Here, there be Dragons! - A Kid-Friendly System for Monster Hunting

Hey everyone, thanks for being such a welcoming community. I’ve just wrapped up the playtest rules for “Here, There Be Dragons!” It’s a rules lite system focused on one thing: hunting monsters. It’s aimed for short 1-hour, 1-shot adventures. I’ve been playtesting it at lunch with co-workers and it’s gone over great in the studio. We have a lot of gamers that have very little experience with tabletop RPGs, and now all of them are making their own monsters and taking turns running monster hunts to show them off.

Here’s a link to the playtest doc if you’re curious. I’d love to get feedback from players outside my groups. It’s pretty short, the whole thing’s only 17 pages with cover page and table of contents:

Here, There Be Dragons! - Playtest Rules

To try and tempt you to looking in, here are some of the system’s distinctive features:

  1. A simple “push your luck” approach to action economy that adds a tense decision to every turn and makes it fun to watch other players decide whether to push their luck or pass their turn.

  2. Truly mysterious magic. Hunters only know the name of a spell they discover. They don’t know what it does until they cast it, and they can only cast each spell once.

  3. No stats, no expertise. Weirdly, people haven’t seemed to need them. The focus is on fighting monsters, using equipment, and real-life detective work. Stats just got in the way.

  4. Each hunt is a mystery. Hunters don’t know what monster they’re hunting until they face it in battle. During the Search, they find places the monster has been that provide clues as to its nature. Hunters gain benefits for figuring out what those clues mean, putting the focus on foreshadowing the monster and drawing players into the hunt.

  5. The monster is the battle map. The Creator (GM) draws a crude map of the monster’s sections. Hunters will have to climb the monster and move between these sections. Because…

  6. Each monster battle is part puzzle, part cinematic action. The hunters should look for ways to cripple the monster’s strengths and exploit its weaknesses. They should try and cut off the giant scorpion’s stinger, wrap chains around the fire-breathing drake’s mouth, use a log trap to slam the giant tortoise onto its back, etc.

  7. Detailed advice for the Creators on how to make monsters that are fun to fight, without worrying about charts or deeply mechanical systems. Many players that have never GMed before have been inspired to make a monster and run it for the first time in this system.

If you have time to read this, thoughts, or questions let me know. I’d love to see some of the great people here run this, and I’d be happy to help however I can.


Would love to, but I can’t open the doc. An access thingie?

Really? I don’t think it’s an access thing, other people have been able to access it. It already was set to “anyone with the link can view”, but just in case I changed it to “public on the web”. Does that fix it?

This may not apply to you, but were you attempting to access it from a work computer?

I just tried it from work and got an Access Denied error, but that’s probably due to my work blocking Google Docs. I’ll have to give a try from home when I get the chance, because this sounds awesome.

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Hi @DanFelder ! Your game looks really great ! Congrats.
It looks very smart and accessible. I’m not a big fan of fight in kids games, but I will certainly give it a try with my girls.

Thanks, and welcome to the community. :slight_smile:

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Thank you @DanFelder :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: