DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
Into the Unknown - Book 4: Running the Game
by Ruben R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2020 20:57:13

All 5 booklets in this set are very nice. All together they make a fairly complete rewrite of B/X rules for 5e sensibilities, and can be easily used to run whole campaigns. But book 4 is my favorite, because it's clearly a summary of a GM's experience and it successfully combines insights and techniques from both the older origins of the hobby and newer indie approaches - making players feel challenged while preserving their agency, using rules as a light framework that let complexity and fun emerge from the roleplaying instead of mechanical gimmicks, etc. It takes time to discuss some of the most common approaches in adventure building - like using dungeon world-style fronts for narrative-driven adventures, for example. In general, this book should be recommended reading for any GMs ready to lose the raining wheels.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Book 4: Running the Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Into the Unknown - Complete Game (Print+PDF) [BUNDLE]
by Jared S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2020 12:56:18

I think this is my new favorite RPG.

It preserves the streamlined, intuitiive gameplay of 5E, which means no wonky, crunchy saving throw or to-hit tables (or THAC0), just straightforward ability + proficiency rolls vs DC, or (ascending) AC, for just about all checks.

Characters classes, meanwhile, are scaled back to the B/X or Rules Cyclopedia style fighter, rogue, priest, and magic-user, with options for race-as-class dwarf, elf, and halfling. All classes are simplified from 5E and there are no archetypes or subclasses to choose from. There are, however, a few meaningful options for each class which adds some nice variation and flexibility to the game. The fighter gets a fighting style, for example, while the priest and magic user each have a few options that determine which spells they can use and a few other features.

Monster and spell lists are truncated from the 5E core rules. You get just about all the classic material you could want, though I would have liked to see the inclusion of certain spells (Fire bolt cantrip) and at least one metallic (gold) dragon. Stat blocks and spell descriptions are also more concise and simpified, but they remain 5E at the core.

The game is designed to be fully compatible with 5E and I think is largely accompishes this. The default rules-as-written are designed to be slightly harsher and more "old school" than 5E. A long rest only restores 1 spent hit die, rather than full hit points, and optional rules are included to make the game even more old school. There are options for eliminating at-will cantrips, or reducing bonuses for high attributes to B/X table (where 18 only gives +3 rather than +4). At the same time, the written rules are pretty transparent with their differences from 5E, so it's easy to house rule just about anything back to 5E rules if preferred.

The DM's section on designing and running dungeons, adventures, campaigns, and so on is concise but packs a lot of good tips for getting started.

The game supports play up to level 10, so there's no "high-level content"... no age categories for dragons in the monster listings, for example, or any other insanely overpowered monsters or spells. Personally, I think this is fine. 10 levels of core D&D gameplay is plenty. More of the same at higher levels can bog down the gameplay with excessive number crunching, though 5E is much better about this than its immediate predecessors. On the other hand, back in the old Rules Cyclopedia, the game changes into something almost completely different at 9th level, aka "name level"... with rules for domain management, mass combat, and paths to immortality.

While I've always enjoyed the concept of a successful heroic adventurer eventually owning a castle, leading armies, and so on, core D&D gameplay wasn't really designed for that. Still, Into the Unknown is simple enough that you could probably fiddle around with Rules Cyclopedia content or later third-party supplements if you really wanted to include domains, warfare, etc., in a campaign at or after 9th or 10th level.

5E made a lot of improvements to the D&D "engine" that I'm personally fond of. These generally get lost or ignored by most "OSR" games, even the ones that aren't straight "retroclones" of the original cumbersome rulesets. Into the Unknown is different. It achieves its goals of playing streamlined like 5E while recapturing the simplistic design and feel of the much older editions of D&D.

All in all, an excellent RPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Complete Game (Print+PDF) [BUNDLE]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Into the Unknown - Complete Game (Print+PDF) [BUNDLE]
by Vernon F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2019 02:40:28

Into the Unknown takes the mechanics of the 5E system, strips it down to the essentials, and melds it with old-school playing style, creating a lean but complete system for low level (1st through 10th) adventures. The game is fun, well-organized, and should appeal to gamers who like the 5E system but may want a bit more simplicity. I highly recommend this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Book 1: Characters
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2019 12:40:45

This is a interesting way to do 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. I'm rating it only 3 stars because there seems to be a couple of spelling and grammer errors that could be fixed, and and other things that need to make the product better.

What I liked: Classes can choose what they want to be when they start instead of doing subclasses, and giving the player ideas of how they should play their characters is great way to Role Play. Back to the basic 7 classes and 3 alignments, just more modern take on it, which is always good. Speaking of, Race as Class in this version is nice and would use it for vanilla 5e.

What I don't Like: Spelling errors and grammer needed to be fixed before being released.

Looks dangerously close to the free basic 5e rules and should be more closer to OSR to set it appart (in my opinion.) Not having an attribute score and bonus chart that tells players what to write down on there character sheet and what they mean, even if it is just a basic description, would have made it easier for new players to learn ( I know that is what book 2 is for but even then it doesn't have the score/bonus chart in that, as far as I have seen, but it would help here instead of relying on basic 5e rules for that information.)

It's overall a good product just needs some work on fixing the spelling errors.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Book 1: Characters
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Into the Unknown - Book 2: Playing the Game
by Caleb C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2019 10:39:51

Although it's the slimmest volume of Into the Unkown, Book 2: Playing the Game brings the fundamentals of old-school play to the fifth edition of the world's oldest role-playing game. By introducing turn based dungeon and wilderness exploration with segments and watches, and modifying short and long rest rules, this volume brings old school functionality to new school mechanics. You've never enjoyed middle school so much!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Book 2: Playing the Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Into the Unknown - Book 1: Characters
by Denis M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2019 12:29:44
As a fan of old school games, I found that the reductive rules of Into the Unknown stuck a sweet spot for 5e play, while keeping in line with the tropes of old school play. Quite a few stylistic adjustments from B/X games are present, along with a short set of further modifiers for closer conversion to that style in Book 4, Running the Game. There are a few typos, and the art (mostly stock art by a few noteables, or public domain) is sparse but well curated. The modification into the simpler B/X Statblocks (reducing alignment to Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic; giving a 2d6 morale score for all monsters) is useful, along with the rules for converting B/X monsters into ItU format. Character generation is simplified, and there are Race as Class options for Elf, Dwarf, and Halfling; elves also have their own spell list, reduced from both the magic user and druid lists. You can play minimally different Warlocks and sorcerers, and things like being a paladin are more of an optional description than a mechanical difference. The various complexities of a 5e character build are simplified, and ability scores become more of a driving force. There is a noteable distinction between which characters can use weapons, and which ones are proficient enough in them as to have an attack bonus based on proficiency - non-marital characters do not really improve their attacks when compared to fighters and clerics, which makes those characters shine in their niches. The rules for experience focus on exploration, expenditure of loot, and combat risk - you don't quite gain XP per monster, but 10xp per damage point inflicted, and 5 xp per point of damage recieved, making combats where there is personal risk more profitable that=n encounters where you one-shot the opponent. There are far fewer fiddly bits in general than bog standard 5e. Is the game more complex than B/X? Absolutely. Is it a game with only minimal involvement of challenge ratings (mostly to determine the effects of spells or turning undead), and no implicit need for game balance? Yes. Is it a game that depends on resource management for safety in exploration? Yes again. Can you flex it back into keeping with old school sensibilites? Yes. Do I recommend it? Yes I do.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Unknown - Book 1: Characters
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Into the Unknown - Book 1: Characters
by Caleb C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2019 09:31:34

Bridging the gap between the B/X and Fifth editions of the world's oldest role-playing game, Into the Unknown is written for fans of the OSR or new school players alike. Book:1 Characters contains everything needed to create B/X style race-as-class characters for 5e games, but the specialization of the familiar 4 basic classes allows several new-school options for use with the complete rules system contained in the 5 volume Into the Unknown set.

In addition to character creation rules, the Book 1 contains an equipment sections which inlcudes old-school mainstays like henchmen while retaining new-school features such as lifestyle expenses. A simple-but-robust weapon creation and modification system replaces stock weapon list, allowing players to craft a weapon suited to their characters individual abilities.

While the steamlining of 5e is fully explained in later volumes, an appendix lists the differences between 5e and Into the Unknown in a single page, making this volume a valuable purchase for any fan of 5e.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 7 (of 7 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates