Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughts on the Dungeon Alphabet

I just recently joined the party regarding the Dungeon Alphabet.

I read all the hubbub when it was first released but, as is often the case, I simply didn't have the time to get to it.

I did read Stonehell cover-to-cover and came away most impressed with the exactness and level of detail. Michael Curtis must get way better sleep than I do (lol). My capacity to manage detail has decreased dramatically thanks to two young children, but I still admire the attention to detail.

I just recently ordered the Dungeon Alphabet (along with a few Golden Books for my kids) from Amazon. I've read through it and came away with the following impressions, in no particular order:

1. I want more. I want the encyclopedic edition of the Dungeon Alphabet. What's here is awesome, but at the same time it seems to just scratch the surface.

2. To use a Bill Parcells-ism - I think you are what you are. Old School products should be coded for Old School games. Don't make it system-generic. We are all SO accustomed to tweaking material for our games already that it would be nice to use something out-of-the-box, as it were. System-neutral stuff, I'd argue, requires tweaking too. Make it plug-and-play.

3. There are some amazing pieces by the late Jim Roslof. What a fitting tribute.

4. The art, overall, is so totally awesome. However, my sense was that the art - at select times - seemed to take over. The art should always highlight the text, not the other way around.

In sum (and I know I'm late to the party), I really enjoyed the Dungeon Alphabet and can totally see myself using it as a reference tool in the creation of my own dungeons. I'm not surprized it won the NTRPGCon award. Having said that, I want the bigger, larger, more expansive, encyclopedic, Texas-sized version of the Dungeon Alphabet. I'll buy that one too. Well Done! :)

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