Monday, April 15, 2013

Adventures Dark and Deep

I wrote the basics of this review as a comment over at Mr. Bloch's excellent blog, but I figured that I'd bring it here and expand on it. You can go to his blog for a link to purchase the book.

The idea of Adventures Dark and Deep is a speculative one. If Gary Gygax had not been forced out of TSR and had been allowed to develop AD&D in the ways that he wanted, what would the game's second edition have looked like? To build this, Mr. Bloch researched every word that Gary ever wrote on the subject, and compared those to work that he did in later games such as Dangerous Journeys: Mythus or Lejendary Adventures. Of course it is not exactly what Gary would have written, but it does look a lot like what he was moving toward.

I support this idea enough to have funded it through Kickstarter, at a level that would get me the hardcover of the Players Manual (there will be two more volumes, one for Gamemasters and one with monster descriptions; this is obviously the basic format of every edition of AD&D, as well as the WotC editions of D&D). My hardcover showed up on Saturday, and I am very pleased with the physical quality. It's not perfect (it uses, as usual for a POD product, glued rather than stitched signatures, for example), but it is at least as good as most products. The ink is clear and doesn't smear, the paper is smooth and has a good feel, and so on.

The text, as well, is high-quality (even if it does retain some things from Unearthed Arcana that I would have liked to see developed further - notably, the Chromatic Orb spell, which has always just been removed from my games), and I am very, very pleased with the work that Mr. Bloch did on this. I am considering using this ruleset in place of 1E in the future. I am especially happy that he chose to include the weapon vs. armor type table, even if he did relegate it to an appendix as an optional rule. On the other hand, he also rationalized it by separating the armor types from armor classes.

For those considering it, if the idea strikes you as a good one, then the product is well worth the $30 price tag for the hardcover.

(I also received my copy of Traveller5 on Saturday, but that is over 600 pages, so it will be a little while before I can say anything about it. Finally, sorry about the radio silence for the last couple of weeks. I hope that will be over now.)


  1. I didn't get in on KS, but I plan on getting the books as they become available. I'm very curious about this ruleset. Thanks for the review I think you cemented my purchase.

    1. Glad I could help! The Players Manual is available now in print, which you can get to from Mr. Bloch's blog post I linked to above.

  2. the book are already available here: