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Cairn $0.00
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Cairn
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Paul [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2024 15:21:50

Very well thought out and presented. Four our of five stars only because there is nothing on the intended setting, which would have been very nice.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Noah [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2024 10:16:49

Attack rolls are absent; instead, there are only damage rolls. Dodge and Block abilities have been combined into an "Armor" mechanism that directly reduces damage. PCs possess ten item slots, with injuries deducting these slots. When they run out of either HP or slots, they die. Only three abilities (STR/DEX/WIL) are present, solely used for checks (save), with no impact on HP or attack capabilities, among other abilities.

The rules are very light, which also means they are highly compatible. The game principles' intro is one of the finest OSR concept introductions I've found. Additionally, conversion materials are abundant for OSR adventures available on the official website.

The game rules are quite concise, so my praise will also be brief, but its merits extend far beyond that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Noah [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2024 10:16:49

Attack rolls are absent; instead, there are only damage rolls. Dodge and Block abilities have been combined into an "Armor" mechanism that directly reduces damage. PCs possess ten item slots, with injuries deducting these slots. When they run out of either HP or slots, they die. Only three abilities (STR/DEX/WIL) are present, solely used for checks (save), with no impact on HP or attack capabilities, among other abilities.

The rules are very light, which also means they are highly compatible. The game principles' intro is one of the finest OSR concept introductions I've found. Additionally, conversion materials are abundant for OSR adventures available on the official website.

The game rules are quite concise, so my praise will also be brief, but its merits extend far beyond that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Roger J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2023 16:15:05

Cairn is my go-to for a beginner-friendly D&D-like fantasy experience. It lends itself to solo, collaborative, or GM-driven gameplay. The core rules fit on just a few pages, and I found that players with a little bit of D&D knowledge picked it up no problem. It's easy to adapt scenarios for other systems to use Cairn.

It's very playable as is, with very little preparation, but it's also extremely adaptable as well.

I feel like it would also work well with a hex crawl adventure or a West Marches-style campaign with little effort, although I tend to run more focused scenarios.

If you like Cairn, you may like some of its descendants and relatives:

  • Grave (a dark fantasy OSR with some Souls-like mechanics such as bonfires, an interesting alternative to permadeath while keeping a dark tone)
  • Knave is very similar to Cairn but is classless, and is streamlined in someways and crunchier in others
  • Monolith is, imo, the best science fiction OSR-like game out there. I am running the Gradient Descent campaign currently using Monolith, and my players are having a blast.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Pablo J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2023 06:58:01

Cairn: 5 stars. Softcover: 1 star.

I highly recommended Cairn for those looking to rediscover the essence of RPGs. It's a classless system. You are what you can do. Simplicity is key. Adapting creatures, spells, and even combat mechanics is a seamless process. However, the magic system could benefit from further development.

The book cannot be open 180º on the table. I recommend buying the pdf, then print and staple it yourself. It'll be better.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Alise [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2023 02:42:34

I liked this game, it is very interesting, I recommend playing it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Colin H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2023 04:16:37

Taking RPG back to basics but with some real interesting concepts. Recommended



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Will C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2023 10:39:16

Such a simple, compact ruleset. And yet still do easy to expand into a fuller homebrew campaign. This style really harkens back to Steve Jackson's old, The Fantasy Trip, ruleset with fighters and wizards only, and primarily arena combat. Many of those creatures and spells could easily be adapted to Cairn, as well as the combat metric if wished. But you could just as easily phase into D20, or 3e, Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl, or even 5e with some slow building. Heck, it's loose enough that you could introduce a lot of Fate metrics and move that direction. I would like some leveling of skills and skill sets, as well as more character attribute dimensions. As well, the magic use needs some attention -- as written it seems pretty thin and undevelopable.But I'm actually pretty overawed at how playable and rich this ruleset can seem with so very little framework. Ten gold stars for the effort.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/15/2023 01:05:24

A simple rules system for old school D&D styles of play. My group appreciated the system when I ran it. They had not had retainers made such a core part of the gameplay before.

Some groups may not like the lack of leveling. Characters progress in other ways but far less than in many RPGs. Players like the classless element. Its a great system for a pickup game. I'd be interested to try it with players who are completely new to RPGs, since in many ways that is the audience I have in mind when I think of very rules light games like this.

Printing a copy and stapling it was easy.

Try it out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by Alexander D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2022 00:34:56

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.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cairn
Publisher: Yochai Gal
by John H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2020 19:06:40

This little supplement is shocklingly good. I't very unique, to the point that I wouldn't adopt it wholesale just because I already have a rules system I use that meets my minimalistic preferences. However, Cairn is the kind of thing that doesn't have to be (or even ask to be) adopted wholesale. Any one of its components would make for a really interesting thing to try out in a homebrew setting. I'm particularly jazzed about the list of 100 spells, all of which are effectively level 0 in this scheme. I'd really like to try that out. Also, it's great that this is geared toward wilderness settings, as that happens to be my bag. Three thumbs up! P.S. And it's free? Someone nominate Yochai for the Nobel Prize for Weird Awesome Free Stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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