Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NEW: The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection Available for Free Download

I noticed that many of the links to the various Searchers of the Unknown games listed in my Searchers of the Unknown One Page RPG: The Many Variants post from about a year ago have gone bad. Some of them seem to have disappeared from the Net completely (except behind Scribd's download paywall which is really annoying given that the games themselves are free). Therefore I decided to quickly toss together a collection of SotU games as a PDF and make it available for free download.

The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection is a compilation of Searchers of the Unknown based games. This collection is made available for free and is not to be sold. Each individual game is a separate entity. is copyrighted separately (if at all), and is available for free. The author of each individual game is solely responsible for his or his work. No editing of individual games has been done.

If you aren't familiar with Searchers of the Unknown, it is a one-page roleplaying game where player characters are entirely defined by a minimalist old school Dungeons & Dragons one line tat block (e.g. "AC 7, MV 9, HD 2, hp 9, #AT 1, D 1d8 mace") something like monster stat blocks in early editions of D&D. All actions are based on those stats. Armor class is the old school “lower is better,” but the way armor class is used in SotU it makes sense with armor class generally helping against attacks but hindering initiative and attempts to be stealthy. The basic SotU generally uses a level plus AC roll under mechanic, using an opponent's AC when attacking or the character's own AC when trying to be stealthy. Saves require a roll under level plus 4. Variants versions of SotU use D20 or Target20 rolls. In the basic game, all characters are human adventurers. Supplements add demi-humans and spell-casting classes. Like Microlite20, the original Searchers of the Unknown rules inspired a large number of similar games based on the same principles, ranging from simple variants like SotU Refired to modern day games, science fiction games, after the holocaust games, etc. Most of these games are complete in one or two pages. A few have additional supplements of their own.

In addition to the standard Searchers of the Unknown rules (and a small number of optional systems and expanded rules), The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection (2012 Edition) includes the following Searchers of the Unknown-based role-playing games: Dwarven Glory (and supplement), Karry on Krawling, Witches of N'kai, Adventurers!, Cyborg Samurai Are Go!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Funkin Fists of Fu, Jung Guns, Raiders of the Unknown, The Bastards, Brickmasters of the Unknown, Mutant Got Gunz, Mutant Scavengers of the Ruined Earth (and a supplement), Tempora Mutantur (and many supplements), Searchers in Spaaaace!!!, Scavengers & Spacewrecks, Swashbucklers of Mars (and a supplement), and Song of the Symbi.

You can download the current (2012 Revised) edition of The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection here. The current edition is approximately 3.75 megs and about 68 pages. The download is via Mediafire.

The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection (2012 Revised Edition)

Update: The original link has been replaced by a link to the 2012 Revised Edition published a few days after this post with new and updated material. See UPDATE: The Searchers of the Unknown RPG Collection Revised Available for Free Download for more information on the update.

The Leap Month Cancer Fund Drive is on (through the end of February 2012). Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of five items described in the above-linked post: Daystar West Media edition of Pharaoh (1980)(won by Nelson Davis), FEZ 1 (the 1982 Valley of Trees version), the Quest for the Fazzlewood from Metro Detroit Gamers, Empire of the Petal Throne boxed set, and a set of all of the issues of The Strategic Review and the first ten issues of Dragon Magazine. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. This is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $940 dollars have been donated. That's 31% of our goal and over 62% of the way to the second drawing trigger point of $1500 dollars.


  1. I love you, man. I most of these a year ago in a harddrive crash, not backed up. Thanks and just for that, donation on the way!

  2. @Robert: I did not realize the linkrot in my SotU post was as bad as it was. Fortunately, I had many of the older and missing variants backed up to DVD from 15 months ago or I've had been out of luck as well. I changed computers last April and missed a whole set of folders when I moved stuff to the new drive.

  3. And he strikes again!

    I have been trying to track these down forever (or so it seems).

    Now I have to schedule more reading time...I'll have to inform the wife that the 'honey-do' list will have to modified...hehehe...

    Thanks again man...it's good to have something interesting AND meaty to read after the winter drought.

  4. Excellent, for me SOTU is like the Rosetta Stone of D&D.

    I redid most of my SOTU variants last year as there were little fixes and improvements needed, so these are older versions. I think there's also a SOTU Wilderness Encounter Table on my home computer. I still like Nicholas' original the best though :)

  5. @Nicolas: Thanks for creating the original SotU. It's a game little game and has inspired a lot of good spin-offs.

    @Sean: Is there any way I could get copies of your latest revisions? I can put out a revised edition of the SotU Cllection (as I had to do with the original 2010 edition of the Microlite20 collection). Robert has already sent me a supplement for Brickmasters that I wasn't aware of, but I need more to truly justify a revised version. :)

    @ADD Grognard: At least the SOTU Collection is a shorter read than the M20 Collection.

  6. Sean has emailed the latest revisions to his SotU games. (Thanks Sean!) I should have a 2012 Revised edition out this weekend.

  7. If it's not too late, I'd like to contribute "Supers of the Unknown" (at my website: www.dominowriting.com/games.html). It's Microlite 20 Costumes revised for SotU.

  8. @Andrew: I can't believe I missed this as I just checked your Games page for new M20 material a few days ago. Thanks for pointing it out. It should be in the 2012 Revised edition.

  9. Haven't had time to read through it all yet, but I did want to drop a line and say thanks for compiling it all. I really appreciate the work you put into it.

  10. Late to the party as usual, but I thought I'd thank you as well for compiling this.

    Not that I don't love Microlite, mind you... ;)