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Pretty Much Searchers of the Unknown, Straight Up

Choose armor

Armor AC MV Items
No armor 10 12/40′ 11
Leather armor 13 9/30′ 8
Chainmail 15 6/20′ 6
Plate mail 17 3/10′ 4
Shield +1 -1/-5′ -1

Roll HP


Choose three weapons

or two weapons and a shield.

Weapon Description Damage
Small weapons Easily concealable (dagger, sling…) 1d4
Range weapons Bow, crossbow… 1d6
Mêlée weapons Mace, sword, hammer… 1d8
2-handed weapon 2-Handed sword, polearm, … 1d10

Number of attacks (#AT):

Starts at one, and then 2 at level 5, 3 at level 9 and so on.

In other words: (level + 1) / 4.

Example character

Humphrey the bald (AC 15 MV 6/20′ HD 3 hp 14 #AT 1 D 1d10 with a voulge).


Armor and weapons including ammo are already included when calculating the items column. Books, scrolls, and treasure go here.

Two item sizes: tiny (coin sized) and, uh, not tiny. A pouch of 250 tiny items is one item. And then you can carry as many items as 20 plus your level minus your AC, as listed in the items column.



1d10 + AC but lowest goes first.

If you have multiple attacks each attack has its own place in the initiative order, so roll as many 1d10+AC rolls as you have #AT.


Roll over opponents AC minus your level to hit.


Just roll your damage die.
You’re wounded at 0 hp and can’t act for the rest of the fight.
Monsters prioritize unwounded enemies, but, your character can still die if there’s a TPK or if the survivors flee the battle.

Whenever you kill a monster, you get one additional attack at the end of that round.


Monsters need to check morale three times:

When outnumbered, after the first death, and whenever they reach half HP. DM rolls 1d10 and if they roll over their HD they will withdraw or surrender.

Rest and bandages

If you have at least one HP, you go back up to full HP on a short rest (ten minutes or so).

If you’re wounded (0 HP), you need to rest for one week.


Stealth & stunts

Roll your own AC minus your level (or higher) on 1d20, normally, or on 1d10 for very difficult tasks.

Saving throws

And other things like picking locks.

Roll 16 minus your level on 1d20.

Trap Damage & Falling Damage

1d8 for something that could kill a human,
2d8 for something that could kill a horse,
4d8 for something that could kill an ogre. No more.


Characters in SotU can use scrolls from all classes, of spells up to and including their own level.

In the similar game Knave these are called “books” and you can use them once per day, instead of only once. But maybe it’s a good idea for the game to have both scrolls (one use only) and books (once per day).

Note to DM: add extra scrolls and books to the treasure tables, and the original SotU suggests an extended duration for most spells, that utility last one day and most fighting spells last the entire fight.


Here is what SotU originally says:

PC’s starts at level 1 (1 Hit Dice). Each time they defeat a monster, by killing him or another method, they get 100 experience points per monsters hit dice, shared between the party. The number of experience points needed to level up is 2000 x the current level. There are no limits to levels. Gaining a new level means better rolls for fight, save and actions, and 1d8 more hit points. The player rerolls all hit dices. If the new score is better than the old one, he gets that new total. If not, he keeps the old one.

Maybe a treasure based XP would be more fun, I don’t know.


This is a few small tweaks on “Searchers of the Unknown, D20 style” that some unknown/anonymous person edited out of Nicolas Dessaux original SotU.

Here’s a copy of the ‘d20’ version before my modifications. I have no idea who made it.

And here are my changes: