Searchers of the Unknown

Searchers of the Unknown

My intention was to write about Coureurs d'Orages, the game by Islayre d'Argolh, but since it claims its filiation to Searchers of the Unknown, I'll look at the ancestor first.

The concept of Searchers of the Unknown thrones at the top of its single page rules:

A typical old-school D&D module stats list for a monster looks like this: (AC6, MV9’, HD 1, hp 4, #AT1, D1-10 by halberd). The idea is that, if it’s enough for monsters, it should be enough for PCs too. This light-rule system enables to play these modules in that way.

I opened a copy of B1: In Search of the Unknown and yes, that's the way monster stats appear in there.

So, Searchers of the Unknown is reverse engineered so that it can faifthfully play those old modules where the only hard data are very compact monster stats. Now, combine the concept with the game subtitle "another minimal way to play D&D" and it's no surprise that the rules fit a single page.

What I like about the rules:

Example character sheet:

Humphrey the bald (AC 5 MV 6 HD 3 hp 14 #AT 1 D 1d10 halberd)

Searchers of the Unknown can be found for free on Lulu as a PDF.

There are many games based on it, there is a compilation of them available on PDF, it contains the original SotU and 28 of its children, it was compiled around 2012. Nicolas "Snorri" Dessaix also maintains Searchers of the Unknown where they are listed, the newer entries are from 2020.

Not all of the "children" are one page long and not all of them respect the initial concept, but it's a pleasure to see these explosions of creativity.

The illustration at the top of the post is taken from Hunters of the Unknown, a SotU-like game by John Grümph, it comes in two versions, a 26 page one in French and a 1 pager, in English.

Beautiful exercices de style.