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Cairn is an adventure game for one facilitator (the Warden) and at least one other player. Players act as hardened adventurers exploring a dark & mysterious Wood filled with strange folk, hidden treasure, and unspeakable monstrosities.

Based on Knave by Ben Milton and Into The Odd by Chris McDowall, Cairn is an attempt at making Into The Odd semi-compatible with popular OSR settings like Dolmenwood. Character generation is quick and random, classless, and rely on fictional advancement rather than through XP or level mechanics. The game itself is rules-light but functional, leaving most rulings up to the Warden.

Cover art by Cosmic Orrery Games.

Traditional character sheet created created by Licopeo.

Token character sheet created bordercholly.

Tokens are largely art created by Carlos Castilho. 

Some tokens created by Licopeo.

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Alexander D May 12, 2022 5:24 am UTC
Of all the minimalist OSRish systems I've seen so far, this is a nice blend of simplicity, freedom, and logic. The only problem is that the description leads the reader to think that there's a dark, mysterious, woodland setting to explore; there isn't. Cairn does provide the tools to create such a setting, but it could easily be for any setting.
Customer avatar
Daniel F February 04, 2022 3:55 pm UTC
I really wish authors would export their pdfs as text to review the flow. This is all too common but cairn is exceptionally scrambled. This makes text to voice is almost impossible to follow.
Not Accessible.
Customer avatar
Yochai G February 04, 2022 4:46 pm UTC
The text is fully available on the SRD here:

I've also recorded myself reading it aloud; I'm still formatting it but I'd be happy to share the files (chapter form) with you. From what I can tell, it seems OK? But I did write it, so take it with a grain of salt.
Customer avatar
James M April 22, 2021 4:28 pm UTC
Fantastic game and great art!
One question. The Ranger optional gear package on page 10 has a Bloodhound companion with no STR score. Is the intent that if the Bloodhound has its HP reduced below 0 it automatically takes critical damage and dies as there is no STR score to subtract from or should the Warden just provide an appropriate STR score for the Bloodhound?
Customer avatar
Yochai G April 22, 2021 4:51 pm UTC

When a creature or NPC does not have its score listed, it typically means that they have the default score (e.g. 10).

Cairn inherited this from Into The Odd. I should have that more explicit! See here for more:
Customer avatar
Umberto P April 09, 2021 9:30 am UTC
Hi, I am really impressed by the game. It is my fav Into The Odd iteration so far!
I only have a question. On page 4 the text says:
"Give the players weapon trainers and personal quests to facilitate improvement and specialization."
What should weapon trainers do mechanically? And what about specialization?
There are rules (or written rulings for these anywhere)?
Thank you and keep up with the good work!
Customer avatar
Yochai G April 09, 2021 12:30 pm UTC
Thanks for the kind words.

Your question is a good one, and perhaps falls into the final question in the FAQ ( "How do PCs advance without things like levels or XP?"
I might actually add to it because of this. Thank you again.

Basically, characters can get better through a myriad of ways. If PCs were to spend time with a weapons trainer, I'd work it out in a few different ways. The results can be mechanical or happen through the fiction, or both.

- Two days of study under a former royal archer has taught you how to fire arrows more effectively. Attacks with a longbow are enhanced.
- After two weeks' of daily practice with the Blade of Gwoed, you feel confident enough to use it the deadly weapon in combat. Critical Damage: target loses a limb or is disembowled (your choice).
- Three days' worth of study under the tutelage...See more
Customer avatar
Umberto P April 09, 2021 3:34 pm UTC
Thank you for the examples! May I suggest you to insert them in the core book, maybe in a specific, even if small chapter? It would make the game feel much more complete.
Customer avatar
Yochai G April 09, 2021 3:44 pm UTC
The core book is probably not going to change unfortunately as it already very hard to fit more text and keep the page count. Perhaps in a second edition?
But I did add them here:
Customer avatar
Jayme A February 11, 2021 8:07 pm UTC
I'm happy to hear this is getting a POD release! And the updates don't bother me one bit. Downloads take two seconds, but typos are forever.
Customer avatar
Michael S January 21, 2021 4:31 pm UTC
Do we REALLY need daily — sometimes TWICE daily — file updates? Or could you maybe include a changelog or append version numbers to the file names so we know whether to bother downloading this YET AGAIN? I must have close to twenty copies of this game on my hard drive right now, and it's become more than a bit annoying.
Customer avatar
Michael S January 22, 2021 7:08 am UTC
And another update. That was TWO yesterday. Why should I keep downloading this OVER AND OVER AND OVER? What changed?
Customer avatar
Jayme A January 25, 2021 7:47 pm UTC
According to the changelog in My Library,

"Added a rules summary to the back of the included character sheet!"
Customer avatar
Yochai G January 26, 2021 2:45 am UTC
If I find a typo, I will update the PDF. I don't usually announce why (to save folks the trouble of looking at emails).
I presume you are using the app (i don't use it) and it is telling you, or something (I only see updates for PDFs when I go to the Library page. I didn't realize it was give folks multiple versions of the file - my apologies. Regardless, I've pretty much finished with this thing (most of the changes recently were undiscovered errors after importing to Affinity).
Anyway, have a nice day.
Customer avatar
David J February 11, 2021 10:43 pm UTC
Calm down dude. Maybe don't leave the DTRPG app open. Or just don't use it at all. It's pretty bad.
Customer avatar
Michael S February 11, 2021 11:41 pm UTC
I don't use the app. I get an email every time the file is updated. Any time I get multiple emails in a day, I wonder why someone isn't just taking note of typos for an occasional (weekly? monthly?) errata fix. Or better yet, finding a bloody proofreader or editor before publishing. Amateur hour, anyone?
Customer avatar
David J February 11, 2021 11:52 pm UTC
You're getting angry, being rude, and complaining about a free product. You can delete it from your library any time you like. Which you should, for your own good, because for some reason getting emails gives you fits.
Customer avatar
Michael S February 12, 2021 1:45 am UTC
Sorry, dude. I'm not angry. As for rude, you're the one who decided to open this up to discussion again. Yochai Girl answered my complaint weeks ago, and you decided for some reason that your opinion and mistaken assumptions mattered.
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Product Information
File Size:
75.32 MB
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File Last Updated:
April 20, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on October 06, 2020.
Yochai Gal
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