Wednesday, March 6, 2013


as you may or may not know, the company that i co-own with my gaming friends (LEGENDARY REALMS TERRAIN) just finished up a successful kickstarter.  you can check it out here.  this thing was way more successful than any of us thought - and for that i'd be remiss if i didn't acknowledge brian berg and TPK games, who ran this thing for us. well done, dudes.

now, one of the stretch goals was that every person who pledged would get a brand spanking new copy of the FEAR NO DARKNESS: DUNGEON STRIKE miniature skirmish game i wrote over the summer. so...let's talk about that for a bit.

the playtest pdf has been online since august and its been downloaded a few hundred times - whether anyone has actually played it...? that i can't know unless you sound off. we've played it a bunch of times at some conventions and everyone has always had a good time - lots of laughing and cheering and the whatnot as their characters fall victim to traps, trigger monster encounters, get cut down and (sometimes...though rarely) get all the way to the end.  that's what games are all about, right? having fun? from what i've seen it seems to be working in that regard.  this is the first game i've ever made, so i was nervous about the first people who played just going "wow, this sucks".

michael curtis (of dungeon alphabet/OSR fame) and george strayton (of the secret fire/star wars d6/countless other rpg related things) played it with us over the summer and they had a blast - mike even blogged about it - and they're dudes who know something or two about game design. that gave me some hope that i had made something fun that people could/would enjoy.  my initial goal in making the game was to basically have something quick and fun that could be played on our terrain at conventions. then people started asking when the game was "coming out" and that they'd want a copy, so i decided to just give away the rules for free.  it's not something that's super-serious - i wanted it to be the opposite of 4E (short and fun with character death likely) while allowing people to basically accomplish the same thing they would in 4E (killing monsters and taking their stuff). it's also an homage to the 1E megadungeon crawls i enjoyed as a kid.  as of right now, it doesn't support sustained campaign play, although that may change in the near future (more on that at a later date, though).

anyway - we hit the stretch goal for DUNGEON STRIKE and now everyone who pledged support will be getting the full on "published" pdf version of the game.  what does that mean? well, i'd like to tighten the rules up a bit if possible - so if anyone has played it and has a suggestion now would be the time to let me know in the comments. i'm also going to spruce up the rules sheet and make it more interesting to look at.  finally, i'm going to include some printable cards with the game - the monster cards will (obviously) have the monster information for the referee, while the treasure cards and the character cards will have information for the players.  last thing - all the cards will be fully illustrated - yep, our successful kickstarter left me with an art budget. i've reached out to a few artists already and two of them are on board...i'm just waiting to hear back from a third and i'll make the final announcements as to who they are - but don't worry - they ain't no slouches.  

now, when this bad boy is finished it'll go out to our kickstarter backers first...i'm not sure exactly how we'll handle distributing it afterwards.  

ok - opinions welcome below: 


Marc Centrella said...

I like the idea of the quick dungeon delve to entertain friends that in the mood for this.
I have read the rules and have a few questions about the wording I'm hoping you can answer.

Character play order:
1)Except for the rule Monsters go first except if there is a warrior how do the others order themselves?

1)Are all wounds taken at the same time? It mentions that both monster and character roll and do damage but are they simultaneous or does the person/creature that started the attack land first?

Magic Item 5 (Valuable Gem):
The wording on this seems funny. "(5+ monster is convinced to join your party - no effect on boss or spider)"
1)Does this mean you can use this to charm a monster in combat to join your side if you roll a 5 or greater on an unknown die? Or does it mean when you open the chest and the magic roll is 5 or greater you get the monster?
2)Can a chest be opened during combat?

Adventure Scenarios:
1) you don't mention the health of the bosses, how would you scale there health? On the number of players or a static health?

Sorry about all of these questions, I'm hosting a game soon and wanted to know the answers before they are asked to me.

Thanks again.

xwardukex said...

hey marc...

1)when an encounter is triggered them monsters go first. then the players go. they can go in any order that they want to - whatever is strategically advantageous. a warrior may go before the monsters.

2)most attacks deal 1 WOUND unless otherwise stated. if an attack hits it deals damage right away.

3)you are carrying the valuable gem and you decide to use it to convince a monster to join you. well, you can MOVE and USE A MAGIC ITEM on your turn - so you'd be using the gem to convince the monster to join you.

it should state that you roll a d6 for the gem - that's my error. originally the game only used d6's but some players were rolling to move and then when 1's were coming up they claimed to be george suggested the attack dice and movement dice be different so players couldn't do that anymore. i'll make that clearer.

4) yes, chests can be opened during combat. remember that moving in combat can also trigger more encounters.

5)woops! yeah, the larger boss monster (dragon, giant, etc) should have between 3-5 WOUNDS. you can scale it to the amount of players. the thieves in scenario 2 each have 2 WOUNDS and deal 1 WOUND in combat.

i hope that helps! let me know how the game goes!

Marc Centrella said...

Thanks for the reply.
We played it last night and some more questions popped up.

1)The priest , can he heal only when a combat is in progress or can he heal at the end of a turn as an action?

2) is the priests heal an action or a free action

3)How does the troll regenerate? does it make an active roll for regeneration as an action or is it something that occurs at the end of the turn but he has to roll for it?

4) monster movement, Do they have to roll for movement?
a) if so can they get damaged by traps?
b) can they summon monsters?
1)if so do the monsters aid or fight them?

5) Can players and monsters loot corpses?
What i mean is lets say bob the warrior had a potion and a magic weapon and hes killed by something.
a) Can a monster or another player loot the body?
1)If a monster loots the body is it usable by the monster?
a)When the monster is killed can others loot it in return?

6) with the smaller monsters that can spawn, do multiple amounts of them spawn or just 1?

I know I have given alot of questions but we had a fun game where we experimented with the answers. we are looking forward to your rules on it tho.

xwardukex said...

hey marc - questions are no sweat! they let me know that i need to tighten up the rules and explain some stuff. ok...

1. the priest can heal ONCE during a combat and then ONCE when the combat is over. that's it. in order to heal again another fight needs to be triggered.

2. it's an action - not a free action. in d&d terms it's a standard action.

3. whenever the troll takes a wound he immediately rolls a d6 - on a 4+ the wound heals up instantly. this is a free action and doesn't hamper the troll at all.

4. this is something that should be in the rules and i left it out. arrrggh. monsters roll a d6 (not 2d6) for movement. they don't trigger traps - it's their dungeon, after all.
b) monsters can't summon other monsters - you blundering around the dungeon and triggering encounters is supposed to simulate that.

5. players can loot the corpses of other dead players. i suppose it would take a whole turn to run their pockets and strip away gear. i didn't intend for monsters to be able to loot corpses, but if you want to up the lethality of the game by allowing that then go for it. if a monster grabbed an unused summoning horn and blew it then the summoned monster would fight on the side of the other monsters.

6. no - 1 monster appears each time an encounter occurs. but again, feel free to change that if it makes the game more fun for you.

Marc Centrella said...

Excellent. thank you for the answers. I will upload the dungeon we made for the game. I thin you may like it, my wife did a great job on it.

Some more questions that i missed before.

Movement :
1)can you move through another player?
2)can you move through a monster?
3) same questions as above but reversed for the monsters.

1) Can they trade items to each other?
2) Can they kill each other in spite or fun?
3) Is there a limit to the number of items they can hold? ex. 2 magic swords for a +2 to hit?

Dice rolls:
1) If you roll 2 1's do you get hit by 2 traps?

That's all I can think about.

I just wanted to comment that I'm liking the artwork your showing us. The cards will defiantly make things easier for people.

Marc Centrella said...

Sorry Found 1 more: Giant Spiders Poison. How is that used?

xwardukex said...

whenever the spider hits in combat, you roll a d6. on a 1 it inflicts another wound due to its venomous fangs...