A Reader Review of .dungeon by Batts

“The real world can (and will) affect the game you create. Each class has different powers based on physical things you do, or different parts of your life. The witch uses their tattoos to cast spells while the wizard uses their favorite book. The knight makes vows while the leader can offer gifts to the other players to aid them.”

.dungeon is an artrpg. “ARTRPG” “ArtPunk” words that I’m encountering pretty frequently. Sometimes I see games that are barebones, you create a word doc with some rules and just the basic art assets that you need in order to get the point across or break up blocks of text.

But more and more often games are being designed and printed not just to be rules and tomes, but to be a beautiful thing in and of itself, in Judaism we call this Hiddur Mitzvah, the “law” of having beautiful ritual items, and what is an RPG if not a ritual?

Physical Product: 9

Man it’s pretty, and the fact that it is printed in a non-standard format (4”x8”) makes it something I’m pretty happy with. Hard cover with sturdy pages, I’m not too worried about tossing this book in my bag to take with me.

Art: 8

Full color, vibrant and bright with each spread of pages hitting pastels and color to keep you engaged. The art is pretty in line with comics or cartoons and the vibrancy of the book keeps things light, I might even say it is the opposite vibe of the grimdark stuff I’m usually chewing on.

Writing/Editing: 8

Well edited, well written, even though this is a new system, and that system is extremely innovative, I find it pretty user friendly.

World/Fiction: 6

  • Design: Design wise, from the shape of the book, to the approach to colors, to the new mechanics, this is a book that you will want to look at.
  • Originality: There have been a few games and media that takes things from the “Real world + Game world exists” But few of them actually involve the people playing the game as the totem for in game mechanics, from a design perspective it’s certainly fresh!
  • Fleshed out: There isn’t a lot of meat on these bones, the book is a mechanical guide, rather than a world to explore.
  • Engaging: I enjoyed this read, it took a few sittings to get all the way through it, but I blame that more on having a kid on summer vacation than I do the book.
  • Mechanics: This is where this book shines, it builds out everything in a way that really starts you thinking about the insane possibilities and how you could incoporate eveything you love about your friends and mmo’s in one space.

Overall: 7.1

Final Thoughts: This is not a game for beginners. This isn’t a game for people who like crunch either. This is a game for people who really embrace the idea of collaborative story telling and want to explore blurred lines of what that narrative means. It is going to be an extremely cool game for the right group.

As a reader, I of course want world building when I read these, and .dungeon is a game that leaves that to the party. But if what you want is an interesting mechanical toolbox you won’t be dissapointed.

From a “You should have this pretty pretty book perspective, absolutely. Not everyone can collect or even wants to collect books just because they look nice, but .dungeon looks nicer than most. And it pops out amongst all the doom and gloom and yellow on my shelf. It’s an absolute joy to hold.

Have a physical game or supplement you want John to review? Contact him below!

Odd Gobs is now live on Kickstarter, play goblins in a Cyberpunk Dystopia working gigs to make ends meet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: