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d6 dungeon - A lite dungeon explore "press-your-luck" dice game

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Greggatron
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RyanRay
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What kind of loot are you

What kind of loot are you searching for? Is there a money system involved?

What is the threat of monsters chasing you besides simply not getting to keep 1 treasure? Do you have HP? Do you defeat them, or do they simply leave you alone after 1 attack?

What is the endgame trigger?

How are the Do Nothing and Continue Searching actions balanced? If I read the rules correctly, I can just keep rolling a die until I get a key and completely avoid all monsters and ghosts.

Greggatron
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Answers

You are searching for treasure (coins) in the chests. After deciding to leave the dungeon, add up values from your looted chests that turn and apply those points to your total score. First player to reach 24 points wins.

A rolled monster starts chasing you and that die remains in dungeon game area. It will not stop until either 3 monsters are in that dungeon game area at the same time (like 3 shotguns in Zombie Dice) which ends your turn or you lock a door which stops them from chasing and removes them from the dungeon game area, basically resetting the threat.

Well "do nothing" counts as completing an action, so no other action can be completed for that room and you can't reroll that die anymore. As stated in the guide, you can reroll (continue searching) until any action is complete. This also means that encountering a (rolled) monster is an action preventing further rerolls as well.

And that is part of the risk in this game. Say you need keys because you have used all 3 you had in the previous 3 rooms. For this room, you first roll a door, then reroll a chest (darn no key!), then reroll a monster. You now completed the "encounter monster" action and that room is cleared. You can't reroll the die and now must decide whether to enter another room (and get a new die from bag) or leave dungeon and score any chests you've looted that turn.

I hope I answered most of your questions. I thought some of these were explained fairly well in the dice overview but it seems I may need to further clarify things. Keep in mind this obviously was not the full rules and simply a little overview of just the dice symbols and their functions. I know that some of the context is lost without the rest of the information. I will be posting the rules in the very near future.

Thanks for questions and feedback.

Which ghost symbol did your prefer?

RyanRay
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I see, it makes a little more

I see, it makes a little more sense now.

How many dice are there total? I get sense that there is a correlation between each individual dice and the rooms.

I prefer the top swirly ghost much more over the bottom one.

Greggatron
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Dice

Right now there are 15 dungeon room dice + 1 starting key die:

5 Blue
4 Green
3 Yellow
2 Orange
1 Red

Distribution

In a game like Zombie Dice/Trophy Buck the symbol distribution is very easy with 3 outcomes for 6 sides: 321, 222, 123.

With 4 outcomes it got a little trickier. So, I decided to make 2 outcomes consistent on all dice and 2 outcomes that vary. Since keys are required to complete 2 of the actions (unlock chest/lock door) there is always 2 of them on every die. And, there is also always 1 door on every die.

That leaves chests and monsters to balance and scale. As the chest values go up the number of monsters and/or their special abilities increase.

The blue (easy) dice have: Chest (1), Chest (1), Key, Key, Door, Goblin
While the orange (harder) dice have: Chest (4), Key, Key, Door, Ghost, Goblin.

I also have quite a few "bonus" dice that I am testing and they are working very well. I.E. miniboss (unique "combat" monster), new monster (can hex your opponents!), armor cache (chest variant), caged familiar (chest variant), keystones (chest variant), etc. that will give the players a lot of options and decisions without over complicating the core rules and gameplay.

Game Modes

So, like most lite PYL games, you start your turn by throwing all dungeon room dice into the dice bag and handing it to the active player.

After their first roll/action sequence is complete, a player has to first decide whether they will continue their turn. THEN if they do continue they MUST draw a new die and roll it regardless of what they drew.

A feature in d6 dungeon everyone has really enjoyed is during setup the collective group votes/chooses whether the dungeon for the entire game is unlit or torchlit.

An unlit dungeon operates just like stated above: before entering a new room and drawing a new die you must confirm that you are continuing your turn.

A torchlit dungeon lets you draw a die first (peek in the room), examine the die, THEN decide to continue turn and roll it or leave the dungeon.

This simple choice alters gameplay and strategies and caters to your groups' playstyle and preference.

Ekobor
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I like the swirly ghost as

I like the swirly ghost as well, the other one looks more like a weird rubber mask to me.

The whole thing sounds interesting, I'd like to give it a shot.

RyanRay
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I'd give it a try as well.

I'd give it a try as well. Let us all know if you intend to Kickstart it. I'm usually pretty open to support smaller projects that are dice- or card-based. Excited for Stones of Fate to start shipping!

Might I add as a suggestion, myself and many other gamers really enjoy just simply chucking a good hand of dice in games. I know the Dice Tower even did a whole segment on the natural joy of it once.

That being said, are there any circumstances where the player throws more than just one die? If there's a way to add more in one hand without completely changing your ideas/goals/mechanics, I bet you could get more folks interested.

Greggatron
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Thank you

First off, thank you for the interest in the game! Only after extensive playtesting, polish, and pre-production requirements are in place would I consider KS but that is the ultimate goal, yes.

I totally agree about the satisfaction about rolling multiple dice. We actually started with 3 dice and moved down to 1 because strategy and the lite dungeon explore experience were getting lost in bad/good luck swings.

The reason for this is one fundamental difference between d6d and other games of this genre. Obtaining points is a two step process in d6d whereas almost every other pyl game it is a 1 step process. Also, in d6d one result (key) is the resource for multiple actions (scoring, defense, special*). This was done to give a sense of progress and overlapping influence between rooms instead of each rooms' outcome bearing little to no influence on other rooms.

*several beta dice have new special actions that require keys. i.e. unlock a bound tome to cast a hex on opponents, shackle the 2 headed guard dog miniboss, and more!

Which reminds me about the answer to your question, "is there any time you ever roll more than 1 die?" Currenlty, the only time you roll multiple dice is for a beta die in testing: the caged familiar. If you use a key to unlock the familiar's cage (replaces treasure chest result) it follows you for the rest of your turn. If you are defeated, immediately reroll all looted chest dice. Any reroll that displays a chest again is picked up by the familiar and scored that turn.

Anyway, I think this overarching "strategic" PYL system is more sensitive to multiple dice and their bad rolls. I could delve farther into the explanation like one scenario where 1 monster is already in the dungeon and I roll: monster, monster, door it makes the door result (and any keys I am holding from previous rooms) completely useless...but I won't bore you with the long essay of frustrating scenarios similar to this.

Bottomline, if we find during playtesting that the rest of the game experience does not make up for rolling only 1 die at a time, a complete overhaul of the system may be in order. For now we will move forward with 1 die and wait on the overall feedback. Thank you for your honest and helpful feedback!

Greggatron
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The beta miniboss has been a

The beta miniboss has been a well received die because it provides further options. The dice outcomes are:

Chest (7), mKey, mKey, Monster, Monster, Boss (2 headed guard dog named "Precious" that counts as 2 Monsters). Note that there is no throughway door in a boss room.

Precious is a big 2 headed guard dog, it has metal collars with attached chains around both its necks. These chains can be shackled to the wall.

If you roll the boss you can instantly use a key to shackle one of the collars and reroll the die. Or you can instantly use 2 keys to shackle both collars and remove (defeat) the boss room die from play this turn. By defeating the boss, you not only avoid a major 2 monster threat but also instantly earn 3 points toward your score.

So I had thought about transferring one action from this boss die concept to all room dice.

Goblins are the weakest monsters in the dungeon. Keys right now are used to loot chests and lock doors. I had also thought about the option to use a key to "shackle" and reroll an encountered Goblin.

I am not sure if this will widen the strength gap between ghosts and goblins even further since ghosts also go through doors. I had thought about the key applying to ghost rerolls but not sure how to make this fit thematically (how do you shackle or use a key against a ghost?) and if it would trivialize the ghost ability too much.

Interested in hearing your thoughts!

Note: I forgot to mention that a mKey is a magic key, these are rarer keys found throughout the rooms. A magic key used to lock a door imbues it with an enchantment to prevent Ghosts from coming through, so it overrides their special ability and they ARE put back in the dice bag like a normal monster!

Greggatron
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Mimic Symbol

Mimic:

Captain Nemo
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Love that mimic! And the

Love that mimic!
And the twisty ghost.
Let me know if you need a play tester.

How are you planning your production? Are these images going to be engraved into the dice? What about using stickers for the more custom dice? Perhaps some sides are etched into the die while some flat sides could have stickers. Players would have to assemble these unique dice the first time but once there the dice would be ready to go.

I'm just thinking in terms of production cost and for the ease of expansions. I have a dice game I'm working on and I have come to the realization that stickers are going to be my only feasible option given the number of variations needed. As well as my expansions. Not ideal but it works.

Greggatron
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Thanks! The mimic is my

Thanks! The mimic is my favorite. As I move further along I will definitely need playtesters. For that phase I will provide stickers for indented dice but final production will have engraved dice.

I want the core game to provide enough content that immediate expansions wont be required. With that said, the new service provided by Custom Game Labs (see his KS!), creating your own dice for the game should be affordable and easy now.

RyanRay
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Greggatron

Greggatron wrote:
Mimic:

Someone here is a Dragon Quest fan :)

Greggatron
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Yep, always liked the mimic

Yep, always liked the mimic and cannibox. I even have a little mimic easter egg for the splash page on d6dungeon.com.

deadcatdreaming
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Loving this concept

Loving this concept Greggatron, I really enjoy zombie dice and this seems so much more.

