Spwack's Baseline GLOG Ruleset

These rules are a small set of procedures that can help you run a GLOG game. However, they are all just Recommendations, made with my best intentions. They come with plenty of Optional rules and quirks, which I heartily recommend you use to tweak this Baseline Ruleset into the best fit for your table. It is a living document, and features some... oddities. You have been warned.


Roll 3d6 for each of the following:
  • Strength, for melee attacks, number of inventory slots, grappling, kicking doors down, lifting things, swimming, jumping
  • Dexterity, for dodging, crafty attacks, balance, hiding, chasing, fleeing, sleight-of-hand, precision work
  • Constitution, for your maximum HP, overcoming diseases, resisting poisons, long-distance trekking, maintaining concentration
  • Intelligence, for feats of memory, calculation, spotting lies, controlling wands, researching spells
  • Wisdom, for ranged attacks, initiative, spotting small differences, alertness, staying sane
  • Charisma, for saves vs. danger, sheer luck, meeting new people, leadership, intimidation and persuasion from force of will (rather than evidence)

Risk and Resolution

Only roll if it's possible for you to succeed, and possible for you to fail. Roll a 1d20 under a stat to succeed. 1 is a critical success, 20 is a critical failure.

If you have a useful advantage, roll twice and take the better option, and vice versa.

If you'll definitely manage to do something, but there's some variance at how it goes, you might roll anyway. If you fail, you can choose to succeed at a cost. If you succeed, you do so with notable style.

  • The Classic, Roll Over: Roll a d20+stat over 20 to succeed. 20 is a critical success, 1 is a critical failure.
  • The Up-and-Comer, Roll Between: Roll below the stat to succeed, but above any penalties to the roll from enemy armour or the like. Rolling exactly the stat is a critical success, 1 is a critical failure.

Inventory and Encumbrance

You have inventory slots equal to your STR. One slot can hold something like a sword, a bundle of three torches, or a delicate glass orb with padding. Insignificant items like a marble or a flower don't take up a slot, unless you've got a bunch of them.

Slots can also hold things like Fatigue, Hunger, Homesickness.

If your inventory is overfilled, or you are carrying something big like another character, you are encumbered. You now need to make STR and DEX checks to perform some actions like swimming or running that previously wouldn't have needed a roll at all, and can't even attempt some actions at all.

Start with three random items and three rations. If you are mostly dungeoncrawling, start with three torches. If you are mostly hexcrawling, start with a full waterskin

Combat Structure

While exploring dungeons, roll an Encounter Check every three rooms carefully explored, when the party spends some time on an activity, or when they make a loud noise.
  1. Encounter!
  2. Traces
  3. Nothing
  4. Nothing
  5. Light decreases
  6. Light decreases

When an encounter is met, roll a Charisma check for the Reaction. On a success, it goes about as well as you'd expect. On a fail, it goes about as badly as you'd expect.

Ambushes resolve before the first round of combat.

At the start of combat, roll Wisdom for Initiative. Turn order is:
  1. Succeeded WIS check
  2. Enemy side
  3. Failed WIS check

Opt: Reroll initiative at the start of every round.


There is no distinct "Attack" stat. Instead, each stat can be used to make certain types of attacks:
  • Strength, for direct attacks with melee weaponry or fists
  • Dexterity, for sneaky strikes with small weapons
  • Constitution, while wrestling and shoving
  • Intelligence, for wands and long-range artillery (perhaps...?)
  • Wisdom, for bows and other ranged weaponry
  • Charisma, for commanding hirelings to fight

All weapons deal d6 damage, and +d6 bonus damage when they are the perfect tool for the job: A spear set against a charge, a greataxe against a swarm of goblins, a dagger while clambering on an ogre, a rapier if you are a master swordsman fighting a duel.


Tripping, disarming, shoving or other manoeuvres are accomplished by Gambits. Before making an attack, say what extra effect you want if you hit, as well as the penalty if you miss. They both have to make sense, and be fair (not necessarily equal, but fair).

The penalty for missing against a goblin is far less serious than missing against a dragon. The penalty for a trained warrior is less serious than a wizard trying to Gambit using a broadsword they just picked up.

If you have multiple attacks in a round, you can Gambit with them all. If you're doing the same Gambit twice, then if either attack succeeds, the Gambit is successful. If you are doing two different Gambits, treat them individually. If you have a multiplier to damage dealt, the Gambit is also multiplied.

Hitpoints and Healing

Maximum Hitpoints equals Constitution at level 1.

While adventuring, you can consume a ration over Lunch to heal 1d6 HP. If you eat a ration and Sleep on the ground, real 2d6 HP. If you eat a ration and sleep somewhere in real Comfort, heal to full HP.

  • Classic GLOG: At level 1, max HP = CON-4. +2 HP at each level up.
  • Classic GLOG Redux: At level 1, max HP = CON/2. +CON/4 HP at each level up to a max of CON. (this no longer has the chance of starting at -1 max HP)
  • Track the total damage you've taken. Once the total damage goes over your normal max HP, you're in trouble. Remove damage whenever you heal. (These are literal "hit points", and make it a little easier to track).

Getting Hit

To avoid getting hit by enemy attacks, roll Dexterity. Some special attacks might require other rolls, like escaping a grapple with Strength or surviving a crushing weight with Constitution.

  • If you are in a close melee clash with an opponent, only make one roll per round. If you succeed, you hit, if you fail, they hit.
  • Suffer an injury to reroll a failed defence check (by putting your hands in the way of the blade and such).

Armour and Protection

If you are reading this section, you may notice that these rules are a complete mess and have too many Options. I can't decide which way Armour rules should go, and considering how important they are to players, it's a real problem. Send help.

If you've got worn armour that would help against an attack, roll with advantage. Attacks against surprised, prone or grappled enemies will nearly always ignore armour.

Break a shield to reduce the damage from a hit by 1d12.

If you are wearing a proper helmet, break it to block a critical hit.

Light, medium, and heavy armour fill 2, 4, and 6 inventory slots respectively.

Armour can either be managed in sets, or constructed piecemeal, with each suitable item filling an inventory slot. For example, medium armour could be constructed piecemeal out of a helmet, chainmail (2 slots) and gauntlets.

  • CLANK: Medium armour grants advantage on defence rolls, disadvantage on swimming, sneaking, fatigue etc. Heavy armour grants automatic success on defence rolls, and automatic failure on the same set of rolls.
  • Shiny Armour: Each inv. slot of worn armour grants +1 to defence rolls.
  • Meaty Armour Each inv. slot of worn armour grants +1 max HP.
  • Magical robes can grant protection against magical damage, including damage from Mishaps. Pointy wizard hats are especially effective against smiting thunderbolts.
  • Anyone that is specifically unarmoured or wearing magical robes takes bonus damage from large attacks.

Death and Dismemberment

Before it becomes necessary, discuss with the players what amount of Dismemberment is in effect for this particular game. Different settings and tables will have different assumptions, so be mindful. Each of these options are given a little title to help you pick.

At 0 HP...
  • Brutal: You just die. Shucks.
  • Ruthless: If you get hit one more time, you die.
  • Perilous: If you get hit, you have a [damage taken]-in-20 chance of death.
  • Mangling: You suffer a random injury based on the damage taken. You gain another injury each time you get hit while at 0. If you couldn't possibly take that injury (lost a finger while you have no arms etc.) you die.
  • Tragic: Mark one of the following conditions, [prone while at 0HP] [disadvantage on all rolls at 0HP] [permanent injury]. If you get hit again, mark another condition. Crits count as two hits. Clear a mark when you heal. If you can't mark, you die.

Before death, you can either take one more action that is automatically successful, or crawl away holding your guts in, to cling to life for another minute or so.

Arm Leg Torso Head Soul
1 Bicep Bruised Calf Cramp Winded Hair Slashed Dreadful Omen
2 Arm Trapped Leg Caught Flesh Wound Scalp Cut Arcane Mark
3 Fingers Sliced Toes Crunched Ribs Cracked Concussed Haunted!
4 Forearm Broken Shin Split Slow Bleed Ear Gone Mutated!
5 Hand Destroyed Foot Crushed Liver Punctured Eyeball Popped Cursed!
6 Elbow Inverted Knee Shattered Guts Spilled Disfigured Heart Attack
7 Shoulder Pulped Hip Crumpled Spine Severed Skull Cracked Doomed To Die
8 Arm Pulled Off Leg Slashed Sliced In Half Decapitated Soul Obliterated

Stress and Recovery

Stress starts at 0 and is gained through injury, fear, overwork, forced marches, witnessing death and fates worse than death, lack of food, poor living conditions, the terrifying unknown and wet socks.

