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Subject: We Return 20 Years Later... rss

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Paul Humphreys
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I originally purchased my copy of Dungeon Quest just after Christmas in 1987. I loved the theme, the artwork and the idea of creating your own board using tiles was, at that time to me, nothing short of revolutionary! However their was one small problem, for some reason my chosen adventurer never seemed to get out alive...Fast forward to the current day, and Dungeon Quest's unforgiving nature and high character mortality rate is common knowledge, and yet on Wednesday evening, my friend Alex & myself had the strange inclination to play this game again, probably for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Setup was pretty straightforward, although I didn't remember there were quite so many card decks (most of which are seldom used). Characters were then chosen, 2 each was decided, to make things more interesting. I had El-Adoran & Ulv Grimhand while Alex used Sir Rohan & Volrik. So off we went. Sir Rohan managed to explore 3 tiles in before getting delayed by a Spider room encounter which cost him several turns. Volrik also made very little early progress. A particularly stubborn door refused to un-jam costing 4 turns. Then my own character El-Adoran struggled for some time with a torch which refused to re-light. In fact only Ulv Grimhand seemed to be getting anywhere. With few tricky encounters to negotiate and a fairly direct route to the dungeon centre, Ulv by about turn 5 hadn't got far to go. However his good start came to an untimely end after failing in an attempt to jump across bottomless pit tile (I guess perpetually falling to his death). So that was 1 down, 3 to go. After this Sir Rohan and El-Adoran managed to overcome their spider/torch problems and began making steady progress towards the dragon’s lair. To the North East of me the supposedly lucky Volrik still wasn't having much joy. All his potential routes were continually ending in dead ends only about 3 tiles in from the entrance. So by mid-morning his only chance to progress now was to search previously discovered rooms for secret passages.

After fighting his way past several monster encounters, by midday El-Adoran was the first to reach the dungeon centre and get his hands on the dragon’s treasure. Only managing to draw a 230gp and 150gp treasure tile didn't exactly set the world on fire however. In fact it was El-Adoran who was set alight, after his next treasure draw attempt woke the dragon. After licking his wounds he re-entered the treasure chamber, but this time was joined by Sir Rohan. Both had 2 successful treasure grabs (including a 700gp tankard and 4000gp jewel) before inevitably the dragon woke once again. Greed had got the better of me, and this second blast from the dragon was enough to finish off El-Adoran.

This effectively handed the game to Alex. With both characters still remaining all he had to do was collect some gold (which neither of them had yet done) and get out alive to claim victory. But he was going to be cutting it close, it was early afternoon and Sir Rohan was still in the centre of the board. Volrik had finally managed to find a secret door but the tile it allowed him to draw was a rotating room, flinging him deeper into the dungeon and sealing off his original path to the exit! Sir Rohan original route to the treasure chamber was blocked by several portcullises & cave-ins so Alex decided to make a dash for it along a new unexplored route. Few room encounters and several timely corridor tiles ensured quick progress and looked like he was going to make it with 2 hours to spare until he drew his final tile, a ‘room of darkness’. Unable to find his way, and with night falling, Sir Rohan was last seen wandering off in the wrong direction back into the dungeon. His fate had been sealed...However while this was happening Volrik, who after spending most of the game trying to find a way into the dungeon was now frantically trying to find a way out along the Eastern edge of the castle. A second series of searches discovered a secret passage that would ensure Volrik’s escape but more importantly it revealed the princely sum of 10 Guineas!

So that was the result. Alex had won, but by the slimmest of margins. 4 adventurers entered, 3 were killed and the sole survivor had a mere 10gps to show for his troubles! Oh well at least he had enough to buy a round while telling the tale at the local tavern. So nearly 20 years later and we fared little better in our attempts than when we were teenagers. The castle Dragonfire does not give up its treasures easily!
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Marc Mistiaen
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Vickers wrote:
So nearly 20 years later and we fared little better in our attempts than when we were teenagers.


Did you have fun? Will you play the game again?
 
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Paul Humphreys
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Yes, I think we were both surprised by how much we did enjoy it. I think it was due in part to the fact we both hadn’t played this game we jointly enjoyed so much when we were younger, so nostalgia was a factor. But because also it was a particularly interesting and tense game that we played and the outcome was so typically Dungeon Quest. I mean 3 dead heroes and 1 sole survivor who walks away with only 10 Guineas (which I think technically might be the smallest collectable amount of gold possible!) we both found an amusingly bad outcome all round. So even though my session report might well have been titled “Welcome back, nothing has changed!” I don’t think we’ll leave it another 20 years till our next game.
 
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Tristan Hall
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Great report!

I dusted this off recently to check all the bits were still there and to plonk it on eBay but couldn't bring myself to. Whilst it lacks the sophistication of the newer dungeon crawl games it offers a quick and easy (if deadly) alterntive. Maybe I'll hang onto it a bit longer, see if we can beat that 10GP score!

 
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Larry Welborn
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A fun game that I still bring out every so often. Seems your result was about typical for this game.
 
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Fredrik Ulmstedt
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Enköping
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Ooooh, I'll have to dust this game off for this weekend. Thanks for the great session report.

I loved LOVE this game!! I wanna be the Berserk!angry
 
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