MoldHammer: Hazards, Fleeing on Foot & Starship Battles

Here are some more bonus rules for MoldHammer. They might fit in any game, though!

In MoldHammer, damage is dealt by combatants rolling d20 under To-Hit. However, some sources of damage have no To-Hit value. When someone is hazarded and must rely on their reflexes to avoid harm, they roll d20 under To-Hit or take one Heart of damage! Some hazards ignore armor, such as turbulent water or burning/boiling oil.

Fleeing on Foot
When a party absconds from combat, they must choose a room or hex to advance to.
If the enemy pursues them, roll a d6 to determine the result of their flight.

Flight Table
1: The enemy blocks you off! 
Make no progress and continue fighting.
2, 3: They're hot on your trail! 
Advance and continue fighting.
4, 5: You escape, for now! 
Advance one turn ahead of the enemy.
6: You totally lost them! 
Advance. The enemy goes the wrong way.

Flight Modifiers
+1 for each of:
Fleers are faster than the pursuers, or took a particularly clever route.
Fleers drop some stuff that slows down the pursuers.*
Fleer with the lowest To-Hit score rolls d20 under it.

-1 for each of:
Pursuers are faster than the fleers, or took a particularly clever route.
Fleers waste time doing something unhelpful while fleeing.
Fleer with the lowest To-Hit score fails to rolls d20 under it.

*Dropped coins or treasure are desirable for desperate thieves (expert robbers know it could be cursed and the fleers probably have better treasure). For predators, drop animal carcasses with total Hearts of at least half the predator's Hearts, or a number of proteinous food servings equal to its Hearts. Anything the pursuers don't stop to take is likely to be gone before the day is over. Caltrops, burning oil, or other countermeasures slow most enemies similarly as the same time as hazarding them.


Starship Generation
Shield = 2. Systems = 10. Scale = 1. Unarmed.
Shield = 2 + d6. Systems = 10 + d6. Scale = d6. Lasers.
Shield = 4+d6. Systems = 12 + d4. Scale = 4+d4. Lasers, d6 Warpedoes.

Starship Flight
Starships consume one fuel crystal and can move one space hex per day. Starships need a crew numbering at least the ship's Scale to be piloted properly. For each crew member missing, the ship takes one Shield damage per fuel crystal consumed.

Starship Actions
Each crew member piloting the ship may take one of these actions per space turn.
Fire Lasers
Roll d20 under Systems to deal one Shield damage to a starship in the same space hex.
Fire Warpedo
Either deal one automatic Shield damage or roll d20 under Systems to deal two Shield damage to a starship in the same space hex, or roll d20 under Systems to deal one Shield damage to a starship in an adjacent space hex. Warpedoes are finite and must be refilled at space stations for a hefty sum of credits.
Evasive Maneuvers
Roll d20 under Systems to negate one point of incoming Shield damage before your next space turn.
Boost Shields
Base 2 in 6 chance to regain one Shield point.
Repair Critical Damage
Base 2 in 6 chance to fix one of the ship's critical damage effects.

Critical Damage
Roll a d6 when a starship reaches, takes damage at, or consumes a fuel crystal at zero Shield.
1: Fractured Core!
The ship will explode in Systems-10 turns.
2: Thruster Failure!
The ship is adrift in space.
3: Weapons Failure!
None of the ship's weapons function.
4: Life Support Failure!
In Systems-10 space turns, everyone on the ship will be hazarded each space turn.
5: Cargo Hold Depressurization!
Everything in the ship's cargo hold is sucked out into space. Oh well.
6: Cabin Depressurization!
Everyone in the ship rolls d20 under To-Hit each space turn or is sucked out into space, as well as being hazarded every turn from vacuum exposure. In Systems-10 turns, the ship is filled with vacuum and takes Systems-10 turns to repressurize.

The Vacuum and You
You take two Heart damage per space turn without a vacuum-proof suit. Damage taken while wearing a vacuum-proof suit breaks its seal. If you were sucked out into space wearing magnetized boots, you may roll d20 under To-Hit to catch yourself and stand on the outside of the ship. Without that or a jetpack you are adrift and likely dead, save for any wacky plans you can come up with to return to a ship.

MoldHammer: Alternate Rules & Bonus Content.

This post is an expansion for MoldHammer, which I also updated today.

Where I state "roll d20 under", I mean equal to or under. It's just a hassle to fit the extra words in.
Also, X in 6 chance is a short way of saying: "if you roll d6 equal to or under X, the thing happens."

More Rules Options

To start the game with a sort of bang, allow each player a handful of level 0 characters and let the mob run through a gruesome, brutal, but treasure-filled "funnel" dungeon (as in Dungeon Crawl Classics). If all goes well, a few weathered and mutated heroes should emerge at the end of the night's bloodshed.

Level 1 Starting Characters
There's nothing wrong with that!

Mighty Starting Characters
Each player starts with a level 0 character, then rolls 3d3 to distribute 3 levels. 1: Fighter, 2: Thief, 3: Wizard.

In MoldHammer, I've incorporated Shields Shall be Splintered, a popular rule floating around the Blog Nebula. If that isn't to your taste, shields may simply grant some armor. +1 wooden shields, +2 metal shields. You could consider giving ornate & magical shields the deflection ability back.

Cinematic Armor
If you want a little extra grittiness, have one piece of armor break when someone makes a successful armor save. This makes armor a little more like shields, so you might have shields grant armor instead of blocking + breaking while using this rule.

Ornate & Magical Weapons
Many monsters can only be damaged by magical weapons. That alone is reason enough to appreciate them, but they may also confer To-Hit bonuses added to the stat while rolling to attack. Ornate weapons could confer the same bonuses without counting as magical for the purpose of attacking special monsters. Either type might be considered treasure.

Making d6 Rulings:
When a character attempts a task outside the realm of Fighting Feats or Thief Skills, attempt to discern if it would obviously succeed or fail. If uncertain, start by assigning them a 1 in 6 chance to accomplish the task. Add +1 for each of the following conditions:
  • Skills help with the task.
  • Natural traits help with the task.
  • Appropriate tool used to accomplish the task.
  • Especially clever or entertaining approach to the task.
  • Other conditions are generally favorable for accomplishing the task.
During your travels, you may encounter learned warriors or ferocious scholars, often at rest beside a campfire, who grow weary of pursuing greatness. They are for a moment without purpose, and consider, in the face of mortal ennui, passing their expertise to the next generation of adventurers. They offer to teach 1 level of their own unique class to any player who gives them a treasure. If any players take up this offer, the Master moves to one of the town's Guild Halls. They now offer their own class at the same rate as the guilds. Masters have full levels in their class, and are at least level 4 in Fighter and/or another class.

Jealous Masters
Pupils of a Jealous Master must not take lessons with any other Master, or the Jealous Master will be insulted and offer an ultimatum: "Never take another lesson with that master again, or you may no longer be my pupil.". They'll say so even if they themselves admit they have nothing left to teach you.

Example Masters

Master: Rogolf the Moon Owl
Level 1, Owl's Eyes
Exceptional distant and low-light vision, fully rotating head. Easily spot little crawling creatures.
Level 2, Night Way
Gain mastery of Hide in Shadows, which now also functions as Hide in Moonlight.
Level 3, Rolling Thunder
When the GM rolls a 6 while checking for encounters, you may call forth a heavy thunderstorm.
Level 4, Way up High
When falling towards your enemy from above, get one bonus attack and land safely from up to 40'.

Master: Kirzzo the Volt Champ (JEALOUS)
Level 1, Static Beat
Your unarmed attacks count as magical.
Level 2, Ultimate Hand
Your body is now a weapon.
Level 3, Voltaic Aura
You have a minimum of 6 armor, and roll d20 under 6 to prevent magical effects (even good ones)!
Level 4, Artery Charge
Electrify your blood, losing X Hearts in exchange for X bonus attacks, up to your current Heart total.


This game strives to serve the same functions as old-school D&D with a minimum of rules to reference. All players begin with two Hearts and 10 To-Hit, so character creation is almost instantaneous. Levels are gained by looting Treasures and cashing them in at Guild Halls, so characters are defined by decisions made during play and not preparation. Fighters get improved combat stats (matching the HD and THAC0 progression found in AD&D) and can perform creative combat maneuvers more easily than other classes. Thieves get improved stealth skills and master an individual skill at each level, but are written carefully to avoid siphoning aptitude away from other classes. Wizards simply get a new spell every level - a small list of levelless spells is provided.

Monster Conversion
Hearts = HD+1, To-Hit = 8+Hearts, Armor = 0 unarmored, 6 light, 12 heavy.

I couldn't have made this without Necrotic Gnome's excellent reorganization of B/X D&D. I wouldn't prefer to run it, but it's a hell of a lot better compiled than Gygax's versions of the game. Certain ideas were lifted from Dungeon Crawl Classics - level 0 starting characters without a class, and the Fighter's improved ability to perform special dueling feats. Armor is changed from a To-Hit modifier to its own separate roll, like in Warhammer Fantasy Battles. The change from HD/HP to Hearts is an effort to simplify combat damage while maintaining some OSR compatibility. Hearts also take some inspiration from WHFB's Wounds, as a direct indicator of how many solid hits are needed to take a combatant down. Hexcrawl rules were mostly borrowed from Type1Ninja's MoonHop hack. The name "MoldHammer" is a mashup of Moldvay and WarHammer.

Out of the Odd & Into the Fire
Games aren't just systems, they're also toys! Game mechanics can be effective or efficient but still not scratch a certain tactile itch during play. For a few years I've primarily made hacks of Into the Odd, which is a great game. However, recently I've moved away from some of its tenets. Despite Into the Odd's mechanics working tremendously, I just wanted different buttons to press. Initially, I removed Strength damage, so there would only be one health bar to track for each unit. HP into Strength damage works, but it just felt weird! However, Into the Odd is a finely tuned machine. Not taking Strength damage greatly improves your chance to withstand damage at 0 HP, so combatants quickly dropped to 0 HP and then had no reason to roll damage for a solid half of combat, since you just rolled vs. death or KO with no change to the stat. Oops. So I lowered the stats and raised HP. This actually worked fairly well! But I got another itch - how about removing HP? We're left with DoomHammer in its current state, where you save to attack, and targets save vs. wound, taking two or three before collapsing. It's alright, but it's not good enough. Furthermore, it barely resembles Into the Odd anymore! And so, I decided to start again from the source. Into the Odd is based on OD&D, so I loaded up some .PDFs from the 70s, flipped open my copy of AD&D and got to writing MoldHammer, my very own derivative retro-heartbreaker.

Beyond MoldHammer
This was fun to put together. I've tested a variety of different fights, and they always played out pretty entertainingly for how bare the system is. Larger groups with more Hearts, To-Hit and Armor won very reliably, but there always seemed to be a few moments where a lucky weaker party could turn the tide, especially if they were players trying combat tricks and thinking tactically. THAT BEING SAID - I definitely couldn't just run this system on its own for more than one or two sessions. I don't necessarily want to add ability scores, but there could be more tools for making rulings. In situations outside of these provided rules, I expect the GM to assign a To-Hit roll or X in 6 chances based on their judgement. I'm thinking of implementing more X in 6 skills like in Troika, or maybe numberless attribute tags like Mighty or Baleful. The system is missing explicit rules for hirelings, hex-clearing and fortress building, though I tried to imply those two first features. It's missing rules for torches and lanterns. I want to add tables for starting equipment and background details. I want to spice up wizardry. I want piles of distinct special weapons. Basically, the next incarnation of this game begs for more flavor and playable content.

Species of Ooo

Here is a two-page d20 table of approximately 30 species inspired by Adventure Time. Designed for use with DoomHammer Core and DoomHammer Magic, but also easily adaptable for other light systems and usable by both players for characters and GMs for encounters.

DoomHammer: Magic

Introducing DoomHammer: Magic, a complete levelless spellcasting module for DoomHammer: Core!

Three pages stuffed with as much AD&D/Warhammer-inspired goodness as I could muster, as concisely as possible for ease of reference during play. It features multipurpose spells, a spectrum of 12 elements with special effects that plug into modular spells, and a variety of defensive auras and counterspells, which encourage diverse spell selection and more interactive wizard battles.

Notes on system adaptation; DoomHammer is super light. Its rules fit on one page, so there is also little to read in order to grok its conventions. For most systems you should only need to transpose attributes and devise damage values.

Contents of tables: 12 Magic Elements, 6 Elemental Projectile Forms, 20 Spells, 12 Cantrips, 6 Elemental Being Tiers, 12 Miscasts, and 20 Mutations, not counting elemental variations, nested entries, and subtables - there are actually about 60 mutations!

Adventures in Off-Peak City

This is a freeware roleplaying game / module inspired by Cosmo D’s excellent game Off-Peak, providing six tables of encounters, side areas, citizens, species, relationships, and parlors, as well as brief rules for play and making characters (with a tiny lifepath system thrown in for kicks).


Here is the version of DoomHammer I use as of now.
I still have to remake some of my own content, like magic, miscasts, and mutations.
Once that's over, a bestiary and more will be in order.

This new version of DoomHammer doesn't really resemble Into the Odd anymore.
If that isn't to your tastes, I offer the older versions which are hacks of Into the Odd:
DoomHammer 1e featuring hairstyles based on HP, priesthood lores of miracle.
DoomHammer 2e featuring unique miscasts for each lore of magic, lore of chaos.
2e was turned into a very nice booklet by the good Norbert Matausch.
"Tales of Absolute Doom" (actually just Doomhammer 3e) featuring 6 d6 tables of careers.