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Dungeon Universalis


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Do you like classic dungeon crawlers?

Fed up with far too complex dungeon crawlers that have no replayability at all? Tired of games which are predictable and have limited options? Sad about those miniatures left on the shelf that you can never use?

Fed up with playing the game master? With having to learn tons of rules and spend hours creating quests just to be a narrator who rolls dice from time to time? Say ENOUGH!! and dare to play Dungeon Universalis.

Would you like to play a cunning goblin with a giant rat as a pet? Or rather a seasoned ogre hardened by a thousand battles? Maybe a female elvish paladin? A reptilian warrior monk? A human bard? Are you searching for adventure? Are you willing to explore dozens of dungeon scenarios even if the chances of survival are uncertain? Would you like to design your own character among hundreds of options in a quick, easy way? Are you looking for a game system which allows you to use all your miniatures as well as other elements such as dungeon tiles and fantasy books? Do you like tactical combats? Are you searching for a narrative campaign and dozens of pre-designed quests with a perfectly balanced, scalable difficulty? If you answer to some of these questions is YES then…

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145 standees in the picture. More than 230 in the box. 145 standees in the picture. More than 230 in the box.

WHAT IS DUN?

Dungeon Universalis (DUN), created by Óscar Bribián, is a classic Dungeon Crawler board game for 1 to 6 players. DUN´s system merges its intuitive mechanics, card games and the almost unlimited possibilities and options of a RPG.

DUN also includes a huge narrative campaign (with a sandbox map) and several independent quests. It also allows you to design your own quests or simply to use its rulebook, system and cards to replay missions, quests, tiles and miniatures from other Dungeon Crawlers.

In other words: Dungeon Universalis is many games and one at the same time. In DUN you will find many different competitive or cooperative game modes, a Dark Player who may be an omniscient one (just like a classic RPG master) or simply one more player competing against the heroes, with a scalable difficulty according to the player´s level.

Dungeon Universalis tiles Dungeon Universalis tiles
Play with our tiles or in 3D dungeon Play with our tiles or in 3D dungeon
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Dungeon Universalis is a game for 1-6 players, aged 12 and up. The approximate playing time ranges from 60 to 180 minutes depending on the length and difficulty of the quest.

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Easy to play. Large tactical depth. The simplicity and exploration of a dungeon crawler. The options of a RPG. The balance of a skirmish wargame.

EXPLORATION IS REAL

The halls and corridors are revealed as players enter new areas. Traps and obstacles don´t have any fixed locations, which makes the game highly replayable.

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A LONG, OPEN CAMPAIGN

The game includes a narrative campaign with a huge sandbox map, based in Arasca.

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The continent of Arasca and its Mythology are part of the novel Raazbal, written by the game´s creator and published in 2010.

The author has won several literary awards and published a number of novels. One of them is the epic- fantasy novel Raazbal. All of this gives credit of his experience as a narrator. You can find many reviews of his literary works on websites and newspapers.

You can read the first 10 chapters of the novel here: Raazbal (published in Spanish).

REPLAYABILITY

Each quest may be played several times, since the enemies may vary (the bestiary includes more than 400 different creatures) and appear in different places. Besides, traps, obstacles and other elements may vary too and have no fixed positions.

TACTICAL

DUN´s combats are highly tactical. There are no better or worse weapons. However, some of them are more adequate than others depending on the circumstances. Players may knock down and push enemies, disengage out of combat, set up ambushes...

SEVERAL GAME MODES

It is one game system that presents many different game modes: 

-Standard mode with a Dark Player: The Dark Player is one more player who competes against the other players. In this mode some quests have an undefined length and finish when the quest´s goal is achieved. Others have a settled number of turns assigned. Players may gain experience which improves their attributes and skills according to the cooperative achievements of the players´group.

-Individual mode: players gain experience according to their individual achievements.

-Cooperative mode: a 100% cooperative game, without a Dark Player.

-Lone-wolf mode: only one player.

-RPG mode: the Dark Player is omniscient (just like a classical RPG master).

-Open-map mode: rules for scenarios without a gridded floor.

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The following list has everything initially included in the base game.

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57 minutes ago, Arc 724 said:

Well I'm intrigued.

 

Yah, I don't get to excited for board games (family just doesn't play any) but this one has piqued my interest. It could be a game for board game night at the FLGS.

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Looks tempting but something about the cardboard cutout figures tells me that having nice miniatures for the game isn't their highest priority. Not because they're cardboard, but because they only wanted to do miniatures for some characters & creatures and couldn't be bothered for all the others. That being said, given the scope of the game, having miniatures for everything would be very expensive and they do claim that it's a good opportunity to dig out your old miniatures that you haven't used in awhile. As such they're aiming at older/more established players than at newer players.

 

Old as in length of time playing, not as in player age.

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1 hour ago, pinkymadigan said:

Something about the whole thing bugs me, I can't put my finger on it. Combine the uneasiness with first time creator, and I can't gamble on it.

 

Yeah. It just feels slightly off. Reminds me of some other fantasy board game projects I've seen on kickstarter that used Reaper miniatures as placeholders in all their photographs. Not just one project. I'm thinking two or three. They were all very ambitious. Wanted to get a whole massive campaign in there. I can't remember how well they did (or if they got funded at all).

 

Hmm. The main one I was thinking of doesn't seem to be on my watch list any more.

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This game reminds me of what I’ve heard about Gloomhaven which only has minis for the player characters while everything else is a standee.

 

If I were to buy this kind of game, I think I would just buy Gloomhaven due to availability at retail and the positive reviews I’ve heard.

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4 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Also reminds me of Groovus' Dungeon Crusade, sans the miniatures. (:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/357343358/dungeon-crusade-book-i-genesis-of-evil/description

 

DU is a published author in Spain. Too bad he's not doing a CYOA game, which seems to be popular on BGG.

 

That's the exact same one it reminded me of. Not on my watch list any more but I recognised it immediately as soon as I saw the page.

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:43 PM, Darsc Zacal said:

This game reminds me of what I’ve heard about Gloomhaven which only has minis for the player characters while everything else is a standee.

 

If I were to buy this kind of game, I think I would just buy Gloomhaven due to availability at retail and the positive reviews I’ve heard.

 

 

This game is very much posing itself as a Gloomhaven killer.  Quite a few of the things they're advertising here are clearly meant as direct comparison to Gloomhaven (like the talk of Replayability- as opposed to GH's Legacy aspects).

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Well, hopefully, anyone expecting a dungeoncrawler like Gloomhaven had better know better.

 

I'm seeing dice, so it's not like GH in that GH uses a card system, while pretty much all other dc's use dice for combat and other skill checks.

 

The rulebook is a summary and is only 3 pages of rules. Read it before pledging.

 

These rules remind me of Descent's Overlord hand of cards:

CARD DRAW: draw a card from one of your decks (this action is not available during those turns in which players are fighting against enemies spawned at the main hall).

ACTIVATION: activate one or more cards in your hand paying their cost in Reserve Points and then read their content. Activate the creatures under your control one by one (they can´t perform exploring actions).

DISCARD: you get a number of Reserve Points equal to the value of every unused discarded card.

 

This rule reminds me of pretty much every dice-based skill check:

Attribute roll= 2D6+Attribute ≥ 10 (or a specific value in certain cases)

Melee Combat WINNING THE COMBAT SKILL ROLL AND HITTING: both attacker and defender roll 2D6. In case of a draw, the one with a higher wins the roll.

 

So... far cry from GH's hand management, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad game. I guess if you are a fan of the author's works (it might be worth asking if the campaign world is based on them), don't have a dice-chucking dungeoncrawler and can take the risk (it's a First Created project), sure, go ahead and back.

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 5:46 PM, ced1106 said:

Well, hopefully, anyone expecting a dungeoncrawler like Gloomhaven had better know better.

 

I'm seeing dice, so it's not like GH in that GH uses a card system, while pretty much all other dc's use dice for combat and other skill checks.

 

 

To be fair, Gloomhaven has two kinds of cards, and one of them is a dice simulator (you draw a card when you would 'roll to hit').  

Gloomhaven's hand management for actions is probably its most innovative aspect, but the deck of dice results isn't so very different from just having dice.

Gloomhaven's rulebook could do with a LOT of trimming (like cut a bunch of the AI if/then rules that don't work well).  I'm not sure that it would still work if it fit onto 3 pages, but it could probably get down to 20 pretty easily.

What I'm mostly noticing is that many aspects of this game are presented as if contrasting to Gloomhaven.

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