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Dungeons & Delvers - Black Book
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Dungeons & Delvers - Black Book

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Everyone who purchases the PDF will get a print-at-cost discount link for every print option we do (color and B&W, in both softcover and hardcover formats).

This extensively playtested, profusely illustrated, lightweight-yet-complete roleplaying game is an homage to the "Easy-to-Master" black box of the first role-playing game (and the first version or edition that I ever played) that does everything I wish the original did (which might also include some stuff you wish it did, too).

Like the black box, the Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book contains four races (which function as races do in later editions: they’re not racial classes), four classes, and five levels, though each class has far more talents than you can possibly choose from in a five-level spread, and there are guidelines if you want to go beyond 5th-level (there are also guidelines for making and converting monsters if you want more variety).

Fresh Take, Familiar Feel: Overall the game has a similar feel to the original roleplaying game, but there are a number of differences.

For example, kobolds and chimeras are more inline with their mythological counterparts, everyone gets to choose something at almost every level (and you can for the most part control how complex your character gets), fighters have build in scaling damage, armor both ups your Armor Class and reduces the damage you take (usually, some things mitigate it’s DR or even ignore it), clerics and wizards don’t share the same pseudo-Vancian magic system (cleric magic is safe but more limited in scope), and magical healing (and magic in general) isn’t assumed

Flexible Characters: You get to make a choice every level, sometimes more than one. You can control not only how your character develops, but even how complicated your character gets: you can have a fighter that just hits things, or you can learn various maneuvers. A wizard can focus on blowing things up or branch out into the more complicated illusion school. Even better, you aren't locked into a set path at any point, so if you decide that you want to pick up maneuvers later you can, and if you decide that your illusionist wants to learn some offensive magic you can also do that.

Unpredictable, Dangerous Magic (For Wizards): Aside from cantrips, spells drain random amounts of Mana with each use. If you don’t have enough Mana, they drain your Vitality and Wounds Points next, which means you could knock yourself out or even die if you’re too reckless!

Dependable, Safe Magic (For Clerics): Clerics pray to their god for Favor, which they spend to work divine magic. It’s safe--you always know how much you’re going to spend--but limited in scope, plus some cleric abilities require that you have at least 1 Favor left over.

Simple, Effective Crafting Rules: You spend time and money to learn craft skills, and when you want to make something you just need to spend more time and money. No rolls required, and the more you invest the better stuff you can make. Given enough time (and money) you can make better stuff than you could buy at the market!

Magical Healing Isn't Required or Assumed: What you’d normally call Hit Points are split into two uneven pools: Vitality Points and Wound Points. VP is the smaller pool and replenishes fairly quickly, giving adventurers a buffer to work with. WP takes longer, more so if you try camping in the dungeon or wilderness.

Since clerics don’t have access to healing magic by default and magic items aren’t assumed, the only readily available alternative are mending potions. The downside is that they take a bit to kick in, and if you drink too many in too short a time frame you can effectively die from blood poisoning.

Waste Not, Want Not: Not all treasure is gold and gems, and not every beast happens to have a hoard, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty many monsters have something someone wants. 

This product contains:

  • A full-color PDF of the Black Book.
  • A B&W PDF of the Black Book, in case you prefer black-and-white and/or want to save ink printing it out.
  • A color and B&W version of the character sheet.
  • A character sheet with notations to make it easier to find information.
  • Three PDFs with alpha drafts of the cambion and tarchon races, the cambion and dwarf racial classes, the monk, ranger, warlock, and vancomancer classes (the vancomancer has its own magic system), a necromancer talent tree for the core wizard, rules for multiclassing, examples of what to do with various monster bits, more magic items, and some new demons and undead.
  • A primer for the A Sundered World campaign setting (with more races, items, and monsters, all converted of course).
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Reviews (5)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Michal Z September 15, 2017 9:37 am UTC
Any idea when the hardcover version will be available?
Customer avatar
David G September 15, 2017 5:32 pm UTC
All of the other book formats (B&W softcover, B&W hardcover, and color hardcover) JUST became approved for production, which means I have to order proofs of them to make sure it looks right. Just did that, but it will take a week or two for them to get here. So, assuming the covers look fine, they should be good to go in a week or two!
Customer avatar
Michal Z September 15, 2017 11:00 pm UTC
Great to hear! I will wait until then. On a slightly different note - any chance for a supplement that adds another 5 levels up to level 10?
Customer avatar
David G September 15, 2017 11:29 pm UTC
Yep! The next issue of Appendix D will up the level cap for the core classes to 10, including more talents for each class (including the Enchanter tree for wizards), higher level monsters, and magic items.
Customer avatar
Robert H September 13, 2017 2:37 am UTC
The print-at-cost discount link you sent by email gives an "Invalid discount" error when I try and use it.
Customer avatar
David G September 13, 2017 2:53 am UTC
Yeah I accidentally sent the first one to everyone that ever bought something from us.

