Death By Misadventure

January 09, 2020 - 3 min read

You’re a group of adventurers who died in a dungeon. Now you’re the ghosts who haunt it.

A new adventurer has entered the dungeon to defeat the monsters and claim the loot. Too bad they have no idea what they’re doing.


  1. One player is “the Adventurer”. All other players are “the Ghosts”. Decide whether the Adventurer even realizes the Ghosts are present, and if so how.
  2. The Adventurer has three scores: HP (how strong and sturdy they are), Confidence (how ready they feel for the dungeon), and Loot (how much stuff they’ve acquired so far).
  3. HP and Confidence start at 4. Loot starts at 2. Stats cannot go above 8. If a stat would fall below 1, the game ends: the adventurer is wounded and retreats (HP), the adventurer’s gear is lost (Loot), and the adventurer gives up and retires to become a farmer (Confidence).
  4. The game is played by the group narrating a series of events. During each event, the Adventurer, the Ghosts, and the events themselves, all want to enact their agendas.
  5. There are two types of events: random encounters and bosses. If any Ghost declares “I’m running a boss”, proceed to that event. Otherwise, generate a random encounter.
  6. To generate a random encounter, one or more Ghosts roll 2d6 (one die tens place, the other ones place) and look at the table below. They then offer a choice of routes to the Adventurer. They can say anything or nothing about what the route has in store, but must honestly reveal the result once the Adventurer chooses a route.
  7. Don’t play through more than (6 minus the number of total players) random encounters without a boss encounter.
  8. To generate a boss encounter, the Ghost announces the agenda for the boss in terms of stat gains or losses.
  9. To resolve an event, allocate numbers 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 to the event itself, and then the Adventurer (if they dislike the event’s agenda for some reason), and any Ghosts who prefer a different outcome. Not every player must have an agenda for every event.
  10. If only the event has an agenda, it comes to pass. Otherwise, the Adventurer rolls a d4, d6, d8, d10, or d12, depending on how many agendas must be accommodated. Whichever agenda had the range the roll falls into gets enacted - the event happens, the Adventurer prevails, or the Ghosts use their powers to get their way.
  11. The “Make Camp” event is special. Rather than rolling, one player tells a story about a previous adventure in a dungeon.
  12. To enact an agenda, modify the Adventurer’s stats up or down by 1 as appropriate. For example, “+HP +Confidence” means raise HP and Confidence by 1.
  13. The game ends successfully when every Ghost has run a boss encounter. Otherwise, move on to generating and resolving the next event.


  • Stay alive (+HP)
  • Get rich (+Loot)
  • Feel good (+Confidence)


  • Get the goods out of here/spite the dungeon denizens (+Loot)
  • Why should this dork get anything? (-Loot)
  • Encourage the adventurer (+Confidence)
  • Prank the poor schmuck (-Confidence)
  • Keep a fellow adventurer alive (+HP)
  • Drive them away from here (-HP)


11: Holy Spring (+HP)

12: Make Camp!

13: Goddess Statue (+HP +Loot)

14: Goblin Potion Seller (+HP -Loot)

15: Blessed by Priest (+HP +Confidence)

16: Dwarf Bread (+HP -Confidence)

21: Make Camp!

22: Poison Cloud (-HP)

23: Trapped Chest (-HP +Loot)

24: Rust Monster (-HP -Loot)

25: Narrow Escape (-HP +Confidence)

26: Spoiled Rations (-HP -Confidence)

31: Gem-Studded Armor (+Loot +HP)

32: Theft Gone Wrong (+Loot -HP)

33: Treasure Chest (+Loot)

34: Make Camp!

35: Gemstone Cache (+Loot +Confidence)

36: Troll Swallowed the Gold (+Loot -Confidence)

41: Mugged by Fairies (-Loot +HP)

42: Mugged by Bugbears (-Loot -HP)

43: Make Camp!

44: Toll Bridge (-Loot)

45: Gnome Beggar (-Loot +Confidence)

46: Lost Backpack (-Loot -Confidence)

51: Good Campsite (+Confidence +HP)

52: Harrowing battle (+Confidence -HP)

53: Rescued Dwarf (+Confidence +Loot)

54: Rescued Kender (+Confidence -Loot)

55: Weak Kobolds (+Confidence)

56: Make Camp!

61: Hide From Patrols (-Confidence +HP)

62: Obvious Trap (-Confidence -HP)

63: Lootable Corpse (-Confidence +Loot)

64: Ogre Bully (-Confidence -Loot)

65: Make Camp!

66: Maze of Dead Ends (-Confidence)