About this Game

Into the Unknown is a fantastical and imaginative Old School Renaissance (“OSR”) game that blends the Basic & Expert rules and style of play of the ’80s with the current 5th edition ruleset of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. It is set in the borderlands of a medieval fantasy world where magic is real, ancient ruins and monsters abound and treasure is plentiful – if you brave the many dangers to seek it out. Learn how make a heroic fighter, a cunning rogue, a wily wizard or a noble cleric, chosen for a divine cause. Then set off on fantastic journeys into the unknown!


    Differences Compared to Standard 5th Edition (5e)

    If you’re coming from the 5th edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game, you may want to know exactly what’s different in this game. Here’s a rundown:

    No race choice – These have been converted into their own optional classes.

    No Sub-classes – To have fewer sub-systems

    Fewer classes – For similar reasons as above, this system restricts itself to the original four core classes and relies on a new mechanic:

    Class Features – A mechanical choice at 1st level that defines your class. It replaces sub-class and wide range of classes and feats, though it strives to be mechanically simpler.

    No Feats – To reduce decision points during character creation, to have fewer different mechanics in play and to augment the maxim that “anyone can try anything”.

    No Skills – Replaced by “Proficiency Areas” to give fewer decision points in character creation and emphasize proficiency as meaningful aspects of characters.

    Only goes to 10th level – most games never go beyond 9th level. This system is focused on where 95% of the gameplay lies and supports the kind of play seen at those levels. The Companion rules, to be released later, will cover high level play.

    Simpler and fewer backgrounds – To keep decision points manageable, this system has a smaller selection. It is simpler, yet allows flexibility to cover all bases.

    No Multi-classing – A simple multiclassing system will be found in the Companion.

    Condensed weapons list – This system folds many different weapons into basically being the same weapon mechanically, with differences between weapons being mechanically distinct.

    Gold for XP – To give players incentives other than killing things on the way to completing an adventurer goal, this system relies on Gold-for-XP as the main source of XP.

    No spellcasting focus or trivial spell components – Detracts from simplicity.

    Simpler encumbrance system – This system tracks encumbrance in Stones and Items carried, rather than tracking pounds of many items.

    Different overland travel system – This system focuses on hex-based overland travel to focus more on the element of exploration and uses a simple unified track to manage encumbrance, weather, terrain, etc.

    Reaction rolls – This game’s default assumption is that initial encounter reactions have an element of unpredictability and that not all enemies necessarily want to fight you.

    Morale – All creatures have a morale score,, reflecting that not all creatures will necessarily want to fight to the death.

    Henchmen – This system assumes the party may want to hire henchmen to help keep them alive and has basic rules to address this.

    Harsher Healing rules – Hit dice for healing is a more sparse resource.

    Shorter Short Rests – These usually take only 10 minutes, but the GM may decide that different circumstances change the time required for long and shorts rests.

    Proficient Saving Throws – All PCs add their proficiency bonus to any saving throw.

    Simpler reach rules – Rather than having to track exact distance between opponents, battlemap style, reach weapons simply provoke opportunity attacks when opponents move within 5 feet of you.

    More coverage of improvised attacks – Since everyone can try anything, this system has more focus on stunts and improvised attacks. It also encourages fighters to get creative by giving them proficiency with any improvised attack.

    Time Tracking – This system has a strong focus on time tracking to keep pacing in the game.

    Full Compatibility – The changes made in this system are balanced towards retaining full compatibility to 5e, so that a 5e character easily can join a gametable playing this system with no conversion needed and vice versa.