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Lone Spelunker

A member registered Mar 05, 2016 · View creator page →

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Glad you're enjoying the game!  If you like this, be sure to check out AdvanceQuest from Button Shy games – it's the same system, licensed to them for a line of card-based RPG's.

As for other people writing content for the system, Button Shy and I agree that it's fine as long as people are just sharing it as personal work, it's offered for free if shared, it includes a credit linking it back to me and the system, and it does not include any racist or otherwise offensive content.

Glad it's sorted out, and thanks for taking the time to ask about this - it brought the fact that the PNPArcade version hadn't been updated to my attention. 

Glad you are enjoying the game! Thanks for playing.

I have worked with the folks at PNPArcade and you should have received an email with an update. Included in the update package is a summary of the changes and the pages they are on.

DM me your email at @lonespelunker on Twitter and I'll send you a code to download the updated files.  The changes are all listed in the dev logs of which this is the latest with the summaries.

Ah, yeah that would do it - roll with advantage.

Or maybe when they get attacked, they can re-roll the die to block it, and if they roll high enough to block the attack the other player has to do something else.

What a great idea!

Another thing you could do with this is use the dice element to adjust for relative skill levels of the player.  For instance, a kid playing an adult could use higher die sizes as a balancing factor.

Nice setup! Using cards to organize is a great idea.

Glad to hear you're enjoying the game, and that you have friends who are too!

I don't have any explicit rules for playing Dungeon Hero multiplayer, but I imagine you could have a shared pool of stamina and resolve, and then each player makes their own traits.  Or perhaps distribute the available stamina and resolve across different players. For each situation, you simply choose two characters' traits to bring to bear.  Should be balanced largely the same as the single-player version except you'd have more opportunities to use d12's and d10's, so you might also make a rule that you can't have more than one d12/d10 in a roll or something.  If you try this, I'd be interested to hear how it plays out.

You might also be interested in Fable on Your Table, which is a game that uses similar mechanics but with a tabletop miniatures setup.  It's also solo-only, but I'm currently working on a version that can accommodate multiple players.

There's also Welcome Aboard, Captain, which is also based on the same system, but in a more Star TrekBabylon 5 Orville type setting.  That has rules for generating challenging procedural missions that are very similar in structure to the Dungeon Hero games, and it includes rules for playing it multiplayer, with players taking on the role of different bridge officers.  There's a free preview adventure called Charon Wormhole that introduces the game, its mechanics, character creation, and the setting; you can check that out to get a feel for how that game plays out.

Wow, that's great. Looking forward to seeing the photo.

I've thought about making a digital version, and have had a few people interested in adapting it, but so far the physical/PNP version is all there is. But maybe someday!

Glad you're enjoying the game!

As to the longboat loss problem, the intent is that you only have one, but that's mainly so the player doesn't have to keep track of a bunch of different longboats all over the island and read rules for managing them all. I think it's entirely reasonable to assume the ship could have another if you lose one, or that you could build one in the jungle in a pinch.

Another possibility is to just assume that you grabbed your longboats as you hoofed it out of the village, or that you can enter the village's hex without entering the village itself and retrieve the longboat.

Any of these should work for your purposes without having to add any new rules.  Feel free to use any of them with my blessing as designer – or anything else you come up with that feels satisfying.

Glad you're enjoying the game!  If you like this, be sure to check out AdvanceQuest from Button Shy games – it's the same system.

As for other people writing adventures for the system, Button Shy and I agree that it's fine as long as people are just sharing it as personal work, it's offered for free if shared, it includes a credit linking it back to me and the system, and it does not include any racist or otherwise offensive content.

Other people are making fan content for the game.  Check out Ellie Valkyrie's work, for example.

If you do decide to make something and share it, be sure to send me a link so I can direct other Dungeon Hero fans to it!

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Hi, thanks for playing.

1. Feels like there should be some actual slot component to the game where 3 across awards you with something.

What do you suggest should happen?  I'm not sure a match like that would happen often enough for it to be a core game event, but maybe something could be added to make it fun when it does.

2. I keep collecting things and avoid dragons because its easy to see them scroll by but I'm not advancing. Feels like Im missing something.

The core gameplay loop is to try to build up resources in the wheels, and use them to get enough resources to purchase or forge swords, and then use the swords to slay the dragons.  If you feel like you're not advancing, try using a different strategy in what you're buying from the merchant, and in which wheels.  But also, don't get too discouraged – it takes a while to build up to the point where you get some good jackpots that let you do something good because you start out with the wheels stacked with dragons and spaces; you have to get enough resources in the wheels to have multiple wheels land favorably to start landing the better rewards.

3. Don't understand why I would want the wizards unless you have to clean out old items but it seems to risky to bother. Not clear.

Wizards are useful for cleaning your wheels of things you don't want (other than dragons – dragons kill wizards).  They're good for clearing out empty spaces, small coin values, etc., and making the stuff you don't destroy with them come up more.  But they're really only a good purchase in the mid-to-late game, because using them early tends to make dragons show up more often.  Generally, you want them in the late game to whittle down the wheels to make your swords and dragons come up more often in the dash to the finish.

4. I'm enjoying the blended game but not the journey. I'm like 40+ rounds in and nothing is happening. The slot items to the right are always blacked out and it's not clear to me why that is. I've collected a ton of metal but the sword slot never unlocks.

Hm, there used to be a bug in the game where if you remove too many slots with wizards, the wheels don't have enough slots to display properly.  What you describe sounds like that, but I thought I fixed it a long time ago.  Were you destroying a lot of slot spaces with wizards?  In the mean time, follow the advice above and don't use wizards early (thus risking destroying too much of the wheel) to avoid this problem.

As for getting swords, there are two ways to get swords:

  • You can buy them from the merchant. They cost six gold, though, and since you lose gold at the end of the spin each time, you have to collect six coins in the other three wheels, which means at least three 2-gold's or a 3-gold, a 2-gold, and a 1-gold. That's hard to get to, but can be done if you focus on ramping up money.
  • You can forge them yourself.  To do this, you need to use a forge on an ingot.  (Getting metal is not enough by itself.)  Ingots cost 1, so they're easy to acquire, but forges cost 4, so you still need some purchasing power. Once you land a reel with both in the same row, selecting the forge will let you choose an ingot in that same row to forge into a sword.

Once you get swords, you can select them to kill all dragons in the same row. Kill all dragons to win.

Anyway, sorry you didn't feel engaged by the game, but thanks for taking the time to give feedback and report that bug! Appreciate it.

That is correct!

You take the highest die on your side (which represents the thing your officer does that has the biggest impact) and you subtract the highest die on the other side (which represents the thing that has the biggest effect in opposition to you), and that's how much the task's strength is reduced.

(This of course assumes your officer rolled highest.  If the threats rolled highest, you subtract the highest officer die from the highest threat die, and that officer loses the difference in Resolve.)

You will probably want to imagine the story results from this. Imagine the highest die overall being the determining factor in the fiction, and the highest die on the opposite side being the thing that was strongest in opposition to that.

Then, you can imagine the outcome. If you overcome the entire task in one roll, you might imagine your officer being a badass and just getting it done with impressive skill.  If you have to make multiple rolls, you can imagine your officer struggling to overcome the mounting problems arising (especially if the threat dice come out on top a few times).

Also note that you don't have to perform the same roll if you don't reduce it to zero in one roll.  For instance, you can have another bridge officer try something else, or use a different ship's system to respond.  Or you can have a crew member assist on your next roll, lending one of their traits.  (Later in the story, you'll get access to other bridge officers who will be taking on tasks themselves, and you'll be given the rules for officers assisting each other.)

Glad you're enjoying the game!

Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it!

Dang, yeah, that sounds like a bug – sorry about that!  Hopefully I can figure out a way to reproduce it and fix it!  Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Hmm.  I don't have any experience making editable versions of these kinds of forms, and I'm not sure my current layout program is able to export something like a form-fillable PDF, but I will look into it.

Anyway, glad you're enjoying the game!  In the mean time, maybe try exporting it to an image and annotating the image in Photos or some other program? I've done that successfully with some PNP games. Even if I eventually figure it out, it'll probably be a while!

