Monday, May 14, 2018

Rocket Dungeons - The ultra-fast solitaire dungeon crawler

This month, I introduce Rocket Dungeons, my solo RPG. I took up the basics introduced in my previous post on the solo team. This RPG has the following features:

  • dungeon crawler oriented
  • ultra-light rules
  • made for playing very quickly 
  • concentrate  efforts of immagination on the narration

Also available in pocketmod format

I named the dungeon rocket game, in tribute to pocket dungeon, a free print-and-play dungeon-crawler aviable at bordgamegeek

I like the concept of crawl dungeons and the pocket format developed by pocket dungeon immediately pleased me.
Nevertheless, I found that the concept suffered from several flaws. (This opinion is 100% subjective).
The goal of A Dungeon Crawl is to develop characters to make them stronger. From there, no matter what else: exploration, fighting, objects, everything is just a pretext to optimize his character. I like this kind of game, but not in a solo rpg format. When I have a frenetic desire to do levelling, I prefer to play Diablo under windows 95.

In my opinion, a pocket format must have light mechanisms. Pocket Dungeons has light rules, but the repetition of their use makes heavy the mechanics. In the end, you spend hours rolling dice to solve incipid included fights rather than building a story (I repeat, 100% subjective. Moreover, if you have another point of view, do not hesitate to share it in the comments)

The pocket format should allow you to play almost without anything.

So I wanted to adapt the crawl keep to my time constraints, keeping only the minimum useful for building a story.

Here are the rules:


If you love dungeons but can't find the time to play, Rocket Dungeons is made for you. Rocket Dungeon is a solo RPG designed to be played fast. The philosophy of the game is to keep only the important and neglect the unnecessary. Forget the endless dungeons with rooms that all look the same. You must create dungeons from 3 to 5 pieces. So you can focus your creativity on each scene to make it unique. The sequences must follow one another quickly (and the deaths must be
Rocket dungeon, is not a rpg like the others: you are not a player, you are not a master game: you have to place yourself from the narrator's point of view.
Your goal is to tell a fabulous story
In Rocket Dungeons, dungeons remain at the center of the plot. The progress of history depends on their resolution. The rules below describe how to survive in these ultra-fast dungeons


To succeed an action, roll a D6. Add your bonus and deduct the difficulty level or the opponent's bonus. The result must be less than or equal to 3.
1 is always a success, 6 is always a fail.


Each character has only 2 stats and can have some abilities.

  •  Fight (F): Ability to fight
  •  Save (S): Everything else (dodging, jumping, mind resist...)

Each character has only 1 hit point(HP). When the HP of a character reaches zero, the character can no longer act (he is neutralized or dead, at your choice)

Basic classes

  • Warrior: F+2 S+0
  • Thief: F+1 S+1
  • Wizard: F+0 S+0 + Magic (pool 3)
  • Cleric: F+1 S+0 + Heal + Turn Undeads

Advanced Classes
At your choice, you can decide to make a character evolve in an advanced class

  • Archery Captain: Warrior + Archery
  • Knight: Warrior + Protection
  • Tomb Raider: Thief + Trap Mastery
  • Burglar: Thief + Detection
  • Priest Guardian: Cleric + magic(pool:0)
  • Sacred Healer: Cleric with 2*heal + Cure
  • Advanced Wizard: Wizard with Magic pool 5

Prestige Class
There are higher levels of evolution that we will not detail in this Quick-Start guide. Be imaginative, but be consistent. The adventurers presented here are already powerful characters. On level three, they're heroes. On level four, legends.


Magic: Magic is a powerful but unstable power. In each room or scene, determine the number of magic points available by rolling 1D6. Unused points will be lost in the following room. The
magician also has an innate pool that he can use whenever he wants. Using a point from the innate reserve is final until the end of the adventure.
The magician may cast one spell per turn.

  • Magic missile: cost 3MP the target must save or lose 1hp
  • Fireball cost 5PM: many targets must save or lose 2hp
  • Weakness: 2MP the target must save or lose 1 figth bonus
  • point.
  • Charm (3MP): target must save or come under the control of
  • the magic-user
  • Cloud of smoke: 2MP: you can flee without saving

Archery: Once per scene, the target must save or lose 1hp
Healing: Once per adventure, regenerates 1HP
Turning Undead: Undead must save or lose 1 HP
Protection: +1 heal point
Trap Mastery: S+1 contre les pièges
Detection : Automatically detects secret passages

Fighting Spirit

A dungeon should only have a few rooms to explore. Consequently, there is no easy battle. Don't throw the dice like a robot. Each scene must be unique. Think about what can spice up each scene. For example, you can give one character the opportunity to set a trap that affects everyone. I advise you to use storydices. Think big, be fun!

