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Author Topic: dungeon crawl recommendations  (Read 4434 times)

Offline Jaypeel

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dungeon crawl recommendations
« on: March 11, 2012, 08:31:37 PM »
Hi all, as I was cleaning out some of the gaming bookshelves, love spring cleaning, I came across some older rpg books tunnels and trolls.
After a good read in between cleaning, the wife wondered what I was looking at and starting reading, she's never played any rpgs, and I haven't for at least 1st edition D&D. Geez, thats a good long time ago.
   I was wondering if there is anything out there rpg lite using minis, preferably without a gm for a dungeon crawl.

I have looked at Fantasy Flight board games, not really what I am after. Maybe something like warhammer quest?

   I have looked at Labyrinth Lord, and have thought that the system looks pretty fun and may be adaptable to what I'm after.
 It would just be the two of us, me probably using a character as "muscle" and to point her in the general direction of the scenario. Lite on rpg and more on dungeon crawling, kill the baddies, get gold, level up.
Any ideas?

Offline myincubliss

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 08:55:44 PM »
Have you looked at Song of Gold & Darkness, the dungeon crawling expansion for Song of Blades & Heroes? Not had a chance to use it yet, but looks nice & staightforward...

Offline Jaypeel

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 11:02:41 PM »
We've played all the Songs series. Really like them. Definately fast and no bookkeeping.
I was thinking something a little more meatier. More "stuff" and stats to advance.
A friend suggested mordhiem, which may work. All that would be needed is to make a random dungeon maker, which I could take from SoGD, and start playing.

Offline Cherno

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 12:37:36 PM »
My personal opinions with the "classic" Dungeon Crawls:

Hero Quest: Fondly remembered by many as the game that brought them into miniature gaming. If you look at it without that feeling of nostalgia, it is a game that is great-looking with high-quality components but rather simple gameplay. Even with the U.S. edition that is supposed to be tougher the heroes won't have too much trouble rushing through each dungeon, the worst that will happen is that the Wizard gets stomped by some wandering monster every now and then. The evil player is mostly there to entertain the hero players.

Advanced Hero Quest: A horrible rulebook with literally hundreds of tables for everything you could possibly find in a (Skaven-infested) dungeon. The miniatures included in the game are nice but you will only find one kind of Skaven for monsters. The combat system is good and can be downright deadly at times. If you want to play this game, I stringly recommend you prepare as much as you can beforehand. Use a random map generator (available on the net) to create a bunch of dungeons beforehand instead of rolling on the tables each time a new hallway or room is discovered during play. Draw some maps the heroes can find. Use double-wide doors instead of the single-wide ones included to make combat slightly faster. Include some quest rooms every now and then in your standard dungeons to spice things up. Get a bunch of different Skaven miniatures on eBay and use them instead of the same sculpt with different colored bases for specialists that come with the game.

I did all of the above and played a great campaign for a few weeks, but when the heroes started to buy top-tier equipment (especially armor) it became apparent that they were gradually overpowered and almost impossible to even damage (monsters would have had to roll a 12 every time to even do one point of damage).

Bottom line: good game if you prepare a lot of it beforehand, but not designed for extended campaigns.

Warhammer Quest: Another great-looking game with a considerably cheesier theme. Gameplay has been streamlined greatly, monsters always spawn right next to you. To be fair, I've never played the "basic" scenario where you go into a dungeon that is explored by random cards; I dove straight into the campaign found it to be fairly tedious experience, with one scenario taking much longer than it should have. Also, the Wizard is so powerful that it becomes almost impossible to kill off heroes if they are not affected be random events. All in all, we abandoned this game quickly. I suppose it can be great fun with the quick&easy approach, but campaigning is meh.

Descent: The biggest freaking bock I have ever seen, and it weighs a ton, too. Components are all top-notch as can be expected from FFG. Rules are pretty clear, but scenarios take forever to play through (like, 2-4 hours) and the Overlord player basically has no chance to win at all after the heroes gain their first special items, resulting in the supposed "boss fights" becoming a joke, with even a dragon getting killed in one turn. My group abandoned this one too after scenario 6 or 7 because it just takes too long for one session. I heard there's a streamlined version coming out this year.

So this concludes my thoughts on the classic fantasy dungeon crawlers. Other folks will surely have different opinions  :)

Offline gnomehome

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 01:10:56 PM »
Have you thought about Two Hour Wargames ? They have Warrior Heroes - Armies and Adventures. I'm not familiar with that specific ruleset, but the description seems to match you requirement.

I second the Mordheim recommendation - just mix in a 'random encounter generator', or else consider using a gamemaster.

I remember a Dungeons and Dragons boardgame with miniatures I tried once. The rules were (slightly) more complex then Heroquest.

