Dungeon Squad

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Dungeon Squad is a role-playing game designed by Jason Morningstar expressly for young players 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.

What You Need

Each participant should have access to a pencil, paper, and a set of polyhedral dice - one of each, from D4 up to D12. Also snacks and beverages.

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 stuff - a weapon, armor, or magic spell.

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

Everyone has fifteen Hit Points. Damage reduces these directly.

Resolution Mechanic

All characters can fight, cast spells, and sneak around at varying levels of skill. Difficulty is reflected by a target number, typically 2, 4, or 6. Higher numbers are certainly possible for daring feats.

Roll against Warrior to hit in combat. A 2 or better is needed to hit a weak foe, a 4 or better to hit an average foe, and a 6 or better to hit a tough foe. Obviously, if you assign D4 to Warrior, direct combat will prove a challenge, if not impossible.

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 battles.

Roll against Explorer to sneak around and be a thief. You need a 2 or better to move silently, a 4 or better to pick a lock or climb a wall, and a 6 or better to disarm a trap or jump a chasm.


Swords do their die in damage - either D6 or D10. A "sword" could also be an axe or other weapon. Other weapons rated at D4, D8, or even D12 might be found as treasure!

Bows can damage a foe from a distance, doing their die in damage, but only half the time. If the Warrior roll is odd, it does not count! If it is even, it actually hits! A "bow" could also be throwing knives, a crossbow, or other ranged weapon.

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! Other armor rated at D4, D8, or even D12 might be found as treasure!

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

Anyone can do D4 damage with their fists or a dagger, if they have no better weapon. Ropes, picks and shovels, and other equipment can be purchased, but has no "stuff" die associated with it. There is no limit to the amount of regular stuff you can carry.


There are six spells. Any character can choose to assign a "Stuff" die to gain a spell, and a 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.

  • 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 battle.
  • Fireball does triple its die in damage but can only be used once per adventure! Roll the Fireball's die, then multiply the result by three. Anyone near the target takes the straight, pre-multiplication Fireball die in damage as well - a powerful spell!
  • Healing restores its die in hit points to the person the wizard chooses. This spell can be cast once per battle, and can only assist one person.
  • Lightning does its die in damage divided as the wizard chooses among targets. Can be cast every turn.
  • Luck allows you to add your die to another person's roll, before they make it! Or reduce an opponents roll by the same amount, before they make it. Can be cast every turn.
  • 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 battle.

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 for wizards casting spells), Elven boots (+1 die size for moving silently), and potions (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 any die one size after each adventure, up to D12. 100 gold pieces equals a one die increase. Gold can also be used to buy increased hit points. 20 gold increases permanent hit point total by one.

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 sponge mold: Each point of magic used on it increases its HP by an 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 highwayman: Axe D8, 8 HP

Average - Attack with D8, Adventurers need a 4 or better to hit.

  • Orc or soldier: Sword D6, Shield D6, 10 HP
  • Skeleton warrior: Axe D8, 4 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.

  • Giant: Club D10, 20 HP
  • Troll: Hands D10, natural armor D10, 12 HP
  • Small 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.

  • Huge Dragon: Claws D10, Fire breath D12, natural armor D10, 60 HP

Equipment Lists

Items that cost 1 gold piece each:
Candle Bedroll Waterskin
Whistle Torch Loot sack
Items that cost 5 gold pieces each:
Food for a week Waterproof case Ten foot pole
Firestarter Backpack Shovel for digging
(+1 die size)
(Heals D4 one time)
Items that cost 10 gold pieces each:
Adventurer's Kit
(Backpack, fire-starter, bedroll, waterskin, loot sack)
Lantern Local map
Rope Grappling hook for climbing
(+1 die size with rope)
Hammer and spikes
Parchment, ink and quill Musical instrument Healing salve
(Heals D6 one time)
Items that cost 20 gold pieces each:
Increase hit point
total by one!
Four-person tent Fancy clothes
Pet cat, weasel, owl, or hawk 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)
Items that cost 50 gold pieces each:
Riding horse Bear trap Spyglass
Mirror Lock-pick
(+1 die size)
Spell scroll
(containing a spell with a one-time use)
Items that cost 100 gold pieces each:
Increase Warrior, Wizard,
or Explorer by one die size!
Guard Dog
(D8 attack, Bite D6, 6 Hit points, loyal)
Magic sword
(+1 die size)
Magic wand
(+1 die size for casting spells)
Warrior's steed
(D6 trample attack, 12 Hit Points, ferocious)
Wizard's portable laboratory
(for inventing new spells!)