BOOKHUNTERS OF BOOKHOLM
Questing card and dice game for 1-2+ players.
Based on the novel “The City of Dreaming Books”.
The City of Dreaming Books is a copyrighted property.
This is merely a fan site.
The vast network of catacombs beneath Bookholm are filled with priceless
Literary treasures. There is great danger as well; deadly traps and fearsome
Creatures. And the worst foes of all, your fellow bookhunters!
Set a time for play… 1 to 2 hours.
At the end of this time, the player with the most Pyra (actual and in the
Form of unsold books) is the Winner.
Note: In the book, many bookhunters are motivated by things other
Then getting rich, namely murder. They are a motley group of psychopaths and
Killers. Some could be rich many times over and retire, but they continue to
Prowl the catacombs in search of others of their kind they can victimize without
Being punished for their crimes. These, the players will encounter as Foes.
The unit of Currency in Bookholm is the Pyra, a form of paper money.
This is a ubiquitous term.
There are Skill levels, Depth levels, Creature levels, Foe levels,
Trap levels, and Difficulty levels.
The Catacombs descend down 10 levels:
0 Surface: Buying Equipment and Selling Books; Accelerated Healing
2 Civilized (Traps here are Level +2)
3 Required to find Class 3 Books
4 Unholm (Creatures here are Level +2)
5 Land of the Dead (No Foes Here)
6 Required to find Class 4 Books
8 Wild (Dead Ends here are at Level +2)
10 Giant Lands
This requires several Steps:
1. Determine Race: Roll once on the Race Table
2. Determine Skills: Draw 10 Cards from the Skill Deck
3. Starting Equipment: Draw 5 cards from the Equipment Deck.
4. Name your Bookhunter (and draw a picture)
SKILLS AND SKILL LEVELS
There are 8 Skill Types:
1. Duel (Killing opposing Bookhunters or intelligent Foes)
2. Slay (Killing Creatures)
3. Disarm (Avoiding Traps)
4. Explore (Getting past Difficult Terrain)
5. Book Lore (Finding and Identifying valuable Books)
6. Evade (Avoiding Foes and Creatures)
7. Social (Selling Books and Avoiding Duels)
8. Stamina (Capacity to withstand wounds and injury)
STARTING SKILL LEVELS
A bookhunter starts with zero level in all skills except Stamina.
Stamina starts at level 10.
BOOKHUNTER RACE TABLE
1D6 Race: Starting Skills:
1 Troglotroll Stamina +1 Slay +1 Evade +1
2 Wolperting Duel +1 Slay +2
3 Bluddum Stamina +1 Duel +1
4 Hoggling Stamina +2 Social +1
5 Uggly Lore +2 Evade +1
6 Rare Roll on the Rare Race Table
RARE RACE TABLE
1D6 Race: Starting Skills:
1 Vulphead Lore +1 Explore +1 Social +1
2 Lindworm Stamina +1 Lore +1 Slay +1
3 Norselander Stamina +1 Lore +1 Social +1
4 Nocturnomath Lore +1 Duel +1 Social +1
5 Alpine Imp Stamina +1 Explore +1 Disarm +1
6 Demi Dwarf Evade +1 Explore +1 Disarm +1
SKILL DECK CARD LIST
Savagery Duel +1
Ferocity Duel +1
Cruelty Duel +1
Trickery Duel +1
Ambush Duel +1
Speed Duel +1
Surprise Duel +1
Fighting Technique Duel +1
Prowess Slay +1
Cunning Slay +1
Hunting Slay +1
Trapping Slay +1
Monster Lore Slay +1
Animal Handling Slay +1
Instinct Slay +1
Intelligence Slay +1
Perception Disarm +1
Observation Disarm +1
Caution Disarm +1
Trap Setting Disarm +1
Reflexes Disarm +1
Poison Lore Disarm +1
Mechanics Disarm +1
Engineering Disarm +1
Climbing Explore +1
Mountaineering Explore +1
Balance Explore +1
Agility Explore +1
Willpower Explore +1
Courage Explore +1
Survival Explore +1
Labyrinthology Explore +1
History Lore +1
Literature Lore +1
Language Lore +1
Typography Lore +1
Antiquarianism Lore +1
Printing Lore +1
Biography Lore +1
Ink Lore Lore +1
Stealth Evade +1
Subterfuge Evade +1
Hide Evade +1
Running Evade +1
Silence Evade +1
Sneakiness Evade +1
Camouflage Evade +1
Escapology Evade +1
Haggling Social +1
Presence Social +1
Diplomacy Social +1
Intimidation Social +1
Streetwise Social +1
Sense of Humor Social +1
Double Talk Social +1
Persuasion Social +1
Endurance Stamina +1
Strength Stamina +1
Vitality Stamina +1
Physique Stamina +1
Constitution Stamina +1
Energy Stamina +1
Toughness Stamina +1
Vigor Stamina +1
Weapons Slay +1 and Duel +1
Opening Tools Explore +2 for Opening Challenge
Navigation Tool Explore +2 for Navigation Challenge
Climbing Tool Explore +2 for Climbing Challenge
Detection Tool Disarm +1
Armor Stamina +1
Light Source Explore +1 and Disarm +1 and Lore +1
Reading Instrument Lore +1
Container See Limit Notes
You can only have one of each type of Armor.
For example, you only gain benefit from one mask and not a second.
Similarly, you only gain the benefit from a single light source.
You only gain the benefit from the first two weapons you possess.
Having a Container allows you to carry 2 extra Books.
A container also lets you carry extra food, water, and medicinals, so you
Heal 1 extra lost stamina in end phase.
EQUIPMENT DECK CARD LIST
Flaming Torch Light Source
Lantern Light Source
Oil Lamp Light Source
Jellyfish Torch Light Source
Candles Light Source
Skeleton Key Opening Tool
Pickaxe Opening Tool
Hammer Opening Tool
Lockpick Kit Opening Tool
Length of String Navigation Tool
Ball of Twine Navigation Tool
Compass Navigation Tool
Maps Navigation Tool
Pole Detection Tool
Spikes Climbing Tool
Rope Climbing Tool
Chains Climbing Tool
Hooks Climbing Tool
Spectacles Reading Instrument
Magnifying Glass Reading Instrument
Studed Leather Armor Suit
Double Leather Armor Suit
Scale Mail Armor Suit
Chainmail Armor Suit
Deaths Head Mask Armor Mask
Wire Mesh Mask Armor Mask
Kettle Helm Armor Helm
Great Helm Armor Helm
Gauntlets Armor Arms
Bracers Armor Arms
Metal Plates Armor Pieces
Spiked Plates Armor Pieces
Greaves Armor Legs
Heavy Boots Armor Legs
Spiked Club Weapon
Poison Arrows Weapon
Iron Javelins Weapon
Players start at the Surface (Depth = 0).
Players roll high on 1D10 to determine who goes first.
Play proceeds clockwise.
There are no encounters at the Surface.
Because of the availability of good food, drink, medical care, sanitation, and
Accommodations at the surface, players heal 2 extra stamina per turn while there.
While at the surface players can buy equipment and sell books.
Players take turns.
Each turn has 5 phases:
1. Surface Activities Phase
2. Movement Phase
3. Encounter Phase
4. Resolution Phase
5. End Phase
SURFACE ACTIVITIES PHASE
Skip this phase if you are not at the Surface.
You may take 1 action:
1. You may pay 100 Pyra to draw 1 equipment card.
2. You may sell 1 Book.
When selling a book you get +10% to its value for each level of Social Skill you have.
If you are at the surface you may immediately descend to Depth Level 1.
If you are at any other depth you may attempt to ascend or descend 1 Depth Level.
To do this you must succeed at a Movement Challenge.
To do a Movement Challenge roll 1D10 and add your Explore Skill level.
If your adjusted roll is 7+ you succeed.
If you are at the surface skip this phase, otherwise roll once on the Encounter Table.
1D6 Encounter: Notes:
1 Trap Draw 1 card from the Trap Deck
2 Foe Draw 1 card from the Foe Deck
3 Creature Draw 1 card from the Creature Deck
4 Book -
5+ Dead End Draw 1 card from the Dead End Deck
Resolve the current Encounter according to its type.
You can have a max of 8 pieces of equipment.
Discard excess equipment and Books.
Heal 1 Lost Stamina.
There is a 50% chance one random piece of Equipment of yours breaks or is lost.
You can carry a max of 4 books with you.
You can carry 1 extra book for each piece of equipment you don’t carry.
TRAP ENCOUNTER RESOLUTION RULES
Draw 1 card from the Trap Deck
Roll 1D10 and add your Disarm Skill Level.
Subtract the Trap Level.
Success 7+ No Penalty.
Fail on 6 or less.
Penalty for failure is determined by the card.
Collapse Traps have a 50% chance of sending the player down 1 Depth Level.
TRAP DECK CARD LIST
Trap Level Notes:
Cave In 4 2D6 Damage; Collapse
Rock Slide 3 1D10 Damage; Collapse
Fire Trap 5 1D6 Damage
Flooding Chamber 5 Automatic Death
Poison Gas 6 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Exploding Trap 7 2D6 Damage
Death Trap 9 2D6 Damage
Spear Lined Pitfall 4 2D6 Damage & Miss Next Turn
Spring Operated Blades 3 1D6 Damage
Poison Darts 2 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Falling Beams 1 1D6 Damage; Collapse
Crushing Trap 2 2D6 Damage; Collapse
Converging Walls 4 Automatic Death
Acid Trap 4 1D6 Damage
Bookcase Trap 8 1D6 Damage; Collapse
POISON DECK CARD LIST
Lethal Automatic Death
Madness Miss Next 2 Turns
Paralyzing Miss Next Turn
Weakness Get -3 to all Skill Challenges Next Turn
Laughing 1D6 damage and Miss Next Turn
Delirium Miss Next Turn
Memory Loss Lose 1 Random Skill
Blinding Miss Next Turn
Bacterial Blood Poisoning Get -2 to all Skill Challenges Next 2 Turns
Disease Get -1 to all Skill Challenges Next 3 Turns
Caustic 1D6 Damage
Venomous 2D6 Damage
FOE ENCOUNTER RESOLUTION RULES
Draw 1 Card from the Foe Deck.
You may attempt to Evade the Foe 50% of the time.
Roll 1D10 and add Evade Skill Level.
On a roll of 10+ you successfully evade the Foe.
If evasion does not work you may next attempt to Parley with the Foe.
Roll 1D10 and add your Social Skill Level.
Success on 9+. The Foe leaves you alone.
Get +1 to roll for every Book and equipment you give Foe as Bribe.
If foe cannot be parleyed, he must be fought:
Roll 1D10 and add your Duel Skill Level.
Subtract the Foe Level.
On a modified roll of 9+ you suffer no damage and defeat Foe.
On 6-8 you win but lose 1D6 Stamina.
On 5 or less you suffer 2D6 Damage.
If you win a Duel roll 1D6 on the Loot Table:
2 1 Equipment
3 2 Equipment
4 1 Lesser Book
5 2 Lesser Books
6+ 1 Valuable Book
FOE DECK CARD LIST
Foe Level Notes:
Rong Kong Koma 10 If you lose suffer an extra 1D6 Damage
Book Pirates 5 If you lose, no damage but lose all your books
Book Thief 6 If you lose, no damage but lose your most valuable book
Blorr the Bricklayer 4 If you lose, miss your next turn
Nassim the Noose 5 Cannot be Parleyed
Imran the Invisible 6 Cannot be Evaded
Reverberus Echo 3 If you win -1 to Loot Table roll
Lembo the Snake 5 Get -2 to Evade and Parley Rolls
Yont Yooble - Encounter a Trap instead at Level +2
Hunk Hoggno 6 If you lose he eats you: Automatic Death
Erman de Griswold 7 Get +1 to Evade Roll
Hadwin Paxi 4 He does +1 Damage
Azlif Khesmu 1 Get -1 to Evade Roll
Horgul the Hairless 3 If looted has no Equipment
Blondie Snotsniff 2 If looted has no Books
Shadowking 15 Cannot be Parleyed with
The Toto Twins 4 If you win first duel fight a second duel
Krood Brothers 3 If you win first duel fight a second duel
Golden Beard - Encounter a Book Trap instead at Level +3
Hokum Bogus 5 Get +2 to Parley
Tarik Tabari 8 If you win +1 to Loot Table roll
Colophonius Regenschein 9 He evades you on a roll of 5+ on 1D10
For every Foe you kill gain 1 Reputation Point.
