Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dungeon! Returns

As most of you probably know, there was a flurry of rumors over the last few days about reprints of D&D and D&D-related products from Wizards of the Coast. Many suspected these rumors were just that -- rumors -- and dismissed them as hoaxes. As it turns out, at least one of them was not a hoax and it's the one that's of most interest to me: a new edition of Dave Megarry's classic boardgame Dungeon!

Dungeon! holds a special place in my heart, because it, along with the Holmes Basic Set, were the two TSR products that introduced me to the hobby in late 1979. I still own a copy of the later (1981?) printing of the game somewhere, but I can't find it and so have been hoping to find a cheap, second-hand copy for a long time -- so far to no avail. I think Dungeon! is both a fun game and a terrific lead-in to D&D. It gladdens me to see that WotC is reprinting this in the Fall and I'll happily plunk down some money for a copy to play with my family.

I'm also happy to see that WotC is clearly associating the game with D&D and is including more iconic D&D monsters in the game. I think that's a brilliant idea. It's also evidence, I think, that maybe, just maybe, there's actually a strategy in place to attract younger people to the hobby. Even if there's not, I'm still grateful that Dungeon! is coming out of mothballs for a new generation. Bravo, WotC! Keep the reprints coming.

30 comments:

  1. Now that's a smart move on Hasbros part

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  2. Your link "a new edition of Dave Megarry's classic boardgame Dungeon!" ends at "Your current account does not have access to view this page.

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  3. There seems to be something of a resurgence in the Wizards boardgame department. We've been playing the new Lords of Waterdeep -- also D&D branded -- a lot these past few weeks, as it's really good.

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  4. I am suspicious of what WotC will have done to it.  Only just bagged myself an old one http://adventuresandshopping.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/dungeon-boardgame.html
    *suspicious*
    I hope it's not entirely XP based like the original though.

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  5. Nice! My neighbors who I started playing Holmes with in '82 also had the 1981 version, and I got my own copy soon after that I still have. It will be interesting to see which variations of the rules are included in this version. I wonder if that's the actual cover or just a preliminary mock-up?

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  6. I woudn't complain if that is the cover

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  7. Is it just me or does it kind of feel like WotC is fishing for fan response so they can get a feel about what people want? If they reprint 3.5 along with AD&D I'll be even more inclined that way.

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  8. It's almost as if WotC actually wants my money now...

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  9.  Why not? I like the old XP-based mechanic. If nothing else, it helped me understand why every class didn't have the same XP chart.

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  10.  Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  11. I'm not sure that I would refer to this game as "classic."  Then again, I never cared for it.  From a marketing perspective, I find it really interesting how Wizards is targeting nostalgia.  I think it's smart.  They started with the cover of the boxed Intro set (which was panned), but they've kept at it in a increasingly fan-based way.

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  12. Well, in WotC's defense, this is hardly the first recent D&D themed board game they've published in the last couple of years.  I played a very good game of Lords of Waterdeep just last night, and there.  Throwing a repackaged Dungeon back out there only makes sense.

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  13. Yep, Holmes and Dungeon were my intro in '79, too.  This is cool.  My copy disappeared years ago.

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  14. Anders Kirstein JensenApril 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    This is great news, cant wait to lay my hands on it. 
    Here is hoping (which seems ever more possible the more reprints seems to be heading our way) that they will reprint the original 1974 D&D booklets (and supps, please), and i would love to see reprinted B/X rulebooks too!

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  15. I'd be very happy indeed to see both or either of these come to pass. I'd particularly love to see reprints of B/X, since my copies are starting to fall apart after 30+ years of use.

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  16. Actually, I have an original copy (box a little dog-eared, but complete) from way back when that's gathering dust in the closet if you're interested.

    Cover shipping plus a round of decent beer and it's yours. ;)
    I can also send photos if you'd like to inspect the merch.

    I always found the inclusion of the SuperHero an interesting mechanic and handicapping mechanism.

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  17.  Oh, and the box says "Copyright 1975", so I think you are 10 years off on your estimate.

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  18.  Ugh. 81 - 75 = 6. Six years off, not ten.

    I need to stop my engineering brain from "just round to the nearest power"...

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  19. Cool!  I remember playing this late into the night during sleep overs circa 1980.

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  20. Drop me an email at jmaliszeATgmail.com. I might be interested in snagging your copy for nostalgia's sake if nothing else.

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  21. I have the rebadged ("Jedko Games") Australian printing of the 1975 (vertical) edition* myself.  It's the same as the TSR edition of the same vintage, having played both sets (and the later revised edition).

    I seriously think that WOTC should recapture the early days of the hobby and parasite off of gamers to be successful (boardgamers these days, rather than wargamers).  Their first foray into eurogames, Lords of Waterdeep (a worker placement game), is excellent fun (even if you are not up on the Forgotten Realms mythology and just treat them as orange and purple cubes that you have to collect rather than the fighter and wizard adventurers they represent,

    I still think that the D&D boardgames are the best methods of bringing new blood into the hobby (and by that I don't just mean new people, but also new ideas of how these games should be played).

    [* Experience points in Dungeon?  Whatever will they think of next.  It's unnatural!  Things just aren't done that way!  And you call yourselves Old Schoolers.  <very big grin>]

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  22.  Aaaaand the other side says copyright "1975, 1980, 1981", so really I'm just an idiot. :/

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  23. have an 1981 version (i think) that i do not remember buying as a kid.


    hopefully WotC uses more durable material than they did for Lords of waterdeep... fun/easy game, though.

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  24. I never got to play this game, though I was often curious to try it.  Nice to see I'll get a chance at it.

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  25.  Well, certainly their previous strategy of prematurely killing every game line I might have wanted to buy from them certainly hasn't panned out (Star Wars, d20 Modern).

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  26. Which edition of the game do you hope they'll reprint?

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  27. Oh, awesome...I totally have to buy this.

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  28. Oh, awesome...I totally have to buy this.

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  29. Man, I loved Dungeon when I was a kid! I even got to play it quite a bit, as opposed to D&D, which I spent a lot of time reading about and drawing up terrible dungeons for but rarely actually played.

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