Daily Illuminator

January 16, 2022: A New Year's Resolution With Knave


The ever-expanding, always evolving indie RPG scene has produced more works of art than I can ever hope to get to the table, but there's one game system that has latched onto my mind, and I won't be free of its clutches until I get the game onto the table for at least a single session. Ben Milton's Knave, published in 2018, has everything I want from an old-school, rules-light, crawl through the dungeon and slaughter monsters sorta roleplaying game. The mechanics are similar enough to most fantasy dungeoncrawl systems that you can basically snatch inspiration – whether monsters, treasures, magic, or entire dungeons – from almost anywhere, while everything about the game is minimal without being so simple and full of holes that it leaves the GM and players to craft their own game from the bones of an idea.

One definite in 2022 is finally getting Knave to the table and running the game for a few close friends. We've already been spending time with other games over the last few months (the Adventure Begins game, a Dungeons & Dragons boardgame, is light and remarkably has some fantastic ideas hiding inside the box), so it is only a matter of time until Knave officially drops on the table.

As part of preparing for a Knave session, I went ahead and bought a small stack of copies of the game in print from L.F. OSR, and it won't be much longer before we crack open the game and take a stab at it. (I may very well use the Deep Dark Wood hexcrawl from Crumbling Keep when I run Knave, because there are enough fun ideas wrapped up in the Deep Dark Wood book that I just have to tackle them at some point . . . and it may as well be the adventure framework I use for our Knave session. I just hope none of the players are reading this!)

Have you got any personal experience with Knave and suggestions for how I can best use the game engine for a fantasy RPG session? Please email me and share your thoughts on how the game plays!

-- Phil Reed

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