10 Minutes and a Knife

Were you a professional in a shop with kit and space enough and time, you could extract every coin of value from this carcass. But instead, you’re an amateur in the wilderness with 10 minutes and a knife.

A painting of a nude man standing in a yellow field, hills behind him in the distance. At his feet, the bloody skin of some animal stretches out like a carpet. He holds a short knife in his right hand. His skin is dark, but his face is painted with white stripes and his hands red with blood.Homo Victor by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Your butchery score starts at 0 and goes up to 3. To butcher a fresh beast, roll 1d6 for each point of butchery you have and one more if you have appropriate tools. Then assign each die to one of the following options:

Roll Result
Any 1 ration of meat.
Any Notable external feature. Horn, claw, wing, tail, etc.
1 Education.
1-3 This many rations of meat.
3-4 Take 10 more minutes, then re-roll this die.
4-5 Hide, skin, feathers, fleece.
6 Wild card. Eyeball, stomach contents, venom sac, blood, ration, whatever. Your choice.
Any Haruspicy.

Assign no more than one die to each option. When you finish, nothing useful remains.

Butchery is not a team effort. However, a more skilled (higher butchery) pair of eyes and hands than your own may substitute for proper tools.


Use this opportunity to answer a question about the beast, either as an individual (“What sex?” How old?”) or as a species (“Where are they weak?” What do they eat?”).

Or, if you have less than 3 butchery, you can take +1 butchery.


Ask one yes-or-no question and read a true answer in the entrails. The subject of the question is determined by the die assigned to it:

Roll Area of Inquiry
1 Violence
2 Politics
3 Travel
4 Religion
5 Agriculture
6 Health


The options could be tailored to other kinds of creature. What can you salvage from an automaton? How many rations is a behemoth?

The mechanic is loosely adapted from Thunder Road: Vendetta, which is pretty fun.


Hey, look! These rules are MOSAIC Strict! I think. But they don’t have to be. If you want tighter integration, I’d start by tweaking the Education” result.


When I wrote these rules, I thought to myself, If only I had mindstorm Tys ability to casually throw out pretty diagrams, I bet these rules could make a neat little one-pager.” After Ty mentioned that it has [his] brain whirring,” I let him know this, and he had already started drawing a pretty diagram. The man is a beast, and with his permission, I am sharing it here.

April 23, 2024