a small labyrinth game

a minizine all nicely formatted up can be found on the zine page:

(zines here)

an unformatted text version of this page can be found here, because this page has too much spacing on the web -- geminispace looks fine -- and I don't have the style fixed yet

(take me to the text!)

Character Creation

1. Roll your stats (3d6 each): Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma. Note down any modifiers:

3: -2 4-8: -1 9-12: 0 13-17: +1 18: +2

2. Pick your class. You start the game with maximum hit points for your Hit Die.

Fighter. d8 HD. Armour: Any. Weapon: d8

- Defeat enemy, attack again (up to level +1)

- Battlemaster: Add your level to either your attack roll or your damage each attack

Wizard. d6 HD. Armour: None. Weapon: d4

- Cast spells from spellbook; 1 spell/level before needing to pay hp

- The Sight: 2-in-6 to sense magic nearby

Devout. d6 HD. Armour: Med. Weapon: d6

- Castigate: Roll 2d6; higher than target's HD, target flees or cowers. Usually for undead.

- Blessing: Grant a +3 to a roll. Can do this 1/day per 2 levels.

Expert. d6 HD. Armour: Light. Weapon: d6

- +2 to Saves

- Expertise: Choose three activities (tracking, climbing, singing …) +1/level to succeed, 2-in-6 to know something

Class Modifiers: Multiply xp needed by 0.15 for each taken.

- Healer: You can heal hp by touch, 1d4; add another d4 die to your pool of healing per level. You can divide up the dice.

- Smite: Gain a pool of extra damage, 1d6/2 levels, daily. You can divide up the dice.

- Beastfriend: You can speak with animals, and gain an animal companion (HD = PC lvl)

- Tactician: Study a subject for one action, and identify a weakness + gain +2 against that subject. +1 initiative.

- Vanguard: 1/level each day, rally allies and grant +2 to next actions for 1d4 actions.

- Berserker: Frenzy at will; +2 attack/damage, -3 AC, 1-in-6 to attack allies. 1d6+1 actions.

- Arcana: Spellcasting, 1 spell / 3 levels without hp penalty (no wizards allowed)

Rules, Advice and Other Such Things

To Do Things: Roll d20, trying to beat the required number. To attack, for example, roll 1d20 and add modifiers, vs. the target Armour Class. (add STR mod. to melee, DEX to ranged.)

-> No armour is AC 10; light armour is AC 12, medium is AC 14, and heavy is AC 16.

In a tricky situation, make a Save! Roll d20, and add any modifier from an applicable stat.

- 12/14/16 is a nice easy/middling/harder range.

To test if an action is successful, roll as above. Add +1/level if the action is thematic to the (N)PC or critter. Only test if there’s a risk!

If you really need to randomly determine if something happens, roll 1d6; 1-2 = yes.

Dungeon (and other short-form) Movement:

- It takes at least 10 minutes to search a room

- The average PC moves up 30’ in an “action”

- Useful abstracted ranges: Reach/Nearby/Far/Very Far (a bow shoots Far)

- Initiative: Both sides roll 1d6 + DEX bonuses if any, highest goes first.

- Escape! Roll d6 + DEX mods; high roll wins

Morale: Critters and NPCs have a morale (ML) rating, from 1 to 12. If under duress, roll a d12; if higher than their ML, they retreat/parley/etc.

First Meetings (Reactions!): If not sure how an initial encounter might go, roll on this handy 2d6 table, with CHA mod if a PC steps up:

<2: hostile 9-11: cautiously friendly

3-5: wary 12+: helpful

6-8: neutral

Random Encounters: Make a 2d6 table of critters, NPCs and stuff. 6-8 will be common encounters; 2 and 12 should be special.

Factions: Rival, allied or enemy groups can be fun. A quick thumbnail is:

This is [faction name]. They want [goal] and are doing [plans] because [obstacle or complication].

Hirelings: Some adventurers hire help, from lantern carriers to mercs to launderers. Reaction checks help in hiring; hirelings have a ML. They also expect a half-share to full share of treasure, plus fees.

Healing, Death, Rations, Other Fun Stuff

Adventurers heal 1d8 after sleeping somewhere comfortable (like an inn), 1d6 when camping. No rest = no healing.

At 0 hit points, roll 1d6. 1-2 is knocked out, 3-5 means -2 to rolls until proper rest, while 6 means, alas, this is a deceased adventurer.

Sustenance is important! No food means -1 to rolls, cumulative daily after the first.

Gaining XP and Leveling Up: A minor milestone or discovery grants 20-50 xp; a major one, 100-200 xp. If awarding xp for treasure, try 1 xp : 20 gp. Leveling is 100 experience points (xp) x the character's current level; fighters gain +1 to hit/level, others +1/3 levels. Add another Hit Die.

Quick Starting “Hexes”: You don't need an actual hexmap, a doodle will do. Put a village or other home base at the centre. Place nodes around it with at least one note of interest for each node. Voila! A starting area for adventure!

Travel and Exploration: This assumes roads, paths, or other pleasant travel; rough terrain means slow going. Also, 8 hours/day.

- 25 miles/day on foot

- 30 miles/day mounted; mounts (or wagons) increase carrying capacity by x2-10

- 80 miles/day on water

- flight is speed-of-plot

Quick Dungeon Stocking: If all else fails, roll d6:

1-2: encounter 4: mystery/special

3: trap, puzzle or clue 5-6: “empty”

A dungeon should have: a puzzle or a roleplay chance or both, a surprise or revelation, a chance at a big conflict of some kind. Make it interesting!

Monsters and NPCs

As a baseline, a critter or NPC has d8 Hit Dice, +1 to hit/HD, and does 1d6 damage. This can go up (dragons are scary) or down (0-level folks have just 1d6 hp and no bonuses at all). Morale is 1-12. If Resistant to damage, that's half-damage; Vulnerable doubles damage.

Some Examples

Moonrat: Rodent of unusual size. Wants to eat, nest, spread lunacy. 1 HD, AC 10, +1 bite (1d4+1), ML 6, bite: hallucinate 1d10 minutes

Skeleton: Restless bones. Mindless, usually. 1 HD, AC 12, +1 fist or weapon (1d6), ML 12

Azure Jelly: Translucent ovoid, glistening, speedy. 1 HD, AC 14, +1 bash (1d4+tingle), ML 9, tingle: 1 hp acid damage/action, 1d3 actions

Ghoul: Ash-skinned undead with a taste for flesh and secrets. 2 HD, AC 14, +2 claws (1d6/1d6+paralysis), ML 10, paralysis: 2d20 min.

Dark Ritualist: Some sorcerers have more unsavoury practices and pleasures. 2 HD, AC 10, +1 dagger (1d4), ML 8, magery: any 4 spells

Briarony: Animate hedge-creature, thorned and very territorial. 3 HD, AC 12, +3 buffet (1d6+bleed), ML 7, fire vuln., bleed: wounds lose 1d4 hp/action until tended

Rainwolf: Large canid with stormy grey pelt, glowing eyes, and a disconcerting intelligence. 3 HD, AC 12, +3 bite (1d6), ML 8, trip: lose next action, bolt: 2d4 ranged damage 1 / 3 actions

Black Knight: Ominous black armour, more ominous goals of conquest. 4 HD, AC 16, +4 lance or sword (1d8+2), ML 10, black hex: victim at -3 to all rolls for a day

Lindwyrm: Scaly body, feathered wings, barbed tail, eagle's talons, wolf’s ears, curving horns and an imperious attitude. 7 HD, AC 16, +7 bite (1d8) or claws (1d6/1d6) or sting (1d4+poison), ML 10, flying, 1d3 spells, poison: halve physical stats, 1d4 days


100 copper : 10 silver : 2 electrum : 1 gold : ⅕ platinum.

