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Author Topic: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials: III Now Added!  (Read 5437 times)

Offline Funghy-Fipps

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Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials: III Now Added!
« on: February 14, 2015, 06:51:42 PM »
I RELEASED Trapdoor back in December, but aside from some rather insipid plugs on a couple of forums and my blog, haven't really done much else in the way of purposeful promotion/support. I have decided to remedy this shortcoming by posting a series of tutorials which should provide readers with a vague idea of what Trapdoor is all about and perhaps, if they like what they see, persuade some to pick up a copy (both digital and physical versions may be bought from HERE). Before ploughing ahead, first I shall provide a quick synopsis of the game for those who have not read my previous threads:

Trapdoor is a set of rules which allow players to explore perilous subterranean fantasy worlds using little more than dice, miniatures and their imaginations. It was born chiefly from two desires:

1. To devise a simple dungeon adventure rules engine that still allowed for detailed character development and thus longevity.
2. To create a set free from the constraints of being tied to a predetermined sword & sorcery background. In this way players can use whatever fantasy miniatures they have to hand and can place their games in whatever 'world' they like.

The bestiary chapter provides the profiles of numerous generic fantasy creatures - from Goblins Warriors to Fire Drakes - but gamers are also free to create their own too using a simple points system. Trapdoor is also scale-free, so whether you want to adventure using 28mm or 10mm scale miniature or anything in-between the choice is yours. Whatever divergent fantastical lands you wish to explore Trapdoorprovides the tools for you to do so!

Like most conventional dungeon exploration games Trapdoor pits a single referee or 'Games Master' against players who control individual characters, the 'heroes'. The hero players can choose from four races - Human, Halfling, Elf and Dwarf - and six classes: Barbarian, Cleric, Knight, Mage, Ranger and Thief. Whichever race-class combination you choose each has attendant strengths and weaknesses, but all will form an integral part of your party!


The first tutorial will introduce the reader to the two game phases: Exploration and Encounter and a few of the basic concepts/mechanics relating to these. Right, here we go...

Tutorial I

The beginning of a quest! Ardkill (Dwarf Barbarian) and Sir Pubert (an improbably attired Human Knight) descend a stairwell to be confronted by a dank corridor. Unbeknownst to them a junction lies at the end of it, but as it can't be seen by the heroes the GM hasn't placed it yet. Trapdoor is split into alternating Exploration and Encounter phases. As there are no enemies on the uncovered quest area it is currently an Exploration phase. During Explorations a strict marching order must be set and adhered to throughout the quest. In both phases models may move and perform an action (or vice-versa). Some actions are specific to particular phases or are restricted depending in which phase they are attempted.

Sir Pubert leads the marching order. He moves forward five squares (his SPE characteristic) and then decides to use his action to Search the corridor, which if successful will turn up any hidden features (traps, secret doors and so forth). Searching requires an Observation (OBS) Roll on 1d10, with a result of 6+ signifying success. Pubert rolls an '8'! The GM looks over his quest map and tell the player that there are no hidden features in the corridor, but that there is a left-leading corridor up ahead. Ardkill moves four squares (his SPE characteristic) and the turn is over.

Turn two. Sir Pubert moves forward and the GM stops him in order to reveal the next portion of the quest map: another corridor; this time punctuated by a doorway!

The Knight continues his movement and reaches the doorway, which the GM informs him is unlocked. He decides to Search this new corridor, but rolls a '2': failure.

Ardkill moves and also elects to Search the area. Alas, the Barbarian's OBS Roll is a '4' and he too fails to find anything. An area may only be searched twice, so whether-or-not there are hidden features here the heroes must press on.

Turn three. Sir Pubert uses his action to open the door, praying that it isn't trapped. It isn't and the room beyond is empty. The two enter the room and Arkill successfully Searches it, turning up 7 gold schillings amongst a lot of moth-eaten fur coats in the old wardrobe.

