Combining the Underclock with Hazard Die

I came across the Underclock Goblin Punch post and immediately wanted to start using it. I’ve been using the Angry GMs Tension Pool a bit, to decent results. I think I like the Underclock better, as it gives an immediate feedback and foreboding of the number counting down, and allows for more player planning.

In the Underclock post, he talks about giving up on tracking torches and similar resources, but what if we could integrate that using the same system? I’m thinking specifically of using the Hazard Die system (originally by Necropraxis but which I come to by way of Knave 2e). Just as on the Underclock a 3, 0, and less than 0 result causes events, we can assign Hazard die results to other clock numbers.

I like the idea of everything below 6 having an event, since d6s are the default dice to use to reduce the clock value. So integrating hazards the new underclock would look like this:

On a result of 5: Advantage (In the normal hazard die this is just a free turn, but that is every other turn above 5 when using the Underclock. So I propose a small bonus to what the players are currently attempting–advantage on a check, some extra treasure, automatically uncover secret information, etc).

On a result of 4: Dungeon shift (Change in environment conditions. The temperature shifts, a secret door opens, etc)

On a result of 3: Omen or Sign of encounter, as in the original Underclock.

On a result of 2: Expiration of effects (Typically lit torches go out. This could also be used for ending transient dungeon conditions, spells, or other limited time effects).

On a result of 1: Fatigue (Each party member must rest or take damage or another penalty for pushing on. Yes, this still results in counting down the clock and increasing the countdown die).

On a result of 0: Reset to 3 as in the original. (Or, optionally, reset to 6 instead. This will lower chances of omens but increase the chances of all the hazard results).

Below 0: Encounter as in the original.

July 26, 2023