Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dark Places & Demogorgons Player Options and GM Guide

The Dark Places & Demogorgons Player Options and GM Guide is a great supplement to an already great game.

For players we get a greatly expanded skill and class list. We also get more explanation for skill uses. The real meat of the book is in the new classes though. These classes go up to level 7, as opposed to 5 like the core. You might be wondering why we need more classes. As I mentioned in my DP&D core review the classes cover the classic 80's teen archetypes. We don't need these classes to play, but they definitely expand the game and branch out into other things 80's related. Some of the classes, like the equestrian class also feel necessary for the implied setting of DP&D, J'town, because it's in the heart of Kentucky horse country. Here's a quick description of the classes:

  • Equestrian Show Rider - You are from a big money, prestige horse breeding family
  • Equestrian Rider - Similar to the above, but more humble and down to earth (meaning less money)
  • Monster Hunter - You know monsters are out there, just like the Frog Brothers from Lost Boys
  • Party Animal - You might be underage, but that doesn't stop you from having access to booze and drugs
  • The Performer - You were raised in the spotlight from a young age
  • Phatasmagon - You are psion with the ability to cause fear
  • ROTC Cadet - You're an all American soldier-in-training
  • Soviet Spy - Your family is from the USSR and you are secretly gathering intelligence for the Motherland
  • Spy In Training - You are actually American, but are training to infiltrate other nations and must pretend to be someone from somewhere else
  • Street Tough - You're a runaway or squatter and tougher than the average teen
  • Survivalist - Your family will survive the bomb and are a lot like the Gummers from Tremors
  • Teen Ninja - You know being a ninja isn't just a fad and you're going to be the best
  • Telepath - You are a psion gifted/cursed with the ability to read the thoughts of others
The core rules presented optional rules for psionics and this book presents optional rules for magic. The magic system isn't super detailed, but it doesn't need to be. Spells are divided into major and minor. They are then further subdivided between light, dark, and neutral. We're given familiar rules, information about potion making, and new classes.
  • Dark Witch - You are called by the darkness and use it to gain power and destroy
  • Mechano-mage - Your magic has a modern feel and you have technological abilities
  • Nature Witch - You feel the call of nature and use magic to protect it
  • Voodoo Practitioner - You're definitely not from J'town and are from the voodoo tradition, which makes you hardier than most magic-users.
  •  White Witch - You are called by the light and use it for good
The final set of players options describes updating the core classes with the new rules presented (including being able to level up to 7). My favorite class ability, the metal heads hellacious ability to summon a demon, is expanded upon and example demons are given!

This section is followed by an 80's price guide (with new weapons and equipment). The section is super useful. The last bit of gaming info is a couple of pages of new rules for the GM. These include outsmart rules, character development charts, and other ways to beef up characters. 

All of that info is found in the first half of the book. The second have is your handy guide to the 80's. It has charts and tables for everything, my favorite being "Your Crush From The 80's." While this might not be a necessary addition to the game, if you're really wanting to immerse yourself in the setting, it is extremely useful.
So now you may be wondering, should I buy this? I think if you run or play Dark Places & Demogorgons you really need to pick it up. It greatly expands the game and takes it in many cool directions. Like the core book, you can pick it up on Lulu, OBS, but I recommend ordering here, directly from Bloat Games.

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