Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rules v0.1


This is an as yet unnamed DnDalike RPG rules system aimed at simplicity and a more tactical, board-game-like combat system.


Roll Stats
Roll 3d6 six times and assign them to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma in the order you roll them. Record the corresponding bonus for each stat.


Class Power
Choose any power from the special Class Powers listed later in this document. These are grouped into three different classes: fighter, rogue, and wizard. The power you pick determines your character’s class. Your level is determined by the number of powers you have.

Choose an equipment pack from this document. Or just use the DnD 5e rulebook if you don't like pictures.

Record your health by consulting the chart below and adding your Constitution Modifier.


Maximum Fatigue
Your Maximum Fatigue is your wisdom modifier + 6.

Armour Class
Record your armour class by recording the appropriate value from the table below, and adding your Charisma Modifier. Also record the amount of fatigue associated with that armour.

Permanent Fatigue
Light Armour
Heavy Armour
Full Plate

Action Dice
You will also need to note what action dice your character uses. You begin with one Movement Die and one Attack Die (assuming you have some kind of weapon) but this may change depending on which weapons you are equipped with.

Free hand: 1 extra Movement Die
2 Weapons: 1 extra Attack Die
Shield: 1 extra Shield Die and an access to the Block ability.
Two Handed Weapon: No extra dice, but you may gain a fatigue to perform any slow attack action as a quick action. Attacks deal double wounds.
Bow and arrows: No extra dice, but you may perform any slow attack action as a quick action. Ranged.

Sorcerous characters may also have access to a spell stone. Consult the Spellcasting section for details.

Character done.


attack rolls
movement rolls
health / level
all skill rolls
maximum fatigue
armour class



A character makes a saving throw by rolling d6 and meeting or exceeding their current fatigue. A natural 6 is always a success. A natural 1 is always a failure.

Whereas most other DnDalikes use saving throws sparingly, these rules do not. Whenever an adventure calls for a saving throw, the DM may rule that the saving throw is applied or that the negative effect is suffered without recourse.


Characters may gain fatigue in order to perform extraordinary actions. Other times life just wears you down. You may only voluntarily gain fatigue up to your fatigue maximum, although external forces can force you to gain fatigue beyond this limit. You must take a wound for each fatigue you gain beyond your maximum.


When a character receives one or more wounds, their controller adds d6 points of damage in secret to their total damage for each wound suffered. This total is hidden and cannot be revealed. Damage alone cannot kill a character, no matter how much of a beating they receive - they can even be damaged beyond the limit of their Health value. To kill someone, you need a finishing blow.
Finishing Blows
When a character suffers a finishing blow they must reveal their damage total. If it is equal to or greater than their health then they die immediately.
Lesser Characters
Do not record damage received by minions, henchmen and other lesser characters. Instead, openly keep track of how many wounds they have suffered. When they are dealt a finishing blow, then the player responsible may roll all the wounds as damage immediately, before checking to see if they have damage equal to or greater than their health. If so, then then they die just like anyone else. If not, their damage is still not recorded. Instead, all wounds are rolled each time they receive a finishing blow.


A character with advantage rolls twice, setting the die to the higher of the two results. A character with disadvantage also rolls twice, but selects the lower of the two results. Advantage and Disadvantage cancel each other out.


An Attack Action is any action that requires Attack Dice (A) to activate. The same is true for Movement Actions and Movement Dice (M), and so on.


An action is successful if its relevant die value is equal to or greater than the opposing value at the time of resolution.


These rules are used to simulate battle between two or more opposing parties. Most often this will mean a party of heroes (each character controlled by a separate player) facing off against a party of monsters (each character controlled by the game’s dungeon master).


In combat each party takes their turn separately. If their are multiple players in a single party it is expected that those players will agree between themselves on the order in which their characters will perform their actions.

The party that has been in the area longest always takes the first turn. So, in a dungeon, monsters act first.


Characters spend resources to take actions. Most often these resources are ACTION DICE, but there are other resource costs as well. Different resources can be used to perform different actions.

Available resources for abilities include:
Action Dice: The main resource for performing actions. A character’s pool of action dice is refreshed at the end of their party’s round. Some types of action dice are:
Movement Dice (M): Spent to move or to dodge.
Attack Dice (A): Spent to attack or to trip another character
Shield Dice (S): defending yourself or others from attacks.

Fatigue (F): The ability to gain fatigue is available in order to regain spent action dice or perform special actions.

Actions can be slow, meaning that they can only be performed on that character’s turn, or quick, meaning that they can be performed at any time.

When a character wishes to perform an action, first their player must announce how the ability will be used, pay the cost, roll any dice that were part of that cost, and then put the ability on the stack.

The ability does not resolve immediately. Once it is on the stack all players have the option to activate any quick abilities in response. If a player does, that ability goes on the stack on top of what was already waiting there. When all players decline to do anything, the top ability on the stack will resolve.

Dice are rolled as part of paying costs, but the action’s success is not calculated until the ability resolves.

For example, Georgia rolls a 2 on her attack roll against an orc with an armour of 2. This would be a success, but the orc uses a dodge action in response, rolling a 3. By the time Georgia’s attack resolves the orc’s armour has risen to 3, and her attack of 2 is a miss.

When the stack is empty and both players decline to use any further actions, play moves to the end of turn step.


No actions can be used during the end of a turn.

At the end of the turn first all end of turn effects are resolved, and then the active party’s action dice are replenished. Play then moves to the next party’s turn.

This repeats until EVERYONE IS DEAD. Or until combat is otherwise resolved, I suppose.


There are four basic actions that all characters can perform.

MOVE - slow
M: Raise your AC to M until the end of the turn then move your movement rate.

DODGE - quick
F, M: Raise your AC to M until the end of the turn.

JAB - slow
A: On a hit the target takes a wound.

A: On a hit the target suffers a finishing blow.

In addition, any character with a shield may perform the block action.

BLOCK - quick
S: Choose one-
  • Cancel a melee attack with a target within melee range and an A of S or less.
  • Cancel a ranged attack with a target within melee range. Return a S die to your available pool.



Attacks can either target a character or stacked ability of a character. Unless another condition for success is stated, either kind of attack is successful if the attack’s attack die is equal to or greater than the target’s armour class at resolution.


Attacks may only be made against targets within reach of the attacker’s weapon. Melee attackers must be next to their target. Ranged attackers must be able to see their target. If the target is not within range when the attack resolves then the attack is an automatic failure.


Characters making a ranged attack against a character with one or more characters in melee range must gain a fatigue and then make a saving throw. If they fail then the instead make their attack against another character of the DMs choice (who will usually determine randomly). The character may forgo the fatigue and the saving throw to just let the DM choose.


Instead of placing an attack action on the stack, you may instead choose to merge that attack with another character’s stacked movement action, stating at which point during the move you would like your attack to take over. When that point in the move action is reached, you may take over with your attack action. Once the attack is completed then the movement action is completed.

For example, a goblin puts a move action on the stack, stating that he will run past Georgia and escape into the labyrinth. Georgia wants to attack the goblin as he runs past, so she merges an attack action with the goblin’s move action, stating that she will interrupt the goblin’s move with her attack when he comes within range. When the goblin’s move resolves he moves the stated direction until his movement  brings him within range of Georgia’s attack, and Georgia’s attack action is immediately resolved. Once the interrupting action is complete the goblin may then complete the rest of his move action.


Any attack roll of a natural 6 is an automatic hit. Similarly, a natural 1 is an automatic miss.


When a character suffers a wound with any abilities on the stack, they must immediately make a saving throw or cancel all of their stacked abilities. If they suffer a successful attack that does not cause a wound then they they must make a saving throw with advantage or cancel all of their stacked abilities. An ability that is already being resolved cannot be cancelled by an attack or a wound suffered as part of resolving that ability.

If a character dies with abilities on the stack then all of their abilities are immediately canceled.


Skills are non-combat tasks that take some time to complete. Any one and done activity that might be considered a “skill” in other flavours of RPG (such as jumping across a chasm or whatever) should either be resolved by DM fiat or a saving throw.

Much like wounds and finishing blows in combat, there are two parts to completing a skill  progress and completion.  A character may attempt to progress a task by succeeding in a saving throw. Failure will have different consequences depending on the skill. A character may only attempt to progress task a certain number of times, depending on their expertise. After that they must either attempt to complete the task, or leave it alone. Some tasks can receive progress from multiple different characters, whilst some must be completed alone, as ruled by the DM.

Skill Level
Maximum Progress attempts

A character may attempt to complete a task by revealing the progress requirement of the task, and rolling a die for each progress on the task. If the dice result is equal to or greater than the task’s progress requirement then the task is successfully completed. Otherwise, it is a failure, and, hopefully, destroys itself and everyone else around it.

Progress and Completion attempts may be made in combat as if they were combat actions by spending movement dice.


Everybody sneaking makes saving throws to avoid adding progress to the skill pool, and then the whoever’s trying to spot them gets to roll completion at intervals set by common sense and the DM.


Resting characters remove all fatigue, regain all spell stones and removes one wound. One or more characters may forgo these benefits and gain a fatigue to keep watch. They must make a skill roll with a difficulty equal to 1 + the level of the dungeon they are on and a progress requirement equal to the total fatigue of all resting characters. On a success all other characters are recuperated. On a failure the party is ambushed instead.

The party may agree to reduce the amount of fatigue they will lose during their rest in order to reduce the progress requirement of the skill test, but in this case no wounds will be removed and no spell stones are regained.


Sorcerers cast spells by drawing on the power of mystic menhirs they have placed at the intersections of powerful ley lines, obviously. The power that this bestows upon the sorcerer is represented in game by a little bag or cup with a coloured spell stone(O) for each menhir they have placed out in the world. Sorcerers can spend these stones in order to use magic, and gain access to the Cast A Spell ability.

M, M: Draw a spell stone at random from your bag and place it in your discard pile.
Although this action uses movement dice, it is not a movement action. It is a spell action.

O, M: Cast a spell of level O or less. Make a saving throw with a negative penalty equal to the spell’s level. On a failure the spell is still cast, but the sorcerer must gain a fatigue. On a natural 6, as well as being an automatic success, the character must gain a fatigue and put another copy of the spell on the stack at no cost.
Although this action uses movement dice, it is not a movement action. It is a spell action.

At the end of their turn sorcerers must take a saving throw. If the saving throw fails they must either choose to gain a fatigue or lose all spell stones in their active pool and their discard pile. These stones are removed from the game, and are not returned until the sorcerer has a serious rest (see Resting, above). Out of combat a sorcerer must make this check every ten minutes instead.


The placement of a menhir determines what kind of power it provides, and therefore also what kind of spell it can be used to cast. A spell can be cast using multiple different types of power stone, but at least one must match the school of magic to which the school belongs. The DM may also rule that particularly powerful spells need more than one spell stone of the appropriate type.

The schools of magic will differ depending on your game, but each one should be assigned a colour and a location that their menhirs must be placed.

For example, if using elemental magic, fire magic stones are red, and fire menhirs must be placed on mountain ley lines. Water magic stones are blue, and water menhirs must be placed on the ley lines of seaside caves. Alternatively, if using the spells from DnD 5e, necromancy spells are black, and their menhirs must be placed in graveyards, whilst transmutation stones are sickly green and their menhirs must be placed on the lips of chaos pits.


Level 1 Sorcerers are assumed to have a menhir of the school of their choice, placed at their wizarding college, master’s basement or similar. This will give them access to a spell stone at the beginning of the game, but their benefactor may destroy the stone if the sorcerer begins to work against them, or deny their requests.

Additional Menhirs may be placed by undertaking a quest to a place of great power, and lugging a great fucking rock the whole way. Or perhaps this could also be achieved by mining, carving and sanctifying one on site. Either undertaking should represent an intermediate to extreme pain in the arse. The exact place that the menhir must reside is usually somewhere secret, secluded, and hard to get to. Most large dungeons have at least one potential Menhir slot.

Examples include in the secret room under the king’s throne, at the bottom of an enchanted lake, within the nest of a shrike bird, etc.


A character’s level is equal to the total number of class powers they have access to. Characters may advance in level spending the money that they have gained adventuring. This is an abstracted transaction, and does not literally represent the straightforward purchase of an power. Rather, the character spends the money on nice fluffy stuff such as parties, castles and exotic pets, and then receives the power as a bonus. This money may not be spent on useful dungeoneering/combat stuff such as armour or pick axes.

Money Spent
Class Ability Gained


The class in which a character has gained the most powers is their dominant class (a character may have more than one dominant class). A character may purchase further powers from their dominant classes at the rate shown in the above table. A character may purchase powers from other classes by spending 1.5 times the amounts shown in the above table.

Whenever a character gains a level they also gain an amount of health, determined by the class of the power they just selected and their constitution modifier.  The table for this can be found in the character creation section.


Here are some example class powers.


Exert - gain the Exert ability.
EXERT- quick
F: Regain a lost action die.

Spell - gain access to a new spell each time you choose this ability. The Cthonic Codex has some good spells, or you could just use DnD 5e. Whatever, really.

Powerful  - you may spend spell stones as if they were action dice of any type. The stone counts as a natural 6, but you must roll a saving throw as if you were casting a spell.


Tumble - you may gain fatigue to perform slow Movement Actions as if they were quick actions.

Skilled - gain a rank in any one Skill.

Lucky - You have advantage on all saving throws


Trip - gain the Trip ability.
TRIP - quick
A: On a hit, cancel target movement ability.

Heavy Hitter - Each attack (successful or not) forces the target to gain a fatigue.

Riposte - Gain the Riposte ability
RIPOSTE - quick
A: On a hit, cancel target melee attack that has an A equal to or less than your A.

No comments:

Post a Comment