I wrote a little OD&D / White Box: FMAG hack

Thought I’d share this here because I haven’t posted anything to the Cauldron in a while. It’s nothing major, but it feels nice to have my own little take on OD&D. It felt nice to stretch my brain and branch out a little from my usual Into the Odd-esque projects (although I guess there’s still a fair bit of ItO influence here).

Here’s the post on my blog: Untitled WB:FMAG Hack. I’ve reproduced it below for convenience.

I wrote this little White Box: FMAG hack over the course of the past few hours. I like how Spwack posts little hacks straight to their blog, so I figured I’d try something similar.

I basically just stripped down how Worlds Without Number does ability checks and simplified attacking to one roll. The non-standard attributes, combat order, and Difficult Movement rules come from my big WIP, Goblets & Grues.

I might try using this to run OSE adventures and the like, who knows.

Character Creation

Roll 3d6 for your six attributes:

  1. Strength. Climb, swim, jump, push, pull, lift.
  2. Dexterity. Keep your balance, perform simple acrobatic stunts.
  3. Charisma. Persuade ambivalent NPCs, put on a charming or convincing performance.
  4. Craft. Create, tinker, repair, or operate.
  5. Stealth. Sneak, hide, perform sleight-of-hand.
  6. Survival. Hunt, track, forage, handle animals.

Then, roll on whatever table the GM has handy for starting items.

Task Resolution

  1. If your success at an action is uncertain and failure would have interesting consequences, your GM might call for an ability check. Roll 2d6 and add your modifier for the attribute the GM calls for; on a result of 8 or more, you succeed.
  2. The GM might instead call for a saving throw if your main aim is to avoid danger. Roll a d20 and add your modifier for the attribute the GM calls for; on a result greater than or equal to your target number for saving throws, you succeed.
Attribute Modifier
3-7 -1
8-12 0
13-17 +1
18 +2


  1. Spending gold or putting it into retirement savings (by depositing it, investing it, hiding it, etc.) grants 1 XP per gp. You can’t withdraw your retirement savings without retiring your character to NPC status.
  2. All characters level as the Fighter. Players can choose to start with 5 HP rather than rolling their HD at level 1. (Remember, Hit Dice in FMAG are 1d6.)

Dungeon Procedure

Exploration turns pass when the PCs move to a new room, backtrack to an old room, or spend several minutes in the same room. Check for random encounters however often the dungeon says to do so. Assume the PCs have plenty of food, water, and light sources.

Combat Procedure

At the start of a fight, your opponents have a free moment to move into an advantageous combat formation. Then, combat proceeds in rounds of five phases each:

  1. PCs can choose to retreat.
  2. Opponents can choose to retreat (the GM might make morale checks).
  3. The GM gives any relevant hints or tells as to what the opponents will do.
  4. Each PC can move if they so choose and then take up to one action.
  5. Each opponent can move if they so choose and then take up to one action.

Moving over difficult terrain, past an opponent, or in anything but a straight line is Difficult Movement that requires a Dexterity check. On a failure, you might stumble or simply be unable to move as far as you’d like. (This system replaces movement rates.)

Attacks & Damage

Make attack rolls vs. AC as normal, but don’t add modifiers from your attributes. “Miss” and “hit” are replaced with “weak hit” and “strong hit,” respectively. Weak hits deal 1 damage and strong hits deal 2 damage.

  1. Heavy, two-handed weapons deal +1 damage on a strong hit.
  2. Magic weapons might deal +1, +2, or +3 damage on a strong hit (and they give the same bonus to attack rolls, as per usual).
  3. Monsters with 1 or less HD have a 3-in-6 chance of dying from a strong hit, regardless of how much damage it does.
  4. Monsters with weak attacks might deal 0 damage on a weak hit and 1 damage on a strong hit.


Use FMAG’s “binding wounds” rule: you can recover 1d6 HP after a fight, but you can’t recover so much as to have more HP than you started the fight with. To recover your full HP, get a full night’s sleep in a safe haven.


At 0 HP, you are unable to do anything but crawl and another strong hit will kill you. An ally can tend to you for a few minutes to restore you to 1 HP. If you have 0 HP for an hour, you die.


I respond to your hack with my own hack! MWAHAHAHA! Iterative design, I choose you!
My WB:FMAG Response Hack!

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