Dungeons in the Dark

I’ve finally gotten this hack to a point where it can be playtested!! It’s still majorly a work in progress, but enough of the elements are there to begin playing.

This is a dungeon crawling hack heavily inspired by Dylan Green’s Blades Against Darkness. I was so excited by it that I couldn’t wait for it to come out and built this hack. The dungeon delving system borrows quite a bit from Blades Against Darkness (or at least the earlier versions), but I hope that this goes enough in its own direction that it can provide a lot of fun without trying to take up the same creative space.

In Dungeons in the Dark you play as a classic fantasy adventurer. The character playbooks are based upon many of the classic D&D or Dungeon World classes. The guild playbooks (Dungeons’ version of crews) hone in on different adventuring party themes: archaeologists digging up ancient secrets, crusaders going on religious quests, hunters stalking and bagging powerful monsters, infiltrators breaking and entering, mercenaries fighting for pay, and troupes plumbing the depths for interesting stories to tell.

One major feature of this game is the dungeons system. Instead of being associated with specific crews, the claims are locales found in the dungeon. Between the general claims common to all dungeons, the unique claims, and various points of interest, each dungeon has an expansive hex map. No two delves are the same, even if they take the same paths through the dungeon.

Check it out at https://nyroka.itch.io/dungeons-in-the-dark (password: dungeons-in-the-dark). Like I said, this is still very much a work in progress. For anything not completed (such as the NPC guilds and many of the factions), use your own creativity. Heck, feel free to share your take on any of the setting pieces. If you have any feedback I’d love to hear! If you like it enough, consider donating :slight_smile:


Awesome! I love D&D and BitD, so this is something I definitely want to try out. Thus far I’ve only skimmed the pdf, but it looks very promising. In time, I’m sure I’ll have some feedback for you.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. As I get things finished up and updated I’ll be updating the pdf. If there’s any area that’s unfinished (e.g. the factions) let me know and I’ll focus in on that section.

This looks like it was drafted in Google docs, so I’m going to suggest sharing a commentable docs link if you’re looking for feedback. At the moment, it takes folks a dozen or so clicks to get to the content, and then they have to go somewhere else to make the comments, and it will be more laborious for you to figure out how the comments relate to the document. If we can just comment on the doc as we’re viewing it, that would be much simpler.

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That’s a great point Nazim. I’ve updated the description of the itch.io with the link to the google doc. Copying it here as well to make it easier: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hQ6WYdcsNMUj1GwcgOfK63nNysbEZYYkCvKCOKLenqA/edit?usp=sharing


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I think this is a really nice game. The layout and explanation of the rules are really well done. They are clearer than in the SDR in my opinion.
Very much like the “gold can become dungeons” idea. Original!
Still think it is hard see the link between some parts of the ideas being floated. It is unclear to me if the factions are the Minting companies and that the players are a part of a minting company or if they are adventureres that are a separate faction. I can find arguments for both in the text.
The magic system is really well done. And very tidy as well. But I think spellcasters will have to be forced to spend a lot of Determination to be able to do their thing. As opposed to the Tank roles.

So the PCs and their Guild are independent adventurers who go into the dungeons to get resources. The different guilds aren’t minters, just adventuring guilds who go into the dungeon to get things (like the players). I’ll try to clarify that in the descriptions of the guilds themselves (I haven’t gotten to that part, as until I do, people picking this up to try it out can invent those things however they want for now).

Where are the places you found it indicated that they’re part of a minting company? I’ll try to clarify that.

Do you have some more examples of this? I’d like to try and clear them up.

As for spellcasters spending a lot of determination, I’m not sure what you mean. I tried to give each playbook only one ‘push’ ability. Otherwise spellcasting doesn’t cost determination (except as normal for taking actions through pushing and resisting). Could you point out where the higher determination costs are so I can address that?

Thank you for your feedback! :slight_smile:

On the topic of unclear consepts I have made some comments in the google doc document to show where I got confused. Easier to explain in the document.

As for spellcasting costing determination I thought that determination was needed to generate dice for the “Generate hold” roll. But rereading the text I see this was a me misreading the text. It is quite clear.

Guilds were specific to just Ebongate, being organized businesses that opperated out of the city (including the player guild). Factions were a broader term encompassing all guilds as well as the collectives of monsters in the dungeon; similar to how in Blades crew and faction were used (crews including the PCs’ crew and other criminal gangs, and factions encompassing those as well as larger forces like the Bluecoats or Leviathan Hunters). So ‘factions’ meant either any organization (that would be tracked on the Faction Tracker) or specifically the organizations within the dungeon, depending on context.

For clarity though, I went ahead and just renamed dungeon factions to dungeon guilds (or just guilds). The separation between organizations within Ebongate and those within the dungeon fictional only, no mechanics. So calling them all guilds will probably keep things a little simpler and easier to pick up. I hope I clarified things a bit that way.

Again, thanks for the feedback!

Also, if anyone hasn’t noticed yet, quite a few of the dungeon hexes and escape encounters are more or less copied and pasted from each other. If you have suggestions on more unique ones I’m all ears. Those were the two things I felt I needed to get done to push this out to a playtestable document, so they got a bit rushed and I was running into some writers block.

This change did help me understand the text better.
Thank you.

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Looks really cool! Are there character sheets made for this game?