A downloadable game

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The original THE SOL SURVIVOR 200-word RPG was rated #1 in story and #2 overall in Ian Magenta's #microrpgjam.

The Sol Survivor is a GM-less RPG for 3-6 players, played using a deck of playing cards. Inspired by Chinese Mythology, players share the role of a sun who was shot down from the sky. We tell the story of their journey to make it back to the heavens before the world is plunged into eternal darkness.

Written and designed by W.H. Arthur, with short stories by Michelle Kan and Sen H.H.S. Artwork by Sam Windsor and Chan "Yon" Mandy. Layout by Jane Hermiston.

The game's mechanics is inspired by Joshua Fox and Becky Annison's Lovecraftesque.

The Print Edition is 28 pages, and you can order a physical copy here.

This is a Guided by the Sun game.

Cezar Capacle (@capacle) did a read-through of the book:

Also check out Fable of The Sol Survivor, a spinoff video game I made using Bitsy:


Buy Now$9.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $9.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

The Sol Survivor: Print Edition (Spread) 5.3 MB
The Sol Survivor: Print Edition (Single) 5.3 MB
The Sol Survivor pre-KS version 4.7 MB
The Sol Survivor text only.docx 286 kB
落日餘暉 (The Sol Survivor Chinese Translation) v1.01.pdf 417 kB

Community Copies

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Free Community Copies

If you are unable to afford the listed price of The Sol Survivor, you can grab a community copy. This goes especially for people in marginalised communities, and those who want to review the game. I will add more communities copies as further purchases are made.

Download demo

The Sol Survivor (200-word version) 1.4 kB

Development log


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(2 edits)

The game is OK but the mechanics of the assention stage is a bit broken. If you have 3 card on your hand during the game it means the odds of having a card equal to a card played by ally is 3/13*100=23%
That means that the sun would have the opportunity to get a companion average only every 4th turn. So to have at least 3 companions (minimum to beat even two at the assention stage) you have to play at least 12 turns and you MUST take every opportunity to grab a companion. 
To my way of thinking, you should constantly have minimum 6-7 cards on your hand, not 3. 

Thanks for commenting.

The sun player only has to match the SUIT of the ally's card to recruit them as a companion, not the value.

The chance to for all 3 of the sun player's cards to not match the ally's suit is (3/4)*(3/4)*(3/4) = 27/64 = 0.422 = 42.2%

Therefore, the chance for one of the sun player's cards to match the suit is 1-0.422 = 0.578 = 57.8%

The chance is even higher if you have companion cards to sacrifice.

Let's assume the players have played through 8 rounds, and recruited 4 companions with slightly less than average luck. Also assume that they have fulfilled 3 out of 4 of the conditions, meaning that 1+3 = 4 cards are dealt out. The lowest of those card is the gloom value.

The chance for all 4 cards to be higher than 4 is (9/13)^4 = 23.0%

Therefore, the chance for the group to get either the "okay" or "good" ending is 77.0% in a typical game with 4 companions. With some luck and companion cards to sacrifice and/or achieving all 4 conditions, the percentage is even higher.


Thanx a lot. Missed it out :)


I'm absolutely head over heels for the simplicity and charm of this game! 

The rules are easy to grasp and straightforward, but the addition of a bestiary and the game's masterful writing add so much emotional depth to a very easy-to-grasp card game.

Thank for very much for your kind words!


Great game, can’t wait to run it for my friends!

Quick question: the core mechanic is dealing cards; is there any workaround for this when playing online?

(2 edits) (+1)

I have seen streamers using card dealing plugins online, possibly with roll20 or something similar. Sorry I can't point to the specifics as I'm not very familiar with online play myself. (I've been in a couple of online RPGs, but never hosted one.)

Update: Here's the link to the Card Decks on Roll20: https://wiki.roll20.net/Cards


A fantastic game!

5 Stars!


Thank you! :)


Take on the role of a mortally wounded sun on a road trip quest back to the sky through a gloomy twilit world where the real treasure is the friends we made along the way.

Some highlights:

  1. The title is a pun. This is good.
  2. This is a game about dead or dying gods. This is great.
  3. Gameplay is simple, narrative heavy, and every mechanic builds towards the story's climax.
  4. It uses playing cards, not dice, which I have a fondness for.

The mechanics of resolving turns present the sun with a choice: prioritise overcoming trials, or prioritise gathering companions. Failing challenges costs faith, losing faith ends the game and makes a bad epilogue more likely, but gathering companions for the journey makes the sun stronger (or more versatile) in the long run, and increases the chances of a positive epilogue. Of course, it's not always up to the sun's player: the luck of the draw plays into everything, because this is a game, not freeform storytelling (which is fine, but a different thing). So the sun often has to make the best of bad situations.

All of these factors - faith, companions, the goals of the sun and their mortal needs - come together to define the end of the game, be it a glorious re-ascension, a bitter exile, or something else entirely. The epilogue then touches on the impact of the sun on the world and on their companions.

W.H. Arthur's concise and evocative rules writing is a joy to read, and the game bubbles with potential. It's one of those games that you can feel how it will be to play just by reading it.

I definitely recommend this game!