About

giant-spider

WELCOME EVERYONE! 

Lots of new traffic from new countries. I hope you all enjoy this free RPG and if you’d like to contribute, even to fix spelling mistakes, please post comments! Ideas: adventures, artwork, races, classes, equipment, spells, monsters, language translations, etc. Happy to backlink and share the love.

SimpleDnD is a roleplaying game system designed to be easy to teach, easy to learn and fast to get started. Just you and a couple of friends exploring epic adventures. In just 20 minutes you can make your own character, or just print one of the pre-generated characters and play right away.

Living Document

This website is meant to be a living creature on its own. If you, the reader, have a complaint, idea, monster, magic item, or anything else you’d think would make a great addition to the text, post a comment!

warningPDFs are DOWN. The three core books have been taken down. You can still download them, but note that the website is MUCH newer and should be used instead.

Get Started!

Brand New Player to SimpleDnD? Read Playing the Game here.

Ready to make a character? Start creating your character here!

Looking to run a game? Dungeon Masters start here!

Contributors

Special Shout Out to Steve Daskam for his artwork contribution!

Go checkout his artwork here: https://www.deviantart.com/stevedaskam

76 thoughts on “About

  1. Excellent site and nice rules. They are simple and easy to learn but still seem to have a more modern flavour that some OSR games e.g. Basic Fantasy.

    Have you (or anyone else) tried using/modifying these rules to run a 5e adventure?

    My son (9 yo) is interested in playing with his friends. He really wants to try some of the D&D modules, such as Tyranny of Dragons, but I worry the character creation and other aspects would be too much for that age group.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I actually run 5e adventures with this all the time. Tales from the Yawning Portal is amazing! That being said, use 5e monsters and DCs as is. Some of the monster will be different, but the DM can always tweak whatever.

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  2. I like these simplified rules, and intend to use them, but they have holes in them. They are unplayable unless complemented by standard DnD rules. The rulebook seems to assume the reader is familiar with standard DnD.
    It never explains how base hit points are calculated, only how they increase on level up. Neither does it explain exactly how much constitution increases hit points. +1 per ability level? +(character level) per ability level?
    Also, skills are unclear. It is explained what skills characters have and how they develop, but left unexplained what the skills do in the first place. It’s best to make it explicit.
    Finally, I would like to thank you or this useful rulebook and hope that this helps you improve it further.

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  3. Thank for you work!
    I’m planning to play SimpleDnD with my children and their friends, but they don’t know English language so I’m working to an Italian translation of the player book.

    I’m not sure about how to handle measurements units. Using imperial system will make easier to find and adapt existing resources and feels somewhat “exotic” for us, that can be a good thing in a fantasy setting. But metrical is more familiar and easy to visualize.

    Do you have any suggestion on this point?

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    • Giacomo – I’d convert it to squares. Each square of a grid is 5 feet – so if a player can move 35, they can move 7 squares. I find that easier for kids myself.

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  4. My siblings and I just attempted to play this game and were boggled. There is little and sporadic organization of information. It is really all over the place and not direct at all. There are several explanations of different concepts with no FULL explanations which is so frustrating. I truly wanted to understand the game and we took a whole day to get into it. Disappointing to say the least. All you need to do is condense the information into less pages, less explanations and ensure another person who is completely new can understand it without any previous knowledge of DnD. Very difficult to break down and connect all of the pieces.

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  5. A shout out of gratitude for all your work on this site. I’m new to D&D and my 9-year-old got interested on account of a classmate. So i’ve given myself a crash course (watching a lot of Critical Role) and reading tons, of course. This site is perfect for the 9/10 year-old set. We ran our first session yesterday afternoon and my son and four of his mates had a blast. The only downside was that we had planned for two hours and could have used at least one more. Everybody was learning – including me – of course. All we had time for was character creation (simplified even more and the character sheets are outstanding) and the arachnid encounter. It all worked great and really gave me and my son and his mates the experience of success that left them all excited for more – ASAP.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am a big fan of what you’ve put together. I have two young bays and wanted something they could play that requires them to work as a team. I am new to dnd. This site has mad it easy for me to wrap my head around how to play. I think the monster codex would be great if it had some pictures of the monsters. I would be happy to donate artwork for all of your listed monsters. I’m no pro but I’m could do it justice. Let me know. I can send samples if you like them I’ll do all the monsters.

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  7. Hello:

    I found your site a couple of years ago and was impressed on the simplicity. Unfortunately, I never got to use it then. I am now trying to use it and have stumbled over a couple of situations that I’d like to have clarified.

    In the PB, you talk about the only limits on the spells being the amount of mana you have and that you cannot cast a spell of higher level than your caster level. Also, as long as they have mana

    In the MC1, you have a goblin warlock with no mana pool and a limited number of spells, specifically 3-1st and 2-2nd. This would imply at the very least it be a 2nd level creature, so why not a higher HD from the normal goblins?

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    • Monsters are typically are setup to be a single use. The stats are a guideline for the DM. So for example, that Goblin Warlock has a few spells, but they are single use and they can’t have armor so they are easy to hit. Don’t forget that also makes it so you can interrupt their spells easily.

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  8. Hi Simple D&D person. I have been at work on my own simplified D&D/RPG for some time now. Recently I stumbled on yours. Very much enjoy reading it and it gave me some ideas. I was wondering, the spells with the same names as in D&D 5th, how much and how do they differ in your system from D&D? Also, would it please be ok if I use those spells for my own system. I am just a person like yourself that wants something simpler and that works for me and friends. Not having to type out my own spell list would save me a ton of time. I would of course attribute. Thank you for this site and everything else! 🙂 Vincent

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      • I will, link back that is! Highly appreciated! I (am beginning to) know how much time writing a system takes. I will send you a copy of my system once it is finished. Perhaps you can use some of my stuff if you ever want to make a new version. Thanks again. 🙂 Vincent

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  9. OH! Did you take this down because you’re selling it on RPG Now? If so, I would be happy to support the work you’ve done, but I cannot find it anywhere? Could you share a link?

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  10. I found your site years ago and really loved it! I freaked out when I realized you had taken it down. I need to download everything you posted so I don’t lose it again. 😀 I’ve got 3 kids now and 2 are getting close to old enough that I can use your system/ideas! 😀

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  11. So, I bought the simple DnD bundle from RPGnow and I can’t print the simple DnD spell book… apparently, it has print protection on it. is there any way I could get a copy of a pdf that i can print?

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  12. Any chance for an updated book or PDF soon? I’d like to buy a hard copy but I don’t want to get one till it has been updated with the newest material.

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  13. I just want to say that this is awesome. Me and some friends discussed playing for years and never got to do it cause it took so much time to set up characters and run a campaign. This is so simple and easy to set up and use that even the wives took notice and got in on the fun. Kudos to you guys for creating this system. Its a great way to get people who have never played before involved. Thank you so much 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m still getting started. Love the project so far. Was looking for of something more “special” for the Cavalier and I think I’ll try to use the following:

    [Weapon Proficiency]: Any time a character is attempting to use a weapon type that they do not normally wield and that they do not have any training in, they will be under the Disadvantage roll. In order to remove this disadvantage, they must practice with the weapon for at least an hour one three different days.

    *Cavaliers have had rudimentary training in basic weapon types and are not at a disadvantage when using any non-exotic weapon.

    I didn’t see anything else about proficiency and it seems like a simple and intuitive enough addition for my purposes. Just thought I’d throw this out there.

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  15. Hey there! Love this system. I am creating a modified hybrid of DnD, ADnD 2nd Ed, and SimpleDnD. I am interested in your opinion on my basic combat system. Is there a way to contact you? You have mentioned people can email you, but I have not found any email for you on this website. Id prefer to correspond with you directly as it is still a work in progress and I do not wish to release it publicly.

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  16. Greetings! (Apologies but this is coming from a pure miniatures gamer trying to use D&D for simple combat games) I’d like to expand and use more monsters from the 5E monster manual. When I compare your simplified stats of say a skeleton they differ from those in the 5E manual and your monster conversion formula seems to be for older editions of D&D. Is there a formula for converting monsters from the 5E manual to use in this simplified system?

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  17. It’s a ruleset. You can do whatever you’d like any your table. If you want to use alignment, go for it. You want to remove class restrictions, go for it.

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  18. Hello, I am a high school student and I am making a tabletop game similar to DnD for a Latin competition based on Greek Mythology.

    I was wondering if you have any advice for me based upon your experience simplifying DnD

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  19. I’d like to see some “toolbox” options for building races/classes/etc. Nowadays I think we are all spoilt for choice so I have to curb any gut reactions to aesthetics/fluff I don’t like. Along these lines of generic representation without coming off as only blocks of text, you might try using detailed silhouettes (as they did in the Mini-Six NPCs section).

    Definitely a cool project. I’ll be watching the developments here and on DTRPG.

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      • Art or text?

        For race “toolbox” options I suggest something like Machinations of the Space Princess (there’s an SRD .doc easily found via Google from the publisher) or OmegaLite20 (also easily found via Google). You might want to tailor them quite a bit to fit a fantasy genre though.

        For class “toolbox” options, um… not sure… I’ll get back to you. :^)

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  20. I found this site via the G+ Tabletop RPG Community and I’m quite intrigued and excited about the possibilities. I’m sure I’ll have more feedback as I travel through your website.

    One Note now though: the link to the Player’s Starter Book PDF on this page is outdated and results in a Document Not Found error.

    May I make a suggestion: Make the Player’s Start Book (and Monster Codex) options in the “SimpleDnD 101” menu option.

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    • This web site will always be the most up to date version, there is an older PDF, but not recommended as it’s missing many of the spells, magic items and monsters that are listed here on the website.

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    • SimpleDnD is quite different from OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord, but it a good way. The primary difference is that the rules are more evenly applied here – not to mention that all of adventures that are compatible with those systems can be run with these rule, with only the slightest tweaking on the DMs part.

      Like

    • This web site will always be the most up to date version, there is an older PDF, but not recommended as it’s missing many of the spells, magic items and monsters that are listed here on the website.

      Like

  21. You can simply this more.

    * Get rid of alignment. It adds nothing positive to the game.
    * Get rid of the giant scrawling weapon list. Have weapon damage be a product of class with the class having some simple options (i.e. unarmed, single weapon, weapon & shield or two-handed weapon). Similarly, you can just make armor a product of class with similar options (unarmored, light, or heavy)
    * Damage types are also unnecessary unless you are making a consistent point in your monster stats about which ones take more damage from what sort of weapon… but then… that wouldn’t be simple, would it?
    * Your race options aren’t simple at all and are more unnecessarily complicated than the classes. Races don’t inherently HAVE to offer much in the way of mechanical options, particularly since humans literally offer nothing. Your other three races are far too powerful in comparison and– for what, really? Honestly, none of them are all that far removed from humans to justify a lot of the bonuses. Humans can be 3′ tall or 7′ tall, can weigh less than 50 pounds or exceed 300. You could quite easily have a human with a body identical to that of an elf, halfling or dwarf and they would still be labeled “human”. Saying that something not labeled “human” would be getting bonuses for having that same exact body structure but there is nothing positive about having the body structure of a more average human is just silly.

    Take a look at 13th Age and see the kind of things they simplified the things I noted here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So much so true! I’ve been knocking around how to balance out races – narrowing the bonuses and give humans more of a point buy. I didn’t even consider dumping alignment altogether – although it would still be very useful for NPCs and Monsters. I’m blown away. Great feedback!

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      • I like alignment. It adds a lot to the game for player motivation and character development. It adds a potential conflict and tension in the game, even within a character itself. I think your weapon lists are fine and damage type really informs the story telling in combat. Damage as a product of class is interesting but not D&D. You could make those changes but I wouldn’t call it simplednd anymore if you did. And I don’t see them as particularly complex. I think you’re doing a great job. Don’t feel compelled to parrot other game designs. Do what feels right/D&D to you.

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      • @medievalmike In playing simplednd we’ve found alignment wasn’t missed at all. Heroes are good, monsters are bad. Period. The flavor of older RPGs is about how the game flows. Combat is in a specific order, characters are similar, etc. If we evolve the game beyond this, we would definitely create something new. Thank you for your feedback! Keep it coming.

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    • I agree, weapons could be as follows:
      Type: blunt, pierce, slash, energy (type)
      Damage: tiny (1d4), small (1d6), medium (1d8), large (1d10), very large (1d12)
      Quality: concealable, reach, ignore shield bonus (like flails), diverse (hold in 2 hands for +1 damage), etc.

      Liked by 1 person

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