Live to Tell the Tale: Combat Tactics for Player Characters, Fully Revised New Edition, Available for Pre-Order!

You didn’t think I was gonna put out just one snazzy trade book, did you?

Live to Tell the Tale: Combat Tactics for Player Characters is the fully revised new edition of the PC tactics guide you know and love, coming June 23 July 7, 2020, in hardcover and e-book formats from Saga Press and available now for pre-order!

Live to Tell the Tale Cover
Cover illustration by Lily Pressland

This new edition includes revised sample battles, including an all-new level 15 battle; new sections on Stealth and Perception, advantage and disadvantage, mounted combat, managing spell slots and using feat options; and dozens of gorgeous illustrations by talented fantasy artists. That’s right—illustrations! Actual illustrations! Also, I finally learned how to use Adobe Illustrator, so the battle diagrams look way cooler now, too.

Click here to pre-order Live to Tell the Tale from your favorite independent bookseller.


I’m a strong believer in independent booksellers as community anchors, promoting the free expression and sharing of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and keeping money circulating in the local economy. If you don’t already have a favorite independent bookseller, maybe it’s time to get to know one!

Or, I guess, you could pre-order from one of these online retailers:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

8 thoughts on “Live to Tell the Tale: Combat Tactics for Player Characters, Fully Revised New Edition, Available for Pre-Order!

    1. Related question: do those of us who already purchased the PDF get access to the new and revised version of the PDF?

      1. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but apparently I do: Live to Tell the Tale is no longer a PDF document written, laid out, published and sold solely by me. It’s a trade book published by a commercial publisher and sold in bookstores. Pricing is up to the retailer, and commercial publishers are not in the habit of giving books away for free to people who own previous editions of the same work from other publishers.

  1. Oh this is nice, just found your work through seeing your book on Enemy tactics, and was looking around since I was thinking that it’d be great to use this in theory, but I wish I had an equivalent book to hand to my players who aren’t actually professional adventurers IRL and would get slaughtered by most of the odds as presented in the book.

  2. Keith, I just got my copy of The Monsters Know … and it’s brilliant. I’m going to buy copies for the other DMs I play with.

    I was particularly touched by your anecdote in the Preface about the article in the 1979 Games magazine. This article is exactly why I started playing D&D as well. (Since my name is also Keith, I had a good laugh at the coincidence.)

    Years ago, as Games magazine was fading, I wrote to the editor and requested info on where I might find that article. She sent me a Xerox copy and apologized that that was the best she could offer. I treasure it, and reread it every once in a while when I’m feeling weary of prepping for a session, or frustrated with player politics.

    Thanks for all you do to make D&D a more fascinating game!


  3. The Monsters Know What They’re Doing was literally the only gift I received for Christmas, and I love it so much that I don’t care. I can’t wait for this new one, since recently I started playing almost as often as DMing. And you’re right about the cover art – fabulous! Keep up the good work!

  4. Just pre-ordered the PDF via Amazon, this looks incredibly HYPE, as I’ve always wanted a piece that analyzed combat tactics for PCs in-depth, can’t wait!

    Although, if you don’t mind me asking, would it be possible to receive the contents of the Combat Role Reference pages (potentially via screenshots) early? A friend is planning on running a new campaign, and I’d like to use the Combat Role Reference pages to create a new character. However, I do understand that this might not be possible, but I’d like to inquire anyway just to make sure (I can provide you with the Amazon order number to confirm if you’d like).

    Anyways, incredibly excited for the book to drop! :^ )


    1. You know what? I would do that, except that one particular page spread contains an embarrassing mistake that I introduced in my revision of the manuscript and that somehow slipped through editing and three proofreading passes. (It will be corrected in all e-book versions, as well as all printings after the first hardcover printing.)

      For everyone wondering, if you’re trying to pick a feat for your shock attacker character, follow the advice in the text preceding the reference table, not the list in the table itself.

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