Friday, April 10, 2009

The Dungeon - SBH

Since I am going to be running a dungeon crawl for 6 players at Origins using the Song of Blades and Heroes rule set, I need to work out how I wanted the game to flow for the event. The first test was to figure out what sizes or rooms and corridors that I'll need to make the game fun and challenging. Although I would love to have a huge 3D dungeon for the event, I just won’t have the needed place to carry and store it.

So, a while ago I picked up the game Dungeon Bash from The Other Game Company (TOGC) and while cleaning my gaming area found the tiles that I had made for that game. I figured that I’d use those as a starting point and move from there. The Dungeon Bash rules also have a random dungeon generator so I figured that I could use that to create my dungeon. The tiles are your standard D&D variety. All corridors are 2 squares (read inches here) wide with two room sizes - small (4 by 6) and large (6 by 8).
Due to the ability for players to bring their own warbands to the event, I need to have a warband that comes completely from the printed rosters to test out my ideas than the one I normally play. Looking over the rules for dungeons, I came up with the following:
1x Elf Archer (55pts)
2x Dwarf Elite Warrior (46pts apiece)
1x Human Warrior (30pts)
1x Halfling Thief (16pts)1x human Mage (40pts)
1x Human Leader (60pts)
Total: 293 pts with 100 pts of personalities
I'll eventually need to create 6 warbands for the game so I'm not sure if I like the multiple race types in this one. Only more playtesting (and seeing what model I actually have) will determine this. I also want to limit the number of figures in the warbands that I create (although 7 isn’t a bad starting point).

A couple of rule tests:
1. Each player (and monsters) will be given a card to determine the turn order for that round. I think that will be the easiest and give some randomness to the turn order. I haven’t decided how to move the enemies in the event yet since the rules for failures.
2. At the end of the player’s turn, they will check for wandering monsters by rolling 2 dice. If doubles are rolled and it is equal or greater to that player’s wandering monster number (WMN), a wandering monster group will be placed in some cool fashion. A player’s WMN starts at 6 and will lower by one each turn it is unsuccessful.
3. Normally monsters will not have enough treasure on them to matter, but after each monster killed, 2 dice are rolled. On doubles, a number of treasure cards will be drawn determining the worth of the stash. Some especially powerful creatures will add a die to this roll (still looking for doubles).

4. Each character may carry a single treasure load without penalty. Big creatures can carry 2 and huge can carry 4 without penalty.

For the game, the normal sized creature group was about 100 points and the wandering monster groups were either 2 orc warriors (1-2), two orc archers (3-4) or one of each (5-6). The ‘quest’ room was around 150 points.

Note: the first of the two numbers for the combat results is the die roll.

The 'start' room with the Heroes all inside.

Turn 1 and 2: Heroes start to move up to the closest door. Both corridors are long and complaex (I rolled really high for both).

Turn 3: My human warrior end her turn next to the door finding a large room with 4 orcs and a single treasure (I was places a treasure horde on a 5+, but I might change how this works)! The mage casts transfix at the closest warrior and successes. One of the elite dwarf warriors moves into the doorway. I also rolled double 5 for the wandering monster roll (WMR) and 2 orc warriors appeared down a second hallway. Both orc Archers activate and shoot at the dwarf with nothing happening (3+3 v 5+4 and 1+3 v 4+4).

The heroes are being flanked as most are doing battle in the large room.

Turn 4: My elf archer moves and attacks but doesn’t manage to score a hit (2+3 v 6+3). The dwarf move father into the room to attack pushing his opponent back (5+4 v 5+3).The human warrior moves in and knocks an orc warrior down (2+3 c 1+3). The Mage casts bolt at the transfix model, but the effect doesn’t seem to do any harm (1+4 v 6+3). No wandering monsters (needed to roll double 6s). The orc archers shoot at the halfling and the elite dwarf warrior but nothing happens (2+1 v 5+1 and 4+3 v 5+3). The orc warrior shakes off the spell and attacks but is knocked down by the dwarf (3+3 v 4+4).

Turn 5: The leader moves to engage the orc while the human warrior power attacks the fallen warrior scoring a gruesome kill (4+5 v 2+2). One the orc archer runs to the door and opens it and the other archer runs off the explored area.

Playtest thought: I determined that the next wandering monster would include any model that fled from a battle. This won’t be an issue when the complete dungeon will be set up for the event.

The elf archer attacks the warrior but merely pushes it back (5+3 v 5+1). Both of the dwarves move with the second one making an attack. Due to the door instead of being fallen, the model falls (1+4 v 3+1)! Still no wandering monsters.

Playtest note: Since the door was ‘opened’ by the archer, perhaps he should have just been placed one base width through the door.

The Orc warrior attacks the human leader killing him (6+3 v 2+2). The elf human warrior and mage flee 1 move (It should have only been the elf since no other characters could see the leader, but I was messing up how the +1 Quality for the leader was working so it kind of balances out – I’ll know next time).

Turn 6: The mage transfixes the orc warrior and the elf archer aims and finishes it off (3+5 v 1+2).One of the dwarves power attacks the orc archer killing him (4+4 v 3+1) while the second dwarf picks up the treasure. The orc warrior pushes his target (4+3 v 5+3)

Turn 7: The elf archer moves up and power attacks the warrior knocking to the ground (6+3 v 4+1), but the orc warrior stand and attacks and pushes the human warrior back (5+3 v 3+2).

Turn 8: Heroes surround the final orc and a dwarf gruesomely finishes it off (6+3 v 2+0).

Turn 9: Heroes discover a small room with a mummy and two skeletal archers (no treasure). Both skeletal archers attack the human warrior – the first manages to knock her down, but the second can’t kill her off (4+1 v 1+3 and 5+1 v 6+2). The mummy (the reaper model) moves next to the fallen human warrior who tries to flee but is killed instead.

The human warrior must have found an old crypt.

Turn 10: The elf aims at the mummy and hits it with a lethal shot (6+1 v 1+2) making its quality 6+. There are still no random monsters (my WMN is now a 1). The skeletal archer fails two dice and that round ends.
A clean shot from the elf archer strikes the mummy wounding it!

Turn 11: The elf archer rolls three 1s ending the hero’s turn. I also roll doubles and 3 orc archers appear. One of the orc archers attacks the Halfling knocking him to the ground (5+1 v 3+1 – normally a push back, but can’t due to the fact that there is a model in the way).

There were a couple more turns (4 to be exact), but most of them were spent attacking the mummy in the doorway and the orc archers that appeared in a separate corridor. At this point, I had ran out of time to play so I decided to roll up the whole dungeon to see what it looks like once complete. I stupidly didn’t keep track of the amount of time played so that will have to be in the second test. All in all, it was a good playtest. I have some ideas for the set up and the like that I’ll need to get finished as soon as possible so I can try them out. I have about 2 months to finish everything.

As you can see, it was a big dungeon complex. I wonder how long it would have taken to actually 'explore'.