Rule: Weapon Proficiencies

I was reading some really OSR and the concept of Weapon Proficiencies came up. I think this is actually a great limited to add along with the new encumbrance and time limits. Like all rules in SimpleDnD this is an optional rule, but one I cannot recommend enough.

The Rule

If you ARE NOT proficient with the weapon you are using, you receive a -3 penalty to both hit and damage rolls. NOTE: A negative damage amount is damage applied to the player character. This illustrates that they have accidentally hurt themselves with an unfamiliar weapon.

Class Proficiencies

Each class get’s 1 weapon that they are proficient with.

Cavaliers get 3 and Barbarians 2, this is due to their life long combat interest.


Learning Dungeon

So I had the pleasure of teaching D&D to my kids class again. I wanted to teach traps, encounters, puzzles and overall how to explore the dungeon. Map by Daniel F. Walthall @Axebane

Please check it out and let me know what you think! Read It Here!

Screenshot 2018-03-08 15.24.10.png
Example of the Doc

Modern Options

One of the things I’ve always look at, but haven’t played yet is UltraModern. I love the idea of adding modern armor, weapons or even mechs into the fantasy world (ala Shadowrun).


Guns breakdown into a few categories:

Light – one / two handed weapon limited ammo (light ammo only). (when used two handed gain +2)

Heavy –  two handed – had slower reload or slower rate of fire, or …


Automatic Fire – if you crit on a roll (18+) roll again with disadvantage against the next closest enemy target or the same target. Attack over and over until you miss or run out of ammo.

Load Out – the ammo of ammo that can be used before requiring reload

Rate of Fire – the amount of ammo expelled in a round

Reload – how many rounds to reload (change cartridge, eject shells, etc)

Armor Piercing – this would be a bonus that negates a certain amount of armor AC (not dex or base) you can’t go lower than the AC + Dex

Range – no change from the current rules



type: light
damage: per ammo
range: 50/250
weight: 2 lb
load out: 6
rate of fire: 2
reload: 2 rounds
cost: $150

Semi Automatic Pistol

type: light
damage: per ammo
range: 30/150
weight: 2 lb
load out: 10
rate of fire: 2 or auto
reload: 1 round
cost: $450


Light: Regular
Damage: 1d6
Cost: $25 for 100 rounds

Light: Armor Piercing
AC -5
Damage: 1d8
Cost: $250 for 100 rounds

Light: Hollow Point
Damage: 1d10
Cost: $200 for 100 rounds

Thoughts? Ideas?

Character Skills

In newer versions of D&D and Pathfinder they each have a skill list. Contrary to popular belief this is not a new idea. Skills go all the way back to the original D&D in the form of Thief skills. I propose that skills are integrated into Simple DnD in a more uniform manner. Skill based characters (Assassin, Grifter, Ranger and Thief) would be completely replaced with the new class, just called Rogue, and allowing the players to customize their characters as they see fit.

Each rogue would choose 6 of the following skills and distribute 24 points between them:

Skill List:

  • Animal Handling
  • Climbing
  • Contacts
  • Crafting: Disguise, Poison, Tinker, Traps (choose) one slot per
  • Deceive
  • Disable Devices
  • Intimidate
  • Investigate
  • Linguistics
  • Lore
  • Sleight of Hand
  • Stealth
  • Tracking
  • Use Magic Devices
  • Will Power

At each level up the player would gain 3 additional points to distribute. New skills can be acquired at the cost of 6 skill points and would start at 1.  With one additional skill added at each 5 levels.

Class Build Outs

A thief would know: Climbing, Crafting: Traps, Disable Devices, Investigate, Stealth and Use Magic Devices

An assassin would know: Climbing, Contacts, Crafting: Poison, Intimidate, Tracking and Stealth

A grifter would know: Contacts, Deceive, Intimidate, Lore, Stealth and Will Power

A ranger would know: Animal Handling, Climbing, Investigate, Lore, Stealth and Tracking

Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!



Hit Points vs Damage System

As many of you know, I work on a number of different systems. I am a frequent GM for Fate Core, D6 Star Wars and even Savage Worlds in addition to other non-rpg board games. One of the things that always seems to bog down our D&D sessions is the combat grind. Turn after turn of rolling d20 and deducting points. While this can lead to some additional drama, more times than not it just bores the pants off of me. So what can be done to improve the speed of the combat round while still keeping the drama of that natural 20?

Enter the damage system.

All of the other games I GM have a system of damage that consists of multiple “steps” that drag your player down closer to death. Typically it’s three steps: Wounded, Incapacitated, and Taken Out. I really like this, but how can it be worked in a D&D type system?

I think that it’s a matter of adjusting how damage is applied to the player or monster.

Rolling to hit.

To hit an opponent we roll d20 and add modifiers vs the target’s Armor Class (AC). That’t still good – the ability to adjust how hard to hit something works.

Rolling damage needs to change.

Roll the damage for the weapon (ex: 1d8) and then compare it to the target’s strength. So if a Ogre has a +4 to strength so any roll over 4 would result in a wound, whereas a rat with a strength of +1 would wound automatically if hit. This would keep with the paradigm that rats are easier to kill than ogres. It also would allow for damage to scale automatically without changing anything else. A two handed sword does 2d6 damage and it much more likely to kill a monster with one hit that a dagger. It works.

The OpenD6 system has a great scale for damage. It allows for the amount over the target’s strength to cause addition issues. I also like this. It allows for high damage rolls to really kill things fast (as they should).


Amount over Strength

Amount Over Status Effect
1-3 Stunned -1 to all rolls next round actions only
4-8 Wounded -1 to all rolls until healed
9-12 Incapacitated / Severely Wounded CON Save or become unconscious. Success you become Severely Wounded: -3 to all rolls until healed
13+ Mortally Wounded CON Save or Death. Success you become Mortally Wounded: -5 to all rolls until healed

If the player is already wounded once, then the second wound would would penalize the character with a -2 to all rolls until healed. If they’re wounded again, treat that wound as a Severe / Incapacitated wound. If it happens after that, then treat it as a mortal wound.

If the player is already stunned and get’s stunned again – then stack the stunned penalty. A player can be stunned as many times as they have strength with a minimum of once. If they get stunned after that, then they become unconscious for 1d6 rounds.

Any additional wounds are automatically upgrade to the Incapacitated / Severely Wounded level, save accordingly.

Soaking Damage

The final piece of the puzzle is a way for HEROIC saves to happen. I propose a CON check (or use the monster’s hit dice as the bonus) to halve the damage roll (rounded up). This would represent the ability for heroes to shrug off attacks. Creatures that are resistant to certain types of damage would automatically get half damage.

Final Run Through

Player Attacks. Roll d20 + bonus > Target Armor Class (AC)

if hit, then roll the weapon’s damage  (ex: 1d8 + str for a sword) and find the difference between the roll and the target’s strength.

if the difference is greater than zero, then defender rolls CON Save 10 to reduce the number by half (AKA the Soak)

Finally compare final number to chart above to see the effect


So what do you think?

Does this make sense? Would it speed up combat? Post a comment below and let me know.



Two New Options: Notice and Heroics

Neither of these should be a big shock, but I am implementing two new items in the DM’s toolkit. The rest of the docs will be updated shortly as will the character sheet. – A


This number is for every character. It is set default to the Character’s Wisdom (with the Ability Focus if focused in Wisdom) plus 10.

ex: Brother Eisenhorne is a 3rd level cleric with a +3 in Wisdom. His Notice would be set to: 15 (wisdom + focus +10)

The DM will use this number as the DC for any checks which the character is not specifically looking for. This includes: hearing noises, seeing hiding monsters, as a DC for surprise, spotting hidden doors or noticing something that would normally miss. Players can still actively search as normal which may result in better scores.


Each session to which player attends earns them 1 heroic point that remains with the character. Extra heroics can be awarded by the DM for the playing doing something special or innovative in the game. I’ve been know to award these for a great plan, being in character, and even for an awesome battle result. Note Heroic Points can be used for ANY role for ANY player (even the DM). Think of it as the way the players can DM can adjust the story.

The players can then choose to trade there Heroics for the following:

  • Plan Ahead. Before rolling, add advantage.
  • Redo! After any dice roll, force a reroll and keep the new roll result
  • Attack Again! An additional action in a combat round
  • Healing Surge! Spend one Heroic Point and roll your hit dice and heal yourself that amount.

Player’s characters should use these points at times of drama (or whenever they want), but we’ve found that they add a great BOOM just at the right moment. Something like that critical attack that slays the dragon or talking their way out of trouble with the city guard.

Turning Undead

A cleric has the power to force away certain category of monsters called the “Undead” (skeletons, zombies, ghouls, mummies, and other more powerful types). To use this ability, the play must only declare that they shall “Turn Undead” and be within 30 feet of the monsters.

What is Turned?

Turned undead flee by the fastest means available to them. They will not touch the  cleric, and will flee as far from them as possible. If they cannot flee, they cower.

If anyone, other than the turning cleric, approaches the undead within 10 feet will cause the undead to immediately overcome their repulsion and the undead will attack as normal.

All attacks made by the cleric vs turned undead are made at Advantage.

Effects of turning last for 1 minute (10 rounds).

How Does It Work?

The base roll to turn undead is 10 + the hit dice of the monster. So a Skeleton would have a turn value of 11. The cleric then rolls d20 and adds their Wisdom (and focus) to effect the undead. The cleric would make this check vs each undead within the 30 foot range.

Destroying Undead

To destroy the undead, rather than turn them, the cleric must exceed the target number of 15 + the hit dice of the monster.