Grave 1.0 release notes

With its playtest campaign complete, Grave now has an official 1.0 release. The changes from the previous version (v0.9) are mostly subtle, but this is likely to be the last major update (unless I end up very badly wanting to do proper art and layout). Specific changes, organized roughly from biggest to smallest, include:

  • Quality: Not once in six playtest sessions did an item break, even with quality reductions across the board, and quality proved confusing to some players as it was. Now, an item is damaged on its first critical failure, and broken on its second.
  • Death: If your character is dead-dead, you start making a new character immediately to be introduced after combat, in order to save time; your spirit only aids the party if you'll be resurrecting. Also, spirits add +CHA or a d6 to allied rolls—no longer a d10, as it disincentivized increasing CHA over +5.
  • Item slots: Rings and other small jewelry don't count toward slot limits anymore.
  • Spells:  Rephrased some spells for clarity or brevity, giving space at the top for a key of important terms. Also changed "L" to "S" in spell descriptions because players were getting confused and thinking it worked like Knave, with spells scaling to their level, when in fact level just limits how much stamina they can spend. This does make this spell list look slightly less compatible with other old-school games (which do not necessarily have stamina, but do have level), but it's clearer for this game (and easy enough to convert in your head by squinting at it and reading "stamina" as "level," and "S" as "L").
    • Charm: Added text to suggest that it's not very useful to cast on someone you've already stabbed.
    • Dying Star: Kills the caster multiple times over, so as to discourage overuse.
    • Jinx: Minor afflictions now permanent.
    • Sanctuary: Requires 3 full rounds of concentration to cast, so as to discourage use in combat.
  • Magic Items: Rephrased a couple to adapt to new rules or make them more interesting.
    • Demon Magistrate's Gavel: Now breaks armor.
    • Ring of Ruin: Now works with new weapon breakage rules.
    • Gravestone Chip: Nobody ever used it the way it was phrased before. Now it's a slightly more situationally useful version of Sanctuary, letting you transport instantly, but only to a limited number of places.
    • Ring of the Ghostwatcher: Used to be "Ghostcatcher," but that seemed needlessly antagonistic toward ghosts.
    • Ash Wand, Sacrificial Dagger, Holy Medallion: These mainly exist in the rules to suggest a way to use tradition-specific spellcasting implements, if you're so inclined—i.e., let you cast spells with higher stamina at lower levels. I rephrased them so what they actually do is clearer for stamina-based casting, but if you are using these items in a game with leveled spells, think of them as saying that they increase your level for the purposes of determining the max level of spells you can cast.
  • Backgrounds: Changed some starting items for Thief and Marauder. Reworded "memento" for Outcast. 
  • Abilities: Added a note reflecting how I actually refer to Knave abilities with players—not as "bonus" and "defense," but as "active" and "passive." This cleared up a lot of confusion during playtests, but I didn't want to change the core of Knave too much for players already familiar with it.

Also, if you saw this update go up twice, it was because there was a typo in the first version I uploaded, which I corrected while writing this devlog post. 

And there you have it. Keep an eye on my blog for more notes and alternate rules if you're interested, and please do regale me with tales of how this game worked for you at the table.


Grave.pdf 348 kB
Sep 16, 2019
Grave 1.0.docx 111 kB
Sep 16, 2019

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