Friday, September 14, 2012

Tabletop Dungeon Board Game Playtest Edition

A friend came over and we played a version of a now defunct "Aliens" Board Game, the rules for which he had pulled from the Internet. I liked the game mechanic for the Aliens which allowed them to be automated leaving all players to play the Heroes. It reminded me a bit of a game I have enjoyed called, "Castle Panic." Which is a cooperative play Castle Defense game that pits the players against "the board."

I was inspired enough to jot down some of my own ideas for a Dungeon Crawl game along the same lines. These rules are in "testing" process and will doubtlessly require some tweaking, but I couldn't think of anything else to blog about ... So, decided to share what I have done so far ...

Words and Pictures (such as they are) are by me: Jeff Moore.


The Heroes are trapped in the monster infested, ever changing, dungeon of the Lich King! They must find the exit and escape before the Lich King summons an undefeatable Dragon to kill them all!


Included in Tabletop Dungeon are Dungeon Tiles to cut out. A full set of tiles contains 8 Room (3x3-blue) Tiles, 8 Hallway (1x4-yellow) Tiles, 8 wound counters and 4 Doors. There are also 4 Hero, 1 Dragon, 18 Goblin, and 18 Orc paper minis.

Every Room will have a Hallway leading into/out of it and a door separating the room from any hallway connected to it.

Place one room and one hallway to start your dungeon.

Place the Door at the entrance to the room where the Hallway connects to it. This is the Initial set-up of your dungeon.


Place the heroes in the hallway in any order desired. Then place 6 Goblins in the room. When placing Monsters always fill the room starting with the squares furthest from the Door.


Heroes move and attack in any order, the only rule is that each Hero can Move no more than a total of 4 squares each turn and can Attack only once. Movement is orthogonal only (like a Rook on a chess board.) Diagonal movement is not allowed. If a Hero has a valid target, they may attack the target.

Heroes can move, attack and move again as long as the total move taken does not exceed 4 squares. Players can even take a move or partial move with their Hero, allow another player's Hero to act, and then complete their turn after the other Hero has acted. Players are encouraged to strategize together. Tabletop Dungeon is a cooperative game. All players take the role of Heroes, and the Heroes are a team.

Doors block line of fire to a target but figures (Heroes and Monsters) do not.
Heroes can open and Move through a door as a free action. Doors are never locked.
Monsters cannot open doors (see DOORS.) When a Hero opens a Door, remove it from the Dungeon.

Figures (Heroes or Monsters) do not block movement, but a Hero cannot end their move in a square occupied by another Hero.

A Hero can intentionally end their turn in a square occupied by a Monster (but NOT the Dragon.) In this case, place the Monster on the Hero's character sheet. The Hero is now threatened.

Hero Attacks

Heroes can attack any monster that is Threatening them or any monster in a square next to them. Additionally, the Wizard can attack any monster up to 5 squares away, and the Archer can attack any monster up to 8 squares away.

To attack, roll 1d6. The attack does damage if the die roll is equal to or greater than the Hero's "Hit On" number. Most attacks do 1 damage. Some Heroes have special abilities that allow them to do more damage.

Goblins have 1 Life. Orcs have 2 Life. If a monster takes Damage equal to or greater than its Life, remove the figure from the Dungeon.

If an Orc remains in the Dungeon and has taken 1 Damage, swap its figure out for a Goblin.

After all heroes have had an oppotunity to move and attack it's the Monsters' turn.


Monsters have a movement of 4. Move the monsters closest to the Heroes first. Monsters always move toward the closest Hero that is not already in Peril.


A Monster can end its turn on the same square as a Hero. When this happens, the Monster figure is removed from the dungeon and placed on the Hero's character sheet. The Hero is now Threatened by that Monster. A threatened Hero cannot move (except for the Archer*) but may still attack.

*When the Archer moves while threatened, return the Monster that had been threatening her to the dungeon, placing it in the square vacated by her figure.

Heroes can attack a monster threatening another Hero only if their figure is positioned next to the threatened Hero. This rule applies to the Wizard and the Archer as well as the Barbarian and the Knight.


If the Knight is Threatened by 2 Monsters, the Knight is in Peril.

If any other Hero is Threatened by 1 Monster, that Hero is in Peril.

A Hero in Peril is in the deep throes of combat with a Monster (or Monsters in the case of the Knight.) Monsters will move past a Hero that is in Peril to find a fresh victim.

If all Heroes are in Peril, Monster movement ends and no more Monsters will move.


If a closed Door exists between a Monster and the Heroes, move the Monster closest to the Door toward the Door. A Monster that ends its turn next to a Door is said to be attacking it. Only 1 Monster will attack a Door at a time. If a Door is already being attacked no more Monsters will move toward it.


To Search, all Heroes (any still living and in the dungeon) must be in the same room. This room cannot be one that has already been cleared. None of the Heroes can be Threatened.

When Searching, each Hero rolls once on the Search Results Table.


1-2 = Nothing Found.
3-4 = Roll once on the Minor Treasures table.
5-6 = Roll once on the Major Treasures table.
7+ = The Exit!

Heroes can only search a room once. To mark a room that has been searched place a monster figure laying down in the room. (Do this AFTER rolling on the seach table.) This room is now CLEARED.


1-2 = Luck Potion (re-roll 1 failed roll.)
3-4 = Healing Potion (remove 1 wound token.)
5-6 = Potion of Invisibility (Monsters ignore your Hero for 1 turn.)

A potion is good for a single use only. Drinking a Potion counts as 1 square of Movement.


1-2 = Boots of Speed (Your Hero Moves 6 Squares each turn.)
3-4 = Cloak of Protection (Add +1 to your Saving Throws.)
5-6 = Ring of Power (Add +1 to your Attack Rolls.)

An item must be worn to give its benefit. Putting on an item to wear it uses 1 Square of Movement. A Hero can only wear one item of each type.

Heroes can give or exchange treasure items with other Heroes as long as the two figures are standing next to eachother and neither Hero is threatened. Giving and accepting an item uses 1 Square of Movement for both the giver and the receiver.


If a player searching rolls "The Exit!" the Heroes have found their way out of the Dungeon and win the game!


Following Monster movement, any Hero who is in Peril must make a Saving Throw or suffer one wound.

To make a Saving Throw, roll 1d6. Your Hero is safe and takes no damage if the die roll is equal to or greater than the Hero's "Save On" number.

If your Hero fails this roll, you must place a Wound Counter on your character sheet.

If you have 3 Wound Counters on your character sheet, your Hero is out of the game.


If the Dragon is standing next to any Hero, that Hero must successfully roll a Saving Throw or place a wound counter on their character sheet.


Following SAVING THROWS, any DOOR that is being attacked by a Monster takes damage.

A - In the first turn that a door is being attacked, lay the door down on its side to show the effects of the initial damage.

B - In the second turn that a door is being attacked, remove the door from the dungeon.


The next phase is to add to the Dungeon! If there are an equal number of Rooms and Hallways, add a Hallway. If there are more Hallways than Rooms, add a Room.
Add a Door separating the Room from the Hallway where the two tiles meet.

When adding a Room, connect to the last Hallway that was placed. When adding a Hallway, roll to determine which Room the new Hallway will be added to:

Roll 1d3 -1 (for a result of 0, 1, or 2) and subtract this from the total number of rooms.

Example of a 1d3-1 roll with a total of 5 Rooms:
Roll of 1 (- 1) = 0 ... If total # of Rooms is 5, add the Hallway to Room 5 ... (5 - 0 = 5)
Roll of 2 (- 1) = 1 ... If total # of Rooms is 5, add the Hallway to Room 4 ... (5 - 1 = 4)
Roll of 3 (- 1) = 2 ... If total # of Rooms is 5, add the Hallway to Room 3 ... (5 - 2 = 3)

For any result less than 1, add the Hallway to Room 1.


Roll 1d3 + Total Number of ROOM Tiles in the Dungeon (including the new one.)

3-4 = 6 Goblins.
5-6 = 3 Goblins and 3 Orcs.
7-8 = 6 Orcs.
9+ = The Dragon!


Once the Dragon appears, the Dungeon is complete. You will not add any more tiles to the Dungeon.

The Dragon doesn't take damage and can't be hurt or killed.

The Dragon cannot move to occupy the same square as a Hero figure and is never removed from the Dungeon or placed on a Hero's character sheet.

The Dragon will take the shortest path to stand next to the closest Hero. The Dragon will stop next to the closest Hero even if that Hero is in Peril.


During phase 4-Saving Throws and Wounds, after all Heroes who are in Peril have rolled Saving Throws, (and placed wound counters on their Hero sheet if they failed,) any Hero standing next to the Dragon must make an additional Saving Throw or take 1 wound.


When a Hero has suffered 3 wounds, remove the Hero figure from the Dungeon. Place the Monster that was threatening the Hero in the square that the Hero was occupying.

When the Knight dies, place the strongest Monster threatening the Knight in the space that had been occupied by the Knight's figure and remove the other Monster from the Dungeon.


The Heroes defeat the Tabletop Dungeon by finding the Exit and Escaping.

Can you rescue all of your Heroes from Tabletop Dungeon?!


Jeff Moore

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if this could be adapted for use on an Ipad or Android? Have you considered this?