This is a “first impression” review of The Dungeon Alphabet, 3rd Printing.
After reading that The Dungeon Alphabet was going into its third printing and reading even more glowing reviews of the book, I finally decided to order my own copy via my Friendly Not-So-Local Game Store and picked it up today. I have barely had time to read it, but skimming the text and looking at the artwork has already left a profound impression on me.
The Dungeon Alphabet is a collection of classic dungeon tropes coupled with random tables to inspire and energize dungeon designers. The items described within are given a flair of the fantastic without being over-the-top. I’ll go into more detail after I’ve had a chance to properly read through the book. What I want to talk about now is the artwork.
This book is beautiful and is utterly jam-packed with some of the finest old style artwork I’ve seen by artists like Erol Otis, Russ Nicholson, and Jeff Easley. The only way I could be more happy with this collection of artwork is if David Trampier came out of retirement to contribute. There is a lot of art in in this book, nearly every page appears to have at least some illustration, and these pieces are evocative and inspiring in their own right. Just from thumbing through the book I’ve caught myself stopping and thinking, “I can use this!”
I was skeptical about how good this book could be. I consider myself a creative person and a book of lists seemed unnecessary, but the low price and glowing reviews convinced me to give it a shot. Now I can say that I’m both glad I did and excited to dig into it.
Do yourself a favor, drop $20 and pick this book up. It’s worth it for the artwork alone.
If you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.