Fighting Rules

Fighting scene is organized around 2 phases:

Ability phase
Each character can choose to use one of his abilities (see abilities section). If he does, he can't fight in the melee phase.

Melee phase
Every turn, choose only one character for the melee phase. Roll D6 + your Fight bonus - enemy’s Fight bonus. If you roll under or equal 3, your character won this turn. Reduce enemy life by 1. At 0 enemy is dead.
If you roll higher, your character loses 1 heal point.
If a character cannot fight (for example because he used an ability), use the same rule. If he wins, this character will not inflict damage.

Pits and Perils

When you encounter a trap, choose only one character. This character must roll equal or under his save ability (+ difficulty level).
If this character succeeds, the group can move on. If the character fails, choose another character to attempt the roll.
Regular trap: difficulty 0
Death trap: difficulty 1

Injuries or death?

It's up to you, narrator, to decide. No one likes to part with a character to whom they are attached. But you must keep in mind that the death of a hero sometimes brings greatness and emotion to the story. Don't forget, you have to paint a grand fresco!


The list below serves to give an indication of the power of

  • Weak: F+0 S+0 Goblins, Skeletons, Giant Rats, Stirges, Gelatinous Cube
  • Normal: F+1 S+0 Orcs, Gnolls, Zombies, Giants animals
  • Strong: F+2 S+0 1-2HP Lions, warriors, medium elemental, giant spider
  • Very Strong F+3 S+0 2HP Ogres, Trolls, Owl Bears, Gargoyles, Werewolfs
  • Heroics, basics boss: F+4 S+0 3HP Minotaurs, Manticore, Mummies, Heroes
  • Extreme boss F+5 S+0 4-5HP Giants, Vampires, Large Elementals
  • Legendary: F+6 S+0 HP:6+ Dragons, Balrogs


Rocket Dungeon is not an equipment management game. Forget the superfluous. Allow only 1 object per character.
Commons items granst a temporary bonus:

  • Sword “Tongue of Fire”: F+1 once per adventure
  • Healing Potion: Regenerates 1HP

Rare items grant a permanent bonus or have other special abilities

  • Magic Sword: F+1
  • Talisman of Antimagic: the character cannot be targeted by
  • spells


In an ultra-fast dungeon, each scene brings a risk of death and an added value to the adventure. Take for example the golden idol temple of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I also invite you to consult JohnnFour's article on the concept of the 5 dungeon rooms.

  1. Determine the maximum number of rooms desired.
  2. Draw a first square on a sheet of paper: the entrance.
  3. Throw a D6 and refer to the table below to create connections

Unexplored open rooms ?
Max room ?
1-3: You are in the Boss room!
4-5: Dead End
6:    Loop to another unexplored room

You are in the Boss room!
1-2: +1 room
3-4: +2 rooms
5:    Dead End
6: Loop to another unexplored room
1-2: +1 room
3-5: +2 rooms
6:    +3 rooms

Open room unexplored: are there rooms drawn but not yetMax rooms: has the maximum number of rooms been drawn?

Play a campaign

Start by inventing a basic story. Why are your characters going in that dungeon?
Plan several alternative conclusions for each dungeon. Maybe the adventurers won't succeed in the quest (without dying)?
Dungeon events will forge the continuity of your history. Between two dungeons, enrich your world. Think of the main city, its surroundings. But, remember: in Rocket Dungeons, each contribution must bring an additional added value.

To manage indeterminate twists, you can also use other light systems like BiviusRPG or Miso RPG.


  1. Hello, I just discovered Dungeon Rocket, and I have a problem with the rules!!!
    Let me explain :
    A high strength bonus is better for the fight but you have to achieve the lowest score to win a round...
    Example :

    a warrior (strength +2) fights a very strong monster (strength +3)

    I throw my dice, 3 +2 (strength) = 5.
    enemy's Fight bonus is 3. So 5 - 3 = 2, I win?!!
    My opponent's high bonus helps me win this fight?!!

    Did I misread the rules which are however simple?

    Thank you for your explanations...