Thoughts (#11)

Well, the tenth and final page of the core rules has just been added, and the updated edition published here. This completes Section III: For Game Masters, bringing it to a total of two pages, and adding rules specifically for dungeon crawling, as well as introducing six new skills: charm, disarm trap, languagemagic use, pick lock, and survival.

These new rules coincide with the adoption of a new map/dungeon crawl format, which, while still in its early stages, can be seen here in The Cold Caverns. Additionally, these rules represent the end of any significant changes to the core rules. Tiny d10 is ten pages long, having grown tenfold over the years, and my fixation on symmetry and parallelism will subdue my compulsion to change anything more. I’ve crammed as much as possible into as few words and pages as achievable, and sussed out some of the between-the-lines rules for improved clarity. For better or worse, the rule-set is done*.

As usual, for your consideration and convenience, I’ve copied the new rules here in their entirety:

Crawling the Dungeon

To provide game masters a framework for enabling characters to interact with dungeons and their various features, the following section constitutes optional, mechanical rules for “dungeon crawling”.


Inside a dungeon, doors present a tactical challenge. They may be locked, necessitating lock-picking tools; they may be enchanted, requiring magical intervention to open; they may be trapped, triggering a deadly attack when opened; they may be old and hung on a rusted hinge, the noise of which may alert enemies to the party’s location. Great tact and cunning will often get the party to the other side of the door, but when that fails, force can be applied.

Door Types

Doors differ in their material composition, and as a result, their strength. Breaking down or forcing opened a locked or stuck door requires a successful power check against the door’s toughness. This tactic should be used with great caution, however, as applying force can be loud, and risks alerting nearby enemies. Any time a door is broken down, a wandering monster check should be made.

Wooden Door – the most common type of door found in dungeons, wooden doors are composed of different types of wood, and exist in various conditions – strong, aged, rotting, and more. Wooden doors consist of simple (T5), moderate (T6), and difficult (T7) toughness.

Stone Door – resisting the decay of time, stone doors come in a variety of designs, including internally hinged, sliding, and even portcullises. Most stone doors are simple (T8), moderate (T9), or difficult (10) toughness.

Metal Door – requiring great skill to produce, metal doors are exceedingly strong. Like stone doors, they come in a variety of designs, and consist of simple (T11), moderate (T12), and difficult (T13) toughness.

Secret Door – Cleverly concealed in walls and floors, secret doors are hidden using a number of techniques: deft craftsmanship, incantations, or obscuration. To find a secret door, a character must be actively searching their immediate area (perception check). The standard toughness to spot a secret door is simple (T8), moderate (T10), and difficult (T12).


Locks can be overcome in a number of ways. A lock can be picked, which requires the use of lock-picking tools, a common item in the rogue’s adventuring pack. Picking a lock requires a successful reflex check. The standard lock toughness consists of simple (T6), moderate (T8), and difficult (T10). Additionally, a magical lock cannot be picked – only the dispel magic spell can unlock it.

Creative solutions devised by players  – like removing the door from its hinges, or using a crowbar-like tool to pry it open – should be encouraged.


All traps possess at least three components: toughness to detect, toughness to disarm, and toughness to save against. Standard trap toughness (to detect and disarm) consists of simple (T6-T7), moderate (T8-T9), and difficult (T10+). Standard save toughness ranges between 5-7, depending on trap toughness. Trap toughness values will be expressed in the order of detect, then disarm. If only one value is presented, it applies to both.

There are a wide variety of traps waiting to spring on unexpecting adventurers. Some examples include:

Trap Effect
Poison gas T6; onset immediate, save 5 or suffer 3 damage; affects area of 5 feet.
Hidden pit T7; spiked pit, save 6 or suffer 1d5 damage; pit is 10 feet across.
Falling rock T6; rocks and boulders fall from the ceiling, save 5 or suffer 2-3 damage.

Detecting Traps

To detect a trap, a character must be actively searching their immediate area using a perception check. If their result is equal to or higher than the trap’s toughness to detect, they are able to identify the trap’s location, and potentially even its function.

Disarming Traps

To disarm a simple trap, a character must have successfully identified the trap, and succeed a reflex check against the trap’s toughness to disarm.

To disarm a moderate or difficult trap, a PC must succeed a reflex check, as well as 1) possess either a thief’s kit, which consists of a variety of tools that enable disarmament of more mechanically advanced traps, or 2) possess the disarm trap skill. If in possession of the thief’s kit, this skill grants a +1 bonus to attempts to disarm a trap; otherwise, a -1 penalty is imposed on attempts to disarm a trap without the kit.

Disarming magical traps, like unlocking magical locks, requires the dispel magic spell.

On a closing note: I often forget it, but man, I sure can get in the writing zone with this. Expect to see that monster manual soon! 🙂

*Unless it needs to be edited for technical revision.

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