Friday, December 27, 2019

Finders Keepers

Show lists:

Recommended Rules

Three stats
Strength - Lifting, breaking, swimming, resisting poison and disease
Dexterity - Sprinting, dodging, climbing, tinkering, lock-picking
Charisma - Yelling, lying, sweet-talking, hoping for the best, looting
Lowest of 3d6 for each for the bonus (from +1 to +6)

Checks and Saves go better for the character if they roll higher. Some actions may require a roll of 15+ or 20+.

HP, Healing, and Dying
Characters start with 1d6 max starting HP. Worn armour adds to max HP. While at zero HP, each blow has a [dmg]-in-20 chance of resulting in death (or some other "out of the game" state).

Characters can spend a while catching their breath after combat and heal to full HP. If they are doing this in a dangerous environment, this usually requires them to roll an encounter check before recieving any healing.

Characters that don't need to heal can keep watch, scout around, and stay in an active state. Characters can consume rations, bandages or other supplies to heal quickly, and not require an encounter check.

Starting gear
All characters start with a Useful Item, an Odd Item, a Memento, and Weirdness. They gain additional gear based on their stats and max HP. There are three options for this:

A) Sum highest stat and HP

2. Big ranged (d10), heavy armour (+3 HP), Technique, Memento
3. Two melee (d6), light armour (+2 HP), Arcana, Odd
4. One melee (d6), Artefact, Odd, Weirdness
5. Big melee (d10), melee (d6), small ranged (d6), Talent
6. Ranged (d8), light armour (+2 HP), Failed Career, Useful
7. Melee (d6), small ranged (d6), Weirdness, Memento
8. Big melee (d10), Failed Career, Useful
9. Arcana
10. Small ranged (d6), Failed Career
11. Basic melee (d6)
12. Nothing

B) Start with XP = 12 - highest stat - max HP (see below for prices under "Experience")

C) As C, but select randomly from available options (this is the default character generator)

Gear stats
  • Unarmed - 1
  • Improvised - d4
  • One-handed - d6
  • Noble - d8
  • Two-handed - d10
  • Emplaced/three-handed - d12
  • Light armour - +1 max HP
  • Heavy armour - +2 max HP
  • Shield - Sunder to block 1d12 damage, metal can be repaired
  • Buckler - Allows for defensive Gambits
  • Tower Shield - Provides cover when set

Multiple Damage Dice
Each round, a single target only takes the highest damage shown on all attacks against them. Traits that grant additional damage dice, dual-wielding, or ganging up on an enemy follow the same rule.

If you spend your whole round trying to avoid getting hit, make a DEX check. 15+ in melee, 10+ against ranged, 20+ while grappling or being held.

Say what you want to do extra with your attack (trip, knock over, pick-pocketed) and what will happen if you fail (disarmed, struck, moved). It has to make sense. Make a Strength or Dexterity check to try it. 10+ most of the time, 15+ if the enemy is more skilful than you, has more legs, is bigger than you etc. If you are using a buckler, you can also try this when you are being hit by an attack

If dropped to exactly 0 HP, check the damage against this list. If a HP reroll is called for, take the result if it is higher.
  1. Battlescars - A lasting reminder on your (1d6): 1. Eye, 2. Cheek, 3. Neck, 4. Chest, 5. Stomach, 6. Hand. Reroll HP on d6
  2. Shaken Nerves - Stammer and shake. After you take something to calm yourself, reroll HP on d6
  3. Hobbled - Reduced to a limp until fixed
  4. Smashed Mouth - Spit teeth and blood. You look a mess
  5. Bloody Mess - You'll need stitches, you cannot heal until you get it fixed. Reroll HP on 2d6
  6. Punctured Organ - You'll need serious fixing, you cannot heal and take d6 damage each morning. If you get it seen to, reroll HP on 2d6
  7. Maimed - A part of you is torn off (1d6): 1, Nose 2, Ear 3, Finger 4, Thumb 5, Eye 6, Chunk of Scalp
  8. Torn Limb - A random limb is torn off or in need of amputation
  9. Splintered Mind - You cannot heal until you get to grips with what happened here
  10. Shattered Ego - You are dealt a humiliating blow. If you achieve revenge, reroll HP on 3d6
  11. Fractured Skull – You feel like a slightly different person. Reroll your CHA using 3d4
  12. or more, Shadow of Death - You shouldn't have survived that. You have nightmares of your own death every night. Roll 1d12 instead of 1d20 the next time you are damaged at 0HP. If you survive, reroll HP on 3d6

In return for making oaths, obeying love potions, creating character portraits, completing major quests in a stylish manner, acquiring achievements, going to heaven, solving problems effectively etc. you gain XP. You spend XP only during character creation, in return for additional items:
1 - Useful Item, Failed Career, Memento, melee weapon, small ranged weapon, shield, consumable
2 - Oddity, Weirdness, big melee weapon, ranged weapon, light armour
3 - Talent, Technique, Arcana, Artefact, big ranged weapon, heavy armour

+2 XP cost to choose from a list rather than rolling randomly. See also: Death and Growth.

Like Radioactive Blood
All magical things taste weird. Some might smell weird, a few sound weird or look weird, but a good lick will always tell you if something (someone?) is magical or mundane.

If you take more than 10 damage in a round, take another d8 damage next round, or d4 if you roll around in agony on the ground.

Inventory and Encumbrance
If a character is carrying an unusually large amount of items, they must explain how and wear they are stowing each object. If this method would put them at a disadvantage, they are Encumbered. If a character is Encumbered, or if they are otherwise weighed down by an environmental effect, they must roll STR checks to perform physical activities they would normally do without a roll.

Optional Rules

Alternative Inventory
Method 1: Characters can hold 10+STR items. Some items go into slots of 3 (rations, torches) or can be carried at little cost (jewellery, keys). Each point of HP from armour fills a slot.
Method 2: Characters can hold 4+STR Major Items. All stowed gear and supplies fits in one Major Item slot, as does armour.

Getting Better
Curses and diseases don't go away on their own. Neither do some injuries. If you want to get better, you'll have to try something and roll 20+ on a STR check (injuries and disease) or a CHA check (curses, some diseases). If you don't succeed, then that method will never work, but you can try something else. "Hoping for the best" counts as a method.

Damage Modifiers
Enhanced: Damage dealt increases to d12. Often against a vulnerable target or risky attack.
Impaired: Damage dealt decreases to d4. Attacking against cover, or while blind.

If you cannot get what you need, you cannot heal. When the lack becomes deadly, take d6 damage each unit of time:
Warmth, d6 damage per hour
Water, d6 per day
Food, d6 per week
Air, d6 per round
Companionship, d6 per month (?)

Magic Words
Words of power can be discovered/created by breaking down scrolls, wands, artefacts and monster parts. They can be converted back into scrolls easily, simply by scribing them onto suitable material. They can also be turned, with some cost, into a wand or other implement. Either way, Magic Words must be strung together before crafting them into a scroll or wand.

A more dangerous route to versatile power can taken by etching Magic Words on the inside of your own skull (there are several methods to do this, left as an exercise to the reader). Afterwards, you can combine known Magic Words into spells off-the-cuff, without having to first combine them into a complete spell.

D6-Only System [WIP]
Instead of using a d20 and other dice, make the following adjustments to the game:

1 = +0
2-3 = +1
4-5 = +2
6 = +3

Roll d6+stat and get
5+ = 4+
10+ = 5+
15+ = 6+
20+ = 7+

d4 = d6-1
d8 = d6+1
d10 = d6+2
d12 = d6+3
d20 = d6+5

When struck at 0 HP, roll Xd6, where X is the damage taken. If you roll any 1s, you are in a bad way. If you roll multiple 1s, you die.

"Oh Crap, My Hat!"
If a character is wearing a notable and exceptional hat, they can sacrifice it reduce the damage from a non-weapon by 1d12, or add 1d6 to a failed save. The hat is thrashed/on-fire/trampled/fallen-down-the-crevasse/in-danger whether they succeed or fail. Afterwards, they might be able to wear it again, but it will have to be repaired or replaced before it is notable and exceptional again.

Improvised Alchemy
Mixing together weird ingredients over a brazier and stirring it till it bubbles always produces a potion. However, determinging the effect of the potion may take some experimentation. Secretly roll a random spell for each new set of ingredients and techniques. Depending on the spell, it will either be the state of the fluid produced, the effect on the drinker, or (seemingly) nothing at all.

More Stats [WIP]
The new stat array is Hit, Tough, Speed, Finesse, Wits, Weird, Charm, Luck. Roll 8d6 in order, 1s are -5, 6s are +5.
  • Hit is the end-all combat stat.
  • Tough is a combination of defence and hitpoints, but also might apply to intimidation.
  • Speed is half of a usual Dexterity stat, required for fleeing and chasing, as well as quick reflexes.
  • Finesse is the other half, governing precision and competence under pressure.
  • Wits combines the usual roles of Intelligence and Wisdom. It governs how smart the character is, but it's usually much more important how smart the player is.
  • Weird is the ability to safely interact with the arcane and uncanny. This doesn't denote standard spellcasting abilities.
  • Charm is all about bluffing and shmoozing. Well thought-out arguments and concrete diplomacy are resolved on their own merits, Charm is used for smiling and hoping for the best.
  • Luck for everything and anything else!

Small bonuses to rolls are easy to forget, rarely impactful, and a pain to keep track of. When using More Stats, only apply bonuses that are worth an entire +5. Instead of a basic magic sword giving a +1 bonus all the time, it should have a +5 bonus under a particular situation. If multiple smaller bonuses can be smushed into one +5, go for it.


The list of sources for Finders Keepers abilities and items can be found below the item buttons. It is incomplete, and should technically cover most of the OSR and DIY RPG universe. Finders Keepers is a kludge of every useful and interesting item, mechanic and minigame I've been able to cram into it. It will never be done. To read more about the origins and principles behind Finders Keepers, see here.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. omg YES but only if you show me it in its current state yeah?? It ain't fair that you get to see my half-finished kludge unless I can poke at your WIP. I'm sure you can figure out some way or other to send it to me

    2. You can send stuff to slightadjustments at gmail dot com

  2. I declare this resource to be delicious! An excellent mix of mechanics. I especially like the "d6-only" section. Reminds of some other games :)

    1. Hey, thanks! I haven't tested out the d6-only version yet, I'm pretty sure I've got the numbers right but I'll have to wait and see

  3. Hell I am SO here for the choices you've made for the D6-only options

    1. Thanks! I've never actually gotten around to playing it with only d6s buuuut I just have a good feeling about those numbers, you know?

  4. Every time I go back to this generator, it's getting bigger and better. I love it. :D

  5. Could we also get an option of generating a character with the D&D-ish 6x 3d6 stats?

    1. Done! 3d6 in order, no modifiers or HP rolled. It could have those though. Next up, Slight Adjustments becomes a public repo, allowing feature requests :D