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KNAVE is a rules toolkit for running old school fantasy RPGs without classes. Looking for an adventure for Knave? Try The Waking of Willowby Hall.

Features of Knave include:

High compatibility with OSR games. If you have a library of OSR bestiaries, adventure and spell books, little or no conversion is needed to use them with Knave.

Fast to teach, easy to run. If you are introducing a group of new players to OSR games, Knave allows them to make characters and understand all the rules in minutes.

No classes. Every PC is a Knave, a tomb-raiding, adventure-seeking ne’er-do-well who wields a spell book just as easily as a blade. This is an ideal system for players who like to switch up their character’s focus from time to time and don’t like being pigeonholed. A PC’s role in the party is determined largely by the equipment they carry.

Abilities are king. All d20 rolls use the six standard abilities. The way that ability scores and bonuses work has also been cleaned up, rationalized, and made consistent with how other systems like armor work.

Optional player-facing rolls. Knave easily accommodates referees who want the players to do all the rolling. Switching between the traditional shared-rolling model and players-only rolling can be done effortlessly on the fly.

Copper standard. Knave assumes that the common unit of currency is the copper penny. All item prices use this denomination and approximate actual medieval prices.

A list of 100 level-less spells.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: You are free to share and adapt this material for any purpose, including commercially, as long as you give attribution.

Designer commentary. The rules include designer comments explaining why rules were written the way they were, to aid in hacking the game.

Source text. When you purchase this game, you also get a copy of the Word document I used to make it. Edit it to create your own custom Knave ruleset! (You will need the free fonts Crimson Text and Sebaldus-Gotisch to display it properly).

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (15)
Discussions (24)
Customer avatar
Pesto P May 30, 2022 2:00 am UTC
An FYI in the docx file there are some formatting issues.
Pages 5 & 6 Other than that it looks perfect.
Customer avatar
Samuel H March 16, 2022 1:44 am UTC
I'm a little confused. How do you do player-facing rolls?
Customer avatar
Craig W April 11, 2022 1:10 am UTC
I haven't read the book, but generally speaking, if the player does all the rolls, then they roll to attack on their turn and roll to defend on the opponent's turn, saving the DM from having to roll.
Customer avatar
Jesse C March 10, 2021 4:22 pm UTC
I’m trying to figure out how to get the AC of a monster when I only have the number of Hit Die and that’s it. Playing OSR for the first time so this might be a rookie question.
Customer avatar
Caleb K April 14, 2021 7:00 pm UTC
If you want you could just do 10+ the number of HD so a 3HD creature has 13 AC will make easier to hit but thats when you just throw more than 1 at them
Customer avatar
Dylan T February 15, 2021 7:54 pm UTC
Just bought this and very excited to try it out on a small group of tweens/teens in my family! Quick question: There are separate rolls for "starting HP" and "maximum HP" - does that mean the character starts with less than their maximum, but could rest & heal up to their maximum as a first step, unless monsters come wandering by? I'm unclear on the concept of "starting HP" and how to use it. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Cameron W August 20, 2021 2:33 am UTC
I think that's ambiguous wording tripping you up. You roll 1d8 and the result is at once both your maximum HP and your starting HP.
Customer avatar
October 15, 2020 5:57 pm UTC
superb game, easily worth the price, as the "Full Size Preview" makes clear, in the Designer Notes especially. Thank You

Is there a source for a .docx version without the columns, styles and formatting?
Customer avatar
Daniel B September 16, 2020 6:38 am UTC
Took me long enough to find an RPG that fit my needs exactly. Found out about Knave by chance, and it took me one quick Preview read to know this was the one for me. I love it already!
Customer avatar
Rainer G September 10, 2020 7:49 am UTC
Very nitpicky here but rolling 3d6 take lowest gives a +2 as the average ability bonus. One thousand rolls gives the following average probability distribution:
1: 424, 2: 280, 3: 173, 4: 87, 5: 14, 6: 5.
As a percentage those results give us:
1: 42%, 2: 28%, 3: 17%, 4: 9%, 5: 3%, 6: 0.5%.

