- Luke Jaconetti(ljacone)United States
While perusing a GeekList of free Print & Play games (Games That Are Free To Print and Play), I came across this dungeon crawler which looked perfect for my situation -- which is to say, a complete lack of access to a color printer. This one didn't need color, and looked like fun, so I figured I would give it a whirl.
First, some background on myself and my relationship with dungeons. I did not start playing D&D until the very tail end of 2nd Edition when I was a sophomore in college circa 1999. But even before I rolled a d20, I was familiar with the dungeon crawl thanks to a game I had on my Game Gear -- Dragon Crystal. DC was a Rogue-like game, where each level of the labyrinth was generated randomly each game, along with the enemies and loot. I played that game for hours on end, hacking and slashing my way through level after level of labyrinth, grabbing new weapons, armor, and magical items as I did. So while I had no experience doing this on pencil and paper, I had already logged countless hours doing it digitally.
Furthermore, I am a big fan of the PocketMod. I use them a lot at work since I always have access to paper, and I am cheap. So with the implementation of PocketDungeon being on a PocketMod, that made me even more interested in giving it a shot.
After reading the rules over a couple of times, I rolled up my character. I created a Warrior, giving him S4, D3, and W2. I chose a Hand Axe and Cloth Armor, and rolled a 7 for HP (woo!). I decided to play against the Undead, as I have always liked skeletons as fantasy enemies since watching Jason And The Argonauts as a small child. I decided to let all of the Skeletons have both swords and bows. Thus prepared, I kick in the first door and off we go...
Room 1 is a corridor 3 space long. 2 Skeletons stand guard, with a door to the North and a door to the West. I step up and easily smash both Skeletons, without either hitting me. The door to the West is locked, but the one to the North is open, so I go through it.
Room 2 has a small vestibule and opens up to a square room. 3 more Skeletons stand guard in this room, and there is only one door, directly North. I step up, drawing attacks from the Skeletons. Two miss, and one hits me, but my cloth armor absorbs it. Next round, I strike back, smashing a Skeleton easily. The two remaining Skeletons miss their attacks. I finish them off without taking any more damage, and then go through the North door.
Room 3 is another square room, with a single Skeleton and a single door, both on the East side of the room. I quickly step up to the Skeleton, who hits me, but stopped by the armor. I smash him with my axe, and move forward through the door.
Room 4 is another corridor, with one Skeleton and one door, to the East. Once again, I charge forward, dodge his attack, and flatten him. I go through the door.
Room 5 is another corridor, but this time with two Skeleton guards. There are two doors as well, one to the North and one to the South. I step up to the first Skeleton, who hits with his attack. Next round, I miss, but he hits again, and I lose my first HP. I then take him down with one chop, and the other Skeleton takes a shot at me with his bow, which hits. Argh! I step forward, he misses, and I level him. Both doors are locked, I decide to head North (mostly because I have more spaces open on the grid North than South). I roll for Bash, and break the door open.
I almost wish I hadn't, as Room 6 (upside down L-shaped) has 3 Skeletons in it. There are doors to the East, North, and West, and also the first Treasure Chest! I take a step forward, drawing attacks from all 3 Skeletons -- two hit, so I lose another HP. Next round, I take down the one in front of me, and the two others miss with their long range attacks. I am able to dodge the next attack as I get in range, then take down the next Skeleton. What comes next is one of those strange realities of hack and slash work, as I miss the last Skeleton three times in a row, and he manages to poke me twice, taking me down to 13 HP before I finally clobber him. I am hoping for a potion or something in the Treasure Chest, which is unlocked... but instead I pull out a Cloth Armor. Hnnnnnn. The West door is locked, so I decide to try the one to the North.
Room 7 is a straight corridor run, with a pair of doors leading West and a lone Treasure Chest, and a single Skeleton. As I move down the hall, I dodge his bow shots, and then level him at close range. The Chest is unlocked, huzzah! And this time I get a Tower Shield! Wooo! I go through the Northwest door and continue on.
Room 8 opens up into a large square, with but a single Skeleton and doors to the North and South. The Skeleton hits me with an arrow which is easily stopped by my armor, and it doesn't take me long to fell him. The North door is locked, so I head South. (Aside: I miscounted here, this room should have been the first with Zombies, but I didn't realize that until I had already moved on.)
Room 9 is a small corner of a hallway, and right inside is a Treasure Chest... and a shambling Zombie. He strikes, but I turn the blow aside with my armor and shield. I miss to open the next round, but he hits again, and my shield is done. I miss a third time (cripes...), but so does he, so I try a Warrior trick and knock him down using, well, Knockdown. Of course... that is of little value when you miss both of your next attacks! I swing for a third time and hit him again, but he returns the favor, putting me at 10 HP. I finally finish him off in the next round. The Chest is once more unlocked, so I open it up and find a Healing Potion! I gulp the Potion down and head through the Western door.
Room 10 is a short corridor with a door at the other end... and 4 Zombies between me and it. Not having a ranged weapon to fight with, I decide what the heck, perhaps today is a good day to die after all. In I charge into the Kill Zone. The battle with the lead Zombie is back and forth. He takes out my armor and shield quickly, but I have a hard time striking him, having to use a Fudge Point just to get my first hit. I finally kill him (re-kill him, I guess?), and stand my ground so that the next one comes to me for a change. I am down to 8 HP at this point. I still have trouble hitting my mark, while he has little problem. I get a couple of hits in, but not enough before he claws me down to the dungeon floor to make a meal out of me...
Rooms Explored: 10
Monsters Killed: 16
-- This game definitely delivers the dungeon crawl experience in a small, easy to play format. Once I rolled up a few rooms, I really got the hang of it. The random nature of the rooms, enemies, and treasure really makes me think of the aforementioned Dragon Crystal, which I dug.
-- I played a Warrior because Fighter is my typical class, but I am looking forward to trying it out as the other classes as well. Ranged weaponry would have helped me against the Zombies for sure.
-- As far as combat, I played that you could always attack any adjacent square, even diagonally. I also figured that when you stepped into a square which was adjacent to an enemy, you drew an Attack Of Opportunity (and vice versa when the enemies would come to me). Not sure if this is the intention or not, but it made sense, so I rolled with it (no pun intended).
-- The PocketMod format is great, because everything has its place without having several different things to refer to. I am considering using the blank back page to put the special class skills as a reference.
Bottom line, this was a lot of fun and I definitely intend to roll up another dungeon and try my hand once again! Time to suit up and get ready for action, because as we used to say in my old D&D group, it's time to "Kill 'Em and Grill 'Em!"
- [+] Dice rolls