Uncommon Dungeons, Traditional RPG Adventuring Rules

(These rules have been cribbed together from innumerable sources.  It’s my personal old school heartbreaker ruleset, that I have mostly used while running the Barrowmaze megadungeon)


Uncommon Dungeons
Fools play on a darkened stage,
Swords sharp, and torches high,
Prepare your doom, prepare your lies,
When the dungeon takes it’s tithe.
Core Rules:
ATTACK: d20 +Total Bonuses  ≥ ARMOR CLASS = HIT

      • Master roll d20
      • Expert roll d24
      • Novice roll d30 (default)

* Difficult actions are represented by or +/- 1d (ex. d16 instead of d20) or Advantage/Disadvantage (roll twice, use higher or lower roll)  
* Monster SAVING THROWS: roll under 8+HD with d30.  Some badass monsters roll a d20.

Dice Chain: d3, d4, d5, d6, d7, d8, d10, d12, d16, d20, d24, d30
(a dice rolling app will help if you don’t have the weirder polyhedrons.)

   0. SURPRISE: If appropriate, Wisdom Save.  Surprise = No actions first round
  1. REACTION ROLL: Not all creatures are foes.  If a side decides to parlay, the DM rolls 2d6, modified by casualties and the Charisma of the party leader:           
    1. 3-Hostile / 4-5 Unfriendly / 6-9 Uncertain / 10-11 Friendly / 12+Helpful
  2. INITIATIVE: Designated Player rolls a die vs the DM.  Winning side goes first
  3. TURNS: One ACTION & Move (usually 30ft.)
    1. ACTIONS: Retreat, fight, cast a spell, drink a potion, make a speech, reload, run another 30 ft, parry, attack recklessly, etc

MELEE: d20 + Attack Bonus ≥ Armor Class = Roll damage + Strength Bonus
MISSILE: d20 + Attack Bonus + Dex Bonus ≥ Armor Class = Hit
    • FIRING INTO MELEE  d16, Roll of 1-3 Hits an ally.
    • Long Range:d16; Extreme Range d12
  • CRITICAL HITS  Natural 20!    (max on d12, d16, d24)
    • Maximum damage + roll (ranged weapons roll again)
  • FUMBLE  on a roll of 1 consult the Fumble Table: d20
  • 1 Break weapon
  • 2-3 Wild Swing:   Hit ally for 1d4 (roll randomly)
  • 4-6 Muscle strain or self harm: 1d4 to self
  • 7-9 Disarmed:  Your weapon gets stuck or goes flying 1d10’
  • 10-20 Lower your guard: Foe rolls d24 on next attack.

  • PARRY:  A defender may choose to Parry instead of Attack.  Make a to-hit roll, which replaces AC, if higher, for the rest of the round.   
  • TWO-WEAPONS: +1 Attack.  Advantage on Parry maneuver.  d6 weapons only.
  • RECKLESS ATTACK  Roll d24 to Hit but foes roll a d24 as well.
  • SHIELDS WILL BE SPLINTERED! A shield may be sacrificed to ward off the effects of a Deathblow.  Continue with 1 Hit Point.  Magical shields are not destroyed, but damaged and must be repaired.
  • HELMS RULE: A helm wards one critical hit.  Regular damage only.
  • RETREAT!  A character may withdraw from a foe without attacking.  A man who tries to strike his foe and run entitles the foe to a free swing.
  • LIQUID COURAGE: Once per day, A dram of wine = +1d6HP
  • TAKING PRISONERS A character may choose to inflict KNOCKOUT damage with a final blow, in order to take a prisoner alive.  Victim rolls Constitution Save.
  • HEALING Hit Points heal 1/day/level, x2 Bed Rest, and x3 if under the care of a Hospitalar. Abilities recover at a rate of 1/2/3
  • DEATHBLOW 0 Hit Points, roll d100 -5 per HP below 0: Death & Dismemberment Table  

Attempts to parlay with intelligent creatures are influenced Charisma bonus and roleplay.  DM rolls
2d6 + Modifier
0-2 Hostile: attack in d4 rounds
3-4 Unfriendly: attempt to leave
5-9 Uncertain
10-11 Friendly: trade tips or gear
12+ Helpful: offer advice or help

Horror & Fear
  • Many Undead cause Fear at their approach.  Make a Wisdom Saving Throw or Cower, unable to do more than defend or run screaming: -1 Wisdom
  • Some Undead sap the life and sanity from their foes:  -d4 Wisdom Score Points per Hit Die.
  • 0 Wisdom: become a mad gibbering fool, doomed to rise again as a GHOUL in 1d6 days.
  • Ability points are regained by resting: 1/day, or by Healing Spell: 1/level
  • Wisdom may be regained by Carousing: up to 100gp per level.

