Dragonslayer Adventures

Just so my ducks are clearly in a row.

Red Ink Adventures fills the function of being about quick treasure-hunting. It’s Maze Rats + Into the Odd on a double-sided sheet of paper. Just add water, AKA any fast-paced adventure of your choice and dive right in. Six-siders only. While I’ve done some additions to the rules recently, I’m content to mostly leave this one as is (for now).

Adventure Hour! is specifically aimed at kids. Any sort of adventuring goes here. You get gonzo items that don’t make a whole lot of sense until you leverage them in the situation you find yourself in. D6s only. This project is more or less on hold until I play more in-person with kids and feel the itch to make a real zine with all of the Playing With Youngers posts included in it.

Dragonslayer Adventures is what I’ve been using for Outschool and it is more or less the online version of Adventure Hour! It’s somewhere near diceless and when there is rolling, it uses (wait for it) a d6 on a virtual dice roller. One roll maximum in an exchange.

Unlike the other two projects, Dragonslayer Adventures is not a project formatted for printing at home. Instead, it is a living document, meant to be accessed online by student-players and others interested in running their own games over a video call.

EDIT: Here are the living rules! 🙂

Features of the game:

So, character generation. I’m thinking 6 classes, with 6 loadouts for each. One of those classes is demi-human (or non-human, or Stranger or Strange Being or Ancestor or something else a little more descriptive). Race as class is tight.

  • Fighter
  • Wizard
  • Cleric
  • Rogue
  • Ranger
  • Stranger
    1. Sea Elf
    2. Wood Elf
    3. Mountain Dwarf
    4. Moss Dwarf
    5. Hill Halfling
    6. City Halfling

Looks good for now. Just gotta make six unique loadouts for each. Might have it where a player picks their class and then rolls their loadout. Or some other way that prevents “No, *I* chose the Wizard! You be the Cleric!”

I’m probably also gonna end up throwing the character table from Adventure Hour! in there as an optional setup.

Ah yes, 50/50 success. Advantage and Impact. The “coin-flipping” post. My attempt to train people to look to fictional advantages to yield differing fictional outcomes. Well, for kids I’ve found that giving them at least a chance for their plans isn’t such a bad thing. Example: one player wanted to lasso the mind-flayer-eque squid man in Belly of the Fishy Beast with his eyes closed to avoid being mind-controlled. Technically possible. Okay, you get a 1-in-6 chance of pulling that off, which he agreed to. Either way, I win. It tracks that he will likely fail. But also, if he makes it, the table will cheer and whoop and holler. It won’t feel like I’m “giving him” the outcome. He “earned” it with a lucky die roll.

Alright then.

The dice rules now look as such:

One player rolls 1d6 (one six-sided die). If the roll is a 4 or higher, the PC succeeds. If not, something bad happens.

If the PC is at an advantage, such as from use of a proper item or a good position or approach, the DM may grant the following:

  • Increased effect: If they succeed, they enjoy an additional benefit.
  • Decreased danger: If they don’t succeed, it’s not as bad as it could have been.
  • Decreased difficulty: The roll needs to be either 3 or higher or 2 or higher.

If the PC is at a disadvantage, such as from the use of an improper item or a bad position or approach, the DM may grant the following:

  • Decreased effect: If they succeed, it’s not everything they hoped.
  • Increased danger: If they fail, it’s worse than they feared.
  • Increased difficulty: The roll needs to be either 5 or higher or 6 or higher.

Changing the number required to succeed is now third on the list. It’s the easy way out if nothing else is really grabbing the DM’s attention…

Optional Rule: Encounter Roll

When the PCs spend time resting or draw attention to themselves in a dangerous place, roll 1d6. 

  • 1 – Danger. Something harmful is here threatening you right now. What do you do?
  • 2-3 – Hint of Danger. Something harmful can be heard or seen nearby. What do you do?
  • 4-6 – Spent. A resource is used up, like torches, food, water, or energy. What do you do?

Optional Rule: Hits and Healing

Most attacks deal 1 hit with stronger attacks dealing more than 1. Each time a PC or NPC takes one or more hits, one player rolls 1d6. If the roll is above their current hits, they stay in the fight. Otherwise, they are Taken Out. Armor prevents being Taken Out, but is then damaged and must be repaired or replaced before being used again.  Stronger NPCs roll 2d6 instead and take the higher die. Weaker NPCs roll 2d6 instead and take the lower die. When a PC rests, they remove 2 hits and one player makes an Encounter Roll.

More to come. Perhaps some DM advice, examples of play, etc.

4 thoughts on “Dragonslayer Adventures

  1. I really like the elegance of this ruleset. I think I’ll give it a try. For the Encounter roll 4-6 result, I’ll probably make a clock and establish what is running out: “Your group’s torches are running low. Two more of those results and you’ll be in the dark. Do you keep going?”

    1. Sorry about double posting, but I ran these rules in a Pirate adventure today, and we had a great time. I re-wrote your optional rules to be more generic: a Clock system based on your Hit system; and a Danger roll that reveals a threat right now on a 1 or starts a Clock otherwise.
      Thanks for posting this!

      1. By all means! Glad to have others enjoying the system! Did you use it online?

        So like, Blades Clocks? How does that look? Do you use 4, 6, and 8 segment clocks? Just 6? ‘Splain.

  2. I played in person. Definitely inspired by Blades Clocks, but combined with your Hits concept.

    Danger Rolls

    If the situation risks an immediate, new threat, then a player rolls 1d6.
    * On a 1, something new is happening right now and threatening the group.
    * Otherwise, the GM might set up a Clock for the danger.

    Clocks

    If a problem may come to fruition at a later time, it is represented by a Clock. When characters suffer attacks, resources diminish, guards are alerted, or a storm approaches, track it with a Clock.

    The GM may add Ticks to a Clock as a consequence for any action that is contextually appropriate, even on successful Action Rolls (establish this before the roll to allow changes in approach by the players). The GM also determines the number of Ticks added, often based on the Effect and/or Position of an Action roll.

    Whenever a Clock gets any number of Ticks added to it, a player rolls 1d6:
    * If the result equals or exceeds the number of Ticks, the problem on the Clock has not yet come into play.
    * If the result is less than the number of Ticks, the Clock ends and the problem comes into play.

    A Clock cannot have more than six Ticks. Each time a Tick would be added to a Clock at six, roll to resolve it as normal.

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