Meat Of Dubious Origin (sitcom-esque Knave hack, first draft)


This draft doesn’t have a lot of flavor added in yet, it’s just the Knave backbone with a few additions. Pretty much all the alterations are frontloaded in the text so if you are familiar with Knave you may only need to look over the bullet points to see if you find it interesting. This hack was inspired by the Tunnels and Trolls module “Rat On A Stick” which you should check out if you get a chance.


Edited to say that my reason for posting is mainly to hear opinions on the two clocks and how one of them will ALWAYS be affected by any d20 roll. Also about a workplace sitcom in a dungeon as a metaphor for coporate wage slavery.


Meat Of Dubious Origin

(or When Knaves Can’t Even)

This is Meat Of Dubious Origin (MODO), a Knave-based game of dungeon trope workplace sitcom hijinks and out of control tempers. Lighthearted lethality!

Through either your own deeds or the cruelty of fate you have become indebted to the businessman wizard cyclops Ashbole The Distributor. You must now work off your debt by serving up orders at one of his many MODO shops in The Dungeon. But don’t worry! In your free time you can dodge traps and hack monsters for your own enrichment. And, get this, when you reach level 10 you’re FREE!

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” - Dante Hicks

Things in this game that aren’t Knave:

  • Temper Clock (5 segments, replaces Morale) - failures on a d20 roll advance a PC’s Temper Clock one segment at a time. When it reaches maximum go to When You Can’t Even!

  • Shift Clock (5 segments) - successes on a d20 roll advance a PC’s Shift Clock one segment at a time. When it reaches maximum go to So How Was Your Shift?

  • Traits replaced by tags for Rant (see When You Can’t Even!).

  • Working the MODO shop minigame - When a PC’s Shift Clock hits maximum their shackle will emit a tinkling bell sound and they are poofed to their assigned MODO shop counter (see So How Was Your Shift?). A series of rolls and reactions determines how their shift goes after which they must make their way back to the group (or not?).

  • Critical rolls - Whenever a player rolls a natural 1 on a d20 the Temper Clock of all the other party members is advanced by 1. Whenever a player rolls a natural 20 the Shift Clock of all the other party members is advanced by 1. There are no other effects of critical rolls.

  • Dungeon navigation rules - Once a PC has passed through a dangerous part of The Dungeon (survived a trap, evaded a persistent monster, etc) they can pass through it again alone safely with no roll. When in a party, if at least one PC has passed through the area the only roll needed is an Intelligence save. On a fail, roll once on a Wandering Monster table.

  • Players begin each session with 2 PCs. One on a loot run and one at the shop.

  • XP is loot-based (1 gold = 1 XP) but the fastest way to advance is by Rant, Tantrum, or working the MODO shop. No XP for murder (but you may get loot so…).