Dan's Diminutive d20

Newly Released: Dan's Diminutive d20 is a free, minimal offshoot of the d20 System, published under the Open Game License. It assumes familiarity and use of the 3rd Edition System Reference Document (plus open game content from Unearthed Arcana). Major features include:
  • Generic Classes: 3 core classes (Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard), with easy-to-remember saves and skills.
  • Limited Levels, Magic, and Feats: Limited to 12 character levels, 5 magic items maximum, and class bonus feats only.
  • Level-Based Skills: No skill points are spent or recorded.
  • Equipment in Brief: Your core adventuring needs, with a unique measurement system that makes encumbrance a snap.
  • Monsters Redux: All the major monsters, reduced to fit in just 3 pages.

If my "Diminutive d20" sounds like something you'd like to check out, go download it over here: http://www.superdan.net/dimd20 . Comments welcome!


  1. Welcome to the ranks of dabblers in all things d20 light! :)

    Perhaps you can offer some design insights on what you chose to keep and why, maybe comparing and contrasting with existing efforts like M20 (or variants thereof such as M74 or M20 Hard Core).

  2. Hey, Alex! Good idea, I'll probably need a blog post or two with my design notes.

    Regarding other options, I've really been surprised at how far they're willing to veer from basic D&D. For example, I consider the "core" of the D&D game to be (stuff in every edition OD&D-3E) stuff like the 6 abilities, archetypal classes, class-based Hit Dice, AC, attacks, and Vancian wizards.

    With Microlite20, the first thing I see is they cut the abilities down to 3, which is alone enough to turn me away. (Also: no class-based Hit Dice or attacks, magic costing hit points). With True20, I can't deal with the change from hit points to a Toughness save/wound status track.

    So in short, I haven't yet found an offering that got closely enough to the "core" of D&D so far.

  3. Dan,

    I just read through the pdf and I like many of your suggestions (i.e. traps, limited level range, magic item limits, encumbrance, etc). I'm looking forward to those blog posts of design notes.

  4. Ironically, a lot of the key things you identified were retained for 4E, as are the changes.

    6 abilities - Still there
    Archetypal classes - All the old favorites are there, and roles are more strongly defined than any other edition since BD&D
    Class-based Hit Dice - Class based HP still there, CON is much less relevant than in any other edition since BD&D
    Class based AC - Paladins again have the best AC
    Class based attacks - Yup
    Vancian wizards - Not so much

    A lot of your ideas make it in there too... Magic item limits, simpler skills, interactive traps, etc.

    I was skeptical about 4E, as an old BD&D / AD&D player, but since playing it for a few weeks I've been pleasantly surprised with how much it feels like older editions.

    Just my $0.02, though.

    I like the thought behind DimD20; I've seen a similar version out there designed to fit into a pocket as a small booklet. The Stone ENC system is solid.


  5. Hey, Chris -- as you can see above, all it takes is just a single core variant item to turn me off to something as "not D&D". With 4E ditching Vancian wizards, Hit *Dice* (specifically d4/d6/d8-10), and class-based attack bonuses, it's not for me.

    Heck, I could just barely stomach letting go of Clerics *in my own rules*. Heh. :)

  6. Glad to see you making a new post here! Along with Jeff's Gameblog this blog inspired me to begin my own humble posting. Why? I've no idea now, but your posts certainly made me think about the OD&D rules and how they could me home brewed/house ruled to one's own taste. While the same is true of any edition of D&D, with OD&D I found I had to 'remove' less to get to where I wanted to be. Anyway, please continue your excellent takes and theories on D&D. I for one check here quite frequently.