Dungeon Delving on a Monday Night
As an unexpected turn of events, the wife had a night off and there wasn’t anything on the books. So I asked her if she wanted to try out the dungeon crawl game. As you may have already guessed, we got a chance to delve into the mysterious depths.
As I will go into in more depth down the road, I have the game designed to be played a few ways, we opted for the random dungeon approach where-in cards are drawn to determine lay-out, content and of course rewards.
The first thing encountered by the intrepid heroes was a well room over-run with goblins. Tara the Silent quickly leveled her crossbow to kill the lead goblin archer and calmly sent the lead swordsman to his doom before Harley had even drawn his sword. Astrid had trouble concentrating with her Entrancing Gaze as she side-stepped a pit trap, but eventually got the sultry look down pat and sent the goblin to his doom with a smile on his face as dark energy overwhelmed him.
Without pausing, Hayden leapt towards the third rank of goblins and felled all three with a mighty Cleave. Not to be outdone, Harley sprinted past Hayden to skewer the last two goblins with his Cleave.
The first combat was quick and bloody. All the goblins have only 1 wound each and pitiful defence. Had they been able to strike back, they may have been able to hurt or kill one party member but the two mighty heroes (Hayden and Harley) both made short work of them.
As Harley had the best (only) armour in the party, he took the lead to explore the murky depths with his lantern.
Harley cautiously walked towards the corner and was struck above the breastplate deep in the shoulder. Fortunately, Hayden had a healing potion to help him along.
Now here is where I realized turn order wasn’t clearly defined. As Harley had been moving so far ahead of the party we called a mulligan and moved the rest of the party up. After this, my wife suggested a simple turn order mechanic: until a fight is declared, move miniatures as you wish in any order. Once a fight is declared initiative is determined and miniatures act in order.
Harley turned the corner to come face to face with the grisly sight of zombies screening Mummy Warriors. Tara quickly dropped two zombies from an astounding distance in the dim light before moving in to get a clear shot on the mummies. If she had not been the marksman she was, she may have struck Hayden or Harley.
Astrid again trusted to her Entrancing Gaze to seduce a Mummy Warrior. To her horror, the ghastly undead grinned back with no effect. Repressing a shudder, she blew the fell creature a kiss as she again focused her Entrancing Gaze on the Mummy. This time her dark magics seduced the will of the Mummy and he turned to face his former allies.
Hayden leapt into the fray felling the last zombie as the Mummy Warriors fought. The seduced mummy was jerky and clumsy, quickly being felled by his former ally. This distraction enabled Harvey to step in and decapitate the long dead warrior with a swing blending artistry and expertise.
I was a bit surprised when my wife pointed out a typo on the card. I could have sworn it said Dead-end.
She was able to help me discern what it really said though. It turns out the dungeon wasn’t done yet.
Rounding the winding corridor, Harley shone his light into the pitch blackness of the room to see eldritch lights sparkling back at him. With a creaking shuffle the skeletons moved in. The enveloping darkness cloaked Tara as she blending into the shadows like a ghost.
A spectral finger marked the doom of a skeleton for Astrid while she focused her Entrancing Gaze. With all her arcane powers focused on this devilry, little was left to strike down the skeletons. Hayden stepped forward to protect her companion while Harley, fearless after being healed of the arrow-wound, stepped into the midst of the skeletons. The skeleton spearman used his reach and stabbed at Harley in the same unarmoured spot the arrow had struck, sliding deep into his chest, felling the brave hero.
The game has a mechanic allowing critical hits (dealing double damage) if the attack doubles the defense roll. Just as Harley was able to kill a two wound mummy with one swing, the skeleton was able to drop Harley with a well-placed stab. It was a pure game of chance there as the first attack by the skeleton was a 1 and his second a 6. Poor Harvey rolled a 1 on his defense the second time, and even with armour, was left with only a 3.
The fight was looking desperate as the skeletons closed in on Hayden, cruelly hacking the unarmoured warrior. As blood stained the floor, the skeletons clacked their ghastly teeth in triumph. Little did they realize Hayden was a berserker, an Undying Warrior. Driven by her might, she ignored the fatal wounds and slew the skeletons that surrounded her while Tara dropped the spearman.
Astrid knelt before Harley and whispered soothing words as she administered the party’s last healing potion to revive the brave warrior.
Concerned now that no treasure had been found, Astrid poked her head into the small closet to the North of the throne room to find a complex puzzle had been worked into a skull sculpture. With barely a moments hesitation, Astrid moved the pieces of the puzzle box to reveal a chest.
The bard smiled with pride and a bit of larceny at her find. She was quite satisfied, until the chest smiled back.
As Tara sprinted onto the dias to try to see what was moving in the room, Astrid unleashed a mighty War Cry. So powerful and unexpected was this roar, the Mimic cowered in fear.
Hayden charged the foul beast, leaving a trail of blood in her wake. Her mighty axe swings went wide in her rage but Tara again showed almost supernatural marksmanship by dropping the beast with only two shots.
Undying Warrior is an ability that enables the hero to still carry on with fatal wounds. Each turn Hayden needed to test to stay alive. She survived the rest of the dungeon because of this ability, and some pretty good dice rolls by my wife.
As the party carefully opened the other door, they saw a long corridor and a difficult fight. A Darkspawn Cultist had both a swarm of scarabs and a Skeleton to assist him with his diabolical plans. The dead-end behind him left no avenue for escape.
Tara dove into the room past Hayden, standing on the edge of the precipice while a deadly bolt flew from her crossbow to drop the skeleton. Astrid calmly blocked the bridge and prepared her Entrancing Gaze with hair flick and touch-up of mascara.
While the scarabs flowed across the bridge, the party gaped in horror as the Darkspawn Cultist waved his tentacles and the skeletal corpse reknit itself into a miniature parody of the foul sorcerer.
Tara calmly shot the minion while Astrid sliced the beetles to fine paste, raising the morale of the entire party. The Darkspawn Cultist let out an unnatural sound that could only be the laughter of the unholy creature as the minion again restitched itself together. The only saving grace was the fact that the dark magics failed to reanimate the beetles.
Fearing nothing, Hayden sprinted across the bridge to face the eldritch mini-me. Although she triggered a poisoned dart trap, the warm tingle of the venom simply drove her further into her frenzy. Harley limped across the bridge boldly placing himself beside the Cultist as his longer legs enabled the further run.
The only treasure that was uncovered was the sacks and crates found in this last corridor. In fact, no treasure pieces were actually called for by the corridor cards drawn.
The pile of sacks looted by Tara were quite ridiculous. The MVP of the party was left with a worthless treasure.
Harvey walked to the end of the corridor to search the sacks in the trapped section. A Scything Blade trap resulted in a collective groan as we both expected Harley to die. Then, even with his reduced stats, he managed the almost impossible and survived the trap that would have killed the (1 wound remaining) hero.
All in all, I am very happy with the play test. My wife really enjoyed it and wants to play it a lot more. There are few bugs to work out, but the biggest thing is she wants me to figure out an experience system. I did have the bare bones of one sorted out, but now I seem to have forgotten where I wrote it down.
Hopefully something inspired you today. I know tonight inspired me to paint a few more figs and sections for the next play of Dungeon Down.