CoLF DaDA - A Solo Low-Fantasy Adventure Game

CoLF DaDA - A solo low-fantasy adventure game.
Release Date: 
Friday, January 12, 2018
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

By Jonathan Leistiko

For Kickstarter backers of The Island of Necreaux: Second Edition (2017/2018)


For decades, the Ruins of Dada have been home to all manner of foulness – human and inhuman. Fight your way to the center of the ruins, defeat the master of the ruins, and clear the way for humanity to reclaim Dada!


Fight monsters to gain experience. Use experience to become more competent. Fight more powerful monsters to gain yet more experience. Repeat this process until you’re ready to fight the master monster. If you take too long, the master monster will come to you and (likely) eat you up!

You Need

  • These rules.

  • A set of double-six dominoes.

  • A bunch of (about 20) d6es.

  • A CoLF DaDA Monster sheet.

  • A CoLF DaDA Hero sheet.

  • A ColF DaDA monster adjective deck.

  • A ColF DaDA monster noun deck.

  • Hit tokens (Pennies, red beads… Whatever.). 50 should be enough.

  • XP/Rage tokens (Nickels?). 25 should be enough.

  • 20 turn tokens (Dimes?)


General Setup

  • Put the Hero sheet in front of you. Put the Monster sheet next to it.

  • Gather 20 turn tokens at the bottom of your Hero sheet. This is your turn pool.

  • Put the XP and hit tokens nearby.

  • Shuffle the monster adjective and noun decks separately.

  • Turn all of the dominoes face-down and shuffle them. If you have a bag to put them in or some other way to draw them at random, that’s fine too.

Your hero

  • You start at 3rd level.

    • Put 3d6 in your dice pool.

    • Draw 3 dominoes. Assign them to slots in your Attack or Defense columns. The numbers on the dominoes determine what numbers you need to roll to succeed. See Play: Assign Your Dice for details.

      • If you draw a domino with one or more blanks (At any time – during setup or when you level up – for you or for the Monster.) place it normally, then draw another domino and place it. If you end up drawing multiple dominoes with blanks this way, that’s ok. See Play: Using Wild Spaces for more details.


General Rules

Using XP to Re-Roll

After any roll for your Hero, you may spend an XP to re-roll one, any, or all of the dice you rolled. You may do this several times in a row if you spend 1 XP each time you re-roll.

You may use XP to re-roll a Rest roll. You may not use XP to re-roll monster rolls.

Using XP to Boost Results

When comparing your Attack or Defense result to a monster’s result, you may spend an XP to add one to your Attack or Defense. You may do this several times in a row if you spend 1 XP for each point you add.

You may not use XP to boost rest results.

Your Turn

At the start of every turn, remove a turn token from your turn pool. If you can’t remove a token, jump to the rules for Master Monster Attack!.

On your turn, you may do one of the following things: Explore the Ruins or Rest.


Roll your dice. For each die, you may remove one hit token covering the number showing on that die. Dice that do not match spaces with hits do nothing. When you’re done removing hit tokens, proceed to End Of Turn.

Explore the Ruins

Find Your Foe

How far will you delve into the ruins? Choose a level for the monster you’ll fight, then build your monster.

Note: If you’re fighting a level 10 (or greater) monster, see the rules for Master Monster Attack!

Look at the backs of the monster noun cards and pick one, then look at the backs of monster adjective cards and pick one or more of them. When the level numbers on the backs add up to the monster level you picked, you’ve found your foe! Flip all of the selected cards over and put them next to the monster sheet.

Refreshing Decks

If a deck runs out of cards, shuffle its discards, create a new face-down deck, and continue play normally.

Prepare Your Foe

Add up the Attack values on all of your foe’s cards. Draw this many dominoes and put them in the monster’s attack slots.

Add up the Defense values on all of your foe’s cards. Draw this many dominoes and put them in the monster’s defense slots.

Add up all the Bite values on your foe’s cards. Set the monster’s Bite value to this.

Add up all the HP values on your foe’s cards. Put this many Hit tokens in the monster’s HP pool.

Put the monster’s level in dice in its dice pool. Example: A 5th level monster gets 5d6.


At the start of each round of combat (including the first one - when you first discover what horrible monstrosity you’re encountering) you have a simple choice: Fight or Flee.


If you flee, resolve a round of normal combat (See Fight, below), but only roll for the monster. You do not get to roll. You may spend XP to increase your Defense, though. After you resolve the roll and any damage, discard the monster and proceed to End of Turn.


If you fight, you’ll do the following things: Roll for combat, assign your dice, roll for the monster, assign monster dice, assess your attack, assess the monster’s attack, resolve damage simultaneously, and check for end of combat.

Roll for combat

Roll the dice in your dice pool.

Assign your dice

Put each die you rolled on a matching number on one of your Attack or Defense dominoes. You may spend XP to re-roll any/all of your dice.

After you’re done spending XP for re-rolls, return dice you can’t place on dominoes to your die pool. Gain 1 XP for each die you returned to your die pool.