Ditto Captain Nemo, I'd also happily put my name in the hat for play testing.

In terms of the ghost, I think the swirly one works best but maybe without the two additional flecks/action lines at the base.

I was also wondering if you had considered giving the little guy some arms? My example is probably a bit too detailed but I thought it might help.

 photo d6Ghost_zps09292726.png

Greggatron
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Rules

Appreciate the feedback. I will pass it on to my artist. In the meantime, version 1.0 of the rules are up! I updated the original post with the link. It doesn't have any fancy images yet but I will be adding them soon.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Ekobor
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I get a 404 error when I

I get a 404 error when I click on your link to the rules, so my opinion is on hold.

Art wise, I think I like the ghost better without arms. Any thought to make the Keys and Magic Keys a little more distinct? Maybe add an extra tine to one, or a special tine?

I think if you make the goblins weaker by allowing them to be shackled you would need another monster (Monstrous Insect?) that cannot be shackled, to keep the difficulty up.
Or make skeletons as the shackle-able monsters, as a level under goblins as they have a better chance of wearing something that you could shackle. (If the skeletons were prisoners in the dungeon...)

Just my 0.02$

Greggatron
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Link to rules should work

The link to rules should work now, I thumbed an extra letter in the OP link.

I will see how we can change the symbols without making it too elaborate.

The reroll goblin option is currently not implemented but I like the weaker mob idea. The thing to remember if we add this action is that rerolling a goblin still costs a key which could be used toward chests/doors and it doesn't guarantee you might not immediately reroll into another goblin.

With that said, right now it IS an action for the "expanded" boss die, Precious. Precious also has 2 whelp pup sides and no door so using a key to reroll that die still has a 50% chance of rerolling a monster.

Ekobor
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Found a typo under Exploring

Found a typo under Exploring the Dungeon, your inventory and keyRing (missing R)

Why do you start with a magic key? Thematically, to me, that doesn't make sense. It also, I feel, cheapens the effect it gives and maybe weakens the ghosts. Perhaps having a magic key on the yellow dice as well would be a good way to even this out? Or perhaps have special key tokens to represent the magic keys and you can hold onto them between turns?

Greggatron
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Does starting with any key

Does starting with any key not thematically fit to you or just an issue with a magic key?

The reason a key is given from the start is it was frustrating to roll a treasure chest in the very first room and not have a key yet to loot it if you wanted to.

The reason a magical key is given from the start is it immediately presents you with tough decisions. Do you use that key right away on a nice chest that just rolled or try to save it (and maybe pass up chests) in case you encounter ghosts?

Now thematically we could say that it was imbued by a Wizard who bestowed it upon you before you ventured down there.

If we find that providing the player with a magical key from the start is trivializing the ghost (and game) too much we will most likely provide only a basic key and leave the magic keys only for the dungeon rooms. Hopefully upcoming playtesting will help determine this.

Ekobor
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It is mostly a thematic thing

It is mostly a thematic thing to me. It seems odd that you would have a random magic key before your dungeon experience.
Maybe rather than starting every turn with a magic key, start only your first turn with one, again with the ability to retain keys between turns/delves?

Your reasons are good ones for sure though, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

And ooh, playtests. This game is really interesting to me, so I'll be watching carefully.

Greggatron
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Interesting ideas.I started

Interesting ideas.

I started with a similar idea that each player would have a "key ring" die that tracked 0-5 keys which would carry over between turns.

First, it was a little fiddly for some people and they would forget to change the face to the correct side after losing/gaining keys.

So then individual tokens were considered but that adds upwards of 20 pieces. But lets say we went with tokens so issue #1 of losing track is resolved...

Second, part of the fun in PYL games is that you may have one epic turn of magnificent loot and then another turn where you encounter 3 monsters very quickly and take a dirtnap. This game hopefully mitigates those huge swings while still keeping that risk v reward essence.

My point though is we found in carrying keys over from one turn to the next that an "epic turn" could become several "epic turns" because the player was preloaded with keys from the previous "epic" turn(s). Or the "horrible turn" where they had no keys so it left them with no keys again at the start of the next turn. Having no carry over and providing 1 key every turn kinda "resets" the overly good or bad runs.

I'll let you know when we start the playtesting!

RyanRay
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Magic Key

You could thematically tie in the starting Magic Key by saying it was given to you by a King or some other patron that sent you on the quest. They gave it to you as a way of helping your quest, etc.

Perhaps have a die that everyone rolls at the start of the game to see what equipment they begin with? Each side represents a variety of things you start with before the first room.