I sent out another to only people that actually bought the Black Book PDF: check your email for a second one.
Customer avatar
Robert H September 13, 2017 1:08 pm UTC
Got it! Book is already ordered.

Thanks for the quick response.
Customer avatar
David G September 14, 2017 9:19 pm UTC
Hoorays! :-D
Customer avatar
Colin T September 05, 2017 8:38 am UTC
FYI, typo on p. 19: "Because they are typically reclusive, many elves that take up the life of adventuring
simply to see what’s out there."
Customer avatar
David G September 06, 2017 9:49 pm UTC
Damn. Fixed it, but now it's gonna take a bit longer to get those prints out!
Customer avatar
William M August 24, 2017 12:17 am UTC
Any ETA of the POD?
Customer avatar
David G August 24, 2017 4:48 am UTC
@William: Just got an alert for this. I'm sorry for not responding to your previous comment: for some reason it didn't show up in my email!

The second proof took a LONG time to go through (we're talking weeks, they weren't kidding that GenCon would make things take longer), but it did last week, maybe the week before, and it's been on its way for awhile now. Not sure exactly when, but SHOULD be this week or the next. Assuming the margins are good then it'll be good to go!

Customer avatar
William M July 15, 2017 11:25 pm UTC
I'd be down for separate books...a main book and a collected D book...I don't NEED to have it in one book, was just asking out of curiosity. My main frustration come from printing the pdf and having it bound then days later the pdf gets updated/added to (which is not your fault)...don't mind me, I REALLY like the product and when I REALLY like something I get impatient...and I almost NEVER post comments unless i dig your stuff...
Customer avatar
William M July 15, 2017 7:42 pm UTC
Will those Appendix D's be included in the POD?

When will POD be available?

All due respect, but I cannot keep killing my printer every time something comes out or main book is updated.....
Customer avatar
David G July 15, 2017 10:18 pm UTC

I hadn't planned on adding Appendix D content to the main book, because that stuff is the most likely to be changed at this point, and I don't want to keep having people buy another Black Book just to get the new stuff in there.

(Main book changes at this point would only be correcting typos).

Here's how I'll handle the printed Appendix D stuff:

1. Add what I have to the main book and let you order a print of the core book + all that. This would be in addition to a print version of JUST the core book so you can choose which you'd prefer.

2. Bundle all the Appendix D stuff into its own print book, so people can order it separately if they really want. I would basically bundle up Appendix D issues once the page count is high enough to make it worthwhile and make them as separate books. Appendix D physical books would always be done "at-cost" so we wouldn't make any money off of them (just as we don't with the PDFs).

Going...See more
Customer avatar
Andrew S June 02, 2017 5:23 am UTC
Will POD be available?
Customer avatar
David G June 02, 2017 5:30 pm UTC
@Andrew: Definitey. Gonna give it a bit, see if anyone spots any typos/things that need clarification, first. Everyone that buys the PDF will get a "print-at-cost" link for every print option we offer so they don't have to pay anything extra.
Customer avatar
Michael H June 01, 2017 2:15 pm UTC
Is there a printer-friendly version?
Customer avatar
David G June 01, 2017 7:10 pm UTC
@Michael: I'd intended on waiting a few days to see if anyone noticed any errors before doing the B&W thing, and since it's been a few days I guess that's on my to-do list today!
Customer avatar
Gilbert I May 31, 2017 3:35 am UTC
How many pages is the document? Do you provide a setting?
Customer avatar
David G May 31, 2017 6:17 pm UTC

135 pages (130 if you don't count the cover, credits, and table of contents).

No built-in/example setting, though I suppose I could make a quick conversion document for A Sundered World since that's already a thing.
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Este producto esta en nuestro catálogo desde May 29, 2017.