Seven days ago, I stepped up to a challenge. The premise was simple, could I create a simple dungeon raiding card game in a scant 7 days? The idea behind the game was based around the room clearing concept of Gauntlet but, as time went by, started to incorporate elements of classic Zelda and even Prince of Persia 2. You may have seen 4 of the 7 days detailed last week here on the CBlogs and while I wrote tiny blogs for days 5-7, I will only post them here if, and only if, people are interested in them.
Keep in mind, this entire concept has two major handicaps against it. The first being that it has no official title and the other being it has not been playtested at all. The purpose of the rush wasn't for playtesting, simply getting something together. The game, in question, runs $23 currently to make a print from The Game Crafter so once I have it in my hands and ready to test, I'll be playing the hell out of it and hopefully it will be ready for sale sometime in mid June. So with that said, let's take a look at the game currently referred to as Mini Dungeon Raiders: Lich Slapped.
Before looking at anything else, let's look at the Scenario Cards. The game, in it's current form, sports 6 different Scenarios. At the beginning of the game, you randomly draw one of these scenarios and set the dungeon deck up accordingly. As you may notice, some require a set amount of standard dungeon tiles and there are 29 of these standard tiles which means, of course, you're not going to play every tile in every game. It also calls for special tiles and these are found on the lower right corner of the dungeon tile. So once you have these set up, you shuffle the tiles according to the scenario and place them somewhere within the reach of all the players.
Next, you set up the entrance tile. Each character must occupy one of the 4 spaces the Lich Summoning Circle is in.
Now let's talk about the turn Queue and how it begins. You may notice there are 5 cards, each having a number. This number is ONLY relevant in the beginning of the game. The Lich will never move but every other character can change places in the queue as needed. This can only be done once per cycle. So let's say the Thief has already gone but the Knight needs the Thief to activate a switch. The Knight can then exchange her place in the queue with the Thief, giving the Thief another action this cycle. After four character actions have been performed, the Lich will move. Then the cycle begins anew.
So now, let's talk about the characters, the Ranger, the Thief, the Knight, and the Wizard. Each have different stats and abilities. So let's look at the Knight in more detail. She has 8 HP but only 4 movement. On her turn, she can move up to four spaces. She attacks both Skeletons and Blood Slimes. Her death radius is an 8 way square. Most importantly, if an ally is going to take damage within her death radius, she can take the damage instead. So she's short range and slow, but can be used to mitigate damage to other, much weaker allies. All four characters have these kinds of stats. Who they can kill, how much damage they can take, how far they can move, their death radius, and any special talents. Now, it ANY monster they cannot defeat is in the same space they are, the monster is destroyed but they take 1 damage. If their damage reaches their health, they die and the game is over.
So we've looked at the characters, now let's look at the monsters. You see, after every character moves, a d6 is rolled and based on the result, a certain type of monster activates. So on the cards, you see who will activate based on the roll (you might have also noticed, previously, that the spawn points all look the same as die faces. In the full version, there will be a Custom Die, but for how, a standard d6 is all you need. Rolling a 1 will activate the Lich, so don't do that. But let's take a look at a different monsters behavior. In general, when a monster is rolled, you move all the monsters and then spawn new ones on the matching points according to player proximity.
So let's start with Blood Slimes, indicated on the board by red cubes. They only move 2 and they never respawn. However, if one or more characters are present in the room they are in, they do split into 2. Like all monsters, their top priority when moving are any characters (except their enemy... the Knight) within 2 spaces of them. Barring that, they seek the Wizard. Going from there, Goblins. Since only the Thief can kill Goblins, these can become quite a danger. Not only do they spawn twice as fast, multiple Goblins may occupy the same space. Be wary of this as a single stack could potentially one turn kill a character. Next are Skeletons. They move 3 and seek The Wizard. Perhaps most dangerous, they can travel through Spawn Points, making each Spawn Point a potential ambush for the poor Wizard. Wraiths not only move fast and seek the Thief, but they also move through walls and across pits. Good thing the Wizard has a big Death Radius. Finally, we have Flash Cats. Quick, and more importantly, they can teleport from room to room, seeking the Knight as their target. Naturally, someone could cheat and make these monsters move away from the part but what's the point of that? This is about challenge and winning would be glorious in these circumstances.
So when you explore (exit a room), you draw the top Dungeon Tile from the deck and put it next to the current room with the black arrow acting as the entrance to that room. Most rooms have some monsters and that's it but let's take a look at a Puzzle Room.
This is a standard puzzle room. In the lower right hand corner is a switch for the thief as well as several traps blocking the wizards path to the Tome which would activate the bridge and open the colored gates. This room spawns both Flash Cats and Skeletons. Skeletons will seek the Wizard and Flash Cats seek the Knight. So the trick here is the Thief must stand defenseless on the switch so that the other three characters can pass the traps without damage (Hope there are no nearby Wraiths). The Wizard needs the Knight as an escort and the Knight is vulnerable to Flash Cats so the Ranger must come along as well. Once the wizard reaches the Tome, the bridge is activated and the gates are ignored. To signify this, place a Black Cube on the Tome to signify this puzzle has been solved (in case you have to return to this room). Solving this room takes several cycles so be quick about it because The Lich is coming...
If the Lich ever occupies the same space as a player, they instantly die, ending the game. That, in a nutshell, is the game I made and ordered from The Game Crafter last night. I'm sure it's busted and broken as all hell, which is why I refuse to sell it until it's ready. Naturally, as the game is refined, portions of the artwork may change, new tiles added or removed, and more scenarios are possible. After all, there are only 44 Dungeon Cards in this set and more scenarios will add more chances to add thrills.