Greggatron
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A have an "expanded" item die

A have an "expanded" item die idea in the works but nothing materialized yet since I don't want the core game too complex.

But, it would allow players to roll this die at the start of their turn in place of the magic key die (1 or 2 sides may still be a key). The item die offers powerful abilities but its unpredictable what you'll get.

An example was a sword which automatically turns 1 goblin result into the treasure chest that you instantly loot. Another example was holy water that let you reroll 1 ghost result.

These haven't been tested or balanced but are things bouncing around in my head.

Greggatron
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cardstock catacombs

I will be releasing the alpha PnP files for interested playtesters later this week. Just email dungeonmaster@d6dungeon.com with the title, "d6 dungeon: cardstock catacombs" and the files will be sent to you once they're available.

The dice will be represented by cards during this phase so that everyone can easily print the game and begin playing right away. The game consists of 16 cards and will require 1 standard die and a few counters to track the orange/red rooms (since these have two different monsters & keys). Sleeves are suggested due to the constant card shuffling. Also, rules specifically for the PnP version will be available.

While playtesting, keep in mind that some of the gameplay elements will be altered (and more fiddly) due to using cards instead of dice.

We are looking forward to testing the game with you!

Ekobor
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If we happen to have enough

If we happen to have enough dice to PnP this, would you be willing to make a file of the dice faces to print on label paper or the like?
I have enough dice (though no printer ATM) so it would be rather easy for me to cut some labels for them and give it a whirl.

Sent an email, by the by.

Greggatron
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Yes that is possible. I will

Got your email, thanks. And yes that is possible to put those up as well, I will provide links to both versions once their up.

Update:

The first round of local playtesting of ~15 games yielded some good feedback. The dice symbol allocation and values have undergone some changes and the "boss" room is now included into the core game. I have a feeling these will probably undergo a few more iterations before release. Here is a comparison v1 and v2:

What are your first impressions of the changes?

I will update the rules with the new boss monster which counts as 2 monsters! Note: the collar symbol for the 2 headed dog is temporary until the actual symbol is drawn up.

Btw, the expected release for public playtesting is this weekend.

Greggatron
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Some ideas from

Some proposed ideas from playtesting:

You no longer start with a magic key, only a basic key. The magic keys no longer stop ghosts from going through doors. Instead, they instantly add the looted chest value to your current score and then that chest is put back in the bag. Points scored from magic keys are kept even if defeated.

Goblin results can be rerolled only if they aren't the 3rd monster in the dungeon (since this triggers defeat) and you bribe them with 1 coin from your current score. You cannot use coins from looted chests this turn since those haven't been scored yet.

Another idea was that the bribe was equal to the position the goblin would be in the dungeon.
No monsters currently in dungeon = goblin is 1st monster in dungeon = 1 coin bribe to reroll
1 monster currently in dungeon = goblin is 2nd monster in dungeon = 2 coin bribe to reroll
2 montser currently = goblin would be 3rd and defeat you = 3 coine bribe to avoid defat and reroll

Thoughts?

The magic key idea is neat but it loses some of the decision between offense/defense. However, it was dependent on ghosts being in play to be of use so many times it was used on a chest anyway. Now the decision shifts on which chest to use it for guaranteed points.

The goblin idea sacrifices the very points you are trying to earn but could ultimately payoff by extending your turn for more chests.

Ekobor
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Some thoughts

Perhaps making the magic key do both, making the decision even harder as to what to use it on?
Another way to keep it to the original and still be fun would be to up the ratio of ghosts...

I like the bribe idea for the goblins, but I wouldn't let the third one get rerolled. I like it being a hard stop to your turn.
I'd also think that if you were being chased by a goblin and another came along you'd have to bribe both, rather than just the new one.

Greggatron
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Rules Update

Funny you mentioned the dual purpose magic key because that is exactly what we did in version 1.2 of the rules which I have just updated in the OP. Take a look and let me know what you think.

The goblin rerolls are just an added variant for now as we test and balance it further.

Ekobor
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I noticed that, actually. I

I noticed that, actually.
I made up some cards from the image you posted and played a game with my girlfriend just now. (She schooled me hardcore 27-0)

We played without the greedy goblins, which made the game feel a bit more harrowing, I think. We also played Dim-lit, if that is of use to you.

I wonder what is special about the rusty key that it needs to be so specific? We played that the rusty key could only open chests due to this misunderstanding, though rereading I see it can lock doors too.
I also wonder about making the key you start with each turn into a die that can be rolled to determine what key you start with (rusty(3)/regular(2)/magic(1))?

A nit pick, but I think the Pick Up the Key text should go before the Loot the Chest text, simply because it explains the magic key that is then used in the chest text.

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