Monday, 11 February 2013

Dungeon! (2012): Huh?

I finally picked up a copy of the Wizards of the Coast re-release of the dungeon crawling classic, Dungeon! and, on closer inspection I have been left wondering, well, huh?

As much as I appreciate Wizards breathing new life into this game and opening it up to a new generation of gamers, without forcing them to trawl E-Bay, a number of the changes that they have made have left me puzzled. Some of which just defy logic.

For example, one of the cosmetic changes that they have made is to include a minotaur, which is great. Minotaurs are a firm favorite of mine. But as a level 1 monster? Really? A minotaur on the same level as goblins and kobolds. Level 2 is only orcs and hobgoblins and, you're telling me they're tougher than minotaurs!? The values that they have assigned to defeat these monsters seems more than a little arbitrary as well.

The other major change (other than a tweak to the way magic swords work) is to the characters. This change is purely cosmetic, meaning that instead of Elves, Heroes, Super Heroes and, Wizards you now have Halfling Rogues (instead of the Elf), Dwarven Clerics (instead of the Hero), Human Fighters (instead of the Super Hero) and, Elven Wizards (instead of the Wizard).

Despite being purely a re-branding of the old characters, I did find it interesting that the introduction of Dwarves, Clerics and, Halflings didn't draw upon the expansions for those very classes released for earlier versions of Dungeon!

So all in all, the new release has raised a lot of questions, for me at least, but I am sure as with the previous versions the fans will set it straight in the long run. I may even have a crack myself. As a start though, some veteran players have released some interesting variants on the Wizards website that are worth a look.


  1. I would wager it is a perfect example of non-gamers, or non-D&D gamers with limited background on the topic, updating a game.

    To them, a Minotaur is just another monster...

    1. I hadn't thought about it that way but it sounds about right.. It sounds very Wizards. :0/.

      It's definitely something I'm going to have to change. I can't have my beloved minotaurs being trounced left, right and, center.

      What I'm imagining at the moment is bringing in more of a Talisman feel to the cards, leveling and, character building. A lot more going on than the base game with very little added complication. May even introduce all of the other D&D classes and races too.. That was Human, Dwarf, Elf, Fairy, Hobbit and, Leprechaun right? ;0)

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