Fantasy: D&D Lite

Thinking about D&D recently due to blogs and youtubers and wondering what kind of lite version would suit me.


Main Mechanic

standard tasks:8+ on 2D6 to succeed at a task

hard tasks: 12+ on 2D6 to succeed


I like class as a variation on occupation and a shorthand mechanic, the classes should

  • be evocative and derive from the world
  • give DM+2 on all tasks related to the class

For example instead of “Fighter” as a class it might be “caravan guard” or “bandit” or “Knight” – all still acting as fighters but also assumed to know different stuff like the Knight could be assumed to know about etiquette and get a DM+2 on tasks related to that while the caravan guard might get DM+2 on a task related to desert oases.

The “Priest” class of each god should differ but the gods should also all have their own version of “Paladin” which suits the god. “Hunter” might be a standard class and “Ranger” the Paladin class of a particular god.

Paladin classes would get special bonuses from their god in exchange for half their loot.


Characters have a level and areas within the world have a level as a quick way to resolve tasks. A 3rd level character in a 1st level dungeon gets a DM+2 to detect traps. A 2nd level character in a 4th level forest has a DM-2 to detect an ambush. A 4th level character fighting a 2nd level monster gets DM+2 to their combat rolls.


Some skills will rely on years of background and be class only – like casting spells for example.

Some skills will be standard for a class but hard for others – like tracking

Some skills anyone can try but certain classes get DM+2 – like stealth.

For example thief skills

  • stealth, hide, detect and avoid traps anyone can attempt but thiefly characters get DM+2
  • pick locks and pickpocket are standard for thieves but hard for others


Similar to class but representing life up to c. 14-15 years old before class training. Has similar effects to class in that a character with an “urchin” background would be assumed to know different things to a character with “squire” background. Some classes would have specified backgrounds e.g. Knight and Squire.

Background – Location

Specified location effects class and background knowledge and abilities for example

  • a caravan guard between towns A and B with a road connection might know about town A and B and horses and wagons whereas a caravan guard between towns B and C with a river connection might know about town B and C and boats.
  • a farmer from a valley region might know plowing while one from a hill region might know sheep
  • an urchin thief from town A might get DM+4 on streetwise in town A but only DM+3 elsewhere


No stats – Traits instead, character picks say 3 at start plus 2 per level, traits all have in game effect generally DM+2, can be made up on the fly.


strong: combat with heavy weapons, bashing doors etc

quick: combat with light weapons

hawkeye: spot ambushes/traps outside, archery

agile: dodge, climbing etc

nimble: pick locks, pick pockets, sleight of hand

tough: physical saving rolls

grim: mental saving throws

attractive: social

charming: social

perceptive: social

genial: social

scary: intimidate

fierce: charge

intelligent: spells, languages

concentration: spell fumbles

weapon specialist: particular weapon


music specialization: singing or instrument


  • ranger: hawkeye, agile, tough
  • fighter: strong, tough, polearms
  • wizard: intelligent,
  • thief: quick, agile, nimble

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