If your Reputation is higher than a Foes Level get +1 to Parley Rolls.
CREATURE ENCOUNTER RESOLUTION RULES
Draw 1 card from the Creature Deck.
You may attempt to Evade the Creature 50% of the time.
Roll 1D10 and add Evade Skill Level.
On a roll of 10+ you successfully evade the Creature.
If Creature cannot be evaded, it must be fought:
Roll 1D10 and add your Slay Skill Level.
Subtract the Creature Level.
On a modified roll of 9+ you suffer no damage and defeat the Creature.
On 6-8 lose 1D6 Stamina.
On 5 or less lose 2D6 Stamina.
CREATURE DECK CARD LIST
Creature Level Notes:
Bookworm Swarm 1 You may evade them by tossing them a book
Big Black Beetles 2 -
Poisonous Snake 3 Instead of Damage draw a Poison Card
One Eyed Bats 3 -
Plague Rats 3 If Damaged get -1 to all Skill rolls Next 2 Turns
Blind Moths 1 Instead of getting Damaged Miss Next Turn
Catacomb Flies 2 If you Evade, Miss Next Turn
Mutant Jellyfish 2 Get +2 to Evade; Do at most 1D6 Damage
Giant Worm 5 Get +2 to Evade
Albino Crabs 6 -
Deformed Ape 5 Cannot be Evaded
Lavaworms 7 Get +2 to Evade
Assorted Vermin 3 If you Evade get -2 to next Movement Challenge
Crystalloscorpion 7 In addition to Damage draw a Poison Card
Troglognomes 4 Instead of Damage they steal 1 Equipment
Fearsome Booklings 5 Instead of Damage go up 2 Depth Levels
Megaworm 8 Get +2 to Evade
Giant Ants 5 If Damaged also lose 1 Equipment
Cyclops 7 Does +2 Damage
Dangerous Insect 5 -
Winged Bloodsuckers 4 -
Giant Earwigs 3 Do at most 1D6 Damage
Giant Bookhoppers 2 Do at most 2D6 Damage
Giant Spider 3 In addition to Damage draw a Poison Card
Gigantic Caterpillars 4 Get +2 to Evade
Giant Millipedes 6 Get +2 to Evade
Hybrid Creature 4 -
Spinxxxx 9 -
Giant 10 -
Black Tentacles 5 Get -1 to Evade
Harpyrs 8 Get -2 to Evade
Luminous Scorpions 2 Instead of Damage draw a Poison Card
BOOK ENCOUNTER RESOLUTION RULES
Roll a number of six sided Dice equal to your Depth Level plus a number of
Six sided dice for each level of Booklore skill you have.
For every roll of 6 you get 1 Find Point.
If you get 1 Find point Draw a card from the Lesser Book Deck
If you get 2 Find Points Draw a card from the Book Trap Deck
If you get 3 Find point Draw a card from the Valuable Book Deck
If you get 4 Find point Draw a card from the Golden List Book Deck
Book Traps are handled like regular Traps.
BOOK TRAP DECK CARD LIST
Book Trap Level Notes:
Lethal Device 5 2D6 Damage
Poison Dart 4 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Glass Slivers 4 1D6 Damage
Needle Catapult 5 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Acid Syringe 3 1D6 Damage
Toxic Gas Cylinder 2 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Toxicotome 10 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Poisoned Book 8 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Hazardous Book 7 2D6 Damage
Analphabetic Terrortome 9 1D10 Damage
Exploding Book 6 1D10 Damage
Posthypnotic Commands 3 Miss Next Turn
Olfactory Poisons 1 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Razor Sharp Page Edges 3 Draw a card from the Poison Deck
Strangling Bookmark 4 1D6 Damage
If you find a Collection (Many Books) its value counts at the end of the game, but you
Do not carry them with you as you would individual books.
LESSER BOOK DECK CARD LIST
Adventure Story 1
Flagellators Manual 1
How to Comb a Chicken 1
Four Hundred Frog Recipes 1
A Pig for Two Pyras 10
Nothing of Importance 10
Plethoric Novel 10
Adynationist Poetry 10
Adaptionism Literature 10
Pastellist Literature 10
Oxymoronic Verses 10
Anticlimacticist Novel 10
High Baroque Literature 10
Romantic Literature 10
Ugglian Horror 10
Onomatopoeic Dynaprose 10
The Way of the Bookhunter 10
Count Elfensenf Novel 10
Prince Sangroid Novel 10
Joys of Gardening 10
Sir Ginel 10
Zomonian Gagaist 100
The Smoked Cookbooks 100
Scientific Treatise 100
Pine Needle Pamphlets 100
Shaven Tongue 100
Tiger in My Sock 100
Hard Beds & Soiled Sheets 100
A Village Named Snowflake 100
Life is more Terrible than Death 100
Ant Drum 100
The Glass Guest 100
The Dog that only Barked Backwards 100
VALUABLE BOOK DECK CARD LIST
Censored Book 1K
Hair Raiser 1K
Rickshaw Demons Curry Book 1K
Jewel Studded Book 1K
Signed in Blood 1K
Mint Condition 1K
First Edition 1K
Illustrated Copy 1K
Bound in Dragon Hide 1K
Golden Clasps 1K
Load of Rubbish 1K (Collection)
Cheap Offers 1K (Collection)
Cellar Books 1K (Collection)
Trashy Old Volumes 1K (Collection)
Old Stock 1K (Collection)
Long Lost Library 10K (Collection)
Pirates Booty 10K (Collection)
Dealers First Editions 10K (Collection)
Publishers Stocks 10K (Collection)
Buried Collections 10K (Collection)
Entombed Books 10K (Collection)
Late Medieval 10K (Collection)
GOLDEN LIST DECK CARD LIST
Ethereal Library 100K (Collection)
Princely Treasures 100K (Collection)
National Library 100K (Collection)
Ancient Library 1M (Collection)
Princess Daintyhoof 1M
Treatise on Cannibalism 1M
The Twelve Thousand Precepts 10M
The Bloody Book 10M
Silence of the Sirens 1M
The Solar Chronicles 1M
Flying Book 1M
DEAD END ENCOUNTER RESOLUTION RULES
Draw 1 Card from the Dead End Deck.
Roll 1D10 and add your explore Skill Level.
Subtract the Dead End Level.
Success on a roll 7 or higher.
Failure on 6 or less.
If you Fail Miss Next turn 50% or lose 1D6 Stamina 50%.
C = Climbing Challenge
O = Opening Challenge
N = Navigation Challenge
DEAD END DECK CARD LIST
Dead End Level Type Notes:
Shaft 5 C If Success go up or down 1 Level
Chasm 10 C If Success go down 2 Levels
Lava Pits 9 C If failed Does 2D6 Damage
Shadowy Corridors 4 N
Labyrinth 8 N If failed Miss next 2 Turns
Sealed Gateway 7 O
Stalactite Cave 2 C
Winding Stone Staircase 1 C If success go up or down 1 Level
Stone Arches 2 O
Narrow Passages 3 N
Stalagmite Forest 4 C
Hidden Chambers 5 O
Ravine 6 C If Success go down 1 Level
Terraces 2 C If Success go up or down 1 Level
Dripstone Cave 3 C
Lofty Caverns 4 C
Old Mines 4 N
Maze 7 N If failed Miss next 2 Turns
Tunnels 3 N
Mausoleum 4 O
Rusty Gnomes Railway - - Go up or down randomly 2 Levels
Dead Bookhunter 9 N If Success roll twice on the Loot Table
Discover Lair 8 O If success roll twice on the Loot Table
Find Dropped Item 5 C If Success draw 1 Item card
If you occupy the same Depth as another player and you roll the
Foe encounter, there is a 50% you will encounter a (random) opponent’s
Bookhunter. If one or both of you wants to fight, there will be a battle:
Both roll 1D10 and add their Duel Skill Levels.
The higher roll wins. If tied both lose.
The winner suffers 1D6 Damage. The loser suffers 2D6 Damage.
