A downloadable tabletop rpg

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

Runaway Hirelings is a silly game for those who like to play weak characters who fail, cannot hope to even bruise anyone in a fight, and want to play dungeons as the Demi-Lich intended. Really weird descriptions of rooms that could never be mapped on a grid, and rooms meant to be run through screaming.

In Runaway Hirelings, players take on the role a hireling whose boss has died leaving them in the final room of the dungeon. They now have to make their way out of the dungeon without any heroes to defend and fight for them. Hirelings will die, and other hirelings will be found that were lost along the way. 

The Game

  • Preparation Required: Game-Master needs to read the rules, Handouts made available to all Players, and 4 six-sided dice to be shared at the table. 
  • Playtime: 1.5 hours - 2 hours.
  • Players: 1 Game-Master, and 1-5 player characters (Hirelings).
  • Contents: Rules book PDF's and Handouts PDF. Rules are 36 pages (with blank pages left in for zine printing).

This game was intended to be read and then played in the same day, picked up and brought to the game table as quick as possible with little preparation.

Press & Podcasts

The One Shot Podcast, episodes 252 and 253. Their actual play is here.

Technical Difficulties Gaming Podcast, their actual play is here.

GeekandGear.com's         "5 tabletop RPGs you can learn and play in a night".


Text, art, and layout for Runaway Hirelings is by Thomas Novosel. The game was edited by Owen Kerr and Jarrett Crader. 

If you have any questions about the game or have played it want to share your story with me, you can either comment here or find me on Twitter! 

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Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

In order to download this tabletop rpg you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Runaway Hirelings Rulebook 22 MB
Runaway Hirelings Rulebook (hires) 27 MB
Runaway Hirelings Rulebook (lowres) 4 MB
Runaway Hirelings Handouts/Character Sheets 565 kB
Printer Friendly Rulebook 254 kB

Exclusive content

Support this tabletop rpg at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

If you're in need and can't afford a copy of this game, help yourself to a community copy of the digital files. Every copy sold increases the number of community copies available by one.

Development log


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We played a whole PbP with this over on rpg.net, and it was brilliant fun (somehow 3 out of the 4 starting characters made it to the end). Simple, light rules that reward world-building.

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I saw that! I thought it was so cool what yall did and played. I hadn't thought of how it'd do as a PbP so I was impressed.

Also I am glad you enjoyed it! :) i think the day i saw the PbP thread was the same day I hit a sales milestone and cried xD 


Awww! I'm sure Archie cried at points too (when that dragon urinated on the party, at least...). :D

It was a pretty perfect fit for PbP, both in terms of tone (I find lighter, more comedic games work better in PbP myself) and rules.  Plus, it's the sort of length that makes it actually possible to finish as a PbP (with a few lucky dice rolls anyway!).