DS (JA) SRD

This version adapted by Jim Adams.

Dungeon Squad is a rules-light role-playing game designed expressly for young players (or players who are young at heart) with short attention spans who demand action and fun. There is a lot of die rolling and some amusing shopping and number crunching. Characters can be generated in 30 seconds or less.

WHAT YOU NEED

Each participant should have access to a pencil, paper, and a set of six polyhedral dice - one of each, from D4 up to D20. Also, snacks and beverages are never an unwelcome companion!

CHARACTER GENERATION

Each character has one each of D4, D8, and D12 to represent aspects of themselves – Wizard, Warrior, and Explorer.

(Example: I want to make a wizardly-thief type character, so I choose Wizard D12, Explorer D8, and Warrior D4. Let's hope I have someone along to keep me out of harm's way in a fight!)

Each character has a D6 and a D10 to describe their stuff - a weapon, armor, shield, or a magic spell.

(Example: For my wizardly-thief, I choose the spell Sleep at D10 and Lightning at D6.)

Every new character starts their career with fifteen Hit Points. Damage reduces these directly. When a player's character or a monster has reached zero Hit Points, they have perished!

Finally, each new character also starts with D4 x 10 gold coins each, which can be pooled together with other player's gold, if everyone agrees.

CHARACTER RACES (optional)

The steps above are assumed for creating a human character. Optionally, at your game master's discretion, you may instead choose to be a demi-human like an Elf, a Dwarf, or even a Halfling! Besides having limited “darkvision” (the ability to see better in the dark), each demi-human race differs from humans as follows:

  • Elf: An Elf can find a secret door on an Explorer roll of 2 or higher but initially starts with 12 Hit Points.
  • Dwarf: A Dwarf can find and disarm traps on an Explorer roll of 2 or higher but only uses a D4, D6, and D12 to represent their initial aspects.
  • Halfling: A Halfling can hide in the shadows on an Explorer roll of 2 or higher but only uses two D6!s to describe their initial stuff.

RESOLUTION MECHANIC

All characters can fight, shoot, cast spells, and sneak around at varying levels of skill. A target number, typically a 2, 4, or 6, reflects the difficulty of the roll needed. Higher numbers are certainly possible for even more daring feats.

Roll against Warrior to hit in melee combat. A 2 or better is needed to hit a weak foe, a 4 or better to hit an average foe, a 6 or better to hit a tough foe, and an 8 or better to hit even larger and scarier beasts! Obviously, if you assign a D4 to Warrior, combat will often prove a challenge, if not impossible in some situations.

Roll against Wizard to cast a spell. A 6 or better is needed to cast a spell successfully, or a 2 or better if the caster is not in a dangerous situation. One peaceful option would be to assign D4 to Wizard and take "Healing" as a spell, casting it only between encounters.

Roll against Explorer to sneak around, shoot a bow, or be a thief. You need a 2 or better to move silently or listen at a door, a 4 or better to pick a lock or climb a wall, and a 6 or better to find or disarm a trap, find a secret door, hide in the shadows, pick a pocket, or jump a chasm. When needed, an Explorer roll can also be used to determine who goes first in combat, counting down from the highest roll to the lowest, with monsters using their attack die as their Explorer roll.

EQUIPMENT THAT NEEDS TO BE ASSIGNED A "STUFF" DIE

Swords do their die in damage (any sword assigned a D10 or more is considered two-handed). A "sword" could also be an axe, a mace, or any other close combat weapon. Using two single-handed weapons at once makes using a shield impossible, but allows you to make two rolls when you score a hit in combat, taking the better of the two results as your damage roll.

Bows do their die in damage to a foe from a distance. A "bow" could also be a crossbow, javelins, throwing knives, or other ranged weapons. Wielding a bow prohibits the use of a shield.

Armor reduces damage taken by a roll of its die. Thus, if you are hit for 7 points of damage and have armor, you can roll that die and reduce damage taken by that amount, possibly all the way to zero. D10 armor is powerful stuff! Shields are a special kind of armor. When combined with armor, a shield allows you to make two rolls when damaged in combat, taking the better of the
two results. Shields may not be used with bows or two-handed weapons. Wearing any kind of armor also carries a +2 penalty to all Wizard rolls when casting a spell.

Some expensive gear affords a +1 bonus to a specific activity, effectively bumping the die up one rank. Your D4 Explorer becomes D6, for example, when sneaking in Elven boots. A character can carry a total of four pieces of "stuff" with dice assigned to it - spells, armor, weapons, and the like. If a character acquires a cool bit of treasure with a die assigned to it (D6 Fireball scroll, for
example), it counts toward this total, as do the two items each character starts with. A player can mix and match as needed, but no character can ever carry more than four.

OTHER EQUIPMENT

All characters are allowed a single dagger, club, or similar small weapon (D4 damage) for free. Although this small weapon does not count towards your four “stuff” item limit, only one such “free” weapon may be carried. Ropes, shovels, and other regular gear can be purchased, but has no "stuff" die associated. There is no limit to the amount of regular stuff you can carry.

TREASURE AND ADVANCEMENT

In the dungeon there may be treasures, such as magic swords (+1, which makes a D6 sword a D8 sword), magic wands (+1 die size to all known spells), Elven boots (+1 die size for moving silently), and potions or scrolls (containing spells with a one-time use).

Gold pieces can also be found! Gold can be used to buy equipment, like ropes, lock-picks, lanterns, and ten-foot poles.

Gold can also be used to increase your aspects and hit point totals after each adventure. 100 gold pieces equals a single die increase, up to D12, for any aspect. You can also spend 20 gold coins to permanently increase your hit point total by one, up to 30 hit points. Afterwards, hit points cost 50 gold pieces each.

A NOTE ON USING THE D20

No aspect, weapon, spell, armor, or item usable by a player (except for Healing Scrolls) can ever be permanently assigned a D20 to it. They can, however, be temporarily increased to that height by means of magic. For example, a D12 Explorer using a pair of Elven Boots to sneak around or an adventurer with a D12 sword enhanced by magic would both roll a D20.

Increasing beyond a D20, while extremely rare, is still possible. If such a case ever presents itself, simply allows two rolls of the D20 to be made, taking the better of the two results. For example, a D12 sword enhanced by magic with a +2 vs. the undead enchantment battling skeletons would roll the D20 twice, selecting the higher of the two rolls for damage.

MAGIC

There are eighteen spells to choose from. Any character can choose to assign a "Stuff" die to gain a spell, and a true sorcerer can use both the D6 and D10 for different spells.

A 6 or better is needed to cast a spell successfully in battle, or a 2 or better if the caster is not in a dangerous situation.

SPELL LIST

CONJURE ELEMENTAL summons a man-sized elemental to serve the whims of the caster. The conjured elemental is a “tough” creature (attacks with a D10; needs a 6 to be hit) with 25 hit points, and has its dies number in both armor and damage. However, an elemental is also a very slow creature and thus may only attack every other turn. The element chosen (earth, fire,
water, or air) must be readily available for the summoning. This powerful spell can only be used once per adventure!

DAZZLE causes one man-sized enemy to hesitate for every 2 points rolled. Bigger creatures require 4 points; smaller ones, 1! Victims cannot take any action for a turn when they are dazzled. Can be cast once per encounter.

FIREBALL does triple its die in damage but can only be used once per adventure! Anyone near the target takes the straight, pre-multiplication Fireball die in damage as well - a most powerful spell!

GREATER HEALING restores triple its die in hit points to the person the caster chooses. This spell can only be used once per adventure!

HASTE speeds up time for one person, increasing the number of actions they get to take that turn. Additional actions are granted at the cost of 4 points rolled per action. Can be cast once per encounter.

HEALING restores its die in hit points to the person the wizard chooses. This spell can be cast once per encounter, and can only assist one person.

INVISIBILTY can be cast on several people, making it impossible for them to be seen by normal means, at the cost of 4 points rolled per person. Although attacking an enemy while invisible will always grant an automatic hit, it will also immediately end the invisibility spell for that person. Can be cast once per encounter.

LIGHTNING does its die in damage divided as the wizard chooses among any number of targets. Can be cast every turn.

LUCK allows you to add your die to another person's roll, before they make it! It can also be used to reduce an opponent!s roll by the same amount, before they make it. Can be cast every turn.

MAGIC MISSILE fires several bolts of arcane magic through the air, causing 2 points of damage each to its dies number in enemies. Any leftover missiles are lost. May be cast every turn.

MAGIC SHIELD protects a single person the wizard chooses (including the wizard if she desires) from its die in damage, which is chipped away until it is gone. Can be cast once per encounter.

MASS HEALING restores its die in hit points to the casters' entire party. Can only be used once per adventure!

MIRROR IMAGE creates an illusionary duplicate of the caster for every 4 points rolled (with a minimum of one created), causing each attack upon him to fail automatically, destroying that illusion, until no duplicates exist. Can be cast once per encounter.

PURIFY instantly cures any diseases, curses, and poisons from the target and restores its dies number in hit points. This very useful spell can only be used once per adventure!

REPEL UNDEAD causes one undead enemy to turn and flee for every 3 points rolled. Larger or more powerful undead creatures (such as a vampire or a dragon skeleton) may require 6 points or more! Can be cast once per encounter but if you possess a holy symbol, this spell may cast every turn!

SLEEP causes one man-sized enemy to fall asleep for every 4 points rolled. Bigger creatures require 8 points; smaller ones, 2. Victims cannot take any action for three turns when they are asleep. Can be cast once per encounter.

TELEPORT allows the caster to be transported from one spot to another, over a short distance. The caster must be able to see or visualize (have been there before) the place being teleported to. The caster may also teleport one additional person with him at the cost of 4 points rolled per person. Can be cast once per encounter.

WALL OF ICE creates a large wall of ice and snow, which takes a number of turns equal to the die roll to break down and move through. Can be cast once per encounter.

MONSTER EXAMPLES

All monsters need a 4 or better to hit an adventurer.

VERMIN

Attack with D4; Adventurers automatically hit one per attack, but they come in swarms

Rat or spider: Bite 1 point, 1 HP
Giant vampire bat: Bite 2 points, 2 HP
Stinking slime mold: Erodes metal, ruins armor and swords, 25 HP
Magic mold: Each point of magic used on it increases its HP by equal amount, 25 HP

WEAK

Attack with D6; Adventurers need a 2 or better to hit, travel in packs

Giant rat: Bite D4, 4 HP
Wolf: Bite D6, 6 HP
Goblin or Bandit: Axe D8, 8 HP
Kobold: Spear D6 6 HP

AVERAGE

Attack with D8; Adventurers need a 4 or better to hit.

Orc or Soldier: Sword D6, Shield D6, 10 HP
Lizard Man or Gnoll: Spear/Mace D8, 15 HP
Skeleton warrior: Spear D8, half damage from edged weapons, 4 HP
Zombie: Fists D6, half damage from blunt weapons, 8 HP
Ghoul: Claws D4 (stuns for D4 turns, elves immune), HP 15
Dire Wolf: Bite D8, 12 HP
Giant spider: Bite D4, poison D4 per turn for 4 turns, 12 HP

TOUGH

Attack with D10; Adventurers need a 6 or better to hit.

Ogre or Minotaur: Club/Great Axe D10, natural armor D8, 25 HP
Troll: Claws D10, regenerates D6 hit points per turn, 25 HP
Werewolf: Claws D10, Bite D10, immune to all damage but magic and silver, HP 20
Large Bear: Claws D8, Bite D10, HP 20
Chimera: Claws: D8, Bite: D8, Fire Breath D10, HP 35
Wight: Energy Drain (permanently drains D6 HP away!) HP 20
Young Dragon: Claws D6, Bite D8, Fire breath D12, natural armor D6, 40 HP

RUN AWAY!

Attack with D12; Adventurers need an 8 or better to hit.

Dragon: Claws D10, Fire breath D12, natural armor D10, 60 HP
Giant: Axe D12, natural armor D10, 40-75 HP
Elemental: Slam D20 (every other turn), natural armor D10, 55 HP
Vampire: Bite D10 (permanently drains & adds damage to own HP!), 50 HP
Purple Worm: Bite D12 (Swallows whole on an attack roll of 12!), natural armor D8, HP 70
Lich: 3 Spells (D12 each), paralyzing touch, immune to all damage but magic, HP 75

EQUIPMENT LIST

1 Gold Piece:

  • Bedroll
  • Candle
  • Waterskin
  • Whistle
  • Torch (requires tinder box to light; can be used as a D4 weapon)
  • Loot sack

5 Gold Pieces:

  • Food (or dungeon rations) for a week
  • Flask of oil
  • Ten foot pole (+1 die size to disarm most traps; discard after used)
  • Tinder box
  • Backpack
  • Shovel
  • Bandage (heals D4 one time)

10 Gold Pieces:

  • Adventurer's Kit (contains a backpack, tinder box, bedroll, waterskin, and a loot sack)
  • Ammunition for Bow (arrows, bolts, knives etc.; enough for one adventure)
  • Henchman (fee for one adventure, 6 Hit Points, will not fight, carries 4 items, semi-loyal)
  • Lantern (requires flask of oil, tinder box)
  • Local map
  • Rope
  • Hammer and spikes
  • Parchment, ink and quill
  • Musical instrument
  • Healing salve (heals D6 one time)

20 Gold Pieces:

  • Increase hit point total by one! (up to total of 30 hit points)
  • Silver Dagger (D4 damage; D20 against creatures vulnerable to silver!)
  • One weeks stay at local tavern (enough time to fully heal wounds, remove most ailments
  • Hireling (fee for one adventure, D8 attack, Spear D6, 10 Hit Points, semi-loyal)
  • Four-person tent
  • Fancy clothes
  • Flask of holy water
  • Pet cat, weasel, owl, or hawk
  • Mule
  • Cloak for hiding (+1 die size)
  • Gloves for climbing (+1 die size)
  • Elven boots for sneaking (+1 die size)
  • Healing potion (heals D12 one time)

50 Gold Pieces:

  • Increase hit point total by one! (31 hit points or higher)
  • A Sword, Short Bow, Light Armor or Wooden Shield (D6)
  • Spell scroll (contains a spell with a one-time use of D12 or that can be memorized at D6)
  • Riding horse
  • Bear trap
  • Spyglass
  • Holy symbol
  • Mirror
  • Lock-pick set (+1 die size)
  • Healing scroll (heals D20 one time)

100 Gold Pieces:

  • Increase Warrior, Wizard, or Explorer by one die size!
  • A Two-handed Sword, Long Bow, Metal Armor or Metal Shield (D10)
  • Warrior's steed (D6 trample attack, 12 Hit Points, ferocious)
  • Guard Dog (D8 attack, Bite D6, 6 Hit points, loyal)
  • Magic wand (+1 die size for spells cast)
  • Access to Wizard's laboratory (for increasing one existing spell by a die size or inventing new spells at D6!)