Thoughts (#7)

Here’s a quick one: An(other) update to the core rules!

I’ve been running quite a few games these days, and with each successive session, I’ve tried getting by with less and less preparation. It worked out well for a while, but I maxed out this capacity last weekend when a player asked earnestly about their character’s nutritional needs. While not the most important thread, it tugged the tapestry all the same, and (combined with a few other incidents) pushed me to revisit the rules.

In my last update, I mentioned the paradox of “tiny” RPGs: the rule-sets are small and mechanics simple, but in order to effectively use them, the GM (generally) has to have some experience with running tabletop RPGs – which somewhat undermines the purpose of the tiny RPG.

So when revisiting the rules, I tried to address this in the most succinct-but-effective way possible. The expanded rules are mostly behind-the-scenes, and exist solely to make the GM’s job easier. Additionally, they’ve been included in the core rules v5.2 as solely optional content.

For your consideration (and convenience), I’ve copied the new rules here in their entirety:

Additions to Combat Rules:

Non-lethal Combat

During combat, non-lethal damage may be inflicted by making an unarmed attack, or by using the blunt edge or flat side of bladed weapons, or other non-lethal means. Successful non-lethal attacks deal 1 damage; when an enemy has been reduced to 0 hit points by a non-lethal blow, they are knocked unconscious, instead of killed.

A successful non-lethal or unarmed attack requires a successful attack roll against the entity, in addition to a successful power challenge against the entity. If both rolls succeed, non-lethal damage is inflicted.

Additions to Content for Game Masters:

The game master operates the world in which adventures unfold. They know the setting, portray non-player characters (NPCs), control environmental events, and more. The players interact with and influence these elements through their player characters (PCs). The best game masters think on their feet and adapt quickly to these often unpredictable influences. For a comprehensive overview of essential game mastering skills, see the Principia Apocrypha.

Running an Adventure

To better enable game masters to be adaptable and flexible, there are several additional, optional rules for running an adventure with Tiny d10.


Tracking the passage of time provides structure to things like combat turns, restoring hit points, regenerating magic and power points, exploring dungeons, traveling through wilderness, and consuming food or rations (a character must eat at least one meal per day or else suffer a penalty imposed by the GM).

Time in the Dungeon

Time spent exploring and moving through dungeons is measured in turns, similar to combat. One turn represents about 10 minutes, during which time several actions can occur:

  • The game master may check for wandering monsters (1-in-5 chance);
  • Characters may perform a perception check to search for monsters, traps, or treasures;
  • Characters may move up to three times their movement speed.

Time in the Wilderness

Time spent exploring and traveling across wilderness is measured in hours, typically in increments of four. During this time, several actions can occur:

  • The game master may check for wandering monsters (1-in-5 chance);
  • Characters may perform a perception check to seach for monsters, foraged food (1-in-5 chance), and hunted food (1-in-10 chance) without being slowed down. If characters devoted the entire day to foraging or hunting, they automatically succeed in finding foraged food enough for 1d10 characters, and increase their chances of finding hunted food (1-in-5) enough for 1d10 characters.
  • Characters may move at a rate of two miles per hour (though may move more quickly at a penalty imposed by the GM).


A significant amount of time is spent on exploration, which is typically split between dungeons, urban/rural environs, and wilderness areas.

Exploring a Dungeon

When exploring a dungeon, at least one character should maintain a map of the party’s course, to prevent their becoming lost.

Exploring the Wilderness

When exploring the wilderness, parties traversing the untamed wilds are at risk of losing their direction. Depending on the difficulty of navigating the terrain, there is between a 1-in-10 and 1-in-2 chance of the party losing their direction, and unwittingly pursuing the wrong course. At the beginning of each day the party spends exploring the wilderness, the GM should roll 1d10 to determine if the party loses its direction. If a character possesses the know nature skill, their +1 bonus may be added to the result.

Wandering Monsters

In many of these locations – particularly dungeons and wilderness areas – there is a high likelihood of encountering wandering monsters. These creatures, when uninterrupted, pursue their own interests: hunting, sleeping, foraging, and more. However, there are times when adventurers will encounter them; when this occurs, roll 1d10 and use the following table to determine their demeanor:

Roll Reaction
1-3 Hostile and aggressive, attacks swiftly
4-5 Hostile, may attack
6-7 Neutral, hesitant
8-9 Neutral, disinterested

Friendly, helpful

And that’s it! I’ll try to refrain from adding anything else (unformatted, the core rules already weigh in at 18 pages –  a far cry from years prior), but if I do, rest assured that it will only ever make GMing easier and more fun!

3 thoughts on “Thoughts (#7)

  1. ive been playing tiny D10 for a while and these are a great addition to the ruleset. running a game soon in a homebrewed world and i cant wait to use the wilderness exploration rules. keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for your comment – very glad to hear it! Enjoy the additions, and please share any thoughts you have after using them! Happy playing!

      1. new rules worked perfectly! PCs spent the session traveling from a crumbling city in the north to a kingdom in the south to rescue its heir from imprisonment, ended up getting lost along the way and discovering some ruins where three of them almost died (they didnt rest after a random encounter with a pack of timber wolves the day before) fighting undead skeletons. they should make it to the kingdom next session, if they dont get lost (or killed i told them to create a healer lol)

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