Simple DnD

Rules-focused discussion of pen & paper RPGs. Threads in this board must be tagged by rules set.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23850
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Simple DnD

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:41 pm

I found a community called Simple DnD on Google+ that was about some sort of simplified version of D&D.

The rules themselves are on the Simple DnD website. Here is what it says there:
About Simple DnD wrote:SimpleDnD is a roleplaying game system designed to be easy to teach, easy to learn and fast to get started. Just you and a couple of friends exploring epic adventures. In just 20 minutes you can make your own character, or just print one of the pre-generated characters and play right away.
I've never heard of this before. Has anyone looked at this? What do you think of it?

Which D&D system do you think it is closest too? How easy do you think it would it be to adapt some of the campaign settings that we talk about at The Piazza to Simple DnD?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 1556
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:54 am

It looks like you have to pay for the book to read more than the 2-page rules reference. It's hard to tell what it would play like or is most similar to based on just the reference. It's interesting to see some of the old-school saving throws combined with skills that increase with level. Seems to be a bit of a mash-up between older versions and newer ones. But again, that's just what I can glean from the reference.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 5:09 pm

Actually all of the rules of SimpleDND are on the website for free. The PDFs are only there if you want to have a copy of your own.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 1556
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Tim Baker » Tue May 02, 2017 7:12 pm

simplednd wrote:Actually all of the rules of SimpleDND are on the website for free. The PDFs are only there if you want to have a copy of your own.
Thank you for the pointer, SimpleDND. Perhaps you could provide more information regarding what version(s) of D&D these rules are closest to. What feeling are they trying to evoke?

Additionally, welcome to The Piazza! You may want to take a moment to introduce yourself in the Welcome thread.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Tim, great question!

SimpleDnD grew out of my love of the classic redbox from 1983. I wanted to teach it to my kids, who at the time were 7, but so much of that rule set is based on random dice rolls. So I started with it as the base and piece by piece clarified and changed the rules adding elements from everywhere. Gone are the 3d6 stats (you only need the bonuses), the spells were changed to be less of a forget it as you use it (lame) and more of a point buy system with mana that increases at each level, so are alignments - heroes are good, monsters are bad, etc. The other big feature that groups really like are Heroic Points used to reroll any roll in the game. Notice was also a concept added from Passive Perception (great idea) as well as benefits for great rolls with the +5 rule. From there each of the classic rules are revisited, updated for consistency, and maybe added. All of the rules are summarized in a single page - and it works with any d20/Pathfinder or 5e adventure out of the box. At the core it's redbox - it feels old school but plays like any of the current systems.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 1556
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Tim Baker » Tue May 02, 2017 9:10 pm

simplednd wrote:Tim, great question!

SimpleDnD grew out of my love of the classic redbox from 1983. I wanted to teach it to my kids, who at the time were 7, but so much of that rule set is based on random dice rolls. So I started with it as the base and piece by piece clarified and changed the rules adding elements from everywhere. Gone are the 3d6 stats (you only need the bonuses), the spells were changed to be less of a forget it as you use it (lame) and more of a point buy system with mana that increases at each level, so are alignments - heroes are good, monsters are bad, etc. The other big feature that groups really like are Heroic Points used to reroll any roll in the game. Notice was also a concept added from Passive Perception (great idea) as well as benefits for great rolls with the +5 rule. From there each of the classic rules are revisited, updated for consistency, and maybe added.
That's super helpful. Thank you for sharing that. I like the Heroic Points; I enjoy games that offer Icon Relationship Points, Rune Points, Bennies, FATE points, Inspiration, Action Points, Fortune Points, etc. These give a bit of the game narrative back to the players in a way that's explicit and codified in the rules.
simplednd wrote:All of the rules are summarized in a single page - and it works with any d20/Pathfinder or 5e adventure out of the box. At the core it's redbox - it feels old school but plays like any of the current systems.
When you say it works with d20/Pathfinder and 5e out of the box, how do you handle the quickly-diverging math between those systems and BECMI (e.g., Red Box)? Pathfinder numbers get huge at higher levels. 5e uses bounded accuracy to keep the numbers smaller. Hit points vary dramatically, too. They have different saving throws. Are there suggestions on how to perform quick conversions in the SimpleDnD rules? Are the conversions fast enough that they can be performed "real time" by the DM?

I like games with modern, streamlined mechanics but an old-school feel. Castles & Crusades, the Black Hack, and Dungeon Crawl Classics all offer different takes on "old school," each with unique emphases, but they each have unified mechanics.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 9:37 pm

For conversion between D&D/Pathfinder and SimpleDnD I say DON'T DO IT! Just play it as is. To clarify that is only from a DM's point of view. Any decent DM already fudges numbers and tweaks things for their own tables. I personally love using the Pathfinder Bestiary.

