Buzzworthiness: Dungeon Roll

So, I recently got the only game I’ve ever Kickstarted:

image by BGG user cbdarden
image by BGG user cbdarden

Dungeon Roll is a brand spankin’ new game from designer Chris Darden and published by Tasty Minstrel Games.  It’s a game for 1-4 players that takes 15 minutes to play.  It’s a push-your-luck dice game where you’re trying to get as far into a dungeon as possible, earning experience points as you go.  I wanted to talk about my experiences with it so far, so this is an overview/review/solo session report.  It’s kind of long…sorry about that.

The box you see above is the Kickstarter exclusive box.  If you’re going to pick it up retail, your box will look like this:

image by BGG user DrMayhem
image by BGG user DrMayhem

The basic game comes with seven party dice, seven dungeon dice, eight character cards, 36 treasure tokens, 24 experience tokens, a ten-sided die, and four player aid cards.  My copy added in an extra party die, two extra dungeon dice, the first expansion character pack (8 more), one Kickstarter exclusive character, a graveyard card, and a dragon’s lair card.  At the beginning of the game, you get a character.  This character has a specialty, an ability it can use throughout the game.  It also has an ultimate ability, something that can only be used once per delve.  When you reach five XP, you can level your character up (flip it over) to get a more powerful specialty or ultimate ability.

The game plays in a series of rounds.  One player is the active adventurer, and the player to their left is the dungeon lord.  The adventurer rolls all seven party dice to form his party.  Your party can consist of clerics, fighters, mages, thieves, champions, or scrolls.  The dungeon lord will then roll one dungeon die per level (tracked on the d10).  This means that the first level gets one die, the second gets two, etc.  Depending on what is rolled by the dungeon lord, several things can happen.

  • It’s a monster!  The adventurer uses one party die to fight each monster.  Any single monster can be defeated by any single hero, but all skeletons can be defeated by one cleric, all oozes can be defeated by one mage, and all goblins can be defeated by one fighter.  Additionally, one champion can defeat all of one type of monster.  Any dice used go to the graveyard.
  • It’s a chest!  Any single hero can open any single chest, but a single thief or champion can open all chests that were rolled.  For each chest you open, you get to draw one treasure token.  This can get you extra heroes to use, a town portal you can use to escape a level, dragon bait to make the dragon come quicker, a ring of invisibility to escape a dragon, an extra potion or scroll, and dragon scales you can collect for extra points.  If not spent, treasures are worth experience points at the end of the game.  Any dice you use to open chests go to the graveyard.  You can only open chests after defeating the monsters.  Note – dragons are not monsters.
  • It’s a potion!  You can use one party die (even scrolls) to quaff all potions rolled.  Each potion you quaff allows you to return one die from the graveyard on whatever face you want.  The die you used to quaff the potions goes to the graveyard.  As with chests, you can only do this after you fight the monsters.
  • It’s a dragon!  Dragon heads are set aside in the dragon’s lair and may not be rerolled.  They remain there until there are three dragon heads, at which time you must defeat the dragon (after fighting all other monsters and dealing with the chests and potions in the way you want to).  To defeat the dragon, you must use three different heroes.  Note that this is not just three dice – each die (or treasure token) must represent a different hero.  Defeating the dragon gets you one experience point and one treasure.

You may also have scrolls in your party, which can be used to reroll any dice you wish, except for dragons.

Your delve ends in two ways – you retire to the tavern, either because you don’t think you can make it any further or beacause you’ve reached level 10; or you are forced to flee because you can’t defeat the monsters or dragon left in the dungeon.  If you retire, you collect one XP per level you reached.  If you flee, you get nothing.  At the end of three delves for each player, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.  There are several achievements included in the game, goals to shoot for that have no bearing on the game.

A few quick impressions here after two two-player games and a four-player game.  First, the components are very nice.  There’s an error in the rulebook where one page was printed twice and another was left out, but the only information you lose can be found on the player aids.  The dice look very good and are engraved.  Each hero is color-coded to match the monster/chest that is their specialty, which is a nice feature.  People have been slightly confused by their Kickstarter extras, not knowing whether to use the two extra dungeon dice and why their extra party die looks like it’s speckled with red paint.

The theme and mechanics really aren’t revolutionary.  It’s a dungeon crawl game, which is getting to the point that it’s almost overused, and it’s push-your-luck with dice.  It’s a puzzle that you have to solve, and to me, that’s the joy in the experience – you are trying to figure out the most efficient way to get through the dungeon and get as much XP as possible.

The puzzle nature of the game, however, is probably going to be its most limiting factor.  It’s a 1-4 player game, but as there’s absolutely no player interaction, it’s really a solo game that people can play at the same time.  With two players, one is the adventurer and one is the dungeon lord, which means players are always engaged in what’s going on.  With three or four, however, there’s going to be 1-2 players not doing anything and just waiting for their turn.  The game is fast enough that it’s not that much downtime, but as you can’t affect the other players in any way, I can see how that can get boring.

As a solo game, I find Dungeon Roll to be quite fun and engaging.  As a two-player game, it still maintains its charm and interest.  I’ve played once with four, and it can get a little dull between turns.  Particularly if someone is taking a while making decisions.  Nevertheless, I’d definitely recommend that you check it out at some point, particularly if you like puzzly and solo games.  I’d even recommend the two player game, but probably not the 3-4 player games.

So now, I’m going to go into a review of the individual characters, which I think are the heart of what makes this game replayable.  I played one game with each, and I’m going to describe how each one affected my experience.  Note that I’ll be going through all 17 characters I got, but I’ll let you know which are base characters, which are from the first booster pack, and the Kickstarter exclusive.  I’ll give you the base specialty and ability, then tell you what changes after leveling up.

ALCHEMIST/THAUMATURGE (booster)

  • Base Specialty: All chests become potions.  You can’t use them as chests.
  • Base Ability: Roll a die from the graveyard and add it to your party.
  • Advanced Ability: Roll two dice from the graveyard and add them to your party.

During my first delve with the Alchemist, I almost quit after level five.  There were two dragon heads in the lair, and I had three party dice left…different heroes, but with no treasure, I was not confident.  However, I decided to push it and ended up rolling an ooze and FOUR CHESTS on my next roll (it was level 6, but I only had five available dice with the two in the lair).  Those chests became potions, and I was able to build my party to five.  I got four more potions on level 7, then had more in level 8 to have a full party going into 9, when I finally had to face the dragon.  I had three dice left again, and I decided to push into level 10, rolling all seven dice.  I was able to beat the level, unlocking the NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS and DUNGEON MASTER achievements.

In the second delve, I made it to level 6, but only had one party die left with two dragons facing me.  My Thaumaturge ability allowed me to reroll two dice from the graveyard, but they both came up as scrolls.  The only treasure I had was dragon bait, so I retired.  In the third delve, I only made it to the fourth level.  I had three party dice left (I was unable to revive anyone for the whole delve), not rolling enough potions or chests).  I used my dragon bait to turn the monsters into dragons, and then beat the dragon for an extra XP and treasure.  I ended the game with 23 points, which feels kind of pathetic after my big first round.

I like the alchemist’s ability of rolling a die out of the graveyard.  However, it got a little annoying not being able to use any treasure chests.  It was fine in the first delve, but I would have rather had treasures in the second and third delves.  Still, I like the character.

ARCHAEOLOGIST/TOMB RAIDER (booster)

  • Base Specialty: Draw two treasure tokens at the beginning of each delve, and discard six at the end of the game.
  • Base Ability: Draw two treasure tokens and discard two treasure tokens.
  • Advanced Ability: Draw two treasure tokens and discard one treasure token.

In the first delve, I got a couple of chests early on and was able to get some extra treasure tokens to play with.  I got to level 5 when the dragon showed up, and needed to use a treasure token to help me defeat it.  Still, I was able to clear the level and retired.  In the second delve, I once again made it to level five and ran out of party dice.  I did have three potions I could have quaffed with a treasure token, but there were two dragon heads.  So I chickened out.  The third delve once again ended in the fifth level.  I had to use dragon bait to turn everyone into a dragon, and then used the ring of invisibility to escape.  I quite there, discarded six treasures, got six points from the three I had left, and wound up with 22 points.  Again.

