Dungeon Roll isn’t your usual dungeon crawler. Sure there are there are fantasy stables like fighters, mages, clerics, goblins, and dragons, but Dungeon Roll has something truly epic and awesome… LOTS of custom dice!
“I saw the call from [Tasty Minstrel Games] looking for a press your luck dice game on BGG,” Chris Darden the designer of Dungeon Roll said. “I then went down and grabbed two different colors of d6s and started playing around with potential ideas. I soon had two die pools, and one that was more powerful than the other. I had 1s cancel out 1s, 2s canceled out 2s, and so on. That night I had the base mechanic of Dungeon Roll, as well as the theme, and I just went from there.”
Gameplay is fairy simple and easy to pick-up. Using a push your luck mechanic, players roll dice to form a party. They they send those parties into a dungeon to find loot and to gain experience. Each player also gets to control and level up a specific character that has unique powers.
“The heroes were the most difficult to balance,” Darden said. “I definitely wanted to make them all feel different in one way or another, but having diversity and having them balanced was a juggling act. Seth and I went through several sessions with all of the characters and managed to bring them into the range we thought gave a good sense of progression over three delves.”
The combat is color coded so that any party member can defeat a single monster but party members who match a monster color can defeat all the monsters of that color. So for example a purple mage can defeat all purple oozes. This is important because once a party member is used their dice is removed from your party and you have one less person on your team. So having a single adventurer taking out multiple targets is a huge help.
Combat gets really dangerous because every time a dragon appears it is set aside and becomes a sort of boss monster that must be defeated before the party members can return to town. Unlike regular monsters, dragons MUST be defeated with different types of party members. So if you had three fighters facing two dragons you’d lose. However a Champion, Mage, and Cleric would win against three dragons.
To win the game you need to have more experience than any other player. You gain experience for having loot and for defeating dragons. This causes a tactical decision to happen. Do you use something like the Vorpal sword to help you defeat a monster or do you hold onto it because at the end of the game it’s one point closer to winning?
One of the coolest mechanics in the the game is that you use the treasure chest that the game comes in. Every time you you open a treasure chest in the game, you get to open the real treasure chest and pull your reward from it. It sounds so silly, but it’s feels so thematic and fun.
“When I presented the game to TMG,” Darden said. “It was 14 dice, and a very quick press your luck game in the vein of Zombie Dice or Martian Dice, but with a few more decisions. Michael saw a vision of putting the game in a little treasure chest, and how cool would it be to pull treasures out of that box? We immediately started coming up with treasures on the spot, and the Heroes came along not long after to keep the game very re-playable.
As I said before, there is a lot packed into the game. There are seven white party dice which represent the characters you control when dungeon diving. There are seven black dice that represent monsters and the things you find in the dungeon. There is an oversized ten sided dice which keeps track of what level of the dungeon your in and there are treasure tokens, experience tokens, and hero player cards!
The only complaint I had with Dungeon Roll is that it doesn’t really work as a multiplayer game. As a light filler solo game it’s great, but it really bogs down with two or more players. Other players get stuck sitting at the table with nothing to do while waiting for everyone else to finish a dungeon dive. There is no real interaction and the more players you have the more down time there is.
“[Dungeon Roll] stayed true to the original vision I had for it,” Darden said. “I hear the cries for more interaction, but honestly, it’s not supposed to be a mean spirited game. It’s supposed to be a beer and pretzels kinda game, or even one to play with your kids. More interaction may come down the line in an expansion, but I am very happy with the product as it stands”
Dungeon Roll is set to release later this month with a $20 price tag, though a lot of online retailers are listing it for $15 or less!
“I’m blown away by the positive feedback I’m getting about the game,” Darden said. “I just wanted my name on a piece of cardboard, and right now I have the tabletop kickstarter with the most backers ever. It’s really amazing. The fact that I’m getting such great feedback from parents about how they’re playing Dungeon Roll with their kids is just icing on the cake. So thanks to everyone for playing it, and I hope to keep producing content that you’ll enjoy!”
Darden also shared that more characters are in the works and that there are plans to incorporated new loot into the game. As for more dice, he’s got some ideas but nothing is set in stone yet.