D&D 5E D&D Story Mode - Simplified Rules & Variants


Hi All,

I just published a new major version of the ruleset that I use to run and teach a rules-light version of D&D 5e.

I'm open to any questions and feedback. Thanks!

PDFs here:

Screen Shot 2023-01-03 at 11.31.41 PM.png

What is D&D Story Mode?
  • Simpler Rules. Story Mode streamlines D&D 5th Edition so you can spend less time "rule-playing" and more time role-playing.
  • Cinematic. It add elements of cinematic storytelling to help you create sessions that feel more like movies and novels.
  • Beginner-Friendly. Using Story Mode, I have successfully introduced dozens of new players to D&D. In a single 4-hour session, you can create new characters, learn the basic rules, and complete a short adventure.

What’s Included:
  • Re-designed character sheet. Revised for clarity and ease of use.
  • Character creation guide. Easy, step-by-step character creation.
  • Spell Point system. A more straight-forward approach to spellcasting.
  • Gameplay variants. Inspiration, Resting, Initiative, and more.
  • Reference sheets. Class features, cheat sheets, etc.
  • First session guide. How to run the first game, with intro adventure.
Why use Story Mode?

Compared to past editions, D&D 5th Edition does a good job of bringing back a simpler level of gameplay.

However, it is still a complicated game, and is especially intimidating to those who are new to D&D.

You should try Story Mode if:
  • You want to teach new players the basics of D&D and roleplaying, without overwhelming them.
  • You have a limited amount of time to play, and want to focus on the most entertaining parts of D&D.
  • You prefer to run D&D with more cinematic flavor.

Happy Adventuring!

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Looks really cool. As someone who runs games for kids in the summer under super informal circumstances I'm always looking for ways to simplify.

I particularly like the unified "lore" skill check.

Be aware that you are 100% using WotC's trademarked D&D ampersand logo and arguably also using their tradedress. Even as a freely distributed product distributing something with the actual logo is asking for trouble from their legal department.


Still a little complex for just a story mode.

Nice reduction in spells, and other things (HP and such stuff) though.

Personality ADDS to the story mode, but I think it adds a lot more complexity itself.

I don't understand the spell point system...needs better explanation.

Nice keeping it to just attributes, but not sure it really cuts down complexity.

Now, on to more pure opinion that has no relevance to the actual rules you wrote...

Personal items I would want...

Where are my intelligent elves?

Aren't Wizards just basically Sorcerer's under this system?

Where is my Warlock. You just have to give them one ability!

Eldritch Blast at level 1

Eldritch Blast +CHA at level 2

Eldtritch Blast +1 + CHA at level 3




(He, Him)
Your concisions look very reasonable.

One additional distinction you might make between flavour bonuses and inspiration is perhaps what player narrates under the latter needs to have in-world consequence.

As an introduction to D&D play, you could consider blurring the boundaries of authority - putting in something very light to constrain DM and assign some world-building and narration to players.


That's fair. As homebrew content, it's in a gray area anyway, but avoiding that specific problem is an easy fix I can make in the next update.
I've look it over a bit it is a nice document. I had a few suggestions, but they have left me at the moment. When I get chance I will review and get back to you. Again, thank you for sharing!

Voidrunner's Codex

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