The archaeologist seems built to get treasures, so I approached it from that aspect.  The six discard at the end loomed over me throughout, and I ended up separating the ones I wanted (dragon scales and town portal, both of which got me more than one point for keeping).  With nine treasures at the end, it was painful to get rid of six more points.  Oh well.  I liked the treasure hunting aspect of the strategy…definitely different than I had played before.

CRUSADER/PALADIN (base)

  • Base Specialty: Fighters and clerics may be used interchangeably.
  • Base Ability: You can use the Crusader as a fighter or cleric.  Basically, an extra hero of one type.
  • Advanced Ability: Discard a treasure token to defeat all monsters, open all chests, quaff all potions, and discard all dragons from the lair.

In the first delve, I made it to level four when I had to fight the dragon.  This wiped out my party – I had a scroll left.  However, the treasure I got from defeating the dragon was a town portal, so I thought I’d see if I could make it through the next level.  And I almost did – it was a chest, a potion, two skeletons, and an ooze.  I tried to reroll the monsters with the scroll, but they came back as monsters, so I just booked it out with the town portal.

The second delve was my first utter failure.  I got a little cocky, heading into the fifth level with only two party dice, one of which was a scroll.  I ended up rolling four monsters and a chest, and got four monsters again with my scroll reroll.  I had no treasure tokens, so I couldn’t use my ultimate ability, and was forced to flee.  In my third delve, I managed to get two treasure tokens (including another town portal), but was out of dice by level four.  I used my ultimate ability on the fifth level, which included two potions to bring back two dice, and then made it through the sixth level with no dice to space.  I ended up having to leave the chest and potion I rolled on level six as I retired witha pitiful 14 points.

I never really encountered a situation where I needed to interchange fighters and clerics.  I can see where it might be useful, it just wasn’t in this game.  I actually think I liked the base ability more than the advanced – the advanced ability is good if you can get some chests or potions out of it, but it costs a treasure.  I’m not sure that I really like this character, and I doubt I’ll use her by choice in the future.

DWARF/BERSERKER (booster)

  • Base Specialty: Start with two party dice in the graveyard.  Whenever a champion defeats 2+ monsters, reroll it instead of discarding.
  • Base Ability: Discard one monster per champion in your party, then reroll all champions.
  • Advanced Ability: Roll four party dice from the graveyard and add them to your party.  You can’t retire unless you defeated a dragon on that level or reached level 10.

This is a hard one.  I lost on the fourth level of the first delve because I ran out of dice quickly.  In the second delve, I was able to use my base ability to get rid of a monster, but I still had to retire on the fourth level after using dragon bait to turn everything into a dragon and a ring to escape notice.  I made it to the fifth level in the third delve, but then lost to the dragon.  So I end this game with 5 points (four from the second delve plus a dragon scale).

I tried again, because I wanted to get to the ultimate ability.  In my first delve, I had some champions to start with, and was able to defeat the dragon on level 6 before retiring.  I actually had four treasures at that point, so I felt better about my chances.  In the second delve, I had to discard a ring of invisibility to escape the dragon on level seven.  I wanted to retire, but had used my ultimate ability, so I had to continue.  I escaped the dragon again on level 9, but had to keep going with only two party dice.  I was able to use a champion on two oozes in the tenth level, reroll the champion, and defeat the other two monsters (I also had two chests and a dragon) for 10 points.  I failed the third level – I had beaten a dragon on level 5, but chose to keep going and lost on level 7.  I still ended with a respectable 24 points.

This character was annoying.  But I liked it.  It’s definitely an advanced character that I would NOT recommend to new players.  However, it amped up the tension, and gave the game much more of a drive.  He may handicap you, but the secret is how you use the champions – being able to reroll after defeating multiple monsters instead of discarding is very powerful.

ENCHANTRESS/BEGUILER (base)

  • Base Specialty: Scrolls may be used as any companion.
  • Base Ability: Transform one monster into a potion.
  • Advanced Ability: Transform two monsters into a potion.

In the first delve, I ended up having to fight a dragon on level three.  However, it was the first time I’d had to use a hero, so I was still fully stocked.  I was able to use my scroll as a hero to open a chest on level 5, and had transformed a monster to a potion on level 4, but I was out of dice and only had one good treasure token, so I retired and leveled up to the Beguiler.  In the second delve, I almost lost it on level 5, but I was able to transform two monsters into a potion and revive three heroes (since two potions were already out).  I then got three different types of monsters and a completed dragon in level 6, so I had to use the town portal to get away.  In the third delve, I was able to defeat the dragon twice (unlicking the DRAGON SLAYER achievement), and ended on level 7.  This got my final score to 24.

This one was pretty good.  It was nice being able to use scrolls as a companion, though it messed with my usual srategy a bit.  The nice thing was being able to transform monsters into a potion.  That helped a lot.  I’d play her again.

GUILD LEADER/GUILD MASTER (Kickstarter exclusive)

  • Base Specialty: Roll eight party dice instead of seven.
  • Base Ability: Set one party OR one dungeon die to any face.
  • Advanced Ability: Set one party AND one dungeon die to any face.

My first delve ended on the fifth level after I took out a dragon and retired.  My second delve also ended with the defeat of a dragon, this time on level six.  I got to level seven in the third delve, but I had to use a town portal to get away.  I ended with 28 points, my highest so far.

Despite the extra die, this one wasn’t very exciting.  It was nice to set dice to a different face, but there wasn’t a good story with it.  Part of that was just the way the dice rolled.  Still, I’d be happy to play this one again.  At the very least, that eighth die provides more possibility.  And I got my highest score, so that was good.

HALF-GOBLIN/CHIEFTAIN (base)

  • Base Specialty: You may open chests and quaff potions at any time during the monsters phase – you don’t have to wait until they are defeated.
  • Base Ability: Transform a goblin into a thief and discard it at the end of the level.
  • Advanced Ability: Transform two goblins into thieves and discard as before.

In the first delve, I used my ultimate ability in the third level to turn the goblin I rolled into a thief that could open the treasure chest I rolled.  I defeated a dragon on level four, and a second on level seven.  I retired after the second dragon.  I was not so lucky in my second delve.  I was able to use my ability to turn two goblins into a potion, but I never got more than one potion or chest.  I ended up losing on level six when the one chest I got and tried to open didn’t give me anything that would help me beat the dragon.   The third delve went better for me.  I was better able to be efficient, reviving heroes with potions before fighting monsters and getting more potions and chests.  I used my ability on level six to get a second chest, and was able to use dragon bait on level 7 to make sure I beat the dragon when there were too many monsters.  I retired after that with 18 points.

I thought the half-goblin worked well.  It was really nice to be able to open chests and use potions before fighting monsters.  Turning goblins into a potion was good to get rid of some monsters.  I liked it well enough to play with it again.

KNIGHT/DRAGON SLAYER (base)

  • Base Specialty: All scrolls at the beginning become champions.
  • Base Ability: Transform all monsters to dragons.
  • Advanced Specialty: All scrolls at the beginning become champions.  Also, you only need two heroes to defeat a dragon.

My goal in the first delve was just to survive and level up so I could have the stronger dragon fighting ability.  It ended on the sixth level.  I had two dice left and a ring of invisibility.  I had three monsters and a dragon to deal with, so I turned the monsters into a dragon and used the ring to escape.  I then retired, excited to have leveled up.  In my second delve, I was able to kill the dragon on level five with my last two hero dice.  I went into the sixth level with no dice, figuring I could at least use my dragon bait and ring of invisibility to escape if I needed to.  However, I rolled two chests, a potion, and three skeletons, so I used my talisman token to beat the skeletons and retired.

I rolled four scrolls in the beginning of the third delve, meaning I started with five champions (with the other that I had rolled).  This did not unlock the RINGERS achievement (5 champions in your party) because the Knight/Dragon Slayer is specifically excluded.  Oh well.  I had to fight the dragon on the fourth level, and this completely wiped out all my dice, which was a bummer.  I decided to push it one more, and rolled a goblin, three chests, and a dragon.  I used my ultimate ability to turn the goblin into a dragon.  I then used my vorpal sword to open a chest, which gave me a talisman.  I used that to open another chest, which gave me a scroll.  I decided to go ahead and stop there and use my treasures as points to end with 22 points.

The Dragon Slayer didn’t help as much as I had hoped, though it did help.  That third delve was brutal with the variety of monsters coming out.  Still, I survived, and I liked the power of this one.  It has some good fight to it, and I’d definitely be happy to use it again.

LEPRECHAUN/CLURICHAUN (booster)

  • Base Specialty: All potions may be used as chests.  Discard all treasures at the end of the game.
  • Base Ability: Transform one monster into a chest.
  • Advanced Ability: Transform two monsters into a chest.

In the first delve, I only made it to level five before needing to retire, but still got to level up.  In the second delve, I really tried to get a lot of treasure, and knowing that I couldn’t keep it, spent it quickly.  Unfortunately, I got three dragon scales quickly.  However, I was able to beat a dragon and made it up to level 7 before needing to use my town portal to escape.  On my third delve, I killed the dragon on level five which completely wiped out my party, but I went on to level six and spent my last treasure token that I could – another town portal.  So I ended the game with 20 points, and was mad that I had to discard FOUR DRAGON SCALES.

I know it’s thematic – leprechaun gold doesn’t last.  But dang, that was annoying.  Still, it changed my usual strategy significantly.  I wasn’t worried about hoarding treasures, I was just spending them right and left.  It was sad that I could do nothing with the dragon scales, but I think this guy is one that could become a favorite, just because his strategy is so different.

MERCENARY/COMMANDER (base)

  • Base Specialty: When forming the party, you may reroll any number of party dice.
  • Base Ability: Defeat any two monsters.
  • Advanced Specialty: Fighters defeat an extra monster of any type.
  • Advanced Ability: Reroll any number of party and dungeon dice.

In the first delve, the first dragon was out by level three, but I hadn’t had to fight any monsters yet, so I defeated it easily.  I got another dragon on level six, and was able to use my ability to kill the two goblins I had also rolled before beating the dragon.  This wiped out all my dice, so I retired.  In the second delve, I was able to use a fighter to defeat a goblin and an ooze on the third level, then resurrected the fighter with a potion.  I was able to use the fighter specialty once more, and then had to use a ring to escape the dragon on level 7.  My third delve saw no goblins. I had to defeat the dragon on the fourth level, and was out of dice after level 5, so I retired to end the game with 22 points.

This character was different because it had a different specialty and ability when it leveled up.  Also, the leveled up versions were not just slightly more powerful versions of the basic, though the base specialty and advanced ability are similar.  I like the base ability of being able to defeat two monsters, and I like the advanced specialty of fighters defeating an extra monster.  The ability to reroll is also nice, but I wish one of the other two stuck around for longer.  Still, not a bad role.

MINSTREL/BARD (base)

  • Base Specialty: Thieves and mages are used interchangeably.
  • Base Ability: Discard all dice from the dragon’s lair.
  • Advanced Specialty: Thieves and mages are used interchangeably, and champions defeat one extra monster.

In the first delve, I made it to level five and thought I was about to lose – the monsters were going to get rid of all but one of my dice, and I still had a completed dragon to deal with.  And then I remembered that I could use my ultimate ability to clear the dragon’s lair.  So I used my last die to open a chest (which got me a town portal), cleared the lair, and retired.  In the second delve, I defeated the dragon on level four, and got through level five with no dice and four treasures (a ring, a a scroll, a portal, and a scale).  Rather than push it, I decided to retire and try my luck in the third delve.  In that one, I was finally able to use my champion specialty in the fourth level to take out two oozes and a goblin.  On the fifth level, I had a completed dragon, which I took out with my ultimate ability.  On the sixth level, I had two oozes, a chest, and three dragons.  I defeated the oozes with my mage, opened the chest with my thief (got another ring), and escaped the dragon with one of my rings.  I finished the game with 22 points.

This was a good character.  I like the ability to use champions to defeat multiple monster types, similar to the commander.  However, I really like the ability to take out the dragon.  Had I used it in my second delve, I might have gotten a little further.  I also would have had one fewer treasure, but I didn’t really use them in this game (other than the final ring).  I like this role.

OCCULTIST/NECROMANCER (base)

  • Base Specialty: Clerics and mages are used interchangeably.
  • Base Ability: Transform a skeleton into a fighter, discarding it before the next level.
  • Advanced Ability: Transform two skeletons into fighters, discarding as before.

In the first delve, I defeated a dragon on level four and had no dice remaining.  I did have two good treasures (scepter and sword), so I pushed into the fifth level.  I rolled two skeletons and two goblins.  I used my ability to turn a skeleton into a fighter, used that skeleton to beat the two goblins, and took out the other skeleton with the sword.  I then retired.  The second delve played out similarly – I beat a dragon on level four, and retired after the fifth level.  I didn’t get to use my ability this time.  In the third delve, I didn’t have to fight the dragon until the fifth level.  I had used my ability in the third level to turn two skeletons into fighters and use one of them to open a chest.  After beating the dragon, I had no dice left, but I did have treasure tokens: a thief, a cleric, a sword, and two town portals.  So I continued.  I rolled two goblins and FOUR CHESTS.  I killed the goblins with the sword, then opened the chests with my thief.  From there, I kept pushing, and had to use a town portal to escape on level eight.  I ended with 26 points.

I like the transform ability.  I never really had a chance to use the interchangeable ability.  Also, I could never shake the feeling that this one was just nothing new.  It was variations on stuff I’d played before.  Would I like it more if I had played it earlier in the process?  Possibly.  It wasn’t bad, and I got my second highest score so far.  However, I think that was more because I was feeling reckless than because of the power.

SCOUT/DUNGEONEER (booster)

  • Base Specialty: When forming the party, roll six dungeon dice and assign them to levels 1, 2, and 3.
  • Base Ability: During the monster phase, reduce the level die by one and retire immediately.
  • Advanced Ability: Retire immediately.

In the first delve, I rolled two dragons, two chests, and two different monsters.  I put one dragon on 1, the chests on 2, and the rest on 3.  I then managed to use a ring to sneak past the dragon on 5.  I had no dice left, but I rolled for six, and since I had nothing that would help me fight all six monsters I rolled, I retired with 5 XP.  In the third level, I put a dragon on 1, a chest and monster on two, and two potions and a monster on 3.  I had to defeat the dragon on 4, then kept pushing up to level 7.  On level 7, I would have lost horribly, so I used my ability to retire immediately for the full 7 points.  On the third delve, I put a skeleton on 1, two goblins on 2, and two chests and a potion on 3.  I then got to level 5, using up all my dice.  However, my last die got me three treasures, which all happened to be different heroes.  I moved on.  I made it to level 8, and had to retire.  I finished with 25 points.

I really like this one.  The ability to just retire means you can just keep going.  Plus, being able to stack the first three levels is an awesome ability.  I think he’s my favorite so far.

SORCERESS/DRAKE KIN (booster)

  • Base Specialty: As soon as there are 3+ dice in the dragon’s lair, discard all dice in the lair.
  • Base Ability: For each die in the lair, discard one monster.
  • Advanced Ability: For each die in the lair, discard one entire monster type.

My first delve was worthless.  I kept rolling different monsters, and ended up being out of dice on the fourth level.  With no treasures, I had to retire without being able to use my specialty or ability.  My second delve was equally pathetic.  I got to the fourth level, ran out of dice, and had to retire.  Throughout the first two delves, I saw exactly ZERO dragons.  It wasn’t until the third level of the third delve that I saw my first one.  I used my ability on level 4, only getting to discard one die, and pushed on to level 5, even though I only had one die (a champion).  It was enough – three goblins, a potion, and a dragon.  I retired with a pitiful 14 points (one treasure).  I don’t think I got a good feel for this one – so here we go again.

On my first delve, I was able to discard a dragon on level 5 after using my ability on level 4.  I had no dice left, but had gotten two treasures (a potion and a portal) so I thought I’d try my luck on level 6.  Too many monsters – escape for 6 points.  On delve number two, I started with four champions.  I rolled a potion first, and turned one of my clerics into my fifth champion to unlock the RINGERS achievement.  Moving on, I was able to use my ability on level 6 to get rid of two skeletons and two oozes with two dragons in the lair.  The third dragon showed up on level 7, and I was able to defeat the monsters to clear the floor.  I retired at that point, still with only one potion treasure.  On the third delve, I couldn’t get a dragon, potion, or treasure, and ended up retiring after level 4.  This meant I ended with 18 points.

This character essentially makes the dragon irrelevant.  You don’t have to worry about keeping different heroes, you can just go.  However, that takes away opportunities to get extra points and treasures.  Still, I liked the character, and would play with her again – it was nice to be able to discard some monsters, and to not have to worry about the dragon.

SPELLSWORD/BATTLEMAGE (base)

  • Base Specialty: Fighters and mages are used interchangeably.
  • Base Ability: You may use Spellsword as a fighter or mage.
  • Advanced Ability: Discard all dungeon dice – monsters, chests, potions, and dragons.

In the first delve, I only made it to level 4 as I ran through my dice very quickly.  In the second delve, I made it to level 5 before having to retire. I was then able to level up.  On the third delve, I was able to make it to level 7, where I used my ability (aka my nuke) to clear the dungeon dice.  I ended with 17 points.

This is another one that I feel like I’ve played before.  It’s basically the Crusader/Paladin, but with a better ability – it doesn’t cost you a treasure to clear the dungeon.  In that sense, I’d choose it over the Crusader.  And I’ve score better with it in a two-player game, I think I’d just rather play with the others.

TRACKER/RANGER (booster)

  • Base Specialty: Once per level, you may reroll one goblin.
  • Base Ability: Discard one monster of any type.
  • Advanced Ability: Discard one monster of each type.

In the first delve, I used my specialty and ability on the third level to get past two goblins.  I made it to level 6 without encountering the dragon, but was out of dice, so I retired there.  On the second delve, I defeated a dragon on five, but was out of dice on six.  I’m realizing as I write this that I could have used my advanced ability to get rid of some monsters on that last level.  Oh well.  On the third delve, I remembered my ability, which got me past the fifth level where I rolled one of every monster AND completed the dragon.  I had no dice left, but I had dragon bait and a ring, as well as a scepter.  I thought I’d push into level 6 and see if I could make it.  I didn’t.  I had to use my treasures to escape, and retired with 22 points.

If I had remembered to use the ability, it would have helped.  Still, not a bad role.  It’s nice to be able to get rid of monsters.  With some better dice rolling, it might have been better.

VIKING/UNDEAD VIKING (booster)

  • Base Specialty: Remove two party dice from the game and begin with five champions.
  • Base Ability: Discard all dice in the dragon’s lair.
  • Advanced Specialty: Remove two party dice from the game and begin with five champions.  All skeletons become potions.

In the first delve, I was out of dice by level 3 after I rolled one of each monster.  I pushed into level 4, just in case it was all dragons and treasures/potions.  It wasn’t, so I used my town portal to escape.  A dragon popped up on level 4 of the second delve, and I used my ability to get past it.  However, I then rolled four dragons on level 5, and had to use my ring to escape, and then retired.  On the third level, I escaped another dragon on level 5, and had to retire after level 6, being out of dice.  I ended with 18 points.

Like the dwarf, this one is hard.  It handicaps you from the beginning.  However, it gives you one free pass against the dragon.  The advanced specialty gets you some free potions, which can bring in different heroes.  It’s a more advanced role, and I like it well enough.  I’d rather use the dwarf, but there you go.

———–

And there you have it.  19 games later.  I’m enjoying Dungeon Roll as a solo game, and I think my favorite characters are the ones that give you a different way to play.  I think I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a good, fun solo experience.  Two players is good too, but beyond that, there’s just nothing to do when it’s not your turn.  So, if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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4 comments

  1. I have also been playing Dungeon Roll solo. It’s just such an easy little game to play when you want to sit down and game, but can’t be bothered setting up a bigger game. Enjoyed your article here — and thanks for writing in a nice clean style without all of the grammatical errors that plague the internet! 🙂

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