ICRPG/5E Hybrid



OK, I have been monkeying around trying to find my sweet spot between DnD and ICRPG for a bit and have been running some sessions with friends. I think I basically got it dialed in and wanted to share with those that may be interested.

The Basics:

  • I got rid the 5E proficiency bonus and just use ICRPG target numbers with HARD/EASY modifiers.
  • Skills basically went away. Some archetypes just get to make certain things EASY (like rangers and rogues - the specialists).
  • Kept ICRPG d12 for crit.
  • Mostly no multiple attacks, bonus actions, reactions, etc. Everyone just does 1 thing by and large.
  • I use the spell roll system for mages and clerics but I don’t have them spend HP. When they roll their spell, they also roll a d12 for effect. I narratively dial back the effect unless they roll real high and crit. Mostly, the spell works at like 60% effectiveness or so. If they roll a one on the spell roll, the spell backfires. In the end, its not that OP.
  • To limit infini-healing slightly, Clerics get DCC disapproval when they fail a check (increasing the crit fail range).
  • I lower Hit Die one step and use them for both weapon damage and the ICRPG death countdown roll. Makes the character real clean. Makes it so some classes do a bit more damage with weapons, etc. I also made Hit Die the only real resource PCs have to track and it has different uses by class.
  • Hit Points get capped at level 3. Players only ever get 3 HD at most.
  • I use simplified/modified ICRPG weapon tags to differentiate weapons.
  • I mostly eliminated finicky modifiers.

Not bad for 9 pages. It plays really smooth and new players don’t get lost or anything.

Here it is for the curious:
Ogres & Oubliettes

Also, here is my final character sheet for my ICRPG/DnD hybrid. Once again, art all from great Hankerin sources, so credit him for that. LINK

I forgot to add:
Monster HP are very low to start. A goblin is basically a minion with like 1 HP, bandits or a standard orc might have 5. Everything else moves up in increments of 5. Tough solo monsters match up with ICRPG. Monster damage is toned down. A goblin might do 1d6 (no +2) for example.

Also, as far as high level spells, just reduce the damage mostly. Fireball is probably as damaging as it should get at about 4d6. So, rolling a 8 or so on the spell effect die (a d12) and figuring on a 4d6 bell curve, would mean maybe 12 or so AoE damage on a failed save. If they roll high, a few more points, if they crit, a few more plus an effect of something (or make the save HARD). Very narrative. Also, like ICRPG, have level 3+ spells have very dire consequences on Mercurial Failure.


Ogres & Oubliettes is really cool. I have a question on simultaneous combat.

To boil down my question. What if an enemy and a PC, both with swords, are in close and have 1hp each. Who swings first?


Oh and are you meant to have the ‘10’ value reprinted on the character sheet? It makes it impossible to modify by the players


They swing at the same time. If they both hit, they both hit. If one hits and one misses, then one clearly won the initiative. :wink:

Here is where I first saw this initiative system: LINK

I was skeptical as well. But in play, its amazing.

For Armor:
They can modify the Armor by entering a number in the base bonus value. So, if they have a Dex of 2, enter a 2 in Base. If they have leather, enter a 1 in other. It will add that together and give you the final Armor.


Seems pretty interesting. Thank for sharing.


I like this as a great blend of the two. What do you have on the DM’s sheet for Ogres & Oubliettes?


I just have notes on the sorts of spells the players use, then a little cheat sheet of if they roll low on the effect roll x-ish damage, high y-ish. I have general miscast table (d12, so it uses their spell effect roll). Some numbers don’t miscast but instead require a sanity check. I dont give players access to too many spells at once, so its easy to prep

I also keep track of how many times mages crit fail as a sort of hidden corruption total (every 10 or so they get increasingly worse physical deformities, mostly cosmetic at first - warts, pale skin, hair falls out, etc).

I dont worry too much about rules. So, beyond getting magic straight, its fairly easy to run.

More important than a rules sheet is making cool npcs. I am getting in the habit of keeping npc stats on 3x5 cards. For goblins (stole them from the Dungeoncraft guy), its stuff like the call another gobbo in d4 rounds, throw poo in the players eyes (rub eyes or blind), stink bombs (save or puke for a round), etc. I bought a little 3x5 card holder with alpha tabs to sort them. Super helpful.


Hmm, I think I misunderstood your post, is GM’s Sheet a site? I did some searching and found GM’s binder. Wow, much better than Homebrewery.


Thanks. That’s sort of what I was looking for, how you break down and play that magic d12. And are players able to choose any from 5e PHB or do you hand out specific ones?


Nah, I meant what reference notes you have for yourself. Specifically regarding those magic rolls.


For my current sessions what I have done is this:

Mages get access to whatever spells a master wizard npc (ie. Me) decides them have access to. From ICRPG, I took the idea of Wizard Types. So, I ask the player before the campaign the kind of wizard he wants to be. I then roleplay that kind of NPC master wizard. They have to quest for this guy to get access to whatever spells he offers that are that “theme”. They dont work exactly as the spell descriptions say. On occasion, I pull similarly, named spells from other systems. Or I modify them as I see fit. Keeps magic feeling magical.

Clerics have a super limited spell list. I think of them more like Paladins. Pretty much classic Cleric spells. (so defensive stuff, heals, etc). I treat Turn Unholy as a spell (also works against demons/devils). I don’t give them access to super offensive stuff.

Also, the key thing to remember with spell damage is that its a bell curve because its multiple dice. Its not linear. So 75%+ damage should only ever happen on a crit. The same is true for non-damaging stuff like sleep or whatever. Another thing to think about is to grab the free Pathfinder Playtest. They have levels of success for everything, even non-damaging stuff. Some good ideas there. You just have to simplifiy them because Mathfinder has really unfun levels of complexity.


I love the piece about lowering hit die by 1 and using it for damage and death. That reminds me of dungeon world. Your rules here are pretty freakin spot on to what I would like.


Check out the YouTube channel Dungeon Craft - your rules line up pretty close to his stuff and you would probly benefit by watching that channel.


I literally based alot of this (like the lack of initiative) on that guys stuff. I even posted this on his Facebook. The folks there seem to like it.


I like the idea of losing skill proficiencies for the sake of simplicity, but keeping the flavor by just giving certain PCs an EASY attempt when it makes sense for their class. (i.e.the Ranger has an easy attempt searching through a forest or foraging for food in the woods).


The way I see it, everyone is proficient at everything. Just get rid of the proficiency bonus and drop the target number a smidge - then let stats handle the rest. The ranger and rogue thing is closer to 5E “Expertise.” So everyone is OK at stuff. Everyone knows how to lie or how to handle an animal. Like 90+% of the medieval population were peasants - why wouldnt most folks know how to handle animals? Rogues and rangers are just experts in their fields.


Agreed that everyone should be able to attempt a thing. I just like giving players an EASY check when it’s something completely in their character’s wheelhouse. This is done thematically/intuitively and doesn’t require anything added to the character sheet. Though sometimes giving characters Tags (Pilot, farmer, Blacksmith, Historian) can play into this decision process without adding bloat.


I don’t toss out easy checks too often unless they have an item or character widget since it massively swings the math. I don’t allow “aid” actions for everything, for example, since I usually assume characters are aiding each other (why wouldnt they! so silly).

I can also see calling out certain specialized checks just for certain characters (niche protection). So, maybe ONLY the cleric can roll on a given special religion check. He will always get some info, the roll just dictates the quality of the info (fail forward). If everyone gets to roll, then its a scrum. The law of averages means success is almost assured and then the cleric doesnt feel like he has special knowledge when the -1 Int Warrior rolls a nat 20 for some reason on knowing some super hidden piece of religious lore. No way! The cleric will get some info one way or another and will be who helps with that.

I can see these specialized checks being a product of their backstory. So, Joe the Warrior was part of a noble’s guard. I can see him having a real shot at some knowledge about X, Y or Z that other party members just wouldnt have access to. How much depends on the roll (always fail forward, you dont want to stall on a knowledge check). By calling these out and saying, “hey, Joe, you worked for Lord StuckUp for 12 years. You lived on his grounds. You escorted him through town. You might know that guy over over there, roll INT for me.” This sort of thing helps me weave backstory into the campaign.

Its all a balance, I think, between the needs of making a character feel special and giving folks a chance to contribute.


This would actually tie in to what Ty is setting up. Ranger would be an Aspect and you could add a bonus based on the activity relating to that tag.


I went ahead and simplified the weapon tags since the aim is a fast game. I think its solid at present.