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An ultra-lite, solo, no-prep dungeon crawler! A system agnostic rule set that can be used as a stand alone one-shot or as a plug in for other OSR games. As a stand alone game, Harper's Quest uses a rogue-like mechanic that lets your future generations fight through the dungeon with acquired heirlooms and some extra gold to help your lineage along. 

Why they're in the dungeon and what they're after is entirely up to you. 

If you're short on time and want to just relax and roll some dice with some lite OSR rules, this game is for you. At least 3D6, 1D8, 1D10, 1D12 and 1D20 are needed. Or an app that rolls dice.

Comes with a Booklet - ready to print, and the Adventure Sheet which has everything you need to track your character, encounters and has a reusable dungeon room!

A room generator is also available here: https://perchance.org/hqroom

The adventure sheet is very important. It contains reference tables and additional rules.

  • Includes Color and B&W versions of the booklet!
  • Rules are printed on a single page and folded into an 8-page pocket booklet, see the Adventure Sheet for folding instructions.
  • Use with minis, meeples, action figures, theatre of the mind or 2d dungeon cut outs from amazing creators like Inked Adventures.
  • Simple enough to introduce kids to RPG mechanics.
  • Characters you create with this game can easily be transferred to other OSR games and campaigns.
  • Uses ascending armor class, a single saving throw  and options for easy, normal or hard difficulties.
  • Universal/generic monster table allows for substituting for use in any genre.
  • Now includes an adventure Castle of Chronos, with time magic, new monsters and a new d10 damage weapon the Crystal Sword.

Need some inspiration because being an adult eviscerated any remaining imagination or creativity? Just buy these Game Master's Apprentice Cards. They have all the inspiration you'll need.

None of the endorsements above are paid, they are just really useful products.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(17 total ratings)
AuthorJoyPeddler Games


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Harpers Quest Layout BW v1.11.pdf 4 MB
Harpers Quest Layout Color v1.11.pdf 4 MB
Harpers_Quest_Adventure_Sheet v1.12.pdf 2 MB

Development log


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It's alright


thanks for the comment. Always willing to hear critiques!


I think as a story generator, it's fine. Life is random, but as a game, it felt like there was a little to much randomness I couldn't really make much decisions unless I got lucky and bought some items and spells. 

On my first playthrough, I did not land a shop once which you can imagine how frustrating that'd be lol.

Don't get me wrong, I like rolling dice but I want to fail because it's my fault, if you know what I mean. 

One suggestion that comes to mind is to maybe have persistent money/items between games and before the start of each game, buy your equipment then. For the maps, you could have tiles that are more likely to be something good, but also something bad, or neutral. That way, if you take more risk getting money or loot, you also have a chance to get more/better gear later on.

To be honest, I didn't really know how to work the encounter tracker, lol. Maybe some suggestions on how to use it?

The Heirlooms are a pretty good idea, I think. Not sure if there's a way to balance it with my other suggestions. 

But I understand the point of this game, rules light, don't have to do much, just roll and watch things happen. So don't feel as if you must implement what I've said. :)

Thanks for the details.  I agree it is quite random. My desire for the game was to be pretty low-effort on the player side. I came at this game from the perspective of a player that is short on time and just wants to roll some dice one night they have some free time (aka pretty much me at the time). That being said, I have learned alot from this community as a result and think that some of the other adventures scratch that story itch a little bit. Red Death is pretty free form until you get to different parts where you can choose to utilize the dungeon generation mechanics from HQ.  By no means are any of my games perfect and will always result from tweaks. One of my goals for 2022 is to issue a new version that refines from lessons learned that feedback. 

The persistent money/items is good idea and I was trying to use the heirlooms to accomplish that, but those only work if you fail, and so I see what you mean about that.

The encounter tracker is basically boxes to write in AC and HP for your enemy then as  HP goes down you write the next value below. Thanks again for your comments.

The word that comes to mind when looking at Harper's Quest is "Cozy". The layout is large, clean, and inviting, the artwork is warm, friendly, and consistent, and the whole thing oozes a consistent tone that says "Climb down into a basement and explore this damp dungeon".

Any game with a grappling hook is off too a good start, and I really just can't emphasis enough how much I love the aesthetic of the large text with the clean, almost-painted drawings. The game is simple, at just 9 pages, but it does what it wants to do perfectly, and that's emulate an OSR-like experience in a nonthreatening and, well, cozy way.

I am so glad and grateful you are enjoying Harper's Quest! Thank you for the kind words. I love the "cozy" description!

Harper's Quest is the kind of thing I could imagine myself playing while waiting in line at a convention. It's rules-light, easy to explain (especially to those familiar with TTRPGs) and hinges quite a bit on GM creativity. For some people that may be less your thing, but personally I adore games that do the math part for me and allow me fill in monsters' aesthetic details with whatever comes to mind. This is helped by the clean layout (especially on the adventure sheets) which keep everything truncated and manageable. If you're looking for a bite-sized OSR dungeon crawl, this is definitely worth a look!


I hope that one day we can get back to going to cons! You're absolutely right in that this game gives you the skeleton for the dungeon and it's up to you to "flesh" it out. Thank you for the review and positive feedback! It's so encouraging!

Harper's Quest is an osr dungeon-crawler aimed at delivering an easy-to-learn, low prep delving experience.

The PDF is 9 pages, with neat custom art in full color.

The book gets right to the meat of what it's about with no preamble, but the layout organizes everything in a way that makes it super easy to read.

Game setup takes minutes. You roll up a number of dungeon rooms, then some random stats. The damage that you deal is controlled by a difficulty toggle (set the game on easy and deal more damage per hit,) and the frequency of dungeon encounters can similarly be customized.

There's a small slate of flavorful random encounters, and there's variety to the individual bosses and creature fights that you can cross paths with as well.

There's also a neat roguelike twist, in that if your character dies, their successor gets a share of their stuff.

If you haven't played an rpg before, you might be a little confused with Harper's Quest. That said, it should otherwise be quick to pick up.

Overall, this is a great pocket system. It's extremely lightweight, but not without that familiar crunch, and there's a free published adventure for it (Castle of Chronos, link above) as well. If you're looking to dungeon-dive at the drop of a hat, this is definitely a game you should check out.

Minor Issues:

-The first page being a spread of all the pages in the book feels a little strange. I don't think it's a problem, but also I had a moment of "did I open the wrong PDF" on encountering it.

-Is there one new door per room? I couldn't figure out if there was a formula for generating how many doors, rather than which type of door.

-I didn't see anywhere other than the last page that referenced heirlooms. I love the idea, I just wasn't sure what it pointed to.


Thank you for the great review and feedback! Sorry for the initial shock of opening the pocket mod! 

To answer your questions, yes there is 1 door per room, so you just need to roll to see the type of door. 

The heirlooms are listed on the Adventure Sheet. That sheet is super important to fully play the game. 

I have adjusted game page and download message to reinforce the importance of the Adventure Sheet.

Nevermind. I am an idiot.

I don't see a comment? I'm sure you're not lol.