Monday, December 14, 2020

Solitaire RPG or writing exercise? Does it matter?

Dungeon Hero is a name that’s been used for a few different games. In this case, I’m talking about a solitaire RPG that comes in the form of a paper mod. The link to it is over here:

My interest in pocket mods and solitaire RPGs helped me stumble across this game. Each adventure consists of a pocket mod. You just add dice, a pencil and _LOTS_ of imagination.

If you strip the game down to its mechanics, each adventure is nothing but a column of die rolls. Make it through the end of the column and you win. So many rules-lite RPGs live or die on the fluff and that’s definitely the case with Dungeon Hero.  The favor text is the meat of the game.

Your character consists of 30 resolution points (health points) and 15 stamina points (which are used to lay for rerolls) You then come up with eight traits and assign a die to each trait. You have a d12, 2d10, 2d8 and 3d6 to work with. And the traits can be anything. 

The adventures consist of a list of environmental elements, including monsters, that have dice assigned to each one. You roll a d6 to go down the column. Each encounter uses the die you land on and the die from the last one you were at. You have a roll off for each encounter using two of your traits.

You win if you make it to the end of the list still alive and you score points based on treasure. Which you earn by beating monsters. So it’s really how many monsters you beat.

You could play Dungeon Hero as a straight dice game and it would be incredibly boring. In fact, I would say that it only works as a story prompt. The best way I have found to play the game is as a journal game, writing one paragraph to describe each encounter and a second paragraph to describe the dice resolution. 

As a writing exercise, Dungeon Hero does work. I firmly think that Alone Among the Stars is a better solitaire story-telling game but I am glad to have Dungeon Hero to mix things up. 

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