Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dark Dungeons

No, not that ridiculous Chick tract from the 80s -- the retro-clone of the Rules Cyclopedia version of D&D. As of this very day, it's "officially" done and available either as a free PDF download or as an inexpensive printed volume (hardcover or softcover) through Lulu.com.

I've only had a chance to look briefly at the PDF version, but it looks very good indeed. Best of all, it's completely Open Content, meaning that anyone looking to add, say, domain management or mass combat to their own retro-clone projects will find some useful material here. And of course it's even better for players whose preferred version of D&D is the 1991 Aaron Allston-edited compilation of the mid-80s Frank Mentzer-penned rules.

Check it out.

16 comments:

  1. Its really cool its released, I just find the title unfortunate

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm happy to see simpler versions of rpg's released, and I'm a big fan of the Gazetteer series, so I'll take some time to skim it over. Thanks for the heads-up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Best of all, it's completely Open Content, meaning that anyone looking to add, say, domain management or mass combat to their own retro-clone projects will find some useful material here."

    And don't forget the Spelljammer clone rules.

    Me, I like the name, and think it's a funny reminder of a bit of our history (there's a sample character called Black Leaf, even). I'm also happy that a lot of the rules from the Cyclopedia are now Open Content. Perhaps I'll base a section of my own retroclone house-rule project on the domain rules as modified by some of the Princess Ark articles in Dragon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks awesome. I picked up a Rules Cyclopedia from ebay to go with my old D&D stuff not so long ago. But I did think that the aim of getting new players into old D&D would flounder if they couldn't get the rulebook themselves unless they were willing to compete against collectors for an out-of-print book. This just might solve those problems.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Personally, I enjoyed the nods to the Chick tract. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like the nod to one of gaming history's weirder moments. :)

    And I'm glad this was done. Other than the weapons-mastery rules, I think this is my favorite version of D&D.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think a full on Jack Chick "Dark Dungeons" game would be genius. "Your character is dead, you don't exist any more. Muhahahaha." And at name level the GM takes you out back and initiates you into his sinister coven. LOL.

    Ah, I remember those days well. Pressure from the local Baptist church actually closed down the D&D club at our school.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is a really impressive piece of work. Even more impressive is that it polished up some of the problematic areas of the original RC, such as how random events are determined for dominions.

    Kudos!

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW, that is a THICK book! Its like Basic/Expert D&D with a mix of 2nd ed, 3.0 D&D, Immortal, and Spelljammer - a mix of everything.

    Even if you are an expert role-player and know the gaming genre well, do make it a point to read the introduction to role-playing section - its an interesting read.

    And yes, the book makes liberal use of the game character - Black Leaf - form the old Chick tract.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That Chick tract was great - I lifted one of my favorite character's names from it - Black Leaf!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've had a pet snake named Black Leaf for many years. I love the title.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Black Leaf Died for your Sins.

    And Ms. Frost was a hot GM!

    (at least I thought so in 1984).

    ReplyDelete
  14. The optional prestige classes that some classes have is a nice touch (druid, chevalier) -- similar to something I've been noodling of late.

    My personal druthers is to see a system with 3e style saves, ascending AC, and a non-d% thief system, but with more throwback sensibilities on skill points, monster design, no feats.. but dark dungeons definitely is something to chew on. I like the idea of appropriating the Chick Tract's name.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks great! And I love the title.

    "And Ms. Frost was a hot GM!"

    Indeed.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.