Friday, April 7, 2017

DUNGEON TOURS, LTD. ~ The Final Round

There were a few things I learned beta-testing Dungeon Tours, Ltd.:

1. This is not a one-session game.
2. We found a couple spots in the book that needed beta.
3. Damn do my players love breaking legs.

Part 3 of this campaign was the dungeon run, in which Dungeons & Dragons LLC take little Sasha through her magical hero adventure. However, her governess Lunella is missing (tied up in the back of the dungeon for tampering with our mechanic's set pieces), and so Sasha's father Marcus accompanies.

Marcus is... Gilderoy Lockhart. I fed information over the campaign (largely to the senile dwarf who has to roll to remember things) concerning Sasha's mother being a grand adventurer and her father being a small-time pickpocket who swindled and lied his way to glory. Marcus roots out our team's base well before time to head out, ruining their first beat. They don't like him.

Marcus also seems to be ruining Sasha's birthday; his bluster has made her surprisingly quiet. They really don't like him. A few attempts are made to get him to leave, but as he can't take a hint (and as I was making really good rolls for him), he sticks around.

There is some discussion among the group, and finally they say, "We would like to break his fucking legs."

I mean... like... okay? There's really not a lot I can do. They're already making the plan to do this, and it's pretty involved. And while I'd intended for Marcus to be the skeptic (someone who comes in during the last phase to add a level of difficulty), I can tell this game is going to be skeptic-free.

An invisible log and an impressive performance from our orc actor later, Marcus's legs are quite crunched and badly bandaged, and he is unconscious and stowed behind a handy boulder. And the adventure begins.

Here's how "impressing" a client works. Each element of a room (basically what makes it cool -- a monster, a weapon, an experience, a requested feature) gives you a +2 against the client's Impress roll. The difficulty goes up each time (based on whether the threats are real or fake in each room, which is got into in the book), and then a final roll is made.

This was a bit blurry explanation-wise in the book, but we got the writer on the phone and he was extremely helpful, coaching us through it. We learned that it behooves you to "backload" cool stuff so that you can make higher and better roles.

By the end of our adventure, Sasha has saved her governess from a dragon, defeated an orcish Dragonpriest, and tamed a bear. (The bear in question being Bearemy, who in our friend group is a bear Pillow Pet that Emily and CJ's little girl made friends with.) Then everyone -- including the governess -- went and looted Marcus's house.

In retrospect, there's a lot to be said for the RP value of this game. Once you have a clear explanation of the rolls, they're actually very easy and slide into the storytelling with little difficulty. "Bonds" are also fun -- Gramps, the senile dwarf, had a Bond with every group member, but no one told his player what they were until the end, and they made for some interesting interactions.

I absolutely want to encourage you all to keep an eye on Dungeon Tours, Ltd., and to support it when the Kickstarter kicks off. Look for more news on it via Tangent Artists!