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The Deep Dark
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The Deep Dark

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An eldritch beast rises out of the dark wretched waters in front of the ancient elvish gate. Great tentacles slither out from underneath it; reaching out for you as it snaps its angry maw. What do you do?

The Deep Dark is a minimalist tabletop role-playing game about dungeon delving.  It uses modern game design to accomplish an ‘old school’ feel. The Deep Dark has been said to be PBtA meets OSR. The PBtA mostly GM facing with Principles for the GM, and skills like 'moves'. OSR then player facing a strong focus on player ability in fictional positioning and advantage. 

The Deep Dark conforms to many of the common assumptions of modern dungeon delving role playing games. You can expect to see attributes, classes, levels, xp, treasure and monsters. 

Some aspects that stand out as less common:

  • 1d6 + modifier resolution. When rolling for a test roll 1d6 and add positive modifiers for attributes, alignment statement, lineage descriptor, and tools! Add negative modifiers for light. If your result is 6+ you succeed and get your intent!
  • 5 character classes: Cartographer, Quartermaster, Master-at-Arms, Theologist and Arcanist.
  • Instead of Hit Points, this game uses Health Descriptors to indicate character health. These descriptors are struck through as characters take damage. 
Some things unique to the Deep Dark

Alignment Statements

Player written Alignment statements determine the philosophy of the character. These alignment statements are used to position the characters in the fiction. 

25 Class Skills

Each class as a unique skill list, and each skill provides your character with a special ability or advantage. 

The Arcanist's Experimenting skill may be used to turn monstrous abilities into known spells! 

This book provides rules for creating characters and running them through perilous adventures.

Detailed Light and Exploration Rules

Light is super important in the Deep Dark, and modifies every roll made with the dice!

Detailed GM Section

Not only does the GM section have principles for the GM to run the game, but provides rules for complicating the characters' lives,  generating and stocking dungeons, and rules for treasure!

Town Mechanisms

Returning to town to restock and sell loot is almost as important as delving into the deep in the first place. Town is fully mechanized with detailed locations, each with its own purpose and advantage for character use. That is if you can afford it! 

and more!

This PDF contains everything needed to run full games of perilous adventure!

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"..a classic dungeon crawler alongside modern takes on rules to make it inviting to newcomers but also a nice hit of nostalgia for others." - Brennon, Beast of War

"Overall it's pretty interesting...It all feels like it would gel together nicely and thrusts at an overall design goal that would be Old School..[5 STAR REVIEW]" - Fraser Simons, The Viel and Hack the Planet

"The Deep Dark is a minimalistic fantasy tabletop rpg inspired by the old school renaissance! There are a lot cool ideas with very streamlined solutions here! I like it!" - Diogo Nogueira, Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells  

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Reviews (0)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Yochai G November 26, 2018 9:32 pm UTC
Any chance you'll put this on POD or Lulu?
Customer avatar
Stephen B November 30, 2018 3:42 pm UTC
Hey Yochai! Thanks for your interest. There will be a POD - both soft and hard cover over on Lulu as soon as I finish shipping out kickstarter copies. Give it about 2 - 3 weeks.
Customer avatar
Yochai G December 13, 2018 8:50 pm UTC
I can't wait anymore! I'm going to buy it now, and hopefully it'll convert into POD dollars later...
Customer avatar
Stephen B March 22, 2019 2:21 am UTC
The Deep Dark is now available POD @ lulu
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File Last Updated:
September 30, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on October 19, 2018.