What the Chaos Monk can do for your D&D game

Today, I clicked over to Chris Kutalik’s beautiful blog Hill Cantons (I have no clue why he doesn’t post any more, does anyone know what happened?) and, for probably the tenth time in five years, read his hilarious Chaos Monk character class. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about it is perfect. The tongue-in-cheek presentation. The chaos monk’s abilities (they look absolutely useless at first glance, but they offer so many possibilities). And, of course, the illustration. Perfection.

You really don’t need much to play real D&D. Certainly not the rulebooks. And the Chaos Monk reminded me of that.

You know I love D&D, and I play it way too little. And, at least from time to time, I like rolling damage, and having classes. I hope I can play again once our move is over, but for now, I can dream. I dream of what Jeff Rients called “walking-around D&D”: D&D played with the rules I can remember.

So, behold my Flailsnail rules.

Your Hero

  • Roll the six stats, 3d6. 4 or less gets a –2 “bonus”. 5–7 a –1. 8 to 12 gets no bonus. 13–16 gets a +1, 17+ a +2.
  • Your save is 18–level. Roll equal to or higher to save successfully.
  • Choose any class you can find (even for The Black Hack), preferably one that has a few special abilities the character gets when he levels up.


  • Group initiative, roll 1d6, higher side starts. Simultaneous violence if both sides roll the same number.
  • Do one thing in a turn
  • Attack: d20+bonus+level/HD (for fighter types), half-level/HD (for cleric types) or none (for magic types), roll the opponent’s AC or higher
  • Either Ascending armor class: 11 no armor, 13 light armor, 15 heavy armor, shields add +2
  • OR Difficulty Number set by the referee
  • Variable Damage Dice: d4 light (daggers etc), d6 normal (swords, pistols, etc), d8 heavy (polearms, rifles, etc), d10 elite (alien tech, magic swords, etc), 2d6 to 4d6 artillery. Add +STR for melee, or +DEX for ranged combat.



  • One exploration turn=60 minutes, divided by the number of actively exploring characters
  • Roll for events every hour in the dungeon, or every 8 hours in the wilderness

Task Resolution

  • Ref tells you what’s possible, based on your stats
  • Risky situations: Save


  • Surviving an adventure: gain a level, add a HD, roll the new number of HD to determine new hp (if the result is lower than the previous hp, add +2 to the old hp), possibly gain a new ability according to your class

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