Sunday, November 18, 2012


This weekend, I pulled out my copy of the 1981 version of the Dungeon! board game -- I wrote an article about the game and interviewed its creator, Dave Megarry, a few weeks back, actually -- and sat down to play with my family. We had a lot of fun and it brought back fond memories of my first having played it in late 1979. As long-time readers of this blog no doubt remember, Dungeon! was my gateway to the hobby, which is why I'm encouraged that Wizards of the Coast has recently re-released the game. I think that, as it was for me, this game could serve as an entrée to the hobby for a new generation of gamers.

Anyway, when playing, I chose to be a Hero, one of four adventurer types available for play. "Hero" is, of course, a callback to the old Chainmail-derived OD&D level title (another type is a "Superhero") and, along with Elf, it's one of the weaker options. To compensate for its lesser degree of combat prowess, the Hero also requires less gold to amass in order to achieve victory -- a mere 10,000 gold pieces compared to the Superhero's 20,000 (or the Wizard's 30,000). Consequently, a good strategy if you're playing a Hero or Elf is to stick to the upper levels of the dungeon, where the monsters are weaker.

So, when my Hero was poking about on the 1st Level, what did he encounter?
Best of all? The giant rats were guarding exactly 250 gold pieces. What terrible game design!

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