Chapter 1: The Rules


The Unauthorized Action Role Playing Game
by Richard Anderson and Christopher Casey

Mortal Konquest™ is a trademark of Richard Anderson


Once in a great while, someone actually writes a letter to a game designer, sharing their opinions and ideas. Then, in an even greater while, that someone has a real interest in the game. I got lucky and met one of the latter. Christopher and I hit it off right away and the end result of our fevered correspondence is what you see before you. I couldn’t be happier with it. What started as a hastily written RPG has been transformed into a rather decent (though completely unofficial) game based on the MK world. If you liked Mortal KonquestTM the first time around, wait ’til you get a load of this! (Thanks, Chris, for your time and energy. I hope that what you have breathed life into doesn’t come looking for you.) FIGHT!
–Richard Anderson

Somehow, it doesn’t seem like three years since I wrote that quickie letter to Richard, thanking him for uploading the original Mortal KonquestTM file …and following that thankfulness with an armload of suggestions as to how I thought it could be improved. I expected a quick pat on the head and a merry sending-on-my-way; instead, I unwittingly started an association (“Friendship! Friendship!”) and a project which culminated in the file you’re reading now. I hope KMs and players enjoy playing this game as much as we enjoyed putting it together. And when your players face off against Shao Kahn, tell them to give ‘im one for me. FINISH HIM!
–Christopher Casey

DISCLAIMER: Mortal Kombat® is a trademark of Midway® Manufacturing Company. Copyright 1992. All rights reserved. This role playing game is based on characters created by Ed Boon & John Tobias for Midway® Manufacturing Company. Used without permission. Use of the name “Mortal Kombat®”, its symbols and trademarked names from the Mortal Kombat® video game is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, an infringement on said copyright. Mortal Konquest ©1995 is a trademark of Richard Anderson; Mortal KonquestTM Tournament Edition ©1995 is property of Richard Anderson and Chris Casey. This game and its text are freeware. No part of this text may be sold or changed in any way, without the express permission of the authors. Comments and e-mail should be addressed to Richard Anderson and Christopher Casey.



Stats represent a character’s physical and spiritual attributes and range from 1 to 10, with “1” being the low end of the scale and “10” approaching superhuman ability.

Strength…this stat represents the character’s raw muscle power and damage dealing ability.

Agility…this stat represents the character’s dexterity and accuracy when performing attacks.

Speed…this stat represents the character’s reflexes and ground speed.

Intelligence…this stat represents the character’s general mental ability and perception.

Body…this stat represents the character’s general fitness level and capability to withstand damage of all kinds.

Chi (Power)…this stat represents the character’s source of spiritual energy, used for performing special attacks and abilities.


The formula for resolving resisted actions (that is, when one player opposes another, such as tracking, setting ambushes, fast-talking, kombat and the like) is:

5 + (acting character’s stat [+ bonus]) – (opposing character’s stat [+ bonus])

The acting character must roll the resulting number or less on 1d10 to succeed; “1” is always successful, “10” always fails.

The “[+ bonus]” indicates any bonus applied through use of a character descriptor or prior spending of Fate points (see 13: Experience (Fate) and Chi).

Example: Baraka (Int 5) is lying in wait, knowing that Liu Kang (Int 8) is approaching. Just as Liu passes by, Baraka leaps out from the bushes, hoping to surprise him (that is, make Liu Kang lose his first turn). Baraka has the descriptor “Sneaky +3”, but Liu also has an applicable descriptor, “Observant +2”. The final total is 5 + 8 – 10, or 3. Baraka thus has to roll “3” or less on 1d10 to surprise Liu.

If a character is attempting an unopposed action that still has the possibility of failure (jumping over a chasm, for instance), the opposing number is chosen by the Kombat Master (KM) from the following list:

Easy: 0 – 3
Medium: 4 – 9
Hard: 10 – 14
Very Hard: 15 – 19
Impossible: 20+

Game Note: All fractions in Mortal Konquest are rounded up to determine end results.


Descriptors are skills, character traits and job descriptions all rolled up into one. A player who can work a character’s descriptor into a non-kombat action receives the descriptor’s bonus to its stat for that action.

For example, Kano has the descriptor “Liar +3”. This gives Kano’s player a “+3” bonus to his stat for any roll he may make when Kano attempts to tell (or even indicate, as with a flicker of his eyes) a convincing untruth.

The descriptor is also a point of role-playing. Rather than naming the descriptor “Lying” or “Telling Lies”, calling Kano a “Liar” gives a clue as to his general unsavory disposition.

A descriptor can also be used to resist another character’s action. For instance, Scorpion has the descriptor “Driven +5”. If Kano were to tell Scorpion a lie that might put Scorpion off track, Scorpion’s player could invoke the bonus to resist Kano’s spurious story.

Another form of descriptor is the job. For instance, Kano also has the descriptor “Mercenary +4”. This gives Kano’s player a “+4” die bonus to any “mercenary-type stuff” Kano may engage in outside of kombat (searching for contacts, negotiating payment for merc jobs, field-stripping a weapon, camouflage, field medicine, and so forth). This, too, can be a point of role-playing, as Kano may well fall into the mercenary mindset (“What’s in it for me?”).

Finally, there is the special effects descriptor, which indicates an ability or power a character might have that the ordinary man in the street doesn’t. Kano, again, has the descriptor “Infravision +3”, a gift of his cybernetic left eye. Other special effects descriptors may include Good Looks, Beautiful Voice, Keen Hearing, Direction Sense, and the like.

Game Note: Descriptors are not attached to any one stat, but apply to any roll which can be linked to a descriptor. To use a trivial example, a character with the descriptor “Tennis Nut” would add the descriptor’s bonus to Agility when actually playing tennis, but would add the bonus to Intelligence if a point of tennis trivia came up. The final judgment of what is and is not an appropriate use of a descriptor is up to the KM.

Also bear in mind that descriptors cannot be invoked directly against opponents in kombat. That’s what special moves are for.


4.1 Initiative

At the beginning of each kombat turn, all kombatants declare which move they are going to use that turn and which opponent they will attack. The target must be in range of this move at the beginning of the turn. The kombatants then total their chosen move’s base Spd + the attacker’s Spd stat and compare each participant’s total; the highest Initiative total acts first, and other fighters follow in order. If two players have the same Initiative total, their attacks are assumed to go off simultaneously.

Note: A character may receive a minus to its Initiative total due to prior attacks or movement. See 4.3 Attack effects and 5. Movement.

4.2 To attack

Attacks are resolved as resisted actions (see 2. Conflict Resolution). Remember that descriptors cannot be invoked during kombat.

when opponent is dodging…

An attack against a dodging opponent contests the attacker’s Agl versus the opponent’s Agl score. A kombatant may choose to “all out dodge”, giving a “+2” to its Agl for all attacks this turn, but the defender loses its attack by taking this option.

when opponent is blocking…

An attack against a blocking opponent is a contest of Spd scores (to see if the opponent got its defenses up in time). If the defender is successful, it may deduct its Str from the Str of the attack, suffering only a portion of the original damage. Blocked holds have no effect (i.e., the target does not lose a turn).

4.3 Attack effects

An attack will inflict a number of Body points in damage equal to its Str (or its Str + the attacker’s Str if the attack has No Range). Unless a target possesses armor, this amount is directly removed from its Body stat.

If a character’s Body should ever fall to “0” or less, it is incapacitated and may not act until he has recovered. This is the point at which a combatant may inflict a Fatality.

In addition, a character that suffers a successful attack will automatically receive a “-1” to its Initiative total on the following combat turn. This effect is cumulative, so a character who suffers three successful attacks in a row, either from three opponents in one turn or by one opponent over three consecutive turns, will receive a “-3” to its Initiative result on its next turn. If a character’s Initiative result should ever fall to “0” or less, it is effectively immobile and may neither attack or move. To eliminate this negative modifier, a character must leave kombat or successfully defend itself in a following turn.

Note: If only two fighters are participating in a kombat and BOTH receive successful attacks in a combat turn, this additional modifier may be ignored.

4.4 Fatalities

Whenever a character has inflicted enough damage on its opponent to cause it to be incapacitated (0 or less Body), it may choose to perform a Fatality move on its following action. If a character does not perform a Fatality as its next action, one may not be performed.

A Fatality is, essentially, a creative description of what the character does to its opponent in order to kill it. The player should be able to do anything that is reasonable to the KM. Keep in mind that, while Fatalities are focal points of the video game, they are much more serious in the Mortal Konquest™ RPG. A character that performs one should be ready to accept any repercussions that are caused by it.

4.5 Healing and Recovery

Due to their mystical nature, characters recover from wounds and incapacitation very quickly. A wounded character may recover its Body/10 (rounded up) every ten Standard turns (2 minutes). A character that is incapacitated (brought to 0 or less Body) but not Fatalitied will heal as normal after ten Standard turns.

