Dungeons of Old is a unique take on a deck-building game for one to four players, in which you take control of your very own ragtag band of adventurers and turn them into a formidable fighting force to take down monsters, snatch up loot and buy new cards on your way to defeat one of FIVE Dungeon Bosses!
The game features three distinct factions of colourful and diverse characters to mix and match, which are:
Hardy, hard working and equipped for any fight, cards from this faction are great for new players and those looking to maximise damage while maintaining a solid defence. Shields, swords and sweat are the route to victory!
Granted enchanted beards by the all-powerful Aetherials, these Magicians-For-Hire weave their magic to cast bombastic spells, manipulate the battlefield and save their own hides in a pinch. The classic glass cannon, a mage alone is weak - however, with an ample store of Mana and some spells in hand, they can pull off some truly weird and wonderful feats in the Dungeons of Old.
Members of this faction bring powerful manifestations of their faith to the Dungeons of Old. This is achieved through non-permanent Prayer cards, which feature two effects of which the player can choose to activate. The will of the Gods is resolute however, and any attempt to force their hand, or use forbidden magic, will cause their blessings to slip through your fingers. Of course, there’s always a way to appease the Gods to quickly gain and amplify Prayers.
Each player starts the game with the same ten card deck and at max ‘Morale’, which is Dungeons of Old’s ‘Player Life’ points.
With this starter deck you’ll enter your very first Dungeon Dive, within which you’ll encounter your first Monsters. These Monster cards are played out in front of each player, as dictated by the Dive Contract (More on this later!) The monsters before you, you control. They each have unique effects you are responsible for and you’ll get to direct their attacks against your rivals.
At the start of the player round, each player will draw up to four cards. You can once you have drawn your four cards, elect to push your team further and ‘Whip’ to draw more. You can draw up to two extra cards, losing 1 Morale point for each you choose to draw.
On your turn you can make only FOUR character actions, such as fighting, picking up a single loot card or using a character’s active abilities. Unlike Magic the Gathering or other TCGs, there is no cost or restriction on playing cards from your hand. The cost is measured in the effort your characters exert!
This effort is represented by ‘Fatigue Tokens’, as you perform actions these tokens will be applied to your characters, and will count towards each characters ‘Fatigue Rating’ on their card with the same symbol.
Once a character has fatigue tokens applied which equal their fatigue rating, they must be removed from play and ‘Buried’ at the bottom of your draw deck. They need to rest, and fill their bellies, before they can enter the dungeon again!
Through out a dungeon dive, you’ll aim to deploy a well-equipped team to fight and loot effectively. To weaken the other players at the table, you’ll aim to kill their monsters first and foremost, which will limit their ability to damage you.
A good defence is a good offence!
Here’s what your board state could look like in any given game. Here we have a player who has purchased Mercenary cards and is setting up defences as well as tactically chosen combos to deal big damage.
We join this fictional player at the start of their second turn, and they have a pretty nice board set up. The first thing they have done is collect FOUR fatigue tokens, and arranged them along the top of their ‘Field’ (Where they’ll play their heroes at a max of four.)
The Pit Fighter on the left has been equipped with a Tower Shield, which allows him to block up to eight points of damage. We can see he’s already taken an action, to either block or perhaps collect a loot card, but he has a Fatigue Rating of four, so he’s good to stay out for a while longer yet.
The Eager Greenhorn has a smaller shield and a sword, with two out of five actions taken for him. The cards can be tucked under the Hero card to show they’re equipped with the weapons. Once you deploy a Hero or weapon card, they cannot be swapped out until the Hero leaves the field.
The ace up the sleeve for our fictitious player is the Wood Singer. While they only have a Fatigue Rating of two, this card has a passive ability to DOUBLE the attack power of ranged weapons. And it just so happens, this Wood Singer is wielding a Longbow. Sixteen damage in a single action is more than enough to wipe out basic monsters, but when the evolve it may take a few more shots!
Once each player has taken their ‘Hero Turns’, play pass to the monsters in the dungeon. In a multiplayer game, these monsters are controlled by the players, who direct them to attack their rivals.
Each monster has an attack value, and some card text which dictates how it interacts with the game along with how many loot cards they drop when killed, indicated by the centre chest symbol.
Monster attacks are handled by first the controlling player selecting which of his rivals ALL his monsters will attack. Secondly, the player receiving the attack resolves the damage how they sees fit, either blocking with characters or dodging the attack which lowers their morale.
As the game progresses and player get deeper into the dungeon, the monsters multiply and most importantly become more dangerous. This is handled through evolution, with each monster type having a basic and evolved form.
Cloud of Bats evolves into a Vampire Drake, a fearsome creature that can cut through shields like butter. A Mana Husk, an unstable remnant of a crystal-abusing mage, becomes a Mana Wraith; a vengeful spirit which grows stronger as players use magic.