Witch & Knave is another Knave solo variation. Where I went extremely lightweight with my A Lonely Knave rules, Witch & Knave is a 74 page game with its own identity and a unique take on question resolution.
As with vanilla Knave, you can use any monster manuals from your favourite OSR game. The rules are more concerned with your Knave or Witch (a Knave with magic is called a Witch).
The built in setting is a world of dark fantasy. A powerful religion is holding sway and its doctrine is one of control and intolerance. This is the background against which you get to play out your struggles against the Daemons.
Witch & Knave does something else that is quite interesting as well.
We all know that DriveThruRPG has a built-in function to tell you when books or PDFs have been updated. W&K makes full use of this feature. The game is unashamed to tell you upfront that it is in a state of constant evolution. It is an active project and being refined and moulded all the time by the writer, Bandon Parigo.
I asked Brandon Parigo what make W&K unique “I’m not sure it is unique. It has a few design principles which I find compelling. It’s a random dungeon crawler in a fantasy world where everyone hates your character. It’s ‘grim dark’ in that sense, but it’s a game where you are literally the only light, and that is because your character doesn’t give into the social norms or hide from the dangers. Yet the setting is thin enough that you could ignore that and just use it in any setting. It’s a solo game that is striving to go away from the yes/no oracle without venturing into journaling. My favorite part, and probably the most unique is the Blood and Doom scale. It constantly shifts the character from being doomed or being awesome. I’ve also tried to incorporate a bit more player agency in that doom and blood scale so the solo aspect doesn’t feel 100% random.“
“It’s OSR inspired. I use the DMG 1e almost every time I play. it has conversion notes for other old school fantasy games in it. It started as a Knave solo rules set a while ago, then i ditched it for my own fantasy solo ruleset, then came back to it, and it clicked. You can see Knave all over it but the mechanics are a lot different since I wanted to remove any rolls from the monsters/foes from the game other than damage.“
Right now Witch & Knave are in the Christmas In July sale for under $3. I seriously recommend picking it up and taking a good look a the rules.