4.6 Range

None :0-3 feet
Short: 4-20 feet
Medium: 21-60 feet
Long: 61-100 feet
Extreme: 101+ feet


Outside of kombat, all characters move at a rate of ten feet times their Spd per Standard turn. In kombat, however, a more abstract movement system is used. After all attacks are resolved in a turn, kombatants should throw 1d10 and add their Spd stat scores. They then declare, in ascending order of Spd rolls, whether they want to close or open the range to an opponent.

In the basic movement system, characters in kombat stand at numbered “points”. For instance, Mileena can be at point 4, and Sub-Zero at point 6. The absolute difference between point numbers gives the “true” range as follows:

0 – No Range
1 – Close
2 – Medium
3 – Long
4+ – Extreme

In the example above, Mileena and Sub-Zero are two points, or Medium Range, from one another. There is no limit to the number of characters that can be stacked at the same point.

Kombatants can move up to three (3) points in either direction, positive or negative. If Mileena wants to widen the distance to Sub-Zero, she can move to point 2; this puts her 4 (6 – 2) points, or Extreme Range, from her opponent.

A character takes a “-1” to next turn’s initiative total for every point it moves, either away from or toward an opponent. For instance, Mileena’s move above would garner her a “-2” modifier to next turn’s initiative.

5.1 Miniature System

The above system is very abstract, and as such some discrepancies may occur. Industrious KMs who want more realism in their bloodletting can use miniatures, poker chips, or 3/4″-square character chits, plus sticky notes, to better visualize kombat. Lay down a few notes in a staggered grid pattern approximately equal to the size of the kombat arena. Assume each note represents an area about 40 feet square.

  • If characters are touching, they are No Range from one another.
  • If characters are on the same square but not touching, they are Short Range from one another.
  • If characters are one square apart, they are Medium Range from one another.
  • If characters are two squares apart, they are Long Range from one another.
  • If characters are three or more squares apart, they are Extreme Range from one another.

Use the movement initiative system given in the previous section. Characters can move up to three areas per turn, with attendant initiative point loss, as before. Note that closing to No Range with an opponent first requires that the character move into the same area, then move again to touch the opponent.


If the KM wishes, the distance a character can move in either system can be based on the character’s Speed stat as follows:

Speed 1 – 3: 1 point / area per turn
Speed 4 – 6: 2 points / areas per turn
Speed 7 + : 3 points / areas per turn


Standard attacks may be used by all of the characters in the Mortal Konquest game. Standard attacks do not deplete a character’s Chi stat reservoir.

Spd: 5
Str: +0
Range: None

Spd: 3
Str: +2
Range: None

Spd: 5
Str: 0
Range: None
Note: Opponent loses next turn if successful.

Spd: 2
Str: +3
Range: None

Air Punch
Spd: 4
Str: +1
Range: None

Air KickS
pd: 2
Str: +3
Range: None

Spd: 5
Str: 0
Range: None
Note: Opponent loses next turn if successful.

Spd: 1
Str: +4
Range: None
Note: Opponent automatically moves one Range in either direction, attacker’s choice.


Attacking with a weapon in Mortal Konquest™ is treated as another type of standard attack. As such, they do not deplete a character’s Chi reservoir.

Small Weapon (up to short sword)
Spd: 0
Str: +3
Range: None

Medium Weapon (up to long sword)
Spd: -1
Str: +4
Range: None

Long Weapon (polearm)
Spd: -1
Str: 4
Range: Short

Spd: 0
Str: 3
Range: Medium

Technological weapons (guns, lasers, etc.) must be designed as artifacts (see 12: Character Creation).


Every character in the Mortal Konquest™ universe possesses special moves and abilities that place them in the superhuman level of skill and power. Each character has its own specific moves that it may use in and, sometimes, out of combat.

A character’s source for its powers is limited, however, by its Chi stat. For every use of a special move, a character loses one Chi stat point. When a character’s Chi drops to “0”, it may no longer use its special moves. A character regains its Chi power at a rate of one per ten Standard turns (2 minutes).

Certain special moves (Liu Kang’s Bicycle Kick, Jax’s Dash Punch, Kano’s Cannonball, etc.) include automatic movement toward the target. After attacking an opponent with one of these moves, whether or not the attack hits, the attacker immediately ends up at No Range with the target. This movement does not count against the character’s initiative score next turn. If this movement takes the attacker out of range of another kombatant’s attack, that kombatant may either lose its turn or target another character in range with the same attack.

Certain special moves may include elemental effects. A move’s elemental effect determines how or whether it is persistent in non-kombat situations; for instance, a fire attack can set things ablaze, an electrical attack can short out small electrical items, a cold attack can freeze items and make them brittle, and so forth. Generally, an elemental effect is determined by a simple 1d10 roll equal to or below a number from 0 (impossible) to 9 (virtually assured), determined by the KM according to how (flammable, delicate, fragile, etc.) the item is. A list of elemental effects and some sample difficulties are below.

ee: Fire (vs. flammable items)
Cloth: 9
Dead tree: 7
Live tree: 5
Brick: 1
Iron bar: 1

ee: Ice (vs. brittle items)
Cloth: 2
Dead tree: 8
Live tree: 4
Brick: 5
Iron bar: 7

ee: Acid (vs. solvable items)
Cloth: 9
Dead tree: 7
Live tree: 6
Brick: 3
Iron bar: 2

ee: Electricity (vs. delicate electrical items)
Transistor radio: 9
Television: 8
Microwave oven: 7
Refrigerator: 3
Power station: 1

ee: Force (vs. fragile items)
China cabinet: 9
Flagpole: 6
Interior wall: 5
Exterior wall: 3
Small car: 1

Other elemental effects are possible, with the approval of the KM.

10. TIME

There are two types of turns in the game, Standard and Combat. During a Standard turn, outside of combat, time moves more slowly. A Standard turn is equal to “12” seconds or “4” Combat turns. Combat turns are much faster and are equal to “3” seconds.


Liu Kang and Goro are facing off at short range at a spooky place near a dark forest in China. For the purposes of this kombat, both fighters are behaving honorably and neither has ambushed the other. They begin the kombat at Short Range from one another.

Liu Kang chooses to use his Dragon Kick for his first attack, while Goro selects his Fireball. Liu Kang’s initiative total is “15” (special move base of 7 + 8 Speed stat), Goro has a “9”.

Liu Kang acts first and Goro decides to block the attack instead of dodging it. This means that Liu will automatically hit him and both characters will apply their Speed stats to determine the attack’s effect. The base of “5” plus Liu’s Speed (8) minus Goro’s Speed (5), indicates that Liu needs an “8” or less on a d10 to hit Goro. He rolls a “9”. This means that Goro may apply his Strength stat against the Strength of the attack (5 – 12 = -7). Goro shrugs the kick off. Since Liu’s Dragon Kick has a movement effect, Liu and Goro are now at No Range from one another.

Goro laughs heartily and launches his fireball at point-blank range. Liu decides to dodge, and the Agilities of the characters are applied for the attack. Goro needs a “3” to hit Liu (5 + 6 – 8 = 3) and rolls a “2”! Liu takes six points of damage to his Body of “34”. Now he has a Body total of “28” and is a little singed. Note that the fireball’s elemental effect is not called into play (elemental effects have no effect against kombat opponents).

Both characters have their Chi totals lowered by one because they used special moves for their attacks (Goro down to 7, Liu to 9). On the next kombat turn, Liu will receive a “-1” to his initiative total because he was successfully hit.

Now the kombatants enter the movement phase of the turn. Liu rolls 1d10, coming up with a “3”, and adds his Speed of 8 for a total of 11. Goro rolls a “5” for a final total of 10. Since movement is resolved in ascending order, Goro gets to choose whether to move first. The kombatants are currently at No Range, so Goro decides he likes it right where he is (probably looking forward to a good Chest Thump next turn). Liu, on the other hand, doesn’t like the look in Goro’s eyes and chooses to move back to Short Range.

On the next kombat turn, Liu will receive an additional “-1” to his initiative total for the one-range move, for a final modifier of “-2”. For example, if he wanted to try his Dragon Kick again, his initiative would be “13” instead of “15”.


12.1 Stats

To determine a beginning character’s stats, roll 1d10 and add 25, then distribute the resulting number of points among Strength, Agility, Speed, Intelligence, and Chi. No stat may exceed “10” without special permission of the KM.

To determine a character’s Body stat, use this formula: 10 + Str + Chi + (Agl + Spd/2)

12.2 Special Moves

A beginning character may have up to three special moves. These moves may be similar or even identical to any of the other Mortal Konquest characters (except immortals). If a player would like to design his own special moves, follow the guidelines below.

A special move’s Speed and Strength must equal “10”, unless it is a ranged attack. A Short ranged attack may add “+2” to this total and a Medium attack may add “+1”, while an attack with an Extreme range deducts one point (-1).

Movement abilities (teleport, fly, etc.) do not have to have any Strength, but have a range.

Abilities that have the power to Hold deduct two points (-2) from the total.

Special abilities that act as shields or fields will add their Strength ratings to the character’s Strength for Blocking purposes.

If a shield possesses a reflective power, two points are deducted (-2). Reflection powers may only be used against ranged attacks or close attacks (not both) and, when a block is successful, automatically rebound upon the original attacker with the Str of the original attack or the Str of the reflection power, whichever is lower. This rebound attack may be blocked or dodged as usual. If the Str of the reflection power is lower than the Str of the attack, the reflecting character takes the “overflow damage”.

Some special abilities, such as invisibility, flight, etc. incur penalties to an opponent during combat. They do not require any Strength but will lose one point per attack penalty (2 points for a +2 attack modifier).

A special move may have one (and only one) elemental effect, but one point (-1) is deducted from the total.

A special move that moves a character to its target, or its target to it, loses one point (-1) per Range of the attack (2 points for a move with a range of Medium, for instance).

12.21 Special Moves (Artifacts)

Characters can take up to two of their initial special moves as “artifacts” or technological items (such as Stryker’s pistol or Sektor’s plasma net). The character permanently reduces its active Chi score by one point (-1) for every three (3) charges the artifact has.

On the downside, an artifact recharges much more slowly than Chi, regaining one charge per hour of game time, and can be stolen from the character (or at least looted off its unconscious body). Only missile and hold attacks can be taken as artifacts. No artifact can have more than six charges.

12.3 Descriptors

A beginning character may take “10” points worth of descriptors. No descriptor may have more than a “+5” bonus, or less than a “+2” bonus. Descriptors are one- or two-word descriptions of the character itself, not just its skills. KMs are discouraged from allowing descriptors which would directly augment a stat in all situations (Strong, Agile, Speedy, Smart, and the like). A few example descriptors are provided below:

Honorable, Educated, Single-Minded, Steady, Hardy, Humorous, Cheater, Blackguard, Snooty, Collector, Holy, Perceptive, Sure-Footed, Carouser, Disgusting, Liar, Pedantic, Accepting, Headstrong, Mad, Mysterious, Feral, Mystical, Argumentative, Brave, Acrobatic, Well-Traveled, Wild, Quick-Witted, Experienced, Shallow, Wise, Mild-Mannered, Handsome, Sports Fan, Outgoing, Car Nut, Trustworthy, Eagle-Eyed

One (and only one) descriptor can also be a “job description,” like:

Ninja, Scientist, Priest, Actor, Farmer, Programmer, Lumberjack, Policeman, Carpenter, Special Agent, Revenant, Nomad, Guard, Monk, Fireman


As Mortal Konquest™ characters complete roleplaying sessions, they gain experience for their actions in the form of Fate points. Fate points can be saved to increase stats (to a maximum of “10”, unless otherwise approved by the KM) or buy new special moves. Fate points can also be spent as “temporary Chi” to fuel special moves, or to increase their stats for die rolls both in and out of kombat.

To permanently increase any stat except Body, a character must spend three times its current stat level in Fate points. For example, to raise Str from 5 to 6, a character must spent 15 (5 x 3) Fate points. Body should be recalculated using the standard formula whenever any physical stat or Chi is increased. No stat may be increased more than 1 point at a time.

KM’s Option: If a character has bought artifacts with his or her initial Chi score, then the amount of Fate spent to increase Chi should be calculated from the original Chi score. For example, if a character with an initial Chi of 8 spends 4 Chi points on artifacts (reducing active Chi to 4), it would still cost 24 (8 x 3) Fate points to raise the character’s active Chi to 5, and 27 (9 x 3) Fate points to raise active Chi again to 6.

A character can “split” an old special move (create a new special move using an old power, such as Sub-Zero’s Ground Ice maneuver) by spending 25 Fate points. A character can create a whole new special move or artifact (such as Jax’s Missile attack) by spending 50 Fate points. What constitutes “new” is up to the KM. Fate points can also be held in reserve as “temporary Chi”; that is, a character can spend Fate points to fuel special attacks if its original Chi stat is depleted.

Finally, both Fate and Chi points can be spent as a bonus to any stat for any die roll before the roll is made. For instance, a character can raise its Agl from 5 to 8 for one roll by spending 3 Fate or Chi points.


The KM should reward characters 1 Fate point for every kombat they win. In addition, characters receive 1 Fate point for participating in a roleplaying session, with an additional 1 to 3 points added if they succeeded in their quest.

Finally, the KM should reward an additional Fate point to any player who activated his or her character’s descriptors in furtherance of the plot, and did nothing to oppose those descriptors (for instance, a player playing Sub-Zero as a kindly jolly character shouldn’t receive this reward).