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Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Sticky Dungeon Crawler rss

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Dan Poole
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Order of the Stick is a fairly huge card game where the dungeon is created by laying cards. This is similar to such games as Dungeoneer and Plunder in that there is a deck of really nice over-sized dungeon room cards which are laid next to other room cards as the dungeon is explored. The final level is always Xykon's layer which is created from its own special deck. The object of the game is to explore the dungeon, fight monsters and gain Loot. The latter 2 will allow you to draw more Shtick cards, which are basically like level-ups for your characters earning them better, more powerful abilities. The ultimate goal is to descend into Xykon's lair and slay him. At that point the dungeon starts collapsing at which all characters high-tail it out of there. The winner is the player who has earned the most Bragging Rights. These points come from a combination of Loot, Shtick cards in play, and whoever killed Xykon. Players who exit the dungeon first also earn Bragging Points.

sauronGame Components

-Dungeon Room Deck: Nice oversized cards representing individual dungeon rooms and corridors.
-Xykon' Lair Deck: Special Dungeon Room cards used to create Xykon's lair, the final level.
-Character cards: a mat used to keep track of wounds; 1 for each character
-Small Character Cards: these represent the character token. Each is placed into a plastic stand
-Shtick Deck: 1 deck for each characters. Each Shtick card represents a new weapon, armor or some type of special power.
-Battle Deck: These cards are all the monsters that you play onto other players (and sometimes yourself). There are special Xykon monster cards which are placed to the side and used when players descend into Xykon's Lair. There are Screw This cards in this deck as well which can be played at various times during the game.
-Loot Deck: a huge deck of little Loot cards representing various spoils obtained while searching the dungeon. Trap cards are also in the Loot deck.
-Stairs cards: used to represent prtal between levels.
-Wound Crystals: Used to record level of health (1-5)
-12-sided Dice X 2
-Rulebook
-Quick start Rules: Written in comic book style

sauron Set Up

Before the game players decide on how many dungeon levels to play. A table in the rules gives you a guidleline. Place the Dungeon entrance at the top end of the game table (you will need a lot of room!!) and a stairs card beneath it. This and only this comprises the "known" dungeon at the start of the game. Each player is randomly assigned a character, which is placed at the Dungeon Entrance. Each character comes with a character mat which mainly functions to record wounds. Each player is allowed to pick 3 out of his 4 starting Shtick cards. The other is shuffled into the shtick deck (note every character has his/her own personal Shtick deck). Each player also gets 3 Loot cards and 7 Battle cards. All other decks are placed to the side. Any characters not in play (NPC's) are placed to the side and may be used as allies in battle.

sauronGameplay

Each plays in clockwise order. A turn is composed of the following:

1. Start (optional): Equip/unequip Loot, Search for stairs, Trade in Loot for Shtick cards, rest (no more actions that turn if you rest).

2. Move: can move upto 3 spaces (rooms) though you must end turn if you enter a new, unexplored room (draw new Dungeon Room card) (no more than 8 per level). If movement ends in a room with monsters, you must fight (defend against) the top monster (meaning the monster at the top of the monster pile in that room). If you win the battle, you may attack (or defend) against the next mosnter and so on. If you end your turn in a newly explored room or an empty room, each player in clockwise order plays a monster card until the battle level is reached (battle level = dungeon level, so 2 monsters are played in a level 2 room). You must then battle (defend against) the top monster. Like above, if you win the battle, you may attack (or defend) against the next mosnter and so on. Note some rooms have special abilties.

End of Turn: Basically you can do the same things you can do at the start of your turn.

Notes:
1. If you elect not to move, you can (and must) Attack the top monster in that room.
2. You don't get new monsters if you end your turn in a room with characters.
3. Characters can fight each other.
4. You can move through rooms with monsters without having to stop.
5. You are only required to battle the top monnster; fighting the ones underneath is always optional.
6. If a player runs out of monster cards (ie, only has screw this cards in his battle hand or no cards at all), he draws 7 new Battle cards when it is his turn to dish out a monster (this is the only way to get a new battle hand).
7. You may have to play a monster card on yourself at times.
8. You can never move after battling.
9. A dungeon Level can never comprise more than 8 rooms/hallways.
10 At the end (or beginning) of a turn, you may look for the stairs by rolling a dr12 = 1-3.

sauronBattling:

You are always the defender UNLESS you start your turn in a room with monsters and fight, OR you defeat a monster and decide to fight another monster in the pile. At that point, you can decide to be the attacker or defender (this is important, since attack and defense stats often vary). To fight a monster you pick a Battle Shtick (a shtick with Attack, Defend, Range values). You then may ask for help. Any other player (or NPC) on your level can help. If you offer Loot, that other character will incur a +2 Modifier for each Drool Factor per player icon (see below) on that Loot card. Roll a dr12 and add all modifiers and than compare to the monster's attack (or defense) number. Monsters don't roll. A final number higher than the monster number (Attack or Defense number depending on the situation) is a win. If you win, the monster usually drops a number of Loot cards (usually 1 or 2). You also keep that monster card. Each car has a number of "X" icons. If you "cash in" monster cards equalling a total of 3 "X" icons, you draw a new Shtick card. Hooray! If you lose, you usually lose a health though other nasty things can happen. If the last monster is slain, you get the first 2 Loot cards immediately. The other remaining Loot cards are up for grabs by anyone who can get them first. Note you can never pick up Loot cards until a room is purged of all monsters.

Some weapons are ranged and subsquently can affect monsters in other rooms (and vice versa). Some weopons have an area effect, meaning that it may affect multiple monsters (or characters).

sauronLoot:

Gaining Loot is imperative to winning. Loot has icons of other characters on the left of the card. Each icon represents a Drool Factor of that character. Each Drool factor is worth +2 in combat (as mentioned above). You must possess Loot cards of a certain Drool factor (your own Drrol Factor in this case) to allow you to descend into Xykon's Lair. Furthermore, you can trade in Loot equaling a Drool Factor of 3 (of your own character) and trade it in for a new Shtick card (you also need a certain amount of Shtick cards to enter Xykon's Lair). Some Loot can be equiped. By doing so, you gain certain powers and abilities. Some Loot cards are Traps. If a trap is drawn, you must roll against the evade number. If you fail, you pay the consequences. Note some Traps have an area effect, thus multiple characters can be involved.

sauronShtick Cards

These are special abilities, armor or weapons and come in quite handy in battle. Some can be further increased in power by Boosting them. Some Shtick cards are turned over when used and subsequently have to be turned back over to be used again. You normally have to go to the Dungeon Entrance for this.

sauronResting

If your turn starts in an empty room and you don't move, you can rest. By doing so, you heal 1 wound per turn rested. Beware, other characters can attack you while you are resting. You defend at a -4 dr modifier. You can also heal all wounds at the dungeon entrance. If you lose all health, you have to Flee the Dungeon. When you do this you run toward the Dungeon Entrance, dropping a Loot card every turn (i.e., every 3 spaces). Note you are totally ignored while fleeing and thus are immune to all monsters and attacks.

That's a brief overview that encompasses most, though certainly not all the rules

sauronMy overall Ratings

Theme: 9.5 I really enjoy exploration into the unknown games. Combining this with extremely cute graphics earns a high rating.

Mechanics: 7.5 Overall, gameplay is pretty smooth. Battles take a little while to get the hang of. So far I don't feel like the game gets bogged down with hordes of unstoppable monsters. I like the mechanic where each player gets to play a monster in turn.

Rulebook: 7 Fairly straightforward, though sometimes things do seem a bit scattered.

Strategy: 7 Of course there is luck with any dice games, but a lot of important decisions must be made. For example, what do you do with your Loot cards? Do you ask for help with them, do you cash them in for Shticks, or do you save them?

Asthetics/components: 7.5 It's basically all cards, though the artwork is very humorous. The card quality is nice, especially the oversized dungeon Room cards. I wish there were character miniautres rather than card tokens on a plastic stand.

Verisimilitude: N/A This is certainly not meant to depict any form of realism.

Overall Fun Factor: 7.5

Beware: despite the cute theme, this game is somewhat heavy, certainly more so than Dungeoneer. That is one reason I really like it. It has depth to it and the card text and graphics really help give that dungeon crawling feel (albeit a silly theme). I certainly like it much better than Dungeoneer. It is a long game and requires quite a bit of table space. It also requires a lot of tough decisions to be made. It scales well with any number of players. I have played it more as a 2 player game and have relaly enjoyed that. There are some rule variants in the back of the rulebook as well. Overall, I really recommend this if you like dungeon crawlers/exploration games.













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Chris Hillery
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Nice review! I just wanted to offer one small correction since it significantly changes the power of some schticks:

voynix wrote:
Some Shtick cards are turned over when used and subsequently have to be turned back over to be used again. You normally have to go to the Dungeon Entrance for this.


You also unflip all flipped schticks when you rest. Many schticks would be castrated if using them more than once required backtracking all the way out of the dungeon and back in again!
 
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Dan Poole
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Thanks for pointing that important point out. I forgot to mention that resting also flips shticks back over .
 
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Will
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If you haven't checked out the web comic this is based on, you may want to do so

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html
 
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Teik Chooi Oh
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Thanks for thorough review. Being a fan of the web comic, am interested but the length of time and possibly not enjoying it as much if one is not familiar with comic may be a problem.

Definately check out the excellent comic series. The "first story arc" is what this game is based on.
 
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Mad Halfling
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So it's definitely a 3 hour+ game then? Was thinking about it, but we only usually have 2.5-3 hours and can't go over that.
 
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David Faulkner
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Hey just wondering which modifications did you use for playing with the two player game? I've tried a couple times and there's a lot less player interaction.
 
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