Using Wild Spaces

Some dominoes have blanks on them. Blanks are wild – you can put any die there. Unfortunately, when you remove a die from a blank space it destroys the domino – put it back in the pool of dominoes.

Roll for the monster

Roll the dice in the monster’s die pool.

Assign monster dice

Put each die you rolled on a matching number on the monster’s Attack dominoes.

When you finish doing this, put remaining unassigned dice on the monster’s Defense dominoes.

If the monster has any unassigned dice and has at least one rage token: Spend a rage token, re-roll any unassigned dice, and assign any assignable die. Repeat this process (spend, re-roll, assign) as needed.

After you’re done spending rage for re-rolls, place dice on blank spaces (if any are available) – starting with Attack, then Defense. Return dice you can’t place on dominoes to the monster’s die pool. The monster gains one rage token for each die you returned to its die pool.

Assess your attack

Subtract the monster’s Defense from your Attack, then add your damage (1 if you’re unarmed). That’s how much damage you’ll deal to the monster.

If you want to spend XP to boost your attack, you can do that to modify your Attack value.

Assess the monster’s attack

Subtract the your Defense from the monster’s Attack, then add its Bite. That’s how much damage the monster will deal to you.

If you want to spend XP to boost your defense, you can do that to modify your Defense value.

Resolve damage simultaneously

You deal your damage to the monster. Remove that many Hit tokens from the monster’s HP pool.

At the same time, the monster deals damage to you. You gain hit tokens equal to the damage the monster is dealing to you. You must put these tokens on numbers on your dominoes that do not have hit tokens on them. You can not use numbers on your dominoes that have hit tokens on them.

Clean Up

Return all dice to their respective die pools. If you remove dice from blank spaces on dominoes, remember to return those dominoes to the pool of dominoes.

Check for end of combat

If all of your domino numbers are covered by hits, you’re dead. The game’s over. See Ending the Game and Winning.

If the monster has no HP tokens, it’s dead and the combat is over. You gain XP equal to its level. Discard its cards. Return its dominoes, dice, and rage tokens to their respective pools. Proceed to End of Turn.

If the combat is not over, start a new round of combat by deciding whether to fight or flee and proceed accordingly.

End Of Turn

You may do the following things at the end of your turn: Grow and/or Adapt.

Once you’ve done all the growing and adapting you want to, your turn ends. Start a new turn.


You can spend XP to become more powerful (“level up”). Multiply your level (the number of dice in your die pool) by two. You must spent this many XP to level up. When you level up, add a die to your die pool, then draw a domino and put it in one of your Attack or Defense slots.

Congratulations, and good luck!


You may move where your dominoes are on your character sheet. For example, you can move a 2|5 domino from your Attack to your Defense. You may do this as many times as you want to.

If a domino has hits on it, the hits move with the domino.

Master Monster Attack!

Set up the Master Monster just like any other monster, with the following exceptions:

  • If you’re here involuntarily, set up a level 10 monster.

  • Pick one of the highest-level noun cards you can find.

  • Deal adjectives off the top of the deck until the total matches or exceeds your target level. If it goes over – tough luck.

Once the Master Monster is set up, fight it normally, except you may not Flee.

Good Luck!

Ending The Game and Winning

The game ends if you:

  • End a combat with all of your domino spaces blotted out by hits. If this happens, you died. That’s just tragic. Better luck next time!

  • Defeat the Master Monster. CONGRATULATIONS! You successfully cleared out the major threats in the ruins, paving the way for humanity to repopulate the city of Dada! Count the number of tokens you have left in your Turn pool and let’s see how you did:

    • 0 to 2: Meh. You got the job done… I suppose...

    • 3 to 5: Okay.

    • 6 to 8: Impressive!

    • 9 or 10: Incredible! Good job!

    • 11 or more: Unbelievable! A truly heroic accomplishment!

Origin & Credits

CoLF DaDA is a one-player game I bashed together in 5 days as an apology for being late with the delivery of the Kickstarter for The Island of Doctor Necreaux: Second Edition. The name is an acronym of: Combinatorial Low-Fantasy Domino and Dice Adventure.

On January 6th, I offered to create a print-and-play game for backers of The Island of Doctor Necreaux by way of apology for being late on delivering the game. By the 7th, one of the backers had made suggestions:

sooOOOOoooooOOOOoooo maybe you could dream up a PnP solo dungeon crawler for those of us who consider that the height of gaming?”


“For a PnP I imagine dice drafting might work pretty well! I’ll bring any # of d6 to the table as is necessary. As for theme I always feel like the more “generic low fantasy tropes” the better, though some folks have injected humor into the mix over the years with great success.”

I worked on the rules for two days and completed the first complete draft of these rules on January 9th. I started fleshing out the gaps in the noun and adjective cards on the evening of the 9th.

Created the first complete version and posted it to Invisible on January 11, 2018.

If you want to see the first rules draft and design documents, visit: