Monday, May 22, 2023

Review: Deathbringer RPG

 The Deathbringer RPG was written by Professor Dungeon Master, a Youtube content creator, as a stripped down version of D&D. The rules take up a single double sided page, however it does require some edition of D&D to provide monsters, spells and magic items. At face value Deathbringer appears to be just what it says it is, a stripped down grimdark version of D&D that plays fast and easy. It replaces many of the D&D class features, feats and special abilities with Deathbringer dice, a d6 that you can roll and add to any other die roll you please. This is a cool mechanic that does work well. Deathbringer also removes the 3-18 attribute levels in favor of just using the 0-4 modifier scores.

The problem Deathbringer has is it plays a bit flat. In D&D, even a 1st level character has some options for things to do on any given turn. Deathbring has the same issue early editions of D&D had. The only real option a fighter has is to attack, once the Wizard blows his wad in spells, all they can do is throw daggers and this does not improve much as the game progresses. Characters do not really improve much between 1st and 10th level. I really think most game groups would be better served by another game, like Shadowdark or perhaps just playing D&D 5E, but limiting players to using the Basic Rules.

I love the idea of Deathbringer, I do not love actually playing it, although I do not especially hate it either. I think Professor Dungeon Master had the right idea, but I think execution was not nearly as good as it could have been. I have to give this one a 2 out of 5.

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