Monday, December 30, 2013

Dirtsimple Dungeonsquads

I was playing around with the idea of DMing a dungeon for a single player.
The idea is that the player controls a squad of 4 characters (fighter, cleric, thief, wizard)
The rules are cut down to a dirt simple interpretation, so the (a) the player doesn't have to worry about too much stuff and (b) hopefully the player can get through a small dungeon in a single session.

Simplifications I've Made

You have no ability scores.

HP and Armor are both folded into HP.
(fighters have more HP because they can wear better armor.)

Weapon damage and attack bonus have been folded into Damage.
All attacks hit, but the damage is a bit variable.
Damage is based on class, not weapon type.

Saves, Checks, Combat Manuvers are usually against DC 11.
Usually, you get +0 or +5 to these checks.

-I sorta had tournament-style play in mind when I wrote these.
-These might also be suitable for teaching children or babies or something.
-If you want a better simulation of low-level DnD, cut all the HP totals in half.
-If you want to include miss chances, just say that whenever a damage die rolls max damage, it does no damage instead or something.


HP 16
Dmg 1d8 melee 1d8 ranged
Save +5 vs poison and disease
Fighter has +5 to do combat maneuvers (DC is usually 11)
1/day, whenever the fighter would be killed from combat damage, he instead survives with 1 HP.
Note: the fighter sinks in water and drowns unless he makes a saving throw.
Inventory: Torch, 2 day rations, 1 day waterskin, bedroll, 50' rope, grappling hook, grease, 10gp.
Weapons: Longsword, Bow.

HP 14
Dmg 1d8 melee 1d4 ranged
Save +5 vs death and shadow
Cleric can cast 4 spells a day from the following list. He doesn't have to prepare beforehand.
  1. Heal        Heal as Rest or grant a new save vs Poison.
  2. Remove Curse +5 vs DC (usually 11), cannot be reattempted if failed.
  3. Bless Everyone does +1 damage for this combat.
  4. Channel Energy All undead in 30' radius take 1d6 dmg, or single undead takes 2d6 (no save).

Inventory: Torch, 2 day rations, 1 day waterskin, bedroll, holy symbol, 10 foot pole, string, 10gp.
Weapons: Mace, sling.

HP 12
Dmg 1d6 melee 1d6 ranged
Save +5 vs traps and AoE damage
Thief has a 75% chance to do the following things:
Pick locks.
Find traps.
Disarm traps.
Move Silently. (If you succeed, you have 0% chance of being spotted.)
Spot Hidden Stuff. (Other players have a 50% chance. Good for spotting ambush rats.)
Thieves do 3x damage if they surprise attack someone with a melee weapon, but they can only use this once per combat, since they cannot re-enter stealth during combat.
Thieves do 2x damage if they have an altitude advantage when using their ranged attack.
Inventory: Torch, 2 day rations, 1 day waterskin, bedroll, caltrops, smokebomb, lockpicks, 10gp.
Weapons: Dagger, crossbow.

HP 10
Dmg 1d4 melee 1d6 ranged
Save +5 vs spells and illusions
Wizard can cast the following spells:
  1. Detect Magic 1/day Lasts 3 rounds, detects all magic in 60' cone through walls
  2. Summon Monkey 1/day Lasts for 2 minutes. Can summon anywhere within 30'
  3. Sleep 1/day 30' diameter, save or fall into deep slumber
  4. Fireball 1/day 30' diameter, 2d6 damage, save for half

Inventory: Torch, 2 day rations, 1 day waterskin, bedroll, chalk, paper, ink, pen, spellbook.
Weapons: Staff, sling.

2x per day, the entire party can sit down and eat a meal. This takes 1 hour. Roll each separately.
Fighter 1d6+3 HP
Cleric 1d6+2 HP
Rogue 1d6+1 HP
Wizard 1d6 HP

HP and Armor
These are the same thing. Wearing better armor gives you more HP. Every character is currently wearing the best armor that they can.
Fighter Wears up to plate +6 HP but drowns in water if they fail a save
Cleric Wears up to chain +4 HP
Thief Wears up to leather +2 HP
Wizard Wears up to cloth +0 HP

Weapon damage is determined by class. All classes can wield all weapons and they all do the same damage. Every class is already carrying a melee weapon and a ranged weapon. If you want to have cleric-specific magic weapons, just say, “If a cleric wields this, it does +1 damage” or whatever.

Always hit, but do a variable amount of damage. You can't use ranged weapons or wizard spells if someone is in your melee range. Attacks and spells are standard actions, like Pathfinder. You provoke when you run away unless you use a full-round Withdrawal, like Pathfinder.

The DC is usually 11.
You normally get +0 on this, except for certain things relative to your class (listed in character section).

Combat Maneuvers
No attack roll, you just say that you want to attempt it and check against the DC.
The DC is usually 11.
Your default modifier to this roll is +0.
Except fighters, who get +5.

The DC is usually 11.
Your default modifier on this roll is +0.
If something is especially appropriate to your class, you get +5 on it.
Like, clerics can get +5 when remembering stuff about undead or ghosts or something.
And both fighters and rogues get +5 when trying to climb a wall.

If you drop to 0, you are Dying. (-10 HP = instant death, otherwise you're at 0 HP)
While Dying, you have a 25% chance each round of becoming Dead as you bleed out.
If you take more damage while Dying, you become Dead.
If you survive 3 rounds of Dying (three of the 25% checks), you wake up at 1 HP.
If someone heals you, you recover instantly from 0 HP.

We're just testing the dungeon, so combat rules should be dirt simple. This may already be too much.


Every monster has a level. Their level is equal to their save bonus and skill bonus for characteristic skills. Their DC when resisting combat maneuvers is equal to 10+level. Their skill bonus for uncharacteristic skills is always +0.

So a level 7 elf gets +7 to their save, +7 skill bonus when attempting elfy stuff (climbing trees, hiding the in forest, calming down upset owls, making bows, drinking plum wine, etc). The DC to do stuff to them is always DC 10+level, so if you try to trip them, they have DC 17 to resist being tripped. They have a +0 bonus when attempting non-elfy stuff (digging a mine, growing a beard, appraising a gem, drinking beer, plowing a field, etc).

Every monster has a melee attack (listed first) and a ranged attack (listed second). If they have no melee attack, it will just say “no melee”. Same for ranged.

Level is listed after the name, so the Goblin is level 1 and the Ogre is level 4.

Goblin - 1
HP 5
Damage dagger 1d4 thrown rock 1
Inventory 1gp, dagger, rocks, 10% chance of carrying a disease (save or contract)

Imp - 1
HP 3
Damage stinger 1d4 + save or fall asleep ranged firebolt 1d6
Inventory body sheds light as a torch for 1 hour after death

Necrolyte – 2
HP 9
Damage Dagger 1d4 Thrown dagger 1d4 (limited)
SPELLS 2/day: Wither Curse Target saves or gets cursed, -2 max HP. Permanent, stacking.
Inventory 2 wavy daggers, 1d6 gp, 10% of spellbook with new spells

Goblin King – 3
HP 12
Damage jeweled scepter 1d8 melee no ranged
SPECIAL If you ever hit the goblin king in melee for less than 4 damage, you immediately take 3 damage from his counterattack
Inventory jewelled scepter, 70 gp, 1 healing potion

Ogre - 4
HP 20
Damage tree club 2d6 thrown stuff 1d6 (but only if there is stuff nearby to throw)
Inventory 1d6 gp


  1. You make the internet more interesting! Thanks for sharing this simplified system.

  2. This is excellent,I would easily see these rules into a board game like hero quest.

  3. This is really good and I totally see these rules applied to a Board game like hero quest.