Dungeons of Olde

Trashing old-school dungeons, one tile at a time!


WARNING: Outdated Rules

The rules in this section have become obsolete following the recent rules overhaul. The most current version of the rules are those included in the Core Rules section of this website.

Primary Stats

Characters are defined by four Primary Stats: Brawn, Finesse, Savvy, and Nerve.

Brawn measures the character’s physical prowess; think “strength.” Lunk is a Barbarian—a big, hairy, axe-wielding warrior; he’ll want a high Brawn stat.

Finesse rates the character’s quickness, accuracy, and flair; think “dexterity” or “agility.” Keen is a nimble and cagey rogue, light on her feet and quick with a blade; she needs lots of Finesse.

Savvy quantifies the character’s mental abilities—reasoning power and general knowledge; think “intelligence” or “wisdom.” Audacia is a clever mage, almost as brilliant as she thinks she is; her main stat is Savvy.

Nerve measures the character’s courage, strength of will, or conviction; it’s equal parts “charisma,” “presence,” and “will-power.” Fustus is a devout priest of an over-involved god, giving him plenty of Nerve.

Stat values

For heroes, Primary Stats can range from 3 to 12; for non-player characters and monsters, they can be as low as 1 or as high as 20 (or perhaps higher, in the case of truly powerful monsters). The character’s value for each stat determines what sort of dice he rolls when attempting an attack or other difficult task, as shown in the Player Character Stats Table.

An average, ordinary, non-heroic adult human being has a 4 or 5 for each of his or her Primary Stats. Heroes are above average by definition, so even beginning heroes have above-average stats. The base value for a beginning hero’s Primary Stats is 5, but they can be increased by spending Character Points (CP). Usually, one or two of a hero’s stats will be in the 7-9 range, while others will be a more “normal” 5 or 6. Rarely will a hero have a Primary Stat of 3 or 4—values that low leave a hero vulnerable to calamities that even ordinary folk can usually avoid, like tripping over their own shoelaces in the middle of a boss fight. A common spread of Primary Stats for a versatile new hero might be 6-6-7-8, while a more specialized character might have 5-5-6-9, or even 4-5-6-10!

Stats Table

Stat value Check dice Effect die
1 2d2-1 1d2-1
2 2d2 1d2
3 2d3 1d3
4 2d4 1d4
5 2d6-1 1d4+1
6 2d6 1d6
7 2d8-1 1d6+1
8 2d8 1d8
9 2d10-1 1d8+1
10 2d10 1d10
11 2d12-1 1d10+1
12 2d12 1d12
13 2d12+1 1d12+1
14 3d10-1 2d6+1
15 3d10 2d8-1
16 3d10+1 2d8
17 3d12-1 2d8+1
18 3d12 3d6
19 2d20-1 3d6+1
20 2d20 1d20

Secondary Stats

Characters also have one or more Secondary Stats, each of which is based upon two Primary Stats. The value of each Secondary Stat is equal to one of the two Primary Stats it’s based on, plus half of the other one, rounded down.

For example, a Secondary Stat that matters to every character is Hit Points, which sets how much damage the character can survive before he is overcome by his injuries. A character’s Hit Points are determined by adding his Brawn value to one-half of his Nerve value, rounded down. Lunk the Barbarian has a Brawn of 9 and a Nerve of 6, so he gets 12 hit points (9 + 6/2 = 12). His associate, Fustus, is a stubborn old friar, with Brawn 5 and Nerve 9. Fustus has 9 Hit Points (5 + 9/2 = 9.5, which rounds to 9).

Hit Points determine how much damage a character can absorb, as mentioned above. Hit Points are equal to Brawn plus half of Nerve (Brawn + Nerve/2).

Mana Points determine how much arcane energy the character can channel into spells. Mana Points are equal to Savvy plus half of Nerve (Savvy + Nerve/2).

Divinity Points measure the strength of the character’s connection to her diety, which determines the amount of divine energy the she can channel into prayers. Divinity Points are equal to Nerve plus half of Savvy (Nerve + Savvy/2).

Modifying Stats

Certain circumstances may change a Primary or Secondary Stat from its base value for all purposes, including the determination of Check and Effect dice. When this happens, the Stat is said to have been Modified. One of the most common Stat Modifiers in the game is the penalty to Finesse imposed by wearing armor, although other conditions—especially gear, magical items and spells—may also bestow a bonus or penalty that Modifies a Stat.

Before embarking on a dungeon raid, Friar Fustus dons a gambeson—a suit of heavily-padded cloth armor. Fustus’s Brawn of 5 is not sufficient to wear this armor without penalty. According to the rules for Armor (see the Combat section for details), that penalty Modifies Fustus’s Finesse stat, reducing it by 1. His base Finesse of 6 is reduced to a 5 for all purposes, as long as he wears that armor. Even his dice are based on his Modified Finesse—he now rolls 2d6-1 for Checks, and 1d4+1 for Effect, until he removes that armor.

Note that Stat Modifiers are temporary and situational, and as such do not affect the Character Point cost paid for the modified Stat.