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Dark Fantasy Basic - Player's Guide
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Dark Fantasy Basic - Player's Guide




Dark Fantasy Basic is an old school roleplaying game (or adventure game) that pays homage to a beloved 80's game - which is stilll, for many fans, one of the most concise, clear and well-written RPGs ever published.

This book uses the same system as the world’s most popular RPGs – six abilities, classes, levels, etc. – and it is meant to be compatible with games from that era. Or any OSR game, really. It also has some modern influences, including all of the OSR and the most recent version of this game.

This is a complete game (from the player's side), with five classes (fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user and hopeless), skills, feats, weapons, etc. There are no races - all PCs are human or similar - but there are notes on how to create races for your games. There are 20 different spells but each one is flexible, meaning you can choose the spell level and some of the effects as you cast them.

The book ends with conversion notes for other OSR games. No matter what your favorite system is, we hope you find something useful for your games here!

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These are OSR-compatible! For any old school system of your choice.

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Check all RPG products in our DARK FANTASY line. Mostly system-less, with an OSR vibe.

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And here are our FIFTH EDITION MANUAL OF ARMS books:

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Want to buy EVERYTHING at a discount? Try our BUNDLES:

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Click the image below and see our Chaos Factory Comics products!


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Reviews (3)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
David W J January 08, 2022 6:24 pm UTC
I was wondering, is there any virtue signaling or insertions of the personal beliefs of the developers into this game or are the developers apolitical?

Also, do profits go towards helping the company grow and make more content or does the company donate to organizations like BLM?
Customer avatar
Martín S May 27, 2021 12:25 am UTC
Just a suggestion in case this cool game takes a the form of a new edition:
Instead of starting characters at 3rd level, make their level 1 value those of a 3rd level pc.
For Hp use (level+2)x(4+Con), or even better, use the Primary Skill bonus.
And, as an optional rule: Make HP a skill, the bonus is used as the multiplier for the HP base (4+Con), so each class could have different skill-based HP progressions.
Customer avatar
Pietro G April 10, 2021 12:05 am UTC
Hi. I would like to know the possibility of publishing in portuguese (Brazil) and in physical format your RPG Dark Fantasy Basic.

I will wait for your return. Thank you.
Customer avatar
Matt M September 01, 2020 7:45 pm UTC
Does this use ascending or descending armor class?
Customer avatar
Eric D September 01, 2020 8:12 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Scott M October 10, 2019 12:34 pm UTC
p6: "Check this out:

The trailing period is included in the hyperlink, breaking the link. Should be

(tested with 2 different readers)
Customer avatar
Eric D October 12, 2019 9:38 pm UTC
Thanks Scott!
Customer avatar
Scott M October 03, 2019 10:21 am UTC
p18 - "Any excess damage after all HP is lost is transferred directly to Constitution on a 1-for-1 basis."

To confirm - if I'm on 5 HP, and I take 10 points of damage, then my HP is now zero, I also reduce my Constitution by 5 points, and I roll on Death's Door table?
Customer avatar
Eric D October 12, 2019 9:37 pm UTC
Yes, that's it.
Customer avatar
Scott M September 03, 2019 2:09 pm UTC
Q) p24:

"When they acquire enough XP, they gain a level. It takes 2.000 XP to get to level 2, for example. Most characters start on level 3 (4.000 XP), so they need to acquire 4.000 additional XP to get to level 4."

