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Five Torches Deep
by michael w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2021 12:31:30

Really interesting take on the OSR. it's clean and clear and has a cool idea as to how to deal with basically every single element of a dungeoncrawl game. I'm not sure it's as innately insipering as I usually like my games, but regardless it's a good read and I might pick it when next I run an OSR style game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
by Cassie L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2021 12:50:53

Good start to rulet set but in play seems unfinished. We ended up with many questions and needing to house rule on a regular basis. There is a whole section about hirelings but it lacked any stat blocks. Additional example stat blocks would have been helpful. Needing to continually reference 5e rules then adjusting them got a bit tedious in play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks Cassie! Part of OSR play is all about "rulings over rules," so the terseness is intentional rather than accidental omission. Retainer stats are given along with all NPCs in the Monster Math section; simply plug in the HD of the retainer you have/want, select their specialty (such as laborer or combatant) and you have all of their relevant stats. I'd be curious to know what other 5e rules were needed to refer to in play, as we always want to try to improve our products. Thanks for the feedback!
Five Torches Deep
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2021 18:40:39

This is really very good indeed.

Enough material here to get up and running with a low level (1-9) campaign in jut 48 pages. If you are happy with a mostly humanoid characters and monsters being very rare one off creations then this really is all you need.

If you like having fights against monsters by the barrel load then you wll need to get hold of a the Monster Manual or similar to give you pre-generated creations.

The book is beautiful, the layout logical and overall this is a job well done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
by Caroline D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2021 08:09:12

Picked this up maybe 2-3 months ago. My original plan was to use this a jumping off point from 5e to OSE, but ended up just sticking with FTD. I really enjoy the system. If you want a more deadly game with greater emphasis on dungeon combat and exploration, and you're switcing from 5e D&D, this is your game. It's very modular, and the monster creation system is worth it all on it's own. Highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Andres E. V. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2021 23:39:32

Great material. Really fun and varied ways of customizing characters, this supplements succeeds in doing what it sets to do, giving plenty of options for cool species to play with, yet being flexible enough so you don't get two exact same PCs basically EVER. Aside from "lower stats don't mean anything", this book's character creator mechanics are awesome.

It is basically "Ancestry and Culture", but in FTD's fashion it goes straight to the point, and the tools it gives are super flexible.

Seeing the paragon concept also makes me very happy, as the option for the "race as class" while being a trope it is still a cool concept. I think having many different ways to play a character is always better.

On the art front, I enjoy it but it is far too removed from the desperate, raw and gritty style of the core book. The core book has more atmospheric art, and origins seems not only whimsical in comparison but also far too basic and flat(technique wise).

I understand that the core book is twice the price, and I do enjoy me some whimsy, but comparing the core heritages art on each book there is no denying this is quite the step down quiality wise. Also a missed opportunity not having a spread of the heritages ¿maybe when we get a hardcover compilation? (if so, I think the original art style and technique are far superior).

As for the controversy regarding the last page statement, I get it. No, I don't think the author's worldview should be excluded from thir work, far from it. I also think that the best statement are the first 15 pages of the book. That statement reads as if the authors regret making FTD in the first place, instead of celebrating what origins brings to the table in both flexibility, variety and a more inclusive worldview.

Species ARE diferent, so on average some being stronger, taller, slender, quicker gives a clear startingpoint to think "how does a culture where a child can walk and lift 100 pounds by age 8 looks like?" If every species "is the same unless it is adventuring" then heritages become a paint job, which to me reduces the versatility, and is far harder to establish a world where that is possible.

However I agree that adventurers are extraordinary, regardless of species, that's why an Orc can be a Wizard, probably the strongest wizard in the class on average (not that hard).

I digress. Mechanics are on point, the statement's focus (negativity for the past instead of the many doors opened by this material and world view) and the "stats are only valid while adventuring" not so much.

Worth the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
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Five Torches Deep: Homesteads
by Cassie L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2021 21:47:25

It's a bit underwhelming. There is a distinct lack of mechanical rules, charts, or detailed examples for land's characteristcs. Crop examples are a couple of italic notes at the end of sections and there is not a rule based way to determine quality. However quality provide mechanical benefits so its something players will want to work towards. The town structures have a tier system which would have been a wonderful framework for the homestead itself. In its current state the GM is going to need to homebrew or handwave to make this useful for gameplay.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Homesteads
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Five Torches Deep: Duels
by Daniel L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2020 11:41:24

This book is oustanding.

I've spent a lot of time reading RPG books in search of a crunchy combat system that's just right. The system I imagined had an elegant balance between verisimilitude and complexity in a way that keeps it really playable by a wide audience but also still makes combat feel like a real sword fight by not abstracting out many details with concepts like AC. This system is that system!

We all must balance our life obligations with our RPG time right? So, it can be tough to justify learning really crunchy systems like Riddle of Steel, Blade of the Iron Throne, or Sword and Scoundrel. That's not to take away much from those games; I view them as an achievements on their own, but they're not right for everyone, and I especially think it's hard to argue against the assertion that they're not right for all groups.

Also, while still being interesting in their own right, some systems simply create different combat abstractions that still don't feel quite right like 7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings, and the Apocalypse World Engine games. Instead of creating lots of new abstractions, FTD: Duels fits over top of standard D&D or OSR d20 rules and fixes many of the annoying abstractions by adding an option for an attack then defend and repeat melee system. By implementing the duel system in this way, it minimizes complexity because it uses a system many of us are familiar with as a base.

I won't go into much further detail about why Five Torches Deep: Duels strikes the verisimilitude vs. complexity balance perfectly, but I feel confident that I can tell you that it definitely does after having read all those other books.

P.S. The art is gorgeous and the book is laid out in a format that's very easy to read and reference.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Duels
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Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Austin A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2020 02:01:35

book is full of fantastic mechanics for creating distinct and personalized characters. Political gibberish aside, this is a fantastic product and I don't regret my purchase at all. 100% recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
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Five Torches Deep
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2020 23:32:14

I've been something of a "casual" fan of the OSR. I've read a number of books and adventures, looked over various systems, but I never actually felt comfortable actually running any OSR game... I've never ran anything "out of the box" without my own set of house and I felt there were a lot of little bits and pieces I didn't trust myself to tweak without greatly imbalacing the game. Enter Five Torches Deep. Being a modern modern ruleset, with base mechanics I'm used to, I'm a lot more comfortable with furthering hacking it into my own thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep
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Five Torches Deep
by Enrico P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2020 13:40:14

This game is a work of art and a work of love, it combines streamlined 5th edition mechanics with old school flavour, but it contains so much more! I can't wait to have the printed copy in my hands, in the meantime I've discovered a lot of great ideas that make it the game that I've always wanted to write if I was smart enough to do it. This is going to replace every other system that I run for fantasy adventures, I'm officially a fan!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Allan N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2020 21:47:11

Five Torches Deep as a baseline game is amazing both in play and conceptually. If you have enjoyed the base system, this book will be a more than welcome addition to this amazing game for both DMs/GMs and Players alike. The fact that this is less than $5 dollars is practically a steal for the value it provides you. Below I will review each provided system within this book.

1) Ancestries: The Lineage system is a wonderful tool for player's and DMs alike. Just a glance at the 12 provided fills my mind with ideas for characters, NPCs, Villians, and so much more. This single piece of the book, as an expansion to the base FTD rules alone would be worth the asking price in my opinion. By far, conceptually my favorites are the Corpse Flea and the Eternal(Spooky Scary Skeletons), a Corpse Flea is a body snatching psychic entity that needs a steady supply of bodies(Dead) to sustain it's existence with malleable physical stats, and the eternal is a Skeleton that can survive so long as it's skull is intact and I cannot get the image of a skull bouncing down a hallway to stab someone with a dagger held in it's mouth out of my head.

2) Life Paths: This system serves several purposes, both explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly this serves as a Stat generator and a basic backstory generator. It has risk associated for those willing to keep rolling, but rewards as much as it takes away in many cases. Implicitly this system allows those who enjoy fleshing out backstories a variety of options and flavors to add and allows you to take the seeds planted within this system and grow them forth into an extremely well fleshed out story to establish your character from. For those willing, I would absolutely reccomend you roll beyond the 3 safe rolls as the roleplay potential is more than worth the mechanical disadvantages that occur.

3) Lineages: I cannot state how absolutely amazing this syetem is. Acting as a guide rail that, as a GM myself, you should definately feel comfortable mixing and matching up to build an endless variety of characters. At base, this system allows both GMs and players alike a seemingly(and conceptually) endless combination for species and cultures with which to populate the worlds they play within. If your group loves Roleplaying unique characters this will absolutely be your bread, butter, and 5 course meal. The culture section of the lineage system can be as shallow or deep as you desire, but it provides no shortage of tools to players to use in the world of the GM incorperates it at all, which even in the most basic stock fantasy settings should come up at least once every 10 or so sessions.