  • -1d to all rolls until 1 turn of rest and food.

  • Kills in 1d100 minutes.  Poisoned creatures are helpless during that time.

  • Torches and lanterns provide 30’ of light.
  • Darkness: Melee and Missile attacks are rolled on a d12
  • A dropped torch goes out on a 1 in 6 each round.

Random Encounter Check
roll every Dungeon Turn or 3 Wilderness Turns
1: Monster Encounter: Line of sight or 2d6x10’, 1-3 Front/ 4-6 Rear
2. Foreshadowed Monster, Gloomy Thoughts, or Call of Nature
3. Foreshadowing of monster: blood, victim, remains, tracks, graffiti, sounds
4. Dungeon Dressing (rag, copper, broken haft, helm, flask, broken arrow)
5. Torch or Lantern gutters out, or Weather change (wind, rain, sun or clouds)
6. Hunger or Stress: Exhaustion (-1) unless food is eaten or Wisdom Save

ARMOR    Price AC = 10+Bonus         
Leather & Hide   50gp +2      
Chain               150gp +5 (Stealth Disadvantage)
Plate               500gp +7 (Stealth Disadvantage)
Shield               10gp +3
Helm               5gp (Negate one Critical Hit)
WEAPONS Price Range Damage
Fists of Fury 0 1 (d16 to hit armed foe)
Battle Axe             6 gp 1d8
Great Axe*        12gp 1d12
Hatchet              2 gp     15'  30'  60' 1d6
Dart              5 sp     15'  30'  60' 1d4
Dagger              1 gp      15'  30'  60' 1d4
Dagger, silver        50 gp   15'  30'  60' 1d4 (wounds eldritch creatures)
Mace, Flail, & Morningstar   5 gp 1d8
Club 0 1d4
Maul*        7 gp 1d12
WarHammer    7 gp      1d8
Lance^      10 gp 1d12 (mounted)
Pike*^             7 gp 1d8
Quarterstaff*^        1 gp 1d4
Spear             3 gp      30'  60'  120' 1d6
Gladius        7gp 1d6
Bastard Sword      12 gp 1d8
Claymore 15 gp 1d12
Crossbow*&     25 gp    80'  160'  240' 1d8
Quarrels (10)         3 gp
One silver quarrel    5 gp
Longbow*&       40 gp    70'  140'   210' 1D6
Shortbow*&      25 gp    50'  100'  150' 1D6
Arrows (20)     5 gp
One silver arrow     5 gp
Sling*&       2 gp      30'  60'  120' 1D4
Garrotte (requires surprise) 5 sp 1d6 (Dex Save or Grappled)
Whip*             1 gp 1d4 (Dex Save or Grappled)
Holy Water, Iron Jar 25 gp    10'  30'  60' 2d6 vs undead
Flask of Dwarven Oil     1 gp       10'  30'  60' 1d8/1d6/1d4 Fire (Dex Save)
  • *Two-handed weapon; Crossbow Quarrel rate of fire = ½  (a rushed shot is -1d)
  • ^ Reach: may attack from second rank; 1st Strike in 1st Round
  • & Max roll is rolled again and added.

EQUIPMENT COINAGE: 1pp = 10gp = 100sp = 1000cp
1 Haversack (1000p)        5 gp
2 Candles: 5 (5’, 1hr)        1 sp
3 Chain, 10’                    30 gp
4 Chalk, 1 block 5 cp
5 Chest, empty 2 gp
6 Crowbar          1 gp
7 Horn          3 gp
8 Flint & steel          1 sp
9 Grappling hook              10 sp
10 Hammer, small             5 sp
11 Holy Symbol, Iron          10 gp
12 Holy Water, iron jar      5 gp
13 Iron spike, each    1 sp

LODGINGS: A typical room 1sp /night; Meal 2cp; Ale 1cp; Elvish Wine 10sp  
Living Expenses: Common = 1gp/week; Noble = 10gp/week

Torch-bearer: AC10; HP4; Dagger +0/d4; SV8; ML6; Cost 5sp/day
Man at Arms: AC15 (Leather & Shield); HP5; Axe +1/d6; SV9;  ML8; Cost: 1gp/day
War Dog: AC15; HP8; Bite +1 2d4; SV10; ML12(8 v Undead); Cost: 25 gp
14 Lantern (r30’, 4 hours)        10 sp
15 Mirror, hand-sized        1 gp
16 Oil, 1 flask (1d8/2 rnds)       1 gp
17 Pole, 10’                  1 sp
18 Iron Rations, per day            5 sp
19 Rope, 50’                 10 sp
20 Sack, large (1000p)       5 sp
21 Sack, small  (100p)       5 cp
22 Tinker Tools                        10 gp
23 Torch, 10 (r30’, 1 hour)      5 cp     
24 Wineskin (3 drams)            5 sp
25 Caltrops (Dex SV: d4, ½ MV)    1 gp  
26 Shovel                                  5sp
27 Quill, Ink & Parchment          1gp
28 Whistle                                 1sp
29 Soap                                     1sp
30 MIrror, Steel                        5sp
31 Dram of Wine                       5cp
32 Sledgehammer                    3gp

MOVEMENT = 30’ per round; 90’ per turn, 18 miles per day
Add caption
Encumbrance: Strength Bonus cancels +’s, +1 for backpacks, sacks, large items, or 1000gp
  • 40’   Unencumbered: Leather Armor, Sword and Shield
  • 30’  Lightly Encumbered: Chain or Plate Armor or Backpack
  • 20’  Moderately Encumbered: Chain or Plate and Backpack
  • 10’  Heavily Encumbered: Encumbered: Chain or Plate, Backpack, and 1000gp
  • 0’ Overburdened

Quick Pack:
Choose 1 hand weapon, dagger, bedroll, waterskin, tinderbox, 1 week of rations, one haversack: I, II, or III.
  1. 10 oil flasks, lantern, shovel, 1 iron spike, bag of caltrops, soap, whistle, 1d30 copper pieces
  2. 10 torches, 4 oil flasks, 10 pieces of chalk/charcoal, blank scroll, crowbar, 1d24cp
  3. 5 torches, 4 oil flasks, 50 ft. rope, grappling hook, 10’ wooden pole, 1d20cp

  1. Roll 4d6 (discard the lowest die) for each Ability.
  2. Choose a Class (Maximum Hit Points at 1st level)
    1. Roll for spells if playing a Wizard, Cleric, Elf or Gnome
  3. Choose Equipment
  4. Choose Alignment and Description

Ability Scores: Bonuses add to:
  1. Strength: Save vs Mighty Blows Melee Damage, Encumbrance, Athletics
  2. Dexterity: Save vs Traps Armor Class, Ranged Attacks, Stealth, Legerdemain
  3. Constitution: Save vs Poison Hitpoints
  4. Intelligence: Save vs Illusion Languages, Search, Lore, Tinker, Profession
  5. Wisdom: Save vs Fear Sanity, Surprise rolls, Wildcraft
  6. Charisma: Save vs Magic Perform

Ability Bonuses:
3 -2
4-7 -1
8-14 0
15-17 +1
18+ +2

Skill List: Athletics, Legerdemain, Tinker, Stealth, Search, Lore, Wildcraft, Perform, Craft (Miner, Smith, Brewer, Bowyer etc)


FIGHTER “By Crom!”
Soldiers, Sellswords, Reavers, Slayers
  • Hit Points d8
  • +1d3 Attack & Damage (+1d4 at 2nd, +1d5 at 3rd, +1d6 at 4th, +1d8 at 5th)
  • Strength & Constitution Saves d24
  • Master of all arms and armors.
  • Begin with Leather or Hide Armor, Shield or Weapon

THIEF “Quickly, quietly, carefully”
Explorers, Charlatans, Hunters, Burglars
  • Hit Points d6
  • +1 to Attack per level.
  • Dexterity & Intelligence Saves d24
  • Master of light weapons (d6) and crossbows
  • Backstab a surprised or outnumbered foe: d24 to hit; x2 dmg
  • Choose 3 skills of Expertise (d24)
      • At each level choose 1 skill to upgrade: Novice(d30) - Expert(d24) - Master(d20), or improve Backstab damage.
  • Begin with Tinker’s Tools

WIZARD “The eldritch art is not for the faint of heart”
Explorers of the Chaos  
  • Hit Points d4
  • Intelligence & Charisma Saves d24
  • Lore Expert, Master of staves, darts, crossbows and clubs
  • Iron disrupts the eldritch vibrations required for magic.  All iron utensils must be dropped in order to cast magic spells.
  • Wizards begin with a Spellbook containing 3 random spells of the First Order.  Through constant experimentation and research, 1 random spell is added at each level the Wizard gains.  Acquired spells may also be added to the book at the cost of 1d6 days and 50gp per Order of the spell.
  • Scrolls are scribed at the cost of d6 days and 100gp per Order of the spell.
  • Wizards may prepare to cast one spell per level per day + Intelligence modifier.  The wizard must study the spellbook each morning to commit the mind-bending syllables to memory.  
  • Wizards may cast spells of an Order equal to half their level, rounded up.  Ex. A 3rd level Wizard may cast a 2nd Order spell.  
    • Eldritch Conflagration: Any spell may be sacrificed for 1d8/spell Order damage, range 60’.  d30 Save (under 8+HD) for ½  damage.
    • Dangerous Sorcery: To re-cast a previously cast spell, cast an unprepared spell or a higher Order spell make a d30 Int Save. Failure incurs d6/Order damage.  Rolling over 20 means the spell fails as well.
      • Arcane Sacrifice: Sacrifice 1pt of a random (d6) ability score in exchange for a d20 roll on Dangerous Sorcery.  

CLERIC “Drive back the darkness!”
Inquisitors of the Church of Law (St. Ygg, St. Cuthbert, Mithras)
  • Hit Points d6
  • +1 Attack per level
  • Wisdom & Charisma Saves d24
  • Medicine Expert and Master of Bludgeons
  • Clerics begin the game with 1 spell.  Spells are assigned by the Abbots of the Order according to their own inscrutable divinations.  Roll randomly each time a level is gained.  Beseech more spells for a tithe of 100gp per spell Order.
  • Scrolls may be scribed: 1d6 days & 100gp/Order.  
  • Casting Bless for 10 days creates one iron flask of Holy Water (2d6 v Undead).
  • Clerics prepare to cast 1 spell per level per day + Wisdom modifier.  The cleric must pray each dawn to affirm the holy orisons.
  • Clerics cast spells of an Order equal to half their Cleric level, rounding up.  So a 3rd level Cleric may cast 2nd Order spells.
  • Healing: Clerics may sacrifice any spell to Heal HP 1d8+1/Order
  • Turn Undead: Clerics may sacrifice any spell for this purpose: SAVE or 1d6/Order + Cower for 1 Turn (10mins) (Cowering creatures do not cause fear or give chase).
  • Divine Petition: To attempt to re-cast a previously cast spell make a d30 Wisdom Check.  Failure harms d6/spell Order.  Rolling 20+ means the spell fails as well.
  • Clerics may sacrifice their own blood and sanity.  Lose 1pt of a random (d6) ability score in exchange for a d20 roll on Divine Petition.
  • Begin with a Holy Symbol of the Faith.

You may choose to be an Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Hobbit or Human.
  • Human: Choose 1 Skill or Weapon to Master.  +10% XP/session
  • Elf: Begin with 1 Spell that can only be cast while free of all Iron, d24 Wisdom Saves, Search Skill,  Master of swords and bows, Allergic to Iron, Speak Elven, Chaotic, -2 Constitution Score
  • Dwarf:  Begin with +1d4 hit points, d24 Constitution Saves, Miner Profession Skill, Cannot Swim, Slow(-10’) but never Overburdened, Smell Gold 10’, Speak Dwarven, Lawful, -2 Charisma Score
  • Gnome: Begin with 1 Spell that can only be cast while free of all Iron objects, d24 Charisma Saves, Wildcraft Skill, Small Weapons only (d8 weapons must be used in two hands), Speak with Small Woodland Creatures, Neutral, -2 Constitution, -2 Strength Score
  • Hobbit: +2 AC, +d24 all Saves, Stealth & Performance Skills, Small Weapons only (d8 weapons must be used in two hands), -2 Strength Score

Who is this?
Choose Alignment and some personal details
  • Are you an ally of Law and Light? Or Chaos and Darkness? Or do you hope to remain neutral in the Cosmic Struggle?
  • Imagine a single distinct characteristic: green cloak, red hair, long mustache, purple eyes, tattoo, scar, etc
  • You need a name: Pogba, Mainz, Shaw, Delph, Olympiakos, Manchester, etc

Experience Points are gained by finding treasure and slaying fearsome beasts.
The following options are available at the end of each game session:
  • Funeral Pyres: PCs may donate up to 50gp per hireling or 100gp/level of fallen PC and earn an equivalent level of experience point bonus.
  • Written Campaign Narrative: +100xp/level
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6

When a level is gained, do the following:
  • Roll Hit Points (+Constitution Bonus)
  • +1 to random (d6) Ability Score
  • One of the following
    • Learn a Skill
    • Master a Weapon
    • Improve a Saving Throw.
      • Thieves upgrade or learn one extra skill.
      • Wizards & Clerics: Learn random new spell

CLERIC SPELLS (default old d&d book descriptions)
1st Order
1. Bless (+1 holiness, 10mins)
2. Command
3. Detect Evil
4. Invisibility to Undead
5. Protection from Evil
6. Purify Food & Drink
7. Remove Fear / Cause Fear
8. Sanctuary
9. Speak with Animals
10. Holy Oratory (Amplified speech as if Charisma 18 for 1o minutes)

2nd Order
1. Augury
2. Delay Poison
3. Enthrall
4. Heat Metal
5. Heroism
6. Resist Cold or Fire
7. Sooth the  Savage Beast
8. Silence 15' Radius

3rd Order
1. Cure Disease
2. Dispel Magic
3. Magic Vestment +1AC/Saves, 24hrs
4. Remove Curse
5. Sacrifice
6. Water Walk

4th Order
2. Detect Lie
3. Divination
4. Neutralize Poison
5. Protection from Evil 10' Radius
6. Spell Immunity

5th Order
1. Commune
3. Dispel Evil
4. Insect Plague
5. Quest
6. True Seeing

6th Order
1. Anti-Magic Shell
2. Find the Path
3. Forbiddance
4. Heal
5. Tongues
6. Word of Recall

7th Order
1. Control Weather
2. Earthquake
3. Holy Word
4. Part Water

1st Order
1. Bookspeak
2. Charm Person
3. Comprehend Languages
4. Detect Magic
5. Enlarge/Shrinkage (20%/lvl)
6. Faerie Fire
7. Feather Fall
8. Floating Disc
9. Hold Portal
10. Identify
11. Light/Darkness
12. Magic Aura / Obscure
13. Burning Hands (2d6, 15’ cone)
14. Mending
15. Message 1 phrase, 10miles
16. Shield AC:17, 10mins
17. Sleep Save with Adv during combat, 20’r, 60’
18. Spider Climb
19. Summon (Unique demon)
20. Unseen Servant

2nd Order
1. Audible Glamour
2. Change Self
3. Detect Invisible
4. ESP
5. Force of Forbidment
6. Forget
7. Invisibility
8. Knock
9. Levitate
10. Light, Continual
11. Locate Object
12. Lightning Bolt (2d6, 5’x60’ line from caster)
13. Mirror Image
14. Phantasmal Force
15. Ray of Enfeeblement
16. Speak with Animals
17. Stinking Cloud
18. Wall of Fog
19. Web
20. Wizard Lock
21. Ray of Frost (1d10, Stunned 1 round)

3rd Order
1. Army of One
2. Clairvoyance
3. Detect Illusion
4. Dispel Magic
5. Explosive Runes
6. False Alignment
7. Fly
8. Gaseous Form
9. Gust of Wind
10. Haste / Slow
11. Hold Person
12. Howl of the Moon
13. Invisibility 10' Radius
14. Phantasmal Psychedelia
15. Protection from Normal Missiles
16. Fireball (6d6, 120’ range, 60’ radius)
17. Speak with Dead
18. Strange Waters II
19. Suggestion
20. Water Breathing

4th Order
1. Charm Monster
2. Confusion
3. Creation, Minor
4. Dig
5. Dimension Door
6. Extension
7. Globe of Invulnerability, Minor
8. Hallucinatory Terrain
9. Invisibility, Improved
10. Mnemonic Enhancer
11. Plant Growth
12. Polymorph Others
13. Polymorph Self
14. Protection from Normal Weapons
15. Seven Gates
16. Shadow Monsters
17. Speak with Plants
18. Wall of Fire
19. Wall of Ice
20. Wizard Eye
21. Ice Storm

5th Order
1. Airy Water
2. Animate Dead
3. Chaos
4. Cloudkill
5. Contact Outer Sphere
6. Creation, Major
7. Faithful Hound
8. Feeblemind
9. Hold Monster
10. Interposing Hand
11. Magic Jar
12. Passwall
13. Secret Chest
14. Stone Shape
15. Telekinesis
16. Teleport
17. Transmute Rock to Mud
18. Wall of Force
19. Wall of Iron
20. Wall of Stone

6th Order
1. Animate Dead Monsters
2. Barrier
3. Contingency
4. Death Spell
5. Disintegrate
6. Geas
7. Glass Eye
8. Globe of Invulnerability, Major
9. Legend Lore
10. Lucubration
11. Mind Switch
12. Move Earth
13. Phantasmal Supergoria
14. Projected Image
15. Shades
16. Speak with Monsters
17. Stone to Flesh
18. Suggestion, Mass
19. Veil
20. Weird Vortex

7th Order
1. Animated Artwork
2. Bestow Spell Ability
3. Duo-Dimension
4. Grasping Hand
5. Instant Summons
6. Invisibility, Mass
7. Magic Sword
8. Phase Door
9. Power Word Stun
10. Prismatic Sphere
11. Prismatic Spray
12. Prismatic Wall
13. Remote Surveillance
14. Reverse Gravity
15. Simulacrum
16. Spell Turning
17. Statue
18. Vanish
19. Vision
20. Witchlamp Aura

8th Order
1. Antipathy/Sympathy
2. Charm Person, Mass
3. Clone
4. Demand
5. Maze
6. Mind Blank
7. Permanency
8. Polymorph Any Object
9. Symbol
10. Trap the Soul

9th Order
1. Imprisonment
2. Lost Dweomer
3. Power Word Kill
4. Shape Change
5. Temporal Stasis
6. Time Stop

Sample Characters

Chan the Red
In Uniform, Bearded
HP: 8   AC: 15    XP: 0 Level: 1
STR: 16 (+1)
  INT: 13
  WIS: 8
 DEX: 9
 CON: 13
 CHA: 7 (-1)
SAVING THROWS: Dex, Str & Con d24;
ATTACK:   Melee: +1d3 +1   Ranged: +1d3
Skills: d24 Athletics Languages: Common
Equipment: * Spear 1d6, Dagger 1d4   * Shield, Leather Armor
  * Rations 1 day, Sack, 3 Torches, Soap, Chalk, Tinderbox, 50' Rope, Backpack, Iron Spike
  * 1 Cp

Coutinho the Magician
In Uniform, Ugly
Aligned with Chaos
HP: 5   AC: 10    XP: 0   Level 1
  STR: 7 (-1)
  INT: 15 (+1)
  WIS: 13
 DEX: 9
 CON: 16 (+1)
 CHA: 13
SAVING THROWS: Wis, Int & Cha d24; All others d30
ATTACK: Melee: 0, Ranged: 0
Skills: d24 Lore, Medicine Languages: Common, Black Speech
2 Spells: Comprehend Languages', Light, Shield, Faerie Fire
  * Staff (1d6-1), Garotte
  * Chalk, Soap, Backpack, Sack, Tinderbox, 100' Rope, Lamp, 4 Flasks of oil, Steel Mirror, Scroll Case: Local map and Kingdom map, Holy Water(2d6), 2 day's Rations
  * 4 Cp

Antonina the Beatific
Elaborate Attire, Bald
Aligned with Law
HP: 7   AC: 10    XP: 0    Level 1
STR: 9
  INT: 14
  WIS: 18 (+2)
 DEX: 10
 CON: 15 (+1)
 CHA: 8
SAVING THROWS: Dex, Wisdom & Charisma d24; All others d30
ATTACK:   Melee: +1, Ranged: +1
Skills: d24 Medicine Languages: Common, Old Law
Equipment: * Mace 1d8, dagger 1d4 * day of Rations, Sack, 3 Torches, Soap, Chalk, Tinderbox,  50' Rope,  Backpack,  Iron Spike, Iron Cross, Holy Water(2d6)
  • 3 Spells per day: Turn Undead, Cure Wounds(d8+lvl), or Bless

Elneny the Dreaded
Roughly Dressed, Missing an Eye
HP: 8   AC: 15    XP: 0   Level 1
STR: 15 (+1)
  INT: 5 (-1)
WIS: 12
 DEX: 12
 CON: 12
 CHA: 15 (+1)
SAVING THROWS: Str & Con d24
ATTACK: Melee: +1d3, Ranged: +1d3
Skills: d24 Athletics Languages: Common
Equipment:  *Sword 1d8+1,  Dagger 1d4 * Shield, Leather Armor * day of Rations,  Sack, 3 Torches, Soap, Chalk, Tinderbox, 50' Rope, Backpack, Iron Spike * 1 Cp

Mourinho the Special One
Robes, Crying
Aligned with Chaos
HP: 4   AC: 10    XP: 0   Level 1
STR: 6 (-1)
INT: 17 (+1)
  WIS: 12
 DEX: 11
 CON: 10
 CHA: 9
ATTACK:  Melee: 0 Ranged: 0
Skills: d24 Tinker Languages: Common, Black Speech
Equipment:  * Dagger, Whip  1d4-1 *Chalk, Soap, Backpack, Sack,  Tinderbox, 100' Rope,  Lamp with 4 Flasks oil, Steel Mirror, Scroll Case: Local map and Kingdom map, Iron Jar of Holy Water 2d6,  2 day's Rations
* 4 Cp
*2 Spells:  Identify, Detect Magic, Faerie Fire, Charm Person

Mustafi the Black
In Uniform, Missing 4th finger
Aligned with Law
HP: 8   AC: 15    XP: 0   Level 1
STR: 16 (+1)
  INT: 9
  WIS: 14
 DEX: 12
 CON: 12
 CHA: 14
SAVING THROWS: Cha, Str & Con d24
ATTACK:   Melee: +d3 +1,   Ranged: +d3
Skills: d24 Athletics Languages: Common
Equipment:  * Dagger, Polearm, Shield, Leather Armor  * day of Rations, Sack, 3 Torches, Soap,  Chalk, Tinderbox, 50' Rope, Backpack, Iron Spike   
* 1 Cp

Shaw the Broken
Drab Clothing, Hairy
Aligned with Law
HP: 6   AC: 15    XP: 0   Level 1
STR: 11
  INT: 11
  WIS: 13
 DEX: 13
 CON: 12
 CHA: 11
SAVING THROWS: Dex, Wis & Cha d24
ATTACK:   Melee & Ranged: +1
Skills: d24 Athletics Languages: Common
Equipment:   * Flail 1d8, Shield, Dagger, Leather Armor  * Day of Rations, Sack, 3 Torches, Soap, Chalk, Tinderbox, 50' Rope, Backpack,  Iron Spike, Wooden Cross  
1 Spell:    Turn Undead, Cure Wounds(d8+lvl), or Bless

Rashford the Poacher
Threadbare Clothing, Obese
Neutral Alignment
HP: 7   AC: 11    XP: 0   Level 1
  STR: 9
  INT: 9
  WIS: 11
 DEX: 16 (+1)
 CON: 15 (+1)
 CHA: 10
SAVING THROWS: Cha, Dex & Int d24
ATTACK:    Melee: +1, Ranged: +2
Skills d24: Stealth, Tinker, Search, Athletics, Languages: Common
Sneak Attack (d24, x2)
Equipment:  * Shortbow 1d8, Quiver - 10 Arrows, Dagger 1d4  * Tinker Tools, Chalk, Soap,  3 Torches, Backpack, Sack,  Tinderbox, 50' Rope, 1 day's Rations
  * 1 Cp

Rapinoe the Kicker
Elaborate Attire, Ugly
Neutral Alignment
HP: 8   AC: 14    XP: 0   Level 1
STR: 16 (+1)
  INT: 6 (-1)
  WIS: 8
 DEX: 12
 CON: 11
 CHA: 13
SAVING THROWS:    Con, Strength, Dexterity d24
ATTACK:   Melee: +1d3+1,  Ranged: +1d3
Skills d24 Athletics Languages: Common
Equipment:   * Short bow 1d8, Quiver With 10 Arrows, Broad Sword 1d8   * Leather Armor   * day of Rations, Sack, 3 Torches, Soap, Chalk, Tinderbox, 50' Rope, Backpack, Iron Spike
     * 1 Cp

Firmino the Slick
Messy Clothing, Ugly
HP: 4   AC: 15    XP: 0   Level 1
  STR: 14 (+1)
  INT: 10
  WIS: 13 (+1)
 DEX: 15 (+1)
 CON: 10
 CHA: 9
SAVING THROWS: Con, Dex & Int d24
ATTACK:    Melee: +1    Ranged: +2
Skills d24: Stealth, Tinker, Search  Languages: Common, Black Speech
Equipment:   *Dagger 1d4+1, Crossbow 1d12, Quiver - 20 Bolts    * Leather Armor    *Tinker Tools, Chalk, Soap, Backpack, Sack, Tinderbox, 100' Rope, Lamp With 4 Flasks oil, Steel Mirror, Holy Water, 2 day's Rations
  * 4 Cp

Experience Points

Attack Bonus

Armor Class

Hit Dice
Hit Points


Movement per Round




____Level 1

____Level 2

____Level 3

Design Notes:
In recent years D&D players have been posted their house rules on the internet.  Many have published their versions of D&D as “retro-clones”, games unto themselves.  Among the most popular are Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Dungeon Crawl Classics, but there are now more than 300 various pdfs and books floating around, each offering some variation to taste of the d20 rpg experience.  At some point the obsessive D&D fan, like a connoisseur of fine wine, must mix and match and create his own vintage.  Hence, Uncommon Dungeons.
My priorities with these rules were all about creating a very simple fast playing game that works well with exploration focused games over customization and tabletop combat and appealed to a couple of minor pet peeves.  Just as ability checks are dangerous and encourage players to avoid needing to roll them, combat should be similarly a last resort.  Experience points for gold and carousing encourages this as well.
To minimize math at the table by making in game situations change dice rolled instead of modifiers (+’s and -’s).  This brings about the least standard element, which is the use of the Dice Chain, adding d3s, d5’s, d7’s, d14’s, d16s, d24s and d30s to the standard polyhedral set.  This can make for some searching at the table for the right die, and some searching the nets in order to purchase those dice in the first place, but weird dice are fun and they allow for the roll under mechanic.  
Combat rules also de-emphasize modifiers.  The strength score does not improve chances to hit in melee, while dexterity does not increase damage with ranged attacks.  The extreme danger of arrows and spears is modeled with an “exploding dice” mechanic.  
Another priority is to make direct use of the 3-18 ability scores.  In most D&D games, scores are generated rolling a handful of d6s, those numbers are then converted to +/-4 modifiers and the scores themselves are hardly used again.  This has always bothered me a bit.  Long ago, “skill checks” were made by rolling under a score with a d20.  This made use of the score, but it created a situation where-in a high score ability would nearly always guarantee success and there was no room to grow.  Using d30s and d24s roll under mechanic for skills and saving throws makes success far less likely but allows a character to improve with time.  
Although simplification is a priority, I like spellcasters to have a bit of unpredictability and danger, so there are rules for spontaneous magic use and rules for risking themselves to perform additional and more powerful magic.  On the other hand, I have no interest in writing new spells, so the spell lists from from a variety of sources are available, from AD&D to LotfP.    
Finally, there are a number of niggly combat rules to encourage a quick and dangerous style of play based on choices rather than character options.  This begins with weapons and armor.  Shields were historically the most crucial armor, so the defense bonus is higher than is usual.  Conversely, two-handed weapons do quite a bit more damage, so the trade-off is a decision based on desired fighting style.  Similarly, ranged weapons can be very effective, but become much less reliable when hand to hand battle is joined.  
There is a balance between keeping the possibility serious consequences and over-doing it.  For example, a character that is poisoned makes a Constitution saving throw to avoid death, a terrible consequence mitigated a bit by time.  If players can find an antidote in time, the poison may be counter acted.  Similarly, the touch of many undead monsters is often a death sentence.  In these rules, the black touch is tied to fear and sanity as represented by the Wisdom Score.  Characters lose their grip on reality as they delve into the unknown.  This becomes another way to lose a character and makes the undead especially fearsome without level drain or extremely temporary hit point reduction.
Design Questions:  
Are elves, dwarves etc too good?  I don’t want to add too much to humans to compensate.  I am thinking of an XP tax, perhaps +200xp/level.

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