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.
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.
- machine men
- birdfolk (sparrows?)
- people with antlers
- shroomans (idea from Noa)
- ghost with undelivered letters for hearts (idea from Wednesday)
Ideas from Jefferson Tesla and Paul the Junk Shaman:
- shadow people
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
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
- help a spirit find rest
- fix something broken
- recycle or re-use something in a new form
- give shelter to a stranger
- do something the hard way
- write a poem
- play a trick on someone
- repay your misdeeds without needing forgiveness
- set something free
- help something grow
- do honor to an ancestor
battle 1 charm 2 cobble 3 connect 3 hunt 2 kindle 3 pass 3 scramble 2 study 2
battle, charm, hunt, scramble, study
- Witch (connect, cobble, pass)
- Storyteller (kindle, charm, connect)
cobble, hunt, kindle
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
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.
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:
- increase a skill by one die size, then gain a more generalized form of that skill with a die size one smaller
- gain a more specific specialization of that skill with a die size one higher
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:
- improve a skill by one die size
- replace a skill with its more general version
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.
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?
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.
- 1 – treat all of their setbacks and heal all minor setbacks
- 2 – heal all major setbacks
- 3 – heal a severe setback
- 4 – heal a severe setback
- 5 – bring them back from the brink of death
- 6 – wash away another god’s curse
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.
- They are bound to her to complete a quest
- They must surrender something you hold precious
- You must surrender something you hold precious
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