4) Paragons: These, to me, are perfectly suited to the tropes that many are well aware of and have fun with in their explorations of these tropes. Flavorful, Fun, with unique abilities that provide utility. I especially find the halfling thrower to be entertaining as you could have an entire recreation of david and goliath with it or throw everything in the room at enemies dealing no small amount of damage. I can clearly see the use of carrots as lethal projectiles as a wonderful moment that I as a PC would seek out at every opportunity to only one up the absurdity of the item I finished off the last enemy with.

5) Bioessentiallism, Racism, and Colonialism: I will state this to start out, it is very much so a strong stement to have included this in the book and I believe it reflects well on Sigil Stone as a whole. I must commed you for this acknowledgement of the harms of our world that this content could dredge up, especially so now as of the time of writing this and the backlash that Wizards of the Coast recieved from a notable chunk of the 5e DnD community. As someone in pursuit of multiple social science degrees who is nearing graduation, I see here not a "cop out", as you put it, per say but rather a healthy acknowledgement that we in the Tabletop RPG community should look to far more than we do and should hold up as the new standard as more and more people enter into our ranks. Your acknowledgement speaks loudly and justifiably that your values are as much a part of your system and considerations placed within it as the hard work and thought that goes into the writing and mechanics you've made.

To those who are offended by this page, I present this question to you: Why does an acknowledgement of history and it's effects on people in the real world offend you so much? Perhaps you learned the Mythologized version of history that swept many of the atrocities that have occured sue to these very issues, and still to this day are issues we grapple with globally, under the rug? Perhaps you have been lucky enough to not see or feel the horrific effects, the damages, the evils that still permeate every part of our lives. Maybe you simply do not care, in which case you could simply ignore the page entirely if you really wanted to, but those of you who had an emotional reaction to this page I again ask: Why does THIS elicit your ire? Your annoyance? Perhaps you are simply a reactionary, or maybe you have some deeper seated issues or insecurities that you need to resolve. Regardless, you should seek a proper answer to that question even if it makes you uncomfortable for the sake of your own personal growth. Of course, if you're simply a Triggered Social Injustice Warrior who can't handle your ideas being challenged, you've probably stopped reading long before this, but if you are not I suggest you to ask yourself why you took issue with this.

Thank you Sigil Stone for making yet another beautiful product!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
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Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Jeremy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2020 07:23:35

This is a much-needed supplement in the RPG world. Origins, like FTD core, is thoughtfully designed and presented. The real selling point is a toolbox for chargen that can be used with any RPG system, which overrides and avoids problematic race-as-class templates. You'd probably want FTD core to make full use of this book, but Origins serves as a landmark, in my opinion, of an RPG supplement in which racial mechanics are addressed directly with new mechanical solutions AND the design reasoning behind those solutions are discussed explicitly in a one page essay included in the book. It's a wonderful essay covering historical development, colonialism, bioessentalism, and their influence on RPGs. The essay should serve as a manifesto and statement of values going forward in RPG development. Here's where we are now and here's what we're doing about it, and here's why. There will always be haters and derisive disrespectful critics (see below in the Reviews right here) but at least Sigil Stone Publishing stakes their flag.

As an RPG supplement, the book is very good, expanding FTD and our OSR toolboxes. As a mindful and inclusive statement that happens to include nicely designed RPG game stats, the book is fantastic.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Peter G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2020 23:57:35

This book had both interestig takes on "race" as a mechanic in rpg's and some interesting takes on "race" and the history of racism in rpg's in general. while i dont 100% agree with every take in the book over all it is another fantasitc addition to five torches deep and one i will defintalty be using when i next run a five torches deep game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Brian Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2020 20:55:25

A fine addition to FTD and a very interesting take on race in D&D and OSR style games. Very happy with my purchase!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Torches Deep: Origins
by Joao C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2020 14:12:24

This is a great book for expanding on the idea of the other ones with ideas for quick creation of a number of different new lineages and a bunch of classic ones. I can already see myself using this to make up new places with distinct characthers on the fly. The paragon classes are a great way to play those classic fantasy tropes and also a nice tool for worldbuilding in the hands of someone creative, need to now the most common aspects of a person from this culture? The paragon class has them.

In short, a book to make fantasy games feel more fantastic and surprising with a bunch of different types of people and cultures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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