Hey folks, grab your armor, sword, and potions. Today, we’re going on a dungeon crawl! Don’t forget your dice. Today, I’m going to look at Dungeon Roll from Tasty Minstrel Games. It was a game that I had originally picked up with the intention of playing with my friends while they we home for the holidays. My friends and I often played Munchkin and D&D but I wanted to try something a little different. Well, we never played this game and it wasn’t until a couple years later that I rediscovered it. The game is a press your luck dice rolling game. It plays 1-4 players and the player who earns the most experience points at the end of three runs wins.
Lets take a look at the components. The box itself has a nice display quality. It’s shaped like a small treasure box, with the lid opening to reveal the game. Inside you’ll find a rule book, 7 black dungeon dice, 7 white party dice, 1 dungeon level die, 8 character cards, 4 player aids, 36 treasure tokens and 24 experience tokens. The dice are nice quality that are custom molded.
The game is played by taking delves into the dungeon. The starting player rolls their white party dice. This is the party of heroes you’ve banded together to head into the dungeon. The dungeon level die is set to one. This reminds the player what level they’re on and how many dungeon dice to roll. After you roll the dungeon dice, you resolve that level. Watch out for the dragon though. Then you decide if you want to keep going, or retire to the tavern to tell tales of your glory. You’ll get experience based on what level you made it to and what treasure you have obtained. You also get experience for slaying the dragon.
Each player gets a random character card. This is your character for the game. Each character has a specialty that effects game play and an ability that can only be used once per dungeon run. The specialties range from party dice count as other sides to re-rolling your party dice. The abilities range from turning monsters into party members for the level or using your character as a die. Once a player receives 5 experience tokens, the character levels up. You flip the card over to the other side, and they have a stronger special and ability.
Let’s take a look to see what the dungeon dice and party dice mean. These are custom molded dice. Did I mention I’m a big fan of dice games and custom dice?
Dungeon dice have the following sides. Skeleton, Goblin, Gelatinous Blob, Treasure, Potion, and Dragon. The Skeleton, Goblin, and Blob are monsters that get in your way. Dragons you’ll set aside and not roll those dice again until you face the dragon. You face the dragon if you ever have 3 or more dragon dice set aside. We’ll get into how to defeat the dragon when we talk about the resolve stage. That leaves potions and treasure chests left. Treasure chests if opened let you draw a random treasure token. Potions revive used party dice and you pick the facing.
For party dice side there’s the Cleric, Warrior, Wizard, Thief, Champion, and Scroll. Each type of party member has a counter part in dungeon dice that they excel at defeating. Clerics smite skeletons, warriors can squash goblins with ease, wizards cast fireball at the gelatinous blobs, thieves are cracking at opening treasure chests, and champions are great at everything. Scrolls let you re-roll any number of active party dice or dungeon dice. So, if you rolled two potions, a skeleton, and a goblin you can choose to re-roll the two monster dice and try for more potions or treasure to skip and fights.
Now that we know what we can roll for each set of dice, let’s look at how to resolve the dungeon levels. You must defeat any monsters or dragons to retire or go up a level. Each monster requires a die from your party to resolve. So if you roll a skeleton, blob, and treasure you need to defeat the skeleton and blob to move up a level. You don’t need to open the treasure to move up. To defeat the skeleton and blob, you must use any non-scroll dice from your party. You simply pair up the party dice you’ll be using with the dungeon dice and remove both from the active dice area. Once your party dice are used to resolve monster dice, they are removed from your party for the rest of the dungeon run. You can use a potion to revive used party dice. If you rolled multiple of the same monster, you can use the corresponding party die to resolve all of that type. Remember how I said warriors squash goblins? Or clerics are good at smiting skeletons? All the dice are color coordinated to help with the resolve part. Basically match colors if there are multiple monsters. If the party die is not the same color as the dungeon die, then it takes die per die to resolve. One party die can resolve multiple potions. And one thief can resolve multiple treasure chests. Champions can do it all. They count as all the other sides of the die except for the scroll. When resolving the dungeon dice, they can only ever clear all of one type of monster.
That leaves the dragon. Dragons are fierce and hard to defeat. To represent this in the game, you have to have three different party die to defeat the dragon. You can’t use three clerics to defeat the dragon or even three champions. Even though champions are good at everything, I imagine they just sit there and try to out boast the other champions instead of actually fighting the dragon. Once you defeat the dragon, you automatically get one experience point token and get to draw one treasure token. Then those dragon dice go back into the dungeon dice pool.
Speaking of treasure, let’s look and see what we can collect and what it can do. All treasure stays with you until the end of the game unless you use it. Vorpal Sword. You can use this treasure as a fighter to resolve dungeon dice. Talisman. You can use this as a cleric to resolve dungeon dice. Scepter of Power. You can use this as a wizard to resolve dungeon dice. Thieves tools. You guessed it! These can be used as a thief to resolve the dungeon dice. Scrolls and potions can be used as scrolls and potions. Town Portal. It lets you escape the dungeon and collect points for the current level you’re on. There’s a dragon scale that’s worth extra experience points at the end of the game. Dragon bait, which lets you turn unresolved dungeon dice into the dragon side. Then my favorite, my precious, the ring of invisibility. When you use this, you clear all dice from the dungeon lair. It’s like you walk into a room, see a skeleton, goblin, and gelatinous blob at a water cooler talking. They don’t see you, so you slip on your ring and walk right past them. It’s basically a move up a level for free treasure. You can’t use this to defeat the dragon. As dragons are too smart for rings of invisibility.
If at any point you can’t defeat a level or the dragon, you don’t earn any experience for that run. This is where the press your luck part of the game. Once everyone has finished three runs, then the player with the highest experience token total wins.
I really like this dice chucker. I typically play it as a solo game and see if I can beat my previous run. I’ll usually take it to a midnight shift or play it right before working on a blog post. It’s a nice alternative to a smart phone game when you’re bored and looking for something to do. A couple criticisms. The box, while it looks awesome to display, has a flimsy hinge. If you’re not careful, then I can see the box ripping. Second is the experience tokens and treasure tokens. They’re cardboard punch outs. A Ziploc baggie is needed to keep them from getting all over the place or some sort of container to separate them. Besides those two things, I find this game fun as a solo play to fill time or get some dice rolling in when no one else is around to play. It’s a quick filler game that has dice rolling and press your luck. Plus, how cool is that box?