somebody make this book please

Here’s an image I made years ago and just rediscovered: it’s my idea for a new series of annotated fantasy classics reprints. Each book’s text would be interspersed with the D&D die rolls that explain the action.

(click to enlarge)

For long scenes of dialogue, nothing would be needed but the occasional charisma check, noted in the margin. For combat scenes, though, the book would shift to a format inspired by Loebs editions and other high-quality scholarly translations: you’d have the original text on one side and the D&D rules/rolls on the facing page.

Fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and even D&D-inpired books like the Drizzt novels would obviously work quite well. Other books that might benefit from D&D Annotations:

  • Sherlock Holmes: the facing page would show the DC to notice each clue in the room, as well as Irene Adler’s Bluff checks and Sherlock Holmes’s character sheet (all 18s).
  • Romeo and Juliet: There’s a ton of swordfighting. The poison rules alone would fill out a decent Apothecary class. Mercutio’s monologue could be printed opposite a Monster Manual entry for Queen Mab. (All Shakespeare tragedies come with a house rule: you can deliver soliloquies while at negative hit points.)
  • The Bible: Lots of the Bible ended up in D&D, so it would be pretty easy to annotate (“Moses casts Raise/Lower Water”, etc.) The Bible would also provide a nice list of new magic items: Coiffure of Ogre Power, Staff of Time Stop, and Bronze Serpent of Proof Against Poison.
  • 4 Responses to “somebody make this book please”

    1. Rory Rory says:

      I hope those long scenes of dialogue at least net the speaker a solid +2 on their diplomacy check for exceptional roleplaying!

    2. Spiralbound says:

      Giving the Christian Bible a D&D annotated treatment would likely send the fundamentalists into a frothing and violent frenzy! This idea sounds both horribly dangerous and tragically appealing. Perhaps a wiki site so that many people could contribute, preferably anonymously? LOL!

    3. LS says:

      Holmes would probably have pretty low charisma.

    4. teen says:

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