Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Knave++, my Knave Hack

Knave++ is my Knave hack. I intend to test this system from now on. This is v1.0.

At this point it barely resembles the original game that Ben Milton designed (with a very generous Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license). I added enough bits and bobs to please my taste. And as an exercise, building a hack from the ground up, with the very strong core that Knave provides, has been very educational.

Casque Knight!

Knave++ Features

What follows is a scattered list of changes and additions compared to the "vanilla" Knave.
The solid Knave core remains: ascending d20 rolls tied to the 6 standard ability scores, item slots based on constitution (and a general focus towards equipment), quick character generation, high compatibility with B/X and other OSR games.

  • Character Creation
    • Classic class features called Knacks. Abilities and powers that PCs can pick up.
    • Ancestries as a random table. A light way to imprint the game setting. These are specific to my Maienstein/Stonehell game. List can be replaced with whatever Ancestries tingle your fancy. Or drop them altogether. It's meant for flavor and a minor ability boost and drawback. Differentiation, nothing more.
  • Playing the Game
    • Healing is slightly modified, and adds the concept of Snacks as quick healing bursts. Additional rules for starvation.
  • Combat 
    • Alternative initiative system to have individual rolls for each PC and antagonist NPC group. Henchmen always go last. Still rolled every round for extra randomness.
    • Easy to use death & dismemberment table when a PC drops to 0 HP.
  • Spellcasting
    • Keep arcane level-less spellcasting, but replace the original list by the Magic Dice system from GLOG. I really like the MD mechanic as a whole, and it's easy to stick to Knave.
    • Add cleric spells, called Prayers, which contrary to Magic User spells have no Miscasts/Dooms. Reduced spell list, but more reliable. Flavor as herbs, bells, tablets, or some similar equipment that eat up Item Slots, called Clerical Implements.
  • Advancement
    • Advancement and experience taken from LotFP, and with different numbers to use on a currency=XP game.


There is no way to get everything right on the first go. This is to keep track of future changes.
  • 23.12.19: version 1.0. A baby is born.

Things To Add

  • Referee facing rules
    • Overloaded Encounter Die
    • Wilderness travel
  • Summary of rule terminologies: Advantage, Save, MD, turn, round, Knack, Ancestry, etc.
  • Fatigue
  • Ranged weapons range?
  • Cover from ranged attacks

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