and sell them, even make your own tweaks and put them up on your own website. All that is required is that you let everyone know that I made the initial version and then can find it here, or on VERSRPG.org. Finally, this means that the source code, or original documents, are available directly to you. This is a modified version for use as an SRD or Wiki, and you can find PDFs of various types on my site. But I also have links to my raw text files in MarkDown format, my LaTeX files, and more located in a GitHub repo, here. If you don't know what that means, its ok. I'll explain it over on that page. Basically, grab a copy, use it with your friends, modify it and publish your modification or even make it entirely new. Just point people back to me as the originator. Cool, huh?
Second, VERS is generic. That doesn't mean its the store brand knock off of a more widely known brand. The Oxford dictionary defines generic as "Characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific," which is a great word to describe it. VERS is not specific to a certain type of game or genre of story. It is, instead, a vehicle for any story you can imagine, from fantasy to sci-fi, or even horror or superheroes. To make this easier, the rules are simple and widely applicable, with a series of well tested extension or optional rules, so that you can customize the little details to fit your games perfectly.
The Rules - Work in Progress
Below are the links to the actual sections of the rules. Currently this wiki is a work in progress. The rules as they appear here currently reflect Playtest v19.7, which is the playtest quality rules as of July 2019. The next intended major update should be near the end of the year in time for Jan 2020. Sections marked with red exclamations are either unfinished or not yet updated.
Throughout the course of this text the usage of the third person pronouns he and his will be interspersed with she and hers (with the occasional they for good measure). It is not our intention to fuel any debates on traditional grammar in the English language and modern concepts of person-hood, but it is also our belief that the he/she and his/her compromises are both hideous to look at and horrid to read. We won't be counting instances of the use of said pronouns but efforts will be made to ensure roughly equal usage. Also, all persons referenced in this text are fictitious.
|VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference|
|Making a Character||Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)|
|Gameplay||Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts|
|Optional Rules||Not Yet Complete|
|Gamemastering||Not Yet Complete|
|Storytelling and Drama||Not Yet Complete|
|Advanced Techniques||Not Yet Complete|
|Appendices||Example Abilities||Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes|
|Example Gear||Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi|
|Example NPCs||Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi|