Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Curious Follow-Up to a Bitter DMing Failure

So maybe you read my last blog post about trying to get some of my group to do old B/X D&D and they hated it.

You know what they loved? Like, absolutely loved?


Yes, Dungeon!*, the old** TSR board game where you literally win by collecting treasures. You play a character that has really no special abilities. (Unless you play the wizard with his three spells, two of which are incredibly similar.)

It was almost everything they hated about B/X D&D: lack of mechanical options, treasure as the way to win, combat where you usually just attack over and over. Hell, there's no way to circumvent traps in this game. 

They fucking loved Dungeon! and want to play it again.

Being a board game, I suppose the expectations were different. It just strikes me as amusing how

In the words of Casey Kasem: ponderous, man. Fuckin' ponderous.

*It hurts me to put the exclamation point in the middle of a sentence like that, but sometimes good people do bad things.

**I am aware there is a shiny new version of Dungeon! that has been available for several years. I also don't give a single fuck about it. I like my Superhero.


  1. Holy cow, I had the exact same experience!

    The same group that did not like Labyrinth Lord also loved Dungeon!

    We ended up playing Dungeon! completely by accident; two players were not going to make the game so we decided to play a board game (as they did not, interestingly, like Munchkin, which we had played before). Then, after we were all set up and ready to go for Dungeon!, the other players showed up.

    And they loved it!

    It may well be an expectations thing; they expect a certain kind of play from an RPG, and a different kind of play from a board game (and a different still from a card game).

    And what is even stranger, is they said that Dungeon! played a lot like a game called Clank! (yes, Clank! also has an exclamation point in the name). Clank! is a deck-building card and board game, and sounds essentially like a bastard child of Dungeon! and Munchkin... so again, odd that they did not like Munchkin, yet grooved on Dungeon!

  2. One way to look at OSD&D is like a board game with a hidden, changeable board and pawns that can do crazy things. It's a board game gone off the rails.

    I like thinking about it this way when we play it old school. Just move, explore, talk/attack/run, and so forth.

    It helps if there's someone playing a co-dm/liason role keeping track of the expendables and so forth.

    If you go into it in those terms, the game makes a lot more sense to more people (new and old) and moves fast.

    Good thinking about Dungeon!

  3. I have the 1980 version of the game, and every time I introduce new players to it, they love, even if they don't normally enjoy boardgames.

    1. This crew loves board games.
      They decided that Dungeon! is "D&D on fast forward."

  4. Speaking of Dungeon!, do you know how similar the new game's board and pieces are to the old? If they're close enough, I could get the new game and print out a copy of the old rules to use with it.

    1. From looking at the box, all I can tell is that they changed the classes to Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, and Wizard. From the component list on the box, I think it plays fairly much the same.