What if Gary Gygax had not left TSR in 1985, and had been allowed to continue developing the world’s most famous fantasy role-playing game?
Adventures Dark and Deep attempts to answer that question.
We will, unfortunately, never know exactly what it would have looked like, because Gary Gygax did leave TSR in that year, and others took over the job of designing the second (and subsequent) versions of the game. After that unfortunate episode, he was understandably reluctant to give any advice on how he would have carried the game forward.
However, he did leave behind hints as to the direction he would have taken the game. New character classes. Streamlined combat. New spells and magic items. Consolidated and re-worked monsters. We don’t have many specifics, but we do have a fair number of “big picture” ideas. All of these have been taken as inspiration for Adventures Dark and Deep™.
Bear in mind that we have no special insight into Gygax’s mind on this subject other than what he himself wrote publicly, and certainly the game should not be taken as having any sort of official stamp, either from his estate or the corporations that have taken the game in new directions. All that has been done is to collect the hints he did leave, use them as inspiration, and take off in a wholly different direction than that which happened “officially”.
Adventures Dark and Deep™ is not a “retro-clone”. It does not set out to re-create a particular set of rules from decades past, as do some other games (not that there’s anything wrong with doing so!). Rather, it is a new creation, unique unto itself, and does not attempt to recreate any set of rules that has gone before.
A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore is not a stand-alone game. It is a rules supplement intended for use with other games such as AD&D, Labryinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, etc. It contains:
- Five new character classes: bard, jester, mystic, savant, mountebank
- Hundreds of new spells
- A new alternative combat system that is at once streamlined and more realistic
- Rules for shipborne adventures and combat
- Quick and easy rules for common hazards and weather
- New magic items
- New monsters
- And much more!
The full three-volume stand alone rules for Adventures Dark and Deep™ are currently in the process of being released, in case you're looking for the simplicity of three books that have everything you need (just like old times!).
The rules are designed to be completely modular; take what you like, leave what you don't. Want mountebanks and savants but not the new combat system? No problem.