Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Searchers of the Unknown

As regular readers of my irregular posts know, I prefer rules-lite games.  Barbarians of Lemuria, B/X D&D and Mini Six just to name a few.  And with a strange obsession I continue to seek them out.  If they are free, all the better.  As a result, I've had a copy of the free Searchers of the Unknown by Nicolas Dessaux on my hard-drive for literally years now.  I glanced at it when I first got it and dismissed it as too light.  There seemed to be nothing there.  Well, sometimes I wonder about myself.  The other day I printed out a copy (all 1 page of it) after seeing it mentioned in the course of searching various forums and websites for an OSR/retroclone game that was low or no magic.  I decided to look at it again because it supposedly only had an adventurer class, no magic users or clerics.

I now think SotU borders on the superb.  The premise is that if the monsters in an old-school game only need one line for stats so do player characters.  And it works if you are looking for a light-weight, quick-playing D&D type game!  You can pick up any adventure or module, make a character in literally moments and be playing moments later.  The touch I like the best is that the to-hit roll is roll under armor class.  Descending armor class finally makes sense to me.

So, if you like rules-lite, quick playing D&D derivatives, take a look at Searchers of the Unknown.  And if you find that it is too lite or that you want magic using classes you can pick up Searchers of the Unknown Expanded free from Lulu.  SotU has also been hacked to other genres.  Here is a website full of them.  To top it off there is a compilation of every known version of SotU up to 2012 located here.  Enjoy!