Uploaded a new Basic Rules, tweaking the Level Up move to be less broken.

The big new thing is the Plumb the Depths chapter (separate pdf), which outlines dungeon creation and my initial stab at a random-table-prompt approach.

As usual, feedback is appreciated. I’d love to have someone who’s not me take a stab at dungeon creation using these guidelines and then let me know how it goes.


  1. Jason Lutes just a quick piece of feedback on chargen. I like that Macchiato Monsters has you roll multiple times for gear/weapons/armor but then lets you decide where those rolls go. A small thing, but a nice choice for the player.

  2. Jools Thomas, yes, and drawing little bubbles/boxes next to the name to track number of bonds for each character. There will be clearer instructions on the final rules and I’ll probably modify the BONDS area of the playbooks to include bubbles.

  3. I really like the new design flourishes, with the ink spots and the amorphous shapes in “Plumb the Depths”.

    I’ll take the Dungeon Creation rules for a spin ASAP

  4. Just to be clear on that stuff, David Schirduan, the amorphous shapes are blurred-out pieces of placeholder art. The final art will have strong blacks like those placeholders, but it’ll be more traditionally illustrative.

  5. Agree venture Forth doesn’t work too well for dungeon exploration. Are you sure you don’t want dungeon-specific exploration moves? I think a well constructed “Advance the torchlight/ten foot pole” move would add a lot of flavor, could add some interesting decision-making, and reduce reliance on Saving Throws.

  6. And a lot of the considerations mentioned in the Exploring the Dungeon section could be built-in to a move like that. Things like “who has the light”, use up resources, noise, triggering wandering monsters, etc.

  7. I have a question on the Train move, it states that on a 10+ you mark the Stat and burn 2 points whereas a 7-9 you mark the Stat and Burn only 1 point. Am I missing how this move is suppose to work? Seems that the 7-9 is a better outcome then the 10+

  8. David Perry, my desire to avoid move bloat has left my tinkering in that area on the cutting room floor. I would tinker some more if I could be convinced there’s a move that improves upon the players just saying what they do. So far in playtests here, the best results have come from that approach, but maybe I just haven’t hit on the right way to mechanize things. I do see what you’re saying, though, and as I was writing all of that stuff I kept coming up against the question of which things should be principles or moves instead of general advice.

  9. charles klempay, that’s by design — the higher your ability score, the harder and more punishing it is to train that ability. I’m thinking about simplifying Train to just “mark 1 ability” and the human heritage move to “When you Train, Mark the chosen ability twice.”

  10. Asbjørn H Flø, I cut the Establish move just recently, in response to too many people having problems with it in play. It never flowed the way I wanted it to, so I replaced it with Know Something. The plan is to either tweak the wording of that move to include a clause that allows the Judge to turn questions back on the player, or to handle that through advice text in the final rules. I want to maintain player participation in worldbuilding, Establish was just creating more confusion than seemed helpful.

    Also, sloppy editing! I need to go back and fix hose references, thanks for reminding me.

  11. Jason Lutes makes sense! Folding it into one knowledge move sounds good, as move bloat is the bane of players and gm alike. But I liked that having a separate move highlighted the participation.

  12. David Perry, bless you! This is super helpful and I appreciate especially the notes about your thought process. I will mull over the minimal loot results. I had been thinking that most booty would be attached to monsters, but I see your point about how that might be at odds with the “loot as xp” approach.

  13. A quick procedure to generate “Hoards” would be awesome and thematic.

    Edit: Perhaps something like, roll for Owned Booty using the appropriate size die, repeatedly, until you get a 1 (or use a reverse-Exploration rating, reducing by 1 each time)

  14. I need to visualize while working, so I made a node map.

    For the volcanic dwarven stronghold/city/factory of Ang Khazem I already had some ideas for unique areas and features, so I cannibalised the laboratory and stronghold entries and added my own options. 12 unique areas=huge dungeon indeed. 3 levels down, and running out of paper.

  15. Jason Lutes Makes sense when explained that way. As written it seems against odds of other moves where the 10+ is the best outcome. Maybe some sort of explanation in the Move itself or somewhere in the main rules will help clarify why the 7-9 is the better outcome.

    So far my group is digging these new rules!

  16. Jason Lutes a follow up on editing: I tried rolling up a fighter, and noticed that both breastplate and scale mail have fallen off the equipment list. Also, splint mail is 3 armor and not awkward, while scale mail was 3 armor but awkward.

    Just some small things. It made me wonder if perhaps 3 armor is less powerful than I think?

  17. Thanks, Asbjørn H Flø — breastplate was dropped from the marketplace on purpose, but I failed to update the fighter gear list. Made that and some other minor changes to a new version I just uploaded.

  18. While rolling up a dungeon, I got a result for a Discovery that says to roll on the Booty Table 1d4+1 times. When I look at the Booty Table it says to roll “using the creature’s damage dice”. Since the Booty Table rolls were called for as a Discovery, then what die-type should I roll?

    I could just assume that it would be the damage die type of the creature that owned the Booty, but in this case I am thinking that the Booty was owned by a “Wizard/Warlock”. It seems logical for the Wizard to be an NPC of the Magic-User class, but NPCs have a damage die based on the weapon that they use, I think. So how should Booty owned by NPCs be rolled up?

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  19. Great questions, Wes Merrill. You are suffering the effects of a work-in-progress, and I appreciate your patience. This is one of those cases that I failed to sufficiently consider.

    PC Magic-User damage does scale according to spell power (see the “Spellcaster” move in the Magic-User playbook), so you could just use the entries in the “Effect” column, thinking of them as descriptors of your NPC Magic-User’s spellcasting ability:

    minor 1d6

    moderate 2d6

    major 3d6

    spectacular 4d6

    legendary 5d6

    I did have a rule for rolling totally random treasure using an exploding d6, but I cut it because I wasn’t happy with it:

    “When you don’t know or don’t care who the owner is, make a booty roll using 1d6. If you roll a 6, record the result and make another booty roll by rolling 1d6, adding it to your first roll, and using the total as your result. Keep doing this as long as you roll 6s.”

  20. Jason Lutes Thanks for the response. I love what you are doing with this.

    Another question: The Booty table has results of the roll going up to 16+, but it looks like a d12 is the largest damage die-type that can be rolled up for a creature. Have I missed something or misunderstood? Are the numbers above 12 there in case someone wants to make a custom creature that uses a larger damage die?

    Thanks again.

  21. Wes Merrill, yes, that’s the idea, although if you look at the creature creation tables you’ll see that a solitary, huge creature (1d12 base damage) that is legendary (+2 damage), has a vicious/brutal attack (+1 damage) and is divine (+2 damage) would have a damage roll of 1d12+5.

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