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Five Torches Deep
by Michael I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2022 15:53:10

I LOVE the concept but find the implementation lacking. If you do not know D&D 5e well enough, there is no way you are going to understand this game on it's own merits. It's more like a hardmode + how to make your game more narrative supplement than a different game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2022 09:19:56

This title was highly recommended by the Dungeon Craft channel, and so I snagged it as I got back into RPGs after a decades-long hiatus. It has everything I needed, and this system actually explains many aspects of D&D I always had trouble with, like knowing how to track time and supplies (the Resilience and Exhaustion aspects are helpful too). It makes use of all the PC stats and attributes in clever ways -- in fact, each major attribute on the character sheet is tied directly to useful game mechanics -- and it keeps the rules light and succinct. The way it deals with spells and race/class is straightforward yet offers subclasses as PCs advance (my only criticism is that the THIEF class ought to be called the ROGUE class with THIEF as a subclass, since other subclasses include Bard or Assassin, and to me the umbrella term for all would be Rogue). I wanted a dungeon crawl system that got me back at the table quickly, and this one does that but it's well written, well conceived, and has great artwork.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2022 12:08:44

Five Torches Deep is a rules-light, D20 system. It requires both players and GM to use their imaginations to interpret the rules and make them their own both before and during play. This is not a game where you find answers to what happens in play so much as it points you in certain directions. For some people this might be a drawback, but I found running it very easy. My players found playing it to be easy, too. They just talked about what they'd like to do in the game based on their character's abilities, I assign a difficulty to it, they rolled their d20 and add the attribute and any proficiences and items they have and that's it. Monster and NPC creation are likewise very easy. The game says that it borrows a lot from OSR and 5E, but I think there is a lot of Dungeon World/PBTA also in the mix as much of the game is based around simple tags for characters and NPCs. Everything is stripped down to the absolute essentials needed and no more. The rest is up to you. Great!

Using this ruleset, I ran my group through the wonderful dungeon, A Litany of Scratches. Among other things, I modified the, in my opinion, too strict death and magic rules and added other house rules to make it more to my liking. Very easy to do. Advantage here, disadvantage there, etc. Everyone in the reviews who is complaining about a rule in the system, there's a simple answer-- don't use it, or modify it! It couldn't be easier.

In short, I think think 5TD is a good system that many will enjoy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by Kailan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2022 08:24:03

I'm going to be up-front and preface this by saying I don't like D&D 5th much, and my single experience playing Five Torches Deep with a group was a miserable ardious affair that I don't blame the publisher for at all. So if I sound a little bitter and harsh, it may be flavoured by that.

Five Torches Deep is a brief and short book, trying to bring D&D 5th rules back to the old early AD&D days when the Satanic Panic was running rampant, Miami Vice was still showing Bruce Willis on TV for the first time with a full head of hair and the keytar was still performed in front of live audiences. I'm not personally familiar with those days, as someone born in the 90s, but, I've heard the wild stories. Based on the bardic-like tales I've heard, the style and the rules delivered seem to really seem to align and I highly recommend the system for those hoping to have a taste of those old days.

Just be aware that my copy that I got was printed in landscape which I've personally found deeply awkward to both read and store on the shelf. I would have preferred it in portrait style, and I hope future copies reflect this. This was my only main issue with the book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your feedback! The book was intentionally designed to be printed in landscape which makes it easier to lay down flat on a table. The three column style also fits nicely on most digital screens, and individual pages can be printed on standard US letter paper. But fully understand it is an unusual aspect ratio! Thanks again!
Five Torches Deep
by Gabriel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2022 11:21:56

What I liked: FTD adopts a lot of the best ideas from other OSR games, but at a deep structural level it's 5e. In many ways it prioritizes simplicity. d20 resolution for everything. The class system is essentially a streamlined version of the 2e PHB class system reconceptualized as the 5e class/archetype system (eg, a bard is a thief archetype). Encumberance and supply are both simple enough to be used and supply reminds me of Gumshoe preparedness (a great mechanic). Ascending AC and highly abstracted armor (light vs heavy) and weapons (one-hand vs 2-hand and simple vs martial). In addition to the various simplicity angles, it has several great ideas (some of them presumably borrowed from other OSR games). Like LotFP, the FTD thief is a TSR-style infilitration specialist, not a WotC-style glass cannon. Races are just alternate rules for ability score generation and no race has darkvision. The magic system is a simplified version of DCC's brilliant but overly crunchy weird magic system. (Though note that the odds of a mishap are much higher than in DCC).

What I didn't like: Five Torches Deep is not a playable game that grafts the best OSR ideas onto 5e but an overly terse set of notes on how to do so. As written, it is unplayable. You need the 5e PHB and a lot of work to adapt it. For instance, if you play a warrior with the ranger archetype, you can choose a feat of "adv to track or hunt." What are the rules for tracking? A wisdom roll? FTD doesn't tell us so the DM needs to make it up or look it up in 5e PHB. Another example, healer kits are mentioned several times but we never learn what they do. (In 5e a healer kit stabilizes a character at 0 hp but in FTD you simply die at 0 hp which leaves one wondering why FTD makes a presumably useless piece of equipment a standard part of the warrior and zealot loadout). There are a lot of cases like this. A bit like how little brown books OD&D didn't make sense unless you were an experienced wargamer, FTD won't make sense unless you are an experienced 5e player and even then you'll have to make up a lot on the fly. This is especially disappointing as there's a 5e SRD so there's no legal reason FTD couldn't be written to be playable. FTD has great layout and art so obviously the authors weren't too lazy to make it playable. I suspect the authors deliberately prioritized making it short and sweet but unfortunately there's such a thing as excessive terseness. Inshallah, just as OD&D was unplayable until Moldvay and Holmes rewrote it to be comprehensible for people who weren't experienced wargamers, there will someday be an edition of FTD that is willing to have a slightly higher word count but actually makes sense. On that day I suspect it will be my top pick for OSR, or even F20 in general.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Homesteads
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2021 22:08:28

