Tiny d10: Core Rules

Tiny d10 is an easy to learn, quick to play tabletop role-playing game (RPG) that requires only one game master (GM), two-to-six players, one 10-sided die (1d10), and the attached character sheet (one for each player).

I. Character Creation

Step 1: Select a race.

Dwarf – short, strong, and hardy, dwarves dwell in mountains and caves, and live for 150+ years. They gain double experience points against large opponents; +1 to craft; -1 to natural magic attacks against the dwarf; and +1 hit point per level.

Elf – tall, athletic, and wise, elves dwell in forests and glades, and live for 500+ years. They gain +1 to perception checks; +1 damage to evil creatures; immunity to poisons; and +1 intellect at levels 1, 3, and 5.

Halfling – short, swift, and jovial, halflings hail from hidden glens and shires, and live for 100+ years. They gain +1 to sneak; -1 to ranged attacks against the halfling; sight up to 100’ in low-light; and +1 power point per level.

Human – tall, bold, and cunning, humans hail from all corners of the globe, and live for 80+ years. They gain +1 damage to natural creatures; +1 to persuade; +1 to any skill; and +1 aspect a levels 1, 3, and 5.

Step 2: Select a class.

Druid – priest of the wild; wielder of powerful natural magic. They have a toughness of 5 (T5); use medium-weight weapons & below (no axes); use medium-weight armor & below (no metal armors); and gain +1 power point and +2 magic points. Druids begin with three class abilities:

  • Animal form – take the form of any small to medium-sized animal; requires 1 combat round for transformation. Cost: 1 power point.

  • Spell-casting (natural) – start with 3 spells and cast natural spells for their cost in magic points; magical spells cost double.

  • Wild growth – animal form grows to a large size; gain +2 hit points and +1 attack bonus for 1d10 + your level rounds. Cost: 2 power points.

Rogue – prince of outlaws; quick thinking and fast acting. They have a toughness of 6 (T6); use medium-weight weapons & below; use lightweight armor only; and gain +1 hit point and +2 power points. Rogues begin with three class abilities:

  • Deflect projectiles – all projectile attacks against the rogue are challenge rolls. If the challenge is won, the projectile is deflected.

  • Evade – dodge a successful attack. Cost: 1 power point.

  • Feint – if an attack fails, attempt again; the target suffers -1 toughness. Cost: 2 power points.

Warrior – master of combat and arms; mighty and commanding. They have a toughness of 7 (T7); use heavyweight weapons & below; use heavyweight armor & below; and gain +2 hit points and +1 power point. Warriors begin with three class abilities:

  • Defensive rush – rush to the aid of an ally within range at any time to stop an attack against them. Conduct a challenge roll against the attacker: if you win, any damage is canceled; otherwise, you take the damage. Cost: 2 power points.

  • Power strike – increase the damage of your successful attack. Cost: 1 power point per 1 point of damage increased.

  • Withstand – reduce the damage of a successful attack against you. Cost: 1 power point per 1 point of damage reduced.

Wizard – student of the magical arts; wise and cunning. They have a toughness of 5 (T5); use lightweight weapons only; use featherweight armor only; and gain +3 magic points. Wizards begin with three class abilities:

  • Spell-casting (magical) – start with 4 spells and cast magical spells for their cost in magic points; naturals spells cost double.

  • Splash-effect – modifies an attack spell, causing it to inflict equal damage to entities within a 10 foot radius of the target Cost: 1 magic point.

  • Prestidigitation – creates a minor magical effect like colored smoke, blinking lights, disembodied sounds, and more.

Step 3: Assign attribute scores. Use the following numbers: 1, 1, 0, 0.

Aspect – consciousness and charisma; used as a bonus during things like persuasion, detecting intentions, or intimidation. Additionally, aspect is used as a bonus when casting natural magic spells.

Intellect – mental acuity and sharpness; used as a bonus during things like disarming traps, learning or knowing things, and gathering information. Additionally, intellect is used as a bonus when casting magical spells.

Power – physical strength; used as bonus during things like breaking down doors, swimming against a river, or wrestling a entity to the ground. Additionally, power is used as a bonus when making melee attacks.

Reflex – speed, dexterity, and reaction; used as a bonus during things like dodging a rolling boulder, jumping across a chasm, or navigating difficult terrain. Additionally, reflex is used when making ranged attacks, or melee attacks with lightweight weapons.

Step 4: Assign power points and hit points. Divide 10 points between hit points and power points.

Hit points (HP) – the amount of damage an entity can suffer before dying.

Power points (PP) – added to attack rolls, check rolls, and challenge rolls; may only expend 1 point per roll. Additionally, power points are expended when using some class abilities.

Step 5: Generate magic points (for spell-casting characters).

Magic points (MP) – magical power that is expended when casting spells.

Roll 1d10 and use the following to determine starting magic points:

  • Roll of 1-5: 4 magic points

  • Roll of 6-9: 5 magic points

  • Roll of 10: 6 magic points

Add any magic points gained by your class bonus to this result for total starting magic points.

Step 6: Record your wealth. This is determined by your starting class, and with your game master’s input. Currency is valued at:

  • 1 gold piece (gp) = $10 USD

  • 1 silver piece (sp) = $5 USD

  • 1 copper piece (cp) = $1 USD

II. Game Rules

Once your character is complete, it’s time to play Tiny d10. Much of this time will be spent role-playing, and will rely on a your acting, wit, and quick thinking. Such interactions will often not require die rolls.

However, there will be times when rolls are unavoidable. Any attempt to do something that requires skill to succeed, or that could result in failure – like breaking down a dungeon door or navigating a twisting forest labyrinth – requires a check.

Checks

When attempting to do something that could result in failure – like fording a raging river, staying astride a frightened horse, or hearing the soft footsteps of approaching enemies – a check should be made. To make a check, roll 1d10 and add the relevant attribute (aspect, intellect, power, or reflex) and skill bonuses.

There are two main types of checks:

Action check – an attempt to perform an action like climb a tower, dodge a falling rock, or hide in a nearby bush. These include attack rolls, toughness checks, saves, and more.

Perception check – an attempt to perceive something, like seeing hidden or obscured objects, or hearing hushed voices or furtive movements; performed by rolling 1d10 and adding the intellect attribute bonus. Skill bonuses from spot or listen may also be added.

When a 10 is rolled, this is considered a “natural 10”, and can sometimes be advantageous.

Check Toughness

To determine a check’s toughness, consider the following:

T2-T6 – simple toughness (climbing a wall with large handholds, or attacking weak opponents like goblins)

T7-T8 – moderate toughness (fighting a strong current, or attacking well-trained opponents like castle guards)

T9-T10 – difficult toughness (sneaking into a well-guarded court, or attacking large opponents like giants)

T11-T12 – extreme toughness (controlling a ship during a gale, or attacking powerful opponents like dragons)

T13-15 – impossible toughness (mounting and flying a wild dragon, or fighting a demi-god)

Saves

When there is risk of immediate death, dismemberment, or similarly dire consequences, a save should be made. A standard save is performed by rolling 1d10 and adding relevant attribute bonuses and/or skill bonuses to the result. Succeeding a save immediately cancels any deadly effects, but may still cause serious injury.

A standard save has a toughness of 5, but certain conditions (like spells, effects, or environmental factors) can change that.

Challenges

When two characters attempt the same thing at the same time, a challenge should be performed. A challenge is performed by each player rolling 1d10 and adding relevant attribute and skill bonuses to the result. The results are then compared, and the highest of the two succeeds the challenge.

Combat

Combat begins according to reflex scores: highest first, lowest last. Ties should be settled with 1d10.

In combat, all classes are moderate in speed, and may only move up to their maximum speed range per turn, though other factors may affect this.

  • Slow: 10-20 ft | Moderate: 20-30 ft | Fast: 30+ ft

Combat Advantage

Under certain circumstances, a character may receive a +1 attack bonus if they are in an advantageous position. However, if the attack does not succeed, a negative condition may be imposed.

Simplified Combat Rules

One round consists of all combatants’ turns; roughly 5 seconds.

Only 1 attack/spell per turn.

Only one move sequence per turn.

Less significant actions, like talking, may be done freely.

Damage inflicted is 1, unless otherwise specified.

Ranged and small weapon attacks use reflex; magical spells use intellect; natural spells use aspect; melee attacks use power.

Healing

Standard healing restores 1 hit point (as well as power and magic points) per successful T6 intellect check (unless the character possesses the heal skill, which succeeds automatically). During combat, an attack action must be forfeit to heal. Out of combat, characters may make 2 heal checks per in-game hour. At 0 hit points, characters are considered immobilized and dying. After 4 turns at 0 hit points, they will expire.

Skills

Skills are specific competencies and can only be used in specific scenarios. For example: the spot skill can be used in a perception check to see something; the persuade skill can be used in an aspect check to convince someone of something. When used, skills add a +1 bonus to checks. Skills can be used in combat, but not for combat.

Skills added as a bonus to aspect checks:

  • Detect (magic, motive, or trap) | Heal | Intimidate | Persuade

Skills added as a bonus to intellect checks:

  • Craft | Know (history, magic, nature, or religion) | Spot | Listen

Skills added as a bonus to reflex checks:

  • Acrobatics | Hide | Sleight of Hand | Sneak

Magic

Magic is conjured using magic points (MP). Typically, only characters that possess the spell-casting ability can use magic. Unless otherwise specified, spells are a guaranteed success.

Casting Toughness

Some spells, or certain conditions, may impose a casting toughness on the spell-caster, which works as a standard toughness check.

Spell Saves

Some spells allow the target to make a save before having an effect. Each spell-caster has a spell save, which is equal to their character level + casting attribute bonus (aspect or intellect) + 3. Succeeding a spell save does not cancel all effects.

Leveling Up

Characters begin as level 1 folks, and advance by earning experience points (XP). Experience points are earned by slaying/defeating opponents (usually giving between 1-5 XP), but also by succeeding checks in spectacular and heroic ways (usually giving 1 XP). Experience points are lost upon advancement and must be gained anew. As characters gain levels, their powers and strengths improve. The levels are:

Level 2: Adventurer (25 XP)

  • +1 skill, +1 class ability, +2 spells (if applicable), +1 to any attribute, +1 weapon proficiency.

  • +2 power points or +3 magic points.

Level 3: Hero (75 XP)

  • +1 class ability, +1 spells (if applicable), +1 to any attribute.

  • +2 hit points or +1 toughness.

  • +2 power points or +3 magic points.

Level 4: Champion (150 XP)

  • +1 skill, +1 spell (if applicable), +1 class ability.

  • Hero’s Resolve (ability): roll again if the result is 1.

Level 5: Legend (250 XP)

  • +1 skill, +2 bonus to any attribute(s).

  • Legendary Presence (ability): force opponents to make an aspect challenge when attempting to attack you; if they fail, they suffer -1 to their attack.

Weapons

Adventures are dangerous affairs, and necessitate a dependable weapon. Common weapons include:

Melee Weapons

  • Axe – medium-weight (MW); +1 attack.

  • Dagger – lightweight (LW).

  • Flail – MW; +1 damage.

  • Greatsword – heavyweight (HW); -1 attack, +2 damage.

  • Polearm – HW; +2 attack.

  • Shield, large – HW; -2 attack, +2 toughness.

  • Shield, medium – MW; -1 attack, +1 toughness.

  • Short sword – LW.

Ranged Weapons

  • Arrow (flaming) – +1 damage, -1 attack per round (T5 intellect check to extinguish).

  • Arrow (poison) – +1 damage per round.

  • Blowgun – LW; range: 40 feet.

  • Bow – MW; range: 100 feet.

  • Javelin – HW; +2 damage; range: 30 feet.

  • Longbow – HW; +1 damage; range: 150 feet.

  • Shortbow – LW; range: 50 feet.

  • Throwing dagger – LW; range: 30 feet.

Armor

There are two types of effects armor can have: temporarily increasing hit points, and/or temporarily increasing toughness. Common armor types include:

  • Chainmail – MW; +1 hit point, +1 toughness.

  • Leather, heavy – MW; +2 hit points.

  • Leather, light – LW; +1 hit points.

  • Platemail – HW; +1 hit points, +2 toughness; slow movement speed when equipped.

Spells List

The below lists comprise a basic collection of two types of spells: magical and natural.

Magical Spells

Magical spells are best cast by wizards, use the intellect bonus, and are learned through the long study of ancient tomes and grimoires.

Ball of light – a powerfully luminous orb. Cost: 0 magic points.

Charm – 1 non-hostile entity is immediately friendly to you. Cost: 1 magic point.

Detect thoughts – hear the active thoughts of a target. Cost: 2 magic points.

Dispel magic – eliminates a magical effect. Cost: 2 magic points.

Dumbstruck – 1 target suffers a 1d5 penalty to intellect for 1d5 rounds; target may save versus caster’s spell save. Cost: 2 magic points.

Featherfall – an object up to your level x 100 pounds will fall slowly as a father. Cost: 1 magic point.

Fireball – attack roll versus toughness; inflicts 1d5 damage. Cost: 2 magic points.

Heal – restores 1d5 hit points. Cost: 2 magic points.

Mage armor – add your level as a bonus to Toughness for 1d5 rounds. Cost: 3 magic points (4 magic points if cast on a nearby entity).

Magic missile – attack roll versus toughness; inflicts 1 damage. Cost: 0 magic points.

Phantom hand – open doors, move objects, attack opponents (standard melee attack) within your range of sight. Cost: 1 magic point.

Natural Spells

Natural spells are best cast by druids, use the aspect bonus, and are gained through a life of hermitage and oneness with nature.

Animate plant – 1 small-to-medium plant comes alive and follows basic commands; T4, 5 HP. Cost: 2 magic points.

Call lightning – attack roll versus toughness; inflicts 1d5 damage. Cost: 2 magic points.

Charm animal – 1 animal regards you with trust; succeed an aspect challenge to command it. Cost: 1 magic point.

Cure minor wounds – restores 2 hit points; T6 aspect check to succeed (unless you possess the heal skill). Cost: 0 magic points.

Detect traps – Cost: 1 magic point.

Lightfoot – you (and those who travel with you) leave no trace as you journey through city or town, forest or plain; lasts your level amount of hours. Cost: 1 magic point.

Poison touch – inflicts 1d5 damage; must be on bare flesh. Cost: 2 magic points.

Regrowth – regrows severed limbs and appendages. Cost: 3 magic points.

Spider’s silk – climb nearly any surface for 1d10 x your level minutes. Cost: 2 magic points.

Thorn-lance – large spikes erupt from the earth, inflicting 1d10 damage; you may freely divide the amount of damage inflicted between all entities in the spell’s attack radius of 10 feet. Cost: 3 magic points.

Oakenhide – the target gains 1d5 temporary hit points for an entire combat encounter. Cost: 2 magic points.

Advanced Spells List

These spells are available to advanced spell-casters (level 3 and above).

Biting wind (natural spell) – inflicts 1 damage on up to 10 entities within 10 feet of each other. Cost: 3 magic points.

Blood bind (magical spell) – any time an opponent inflicts damage on you, you may bind your blood to theirs; each time you are injured, they suffer the damage instead. Cost: 2 magic points.

Burning touch (natural spell) – inflicts 1d5 damage. Cost: 2 magic points.

Summon guardian (natural spell) – raises a giant of earth and stone (T5; 10 HP; +2 power) to defend you and your allies. Cost: 6 magic points.

Invisibility (magical spell) – the target will remain invisible for a length of time you decide (up to your level amount of days), or until attacking. Cost: 2 magic points.

Lightning (magical spell) – attack roll versus toughness. Inflicts 2 damage; on a natural 10, lightning damages up to five entities within 10 feet of the target. Cost: 1 magic point.

Magic missile II (magical spell) – attack roll versus toughness. Inflicts 2 damage; on a natural 10, inflicts 3 damage. Cost: 0 magic points.

Shield of thorns (natural spell) – raises a protective dome of thick, thorn-studded vines (T3; 10 HP) that surrounds you and your allies. Cost: 2 magic points.

Speak with the dead (magical spell) – speak with one recently deceased corpse; ask your level amount of questions. Cost: 2 magic points.

Wild grace (natural spell) – the target gains +1 to reflex for 1d5 + your level amount of rounds. Cost: 1 magic point.

Additional Class Abilities

As characters advance, new class abilities become available.

Druid

Animal companion – after taming an animal, you may bond it to you with natural magic. Once per combat encounter, your animal companion can:

  • Conduct a standard melee attack;

  • Cast one spell (which you have already cast during that combat encounter).

Blood magic – any time an opponent is slain in combat, roll 1d10: on a roll of 8 or higher, restore 1 hit point to yourself or an ally.

Defender of the wild – permanently gain +1 power.

Feral bite – inflicts 1 damage per round for 1d5 rounds (can only be used in wild growth animal form). Cost: 1 power point.

Green-speak – plants within 100 feet become your eyes and ears (you must enter a trance to perform green-speak; while in this trance, you are unaware of your surroundings).

Healing hands – restore an additional 1 hit point per successful heal.

Primal intuition – gain a +1 bonus to checks using animal senses like hearing, smell, or sight.

Secret tongue – leave written messages visible only to those you wish to see it.

Tame beasts – tame non-evil animals in groups of 5 + your level or less; aspect check 5 to succeed.

Thick-skin – permanently gain +1 toughness.

Rogue

Bloody slash – any time you succeed a melee attack using a short-bladed weapon, roll 1d10: on a roll of 10, the attack deals double damage.

Charismatic – permanently gain +1 aspect.

Critical strike – any time you roll a natural 10 in melee combat, the target becomes dazed, and suffers -1 to all rolls for your level amount of rounds.

Disguise – change your appearance to conceal your identity; requires an intellect check 10 + your level to see through your illusion. Cost: 2 power points.

Fanged strike – any time you roll a natural 10 in melee combat, you gain an amount of hit points equal to the damage you inflict on your target.

From the shadows – when you make a ranged attack from a place of cover or concealment, the target must succeed an intellect check 9 + your level to determine your location.

Hail of daggers – launch 1d5 + your level daggers (1 damage each) at a target. Cost: 3 power points.

Petty thief – gain a +2 bonus to attempts to steal, conceal, or pilfer something.

Rapid regeneration – any time you roll a natural 10 when conducting a heal check, gain an additional 1 hit point when healing. If you possess the heal skill, roll 1d10 each time you heal: if the result is 6 or higher, gain an additional 1 hit point when healing.

Sudden strike – any time an opponent rolls a 10 against you in combat, you gain an attack prior to their attack.

Warrior

Army of one – on your combat turn, make a melee attack against multiple opponents within striking range. Cost: 1 power point per target.

Battle lock – anytime an opponent attempts to flee or leave your immediate area during melee combat, you gain an attack against it.

Brawl – when fighting barehanded or dealing nonlethal melee damage, you gain a +1 attack bonus.

Commanding presence – force opponents within 30 feet to target you; gain +2 toughness while facing 4 or more opponents. Cost: 3 power points per combat encounter used.

Disarm – any time you roll a 10 during a melee attack, roll 1d10: if the result is 6 or higher, you disarm your opponent (in addition to inflicting damage or any other effects).

Explosive power – inflict damage equal to your remaining power points to a target. This attack is automatically successful. Cost: all available power points (2 power point minimum).

Heroic strength – when conducting any check involving heroic acts or values, you gain a +1 bonus.

Raised by the sword – when facing an opponent also armed with a sword, you gain a +1 attack bonus.

Stunning blow – delivers a powerful strike (2 damage); the target must succeed a power save 5 + your level or be knocked unconscious for 1d5 rounds. Cost: 2 power points.

Weapon proficiency – choose a specific weapon type (sword, axe, bow, staff, etc); when using that weapon type, gain either a +1 damage or +1 attack bonus (choose only one).

Wizard

Familiar – after charming a non-intelligent entity, you may bond it to you with arcane magic. Once per combat encounter, your familiar can:

  • Conduct a standard melee attack;

  • Cast one spell (which you have already cast during that combat encounter).

Enchanted healing – convert any amount of magic points to hit points for yourself or allies.

Imprint – temporarily learn any spell cast during a combat encounter. You must first forfeit a combat round in order to study the spell; the spell is forgotten after the combat encounter.

Magical disruption – spells targeting you or nearby allies suffer -1 to their attack roll.

Multi-cast – cast natural spells for their cost in magic points.

Power slave – convert all power points to temporary magic points (not replenished after spent); suffer -1 toughness for 1d5 rounds.

Prodigious casting – gain an additional 1 magic point each time you advance a level (including this one).

Re-spell – if you cast a spell last combat round, you may cast it again for half its cost in magic points.

Resist magic – any time you are the target of a magical or natural spell attack, conduct an intellect challenge against the attacker; if you succeed, the attack is blocked.

Swift – permanently gain +1 reflex.

III. Tips for Game Masters

The game master operates the world in which adventures unfold. They know the story, portray non-player characters, control environmental events, and more. The players, through their characters, interact with these elements, and can influence them through action, and even inaction. The best game masters think on their feet and adapt quickly to these influences.

Adventure Design

Ensure you are familiar with the important details of your adventure’s environment, which includes habitats, locations, and historical events. There are three primary components to every adventure: interactions with non-player characters, checks that challenge characters’ physical and mental abilities, and combat encounters. Plan ahead by creating a wide variety of non-player characters, unique ability challenges, and opponents for use throughout the adventure. Random generators, available online, are helpful tools for creating names, locations, populations, histories, and more.

Combat Encounter Design

A basic combat encounter consists of 4 opponents of simple toughness per character. As opponents become tougher (moderate, difficult, and higher), the number of opponents per character is lowered by 1. Encounters can be made more challenging by including opponents with a range of toughness levels, like 13 goblins (simple toughness) accompanied by 2 goblin war chiefs (moderate toughness) for a party of 4 characters.

Where you find no rules, make up one that works and apply it consistently. Your creativity brings Tiny d10 to life!

Please find the character sheet here.


This completes Tiny d10: Core Rules. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.