I like my games like my orange juice: pulpy with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 01:24:29 PM »

Exactly what the doctor ordered; you won't be sorry.

EDIT: When you click on the link above, it takes you to an Emerald Twilight splash page, since that's their most recent publication. It's for more advanced characters, so I wouldn't recommend doing that first.

I'd recommend starting with the free download The Sorceror's Manor, and then moving on to Raid on Cygnosa.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 01:29:54 PM by SgtHulka »

Offline Braxandur

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 02:13:28 PM »
Heroquest and advanced heroquest are a good start, especially with the advice given.

interestingly enough, I also didn't like warhammer quest, for much of the same reasons as described before. Decent on the other hand I did like, though I have to say I was a the GM in that case and made certain that the player had a hard time. They however saw it more as a puzzle game instead of as a dungeon crawl.

Overall (for me) the games with a GM are more entertaining, especially of the GM tries to keep the game exciting and the players on their toes. A feeling that I never had with any dungeon crawl games without a GM. Dungeon crawls for me are also most fun with multiple players that are often on the edge of death, which makes the reward that much higher.

For a first try, go for heroquest, since this is the easiest to get into.

Why aim for gold if you can get lead?

Offline Jaypeel

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  • Posts: 17
Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 07:55:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice.
Gnomehome, I already have WHAA, and no matter how many times I read or try the rules, even with great help from their forum, I can't seem to wrap my head around them. I think I have way to many rulesets in my small mind already  ;)

SgtHulka, I took a look at the site and I think congrats are in order. I just downloaded rules and some adventures, I think this may be what I was looking for. I'll post a report after a few test games.

Offline blacksmith

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 09:43:45 PM »
I'm happy with WHAA. The plus side is that you can play cooperatively with your wife and without master:

Offline DoomOnYou72

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 12:48:54 AM »
Ganesha Games just released Tales of Blades and Heroes. It may be close to what you are looking for. A good overview of it can be found here http://bringyouragamemagazine.blogspot.com/2012/03/ganesha-games-releases-tales-of-blades.html .

Offline Jaypeel

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 01:17:54 AM »
Aw man, now I have to buy that :)

Offline phreedh

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 10:39:48 AM »
I've been looking for that perfect dungeon crawl for ages too... What I want is granularity and simplicity. Heh. I know they usually don't mix. In the end I want to build a card driven dungeon crawl which could be played without a GM. To achieve this I need a rule set with solid, grid based combat rules which could be "automated". I also need straight forward character progression. In a dungeon crawl, not every single combat should be a struggle to the death - but every single combat should be a POTENTIAL setback. A fully rested and healed party of adventurers shouldn't have to worry much about meeting a small group of goblins. What they should worry about would be suffering any wounds or lasting ill effects. A dungeon should grind down the adventurers by attrition over several encounters with its denizens.

I think Labyrinth Lord is what I'm after, but I haven't really decided yet. I've bought Tales of Blades and Heroes, but haven't read it yet. Please keep coming back with new findings to this thread, Jaypeel (and wellcome to the LAF!). We seem to share the same opinion on the Songs games. Good, but not meaty enough for a satisfying dungeon crawl. =)
Please visit my miniature gaming blog at http://ministuff.godzilla.se

Offline Erny

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 11:15:26 AM »
This has long been an aim and I have plans for cards myself, then use what ever wargame/rpg rules you like, LL being my favourite at the moment but Legend/MRQ2 looks good too.

I turn over a random tile and get the beginnings of a hall. Turning over a room card it suggests adding a table and cupboard for dressing and the cupboard if successfully searched has a 50% chance of a treasure. The room card also tells me that an event happens and one monster card must be drawn. The event card tells me the door is trapped, if the thief is in the party he has one shot to disarm it or it goes off. The monster card tells me d4 bow armed goblins are present and their stats, it also tells me if they are one tile away from any enemies they will fire bows, if on the same tile they close to fight in hand to hand. If I defeat the goblins I get to draw one petty treasure card. Petty treasure nets d6 gold coins. Searching the cupboard successfully I draw a treasure card, a mystery potion, I keep the card and when I drink it I roll on the d6 table on the card to find out what potion it is.

If most of the rules are on the cards as you use them it just speeds up play. However this is a lot of work but I figure it is a good 4 years until eldest son is dungeon bashing with me so plenty of time.

Could even go this far:

« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 11:19:16 AM by Erny »

Offline phreedh

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 12:25:29 PM »
Pretty much exactly what I'm aiming at. =)

Offline Erny

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Re: dungeon crawl recommendations
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 01:20:57 PM »
Now if each set, rooms, events, monsters and treasure were printed on propper playing cards each set with a well drawn old school B&W backing there would be 52 random variations of each.

Darn it but I'm going to make mock ups of at least ten of each and take it from there.


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