I enjoyed Homesteads. The use of the coloured cubes to generate a region and town was innovative. FTD: Homesteads is a nice choice to create a starting town and region and let the characters run amok. Personally, I generated nine regions using the coloured cubes to get an overall idea of what the region was like and used that to inform how the town functioned.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Homesteads
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Five Torches Deep: Origins
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2021 21:59:32

HUGE nope for FTD Origins. The Origins detract so far from FTD that it seems this was some weird appeal to the community. Then you get to the final blurb which totally distracts from the OSR. Colonialism? Seriously? Where do you think monsters get their treasure? Heroes aren't gallavanting through the cosmos and spreading colonialism. Heroes are retaking territories claimed by EVIL ENTITIES. It's cyclical mythology. What... should goblins just keep whatever treasure THEY STOLE because of colonialism? This book is terrible. Heritages? Bad. Lineages? Bad. Just... bad.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
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Five Torches Deep
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2021 21:54:51

FTD is alright. It's far from rules complete, and that is always my go to with an RPG. I understand the design standpoint, but, let's be real, if you need FTD then X then Y then the other to complete a setting? Why? Why should I need another resource to generate a treasure hoard when there is a rule segment for a treasure hoard? It feels incomplete (which is not always a bad thing) and ... just ... I always feel like I'm looking for something outside of FTD. So, FTD is ok, but it is not at all feature complete.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
by John M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2021 03:22:19

A great system for a great set up. Dungeon delving has never been so much fun and quick! Just note it isn't an adventure module per say(Basically a modified rule system for 5E). I built a campaign around this idea though and it almost feels like a throwback to heroquest or warhammer quest.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2021 06:48:13

Not as good as the core rulebook. While the rulebook for Five Torches Deep is well thought through and a delight this comes over as a bit hasty and not properly considered. There are sections which definitely come over as very preachy.

Thereare some good ideas here (the life paths section on p6)- but there are also some questionable ones (lineages).

It's cheap, so not much lost, but doesn't jump the high bar that the original rules set.

[Had a dialog with the game designers - this time I think it was me missing the point of where they were going with the rules - so revised the review upwards]



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review! We are always looking to improve our products. Can you share a bit more of your thoughts on why Lineages are not as well thought out? It is the piece we are most proud of and believe it to be a very evocative way of creating essentially endless backgrounds. But we have heard from some folks that it is too many things to track or puts too much emphasis on bloodline rather than PC class. Was that something you felt stood out, or something else?
Five Torches Deep
by David Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2021 16:30:01

Absolutely fantastic. If you want to play with a feel of OSR but the mechanics of 5e this is your best option in my opinion. The character class advancements, etc are spot-on and feel like B/X. The mechanics themselves are straight elegant applied 5e. If you want modern mechanics with and old-school feel I think this is a great place to start. Also regarding layout and usability, it's absolutely 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
by Godefroy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2021 13:05:44

Hi, I just received my copy and read it. I can't wait to play it ! It seems to be a simple, uncluttered and efficient system that offers a old school feeling. Awesome work !!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by Ben A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2021 05:12:00

This is a very interesting system and I do not regret my puchase at all. But as a system itself it feels very incomplete. I would say if you plan to run this game you also need the core books for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. It explains many of it's new rules well and they are fantastic editions. In particular it's Supply and Magical Mishap rules can only be described with a chef's kiss. But most of it's rules are so rules lite as to be non existant on it's own. In many ways it's like Original D&D. Where OD&D was a bunch of guidelines based off the game Chainmail, this is a bunch of guidlines based off 5e. But I feel as if this system needs an Advanced edition or the Basic/Expert treatment. If you have the D&D 5e books you should definately get this! If you don't already have those books you may consider giving this a pass.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by michael w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2021 12:31:30

Really interesting take on the OSR. it's clean and clear and has a cool idea as to how to deal with basically every single element of a dungeoncrawl game. I'm not sure it's as innately insipering as I usually like my games, but regardless it's a good read and I might pick it when next I run an OSR style game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by Cassie L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2021 12:50:53

Good start to rulet set but in play seems unfinished. We ended up with many questions and needing to house rule on a regular basis. There is a whole section about hirelings but it lacked any stat blocks. Additional example stat blocks would have been helpful. Needing to continually reference 5e rules then adjusting them got a bit tedious in play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks Cassie! Part of OSR play is all about "rulings over rules," so the terseness is intentional rather than accidental omission. Retainer stats are given along with all NPCs in the Monster Math section; simply plug in the HD of the retainer you have/want, select their specialty (such as laborer or combatant) and you have all of their relevant stats. I'd be curious to know what other 5e rules were needed to refer to in play, as we always want to try to improve our products. Thanks for the feedback!
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