Turn four. The heroes assemble at the doorway and Ardkill uses his action to ease it open. The room beyond is inhabited: the current Exploration phase immediately ends and an Encounter phase begins. GMinions (as monsters are styled in Trapdoor) should be marked on the GM's quest map as being either 'relaxed' or 'alert'. If relaxed the heroes automatically take the first turn; if alert then the discovering hero must make an OBS Roll to see who surprises who! In this instance the Orc Warriors are alert. Ardkill makes an OBS Roll and scores '9': a success. The heroes may go first!


The next instalment will see our intrepid heroes doing battle with the foul orcs, introducing the reader to Trapdoor's melee mechanics. I hope that the above made some manner of sense and if you have any queries please comment below or PM me. Obviously I'm not intending to give the entire game away through these tutorials, but rather provide a general overview of the system.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 09:57:29 AM by Funghy-Fipps »

Offline Funghy-Fipps

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Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 01:54:34 PM »
Tutorial II

THE previous tutorial left our budding and garishly-coloured adventurers - Human Knight Sir Pubert and Dwarf Barbarian Ardkill - about to get up-close-and-personal with a couple of Orc Warriors in some noisome catacomb, and introduced readers to the basic concepts surrounding the Exploration phase in Trapdoor. New readers are encouraged to follow the aforementioned link where they will find an introduction to and overview of the system so that they may make sense of what follows. Without further ado, let us continue:

Recap: At the end of the last tutorial the plucky heroes opened a door which revealed a couple of Orc Warriors and established that the heroes would go first. As previously mentioned as soon as any enemies are uncovered the Exploration phase ends and an Encounter phase begins: any remaining movement or actions relating to the turn in which the GMinions were discovered are lost. Note that during Encounter phases the heroes may break from the strict order of march required in the Exploration phase. Encounter phases consist of alternating turns (heroes>monsters>heroes>et cetera) which last until all of one side has been slain. As soon as there are no longer any monsters on the uncovered playing area the Encounter phase ends and a fresh Exploration phase starts.

It is the first turn of a fresh Encounter phase and the heroes may go first. Sir Pubert decides that he should lead the attack and moves onto a square adjacent to the nearest orc. Movement that ends next to an enemy is considered a deliberate Charge. Charging models receive an extra d10 when making Melee (MEL) Rolls. This means that Sir Pubert rolls his normal d10 for making a Melee Attack and rolls an additional d10 because he charged: he then chooses the highest result ('10' in this instance) and adds his MEL characteristic (3) for a total of 13.
The Orc Warrior is defending itself and so makes a standard Resilience (RES) Roll with 1d10. It rolls a '6' to which it adds it's RES characteristic (2) for a total of 8.
Clearly the Knight has beaten his opponent's defence and the effect of this is now calculated. To do so the RES Roll is subtracted from the MEL Roll, so: 13-8 = 5. This figure is called the Margin of Victory (MoV) and is cross-referenced on the Damage Table against the Damage Rating (DAM) of the weapon the attacker is using, in this case '2'.
Cross-referencing DAM 2 against MoV 5 reveals a '2': this is how much Vitality (VIT) the defending model has lost. As Orc Warriors only have two VIT the creature is instantly killed and the model removed from play. For each point of VIT a hero player takes away from an enemy he receives two advancement points, so Sir Pubert duly notes down four points on his hero profile sheet. For every 25 points earned a hero can roll on the Advancement Table between quests, boosting characteristics or acquiring new traits.

Play now passes to Ardkill, who promptly charges the remaining monster. Barbarians begin their careers with the Frenzy trait, which allows them to move +2 SPE if Charging, however Ardkill can easily reach his foe using his normal SPE. The Dwarf is charging so rolls 2d10, scoring a '7' and '3'. He selects the highest score and adds his MEL (3) for a MEL Roll total of '10'. The orc rolls 1d10 and scores '5', to which he adds his RES (2) for a RES Roll total of '7'. Ardkill has beaten his foe and now works out the MoV: 10-7 = 3. Ardkill's axe (Hand Weapon) has DAM 2. MoV 3+DAM 2 = '1'. The orc has lost one VIT so is still alive! A token is placed next to the creature to denote its status and Ardkill gains two advancement points for removing this point.

Turn two: the GM's turn! The Orc Warrior cannot move out of melee so immediately attacks Ardkill. The GM makes his Melee Roll: 7+2 = 9. The Dwarf makes his RES Roll: 8+5 = 13. The creature has failed to beat its' opponent and nothing happens! The GMs turn is over.

Turn three. Sir Pubert Charges the hapless orc and makes his MEL Roll: 7+3 = 10. The monster makes its RES Roll: 6+2 = 8. The MoV is '2'. Looking at the Damage Table, the Knight player sees that rather than a number there is an 'S'. This stands for Shaken and is a result common if the MoV is marginal. The orc doesn't lose any VIT, but becomes Shaken (a blue token is placed by it to denote this). Attacks against Shaken models receive an extra d10, much in the same way as Charging.

Ardkill now attacks. He makes his MEL Roll: 8+3 = 11. the monster makes its RES Roll: 5+2 = 7. The MoV is '4': the Orc Warrior loses '1' VIT, killing it. The model is removed from play and Ardkill notes down another two advancement points on his profile sheet, The Encounter phase is now over and a fresh Exploration phase begins. The heroes are free to Search the room, if they wish.

I hope this provided a helpful insight into how Melee works in Trapdoor; I like to think the system yields a fast yet satisfying result. Note that there are no bonuses for 'ganking' (outnumbering): the extra attacks garnered by ganking are considered sufficient and a weak, outnumbered opponent will quickly perish. Next we shall look at some advanced concepts relating to the Exploration phase and also Ranged Attacks! Again, if there any questions please comment here or shoot me a PM.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 07:07:27 PM by Funghy-Fipps »

Offline majorsmith

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 02:24:52 PM »
Really great! Love your dungeon tiles

Offline Elbows

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 06:23:57 PM »
I've been meaning to give this a try (and will at some point).  Lovely tutorial and lovely dungeon tiles!

2021 Painted Miniatures: 140
(2020: 207, 2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)


Offline Last Chancer

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  • Posts: 84
Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 08:50:52 PM »
Excellent tutorial. Purchesed the rules but have yet to play. This helps a lot in understanding the concepts.

Offline Knightofspades

  • Scientist
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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 08:14:18 PM »
A great tutorial and excellent looking minis and terrain! Great work.

Offline qazbnm

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 11:25:36 PM »
Great looking tutorial. It made me want to rebase all my minis on hexes  ;D

Offline Funghy-Fipps

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2015, 10:03:58 AM »
Thanks for the comments chaps.

Tutorial III

This latest instalment looks primarily at ranged attacks and the Ranger hero class. Please note that what follows will make much more sense if you first read Tutorial I, which explains the Exploration and Encounter phases in greater detail. 

A quest begins! Dwarf Knight Farin and Elf Ranger Olon Owleye peer down a darkened corridor. A door lies to their left and beyond who knows? It is decided that during the Exploration phases Olon will go first. With this established Olon's first action is to declare a search of the corridor. Rangers begin their careers with the Tracker trait, which allows them to roll an extra d10 and choose the highest result when making OBS Rolls for Searching. Thus the player rolls 2d10, with the results being show above. Obviously he selects the highest result ('10') so the Search is successful. The GM duly informs the players that the corridor section up to door contains nothing of interest (this GM has decided that a search encompasses an entire tile/section). With this done, the Ranger uses his move to reach the doorway, followed by Farin.

Turn 2. Olon's player decides to open the door and the GM lays-out the area beyond: a room inhabited by a Rat Swarm! As discussed in Tutorial I this automatically triggers an Encounter phase. The swarm is 'alert', which means the player who discovered it must pass an OBS Roll to  go first (6+ on 1d10). However, the Tracker trait means that in this situation the Ranger may also roll an extra d10 and choose the highest result. So the player rolls 2d10, with the results being shown above. He chooses the highest result - '9' - so the OBS Roll is passed: the heroes may go first.

As Olon is already at the doorway and has a Bow its is decided that he will make a ranged attack against the swarm. The target/defender is within the weapon's short range (1-7) so Olon gains an extra d10 towards his Accuracy (ACC) Roll. The target also has the Large trait, which means that Olon gains another d10! The Ranger player rolls his 3d10, choosing the highest result ('9') and adding his ACC characteristic (3) for a total of 12. The GM simultaneously makes a RES Roll on 1d10 and adds the swarm's Resilience characteristic for as total of 9.
As with melee (see Tutorial II) if the attacker's roll beats the defender's then damage must be immediately calculated. This is done in exactly the same manner: the losing score (9) is subtracted from the winning (12) and the difference (3) gives us the Margin of Victory (MoV). The Damage table is then consulted and the MoV is cross-referenced against the weapons Damage rating (DAM), which in this case is 2. The result is a '1', which means the defender loses that many VIT. Olon gains 2 advancement points for this achievement.  If Olon wishes he can now move out of the way so that Farin may charge the rats.

Having successfully dealt with the Rat Swarm, the duo move onwards. Moving onto the end of the corridor reveals a passageway to the left. At the end of this is a small room and door, guarded by two Goblin Warriors. The goblins are relaxed, so the heroes take the first turn of this fresh Encounter phase. Olon's player decides to loose an arrow at one the foes. However, the goblins are just outside of the Bow's short range and are in its medium range (8-14). This means that Olon does not receive an additional d10 to his ACC Roll. Added to this goblin's have the Small trait, which mean that they may roll an extra d10 and choose the highest result against any ranged attacks. The Ranger player makes his ACC Roll: 4+3 = 7. The GM makes a RES Roll: 9+1 = 10. The goblin is unharmed by the attack!

Farin moves beside Olon and play passes to the GM, who moves his goblins down the passageway towards the heroes!

Play passes back to the hero players. Olon shoots at one of the onrushing creatures. This time the goblin is within the Bow's short range, so the Ranger gains and extra d10. However, the goblin still gains an extra d10 for being Small. Thus both sides roll 2d10, choosing the highest result.The goblin's RES Roll is: 5+1 = 6. Olon's ACC Roll is: 9+3 = 12. The MoV is 6 and on consulting the Damage table, the Ranger player discovers this causes the loss of 2 VIT. Goblin Warriors only have 1 VIT so the creature is instantly slain and Olon gains another 2 advancement points.

The next lesson will look at Mages and casting spells and shall probably conclude this series for the moment, having covered most of the system's important aspects. If you wish to know more please contact me here or purchase a copy of the rules HERE.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 01:35:03 PM by Funghy-Fipps »

Offline Elbows

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials: III Now Added!
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2015, 02:00:38 PM »
Hey boss, I've been meaning to try this stuff out...I may (in the next few weeks) manage to put up a dungeon and some beasties and convince my buddies to come over.  If I do, I'll try to take pics and post the results.

Offline Malebolgia

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials: III Now Added!
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2015, 02:39:55 PM »
Your awesome tutorials really got my Dungeon Crawl itch going...so I bought the PDF. Now I have to unearth my Malifaux Dungeon Rise set once again, rally the mates and get a game going. Looking forwards to it 8)
“What use was time to those who'd soon achieve Digital Immortality?”

Offline Funghy-Fipps

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Re: Trapdoor (Dungeon Crawl Rules) Tutorials: III Now Added!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 10:33:44 AM »
Hey boss, I've been meaning to try this stuff out...I may (in the next few weeks) manage to put up a dungeon and some beasties and convince my buddies to come over.  If I do, I'll try to take pics and post the results.

Your awesome tutorials really got my Dungeon Crawl itch going...so I bought the PDF. Now I have to unearth my Malifaux Dungeon Rise set once again, rally the mates and get a game going. Looking forwards to it 8)

Cheers fellows. Please let me know how things go and, as I keep reiterating, do contact me with any queries and ideas. I'm currently about to start work on a five-quest campaign, which will be made available through the usual channels at some point!


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