Tag: Dungeon Heroes

I’m A Roling Stone.

Roling as in role playing. I know. ‘Roling’ is not a word. But it works for a cool title. The post is talking about role playing games, rpg’s from now on.

8b02195eabe464825eb9022c971db41cI like role playing games. I’ve dabbled with them for many years starting back in the early ’80’s with the Purple Box Dungeons & Dragons. I still have it. It’s battered and well used. And I’ve started using it again. I’ve introduced my 12 year old son to it last week. We rolled up some characters and I started him out with B1 – In Search of The Unknown, the first official D&D module. My plan is to run him through the whole series of modules from that time period. I own many of them from way back. Most can be purchased inexpensively from DriveThruRPG.com.

The return to D&D started me thinking about my rpg life. As I said I started with that red book. I didn’t have anyone to play the game with at the time I bought it. But the idea of creating my own fantasy world and stories. And people playing characters in that world / story was really cool. So I bought that Purple Box and got started. I found out that my cousin Michael had similar interests so I had a player. I built dungeons and more dungeons. I bought modules. I bought Dungeon magazine. I GM’ed for him. It was fun.

D&D was pretty much it for us. Michael did buy Car Wars and we played that some. It was cool. It still is. I need to get the most recent version. But D&D was the one. Mostly because we didn’t know there were more out there. Our local ‘game’ store was a hobby shop that had a very small game section consisting mostly of wargaming steve-jackson-toonsupplies.

Flash forward to college. My D&D playing had pretty much stopped but I continued to build my world. And link my dungeons into a campaign. But I was itching to do some playing. I discovered a local gaming group and joined them a couple of times as a player. It was ok and fun. But the biggest thing I got out of it was the discovery of other rpgs. There was Rolemaster, some sci-fi games that I don’t remember well, and Toon. Toon was a revelation to me. Here was an rpg that was not fantasy. It was different and hit my love of cartoons. I enjoyed it a lot.

After college I stopped playing for a long time. But I kept building my world and campaign. It was a creative outlet for me. Then I found out some friends on mine from church played rpgs! Sweet! We got together and started a regular game session. I was the GM and we started the campaign I had been working on for so long. We used a Rolemaster heavy system (that’s what they were used to). It was super awesome.

As we all grew and kids came along, our sessions dwindled and disappeared. We still kept in touch and had an occasional game but nothing regular. At some point during this time I somehow discovered the indie rpg community. This was the next revelation in rpgs for me. Here was a whole new world with some exceptionally cool games and ideas. I dove in and found out that I was living in a hot bed of indie rpg activity. This was centered around Jason Morningstar and Andy Kitowski. Jason is the designer of several award winning indie rpgs – The Shab Al-Hiri Roach, Grey Ranks, and most notably Fiasco. Andy is the founder of Story Games, THE indie rpg forum / online community web_fiascoafter The Forge. I met Andy and he introduced me to Jason and their group. They and all that community are very welcoming to new gamers. I was able to find new games like Psi-Run, a fantastic game where you play amnesiac superheroes being pursued by a mysterious agency. 3:16 – Carnage Among The Stars in which you play space marines. Dogs In The Vineyard that takes place in the late 1800’s and you are a religious sect’s lawman. There were so many and all so different. Different in theme. Different in style. Different in mechanics. So many. So cool. This was an awesome community to be involved in.

And inspiring. I starting thinking about designing games of my own. This community is very supportive and helpful to fledgling designers. Story Games was a place where you can ask questions and post new idea and get good feedback. I started interacting with some other designers and doing some playtesting. Jason in particular was / is extremely helpful and supportive. I was able to playtest Fiasco throughout its development as well as a couple of his other designs. That was a lot of fun.

During this time I discovered board games. And my role playing was overtaken by board gaming. I found the board gaming community equally as welcoming and fun. I have found that it is  equally wonderfully varied. I’ve found that I can be a game designer here also with the same amount of support. I love it and am here to stay.

This article started out to be just a listing of some of my favorite role playing games. I’ll post that in a follow up post because there are some super awesome games. But it turned into my gaming history. That’s fine. It was fun to write and I hope at least somewhat interesting to read. Perhaps you had a similar journey. Or one that was very different. I’d like to hear about it. Post something below.


Under The Microscope – Dungeon Heroes by Crash Games

Under The Microscope – Dungeon Heroes

Designed by Michael Coe
Published by Crash Games

Abstract:  Dungeon Heroes is a two player dungeon crawl with a bit of strategy.  The Heroes, each with a unique ability, are attempting to capture three treasures.  The Dungeon Lord, using traps and monsters, is trying to kill the Heroes.  It’s fun and best of all, lasts about 30 minutes.

Materials & Methods: Components
This is a preview copy of a game that is currently in a Kickstarter campaign.  The components are not what they will be when the game is released.
That being said I’ll go over them as they currently stand.
The game is made up of a game board with two-sided, a Heroes side and a Dungeon Lord’s side.  Between them is a grid of squares.
There are 4 Heroes – the Warrior, the Wizard, the Cleric/Healer, the Rogue.  The Warrior is the only Hero that can kill monsters.  He does this by moving onto a space containing a monster.  The Wizard has two abilities.  He can move diagonally and he can flip/reveal any tile on the board.  The Healer heals any adjacent Hero or herself by two hit points.  The Rogue disarms traps.  Each is represented by a die that represents the Hero’s hit points.  Warrior is a d10.  The Rogue is a d6.  The Healer is a d8.  The Wizard is a d4.
There are tiles that the Dungeon Lord places each turn.  These are a mix of traps and monsters.

There are two phases to the game – the Passive and Aggressive.  The Passive phase occurs first.  Each turn the Dungeon Lord places four tiles and the Heroes take four actions.  The game begins with the Dungeon Lord placing four tiles face down anywhere he likes.  The Heroes then take a turn made up of four actions.   A Hero may only take two actions per turn.  These actions can be a mix of movement or abilities. These turns continue until the Dungeon Lord has placed all the tiles.  Then the Aggressive Phase begins. The monster tiles are replaced with tokens and are now moved by the Dungeon Lord.  The monsters will attack the Heroes when able.  Play proceeds until all the treasures are captured by the Heroes or they are all dead.

The first thing I will say about Dungeon Heroes is that it lives up to its tagline “The Lunch Time Dungeon Crawl”.  The game is teachable in 5 minutes.  It lasts less than 45 minutes, more often than not less than 30 minutes. In that thirty minutes you get the feel of its bigger, more labor intensive dungeon crawl cousins.  The Hero player gets to kill monsters, cast spells, and find treasures.  The Dungeon Lord gets to ‘build’ the dungeon and prevent the Heroes from stealing his stuff. It is accessible to a wide age range.  While the current version of the rules need refinement (it is a playtest version), they are easily understood and I’m sure that the final version will be smooth.  Having said that, my 10-year-old son loves this game.  He has already started creating hacks and maps for the game for different dungeon styles.  One aspect of the game that is not mentioned in the rules is that it can be played solo.  All you have to do is shuffle the Dungeon Lord tiles face down and place them that way.  The dungeon remains a mystery until a tile is revealed.  This is how I played the first time and it is enjoyable. The Kickstarter campaign is up and running.  You can find it here.  The backer incentives are pretty nice.  There are two planned expansions that will include new heroes and/or monsters.  Stretch goals include meeples/tokens for the heroes and monsters.  The entry-level price is $25.  This is a reasonable price for what I’m anticipating in the final game.  For $40 you will get the two expansions, The Dragon & The Damsel and Lords of The Undead.  Not too bad.

Results – Final thoughts on Dungeon Heroes.
I like this game quite a bit.  It is a good dungeon crawl for when you don’t have 2-3 hours to devote to the game.  It’s a good filler game for two people.  You will get a good flavor of a fantasy rpg without the huge investment of time.

I give Dungeon Heroes 4 microscopes for replayability. The different tiles can be arranged in so many ways you don’t have to play the same game twice.
I can’t comment on the production of the final game as it is not available yet.

I give the game 2.5 microscopes for depth.  The game is relatively light but does have some strategy and tactics as each player has to try to figure out what the other is planning.

I give Dungeon Heroes 2.5 microscopes for ‘Haunt Factor’.  I enjoyed the game and wanted to play it again immediately (and did).  But it didn’t follow me around for very long.

Finally I give the game 4 microscopes for ‘Fun-density’. As I mentioned, the game takes 5 minutes to teach and 30 minutes or less to play.  It gives a solid dungeon crawl experience on top of that. The amount of enjoyment in proportion to the time investment is high.

Special visiting scientist’s comments and rating:

My son says ‘It is a quick, fun little game.  I give it a 3 out of 5.’

Microscope Rating:

13 out of 20 Microscopes