Is this saying "you need (next level x 1,000)XP to advance?
Customer avatar
Eric D September 06, 2019 2:47 am UTC
Not quite; there is a table on page 12. XP requirements double every level.
Customer avatar
Scott M October 03, 2019 9:43 am UTC
Blind spot - completely missed the last column on p12 - even when you told me it was there!
Customer avatar
Scott M September 03, 2019 1:53 pm UTC
Character sheet?
Customer avatar
Eric D September 06, 2019 2:53 am UTC
I usually adapt something from James V. West. Anything old school will do, just replace the old saving throws for extra skills/feats/spells.
However, I hope to have a custom character sheet for DFB soon.
Customer avatar
Gerard M February 19, 2021 9:53 am UTC
Are the character sheets still in the works?
Customer avatar
Eric D June 06, 2022 5:07 pm UTC
I am sorry it took me forever to answer this. Here is a link to my folder, with sheets ("DFB sheet")
Customer avatar
Shannon L June 09, 2019 6:30 am UTC
Print copies pls!
Customer avatar
Shannon L June 09, 2019 6:29 am UTC
I really need printed versions of this game at least two. What are the chances of getting this POD via DTRPG? I’m very keen. Ant chance?
Customer avatar
Eric D June 09, 2019 6:20 pm UTC
Hi Shannon! Thanks for the interest! I'd like to, but currently I cannot go through the testing process to get a print version. If you want, I can send you a printer-friendly version of this book (without illustrations). I wouldn't mind if you make a print version (or two) for personal use; if you need some kind of authorization, I'd be happy to provide that.
Customer avatar
Eric D June 09, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
Anyway - I'll look into it regardless. But it might take a while.
Customer avatar
Shannon L June 16, 2019 5:23 am UTC
Awesome! I’d think The one bookshelf team might know the way forward.
Customer avatar
Paul D November 04, 2018 6:39 am UTC
Hi Eric,
very impressed with DFB. I have a question on spells, though, and re-reading a few times and checking your blog hasn't helped, so hopefully you can answer it here, either as a rule or just what your intent was.
After casting a non-memorised spell 1d6+3 times (p27 "Acquiring and Changing Spells") the rules state the caster is is forced to memorise it, using a feat. What happens when this mandatory memorisation comes up against no free feat slots?
Customer avatar
Eric D November 17, 2018 2:26 am UTC

Well, there are no feat slots: you just gain a new feat, which means you probably won't get a new feat when you gain your next level. Check page 24:

"Whenever a PC gains a new level, *IF* the sum of all ability
score modifiers plus the number of feats a character has is
smaller than current level, the player can choose to add one
or two points to one ability score (his or her choice) or take
a new feat, provided that the new sum doesn’t exceed their
current level."

This also means you can give your elf and dwarf PCs (if you have any; as you know, the game doesn't use them by default) one or two free feats at character creation - they balance out as they gain levels.

Let em know if this isn't clear or if you have more questions!
Customer avatar
Jeremy H August 01, 2018 5:11 am UTC
How soon will your DM's book be out? And, would you consider releasing a single volume core book? Looks like a cool project so far.
Customer avatar
Eric D August 07, 2018 1:13 am UTC
Thanks for the interest!
I am not currently working on a DM's book (although I'm considering a setting book and a "monster generator" of sorts), but I'm almost finishing my first adventure for DFB; the goal of DFB is to be compatible with OSR modules as written. I would, indeed, consider releasing a single volume core book - but I will take a while. This is mostly a one-man project so far!
Customer avatar
Jeremy H August 07, 2018 1:48 am UTC
Aha. I'm also a one man band in this RPG game/world. I try to focus on the monsters and art side of things though. I'll be watching for updates. And, if you're looking for art, check out my stuff here on OBS. I also license my art and monster IP through Patreon (jeremyhartillos). A lot of my stuff might suit your aesthetic. I do commissions also, but because of the time spent on my Patreon campaign I have to be selective about them.
Customer avatar
Eric D August 08, 2018 5:34 pm UTC
Just googled your name... Turns out I was already familiar with your work. Awesome stuff! And your art packs are really good. Will keep that in mind for future projects!
Customer avatar
Eric D September 06, 2019 2:55 am UTC
Just thought I'd give everyone an update: as you can see, I'm currently releasing a series of booklets intended for GMs, and that will eventually turn into a GM's book (or a complete version with DMG+PHB+MM) in 2020.
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File Last Updated:
December 15, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on December 19, 2017.