Stress can be reduced via comfortable beds, luxury foods, spiritual guidance, soap, alcohol, drugs, carousing, gambling and going home. Stress can also be converted into phobias, nightmares, paranoia, despondency, hoarding obsessions and denial. This isn't madness - this is an unfortunately rational response to being stuck in a death-trap dungeon.

If Stress gets above 5, the adventurer will start taking opportunities to reduce their Stress whenever they get a chance, even if you, the player, would rather they do something different. If Stress gets above 10, they will actively rebel against you in order to reduce Stress.


1 HD = 1d8 HP = 4 HP
hi STAT, lo STAT = opponent has dis/advantage on rolls against them = 15/5 in that stat
1dX/1dX = makes two attacks
Slow = Windup at the start of the round as a warning

1 HD, hi DEX, lo ALL, bite 1d4
Wants to pull pranks and find shinies

3 HD, hi STR, sword 1d6/1d6, plate armour and shield
Wants to fight worthy opponents, for honour and glory (and cash)

5 HD, hi STR, hi CON, lo DEX, swipe 1d10, maul 2d4, thick fur
Wants to defend territory and eat lots of food

10 HD, very hi STR, hi CON, fist 1d12, huge weapon 1d20 (slow)
Wants to get all these irritations away, and perform inscrutable rituals

15 HD, hi ALL, talons 1d12/1d12, tail 1d6 reach, chew 5d4, flamebreath 2d20 (slow), iron-hard scales
Wants everything to itself, all the treasure, all the praise, all the fear
Chew requires the Dragon to a grapple a target with it's mouth first


See the GLOG Magic Primer for details on spellcasting. In summary, roll one or more Magic Dice (MD) to power spells, doubles are bad, triples are worse.

Curious and Curiouser: 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.

Spare Parts

All of these are optional

If you want to get a hireling involved in combat, it takes your action to instruct them what to do. Otherwise it is assumed they are staying safe and out of the way.

Some dungeons (or campaigns) use dramatic lighting instead of realistic lighting. Dramatic lighting always has just enough to see, at least dimly, no matter where you are. Torches and lanterns can be used to learn more details in the dark, and see encounters coming from further away.

  • On a critical miss, you have 3 arrows remaining.
  • On a critical miss or critical hit, you've used up half your quiver, and have 3 arrows remaining the second time.

Cashed Up: Start with a number of coins equal to your Charisma.

Be Prepared: Start with an extra item of your choice, or choose one of your starting items to improve.
(This rule especially helps with one-shots, since characters can be unexpectedly hamstrung by the lack of any weapon or opportunity to find one).

Sir Not Appearing In This Film: If all of your stats are below 10 or otherwise terrible, you can choose to reroll all stats (opt: describe how that character died a horrible death). If you keep the bad rolls, you may be eligible for a Unique Secret Reward.

Upon reaching 10, 20, 50, 100 kills with a weapon, it gains one of the following:
  • Increase damage die size
  • +1 crit range
  • Special Ability

Special Abilities Situation
1 Accurate: Advantage when [situation] Below half HP
2 Deadly: +1d6 damage when [situation] At full HP
3 Brutal: x3 crit damage Flanking/behind enemy
4 Well-Balanced: Extra attack range (grapple/melee/thrown/short/long) Fighting particular enemy type
5 Piercing: Ignores armour First round of combat
6 Menacing: Looks incredibly intimidating Third round of combat and after
7 Reinforced: Twice as hard to break Screaming
8 Automatically hit when [situation] and [situation] Charge the enemy
9 x2 damage when [situation] and [situation] Grappling
10 Block attacks when [situation] and [situation] When Death draws near

  1. Lots of tiny crabs working in tandem
  2. One giant claw, one tiny claw
  3. Armed with a toxic sea-urchin (or a gun)
  4. Exceedingly long pincers
  5. Long legs, a long-distance sideways sprinter
  6. Metallic crab
  7. Floating crab with pointy wizard hat

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