Monday, April 6, 2015

Dungeon Delvers: Musings About a Rules-Light Roleplaying Game

What danger awaits these brave dungeon delvers?
There's only one way to find out...
Occasionally while you're hanging out with a few of your friends, you get this urge to roll some dice, explore some dungeons, kill some monsters, and find some treasure. However, you don't want to pull out the good, ol' rulebooks because you really don't want to deal with all those cumbersome rules and just want to have some fun around the table. 

Recently, I've been toying with a really simple game that would allow that. I'm currently calling it "Dungeon Delver". The goal of this is to create something that's easy to pull out and get started playing in just a few minutes. Currently, I'm still in the brainstorming stage, but I thought I'd post some of my ideas and get some feedback and possibly some additional ideas. 

As the name implies, players will create an adventurer that'll allow them to explore ancient ruins and dangerous dungeons. Each adventurer has an "Adventuring Level" ranging from 1 to 5. Unless told otherwise, players create new adventurers at 1st level and gain a new level each time they obtain 2,000 GP worth of treasure. 

Dungeon Delver won't have classes. Instead, players create 3 "knacks" and 2 "flaws" for their character (with GM approval, of course). Knacks represent something the adventurer is good at, while flaws obviously represent something they're bad at. 

During play, players will make tests when attempting to do something that has serious repercussions for failure. This done by rolling 2d6, adding the results and the adventurer's level together. The test succeeds if the result is equal to or greater than 10. Knacks associated with the test grant a +2 bonus while flaws give a -2 penalty. Adventurers who have an advantage with the test roll 3d6 and keep the 2 dice with the better results. Disadvantage works the same way, but you keep the 2 with the worst results instead. 

All adventurers receive a number of "Life Points" equal to 1d6. Each time they gain a level, they roll a number of d6 equal to their new level. This new result is their new Life Point total. All weapons deal 1d6 points of damage. During combat, you make tests to both hit a target or dodge an attack. When an adventurer reaches 0 Life Points, they fall unconscious and bleed out for a number of rounds equal to their level. Afterwords, they die. An adventurer can be stabilized by a successful test. However, during combat, this test is made at a disadvantage. 

This is the general blueprint of rules that I have at the moment. I'm still working out how magic will work, thinking I'll just keep it free-form by utilizing the same test mechanic representing if the casting was successful or not. I'm also wondering if I should lower the number of knacks and flaws a character has and maybe refine some of the other mechanics to make things as easy as possible. Feel free to give me any advice or ideas. They are greatly appreciated.