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Caverns Deep

Caverns Deep

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Project Blog by Arloid

Recommendations: 179

About the Project

Caverns Deep is a personal take on the "1 page rpg" genre, set in the underground of a fantasy world the rules take you though creating a character, performing actions, combat and setting up camp. The second currently unfinished booklet takes you though creating monsters, the friendly creatures in the caverns and the enemies in the caverns both humanoid or not.

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Mocking around with other projects

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Like painting the focus to write rules and work on tabletop games sometimes fades and returns in a cyclical manner. So is the case with Caverns Deep. As such I’ve started mocking around with cards in order to see what I can do with them.

Not much to say as far as mechanics go.
The inspiration is obviously playing cards, with each “character” card representing 1 of the kings, queens, jacks or jokers in a standard card deck.

  • Each of them has a signature ability that follows its own rules, but stays in theme with the character archetype.
  • Next up is the ability activated by playing a hearts card, giving the player the choice to either heal their character or boost the result of a specific check.
  • Following this is the diamonds ability which is character type specific, but generally very similar between characters of the same type.
  • At last is the spades ability which provides the character a reward with negative implications.
    The N is a placeholder for the number the players use to activate their abilities, as well as the players starting stats. The number inside the heart being the players starting health, diamonds being their starting attack and spades their defense.

Anyway, enough distraction from the main project, I should probably start a second project for this if I seriously want to keep updating this.

Caverns deep, update on the fonts

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For those that are wondering if that is a grammar mistake at the top…no it is not. For the good half of the day I’ve been messing with fonts in order to make the document more readable, although I feel it has become a bit more crowded.

I’m going to sit on it for a little bit longer before really committing to it, but in the meantime here is where we are at. I also made a small change for a small pesky Dutchmen some of you are familiar with…

Caverns deep, update on the fonts
Caverns deep, update on the fonts
Caverns deep, update on the fonts

Start of the Game Master edition

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Work has started on the Game Master edition of the document. For now it just contains a list of creatures as well as pointer for creating your own enemies and creatures, but in the future it will contains tips and guidelines for hosting a game and maybe some scenarios for a few one shots or some short campaigns.

At this moment of time I’m making myself ready to playtest the game and take in feedback. This will mean that I will be actively looking for playtesters very soon. It also means that future updates might be a bit more sporadic, well more then they have been.

I’m also happy to announce that Caverns Deep is getting a front cover commissioned, I’m not spilling any details but more on this at a later date.

Caverns Deep Player book Beta 0.2

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Caverns Deep Player book Beta 0.2
Caverns Deep Player book Beta 0.2

While I have been on the project and then off again I almost forgot I made some changes, most notably changing traits a bit so there are less dead picks and each has its own little use. For those players that don’t want to eat a 100 mushrooms to learn which mushroom is poisonous there is local knowledge now, but honestly as GM you should give your players some slack and give them the option to use herbalism or gathering instead to identify that poisonous mushroom. Hopefully the keeping watch rules are clearer now, I think I made the accident by making camp preparations make creatures appear more often while it should be around. A creature should only appear on a +6 against a fully prepared camp.

Lessons learned I guess.

Graphical updates are going slowly, I have yet to really sit down for that and take a jab at drawing.

Caverns Deep: Player book Beta 0.1

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Front and back page, I guess you guys know my name now.Front and back page, I guess you guys know my name now.
Finally proofread and a tiny bit of flareFinally proofread and a tiny bit of flare

I’m actually a bit surprised that we are already this far after a mere 4 weeks of development even if the project is a simple 1 pager. I’ve taken the liberty to make an optional placeholder cover and back for the booklet till I get around to trying digital art for myself. For now it will do however.

I also like to note that I’ve received the document back from the kind soul that offered to proofread it. All in all I think this is a decent moment to release the first iteration of the beta document of the player book.

Changing document setup

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Changing document setup

Now the rules are nearing a stable state I think it is time to take it from the word processor to the publishing software. This means a few things.

1). The rules are currently in what I consider a stable state, some statistical changes may still need to be made but the rules themselves aren’t going to be altered drastically.

2). The layout of the document can be altered in a more flexible manner, this doesn’t sound like much but basically what this means is that I’m no longer limited by the predetermined document templates that the word processors uses. In effect this allowed me to compress the main rules from 4 A5 pages into 1 A4, halfling the page count.

3). Editing documents is going to be more of a pain now, basically more manual labor to do the same stuff as in the word processor. Though more manual control.

4). There will be 2 rule branches.

  • The alpha branch which consists of all the booklets bundled into the same document, including both finished and unfinished rules.
  • The beta branch which consists of the booklets that are in a mechanically stable state and unlikely to change drastically, with exception of mathematical adjustments. Each of these booklets will be released in separate documents.

 

In the next update I hope to do some editing and depending on how things go some graphical work on the player booklet to hopefully make the document more pleasing to read and look at. Another thing to do is releasing a printer friendly version as I imagine the current version being quite a ink hog. The monster compendium will probably get integrated into a 2 page GM booklet to add a few hooks and aids to play the game with.

Caverns deep Alpha V0.6.5

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Something that I should have had someone do sooner was having the document proofread. This has led to a few lines of text being added to some of the rules and a few fixes to text to make the rules more clear and the things not addressed less ambiguous.

Caverns deep Alpha V0.6

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The monster compendium is taking shape. I’m not entirely happy with it yet, I feel certain creatures don’t have enough flare. I’m not sure about this one, if any of you have any thoughts then let me know, having some criticism that isn’t my own is much appreciated, as it is very easy to develop tunnel vision for projects like these.

As for the main book
I was able to find a bit more room for text, which I primarily used to clarify things that weren’t conveyed well before. Mainly how equipment tied into performing actions and how the climbing pick ties into combat.

I still have some room left over for 1 more row of traits or skills. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments as they might end up in the game.

That is it for now, things are more or less in place. Most of what is next is dependent on playtesting, although the current version of the document does betray a little what is up next.

Caverns deep Alpha V0.5

Tutoring 9
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Having spend most of the day on getting the main booklet ready and part of the monster compendium I’m more or less satisfied with todays work. The compendium is far from finished but usable for now. Right now things need to be playtested, preferably both personally as by others to discover any kinks and flaws in the system, both visually as rulewise.

Right now the priorities lie with finding a online play group to test this with either GMing it myself or let someone else GM it taking me along for the ride.

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