I've been challenged to write a GLOGHACK in a single day,
Here's a game that only requires a single coin.
This idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while. It's not brand new, so I'm only cheating a little bit.
This is a game meant to be played under minimal circumstances, when you don't have dice or a table.
- During a car ride.
- On a hike.
- Stuck in an elevator.
- In prison.
I want this game to be an OSR-style game at heart, but I also want it to be as much like the GLOG as possible.
However, this is a tabletop game that is meant to be played without a table (or dice).
If you want a resolution mechanic, flip a coin. Or play rock paper scissors. Or wager on whether the next license plate will be odd or even.
It's also a pen-and-paper game meant to be played without either. This is the hardest part, since tracking things is such a huge part of the game. I'm going to write these rules assuming that your materials are minimal-to-none, but if possible, definitely get some paper and pencils if you can.
I'm assuming that this is probably going to be a quick one-off game, so start your players off at the entrance to the dungeon. Everyone is assumed to have food, water, armor, a melee weapon, and an unlit torch.
The goal of the game is to go into the dungeon and find big treasure and then haul it out. Alternatively, if you want to give them 1-2 quests more specific to that dungeon, go right ahead (but if you give them quests, it may feel unfulfilling if you run out of time before you complete them).
We're gonna ignore time-keeping on this one. I promise it'll be okay.
You can have a meaningful game without strict time records--barely.
Your character sheet is made up of the following fields.
- Class + Level
- Good Stat
Pretty much all of this is easy to memorize, so if you don't have a pencil and paper you can probably still get by. It's a pen-and-paper game that doesn't use either.
You can track HP with quarters or some other token. That will help prevent fights.
Inventory is the hardest one. Part of the game is stuffing your inventory with weird shit, so if you only have a Kleenex and a crayon, use it to write down your inventory.
Everyone starts at Level 1 and has 2 HP.
Everyone starts with food, water, a blanket, a torch, armor, and a melee weapon.
Choose one or roll:
- ranged weapon
- lockpick (breaks on a success)
Everyone has one good stat chosen from the following list: Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.
If your players aren't familiar with the basic six stats, just let them pick whatever. They can pick Toughness or Wit if they want. Hell, they can pick Luck.
Everyone picks one skill that they are good at, like First Aid or Animal Handling.
No social skills. No Investigate, Perception, Investigation, or Trap Finding. (Taking a skill like "Mechanisms" or "Lock Picking" is still fine, though.)
Base Resolution Mechanic
Everything is a coin flip. There are no modifiers. You could make these rolls with advantage/disadvantage (flip two coins and use the best/worst) but this should only be done as a last resort.
Instead, if you are good at something, your successes tend to be better and your failures tend to be milder.
For example, an average character attempts to sneak past a guard:
- Heads = they sneak past the guard
- Tails = the guard sees them
If a thief whose Good Stat is Dex attempts to sneak past the same guard:
- Heads = they sneak past the guard and are able to bring another character along with them
- Tails = they realize that this guard is alert, and that they cannot sneak past them safely
This applies to both your Good Stat and your Skill.
This is the primary resolution mechanic. Don't just roll advantage/disadvantage on everything. (That's essentially just turning it into a d4 roll-under system.)
Weapons, Armor, Light Sources, Ammunition, Rations, Inventory Slots
Honestly, you can ignore these things and still have a fun game. Trust me on this.
There are three classes.
Fighters count as 1 level higher during combat. (See below.)
Thieves get 1 Luck point every level. You can declare any roll to be lucky. If a non-combat roll is Lucky, you can treat it as if you were Skilled in it. If an Attack roll is declared to be Lucky, you deal double damage on a hit. If a Defense roll is declared to be Lucky, you may roll with advantage.
Wizards start with a spellbook (2 known spells) and 1 Magic Penny (MP). You gain 1 MP whenever they level up, and learn new spells by identifying scrolls. When you cast a spell, choose how many MP you want to invest. The more heads, the stronger the spell. MP that come up heads are expended, and do not return until you get a good night's sleep.
They function more-or-less identically to GLOG wizards
, so you can use those rules with the following conversions.
- If you need to convert dice into d6s, a tails counts as 2 and a heads counts as a 5.
- If you need to convert damage into HP, treat every 1d6 as 1 HP. If that's not possible, divide the damage by 4 and round to the nearest whole number.
The game is a dungeoncrawler. Go in the dungeon. None of your achievements count unless you make it back out alive.
1-in-4 chance whenever the party lingers or backtracks. (Even a little bit of back-tracking.)
