I will write a review of 3Deep in the worst possible way, using the less polite of the narrative gimmick: I will write about myself.
I'll justify this tremendous act of discourtesy and bad manners after 2 important facts:
- I am a Game Master of Old, properly infused with Endless Ego
- We are talking Roleplay and storytelling here, so here's my story.
I felt in the trap or RolePlaying games back when I still had hair on my hair but not on my stomach.
The book's cover had the very same pattern and layout of the well known (and beloved) game books (Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and so on...) Except it was three times bigger.
I traded. The book for few hours of my time in the next week end (for additional chores)... and entire years of the rest of my life (Maps, NPCs, Plots, Artifacts...).
Starting with that book ( basic rule of The Dark Eye since you are asking), I learned how important is to be able to dive into a setting, to provide tiny but significant details that lead the players through the same wood, across the same sea or into the same dungeon.
I learnt that a "Thief" Is not necessarily someone who steals.
I learnt that the ruleset has to serve the setting and the atmosphere you want to deliver.
I learnt that the setting and the atmosphere have to serve the fun.
And a lot of other things (Which, I must say, I recognize through several PPM products)
I (role) played with my friends.
Then life happened (I moved out of the country, grow up, had a job...)
Then internet somehow made me believe that I could start playing again.
Getting back my friends and put them in fron of a PC was not the problem, deciding a good ruleset was.
I am a big fan of Rolemaster, but time constraints (as I said life happened) don't allow adults to spend enough time on it. Needed something faster, more accessible.
At the same time it has to be something that allows depth and freedom and does not try to mimick a videogame, or miniatures game. A game where the player can decide how to develop their character without rule constraints. And were the rules do not flat out the player efforts to find smart and never-seen-before solutions to their problems.
3Deep is all that I have learnt to appreciate and nothing that I do not like.
I'll try to force my 2nd group of players to change to 3Deep as soon as the current adventure ends.
(as you guessed, the 1st group can still afford Rolemaster).
I do wonder though, where the name comes from.
2Deep would make me think of the 2 dice the game uses in most cases, and also "Too deep!" sounds like a compliment to a roleplaying ruleset.
Would you like to share something about the origin of the name?
To be fair though I must add that the rulebook will benefit of an update with minor changes like bookmarks (pdf version) or adding the hit location table in the Rules Reference Page.
I cannot say I played intensively, but trying a simple fight I had many doubts, and although the GM can easily cope with them I feel like something is missing or unexplained.
The product irradiates passion, knowledge, and inventiveness. How all of this is delivered, could be improved.
Thanks for caring about GMs.