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Saturday, August 31, 2013

An OSR Styled Game That Fits on a Single Sheet? Dungeon Delvers (PWYW)

I've often thought about stripping down an OSR styled ruleset to it's very essence, in an attempt to get it to as few pages as possible.

+Brent Newhall has gotten it down to a single sheet of paper with Dungeon Delvers, and I'm impressed. A few d6 and a single sheet of paper and you can experience some old school gaming. Will it be as complete as S&W, LL or one of the others? No, of course not. It would make for an excellent game to run at a convention tho' - print out a half dozen copies of the rules, provide some d6s and you are ready to go.

It's priced as Pay What You Want - so you can grab it for free and then throw a few coppers in the virtual RPGNow tip jar if you find it valuable.

At some point I'll need to run a playtest session to see how this works in actual play, not just in quick read, but it looks playable and the price is certainly right.

From the blurb:

Dungeon Delvers is an ultra-portable one-page D&D variant.

Dungeon Delvers packs a lot into one page: rules for attacks and saves, 4 classes, 3 races, spells, healing, conditions, and monsters. The system uses only a d6. There'll even be a rock-paper-scissors system for rolling a d6!

Here's what you'll get:

A two-page PDF containing the rules on one page, and an expanded spell list on the second page. The spell list includes spells for wizards and clerics levels 1 through 3 (that's a lot of play time).

A one-page PocketMod PDF of the rules that can be printed and folded into a booklet that will fit in your pocket.
An .azw3 file containing the rules and expanded spell list, for use on newer Kindles.
A .mobi file containing the rules and expanded spell list, for use on older Kindles.
An .epub file containing the rules and expanded spell list, for use on iPads and other eReaders.
The System

All rolls are 1d6. Roll 1d6 each for the 6 classic abilities. Attack rolls succeed on 5-6. All other rolls are ability rolls, which succeed if they roll less than or equal to the relevant ability. Ability rolls are used both as skill checks and as saves.

Fighters deal extra hits per level, rogues get a bonus on ability rolls, wizards get one spell per level to use at-will, and clerics can cast any one spell of their choice once per day (more at higher levels).


  1. Replies
    1. O.k, I love the 'no dice roll' table. Two nitpicks though. The first is, why would anyone choose a Human if:
      "Dwarf: Increase constitution by 1.
      Elf: Increase dexterity by 1.
      Halfling: Increase charisma by 1."


      "Leveling Up
      When you complete an adventure, you get 1 experience. Spend 1 experience to take 1 more hit permanently, or spend 2 experience to increase an by 1 permanently."

      He obviously meant 'an ability score', but still.

      In any case, this is still awesome (and the race situation easily house-ruled). I can see this game as being perfect to RP on road trips or whatever.

  2. Make it humans get +1 strength.. Sorted!

  3. yeah, I'm most definitely gonna have to check this game out! I'm in the process of creating my own super-simple fantasy system, but man, this takes the cake!

  4. Yeah, there are a few nitpicks I could make too* but what a great design!

    *1: Can level increase? The "leveling up" section just mentions XP for hits or [ability scores]. But the classes mention level. Huh.
    2: the dice chart needs to be checked. I think a player would be foolish to ever hold up 3 fingers, for example, while 0 or 5 will give him higher rolls, on average. If the DM has to game that system too, it puts an undue burden on him.

  5. Tenkar, do you know Nicolas Dessaux's Searchers of Unknown ?

  6. I actually made a one page system based on "Searchers of the Unknown" for fighters only, then added another page for the magic system. It got me thinking in some other fresh directions, so I decided the complexity was worth the payoff. I ended up, several months later, with "Crumbling Epoch."

    Hacking systems and being inspired by what other people are doing is a wonderful, magical thing.