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Bits of Darkness: Dungeons $5.25
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Ray D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2011 09:05:46

This download was a welcome addition to my collection. Even after thirty years of collecting and DMing, it helps to get some new ideas injected into the game, and Bits of Darkness: Dungeons does exactly that. This book contains six Dungeon Shards (encounters with a fair amount of detail and explanation), 100 Dungeon Bits (snippets of description or leading text), and also eight Catacombs encounters that are more detailed than Dungeon Bits but slightly less involved than the Dungeon Shards.

The pdf is cleanly organized to bring the best impact to your game session, fully bookmarked and easy to read. The fonts and and artwork do a nice job creating atmosphere without distracting from the content. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book has not only a table of contents but also an index.

While the Dungeon Shards and Catacombs encounters are thoughtful and appropriate for nearly any dungeon scenario, the real gem of Bits of Darkness: Dungeons is also the longest section of the book: Dungeon Bits. These short pieces of atmosphere and description provide sensory-based clues and red herrings to be used by the DungeonMaster. While working with all five senses is a hallmark of good writing and good DMing, it can sometimes be difficult to recall in the heat of the game session to relate more than what the PCs can see. These premade bits are divided into categories for "Sights," "Sounds," "Scents," and "Stuff" to make sure you always have something on hand to keep the game fresh.

Bits of Darkness: Dungeons could be used on the fly to get a dungeon going, but it really shines when used as additional prep material for a polished, flesh-out adventure. Sometimes you're just not sure what to put down that other corridor, but you know that you want an alternate branch for heroes to explore. They can't just walk down a straight tunnel to the villain of the session, after all. Bits of Darkness: Dungeons gives the DM some clever ways to guide the party along, but it also leaves enough latitude to tailor an encounter to whatever scenario is appropriate.

The price of this supplement (currently $5.25) hearkens to the era of the mid-80s, when these sorts of books were being produced officially by TSR. It is of roughly the same length as those classic supplements, as well, and provides the same sort of punch when you really need it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Bits of Darkness: Dungeons
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