These are a set of very simple dungeon-bashing rules for youngsters and the young at heart.Β It is classic kick-in-the-door, kill the monsters and steal their treasure stuff.

Here are the rules: dungeoneer-v1

As I playtest these with my 10 year old son and his friends I will publish supplements, dungeons and other goodies πŸ™‚

For those who don’t have a good set of dungeon floortiles or battlemaps to hand with which to play these rules I’d like to recommend the following sites:

Crooked Staff Productions – http://www.enworld.org/CrookedStaffProductions/

Dream Weaved Worlds – http://www.dreamweavedworlds.com/index.html

RPG Mapshare Gallery – http://rpgmapshare.com/

The first two are essentially one-man productions, yet both provide a range and professionalism of production to suit just about any taste. The latter is a cooperative site which ranges across fantasy and sci-fi. All three are free.

If you don’t have a handy stock of 25mm fantasy figures to hand you could do worse than visit One Monk Studios, a fine purveyor of excellent paper figures (download, print on card and voila!). Amongst his many sets there are quite a few tasters for free :). You can find him here:


Another excellent paper figure artist is Bhoritz and his figures can be found here:


I hope these help you have many evenings of fun and slaughter πŸ˜‰


25 Responses

  1. hay 2017 still playing (and having fun adapting and making it up as i go along,! my small people and now my grand people are having fun on a wet sunday in winter. i can only say thanks for all those and them to come, fun fun hours. a heart felt thanks. nick

  2. Sure, no problem. You want me to send you any pictures of the game for your Dead Simple blog?

  3. Hi Matt, how lovely to hear that these old rules are still putting a smile on people’s faces.
    Would you mind if I excerpted your comments and out them on the Dead Simple blog? I’m sure people would love to read it as a lot of them are using DSRPG for the exact same reason πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Craig,

    I just wanted you to know that Dungeoneeer is not dead, that there are still some people playing it even though you have not had a post to this page in 4 years.

    I just had a game last night with my normal gaming group of 40 and 50 something old guys. One of the guys has a new addition to his family, an 8 year old boy, and we wanted a game that we could all play but that was at least a little bit rpg but with enough board game elements that the youngster could catch on quickly as he has never played a rpg and had no real idea what it was. I immediately thought of your Dungeoneer rules!

    Simple set up. Adventurers started the game hanging out in the Duck and Cover and were approached by a member of the Scholar’s Guild. He informed them that he was an orphan and had been doing some research on his family and found out that his parents were not so reputable and were probably involved in black magic. He also found out that they had died a long time ago but that they were living in a wizard’s tower at the time. He had, through further scholarly research, found the location of the tower and had learned through questioning merchant caravan drivers that travel near the tower that this long abandoned structure was now occupied by orcs. He feared that there were also some other evil creatures in the depths of the tower and that he wanted to hire the adventurers to take him there and to also clear out the tower of any evil residents, including the orcs. The adventurers readily agreed.

    Turned out that the orcs had been hired “by a man” to live in the first floor of the tower. The party found this out by capturing a couple on a hunting party before they entered the tower proper. The ground floor was one big room where the orcs all lived. The party made quick work of them but they did find out how deadly the game can be. We, luckily, played that 0 Toughness = unconsciousness. The orcs dropped two characters to 0 Toughness but none to negative numbers, so they did not die and were healed by the Priest after the battle was over.

    Upstairs was located a bedroom, laboratory, and library seemingly not used by a wizard in some time. Also upstairs was a sanctuary to the dreaming god Dagoth (I love Conan, I can’t help myself!). No monsters though except for a gremlin guardian in the laboratory and a gargoyle in the library. But the party didn’t go upstairs so they didn’t learn about any of this. Missed out on a couple of treasures too.

    Downstairs though below the first floor was where the real evil was located. The party made its way through the hallways, traps (always good to put that dwarf up front!), and monster filled rooms, fighting their way through a room of dogs altered by black magic, a hallway of guardian giant rats including one that was the familiar of an evil wizard (party didn’t know that), a room occupied by an intelligent and vicious wight, the ubiquitous room of skeletons, to finally end in the chamber of the evil necromancer. He had summoned forth blob monsters that were huge versions of the same sleepy goo we get in our eyes when we sleep. These goo monsters were manifestations of Dagoth, the dreaming god (hence the goo that we get in our eyes when we sleep). If these monsters did any damage to a party member (a hero) it helps Dagoth manifest on our plane. What would have happened is the statue of Dagoth on the second floor would have come to life and would have been bad news for the party!

    The party managed to fight off the goo monsters (although several did get trapped by the goo temproarily but not damaged), and killed the necromancer. They were surprised by the scholar patron, though, as he was actually the brother of the necromancer and was geased into finding heroes and bringing them to the tower so that the goo of Dagoth could feast on the blood of heroes, allowing the god to come to our plane. Thank goodness, though, the heroes were able to defeat the necromancer, the goo monsters and the traitorous scholar without allowing Dagoth to enter our plane.

    After that, it was back to the Duck and Cover for a well-earned pint of ale!

    I have some pictures of the game and would like to post them but I’m not sure how to do that. I could email them to you. Regardless a good time was had by all and the 8 year old seemed to not be bored 75% of the time, which was a win! The young man even left for a snack but came back after he finished it to keep playing, which I attribute to the fun and ease of these rules. They really accomplish what I think you wanted them to do when you wrote them in the first place.

    We used a bunch of old Warhammer Quest miniatures whenever possible. The party members were all Warhammer Quest miniatures, the scholar, though, was a Mage Knight repaint. I even tried to paint the Warhammer Quest miniatures exactly as they were depicted on the cards for the game, right down to the dwarf with yellow gloves (yellow gloves!?). The orcs were also from the set, as were the giant rats. The wight was a Mage Knight repaint, and the skeletons were current DnD miniatures that I repainted as well. The goo monsters I made from using a hot glue gun to “blob out” appropriately shaped monsters. They are really gray ooze monsters for a DnD game, but they were perfect for this and really easy to do. The evil necromancer was a the old Illusionist miniature from the 80’s Grenadier DnD set. I use foam to make the room and hall layout and painted it, along with some corners to give the rooms a “room” look without making it hard to see or move the miniatures. All in all, especially because the miniatures were mostly Warhammer Quest ones, the game had a real nostalgic look too it (looked a lot like we were playing Warhammer Quest to be honest!).

    The only rules modifications I did were the following:

    1. 0 Toughness = unconsciousness. Negative = dead (already mentioned that one).

    2. Priest abilities. I made it so that if the Priest was in a melee, he could heal but he had to roll a die and add his Magic to it and needed to get a 5 or better to heal. If he was not in melee, it was automatic. I also changed the Holy Light ability to work exactly like the Terrify spell. So he would just say he was using Holy Light and if any undead creature wanted to move closer than one square away from the Priest it had to beat him in an opposed Magic roll. Both of these changes were simple, but seemed to work pretty well because the abilities are not “automatic” when the Priest really needed them, so that added some tension to the game play.

    3. I did not do this, but in hindsight when we play again I’m going to. When the Wizard rolls a “1” on the die when casting a spell, he cannot use that spell any more during the current encounter. We liked having him be able to cast his spells pretty much whenever he wanted, but having this would penalize the Wizard for rolling a “1” (which I think is fair) but not too much in that he would get the spell back after the encounter was over.

    Thanks for writing the rules, they were a lot of fun to play!


  5. Hi Juha,

    Brilliant! It is the 7-11 year old age group that these were aimed at πŸ™‚

    Please let us know if they work for your kids and if there is anything else we can do for you.

    These are the first set of rules I published here and have not had a lot of love since. Dead Simple became the RPG I spent most time developing. If the kids find Dungeoneer too complicated try them with Dead Simple.


  6. Just translated these to Finnish to introduce rpg:s to my 7 and 10 year olds. Interesting to see especially the younger ones reaction.

  7. Hi AJ,

    So make it up πŸ™‚ and if it work let me know and I’ll update the rules.


  8. What better treasure to find than something you can use πŸ™‚

  9. Not sure if I’m performing a little bit of thread necromancy here, but I noticed that in the rules you didn’t list a way for elf characters to get more arrows. Otherwise, great job.

  10. Hi Adam,

    Good to see you taking time out from The Forge πŸ˜‰

    They are not really rpg rules, more an homage to Heroquest and that genre. I am working on a set of rpg rules using my usual core principle of KISS (keep it short and simple). I just need to get the magic rules sorted.

    In the meantime we have a 2nd edition to polish.


  11. Hey m8, adam from the forges board; really like these rpg rules – given them a read and its fired me up to start some rpg stuff – which any of mates will tell you is a miracle (i hate DnD) πŸ˜›

  12. Hi GrΓΌn πŸ™‚

    Welcome to the blog. Don’t worry, your English is much better than my German πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you like the rules.

    I am sorry I did not answer you before but I have just started a new job 200 miles from my home and there is no internet access there during the week, so I can only communicate at the weekends.

    If you would like some dungeon plans go to this link: http://crookedstaff.proboards.com/index.cgi?

    My friend Kris is publishing a dungeon map every day throughout May, and they are all free to download.


