Basic OSR Dungeon Procedure


Dungeon Crawl Procedure


  1. Marching Order
    1. Marching Leader
    2. Scouts
    3. Mapper/Caller
  2. Dungeon Turn–10 Minutes of Activity
    1. Movement: Your full movement rate or less.
    2. Rest and Recuperation: Heal 1d3 HP and eat meals.
    3. Search 10*10 ft. Area for:
      1. Secret Features
      2. Secret Doors
      3. Hidden Traps and Hazards
      4. Hidden Treasure
    4. Secure 10*10 ft. Area or Portal: Make an area or portal safe with use of own equipment or items found in said area.
  3. Forced Rest
    1. After every five turns, party must rest or incur -1 penalty on all rolls
    2. Penalty is accumulative
  4. Wandering Monsters
    1. After every two turns
    2. 1 in 6 chance of encounter, +1 for every sensory giveaway (i.e. footprints, noise, strong smell of/or fragrant food, and etc.)

Basic OSR Dungeon Procedure Ex. I

Dungeon March Procedure

  1. Marching Order. Determine the locations and roles of each party member relative to each other. You may only change the marching order after a long rest.
    • Narrow Marching Order. Determine stacking order on a single column march.
    • Wide Marching Order. Determine stacking order on a two column march.
    • Forward Unit Order. Determine the locations of scouts/outriders sent ahead to scout for the party relative to each other, as well as how far away from the main party they will be operating.
    • Support Unit Order. Determine the locations of scouts/outriders following behind the party relative to each other, as well as how far away from the main party they will be operating.
    • Party Roles
      • March Leader
        • Primary authority for rolling the dice in group initiative and reaction rolls.
        • Primary authority for deciding where to go and what to do as a party.
        • Primary and default authority for keeping quest items, keys, and other such items of the same nature.
        • DM will default on March Leader’s decisions when party remains undecided for too long.
      • Mapper/Caller
        • Responsible for tracking and drafting a map for the session.
        • Responsible for reading handouts, diseminating information meant for a group, as well as making and keeping the party’s notes.
        • Primary authority for rolling the dice on chance of getting lost rolls or trap activation rolls.
      • Scouts/Outrider
        • Party members tasked with operating away from the main group as a form of forward or defensive reconnaisance. These will be your Forward or Support Units.
        • Responsible for rolling the dice for surprise rolls.
  2. March Protocol. Determine the presumed acts your party members will be doing as they traverse the dungeon environment.
    • For each presumed act a party is doing, reduce the movement rate of the party by five.
    • A party may only change the details of their march protocol during a long rest.
    • Presumed acts. These acts include, but are not limited to:
      • Detecting secret doors;
      • Listening for noise;
      • Maintaining spells;
      • Looking for traps; and
      • So on while noting which character is doing which presumed acts. Said character will be responsible for rolling the dice relative to his presumed act.
  3. Forward/Support Unit Protocol. Determine the presumed acts your party members will be doing as your scouts or outriders, taking note of any class or racial abilities especially suited for such. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Prevent an ambush;
    • Prepare an ambush;
    • Flank an encountered monster, +2 Attack;
    • Set traps; and
    • So on. You may only change the details of your Forward or Support Units during a long rest wherein said units are capable or reasonably close enough to be given new orders.
    • For every 30 square feet of distance a unit is asked to operate away from the main party, the party will receive:
      • A +1 bonus to catching a monster by surprise
      • A +1 bonus to preventing a monster from catching the party by surprise; and
      • A +1 bonus to a 1 in 6 chance of cutting the unit off from the main party.
      • A +1 bonus to a 1 in 6 chance of cutting the unit off from the main party if the passage ahead is branching or forked.
  4. Watch Order. Determine the shifts each party member will take when watching over the rest of the party during an extended rest while noting the bonuses or penalties they might benefit from or suffer as the chosen night watch.
  5. Penalties. Failure to fill roles or specify the acts your party members will be doing during a crawl will bar you from the benefit of doing any of these acts. For example, if you have no one looking for traps while exploring a corrider, you will have no chance of detecting any traps thereon. Hence, the trap will automatically activate when triggered per the usual 2 in 6 chance.

Separating Hit Dice from Hit Points, and complicating Armor Class

HP and HP

The HD and HP idea comes apes the Flesh and Grit mechanic of another OSR ruleset I forgot the name of, but I learned about from Cavegirl’s own OSR game. But, I’m going to complicate it a bit by adding Scarlet Heroes’ HD damage table.

Some attacks damage HD directly. Most attacks, however, must deplete HP first. Zero HD is death. Zero HP is loss of combat effectiveness. HD can only be replenished through major medical attention. Damaged HD will also the number of dice used for HP accordingly. HP is replenished through rest and eating, or minor medical attention.

Separating HD from HP also makes it a simpler thing to use that other mechanic I found out about concerning re-rolling HP whenever a party rests and eats, with good quality rest and eating choosing whichever roll is highest, and so on.

And as for CON bonuses, such bonuses will only apply as extra hits to one’s HD, not extra dice.

So, in summary: HD+Hit Bonus is separate from HP. Only HD creates HP.

AC and AP

With the same idea as above. AC creates Armor Points. Armor points act as Damage Soak and Durability for the armor and will make equipment maintenance much more present in games.

Primarily, the rules here are for ascending DC mechanics.

So, AC will serve as a base for AD, or Armor Dice. Armor Dice will be based on quality, ranging from poor quality D4 armor all the way up to legendary d20 armor. AC will also determine how many of said AD will be thrown to determine AP.

Before an attack could hit HP, it must first deplete AP. But, and attack from behind ignores AP. If an enemy hits, the attack goes straight to HP.

So, in summary: deplete AP first to deplete HP, then deplete HP to deplete HD.

Repairing armor allows you to re-roll your AP, but Zero AP means the armor is salvageable.