With Drew's permission I am posting the rules my son and I wrote for using Dungeon Delver cards for a game played with paper minis. I will post some pics soon as well.
Dungeon Delver Quest
by Jeremy & Hunter Trylch
The idea for Dungeon Delver Quest spawned out of a desire to play miniature games with my 7 year old son, and we just like dungeon crawls. So anything with a dungeon theme is given a go in our play time. We have played a few successful sessions of Castle Ravenloft, but that seemed a bit tough for the kid, and he just wanted to die so he could transform into the Dracolich (his rule). I admit, with the Dracolich on our side, we won some seemingly unbeatable odds.
Then we played Dungeon Delver, the kid’s card game. Since he won some and lost some the game provided some good tension. The simple mechanics made it easily accessible for him. At this same time I was reading Scott Lefort’s Treasure Quest but knew it was too complicated for a budding gamer. And we don’t have a huge supply of D&D minis, but we do have a whole ton of paper minis, which is why I wanted a game for them in the first place.
So we assigned paper minis to match the cards, I built a dungeon using our custom home-built tiles and bada boom, we had the easy to learn, fast play, kid friendly, miniature’s game, Dungeon Delver Quest.
A word for all the DM Daddy’s out there. This game is ultimately about teaching your children that stealing treasure from Dragon’s is similar to crossing the street against the light during rush hour... it’s dangerous and not to mention just plan wrong. So it can be an educational game.
Also, it can also be a cooperative game... an us-against-the-mechanism game, because ultimately it doesn’t require a DM, which can make it more fun for whiney kids who tend to cry when their miniatures are overrun by dungeon dwellers who are only trying to protect their territory. Older kids could even run the game solo. Although I wouldn’t trust my little thief of a kid not to cheat the dragons out of their precious treasures. So I watch him closely to make sure he gets his just deserts.
What you need to play
1. Dungeon Delver Cards
I suggest giving the card game a run through a few times if you aren’t familiar with it. It takes about ten minutes, and it’s a hoot. The rules of that game are incorporated in this game, so a basic understanding of Dungeon Delver will aid you in learning Dungeon Delver Quest.
2. Paper minis or any minis
I’ve been using One Monk paper minis, but I’m working with Mark Campo to build minis that match the art on the cards. Anything will do. Or if you have figures, please get them out and let the kids play with them too.
You will need d4, d6 (a whole mess of these), d8, d10, d12, & d20 (at least 2 of these. One will be used as a Round Counter.)
Yup, you’ll use them all.
Tiles are not provided, but there are many cool ones out there to use.
I use tiles I drew on card stock. But there are dozens of wonderful tiles to download and build... and likely if you’re interested in a game like this you’re probably looking to get more use out of the tiles you already own.
Setting up: Cards, Character Cards, Entrances, Exits, Unknown Depths, Doors, and placement of Dragons and Treasure Chests.
For the DM Daddy it is best you set-up ahead of time. It saves on precious play time and helps to make sure the short attention span of your halflings doesn’t expire before you start playing. And it helps you preplan their miniature’s death.
The amount of time the adventurous thieves spend in the dungeon will determine the amount of danger they face. So the larger the dungeon and the more turns it take for them to travel through the longer and more treacherous the game will be. For a game that will run more than 11 turns, I recommend at least 3 delvers. The mortality rate goes up quickly after that. The game is simple enough that one child can control the entire party.
Separate the so-called “Heroes” from the deck. Then separate the weapon/treasure cards from the monster (dungeon defenders) cards. Also separate the 3 Dragons from the monster cards and set them aside. They will not be drawn as usual because Dragons, generally speaking, are not wandering monsters.
Set up the Hero cards in a column with their starting weapons beside them, leaving enough room to place other treasure cards after they steal them. I recommend placing them in the order in which they will take their turns, it’s arbitrary. I also recommend having some kind of marker to place on or beside the card denoting who’s turn it is.
Note that the Rogue and the Wizard both start with the Dagger. If they’re both in play, give the Wizard the d10 Quarterstaff.
Place the short stack of dragon cards at the bottom of the column so the marker may be move to them when it is the monster’s turn. The monsters are the last to take their turn every round.
Place a d20 with the 1 facing up next to the top card. This is the round counter. After the monsters finish their turn, adjust the round counter up 1 and begin the cycle again.
Entrances should be clearly marked by stairs or some other genre appropriate means. The Entrance can also be an exit but doesn’t have to be. But it is also fun to “Wizard Lock” the little murderous thieves in and force them to traverse deadly pathways to find a way out.
Exits may be the same as the Entrance or not. Up to the DM Daddy and/or builder of the dungeon. As long as the adventures know ahead of time... or not.
