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Subject: My First Dungeon Crawl rss

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Mattia Ravasi
Italy
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Hello everybody ! I'm still relatively new to the magical world of board gaming (I started getting addicted about 1 year ago) and I think it might be high time I revisited the vibe of my old D&D campaigns with a good dungeon crawl game. I've seen many reviews out there but I just can't decide which one to pick, and I thought I might ask for the help of you good people

My choice criteria would include the possibility to play the game (well) with two players, as I'd likely play it most of the time with two players (though also occasionally with three or four). That said, the simpler the rules, the better - remember, it's my first game of this kind
No limitation on theme, go crazy!

I was thinking of getting Mice & Mysthics but I've heard its replayability is pretty much non-existing, which makes me think it might not be the perfect first choice. That, and the fact that half of the gaming community seems to deem it mediocre at best
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
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Claustrophobia - Only 2 players, unless you get 2nd expansion.
Gears of War: The Board Game - Out of print, but still somewhat available.
DungeonQuest Revised Edition - Luck heavy.
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Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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Definitely Claustrophobia... A fantastic place to start.



Followed by Shadows of Brimstone.
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Lawrence
United States
Tustin
California
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
- Best played using the campaign from Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Heirs of Blood and using Redjak's Automated Monster Variant (to turn it into full co-op if that's your thing)

Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
- Best played using HexCrawl to make it into a more cohesive campaign.
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Joris Karpavicius
United Kingdom
LONDON
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I have only one dungeon crawler - Claustrophobia and it's really good. it's 1vs1 humans vs demons. demons have neat dice mechanics, and humans movement, damage, defence are also determined by dice. there are not that many miniatures but they come pre-painted. basic game has 6 scenarios, but there are 13 more online for base game. and also there's official campaign which you can find on files section (both scenarios and campaign).
so +1 from me for Claustrophobia!
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Joe Oppedisano
United States
Eau Claire
Wisconsin
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The Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game systems have the easiest rules to pick up and are fully cooperative. There are enough sets out that you can select the one whose "theme" interests you most (Temple of elemental Evil, Legend of Drizzt, etc.).

Descent is great and provides a better campaign experience. Rules are a bit more dense that D&D adventure system, but not impossible to get. That being said, 2 players means that one person will be the Overlord and the other person will most likely need to play multiple heroes. It's a competitive game rather than cooperative.

Arcadia Quest is another option. It's also competitive. But no one needs to play as an overlord. During your turn the other player would control the villains.

It has some slightly "clunky?" rules regarding when monsters attack. But it's not too bad.
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Claudio Hornblower
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Ciao Mattia,
there are 2 kind of advices I will give you, one is with ideal supply conditions: in that case yes, Claustrophobia is a very good 2-players dungeoncrawler with an excellent dice placement mechanic and high replay value (my only con, the same model is used to display different kind of monsters - that's a bit cheap but hey, they're painted...).

Same for Gears of War with its excellent AI card system, cover, and hand of cards used as hit points.

Also, they say that Shadows of Brimstone franchise is really good (Marnaudo reviews are magniloquents on it), but I've zippo direct experience: from what I see I tend to agree, even if the miniature assembly might me a put-off for someone.

The old Hybrid was great too, and very evocative.

Now for part 2, what you can actually find here in the BelPaese's shops (online and not, on the average)

Descent 2nd edition is completely translated by Giochi Uniti, and it's supported quite well. We're almost on pair with english releases and the overall work, in the latest reprints, is almost flawless.
The core set is great enough to start, but I highly suggest to later upgrade to the uber-excellent Shadows of Nerekhall campaign!

... Problem is, Descent is not a dungeoncrawler. It's a fantasy tactical adventure, very similar to a watered down AD&D experience, that really shines in the long run. For example, during the single scenario you are not awarded experience points for killing monsters, nor you open chests to find magical weapons: all of this happen between the scenarios and you may get additional goodies if you won the scenario. Also all the scenario is visible from the start, you don't go venturing in the unknown, and the Keeper (controlling monsters) is a player, too (he gains relics, experience to increase his cards etc.)

So is it great? Yes. Awesome. But bear in mind what you get before pulling the trigger.

Probably the D&D Adventure System is the closer to a true fantasy dungeoncrawl experience. There are 4 titles so far:
- Castle Ravenloft (gothic horror with vampires)
- Wrath of Ashardalon (classic with dragons)
- Legend of Drizzt (dark elves, overpowered charas)
- Elemental Evil (they say it's the best of the pack)

It's not translated, but it's pretty available (and even with some discount). The core idea is that you move, pick a new tile, place it and if the tile instructs you so, a monster appear: the hero who triggered that monster now is "bound" with it and is in charge of its activation, following simple AI rules (on the monster cards). This is how the system makes the game full co-op.
Cons, you only have 2 levels and the price for having this kind of replay value and random placement is that the adventures aren't comparable to the Descent ones in terms of story arch (and pure awesomeness, imho).

But it's a nice dungeoncrawl, with clean rules: probably a sound choice overall.

Then we have Mage Knight. Completely translated in italian (great work) by Giochi Uniti again.
Mage Knight is pure awesomeness in a box. It's not a dungeoncrawler because you don't roam in a dungeon, rather in a fantasy land - but other than that, everything canonical is here: kill mobs and get exp points to increase your level (and get new skills)? check. Get powerful artifacts, magical powers, also recruit units? check. Epic fights against worms in dark lairs, fire golems defending rocky bastions, wyrms on high mountains and heavily guarded reign capitals? check!!

Clever mechanics (hand and dice management), huge replay value, solitaire suitability so you can always play it... It's great. My only caveat, the rules may scare you at first sight and there's a lot to remember (from an euro player point of view): be sure to check Alkyla's gameplay demo (in italian) and Ricky Royal's legendary walkthrough (in english).

Do I recommend you Mage Knight? Absolutely. From the moment you'll lift the cover, you'll be invested by pure awesomeness for ~3 hours and blessed by a terrific clever adventure. It requires a bit of effort, probably, but it's absolutely worth it.

Other available titles:

- Talisman Il Dungeon again in italian by Giochi Uniti, it's an expansion for Talisman that can be played as a standalone;

- Super Fantasy by Red Glove, an italian production; I'm not a fan of it, but maybe could be your cup of tea; have a check;

- Dungeonquest 3rd edition has an italian version by Stratelibri/Giochi Uniti; watch out, it's the "old" non-revised edition which differs a lot from the revised one: some say for the better, some say for the worse. To me it's still worth it, with the caveat the DungeonQuest is a fantasy lottery and you could die on your very first turn;

- Witcher is again translated by Giochi Uniti, is a fantasy adventure quest-based, not really a dungeoncrawler but it's quite introductory for the genre; it has received mixed opinions but to me it's a nice step up from Talisman, while not being as involved as "bigger" systems. You pack up a complete set in 60-90 mins of playtime max, fighting monsters and getting clues to complete your quests;

- Baldrick's Tomb is not translated, but it's quite cheap; a simple dungeoncrawler or better, a roguelike fantasy game;

- and speaking of the basics, Dungeon! is also available, again english only but it's language-indipendend. Very very introductory;

- just a note, we're lucky because you can actually find Runebound 3rd, freshly shipped, in some well-known online shops! Again, not a dungeoncrawler (it's a fantasy adventure) but maybe worth a check;



- last, keep an eye on the upcoming Warhammer Quest!




I guess that's all - buon divertimento, saluti!
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Tomer Mlynarsky
Israel
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I've recently opened a similar thread, though my requests were for more than 2 players so it may or may not fit your needs.

I'll third claustrophobia. Even though it's still in shipment for me, it looks fantastic and an expansion let's you play 3 players if you want to.

That being said, the main question is what type of game would you like?

You have games that are cooperative, like the D&D board games
You have games that are competitive like Dungeon Run
You have games that have the tactical RPG fighting game feel without an actual exploration of a dungeon - like Mage wars or Krossmaster.

You also have games that are 1 vs many (could be 1 vs 1) which are similar to the notion of an RPG (players vs Dungeon Master) most notable being descent.

Keep a warning that in almost all occasions I've seen, if you go for the 1 vs many, the person who buys the game and is most familiar with it will almost always be the overlord\dungeon master.

So I would suggest you decide what would you like most?
Play with the other person? Against it? Be a DM or a player?
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Mattia Ravasi
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Thank you so very much to everybody - especially you Claudio for the superlong post, it was awesome grazie davvero!

I had no idea the D&D Adventure System even existed, and since I'm a huge fan of the Temple of Elemental Evil, I might very well go with that one though it seems like everybody loves Claustrophobia, so that's the main contendant ^^!

Oh and I'm also really interested in Warhammer Quest !

GrandMasterFox wrote:

So I would suggest you decide what would you like most?
Play with the other person? Against it? Be a DM or a player?
I'd say for my first game in the genre I'd prefer a cooperative game. I might go for a 1 VS many game sometime in the future, but not right now; that's why I'll wait to get Descent even though it looks utterly beautiful from the outside (also because I'd like to get something that plays a bit faster for my first dungeon crawl). The mod to play Descent co-operative looks awesome, but a wee bit complicated too

Mage Knight is another game I'd definitely like to get but again, perhaps sometime next year
 
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T C
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The https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/super... Super Dungeon Explore Legends Kickstarter is in it's last day, and might interest you. It has both co-op and one vs many rules.
 
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Andrew Cargill
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Sword & Sorcery might be right up your alley! Very much has the D&D vibe with a great monster AI system and not too complex!

Currently only 20 hours left on Kickstarter with almost all stretch goals unlocked:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1402889231/sword-and-so...
 
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Jeff Connell
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AndrewAU wrote:
Sword & Sorcery might be right up your alley! Very much has the D&D vibe with a great monster AI system and not too complex!

Currently only 20 hours left on Kickstarter with almost all stretch goals unlocked:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1402889231/sword-and-so...
I would venture a guess that he doesn't want to wait a year or more to get it.
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Mitch Willis
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Kathleen
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For first games in this genre, I'd look at:

Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): simple, random, & fun...plays well with 2 or 3 but, with more, it has the potential to drag...

DungeonQuest Revised Edition: plays quickly, simply, and randomly...can be fun but it can also be brutal in killing off characters abruptly...
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Thanee
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jsc19702 wrote:
AndrewAU wrote:
Sword & Sorcery might be right up your alley! Very much has the D&D vibe with a great monster AI system and not too complex!

Currently only 20 hours left on Kickstarter with almost all stretch goals unlocked:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1402889231/sword-and-so...
I would venture a guess that he doesn't want to wait a year or more to get it.
But, but... it's perfect. And it's from Italy!

Bye
Thanee
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Mattia Ravasi
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Thanks for the last suggestions too Sword and Sorcery seems very interesting but a bit less than some other titles I've seen... The main contestants now are Temple of Elemental Evil and DungeonQuest.

... And Mice and Mystics too, actually, I'm still thinking about that one - is it that very bad?
 
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Thanee
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Krokgard wrote:
... And Mice and Mystics too, actually, I'm still thinking about that one - is it that very bad?
It's a great game, actually!

Only "downside" is the fixed story, so it might not have a huge replayability.





Bye
Thanee
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