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3Deep (2nd Edition)
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3Deep (2nd Edition)

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3Deep is a fast and simple role playing game intended to allow play in any world setting but designed to emulate the episode structure of classic TV and movie Sci Fi and Fantasy. It does this by making even beginning characters capable of handling the great variety of situations that the plot lines and story arcs can throw at a character or team of characters. 3Deep’s flexibility means that you can play in any genre world from medieval fantasy through the modern age to Sci Fi.

One of the design criteria for 3Deep is that all the rules needed to play should be able to be contained on a single side of paper and only require the most common of dice. These single sheets can be found at the back of this book. One sheet covers the core rules for normal play and the second is for the solo rpg rules.


3Deep started life back in the late 80s as a set of house rules first of all and then as a personal rpg for my own use. It shares its DNA with the games I was playing at the time, Traveler, Champions and Car Wars.


Characters have Traveler style stats rolled on 2d6. When you take damage the damage comes directly off of your stats. This means no hit points. Take a bullet and it will slow you down!


Skills are also traveleresque. You game skill ranks from your characters cultural background and skills from their early years. The cultural skills are defined by the rules but your personal skills you just pick you suit your vision of your character. There are 21 skills in the game that are very broadly defined and you will start with 10 skill ranks to spread between them.

There is a unified critical success and failure system that makes use of the number of ones and sixes rolled that carries through skills, magic and combat.

Magic and Psionics

This is where the game shows its Champions/Hero System genes. You have a pool of magical points (mana)  and a menu of effects and their costs. You can define your own spells and scale them by putting more or less mana into the spell. There is a chapter of predefined spells to serve both as a model for creating your own and as a fast entry into casting spells. Psionics and magic are basically indistinguishable from a game mechanics point of view.


Combat is where taveler, Hero system and Car Wars all meet. Combat is dangerous, fast and interactive. You get to roll your attack and location, the defender gets a chance to defend themselves and if your attack succeeds you roll your damage and knockback. The combat round and movement is based on your characters stats with faster more nimble characters acting first and more often.

Vehicles and Vehicle Combat

There are simple rules for describing vehicles of all sorts from Stagecoaches to Battle Cruisers and handgliders. Vehicles have stats and damage comes off those stats making them harder to control or structuraly weaker.

Solo or Group Play

3Deep comes with a built in solo engine meaning you don't need a GM. Too many games get bought and never played. There is no excuse not to play 3Deep as you can play it whenever you have time to kill. The back of the book has a few quick reference sheets with all the rules. All you need add are some d6s, three should do.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
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August 28th, 2019
3deep takes a Traveller-esque 2d6 mechanic, combines a thoughtful set of solo (one person wearing the GM hat as well as playing one or more PCs) rules, and provides just enough scaffolding to build your game around. It is a very serivcable toolkit with [...]
July 23rd, 2019
Cons: 3Deep is a basic game. It tries to cover everything but means that nothing is covered in any great detail There is no default setting Combat can get slow if every rule is used. Combat is dangerous Pros: This game is easy to learn and fast to play [...]
January 27th, 2019
I will write a review of 3Deep in the worst possible way, using the less polite of the narrative gimmick: I will write about myself. I'll justify this tremendous act of discourtesy and bad manners after 2 important facts: I am a Game Maste [...]
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File Last Updated:
September 12, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on August 15, 2017.
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