When dungeons are constructed leave at least two hallways unfinished. These are not dead ends. They’re just hallways leading off to open table space, or the Unknown Depths of the dungeon from whence monsters will wander into the game.
So when you construct your dungeon think of creative ways to use the Unknown Depths. I like to use them as a way to cut of the adventurers from escaping once they’ve stolen the objective treasure. During rounds 1-10, alternate between the two when placing monsters.
Doors maybe trapped. When the adventurers move through a door draw a Monster card. If it is a trap, the character takes damage unless they are the Rogue or the Fairy or they have the trap detecting ring. If the card is a monster card, discard it. Nothing happens.
Placement of Dragons and Treasure Chests
The default adventure for Dungeon Delver Quest is to steal the treasure chests from the dragons. In this adventure the three dragon monster cards are removed from the monster deck and placed face-up below the column of heros. Choose three separate rooms and place a dragon miniature and a treasure chest miniature in each.
Each character gets one turn per round. A character’s turn consists of three choices
Move & Attack
Attack & Move
Move & Move.
But never Attack & Attack nor Move, Attack, Move.
Moving through doors and picking up items is equal to one movement point. For instance, the Wizard’s HP = 3. He may move 3 spaces each turn unless he chooses not to attack. So he moves 1 space to a door, opens the door (checks to see if it’s trapped), and now he can continue to move 1 more space.
The Monsters’ Turn
Three things happen during the Monsters’ turn: they Spawn new monsters, all monsters move up to their full movement allowance, and if possible every monster will attack a hero. The monsters’ turn should always follow this order: Spawn, Move, Attack
During rounds 1 - 10 one new monster spawns. Draw a card and place the miniature for that card at one of the Unknown Depth locations. During rounds 11 - 20 two new monsters spawn. Draw two cards and place one at each Unknown Depth locations if you have two. During rounds 21 - 30 three new monsters spawn... ect...
The number on the monster card represents Armor Class (AC) in the card game. If you roll over the AC, you hit the monster and it’s dead. In Dungeon Delver Quest this number is also the Hit Point value and the Move value.
Monsters will always move toward the closest hero. The dragons, in the default adventure, stay in their rooms and never come out.
When monsters attack, they attack with the number on the card. The characters roll to defend against this number. The characters roll the die for their current weapon.
So the Rogue armed with the Dagger will roll a d8 to defend. The skeleton at full health attacks him with a 4. The Rogue must roll higher than 4 on a d8 to defend against the attack. Note that monsters do not take damage when they are attacking. Monsters only take damage during the heros’ turn.
As the game progresses there can be a dozen monsters on the board at one time. It is improbable that you will accurately recall the amount of damage if any they have taken from round to round. Place a die on each monster card, changing the value of the die to match the change in the monsters’ HP.
Note that changes in the monsters’ HP affects the AC and movement rating as well. So the Sorcerer, who begins with 8 HP and can move 8 spaces, takes 4 damage. His new AC = 4, HP = 4, Movement = 4.
For the Heroes, their HP is also equal to their move rating, but not their AC because their AC is equal to the weapon they carry. So as a hero takes damage the less spaces they move per turn, the longer they’re in the dungeon, and the more dangerous it becomes. Mwa ha ha!
The Round Counter
After all characters and monsters have moved and attacked, a new round begins. Keep track of the Round by placing a d20 next to the hero who moves first. Each time it is that hero’s turn, add one to the counter. It is really important to keep track of the Rounds. The longer the adventurers stay in the dungeon, the more dangerous it becomes.
Place a d6 on each hero card with the number = to the Hero’s HP facing up. At the start of the game, the Rogue has 4 HP. Set a d6 with the 4 side facing up. As the game progressing and the heroes take damage change the die to track new HP.
AC - The monsters’ AC is equal to the number on the card. But the Heroes’ roll to defend themselves, so their AC is equal to the die of whatever weapon they have. In the event a hero loses their weapons, they roll a d6 to defend. Note that the Cleric rolls a d12 without a weapon, and the Fairy never discards the Star Wand.
Hit Points - HP are equal to the number on the card for both the Heroes and the Monsters. When the heroes take a hit they lose only one HP. When Monsters take a hit, they lose the amount of the die roll over their AC.
The Skeleton’s AC = 4. The Fighter attacks him with the d10 Axe. The Fighter rolls a 7. 7 - 4 = 3. The Skeleton takes 3 points of damage. His new AC = 1. Place a die on the Skeleton card with the 1 face-up.
Monsters and heros may move in any direction up to their full movement rate. Monsters move through doors without movement penalty. No one may move through a space occupied by another miniature even if it is the Fairy.
The primary combat of Dungeon Delver Quest is melee. For monsters and heros to fight in hand-to-hand combat they must occupy a space adjacent to their victim.
