Adventures Dark and Deep Playtest Marks One-Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of the open playtest for Adventures Dark and Deep.

For those who might not know, Adventures Dark and Deep is my attempt to see what the world’s most popular role-playing game might have looked like if its inventor had been allowed to continue developing it, rather than leaving TSR in 1985. I don’t have any insider knowledge; there are no secret notebooks in my possession. Rather, the game is based on his series of Dragon Magazine articles detailing his intended direction for the game, his public statements on various online forums, and other works. It contains new classes (the bard, jester, mystic, savant, and mountebank), spells, magic items, and monsters; a streamlined combat system (including new rules for initiative and surprise), and tweaks and changes throughout.

If you liked the direction that Unearthed Arcana was going in, chances are you’ll like Adventures Dark and Deep. It’s also completely modular; if you want to just add ADD mountebanks to your Labyrinth Lord game, it should work seamlessly.

The open playtest (inspired, by the way, by the open playtest conducted by Paizo Publishing for their own Pathfinder game) is still going strong, and all you need to do to participate is download the three core rulebooks (Players Manual, Bestiary, and Game Masters Toolkit, all in their 1.1 versions and available as free downloads at, play the game with your friends, and join the ADD discussion forums to talk about your experience. The feedback received over this past year has been phenomenally helpful, and is actively being used to shape the game. Your input really does matter, and is helping make the game much better with each passing day. 

The 1.2 versions of each book are in preparation and will be released soon, probably Q1 of 2012. I anticipate the open playtest to run through 2012, aiming for a release date in 2013.

Thanks to everyone who has participated and helped improve and shape Adventures Dark and Deep thusfar. I’m looking forward to getting more great feedback, and coming out with a really great game when the time comes. The one I wanted to buy in 1985, but couldn’t.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

4 thoughts on “Adventures Dark and Deep Playtest Marks One-Year Anniversary

  1. Jim,

    Not for the playtest versions, I'm afraid. However, all three pdfs can be taken to Staples and turned into very nice hard copies for around $35 for the set (approximating based on the total page count and a nickle a page). Maybe a tad more with binding.

Comments are closed.