You can carry 10 items + your STR bonus.

A starting adventurer has 1 weapon, clothes, 4d10 gp, and one of these packs:

Artisan: Tools of the trade, shoulderbag, knife, letter of recommendation, personal badge

Scholar: Portable writing desk, satchel, writing kit, pigments, treasured tome

Hunter: Snares, bow or crossbow, waxed backpack, fur mantle, herb packet

Noble: Signet, 1 weapon, medium armour or horse, gossipy letters, fancy outfit

Explorer: Light armour, lantern and oil, map, dagger, journal, small trophy

Hayseed: Axe, dog or goose, wicker pack, many pouches, week's fresh rations

Far-Wanderer: Glass knife, untearable scroll, light armour, glowy beads, writing wand

Exile: Chains, dagger, hidden letter, leather pouch, several candles

A Short Equipment List:

tinderbox 2 gp

lantern 2-5 gp

backpack 1 gp

waterskin 5 sp

chalk (10) 5 cp

rope (50’) 1 gp

scroll 5 sp/1 gp/5 gp

writing kit 5 gp

bedroll 2 gp

sack 3 sp

torches (10) 5 sp

candles (5) 1 gp

iron spikes (10) 1 gp

tool kit 15 sp/15 gp

oil 5 sp

mirror 3 gp

rations (week) 15 gp

tent (2) 2 gp

light armour 10 gp

med. armour 25 gp

heavy armour 100 gp

shield 10 gp

melee weapon 5 gp

ranged weapon 25 gp

ammunition (20) 2 gp

Generally speaking, a palmful of …

- Copper buys: a snack, a rough meal, simple crafts, secondhand items, small livestock

- Silver buys: simple clothing, common meal, night in common room, large livestock, basic items and tools

- Gold buys: fancy meals, full inn service, bespoke outfits, horses, weapons, armour

- Platinum buys: manors, castles, jewels, titles, exotica, custom weapons and armour, magic


Wizards keep their spells in a spellbook, and can add a scroll spell to their book, using it up. An adventurer who learns some magic might think of it a different way, but they still carry their spells (a devout may have a prayerbook, for example).

Casting a spell: A wizard can cast 1 spell/level freely per day. More spells cost 1 hit point each. Healing magic doesn’t restore spellcasting, only rest does.

-> You can also spend a hit point to counterspell.

Sample Spells


Some Example Hoards (in gp)

Non-Coin Treasures

- Artwork: sculpture, paintings, furnishings

- Documents: manuscripts, tomes, letters, maps, contracts

- Gemstones, jewels, jewellery

- Trade Goods: textiles, livestock, furs, liquor, dyestuff, ingots, ceramics, glass, foodstuffs

- Exotica: rare hides, magic items, tamed beasts, rare spices, precious metals

Sample Magic Items

- Weapons: May have a +1 to +3 (+5 is legend) bonus to hit, damage or both; may flame, freeze or bleed an opponent; may have stranger abilities, or even be sentient or sapient.

- Armour: +1 to +3 bonus to AC; may grant resistance or immunity to a kind of injury

- Vulnerary: Ruby or pearly potion, 2d4 healing

- Spell Scroll: Contained 1-4 spells. Read from the scroll to cast the spell, which is erased.

- Elemental Shard: Nodule of crystallized element; causes 1d6 damage when thrown (30’ range). Fire and ice are most common.

- Marble Elixir: Drink to gain +2 AC for 4 hours.

- Hidden Spaces Pouch: Large embroidered hip pouch can actually hold up to 20 items.

- Glasscaster: Slim crystal rod fire darts of solid energy to 100’ (1d4); 20 charges.

- Warding Ring: Grants +1 to AC and to Saves.

- Rose Orb: Pinkish crystal globe may be asked one question a day.

- Revelation Mirror: Round silver mirror shows the true appearance (or presence of illusion) of anything reflected in it.

The Zeroth Rule:

Roll if something’s at stake.


just play.

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