From the Introduction:
Welcome to TAU! At first glance, TAU seems to be a lot of different things: a card game, a role-playing game, and a collaborative storytelling game. The rules for such a game could be ridiculously complicated, but we have pared it down to the simplest elements to make the game easy to learn and to have as few limits as possible on the group's creativity.
TAU is played with communal storytelling, meaning that it does not need pencil, paper, or dice; only the Players' minds are needed to determine outcomes. The game usually starts out with the Players finding their characters facing a series of potentially lethal challenges from which in all likelihood the players' characters will not survive. The winner is the Player of the last Character standing, or at least still alive - plenty of games have been won prone! Remember, TAU (T) is the Greek letter symbolizing death and rebirth. Don't be afraid to take creative and entertaining risks! There's always another round!
These rules are optimized for a group of five: four Players, and one Storyteller.
User added information:
TAU has three phases: the Trick phase, the Character phase, and the Storytelling phase.
The Trick phase is similar to a standard trick-taking game such as Hearts or Spades. Each card in the game contains not only attributes for RPG characters, but also a suit and rank of a standard 52-card deck. Only the Players take part in the Trick phase - the Storyteller never has any cards.
The Character phase consists of the Players taking one card from each trick they won and creating their character with the results. If a player won no tricks, he takes three cards from the discards of the other Players.
The Storytelling phase is the RPG phase. The Storyteller (GM) creates a situation in which the Player Characters are in grave danger. The Players can react with their Character cards, but eventually all will die. The last Player Character alive wins the round, and another round is then dealt out and played through all three phases. Players play as many rounds as desired, but the essence of the game is that all Characters always die!