Friday, September 6, 2013

Initial Thoughts on Delving Deeper

I've been interested in Delving Deeper since about 2011, but just finally got my hands on the free pdf's from RPGNOW a few days ago.

After reading these rules, I would definitely try to purchase a boxed set of these rules.  I wanted to do that for Swords and Wizardry Whitebox but missed my chance completely...  I'm busy enough that I'm late to almost every party...

Anyway, it's another take on the original 1974 rules, and while I don't have a copy of these rules, I have read them a couple times.  My buddy has a set in his cedar chest, so I may go pull them out sometime and compare.  Things that caught my eye:

1.  They added in the thief class!  I'd like to see some method for advancing thief skills if you are gong to bring these into the game, but that would be easily added.

2.  The con based survival roll.  I'm pretty sure this was in the original game rules.   I missed it in the S&W white box rules system.  I think I will be adding it as a house rule to my FR game.  I also like to make each raise dead lower a PC's CON score by 1, sort of a raise dead downward spiral.  Only a wish or equivalent magical power can bring back this lost CON.

3.   They brought in some of the Dave Arneson GONZO factor.  Robots, androids, cyborgs... etc...  while this wasn't always my cup of tea, I kinda like the gonzo factor added in some campaigns.  It was why at the end of the Castle Amber adventure I was running under B/X I added in some mutant albino orcs, and their leader was carrying a Winchester 30/30 rifle.  Hey, they were stuck in a pocket dimension  Steven Amber created, so i threw in all sorts of stuff from lots of different genres as if this pocket dimension was "collecting" things from many different realities.

4.  Love the spell lists, the descriptions, and how they organized the spells Cleric Level 1 all on 1 page, then Level 2, all on one page.  Finding spells would be easier with this edition, saving time.  Characters could even print out the pages with the spells they can cast, so we don't have to search around.

Things I didn't like:

1.  I don't really like the 1d6 for all weapons approach,  I like some variation between weapons.  I understand that D&D combat is extremely abstract and not supposed to be a simulation extactly, but I think this is more of a holdover from Chainmail (although I've only read through those rules once or twice in my teens, so my memory of that isn't perfect).  I actually like the BX weapons tables, just enough weapon variation in damage for me.

2.  All movements are listed in inches?  What the heck does that mean?  Maybe they are assuming you will use mini's or maybe you are supposed to reference chainmail?

3.  Very little around combat times, how long is a round?   Rules for hex based movement are pretty sketchy.

I read through VERY quickly, so maybe all this stuff was in there.  I also get that they were trying to cling as much as possible to the original edition.  Everything I didn't like about these rules are quickly fixed.

In summary, a lot to love, leaving me with some things to think about.  What would my D&D mine look like?

Over the last 4 years I've gone back and played almost all the editions of D&D that were made.  I've played:  ODD, BX D&D (with stuff from rules Cyclopedia added in), 2nd edition AD&D (with stuff from 1e added in), 3rd edition, and finally Castles and Crusades.

Looking back through these different games I think I'm finding a trend:  I like lots of options for PC's added in, but I like shorter combat times (which mostly means lower HP).  I also like lower emphasis on stat bonuses from S&W/ODD vs. the BX, 2nd and 3rd edition, which have larger +/- based on stats.  I don't like skills, but I do like more abilities for characters as they progress through levels, so leveling up is more than another HD.

Ohhh boy, challenge accepted, its time to write up my own D&D mine!


  1. I would strongly advice against trying to buy a DD boxed set. John Adams has yet to deliver much to quite a few of us. I would not put any money his way if I were you.

  2. Yeah, I've been waiting for quite some time to see if he would start shipping product regularly. The woes of being a one man army I guess. Bad stuff besets you and nobody else is there to pick up the slack.