Certain characters can engage in Ranged attack. The Fairy, the Wizard (only when casting a spell or using the Phoenix Staff), the Sorcerer, the Dragons, and any hero who has the crossbow. They all may attack any one enemy in their Line of Sight. However, Large monsters block line of sight to characters behind them. For instance, the Fairy cannot attack a goblin who’s standing behind the Ogre.
Dragons attack everyone in their line of sight with a blast of fire even down very long hallways.
The Artifact of Holy Light kills all undead within Line of Sight and counts as that hero’s attack for the turn.
The Earthquake spell attacks up to four monsters in line of sight. The Lightning spell attacks up to two monsters in a single direction of the Wizard’s line of sight. The Healing spell may be used on any of the Heroes in the Wizard’s line of sight and counts as his attack for that turn.
Attacks are only made during the current hero or monster’s turn. The only time a character may levy damage is during their own attack. Heroes attack by rolling the die equal to the weapon against the AC of the monster they are attacking. All heroes must beat the monster’s AC to do damage. Yes, the Fighter is said to win on a tie. But a tie does 0 damage. The Fighter’s “tie” rule is more applicable to his defense roll.
Heroes must roll the die equal to their current weapon to defend against attacks. All heroes except the Fighter must beat the number to successfully defend themselves. When defending, neither heroes nor monsters may do damage to their attacker. Heroes take 1 point of damage each time they are hit.
Running Away and Dropping Treasure.
To run away to avoid taking damage a hero may drop an item and move their full movement rate directly away from their attacker. Move the item card from beside the hero and place a marker on it. Then place a matching marker on the board. I use small chits numbered in pairs from one to six. If a hero has no where to run then they must take the damage.
Monster Death and Stealing Treasure
When a monster’s HP equals zero (or Less) it’s dead. Discard the card and remove the mini from the board. Then draw one treasure card. If the hero doesn’t want the treasure or cannot carry the treasure, place a numbered marker on the spot in the dungeon where the poor monster was murdered and place a matching numbered marker on the card. Items laying in the dungeon maybe picked up later if needed. Picking up an item costs one movement point. When the monster deck is exhausted, shuffle and continue play.
When the Treasure Deck is exhausted it does not get reshuffled. The Healing Potion and Wizard’s Spells are single use items. All items dropped in the Dungeon remain in the location they were discarded.
Locked Treasure Chests require a draw from the monster deck (like doors) to see if they’re trapped. You can designate certain items to be placed in the treasure chests, like certain d20 weapons.
Unlocked Treasure Chests are the default in Dungeon Delver Quest, because the Treasure Chests are the MacGuffin of the fantasy game experience. It doesn’t really matter what’s inside, just get the chest and get out of the dungeon.
Treasure Chests are items that if carried, take up one of the item slots in the adventurers inventory. Most of the Hero classes may carry three items. The Fairy may not carry a treasure chest. Any hero may only carry one chest at a time.
Mimics are loved and hated constructs in the fantasy world. There’s no reason the DM Daddy can’t use them to teach his adventurous brood a lesson in humility. There’s no card in Dungeon Delver for Mimics, but I suggest AC = 7. But note that Mimics will not move.
This system is easy to run as a solo game. An older kid or the DM daddy himself may run a solo game. It only take a little subjectivity to play monsters in all fairness. Give the poor dungeon defenders their equal rights.
Styles of Play
A laid out map with Treasure Locations is the default suggestion. It’s board gamey but it works and it’s fun.
A laid out map without Treasure Locations is slightly more difficult. You will have to make decisions about what style of rooms trigger the boss mode with a treasure. Try to be objective.
A map that is revealed as you go along would also work really well. You only need to designate which tiles are the objective tiles with Treasure and if monsters spawn on every new tile. Check the D&D Board game series for inspiration. The rules can be downloaded for free.
Other Adventure Ideas
Stealing treasure chests from dragons is a default for the genre. A no-brainer. But the mechanics of the system will tolerate absolutely any story idea you and your halflings can imagine.
A princess could be beset by a dragon... you know the story.
The vampire seems like a possible boss monster. Give him an AC = 15 and allow him to heal a d4 every time he does damage to a hero. Make coffins that can be trapped or hold treasure or reveal the vampire. Or put a d20 Wooden Stake weapon in one area of the dungeon that must be retrieved before the Hero can do harm to the Vampire.
A creative DM Daddy could come up with dozens of story lines and possibly post them to the Dungeon Delver forum. Hint. Hint.
It doesn’t have to stop with using the full original deck either. A DM Daddy could make a hoard of goblin cards. The possible ways in which to teach our children a lesson (...I mean, the hobby) are endless.
- Last edited Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:45 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:52 pm
Enemy Action: Ardennes
Possessed Tank never goes AWOL
I so wish for a few new cards to this game to change things up a bit.