Thursday, April 27, 2017

Some painted Dungeoncrawler familiars, and a nice juicy look at the rules!

Hey all!

Well, as a few people have asked about the rules for my new Dungeoncrawl, I thought I'd share a bit...

But first up, some painted figures!

In the game, one of the magical scrolls you can get is "Summon Familiar."  This allows the user to summon a creature to help them in combat.  It is kept pretty simple; whatever your magic level (d4, d6, d8, d10, or d12) you automatically summon a familiar that is one level lower (so a character with a magic stat of d8 would summon a d6 familiar.)  The familiars major stats (fight, shoot, agility, and magic) are all whatever level they are... so the d4 familiar has d4 as their stat in each category.

The d4 familiar is a war dog, the d6 familiar is a white wolf, the d8 familiar is a bear, and the d10 familiar is a golem.

Anyway, good times!

So I also wanted to touch on the actual rules themselves.  Now, when they are all done I'll likely pop them on the site so people can grab them, but at least I can give a bit of info!


The game is largely based on opposing die rolls, using a variety of dice; d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12.  Whoever rolls higher, wins.  All attacks of all sorts do one damage.  I am keeping it super simple:)

There are four major stats:


To see who wins a physical fight, you roll Fight vs Fight.

To see if someone gets shot, you roll Shoot vs Agility.

To see if someone is hurt by magic, you roll Magic vs Magic.


Now, whether or not someone gets HURT by combat or shooting... well, that depends on equipment.

All weapons and armor have a die associated with them.

Once someone has been hit, you then move on to step #2, where you roll the dice of the weapon against the combined dice of all the armor.  If the attacker ends up with a higher number, they do one damage.

So, an attacker with a d8 sword goes after someone wearing d6 leather armor and a d4 leather helm.  It is d8 vs d6 and d4, and whoever rolls highest on any die wins.

Magic, you just get hurt if you lose the magic vs magic roll; there is no armor.

That's the basics of combat.


As far as movement and actions, there are Action Points.  Everything costs action points... moving 1 square costs one, attacking costs half of your action points (rounded down) and so on.  There are only a few actions in total.


There are two different things that people have to decide as far as their characters; class and race.

There are four classes; warrior, thief, mage, and cleric.

Your class determines your starting stats.

There are also four RACES; human, hobbit, dwarf, and elf.

Your race determines primarily 1) how many Action Points you have, 2) what the maximum level of armor you can wear, and 3) what the maximum level of weapons you can carry is.  A dwarf, for example, can wear up to d10 armor and carry up to a d10 weapon... a hobbit, however, might max out at d6 in each category.  (There ARE some modifications to this depending on your class... for example, warriors up their max armor and weapon by one die.)  There are a few other bits, too... hobbits, for example, get two extra dice levels to their agility, dwarves lose a die of magic, elves get another die on their agility and shooting, and so on

So... you might be a dwarf warrior, who can wear a ton of armor and such, or you could go with a dwarf mage, who might not have a great magic score but could wear heavier armor than most mages.  There is a lot of variety.


Characters have to explore five levels of dungeon.  There is a random generator that generates the dungeon ahead of you, as a mix of tunnels and rooms.  As you go through them, you actually remove the tiles behind your party... basically you will always have one tile behind you and one tile ahead.  The dungeon never gets that large.

As you roll up what comes next, you also roll on an encounter table to see what sorts of monsters lurk there.  You won't ALWAYS find monsters, but they are pretty common.  As you go deeper, you add modifiers to the encounter dice, and lower in the dungeon you start to run into bad guys who you wouldn't have found earlier.  Things get more dangerous.

Now, you can generate hallways (which don't have encounters as often as rooms) or rooms.  Rooms tend to have more bad guys, and each time you hit a room you draw a Narrative Card.  Narrative Cards basically tell a bit of story with the room, and might modify what happens in that room a bit.  For example, there might be a cave in, or you might stumble into a troll den, or you might reach a room with a bit of sunlight.  In game terms, cave ins add a bunch of rock obstacles to the room and may trap the player, troll dens add a big modifier to the encounter dice to tilt the random encounters to being trolls, and sunlight actually makes the monsters less effective.  When a Narrative Card is pulled it never goes back into the deck, and at the end of the dungeon your stack of Narrative Cards tells the "story" of your adventure... so you can look back fondly over your adventure!

On level five of each dungeon you go until you find the Boss (which is on the encounter table.)  That is the end boss.  When you kill him, the dungeon is over!


As I said, when you have an encounter you roll to see what monsters you find.  Monsters usually appear ahead of you, but can ALSO appear behind, so you DO need to be careful.

Monsters have the same stats as players, with additional stats for "damage" and "armor."  They move in a fairly predictable way, as they have a rough AI.

     "Fighters" (think the regular monsters, like orcs and goblins) will move towards the players and engage the fewest number of players they can.

     "Bruisers" (think ogres and the like) will move towards the players and try to engage the MOST number of players they can.

     "Shooters" (think archers and mages) will try to keep the max distance from the players possible while engaging at range.


Characters can carry a certain amount of equipment/loot; you can carry one piece in each hand, you can wear one thing on your head, one thing on your body, and keep two things aside, in your backpack.

Every group of monsters has a chance of having some loot.

Now, equipment/loot comes in one of four types (decks.)

Common loot is lower level, easier to make stuff... traditionally d6 and below.  So, like, leather armor, daggers, short bows, short swords, etc.

Uncommon loot is higher level, harder-to-make stuff... traditionally d8 and above.  So swords, two handed axes, metal armors, etc.

Rare loot is magical stuff - magical stuff basically has a + to its die.  So a magically short sword might do d6+1 damage.

Quest loot is SPECIAL special stuff, that you ONLY get for killing the End Boss.

There are a few other types of equipment/loot, other than standard weapons/armor.  Items (they can be found in any deck) don't go in a hand or on your body, but can have effects.  Examples would be banadages (for healing wounds) or amulets or whatever.

There are also scrolls.  There is no inherent magic in the game; ALL MAGIC comes from scrolls.  Scrolls can do different things (single target damage, area damage, multiple target damage, shielding, summoning familiars, teleport, etc.)  Basically using magic comes down to a magic vs magic roll.  However, it the player rolls a 1 on their magic roll, the scroll burns out and disappears!  So magic can be very powerful (remember, no armor can save you!) but it can also disappear easily, ESPECIALLY in the hands of an amateur magician (i.e. a guy with a low magic score).


When you roll up an encounter, you have a chance of finding equipment/loot.  Before you even fight, you roll this up, and pull (face down) from the appropriate piles, putting them to the side.  If you win the fight, you get the loot!  So you might have a big fight, but you KNOW waiting at the end are two cards from the uncommon deck, and even one from the rare deck... we've found in playtesting that the anticipation is glorious, as you hold your breath as you flip the cards over and divy out the spoils!


There is a bunch of other stuff.  There is an experience system (every kill gives you an experience point, and you can increase your die in a category by spending triple the next level worth of experience... so, going from a d6 fight to a d8 would cost you 24 experience.)  If you are engaged with an enemy in combat, you are PINNED in combat and cannot move, so you want to use your best fighters to pin the most dangerous enemies in place.  There are a few special scrolls that burn out with the first use, such as the Summon Familiar scroll, that brings you a helper to fight with.  There are a few other smaller rules and bits to the game.

There are also some bits we are still playtesting and refining.

But basically, that's it!  It is SUPER super quick, and honestly a good deal of fun:)

Anyway... if anyone has any questions or comments, please do share them!:)



Scott Jeske said...

really anxious to see the rules in more detail... Looking super fun and am in process of doing something for my kids and I. Waiting on an order from splinterlight and will also pick up some battlevalors. thanks for this great idea that brought me back to my youth!

Scott Jeske said...

With the holidays just around the corner, did you ever complete and post the rules somewhere? I'd like to run the kids thru this or something similar...



Author said...


Yes, I sort of did, but honestly I sort of got stuck on them a little... they were a bit too fiddly. They were okay, don't get be wrong, but still didn't "flow" easily enough. I kind of lay off them for a bit, with the hope that when I get back to them I can figure out how to get them a touch more simplified:(