Thanks for issuing this update. I was getting ready to pick this game up and I'm on MacOS, so you saved me a frustrating experience by being up front and proactive with that problem. Looking forward to hearing when the issue is addressed!

Glad you enjoyed the game!

I just uploaded a fix for the sail-through skull – thanks for bringing that to my attention!

You use the left and right arrow keys to increase the amount you are going to buy.  If you can't go above zero, it's probably because either you have no gold to pay for them OR you are already at your maximum carrying capacity for arrows (24).

(Let me know if neither is the case and you're still unable to change the number of arrows in the UI, because then that would be a bug!)

Got it.  There indeed was a bug in the gate connections.  I've updated the app with a fix – try it now!

And thanks for bringing this to my attention!  I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about it.

Fantastic little picross implementation.  Great job!

Not sure what you mean by “the passage east,” but I don’t recall putting any one-way passages in the game so it sounds like a bug. If you could clarify which passage you are referring to, I’ll take a look and try to get a new version out.

It's always interesting to hear the clever grind hacks people come up with in those old games.

People living in that town were probably like, "Man that adventurer really hates jesters!"

I'd never heard of that game, so I went and took a look at some videos about it on YouTube.  Yeah, that's the vibe!  The graphics weren't great, but it looks like it had a fair amount of stuff going on in it. Certainly fits in the same vein as the games that inspired Ultimate Odyssey.

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to say so.

The bow and dexterity trainers are a little hidden; poke around the towns a bit and see if you can find them!

Well, the game has been picked up by Button Shy, and we're producing adventures for their fantasy realm (as popularized in their Chain Mail game and others).  You can find them under the banner of "AdvanceQuest" at

Love it.  Defeated the Shogun and it was very satisfying.

Question: What does the special power of the Assassin do?  It puts a little glyph on an enemy, but I'm not seeing a way to find out what it actually does.

Not explicitly, no, but I have thought about it from time to time.  As solo RPG's go in the sci-fi genre, StarForged is pretty big, and that covers that genre pretty well, so it feels like it's not ground I need to cover, but it probably wouldn't be hard to kitbash Welcome Aboard, Captain to work with that type of genre:

  • You could use the starship creation rules exactly the same.
  • The crew wouldn't necessarily be specific officers for different disciplines (but they could be).
  • The mission rubrics would have to be rewritten, but the objective creation rules and outcomes would all work as-is.
  • All the ship functions would work as-is.
  • If the focus is on space trading and smuggling, there would need to be some sort of economic model, which Welcome Aboard, Captain doesn't currently have. That would probably be the biggest thing that would need to change.  We'd need a way to track, acquire, and spend wealth.  I imagine it would be "mechanically adjacent" to Veteran Points, since the point would be able to spend them on maintenance and upgrades for the ship and crew.

So, for a quick kitbash, I would make these rule changes:

  • When generating a mission, instead of an AWF mission, imagine it as an opportunity.  if the mission doesn't make sense as a thing you might find yourself needing to do (e.g., you're not going to be going on military incursions against Alliance separatists, probably) imagine the rolled mission as "something that's happening", not a mission assigned directly to you, and then think of an "angle" that you can use to leverage that situation to your advantage to gain wealth. Taking advantage of the rolled situation is now your "mission"; you need to complete the "mission" to get paid. 
  • Unlike with the Alliance Wardens, you aren't always required to perform a mission that is assigned to you, so if it's not a surprise ambush or sudden emergency situation, you can take it or leave it and generate another opportunity, but each subsequent refusal reduces the wealth awards by 20%.
  • Veteran point spends on ship functions and capabilities are no longer available.  However, you can spend Wealth points on these elements at the same rate.
  • When a "mission" is completed, instead of earning VP, you earn Wealth, unless it doesn't make sense to earn wealth from it (e.g., surviving a disaster).  You can only spend Wealth when at a stardock with the facilities to enact the changes.
  • The Alliance Lodestar is no longer in play; you don't earn Explore, Understand, and Unite points.  Instead, you choose three personal goals for your captain and name them accordingly, and measure your success after each mission in the same manner.  At the end of your career, you can measure them using the same rubrics, but imagine different outcomes appropriate for the personal goals you chose.

Everything else, I imagine, would be basically the same.  New mission rubrics could help make for better, genre-targeted adventures, but what's in the book would go a long way towards getting there in the mean time. If there's a lot of interest in such a resource, though, it's definitely possible to make a supplement to support it.

Hope this helps!

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Looks like a typo!  I probably wrote that back when there were only three types.  But yes, there are five types, not three types.

I've made the change to the source document.  In the next release, it should be fixed.  I probably won't release a new version just to fix this typo – I try to keep the "noise" to a minimum and only release when there's something impactful to play.

But thanks for taking the time to bring it to my attention!

Hope you enjoy it!

Okay, I've added a "Printed Page Reference" to the Charon Wormhole document page (it's free to download).  Most pages just go to the next page in the document; the printed page reference lists the pages where it doesn't, both for brevity's sake and to minimize the amount of spoilers from page titles and link texts.

In addition, I should note that The Cetus Response is linear, so you can just go page-to-page in that one.  It's linear because it's an example of playing the game through with the procedural mission generator – it provides a complete, real example I played through and it includes a lot of guidance, explanation, etc., to get you up and running with the mission generator from the book.

The above two adventures should get you ready to play the full game, which as I mentioned is fully playable from the printed book.  The only thing missing would be a similar printed page reference for Charybdis Nebula, but that would be a much more convoluted and long reference document that might get tedious to work with at the table, so I'd recommend just jumping to the procedural generator after Charon Wormhole and Cetus Response if you really only want to play from printed materials.

Hope this helps!

Lemme take a look and see if it's possible to do that without making everything spoiler-y somehow.

In the mean time, if you've already read the rules, for The Cetus Response, there is no branching, so you can play that one straight through in page order.  That's just a linear playthrough of a mission, with no branching – it's a real example that I generated as I played through a mission to serve as an example of how to run the game with the mission generator.  That adventure presumes that you already know how to play, though, which means you'll probably skip the Charon Wormhole story.

The game comes with a link to a print-on-demand service where you can order a printed version of the rules to use at your table.  The rules document itself is also print-friendly (although it is in color, so depending on what you deem "print-friendly" that may not qualify).

The only parts that are not print-friendly are the duty sector documents, but those use hyperlinks to get you from page to page as you go through the adventure, so it's not really something that makes sense to be printed.  But you don't need those books to play the game; you can play everything from the rules document using the mission generator.  I'd still recommend going through at least The Cetus Response if you want to go that route, since it leads you through a full example of a mission and provides guided commentary on how to use the system.  But you can play the game entirely with printed materials (I often do!).

If you have any specific questions about playing with printed components, feel free to ask.

Good question.  I'll send an email to the PNPArcade folks today.

I’ve updated the document with this fix.

Ah, yeah, good catch.  That should be Soldier+1+Ammunition.

It would be -51 points overall.  The idea is that six crew lost is the "threshold" before your crew seriously starts considering mutiny, so there's a big jump at 6 lost.  Try to keep your crew alive!

Saw your post on Twitter and came to check the game out.

Whuf, I am apparently terrible at this game since other posters are mentioning scores of up around 500. But it was fun!  I liked the short gameplay style, the quick action, and being able to play in the browser.  The combination of direction and color made for a good challenge.

Some suggestions:

  • Alternate keyboard controls, such as a configuration that lets you use the arrow keys to control facing might help some players less accustomed to WASD controls.
  • The pixel art characters were pretty charming!  Love that little frog person.  I'd love to see a nice background to go with them in the same style.
  • Red/blue color blindness might make this game hard to play for some people.  You might consider having a way to quickly differentiate the monsters other than only color. (Would also be a way to get more of the aforementioned charming characters into the game!)
  • Maybe "bosses" who take two or more hits to defeat, but get knocked back a bit when they receive a hit or approach more slowly?

Anyway, a fun, quick game. I hope you keep working on it to develop it further.

Glad you are enjoying it!

I hope so, too!