“I'm impressed….an excellent game to run at a convention.” – Tenkar's Tavern
Dungeon Delvers is an ultra-portable one-page D&D variant.
It 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's even a rock-paper-scissors system for rolling a d6!
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The game package includes:
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).
Want more delving? Each of these adventures fit on a single printed page.
Also check out the Dragon Fisters actual play.
GM: Okay, let's get started. Go ahead and roll your abilities, but don't tell them to me yet. Just tell me your character's name, how many hits you take, and anything special about your class.
Peter: Okay, I'm playing Paul the fighter. He takes 4 hits and deals 1 hit per attack.
Gretchen: I'm playing Gurney the rogue. He takes 3 hits, and subtracts 1 from his ability rolls.
Jim: And I'm playing Jessica the wizard. She takes 2 hits, and she's memorized the fire bolt spell.
GM: Great! You were all on a merchant vessel that was hit in a bad storm. You were swept into a bay and foundered near a small lumber village. The village elder, Zana, welcomed you all to spend the night in a storehouse. In the middle of the night, you're awakened by a cry of alarm. Lizardlings!
Gretchen: What are those?
GM: Imagine velociraptors that can throw spears.
Peter: Hoo boy. I jump up and run outside.
GM: It's pandemonium. People are running everywhere, screaming. There's a low fire on the east side of the village. On its far side, just outside of the woods to the east of the village, a couple of lizardlings are lashing out with crude spears at a knot of villagers who are desperately trying to defend themselves with hatchets and staffs. If you all want to use the zone rules, then that area is a combat zone.
Jim: I follow Paul out of the storehouse.
Gretchen: Me, too, but I try to stay out of sight.
GM: Okay, Gretchen, make an ability roll using your dexterity. That's a d6 roll, trying to roll equal to or less than your dexterity score. And since you're a rogue, lower whatever you roll by 1.
Gretchen: Okay. I have a dexterity of 5, so that shouldn't be a problem. And I roll...a 4, so 1 minus that makes it a 3.
GM: Good, you stay out of sight.
Gretchen: I'm sneaking around the campfire to flank the lizardlings.
GM: Great! How about the rest of you?
Peter: I draw my sword and run at the lizardlings.
Jim: I want to stay back and see if I can figure out the lizardlings' tactics.
GM: Okay, while Peter charges towards the fight and Gurney sneaks around the campfire, Jim I want you to make an intelligence roll. Again, that's d6, and you want to get no more than your intelligence. Which is...?
Jim: My intelligence is 4, so that's not so bad. I roll a 2! Whew.
GM: Good. You see one beefier lizardling in the back, gesturing with a fine hatchet. He's ordering around three lizardlings in front of him; they're using crude spears. In fact, by rolling that well, you also notice movement in the woods: two more lizardlings with simple bows. They're in another zone.
Jim: I call out to Paul: "There are two in the woods! And watch out for the leader; he's a big one!"
GM: Okay, Paul should be arriving at the zone next since Gurney's still sneaking. Who is Paul attacking?
Peter: Hmmm. I hear Jessica's warning, right?
GM: Definitely. The first three lizardlings are in front of you, with their leader behind them, and the archers are even further away.
Peter: Okay, I'll slash at the nearest lizardling, then.
GM: Okay, make an attack roll. That's 1d6, trying to roll 5 or 6. Do you want to use the zone rules?
GM: In that case, you get "advantage," because you're using your sword on an enemy in the same zone. So you need to roll 4, 5, or 6.
Peter: And...I roll a 5. Sweet!
GM: You swing and cut right through him! He goes down with just that one hit. His companion tries a desperate counter-attack...and rolls a 2, so he misses. The other lizardlings are still tied up with the villagers, so they're not going to attack. Gretchen, you've been patient. What do you want to do?
Gretchen: I hear Jessica's warning, too, so I want to jump out of the darkness and attack the leader.
GM: Cool! He's guarding himself from the village, but he's not expecting a side attack. That means you get advantage, so you hit if you roll 4, 5, or 6. Make an attack roll!
Gretchen: And I roll a 4!
GM: Good thing you had that advantage! He takes 1 hit, but that won't take him down. Your sword connects with the leader, who snarls and turns at you. His well-worn hatchet gleams in the moonlight as he slices it at you...but he rolls a 1!.
GM: Meanwhile, remember those archers? They see Gurney attacking their leader and let their arrows fly at him.
GM: One archer rolls 3 and misses, but the other rolls a 6. So, Gurney takes an arrow to the arm.
Gretchen: That's okay; I can still take 3 more hits before I go down.
Jim: My turn again?
Jim: I want to cast my fire bolt at the archers.
GM: Great! Make an attack roll.
Jim: Do I get advantage for attacking at range from 2 zones away?
GM: That only applies to weapons, not spells, I'm afraid. And the archers can see you all, so no advantage there. You'll hit on a 5 or 6.
Jim: And I roll a 6! A bolt of fire leaps out from my fingers and streaks into the woods. It explodes on one of the lizardlings!
GM: And it squeals and collapses to the ground! Mind you, you now have a pile of flaming lizardling among a bunch of trees.
Cha: 4+1 = 5
Spells: Fire bolt
Items: Spell book, candle, candle lantern, quill, ink, parchment, scroll case, bed roll, frying pan (uses as club), flint, walking stick
Hits per attack: 1
Items: Sword, shield, bag, rope, torch, bed roll.
Items: Dagger, bow/arrows quiver, thieves tools, tinderbox & fire stuff, climbing gear, knapsack, gloves, bedroll
Items: holy symbol (stein), mace, helmet, bedroll, sack, wine skin, snacks, salt
If you have questions about Dungeon Delvers, please post them to the Google+ Community.
Thanks to T.W. Wombat and Brian Fitzpatrick for their design advice. Dungeon Delvers wouldn't be nearly as polished without them.
Thanks to my Patreon patrons Jason Blalock, Joe England, Andrew Hauge, Ryven Cedrylle, and Seth Drebitko for their financial support of this product.
Dungeon Delvers is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA 3.0).