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Hello all, I've been away from the forum awhile.


I'm back to ask if anyone has opinions on simple dungeon crawl rules? It's for me and my 9 y-o daughter to play (possibly with additional players from time to time).


A mate has Heroquest, of which I have fond memories, but getting a copy on eBay is a bit pricey and... well, with the Bones Kickstarter and previous collecting, I'll have all the models I need.


A boargamey approach seems good to me, though, so I've orderd (via my not-especially LGS) the D&D dungeon tiles.




Gimme some opinions.


Here's what I'd like:


little or no number crunching in-play

boardgamey or easy conversion (move by squares)

players versus DM/ ref/ etc.

advancement not essential


use boards or minis I have

dice pool or other smoothing; random is fun, but totally random sucks

and no, I DO NOT WANT an "oh, your dice came up badly, you blow your entire turn" mechanic


Any thoughts?

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The Warlord mechanics work really well for dungeon crawls, with some minor tweaks. Simple datacards, cool SAs, the MOV value can be used as squares/hexes/whatever instead of inches.


When I do my dungeon crawls, I give each player 4 models (fighter, cleric, mage, thief). I take about 10-15 minutes to explain the datacards and mechanics, then jump into playing.


EDIT: Handy link to pics of the dungeon in action. Of course, you don't need anything this elaborate to play on; any map tile system should work just fine!



Edited by Shakandara
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I have fond memories of Advanced HeroQuest. :) That was my first exposure to the use of the simplistic mechanics of a board game for dungeon spelunking adventures. Even though it was "just" a board game, I found that it gave me plenty of a framework for handling the critical stuff such as combat and magic, and it was fairly easy for me as a GM to turn it into a full-fledged RPG simply by writing my own adventures.


More recently, I've used Savage Worlds for such things. (Contrary to what the current selection of Reaper "Savage Worlds" minis might imply, it's not all about cowboys; there are plenty of other settings.) Savage Worlds was, as I understand it, developed up from the old "Rail Wars" miniatures wargame. If you leave out the roleplay elements, Savage Worlds is usable as a miniatures skirmish game (called "Showdown"), but WITH the roleplay elements, you've got an RPG system that's friendly with lots of miniatures and relatively fast-paced combat/action.


For a run-down on the basics of Savage Worlds, you can check the free download "test drive" rules either as a stand-alone offering:



... or as part of a "Free RPG Day" offering called "The Wild Hunt":





And then, of more interest for dungeon crawling, there's the "Wizards & Warriors" free supplement, with a sample adventure (and map tiles)


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I went to Toys R Us, and for fifteen bucks bought one of those Lego Heroica boardgames for my nephews. Comes with everything you need, simple rules covering four heavily illustrated pages, and even includes some simple advancement rules (saving up your gold to buy new and better weapons).


I like the idea of a little Lego contraption with colored buttons, vials, and plastic weapons serving as your "character sheet" while your little Lego dude wanders the dungeon fighting goblins. And when the boys are a little older, they will learn why their uncle has a roomful of painted miniatures...

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Several options immediately spring to mind, some free and others very affordable.


Dungeonslayers 4e is fantastic, only requires a d20 to play free at Dungeonslayers.com


Warrior, Rogue & Mage is also free characters are defined by three attributes and a single d6 is required to play free at DriveThruRPG.com


Ancient Odysseys is dirt cheap, download the Brewmaster adventure for a looksee into the mechanics. http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=101


Mini Six is a super simplified version of West End Games D6 game engine http://antipaladingames.com/minisix.html


Side note WEG's D6 is now completely open and the various rulebooks are available for free at DriveThruRPG.com


These are just the ones right off the top of my head.



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EDIT: Handy link to pics of the dungeon in action. Of course, you don't need anything this elaborate to play on; any map tile system should work just fine!


Someone is making good use of their Hirst Arts molds.


If I end up running a dungeon crawl next year at Gencon it would probably be with terrain with HA molds and the redonkulous pile of miniatures from the kickstart program.

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I am actually writing a game which will be free when I am ready to release that will allow you to play a coop or solo dungeon crawl using whatever figures you want. I am in the process of converting some of the Bones figures and characters to get people started and hope to be able to convert all the bones from the kickstarter before they ship. One of the things I was struggling with was the fact that I wanted to use the DnD board game tiles for it, but I have come up with two options for those that do not have them.


I'll try and get a preview of some of the cards up by the end of the night with a basic rundown of the game should play



Really basic rundown of some of the game concepts.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Did you ever try any of these, Smokingwreckage? I'm in a similar position of looking for a dungeon crawl to play with the kids. I did find a page that has Advanced HeroQuest scans that you can download for free. You'd basically have to print your own rulebook and tile sets as well as come up with your own minis (not a problem for most of us on the minis!). I'm thinking of going that route. I'd post a link, but I'm not sure if that would be kosher. A quick google search will find the page I'm referring to though.

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Goal System Delves made its Kickstarter and is supposed to be out around November.


There is also Descent 2, which is definitely 'boardgamey' and should provide tons of replayability, though it's pricey. I actually wish I had people to lay it with. I had first edition, but sold it for lack of use. And if you get into Hirst Arts, there are plans on that site to do HA versions of the DesCent boards...

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