  13. Greetings from Germany
    I wanted just say: What a great game!!!
    IΒ΄m looking forward for the promised goodies

    Hope my English isn`t so bad and you understand me

  14. Yes there is. I found out about that only after I had published this one, but thanks for the heads-up. However all the publicity I have for this game by various kindly website owners calls my game ‘Dungeoneer’ also so I am loathe to change its name at the moment.

    Anyhoo mine is a set of simple and free rules, rather than a commercial effort. I am sure the publishers of the commercial version realize that, and are not yet corporate enough to consider any use of this fairly common word in our gaming world to be an attack on their holy copyright (not like a well known workshop of games I could mention).

    After all if we were to take this to its illogical extremes, the estates of Messr’s Gygax and Arneson could come after them seeing as this term first appeared in early D&D πŸ˜‰

  15. There is already a game called Dungeoneer:


    Sorry! 😦

  16. Looks like good old fashioned fun πŸ™‚

    I have downloaded the adventure and admire the way you have presented it, very clean and easy to follow. You have a set a very high standard that I am now going to have to follow.

    As for Diabolical well it is being worked on as I write. The difficult bit is replacing the D&D D20 spells with ones more appropriate to the game setting. Everything else works OK.

    I am also working on a new version of my Goblins rules – Nasty, Brutish and Short. When my friends first played this several years ago the atmosphere was very much like Paranoia or Toon, with the players’ goblins getting blown up, shot, sliced, diced and mangled at every step (and not always by the enemy).

    Cheers for the input Matakishsi, you’re a good ‘un πŸ™‚


  17. I look forward to that.

    I wrote an adventure and ran it for some friends yesterday, the first dungeon game I’ve played in 28 years. It was fun in a nostalgic sort of way but not as satisfying as I’d hoped. It made us remember why we’d moved on from dungeon bashing all those years ago. I guess you can never go back…
    Having said that, everyone enjoyed it for what it was and we might do a couple more from time to time. You can download it here if you’d like to see it: http://www.matakishi.com/dungeonadventures.htm I don’t have an email for you or I’d have sent it.
    Thanks again for the rules, good work.

  18. Hmmm… I have just reviewed Diabolical and realise that you have to be au fait with D&D 3.5 to use them really.

    I am presently working on a new version of Diabolical which will be self-contained (i.e. not require people to refer to other rule sets) and has appendices outlining The Known World setting and a mini-campaign for new characters.

    I should have this up by the middle of next week.

  19. Thanks, I’ll take a look at them πŸ™‚

  20. Diabolical D20 is already up in the Fantasy RPG section of the blog (just scroll down to the bottom).

    It is a game loosely based upon the Diablo series of computer rpg’s. The rules engine is really simple and comes from the Microlite D20 stable. In essence it is just one step up from a skirmish game and thus might be what you are looking for.

  21. I thought as much, I only asked in case you’d already done a list so I could add armour into the treasure list. I had a question about how multiple combats worked too but I can add my own stuff for that. Dungeoneer was a great catalyst for getting me thinking of a fantasy project (something I haven’t done for about 10 years) but I think I’m going to need something a little more involved. Although, I still want a skirmish feel not a role playing feel to the proceedings to begin with (I’m assuming it’ll grow into more of a role play as the games progress but I want it to remain old-school for as long as possible).
    I’d like to see Diabolical…

  22. Hi Matakishi,

    The answer is… complicated πŸ˜‰

    The Defence Value is a combination of armour, skill and (in the case of the Cleric) divine protection. There is no particular logic to it as this was never meant to be more than a coke’n’pretzels game (ten year olds can’t have beer).

    I added the columns naming characters’ weapons and armour simply to give it a bit more atmosphere.

    Hope that helps?

    If you want a more detailed game I can put up Diabolical if you’s like…


  23. Another question, it’s not clear what the difference between different armour is and how much of the defence bonus is part of the character (since defence bonus can be improved and armour can too).

  24. Hi Matakishi,

    Your site is one of my favourites, always full of great hobby projects, so I am flattered you like my simple rules.

    I think you are right about the Wizard, I’ll have to review how that would work. Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚


  25. Excellent set of rules, I’m going to stick them on my site if that’s ok with you, might inspire me to do some fantasy painting. One thing, there is no way for a Wizard to increase the number of spells he/she can have which may, after extended play, make them rely on their weapons which they can increase which isn’t very Magiciany in my opinion. I suggest 200 or 300 gold to have another spell, not allowed to exceed their magic bonus (so that makes 300 or 400 per spell as they’d have to add one to magic before hand). or not, if you prefer πŸ™‚

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