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Dungeons & Delvers Core Rulebook

(2 customer reviews)


NOTE: I’ve been informed that there is an issue with downloading large files (and this one is pretty big). It is being worked on, and will hopefully be resolved soon. If you have any issues downloading this PDF, send an email to and I’ll send you a link to download it another way.

Dungeons & Dragons how we would do it, extensively playtested and altered from its classic chassis so as to better justify its existence (except for the core mechanic, of course):

  • Flexible character creation and progression. Classes besides spellcasters get to make meaningful choices throughout the course of the game: you’re never locked into an archetype or path. You can also to one degree or another control the complexity of your character, and care was taken to help ensure that the complex choices weren’t the “best” ones.
  • Different take on races, classes, and monsters. While many races and critters are inline with what you’d expect, many creatures have been tweaked or wholly reimagined both visually and/or mechanically. Elves are fairly similar, but instead of a high- or wood variant, you choose from light or dark. Instead of tieflings you have cambions, and there’s one flavor for every sin. Kobolds are a collection of diminutive spirit-folk, a few of which possess overtly magical capabilities (such as conjuring flames). Ghouls are shapeshifting demons that can steal the visages of those they devour. Angels aren’t all simply winged humanoids (and when they have wings tend to feature lots of eyes).
  • Split hit points. Characters and most monsters have a pool of Wound and Vitality Points. Vitality Points better represent minor injuries and exhaustion, whilst Wound Points are more akin to “meat” points. VP recovers relatively quickly through increasingly longer periods of rest (starts at 10 minutes, and goes up from there), while WP replenishes far more gradually (x per day). Some attacks–such as a spider’s venomous bite–and effects also only function, or function differently, depending on whether they inflict WP damage.
  • Armor grants Damage Resistance. While armor makes you harder to “hit” (or rather, harm with weapon attacks), it can also absorb a bit of the damage. Some attacks can bypass armor, either partially or entirely (such as penetrating weapons and psychic attacks). Luckily armor can be made from various materials, making them more resilient and able to better resist different sorts of attacks.
  • Less reliance on magic (and magical healing). While magic is assumed to exist by default, the game operates just fine without it. This is made easier thanks to Vitality Points and alchemical potions, but you can tweak VP (and WP) recovery and potions to make things even deadlier.
  • Varying magic systems that actually make sense. No more pseudo-Vancian magic (which doesn’t make any sense). In fact, there’s no unified magic system that applies to everyone (though a few classes rely on similar mechanics because it made sense). Each system is built around the concept of flavor-first: figuring out how it would work or be explained “in game”, and then reinforcing it mechanically.
  • Simple, effective crafting. Learning a craft requires time and money, and the more you make the better you get. Some require a roll, but it’s a straightforward process. Keep at it, and eventually you’ll be able to craft items of a quality superior to what you could normally purchase.
  • Waste not, want not. Not all treasure is gold and gems, and not every beast happens to have a hoard, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty many monsters have something someone wants (including you, if you’re practicing a craft skill).


2 reviews for Dungeons & Delvers Core Rulebook

  1. Yourbuddy75

    This looks like something that is in that same tier as the fabled Magenta Box, for Basic D&D. Upon further inspection, you can discover a game that will be very familiar to what you have played before, but it has enough various small fiddly bits, where a ‘crunch table’ could be really happy having this as their main campaign. This is a game where you have options aplenty. People who are shy of OSR-style games, should allow themselves to try this at a convention, or online. This game could convert a table of new players rather easily. It also has enough nods to wonderful literature within it to make your table of graybeards happy. I have not read the whole manual as of yet, but as of page 187, this is well-edited, and has enough meat within the covers where your table might find this is exactly what you want to play. The .pdf is a Jefferson, and worth it. You get art which supports the subject matter in a positive light, and you have an index (I’ll buy something where the index/table of contents is a big gripe) which helps you find your answers.

  2. papawhiskey81

    Great system that hits the sweet spot on crunch and lots of content. Despite being over 500 pages, a GM can customize their game to a low or high fantasy setting by making available or restricting certain classes, races, crafts, magic items, etc. The monster section (and Traps! Section) is a fun read and I especially like the Ghoul. Try not to get Acid you. Thumbs up.

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