Through Dungeons Deep: A Fantasy Gamers' Handbook 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About the Author
Robert Plamondon started playing Dungeons & Dragons in college. He wrote many articles on role-playing games and early computer games, including over a dozen articles for Dragon Magazine. He worked for Activision during its glory days and wrote the last piece of Atari 2600 code they every shipped. He later worked on 2D and 3D graphics accelerators and network accelerators for Silicon Valley startup companies, for which he has been awarded seventeen patents.
While computer games are nice, Plamondon prefers simple, fast-moving tabletop RPG systems using old-fashioned lead miniatures and plenty of laughter, and still has his three rule booklets from the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set.
Through Dungeons Deep is his first book. His most recent book is One Survivor, a science fiction novel set in a distant future developed by Paul Gazis for his long-running Eight Worlds role-playing campaign.
Plamondon telecommutes from his farm in Oregon, where he also raises free-range chickens.
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The writing style is amazing. Many topics only have a few paragraphs but those few paragraphs describe the topic thoroughly and often add unexpected or new angles that I haven't seen anywhere else. The new angles are fun and practical. This book is well organized and easy to read.
Admittedly, there are a few sections that were dated, such as the Appendices. But, as a long time gamer, I enjoyed those sections as well, giving me interesting but brief reviews for games and magazines that I never tried and a tutorial in painting lead figures (which I never mastered but, if I found this book 35 years ago, maybe I would have!).
I can't believe that this book was written in 1982!
While its focus is on fantasy, the information can be easily be applied to other settings like science fiction as it includes advice on exploration and dealing with traps and strange creatures that can range from helpful to major antagonists.
I started by saying that I am a 'casual gamer'. Being a casual gamer today and reading this book, I realized that I know more and I'm more comfortable playing RPG's than the audience of the past.
Overall -- this book might have been helpful in the distant past. Today, it is horribly dated and not at all helpful to the contemporary gamer. If it had been priced lower -- perhaps at $10 or less, I would have been much more satisfied. Priced at $25 -- it is a terrible waste of money.
Just as every professional athlete or artist tells every young aspirant "Work on your fundamentals", Through Dungeons Deep tells the gamer what those fundamentals are in gaming, in any format.
The book remains relevant much as does the 1984 Tunnels and Trolls calendar hanging on my wall as I write this (the calendar for 1984 is identical to the one for 1956, 1888, 2012 and 2040). Hey, Whack a Wyvern Wednesday is coming up next week!
The information is quite dated though, as another reviewer pointed out. The games mentioned are mainly long gone now (Tunnels and Trolls, Forever!!) but often not forgotten :D
And remember, always have a ten foot pole with you.