If a player is killed. The other player gets his books and equipment.
If neither player wants to fight, you may freely trade books and equipment.
At the Surface, bookhunters may never fight, but may always trade with each other.
If you are killed, use your next turn to roll up a new Bookhunter.
The new Bookhunter inherits all the Pyras of the deceased, but not
Any equipment or books he was carrying when he died.
The new Bookhunter starts on the Surface.
You may establish one hidden lair in the Catacombs.
To do this, it must be during a turn in which you successfully resolved a
Dead End Encounter.
You may store unlimited Books and equipment in your lair.
Whenever you are at the depth level at which your lair is, you may, instead
of rolling for an Encounter, pick up or drop off items freely in end phase.
While in your Lair you heal 1 extra lost Stamina in End Phase.
The rules as they are should work very well for solo play
OPTIONAL RACE ABILITIES, BONUSES, AND PENALTIES
Troglotrolls heal quickly. They heal 1 extra Damage in End Phase.
Their reduced intellectual capacity gives them Lore -2.
They are natural cave dwellers so get Explore +1.
Wolpertings are fast. This gives them Evade +1. Their vicious, carnivorous
Nature gives them Social -1.
Bluddum have tough hides. They always take 1 less damage from every die of
damage rolled against them. They are not terribly coordinated so get Explore -1.
Hogglings are full of energy. A the end of their turn, there is a 1 in 6 chance they
Will immediately get to take another turn. Because of their lack of subtlety they get
Ugglies are well versed in Divination. Once on their turn, they may look at the next
5 cards in any deck. This also gives them an extra Evade +1. Because of their
hideousness they get Social -2.
Vulpheads are memory masters with a good sense of smell. This gives them any extra
Lore +1 and Evade +1. These Fox folk are smallish compared to many other races so
have a Stamina -2.
Lindworms are studious and very long lived so get an extra Lore +1. When in danger
they produce an unpleasant smell that gives them Evade -1. These scaly dinosaurs get
an extra Stamina +1 but their pacifist ways give them Duel -1.
Norselanders are vegans adverse to violence so get Duel -1 and Slay -1. They are big,
So get Stamina +1 and the ability to carry 2 extra pieces of equipment.
Nocturnomaths are scientifically orientated so get Disarm +1. They are also
Telepathic so get an extra Social +1. They are very frail so suffer Stamina -2.
Alpine Imps are mountain dwellers so get an extra Explore +1. They are adept at
Hiding so get Evade +1. They are small so get Stamina -2.
Demi Dwarfs are at home in subterranean locales so get an extra Explore +1.
They are natural craftsmen so get Disarm +1. Their short stature results in a Stamina -2
If you roll a 6 on the Encounter table while on Depth Level 9 you will find
Shadowkeep Castle. Roll once on the Shadowkeep Castle Table:
SHADOWKEEP CASTLE TABLE
1 Attacked by the Shadowking for 2D6 Damage
2 Attacked by Animatomes for 1D6 Damage
3 Locked Out: Nothing Happens
4 Trapped in Castle: Miss Next Turn
5 Draw 1 Valuable Book Card (Ignore Collections: Redraw till you get a Book)
6 Waylaid by Weeping Spirits: Miss Next Turn
7 Transported to the Land of the Giants (Depth Level 10)
8 Read Orhm Books: Miss Next Turn
9 Led Astray: Return to the Wilds (Depth Level 8)
10 Shadowking befriends you: Miss Next Turn and Gain Lore +2
LAND OF THE GIANTS
Rules for Depth Level 10.
Treat Foe Encounters as a Giant Encounter:
The Giant has a Creature Level = 10.
If you fight it and lose, he feeds you to his monstrous pets he keeps in
Giant glass jars (Automatic Death)
When you encounter the Fearsome Booklings, you may attempt to befriend them:
Roll 1D10 and add your Social Skill Level. Success on 8+.
If Successful they take you to their home in the Leather Grotto (Depth Level 6)
where you miss your next turn, but gain Lore +1 and heal 2 extra points of Damage.
If you successfully parley with Colophonius, he will become your friend.
The next times you meet him he will either give you 1 Lesser Book,
1 Equipment or guide you up or down 1 Depth Level, your choice.