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.
In addition to basic attack values, each monster has special card text which changes how it interacts with the game. The player who controls their monsters is responsible for monitoring and calling out actions which trigger their Monster’s card text.
The basic monsters Mana Husk and Cloud of Bats. Mana Husk’s passive card text means every time a spell is cast a counter must be placed on the card. Once three tokens are applied, the Husk explodes and deals Strike damage to all players. Cloud of Bats instead simply cannot be damaged by melee weapons, as they are flying out of range.
Winning in Dungeons of Old is quite simple. Amass more wealth than everyone else at the table. This is done by plundering the depths, slaying monsters and claiming the loot they drop. As mentioned in the monster section, each monster has a loot value on their stat bar...
When damage is applied up to or in excess of the Monster’s health rating, the Monster is killed and the player who dealt the lethal blow collects the monster card as a ‘Trophy’. Immediately following that, loot cards equal to the loot rating of the slain monster are placed face down on the table.
Once there are any loot cards on the table, you can collect one card at a time using a character action on your turn.
Collected loot is added to your loot pile, the mountain of riches you’ll cart back to town after every foray into the Dungeons. Before the Dungeon Dive is finished however, your loot is vulnerable. Should you be forced to retreat from the Dungeons by your morale dropping to 0, you’ll leave all that loot on the table for the other players to scoop up! Regroup and return to the dungeon to try and regain as much as you can before the level is cleared.
When you complete a Dungeon Dive, any loot that is in your loot pile is secure and you haul it all back to the nearby town. This bastion for adventurers affords you many options for improving your dungeon diving team.
You’ll deal out three cards from each faction deck face up on the table, taking it in turns to trade in your loot to buy new characters and equipment.
In the centre of the icon bar for all Characters is a group of three coins. This is the cost you’ll need to pay to buy the card. Each player in turn, from the lowest ranked player, will buy a card and add it to their deck. During the town phase, players can also remove cards from their deck, but must have a minimum of 10 cards.
Once a card is purchased, it is replaced by another from the same faction until all players are satisfied or have run out of money, which ever happens first!
Loot can be saved between buy rounds or to count towards winning the game by being placed into your deck. This doesn’t count towards your minimum deck size, and when draw serve as a dead card to represent the burden of carrying the loot. However, this saved loot is entirely safe and you keep it should you need to retreat.
Lastly, in town you can also visit the ‘Tavern’ and buy rounds of food and drink for your team, doing so will increase their morale and allow you to stay in the Dungeons for longer as you face increasing threats.
Once a visit to town has been completed, you’ll foray back into the dungeons again to continue on the path to beating the final boss.
The number of times you’ll dive into the dungeons and return back to town is determined by your selected Dive Contract, which is a contract to defeat the boss. These contracts balance how long the game lasts and how many chances you’ll get to build a stronger team in town.
During testing, there has been only one boss in the form of ‘Hal, The Unshaven’. A mad mage who has avoided the consequences of his nefarious actions and wild experiments that have left him both incredibly jacked and with a long, unkempt beard. The beard has grown so far outward and inward it has taken over his brain. He must be stopped.
Represented in the game with an oversized card, each boss will come with its own mini-deck of attacks and powers which are far and above any monsters abilities yet seen in the Dungeons.
Boss characters have scaling health, with this first boss Hal requiring each player to do a minimum of 20 damage to him. This round is both about survival, making sure you actually kill the boss, and entirely showing off the team you’ve built so far. The players who have done the most damage to the boss when it is defeated will reap great rewards.
AND HERE’S THE FUN PART - During our Kickstarter funding YOU can work with our team to add your very own boss to EVERY copy of Dungeons of Old. We’ll work together to bring your vision to life, from artwork to mechanics and the mini-deck of attacks and abilities to menace players at the table. We’ll play test with you if possible via online tabletop services, otherwise we’ll keep you in the loop of internal play testing.
So the Boss has been defeated, the last of the loot has been collected. What now? How do you claim your place in the history books?
With money, of course! The player who has amassed the greatest fortune at the end of the game is the winner, walking away with the glory… Even if they were not perhaps the greatest heroes in the Dungeons of Old. After all, why were you all really there?