A +2 bonus ability gives a 35% chance of success to exceed a 15 saving throw.
And yes, a +10 bonus gives a 75% saving throw rate of success.

Table of Ability Bonus to saving throw success:
+1 = 30%
+2 = 35%
+3 = 40%
+5 = 45%
+6 = 50%
+7 = 55%
+8 = 60%
+9 = 70%
+10 = 75%
Customer avatar
Marcelo M May 18, 2022 11:56 pm UTC
Thank you for breaking those numbers down. Personally I think an average 35% sounds good so the players won't just fail too much and get frustrated and end up dying due to several bad rolls in a row.
Ps.: Got the game on somewhere else and I'm enjoying it.
Customer avatar
August 01, 2019 2:31 pm UTC
Hello Ben,

Thanks for the excellent work. I’m using Knave as the basis of a coop/solo dungeon crawler. I have a quick question. What font does the character sheet use?

Thanks again!
Customer avatar
Aidan H May 18, 2020 5:31 am UTC
He has responded to this on twitter, it's IM Fell English.
Customer avatar
Ian F W June 30, 2019 2:48 pm UTC
Hi Ben. Is there a licence page to go with this one, or will any of the 'hack' variants back pages do? Cheers, IanFW
Customer avatar
George W February 15, 2019 1:07 pm UTC
When are we going to see Knave Rats Advanced edition? There must be a way to combine the 2 games perfectly.
Customer avatar
Jeremy H April 04, 2019 3:43 pm UTC
I thought I already commented on this post. Perhaps it vaporized... ed... ed...

What Ajax says x1000. Come on Ben! We know you got the juice. :^)
Customer avatar
Michael H February 13, 2019 10:04 pm UTC
Does anyone know how to contact the publisher? I'm working on a quick hack and would like his input on proper attribution.
Customer avatar
Alexander G February 22, 2019 12:39 pm UTC
You can try twitter, or sending an e-mail questingmaps AT gmail.

Customer avatar
Brian C November 25, 2018 2:22 am UTC
This is my new go-to rpg for OSR gaming, because it can handle any OSR adventure written for any OSR system without any conversion stress. Also, characters are easy to create very quickly (six minutes to create my first character) and there's no headaches when leveling up. So happy to have discovered Knave!
Customer avatar
JOEL P November 24, 2018 2:58 pm UTC
This has become my default system. It's exactly what I want—it's built on the foundations of old school games, but also benefits the refinement and growth that has occurred over the decades. Simple, consistent, easy to learn and run, and 100% compatible with all the great OSR material out there.

I find it especially well-adapted to play-by-post, too.
Customer avatar
Georg M October 17, 2018 12:03 pm UTC
I want to express my utmost gratitude for having this now in my library. This is a superb piece of work, as Craig (below) said. I totally see the possibility of doing a Knave hack for my game-in-development Coldville (set in the 1980s in a rural mining town, it's a Thriller/Mystery game, very dark and bloody, and I never finished it, sadly. I think the Knave treatment would be an excellent format for that game). Knave is definitely on my list for running sometime.
Customer avatar
Craig A September 23, 2018 2:53 am UTC
I just want to congratulate Ben on a superb piece of work. It is concise, very playable, with a lot of attention to layout. This is by far the best small price purchase I've had on Drive thru RPG.
Customer avatar
September 21, 2018 3:10 pm UTC
To the Creator: Is there anyway to put up a PDF of the Character sheet you showed in your review? A PWYW of it for us players? Thanks.
Customer avatar
Benjamin M September 21, 2018 8:35 pm UTC
The character sheet PDF is included in the files you receive when you purchase Knave.
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File Last Updated:
August 26, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on August 26, 2018.