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Five Torches Deep $10.00
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
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
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
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
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
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
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
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!
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2021 18:40:39

This is really very good indeed.

Enough material here to get up and running with a low level (1-9) campaign in jut 48 pages. If you are happy with a mostly humanoid characters and monsters being very rare one off creations then this really is all you need.

If you like having fights against monsters by the barrel load then you wll need to get hold of a the Monster Manual or similar to give you pre-generated creations.

The book is beautiful, the layout logical and overall this is a job well done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Caroline D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2021 08:09:12

Picked this up maybe 2-3 months ago. My original plan was to use this a jumping off point from 5e to OSE, but ended up just sticking with FTD. I really enjoy the system. If you want a more deadly game with greater emphasis on dungeon combat and exploration, and you're switcing from 5e D&D, this is your game. It's very modular, and the monster creation system is worth it all on it's own. Highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2020 23:32:14

I've been something of a "casual" fan of the OSR. I've read a number of books and adventures, looked over various systems, but I never actually felt comfortable actually running any OSR game... I've never ran anything "out of the box" without my own set of house and I felt there were a lot of little bits and pieces I didn't trust myself to tweak without greatly imbalacing the game. Enter Five Torches Deep. Being a modern modern ruleset, with base mechanics I'm used to, I'm a lot more comfortable with furthering hacking it into my own thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Enrico P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2020 13:40:14

This game is a work of art and a work of love, it combines streamlined 5th edition mechanics with old school flavour, but it contains so much more! I can't wait to have the printed copy in my hands, in the meantime I've discovered a lot of great ideas that make it the game that I've always wanted to write if I was smart enough to do it. This is going to replace every other system that I run for fantasy adventures, I'm officially a fan!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2020 18:31:14

I absolutely love this. It gets the crunch out of the way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Johnny P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2020 14:02:07

Let me begin by stating that there are a litany of things I like about 5e. I love the advantage/disadvantage system, I love the lore surrounding the settings of Forgotten Realms. I love the amount of background and fluff the supplements provide. But that has become where my admiration of 5e ends. I had recently been running a 5e campaign set in one of the most beloved of all the adventure modules (hint: there are vampires and tarot card readings). Aside from being a very well laid out module, my players, despite being 5th level, were essentially god-like. The horror, fear, and dread that is to accompany the module was non-existent at this point. The party knew that unless I threw Tiamat at them, they were going to be ok. Magic went off without a hitch, hit points were replenished at every evening's slumber inside their Leomund's Tiny Hut, and the threats were no biggie to them. I admit some fault in this, but for the most part, it highlighted a problem for me that I hadn't really considered in several campaigns (which were never finished over second level)--a lack of grounding by consequence. Sure, the story can reflect the consequences of character/player choices, but the threat of danger and death were not apparent to them. Casting spells automatically for either full or half damage on a failed save, seemed kinda OP to me. When the fighter can strike out on sword attacks but the wizard can cast fireballs without fail, when the cleric casts Spirit Guardian and runs around exploding enemies without recourse, I felt, well, bored. My players weren't playing characters anymore, they were playing stats and those stats were carefully placed, dumped, and buffed by class (or subclass of subclass of subclass), archetype, race, background, and equipment. It felt like a videogame at that point, with players yelling out these obscure abilities they'd gained while never failing a die roll. Characters all felt flat, with player recitations of actions or abilities being the magic words from the player handbook or some other supplement. To say that maybe I let the game get away from me is not inaccurate, but I also think the ruleset and players-above-all milieu have allowed for this. With newer editions of the game having a more player-centric, video game feel to them, the role of the DM going from arbiter of worlds to just referee and facilitator has become commonplace. I wanted the game to give a sense of wonder AND threat as I'd played with my older brother in 2e AD&D. I started reading up on the Old School Revival, the rule sets which clone those older rules and provide a more visceral game which required just as much critical thinking and role play as it did stat stacking and dice rolling.

And then I found Five Torches Deep (thru a youtube review by DungeonCraft). It was exactly what I was looking for. It pared down the rules to something manageable. It got rid of the archetypes, subclasses, and backgrounds that absolve players from having to roleplay (and encourage min/maxing). It made death and dying a very real consequence for bad decisions. FTD allows DM discretion while allowing for balance and a concrete concept for play that is easy for new players and DM's alike to digest. It made magic magical and mysterious again. It still allows for advancement and the ability to "do cool things" but it removed so much of the blur that the Hasbro, er, WotC juggernaut has created in its wake. I love that races have been pared down to 4, that classes are pared down to 4, and that archetypes offer enough variety to keep things interesting, but still recognizable as an overarching class. It put the discretion back into the hands of the DM and made the players accountable to characters, not stat blocks. The players must think critically, and must create a character's backstory and personality from their own creative mind, not from a list of acceptable, sometimes randomly rolled, choices. If a player wants to play a wizard with dementia, go for it. There's no chapter on how that should look or any penalties for that option. If a player wants to play a barbarian with an obsession with mirrors, go for it, there's no bonds, faults, or outlooks that the player feels they have to choose from. Players wanted "balance" but not between the party classes and adversaries. They wanted balance with each other. They didn't think it was fair that a fighter would get three "measly" attacks while a wizard shot lightning bolts. They wanted to feel cooler than their fellow party memebers. This system puts everyone in the same sh*t sandwich.

Regarding the monsters, it's very easy to contruct your own, or even re-skin your favorite monsters from the Monster Manual. The encumberance system makes sense and I love the addition of sundering and durability of weapons and equipment.

