New Release: Dungeon Delving Brown Box Edition

Dungeon Delving Brown Box EditionDungeon Delving Brown Box Edition is a retroclone of the original fantasy role-playing game published in 1974 (aka “0e”). It is an edited reconstruction (using open game content) of that game in easier to understand and use form. If you have wanted to play 0e but found the original rules confusing, disjointed, and apparently written for people who already understood the game, Dungeon Delving Brown Box Edition may be what you are looking for: a close emulation of the the original game presented in an organized manner intended for today’s gamers instead of 1970’s wargamers.

The first three sections of Dungeon Delving Brown Box Edition present the material from the original three 0e booklets (with an optional thief class from the first supplement), just with better organization and clearer writing. The fourth section adds a number of optional rules and guidelines allowing the Referee to tailor the main rules to the needs of their players and their campaigns — rules that the editor has created for use in his various campaigns over the last 45 or so years. Four appendixes complete the volume with an introduction to old school play, advice for the referee, advice for running adventures from the early days designed for large groups of players with the smaller groups of players more common today, and random tables the Referee will find useful.

Referees can easily design their own dungeons, towns, and wilderness or use published adventures and settings designed for 0e, B/X, or (with a bit of conversion work) 1e. Hundreds of published adventures both from the 1970s and 1980s and from OSR publishers today are available for use. All a player needs is paper, pencil/pen, and dice. The game itself is easy to learn and is fast and easy to play. Characters can be created in 10 minutes and a combat encounter seldom lasts much longer than that.

What Do You Get?

If you buy this paid tablet/digest version of the Dungeon Delving Brown Box Edition ($9.95 on DrivethruRPG) you receive the following:

  • a pdf of the single-column digest-sized version — 254 pages, with art
  • a pdf of the “Condensed” letter-sized, two column version — 110 pages, with art (i.e. the PWYW version with art in the large white spaces)
  • bonus epub and mobi versions for ebook readers
  • a zip file containing editable .docx, .rtf, .odt, and markdown file formats of a special “SRD” version (single column, letter-sized, fully editable).

The bonus epub and mobi versions contain tables. Many ebook (especially epub) readers display tables in a single column unreadable mess. Epub reader software designed to display epub3 files usually have no problem with the tables. Note that tables in epub and mobi files may not adapt well to small screen devices. Some ebook readers do not display all of the art. The mobi format does not appear to support the graphic fonts used as decorative space-fillers. The epub and mobi conversions have minor font size issues not present in the pdf version, but are quite usable if your ebook reader displays tables properly.

Is There a Free Version?

Of course, there is. The Pay-What-You-Want/free version of Dungeon Delving Brown Box Edition has no art. The PWYW/free version only comes in “condensed” format (the letter-sized two column pdf) and will not include the Tablet/Digest version, the ebook versions, or the zip file of editable versions. You can get a copy of the Pay-What-You-Want/free version here.

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About This Site

RetroRoleplaying.com started out as a site devoted to out-of-print, unsupported, and/or out-of-style tabletop roleplaying games (and modern “retro-clones” of those games). While we have over one hundred pages devoted to this, as of 2010 we are probably better known as the publisher of free Microlite20 variant games designed to reproduce the feel and style of “old school” editions of the “worlds most popular tabletop RPG” including the popular (and free) games Microlite74Microlite78, and Microlite81.

While it may surprise many people, the earlier editions of classic RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons sold many more copies than the newer D20, 4e, and 5e versions. These once very popular games are available in hardcopy via Amazon or eBay (and many are available in PDF)– and are still being played today. Retroclones are much less expensive, however (often free in PDF form).

Many people prefer older tabletable roleplaying games because of their less complex, easier to modify rules and their “feel.” While many 3.x and 4e games feel more like playing a computer game around a table with much emphasis on optimal character building and detailed tactical combat, pre-D20 games feel more being in a movie or novel — the emphasis is what the characters do in the campaign world as opposed to what skills and feats are on their character sheet.