Mapping relevance: The Dungeons Daring game is mapped and illustrated with FM8. One not only can view the FM8 graphics in the PDFs but also download (free) the original FM8 map files, which can be loaded into FM8 and modified or adapted for use in an entirely different game. Included are two overland maps, four settlement maps, three structural floor plans, two dungeon plans, one encounter scenario and 60 creature encounter scenarios. It is not necessary to download the Dungeons Daring game to use these FM8 graphics.

Dungeons Daring (TM) 4th Edition with all three core books is available for free download. Dungeons Daring continues to be a completely free, open source, open gaming product.

Before anyone panics about having to download 800+ pages again:

1. We have two relatively small update PDFs available that will give you the new 4E information while continuing to use the 3E books. There's a Players Guide updater and a game master's updater. The latter updates both the Game Masters Guide and the Creature Guide.

2. There's no need to modify an of your PC definitions. The only change in the character sheet from 3E is the addition of magic resistance, if the PC has it.

If we were honest in our numbering, we probably would call this Version 3.1. This represents a rather small advancement from 3rd Edition Dungeons Daring. In fact, the two editions are compatible.

Why the update? It has a lot to do with the Dungeons Daring version of our forthcoming Jörðgarð campaign setting release, The Northwest.

In developing 3rd Edition, we worked with 30 campaigns that have been playing Dungeons Daring since the release of the 1st Edition. There were some ideas that we wanted to implement in 3rd Edition that drew an unfavorable response from the majority of those campaigns. As a result, we did not include them.

Of the 30 campaigns that tested 3rd edition, 24 are making test runs at advanced levels with advance material from the Northwest in the Jörðgarð setting. The other four are testing high level campaigns of their own making. The game masters and players in the majority of those campaigns now have strongly suggested that we restore two of the important ideas that we left out of 3rd Edition at their recommendation. We're glad to do it. One of those game elements – magic resistance – we consider to be not only important but necessary.

These new items are explained in detail in the new PDFs. Here's a brief summary with comments:

• Magic Resistance: Characters who do not command magic – in other words, those who are not born sorcerers – begin life with a small amount of magical resistance. They are not a part of the natural flow of magic and therefore have a slight immunity to it. That level of resistance never changes for characters who don't adventure, go to war or engage in activities that make them the target of hostile magic attacks. However, adventurers and others who have taken magical damage grow slowly more resistant to magic, the more that they are subjected to it.

Why the Testers Want It: The magical power of sorcerers, wizards, magi and other spellcasters continues to grow with experience in a Dungeons Daring campaign, where non-spellcasters reach maximums in their basic abilities. Game masters and players found that highly experienced warriors and members of other non-sorcerer career paths and professions had no chance against the high-powered spellcasters. They were being roasted alive. Now, the longer an adventurer is on the trail, the greater the chance that he or she will not be damaged by some spells or will take only reduced damage from others, due to the resistance that he or she has built over the years.

• Fixed Ability Progression: Player characters now gain new ability points on the basis of fixed tables based upon the time they have spent adventuring rather than through the game master's assignment based upon his or her evaluation of a PC's experiences in adventures.

Why the Testers Want It: Both game masters and players believe that the 3rd Edition system is considerably more complicated for a game master to handle and also more arbitrary than the experience points system used in OGL 3.5 games and, to some extent, also in the 1st and 2nd editions of Dungeons Daring. In addition, the 3rd Edition system results in too many time-wasting debates between players and game masters. After testing the new 4th Edition system, the campaigns unanimously considered it an improvement and a solution to the previous problems.

• Unique Ability or Characteristic: Giving each PC something unique was an added element suggested by one campaign group. We tested it in all campaign groups, and the majority found that it enhanced role-playing. No campaign objected to it.

One of the things that was rejected from the 3rd Edition design still remains out. We had proposed simplifying range questions by defining three standard ranges for everything. (A similar system is used in the new 13th Age RPG from Pelgrane Press.) The majority of our testing game masters and players continue to oppose this idea. When they tested it, they found that it did speed up play a bit, but they thought the loss of reality the change caused outweighed the gain in speed. As a result, this system also is not a part of 4th Edition.

Information and free download:

Trevor Cooke, Carl Nielsen and Mark Oliva
The Vintyri Project, September 2013