Saving throws in SimpleDnD exist, but not as special rules. It's an ability roll. So if you're saving to jump out the way, save is done with a d20 + a dex bonus. Most of the saves are identified in the roll, when in doubt, use the ability that makes the most sense in the context of the encounter.

I like DCC and some of the other remakes, but my beef is always the rules bloat. Unless the rule is necessary and adds to the story, I'd typically omit it. I like the game to be fun and have just enough randomness to make it exciting.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 9:45 pm

The other think I hate (HATE!) about Pathfinder/D&D5e is the power bloat. In older D&D heroes were crafted by adventure. You gained power, not by rolling up a character, but my finding items, meeting people and growing your fame! A 10th level character has a deep story and powers only experience can bring. Now when I play 5e I have to know each classes special abilities and random non-sense. It's a real shame.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 9:51 pm

I'm also not a fan of BALANCE. Setting up an encounter that won't kill the party is one thing, but to remove deadly encounters in the name of balance is lame. Players need to learn about the dangers that encounters can bring and the part of the system that is often overlooked is the encounter rules. Trying to negotiate or bribe, say an Orc warband, might be a better option then open combat. Just because something can crush you physically doesn't mean it can't be a fun and memorable encounter.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue May 02, 2017 10:24 pm

simplednd wrote:The other think I hate (HATE!) about Pathfinder/D&D5e is the power bloat. In older D&D heroes were crafted by adventure. You gained power, not by rolling up a character, but my finding items, meeting people and growing your fame! A 10th level character has a deep story and powers only experience can bring. Now when I play 5e I have to know each classes special abilities and random non-sense. It's a real shame.
I once played in a 3E game where I tried to stretch the limits of the system by doing these things. When the Gm flat-out said, "Stop it or you will not be invited back the group to play with us again," I took every opportunity afterward with each invitation to tell him that I found his lack of imagination stifling to my style of role-playing. He eventually stopped calling me.

_________________
Angel R. Tarragon (aka A.R.T.)
DeviantArt / Facebook / Letterboxd / Twitter / YouTube
Last edited by Angel Tarragon on Wed May 03, 2017 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue May 02, 2017 10:47 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
simplednd wrote:The other think I hate (HATE!) about Pathfinder/D&D5e is the power bloat. In older D&D heroes were crafted by adventure. You gained power, not by rolling up a character, but my finding items, meeting people and growing your fame! A 10th level character has a deep story and powers only experience can bring. Now when I play 5e I have to know each classes special abilities and random non-sense. It's a real shame.
I once played in a 3E game where I tried to stretch the limits of the system by doing these things. When the Gm flat-out said, "Stop it or you will not be invited back the group to play with us again," I took every opportunity afterward with each invitation to tell him that I found his lack of imagination stifling to my style of role-playing. He eventually stopped calling me.
Some people like min/max of those systems. I myself don't. I want to spend my time exploring and being part of a story.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue May 02, 2017 11:47 pm

simplednd wrote:Some people like min/max of those systems. I myself don't. I want to spend my time exploring and being part of a story.
Agreed. It is one of the things I love about role-playing.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed May 03, 2017 11:46 pm

BTW, I went to look for your products on Drivethrurpg.com and for some reason they are listed in the catalog, but the product pages are nonexistent.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Thu May 04, 2017 7:15 pm

They just go pulled for a copyright claim against using DnD in the name.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu May 04, 2017 9:51 pm

simplednd wrote:They just go pulled for a copyright claim against using DnD in the name.
:shock: Man, I was hoping to nab the PDFs.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed May 10, 2017 3:58 am

Any chance of making the PDFs free to download on an alternate host? I was planning on getting the POD versions from lulu, but now those have been yanked.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23850
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:07 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:Any chance of making the PDFs free to download on an alternate host? I was planning on getting the POD versions from lulu, but now those have been yanked.
If the product got pulled for having "DnD" in the name and the owner put it back up somewhere else, he would probably cause a pretty negative response from WotC lawyers.

I'd say that the best option for Simple DnD is for the owner to clean out anything that WotC objects to and put it back up under a new name.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:52 pm

@all I posted all of the current PDFs up on the blog for free. Get them while they're hot!

https://simplednd.wordpress.com

simplednd
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Simple DnD

Post by simplednd » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:49 pm

@bigmac - honestly I don't know what that copyright claim was for. All I know is there was a complaint and they pulled it. If I had a detailed breakdown I could sort it out.

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8630
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Contact:

Re: Simple DnD

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:11 am

simplednd wrote:@all I posted all of the current PDFs up on the blog for free. Get them while they're hot!
THANK YOU!

I missed the boat on getting these before, so this is very much appreciated!

Post Reply

Return to “The Crunchy Bits”