Sunday, 5 July 2020

Maze Knaves: my one-page hack of Ben Milton's Knave and Maze Rats

I love Ben Milton's games KNAVE and MAZE RATS. They're both available on DriveThurRPG and well worth the purchase. Ben Milton talks about both these games on his great blog Questing Beast.

I have run games with both systems, and I wanted to put together a hack that took my favourite parts from each of them—mainly the 2d6 rolls from Maze Rats and the Item Slots/Magic-as-Spell Items concepts from Knave. I was also going to be running a game for a group of brand new players who had never played an RPG, so I wanted to format the game onto one page with clear writing explaining the simple rules.

This ruleset alone is not enough to run a game of Maze Knaves. I used a separate list of pre-generated character backgrounds tailored to my setting (far-future post-apocalyptic science-fantasy Mars) with Ability Scores of +2/+1/+0 and a handful of pieces of starting equipment. I also used a separate price sheet of extra gear for my PCs to purchase, a separate spell list (basically just the levelless spells from Knave), and a quick dungeon of my own devising. I also think that these rules might not quite make sense unless somebody is there to explain things and answer questions—but that's the price you pay for one page!

Here is the PDF hosted on my google drive.

EDIT (to provide a source which provided much of my inspiration):

Dungeons and Possums has collected a great number of Knave resources, including multiple hacks which inspired me to do my own. 


  1. This is great!

    Real quick, though: there already is a mashup called Knave Rats!

    1. That is great to know. I had actually seen this hack but forgotten about it. I should have known the name was too good to be true! I will reverse it.

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  2. A very solid one page and cool implementation. I think it represents the essence of what players need to know before jumping in. A couple notes:
    Add the stat shorthand to the Ability Scores section. Ex: Strength(STR). In the next section you talk about DEX and there isn't a sign post for players that don't know what that means.

    Clarification for combat, on a hit am I subtracting the difference between my result and the enemies armour or when you say deals damage is that damage based on the stats of the weapon I attacked with?

    Last note, the trap section could get cleaned up. Try leading with the example. Like this:
    Traps come in all shapes and sizes. If you are traversing a dungeon and the referee narrates a suspicious door, you might describe how you closely examine the door hinges, run your fingers gently along the doorjamb, and smell the knob for smeared poison. Detailed descriptions will give you detailed results. Most of the time, you can simply describe your actions in detail and they will succeed. If your actions end up triggering a trap you may be able to roll to avoid the worst of it. You want to avoid rolling the dice if you can—it is hard to roll a 10. In some instances traps that are activated will be fatal. 

    Again, it looks like a great job condensing and exposing the right stuff to the players to get them up and running. I would totally use this for one-shots.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for the detailed feedback. I appreciate this.