Skip to main content


Knave is a great chassis of an rpg for modding and hacking, and it seems that the first thing that most game designers see is a need for class customization in an otherwise classless system. I'm no different. Here's a stab in the dark at trying to add a little more character customization.


As characters level, they reveal themselves to either have obtained or show a natural knack for different aspects of dungeoneering. At levels 3, 6, and 9, instead of increasing three abilities by one point, they increase a single ability by one point and roll on one of the following tables. (I guess your players can pick one if they want, but rolling is usually more fun, and that's what matters). 


  1.       +1 boon on attack rolls
  2.       +1 boon on stunts
  3.       Deal damage equal to your Strength on a successful stunt
  4.      Ignore losing 1 point of quality on armor or extra damage when an attacker rolls a 20 (or you roll a 1 to defend).
  5.      When wielding two weapons, roll damage dice for both weapons on a successful attack.
  6.       Grant an ally +1 boon on attack rolls if they can see or hear you once per turn.


  1.       Pick an ability. +1 boon to saves with that ability.
  2.       Rations take ½ a slot or your light sources last twice as long or items you have that are bundled can hold double the amount in 1 slot.
  3.       Whenever the GM makes a morale roll for an NPC or monster, you can make one also and use either result once a day.
  4.      Deal an additional die of damage or the defender’s armor loses an additional 1 point of quality when you roll an attack roll of 20 (or the defender rolls a 1).
  5.       Impose 1 bane on an attack roll as long as the attacker can see or hear you, once per turn. 
  6.       You can use an item and make an attack during the same turn.


  1.       You can cast a spell from a spellbook 1 additional time per day.
  2.       You memorize a single spell you have access to (consumes the spellbook, and no longer takes an inventory slot).
  3.       +1 boon on saves vs. magical effects.
  4.       Books take ½ slot instead of 1 slot in your inventory.
  5.       You can add your Intelligence bonus to attacks instead of your Strength.
  6.       You can hold a spellbook in one hand.

Note: Boons. A little houserule I use for Knave takes inspiration from a fun, grim rpg called Shadow of the Demon Lord, and replaces rolling with Advantage or Disadvantage. It looks like this: 

For every advantageous aspect in a given roll, the roller is granted a boon (1d6). On the flipside, for every detrimental effect, the roller has a bane (1d6). Boons are added to the roll, banes are subtracted from the roll. They also cancel each other out. So if an attacker is rolling with +4 boons, but has -2 banes associated with the roll, the roll will look like (1d20+2d6). You take the highest of the boons (or banes) rolled, and apply that to the roll.

Edit: Changed a Skill option from "animal companion" to a "distract" effect for consistency. 


Popular posts from this blog

First Time Playing: Knave

Knave is a rules-lite tabletop rpg written by Ben Milton of Questing Beast (and available here). It's OSR compatible, incredibly easy to teach, and even easier to run. Between reading its seven-page rulebook, and rolling characters, you and your players will be dungeoneering and adventuring within minutes. For starters, it's a fairly standard d20+mod roll-over system (as in, roll higher than a target number). If you're experienced with Dungeons & Dragons 5e or Pathfinder, more than anything you're going to be spending more time unlearning things than having to learn anything new.
What I loved For being so lightweight, it's actually pretty hard to pick a feature that I love the most. Every mechanic and rule within the book has purpose and weight, and is balanced well within the system. Things just make sense. Each of its six traditional ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) share equal importance so there's never …

Burning Books

Please don't actually burn any books. It's just a dumb metaphor.

So What Is This About? For awhile now, I wanted to alter how I run both magic and magic items in Knave. I love the level-less spells. I love that they take up an inventory slot via a spellbook. However, as much as I love the trope, I wasn't in love with the idea of magic being restricted to the bookworm archetype who is forever bound by the weight of having to lug around an entire knapsack worth of books (I mean come on, that is pretty awesome). So, as a quick fix, and to open up magic spells so that any young adventurer can get their hands on them, as dangerous as that may be, I've done a little ritual of my own and conjured up this button:

Generate Magic Item