Leaving the dungeon requires 2 random encounter checks.
Monsters, Heads = neutral/talkative but they still don't like you
Monsters, Tails = immediately hostile/aggressive
NPC, Heads = friendly
NPC, Tails = wary, one wrong word away from becoming hostile
First, everyone flips a coin. Everyone who gets heads wins initiative, and gets to act in the round before the monsters. Then the monsters go. Then the players go. It alternates from there.
To make an attack roll, flip a coin. If you get a heads, you deal 1 HP of damage to the enemy.
- If you are higher level than your opponent, you attack with advantage.
- If your target is more than twice your level, you attack with disadvantage.
When defending against an enemy, flip a coin. If you get tails, you take 1 damage.
- If you are a lower level than your opponent, you defend with disadvantage.
- If you are at least twice the level of your opponent, you defend with advantage.
Casting spells on unwilling creatures is treated the same way. It's easier to cast spells on enemies when you are higher level than them, and much harder if they are more than 2x your level.
The party can eat lunch once and only once. Everyone gets all of their HP back. Afterwards, the DM immediately rolls for a random encounter (1-in-4 chance).
Death and Dying
If you drop to 0 HP, you're unconscious until the end of combat. Afterwards, you're exhausted and you can't take any actions the first round of every combat, even if you recover HP. If you drop to 0 HP a second time, you die.
But I NEED to Roll a d6
Just flip a coin, dude.
So what if your dungeon only has two kinds of wandering monsters? It works fine. Why do you need more? How many wandering monsters do you actually encounter on the average day of dungeoneering?
But if you insist, roll 3 coins. We'll turn it into binary.
- TTT = 000 = 0 (reroll)
- TTH = 001 = 1
- THT = 010 = 2
- THH = 011 = 3
- HTT = 100 = 4
- HTH = 101 = 5
- HHT = 110 = 6
- HHH = 111 = 7 (reroll)
This is also how you would roll a d8. Treat 0s like 8s.
Enemies have HP equal to their level, minimum 1.
- Bandit, Level 1, bow + arrow
- Berserker, Level 1, makes a free attack when killed.
- Sprite, Level 1, can only be killed when hit by two simultaneous attacks
- Cultist, Level 1, MP 1, can cast sleep, rage
- Swordmaster, Level 3, if you miss her with a melee attack she may make a free attack back
- Wizard, Lvel 3, MP 3, can cast reverse gravity, wall of fire
- Ogre, Level 4, 2 attacks, greedy
- Owlbear, Level 4, 2 attacks, hungry
- Giant Ooze, Level 5, grab, slow
- Troll, Level 6, regenerates 1 HP/turn unless it takes fire damage
- Lich, Level 7, MP 4, can cast animate dead, dominate, wall of ice, dimension door
- Giant, Level 8, 2 attacks, can throw rocks
- Dragon, Level 10, 2 attacks, can breath fire (attack everyone) with a 50% recharge each round
Although honestly most of these are not as easy to run as your average One Page Dungeon. You might want to search for some of those first.
Assuming acces to more than one coin and/or different kinds of coins you could use them to track stuff. The simplest option would be to, for example, use to coins to keep track of HP, but a single coin would do too (head = 2HP left, tails = 1 HP left). Some other coins could be used to "empower" attacks, one side dealing 2 dmg and the other 4 or something like that. Alternatively, you could use your body to track stuff or signify actions (assuming you have a body, of course). Closing your eyes, raising hands, folding arms, showing palms, crossing legs or whatever. The potential is far from limitless, but it is definitely there (or is it???).ReplyDelete
So if I'm casting a spell that deals [sum] damage, the equivalent in coins, [sum] and Copper HP is:ReplyDelete
T = 2 [sum] = 0 damage
H = 5 [sum] = 1 damage
TH = 7 [sum] = 1 damage
HH = 10 [sum] = 2 damage
HHT = 12 [sum] = 3 damage
Is that right? I feel like there's an easier way to wrangle this
Nah, just say 1 MD equals 1 HP of damage. You lose some granularity but we'll survive.Delete
Alternatively, spells do 1 HP damage per MP invested, then flip a coin to deal an additional 1 damage.Delete
Maybe tails = 0 damage, heads = 2 damage? It's a bit swingy but it has the same average and preserves the idea of the MD (high results are more powerful but expend the die.)Delete
Maybe say minimum 1 maximum level+1 if you want to bound it a bit.
"If you need to convert dice into d6s, a tails counts as 2 and a heads counts as a 5"ReplyDelete
Is that meant to be 'convert flips into d6s' ?