So far, the system has been a blast for me and a hit with my players. They are more invested in the game, more concerned with their decisions, and more weary of charging headlong into a dark chamber. I very much appreciate the time and attention of the developers and am looking forward to the possibility of adventure modules being published in the old-school vein, with maps on the inside of soft covers, minimal guidance, and a lot of room for DM creatvity. Keep up the awesome work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Adam T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2020 22:36:15

I had the opportunity to run a short adventure (5-ish sessions) using 5 Torches Deep. I had roughly 2 years of DMing experience in 5e before running this system. I played online with a group of people who had D&D experience but no OSR experience. The following are my thoughts on the system based on my experiences:

The good:

Compatibility with D&D - Since the system uses 5e math, it was intuitive for everyone in the group to pick up and play. There were a few hiccups with this, but not many. The hardest part was remembering to use 5TD rather than 5e classnames.

Quick and easy NPC creation rules - I ran the adventure in a chinese fantasy world, which is not well-represented in statblocks in other systems. I was able to easily create a dozen or so statblocks, all of which worked fine. Same thing with retainers and even hench.

Untying kills to XP - This is something that is a feature of OSR in general, but as my first time running OSR, It was interesting how only complete success is rewarded, compared to partial failure by running away. The party had to run away from the main "dungeon" repeatedly because they kept getting in over their heads, so when they finally found a secret entrance and stole a significant amount of treasure, they felt extremely rewarded (level up as well of course).

The following comments are mostly based on my personal opinions and my players' opinions. I am aware that several of these are deliberate design decisions. The bad:

Spellcasting checks - The wild magic-esque nature of spellcasting felt more punishing than anything. Due to a string of bad rolls, the spellcasters had no class features, basically. The cleric's armor melted off, reducing their AC from 15 to 9. At the end, their magic suddenly started working and they were able to accomplish much more with it. Rolling for spell success is fine, IMO, but the magical mishaps and being unable to cast again felt too punishing and reduced the tactics involved with magic.

Divine Spells - My game started at level 3 and featured overland travelling through forests and mountains. The zealot was able to ignore food as a supply item by only using their 2nd level spell slot to rite cast sustenance twice in a day. Since overland travel doesn't heavily use torches, the supply mechanic went basically unutilized all game. Reforge made party weapons and armor breaking a non-issue, even though I did make them use normal supply to do so. The zealots also used providence+bless+divine vigor repeatedly, so oftentimes someone had +4 to checks in combat, which felt mechanically powerful but boring. I had to houserule that you could only be affected by 1 instance of providence/bless/divine vigor each, to prevent infinite bonuses to checks. In all, I felt that zealots were able to entirely circumvent several new and potentially interesting mechanics in 5TD. Illuminate is much less of a problem, since it is concentration (You don't want your light source to give out when you are fighting something with darksight)

Lack of detail on mechanics - I understand the rulings vs rules argument, but I believe that there should be more attention paid to the rules in certain key areas. For one, the durations on spells or whether they can stack would really help, as providence, sacrosanct, divine vigor, and more are missing these details. A rough power level on the expensive SUP items is also key, since 5 gp for a strong potion gives no idea to what the intended power level is. I ruled that weak potions gave you +level HP back on your next rest, and strong potions gave 1d8 HP back, as if Suture was cast. It would be good to know if that innocuously broke the game, or if that was within what was intended.

Finally, here's an idea of content that I found myself desiring as a DM when running the system:

Travel turn ideas - I designed my first batch of travel turns as skill checks that resulted in damage on failures, or encounters or similar. It would be nice to have various travel turn ideas for various terrains, dungeon themes, and ideas, like, how an encounter would differ if encountered on 2-10 vs 11-19. I realized after running the module that there could be more travel turn failures that could result in loss of supply, for example.

I was seeking a system that de-emphasized crunchy combat and focused on exploration and tactical thinking, while still being easy to understand for D&D 5e players. I got what I needed out of it, but some of the systems in the game disagreed with my personal tastes or felt like they needed another revision pass. Overall, I'd recommend this system to 5th edition veterans looking to play OSR.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by John E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2020 09:56:55

100% positive. Quality was great and the book is well made. An awesome addition to my collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Ruben R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2020 20:40:41

This is minimalist old school gaming masking as 5e houserules. That is an excellent thing. The one-sheet class pages basically contain 99% of what a character needs, and are second only to Dungeon World playbooks in standalone niftiness. I love how 5TD repurposes every part of the traditional D&D concept, making both scores and modifiers actually important again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by joseph a. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2020 12:19:16

This is greatest TTRPG i've seen in decades. It is so lean and well designed allowing for so many different styles of play, i'm just dumbfounded. I put all of my other games to side and i'm now just using FTD. Please make more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
Publisher: Sigil Stone Publishing
by Todd s. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2020 01:53:55

As someone whom likes the options and simplicity of Fifth Edition but feels it makes one too heroic at times, I adore Five Torches Deep. The book may not have much in terms of content but it makes up for it in the framework it makes. If you want a rough and tumble game where stakes are higher, your pockets are emptier, and things just feel more... vintage? Old school! Then this is the book for you. If you're still a big fan of 5e I reccomend this book still; as a fun change of pace, great rules for oneshots, or as a reverse of those "epic/mythic/legendary" game books that stretch the game passed level 20, this one feels like a good way to start out your adventure. This could and does make a great "Level 0" book, not only in the fact that the weaker simpler characters within make for decent starting adventures for a regular and less lethal 5e game, this simpler book makes for a good starting game.

Overall worth every cent, my only critique is it could use more equipment, but then again every book could use more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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