Dungeon Game


Written April 22, 2021

These mechanics are not required to play the game. You can introduce more sub-systems as the game progresses and the players gain more familiarity with how the game works.


In low light, the fear level increases by 1, and in the dark it increases by 2. Candles produce light for one person, and dim light for another. Torches and lanterns are 2/2.

Phases of the Day and Activities

The daylight of a day is broken into 12 hours (maybe less in the winter and more in the summer).

You can abstract most actions as taking an hour and pace your day out accordingly. Choose one player to be the time-keeper.

Examples of actions that take an hour:

In many contexts it might make sense to play out your actions more granularly: conversations, battles, and exploring a dungeon are common examples. Don’t worry too much about tracking time during these activities except to occasionally say “I imagine an hour might have passed by now.”

Sleep Quality

There are several quality levels of sleep, starting at restful:

The following conditions (and others) will reduce the quality of your sleep:

Broadly speaking, sleeping outside is something done only when there is no other option. It’s expected that you’ll seek shelter in towns or in small travellers’ cabins and huts along the road. A larger entourage might have a covered wagon and/or a large tent.


You’re expected to eat two meals a day (in the morning and the evening) but you can get by on just one. The first time you skip a meal in a day, you gain a minor setback (maybe “angry” or “distracted”). The second time, you gain a major setback (starting with “hungry”, becoming “starving” if your major setbacks are full). “Hungry” and “Starving” can only be recovered by eating.

Eating consumes 1 supply of food. Many ingredients need to be cooked to be safe to eat or to even be edible at all. Any meal will stave off hunger. A good meal can also improve the quality of your sleep or put you in a good mood for a day. A bad meal can make you sick.


Traveling is done landmark-by-landmark. To move to the next landmark, you spend an amount of fatigue depending on the difficulty of the terrain.