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RECIVS' Boardgame Projects

House Rules, Variants & Hacks



Development Update: The Monsters of Advanced DRnD 2.0

Posted by RECIVS on January 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM

After spending some time experimenting with the Character Creation system I've finally put together a first set of monsters for Advanced DR&D 2.0

The new Monster Cards deck will have 120 cards: 107 monsters and 13 traps. Traps will be discussed in an upcoming entry.  The deck includes the 79 original monsters from all versions of Dungeon! as well as 28 additional ones inspired in the D&D universe.

As you may see, there will be a few more monsters than the maximum required (80 rooms+18 creatures in 6 chambers=98 required monsters) I made this design decision expecting varied sets of monsters between games as well as rendering virtually impossible for the players to track which ones are left to appear, as few cards will always remain unused in the deck to the end of the game. I would love to hear your opinions on this matter.

The new system is quite simple but turned out to be very flexible and productive, given the varied dice pool mechanic used. Literally thousands of combinations are possible by mixing just four basic attributes: Defense, Attack, Magic Resistance and Life Points.

This new system has been thoroughly described in our previous Development Update published more than three of months ago. Using the guidelines described there I was able to create a "universe" of 9,324 different combinations as shown in the document attached, from which I picked my 107 candidates. No version of Dungeon! has offered this vast array of monsters.

Most of the monsters in DR&D resemble their Dungeon! counterparts and preserve their relative strengths and weaknesses between each other. However, specific attributes have been allocated and tailored to suit our own design, therefore they’re not always in harmony with the originals or their counterparts in the D&D universe, though I’m sure more adjustments and refinements will find their way into the final version.

Having exposed the above, here are the details of the new design and sorting patterns:

The monsters of DR&D are sorted into 3 levels: 1, 2 and 3.

Each level is divided into 3 LP Groups depending on their LP allocation (low, med or high)

Example: Level 1 includes monsters with 2, 3 and 4 LPs. Level 2 with 4, 5 and 6 LPs. Level 3 with 6, 7 and 8 LPs.

Every LP Group is divided into 3 Attack Strength Groups depending on their attack strenght (low, med and high).

Example: Level 1 monsters may attack with 2, 3 or 4 maximum hits, Level 2 monsters with 4, 5, 6 or 7 and Level 3 monsters with 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12.

The maximum hits possible for a monster come in different configurations. Obviuously some configurations will tend to hit more than others, therefore have been sorted in the same 25/50/25 pattern.

Example: 5 max hits may be completed either with 1 Red die and 1 Yellow die, or 1 Red die and 1 Orange oie, or 1 Red Die and 2 White dice and so on.

According to the above, the monsters are sorted in the following way (roughly):

25% of the monsters are Level 1
50% Level 2
25% Level 3

Whitin each level:
25% of the monsters are low (LPs)
50% are medium (LPs)
25% are high (LPs)

Whitin each LP group:
25% of the monsters are low (max hits)
50% are medium (max hits)
25% are high (max hits)

Whitin each Attack Strenght group:
25% of the monsters have low chance to hit
50% have medium chance to hit
25% have high chance to hit.

The rationale behind the design goes as follows:

There's only one deck of Monster Cards in DR&D, players have no control over the level of the monsters they'll face. This is an important deviation from the original Dungeon! where monsters are sorted according to dungeon levels so the adventures are able to simply choose the level they want to be in.

Taking the above into account and considering my own conception of how the game should play, I decided to privilege an average allocation, meaning that average (Lvl 2) monsters will be the most likely to appear at early stages of the game. Adventurers will start off relatively weak, I don’t want to make it too hard for them to obtain their first Lvl 2 (or 3) weapon, though I neither want the game to become too easy after getting it. This is the balance I´m looking for.

Also, one third of the monsters will perform magic attacks; this means that the Barbarian will be weak against 1/3 of the monsters in the new deck. This is a balance adjustment, the Barbarian won´t be the most powerful combat character all the time.

Besides, one third of the monsters have higher magic resistance so the Wizard will be weak against 1/3 of the monsters. Magic will be a powerful weapon in the game but some monsters will have higher magic resistance.

I’m still figuring if these two groups should be composed of different monsters or several of them could be concurring in both groups. 

DR&D is mainly a game of exploration, combat and random occurrences. If a very powerful monster is found early on, the adventurers will have the option to flee for a relatively low cost. Continuous exploration is rewarded but it could also help more powerful opponents looking for treasures, as the fleeing adventurer must reveal the monster he´s running from.

Since we have 9234 candidates to choose from there's a lot of room for adjusting and fine-tuning every one of the 107 monsters in the deck. No work is perfect though, so I’m sure that some improvements and revisions will be included in Advanced DR&D 2.0. 

This is an open test version, which means that it is subject to modifications and revisions until the final version is relased with Advanced DR&D 2.0. Every user may report any issue or suggestion regarding the design. Please feel free to submit your candidates as well as your corrections to the ones proposed in the files attached.  

Some new features in Advanced DR&D 2.0

-Print and Play. DR&D has become an unofficial PnP expansion; everything you need to play will be included.

- Simpler rules. The rulebook became thinner; rules are now mostly card driven so they’re more straightforward and easier to follow.

-Random Character abilities and powers. Each adventurer will play differently every time.

-Random Monster abilities and powers. Monsters will have different abilities and powers every time.

And there’s more coming...

What's DR&D?

Dungeon, Rings & Dragons may be categorized as a semi-coop or competitive multi-team adventure board game.

DR&D´s defining elements are adopted from Calabozo: La Aventura de los Anillos" (Dungeon The Adventure of the Rings) which is a Mexican version of Dungeon! Perhaps the sole multi-team specimen of it´s type.

This variant is based on the original gameplay from The Classic Dungeon, borrowing and blending elements from the Mexican "rings and dragons" version, HeroQuest, Advanced HeroQuest and D&D Fantasy Adventure Board Game, as well as other original novelties.

We´re looking for extra depth and strategy yet keeping things simple and beer/family friendly like in the original. That´s essentially the DR&D Project.

DR&D Project

Categories: Development Updates

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