Dungeon Game

Dungeon Game Brainstorming

Written May 9, 2021, last changed June 11, 2021

This page collects incomplete and experimental ideas for Dungeon Game. Ideas are originally written here and then are migrated into the main document when I’m happy with them.

Actual Titles

Possible things to convey: sword and sorcery, heritage/relationship to things, the land being broken/dying, pilgrims/wanderers, rivers

What goes in what book:

Core rules: rules for rangers, rules for coming up with your own heritage and background (with one? example each), a couple classes (wizard, tinker, hunter) all the mechanics, equipment, the river-goddess, and an example location with a few jobs. Guidelines for prepping new locations.

Pilgrims: the starting towns and their heritages/backgrounds, some new classes (cook, storyteller, witch, knight), one major shrine, a couple minor shrines, and the surrounding area,

Rogues: the last city, new heritages/backgrounds, new classes, one big dungeon and maybe a couple small ones.


Ideas from Jefferson Tesla and Paul the Junk Shaman:

Sparrowfolk (needs name)

Your form is something like that of a song-sparrow: plump, short (perhaps 3’ to 4’), brown-white-and-black-feathered, a little beak, and wing-arms. You certainly can’t fly, but you weigh a bit less and can jump a bit higher than one might expect from your size.

As a ----, you are expected to seek out and share beauty.

Possible rites of passage: first love (poise), choosing a name (strength), conducting a remembrance of the dead (insight).

Favored approaches: charm, kindle, cobble

(needs name)

You stand fairly tall (perhaps 5’7” to 6’4”), with broad shoulders, bright colorful eyes, and antlers extending from the top of your head with a shape unique to you and etched with blessings and stories.

As a ----, you are expected to ----.

Possible rites of passage:

Favored approaches: pass, study, hunt


Beneath the Great Tree
Stone Bear
--- Ravine



battle 1 charm 2 cobble 3 connect 3 hunt 2 kindle 3 pass 3 scramble 2 study 2
battle, charm, hunt, scramble, study


cobble, hunt, kindle
skill: cooking

As a cook, you’re expected to coordinate and prepare meals, to ----, and to be a reliable source of comfort and kindness.


pass, hunt, scramble
skill: surival or hunting

As a hunter, you’re expected to gather, forage, and hunt for supplies, to ----, and to ----.


cobble, study, connect
skill: mending
As a tinker, you’re expected to mend, maintain, and repair, to find new purposes for old things, and to ____

When you mend or maintain an item, you can give the item one of the following properties, plus another 1 for ever 2 you roll above the target:



As pilgrims, you are expected to tend to old shrines, to find the sources of problems, and to lend aid to those in need.

Listen to the land:


As rangers, you’re expected to travel to new places, to get paid for jobs, and to learn things the hard way.

Listen for the ranger’s summons
Lay a curse upon one who broke the ranger law


As rogues, you are expected to find, steal, and dig up old treasures, to ----, and to get in over your head.

Experimental Mechanics


Sometimes, instead of reacting to a threat, you might want to act first in such a way that stops the threat from coming to pass. Maybe you want to leap forward and run your opponent through as they charge at you. This is a parry: taking an action in place of a reaction. Parries are intense, and require that you spend 3 focus in order to do them. On a hit, treat it as a successful action. On a miss, treat it as a reaction.
(I don’t actually know if these are necessary!)


When the fear is too much, acting successfully might be impossible with an unconfident approach. On any roll, you can always overextend. When you do, lose roll a d8 at the same time, and use the higher of the two rolls. You lose focus equal to the lower of the two rolls.

Skills with dice

Each skill has a dice value associated with it. When you apply that skill, roll that die alongside your approach die and use the higher result.

When spending XP, you can improve a skill:

The first option is distinctly better here, unless there’s a reason why 1d6 in a specialized skill is better than 1d6 in a general one. One option could be to make the first choice worse, but then that creates a bad feeling where starting general and going more specific is more efficient than starting specific and going general, incentivizing starting with the most general (and thus least interesting) skills possible.

Alternate option: skill list is predefined, and each skill has a specific die size associated with it corresponding to how specific it is. Then skills can be picked independant of each other, so you can specifically learn formal fencing (d10) by itself, or just learn weapons use (d4), letting you choose whether you’re more a specialist or a generalist. My only problem with this is that it means you could theoretically start with a d12 skill and just jump straight into perfected mastery at something. Hm hm hm.

Alternate take: there are only three tiers of specificity (from d4 to d8). And then, you can spend XP to:

Alternate alternate take: none of this “subskill” stuff. More specialized skills are accompanied with specific fictional positioning around allowing you more possibilities. This doesn’t really solve the “swords” vs “weapons” distinction though. Maybe “weapons” is a bad skill, then? Maybe it should really just be a list of skills, and in cases where skills are dependant, they say so.

techniques: swords, simple weapons, infantry tactics, brawling, dueling, archery, gymnastics, healing, first aid, riding, hunting

rituals: flutes, lutes, brass instruments, singing, reeds, oration, dancing, ceremony

crafts: woodworking, metalworking, glassworking, pottery, weaving, needlework, cooking, tinkering?machines?lock-picking?, poetry, songwriting, forestry, gardening, mending

knowledge: place-lore, stories, languages, goblin-dealings, beast-language, survival, sorcery

Weaker Deep Breaths

When you take a deep breath, roll your poise and regain focus equal to the value.

Damaged Possessions



Stories are a mechanic for sharing and vulnerability. When you tell ›someone a story, you answer a question about yourself. To tell a story is to give a gift, and you can expect something to be given in return.

A story might be a story about your own life, a story about someone you know, or a tale passed down generations.

You know one story for each point in an approach. (?)

Tables of story prompts? Lists of questions for each approach? Does it feel weird to only know how to answer 1 question? Is 3-15 stories too few?


The River

Merciless mother, bringer of life
the river’s water, a school of salmon
life, blood, renewal, leaving and returning

Rite of cleansing waters: the river-goddess can heal any wound, cure any disease, if she pleases. She can even mend a broken heart. First, lay the one harmed in the river’s water and speak the words of invocation and supplication. You must then state your request, determining its size. Each item on the list includes all previous items.

Then, connect. If you roll on or above the size of your request, choose 1 of the following offerings and whether you or the one healed will fulfill it.

The Mountain King

a black bear
smoke, celebration, wealth, dreams, protection


every crow has a little bit (or all of) Crow in them. Crow also manifests sometimes as a person
tricks, trade, death, family & community