Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Free OSR List Mini Review - Dark Dungeons

The free OSR rulesets are a special bunch.  They seek to clone, or clone and house rule, earlier editions of the Dungeons & Dragons rules.  God bless the OGL, and it's empowering those that enjoy Old School gaming.

Dark Dungeons is a clone of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.  The D&D Rules Cyclopedia is itself a mash-up of BECMI Dungeons & Dragons - the series of boxes sets that took one from 1st level to 36th level.  If you've tried to find yourself a copy of the D&D RC on eBay or such, you would see that it is pretty sort after.  Dark Dungeons gives you the RC in a revised edition that attempts to correct some of the contradictions between the different boxed sets.

I have this in both dead tree and PDF formats and it is extremely well done.  The PDF is free ;)


  1. The author missed an opportunity to include Jack Chick styled cartoons. If he could find an artist who could faithfully recreate the style and have those sprinkled about in this clone, i'd buy a hard-cover version in a heartbeat.

  2. Paladin: I hope he keeps that in mind for any revision, although, I do like all the Dore.

    Tenkar: Do you mean Rules Cyclopedia?

  3. crap, yes! its referred to it on the DD as the Compendium, which didnt sound right when i read it, but i figured i was a bit off in my old age... correcting original post ;)

  4. I already have the original Rules Cyclopedia, but I love this for the simple fact that it took the stupidity that is the Jack Chick tract and used it for something good! Kudos to the author for having a great sense of humor and irony! You're a genius.

    Long live Blackleaf!

  5. This is probably my 2nd favorite "retro-clone" that I've bought, with S&W Complete being the first. I have owned the RC since it came out, but I love this book with its house rules and additions. DD is complete awesomeness with one fault: the formatting is a bit bland, but other than that, it rules. This is a hobby-based book release, not a pro effort, so that is not a real offense.


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