Hit/Die, A free tiny retro adventure game

I wrote Hit/Die a while back to see how far I could take the Risk/Usage Dice concept. Here it is used for a combined Level and Hit Points.

I was curious to see if I could edit it down to just 200 words and while I did manage that, I much preferred this version at about 275 words. It’s still small enough to be printed on two sides of an index card.

It’s a complete game with character generation, monsters, task resolution, combat, magic and progression. I hope you like it!


This is very cute, Brian!

Nicely done. Kind of a good alternative to Risus (or even Roll for Shoes).

I can’t help but feel that leveling up should be a die roll, as well. Set out criteria for whether you get to roll with advantage or disadvantage, and try to fail the roll or to roll a 1 or roll the maximum result possible on your die or something like that.

“Did you risk life and limb and find yourself in terrible danger? Did you discover a famous treasure?”

“If both, roll twice. If one or the other, roll once. If neither, but you nevertheless discovered something new and interesting about the world, roll twice but discard the higher roll.”

“If you roll the highest possible number on your die, increase it by one step.”


Randomising progression does sound tempting, but the Hitdie is so important that I wouldn’t want to risk imbalance between the PCs. Maybe if you fail a level up you could get to roll again at the end of the next session?

Fair point!

Some ideas:

If you fail the roll, you get some other good thing, instead (e.g. a +1 to your next roll, a magical item, another “class” that starts with a lower die, you get to define something about the world or your place in it).

Advancement is group-based, rather than individual. Each successful roll like this adds to the group’s pool or the whole group levels up once every member has rolled successfully. (Or we all pool our dice together and we all level up if the pool “succeeds”.)

Advancement is relative to the group: for example, your die type can’t be more than one grade better than the lowest-ranking member of your group. Successful advancement affects lowest-rated characters only.


I like your middle suggestion.


I definitely like the idea of group leveling. Not many (if any) games really do this.

It’s a pretty popular option in D&D 5e.

I wonder if I could use the same idea to do a super simplified FitD game, using a handful of d6s instead of increasing hit die.

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