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Lone Spelunker

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

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No problem.  Enjoy your piratical adventure!

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Thanks for contacting us.

The reason they start at 1 is because the paragraphs often branch to other paragraphs.  For example, you might roll a 2-1 for the special paragraph, and paragraph 21 might say something like, "You see a ruined temple.  If you want to go in, read paragraph 1."

The "starting" paragraphs are 1-1 through 6-6 only, but all the rest are paragraphs branched-to from those paragraphs.

If you're referring to Dungeon Hero, then yes, that's me.  If you liked that game, you might also like Fable on Your Table, which is based on very similar mechanics.

Anyway, hope you enjoy Expedition to Skull Island!  May your sails be full of favorable winds and your chests full of glittering gold!

Outfit your ship and set sail for adventure in Expedition to Skull Island!

In this solitaire, print-and-play, roll-and-write adventure, you recruit a crew and sail to a randomly-generated island full of mysterious and dangerous locations in search of treasure and rollicking tales to tell when you return to Tortuga.

Featuring over 65 pages of content (of which you only need to print two to play), Expedition to Skull Island is packed with content. The "hex-crawl" island has several different terrain types – beaches, jungles, rivers, cliffs, water, and the mysterious "Skull Rock" – and each type of terrain has many pages of randomized adventures to be discovered within.

Be waylaid by enemy pirates! Be hunted by jungle cats! Explore crumbling jungle ruins! And even fight the mighty kracken!  All kinds of adventure is awaiting you and your crew of hearty sea dogs!

Annotate your map as you go, or even keep a journal for a truly immersive experience. When you're done, you'll have a treasure map to serve as a memento of your story...that is, if you survive!

Features cover art by Gerritt McGill.

Play Expedition to Skull Island today!

Cool.  Let me know how it feels.

One thing that works pretty well to mitigate that effect in Dungeon Hero, which is based on the mechanics of Fable on Your Table, is to allow the player to spend a point of Stamina to force the re-roll of any die in the contest. You can do this as many times as you need to as long as you can pay for it with Stamina.

Maybe I should add that as a general rule; that would help "even out" those particularly damaging rolls, and add another strategic element - do I burn stamina to boost damage, or should I keep some in reserve in case I suffer a catastrophic roll?

Glad you're enjoying the game!

You're not the first person to contact me about playing with two players, so yes, I have some co-op ideas in mind for the game.  Unfortunately, I don't have anything playtested and ready, but here are some untested, draft rules for playing with two players:

For every two "non-boss" enemies spawned, listed in order on the app, choose one of the following:

*  Double the health of the first enemy OR
*  Spawn another version of the furthest enemy adjacent to the nearest enemy, and drop a coin in its space.

For every "odd man out":

*  Double the health of the enemy and drop a coin in its space.

For every "boss" (any enemy with special rules or which acts as a quest target):

*  Increase the health of the enemy by half again, rounded up, and drop a coin in its space.

Coins represent ancillary treasure that can be picked up if you are adjacent to them as a long action.  They are one bulk and are worth 1 treasure back in town; imagine an appropriate treasure.  At the end of an adventure, divvy up the treasure as you see fit between your heroes who survive.

So, for instance, if you enter a room with the following enemies:

*  A skeleton archer
*  Two skeleton warriors
*  A wight
*  Two gravedigger beetles

...then you would:

*  Pair the skeleton archer with the first skeleton warrior and either double the health of the archer or spawn an extra skeleton with a coin.  (In the latter case, if the archer is closer, then you'll spawn a warrior next to it, and if the warrior is closer, then you'll spawn an archer next to it.)

*  Pair the second skeleton warrior with the first gravedigger beetle (since the wight is a "boss") and either double the health of the warrior or spawn an extra enemy with a coin (if the warrior is closer, spawn a beetle next to it, or if the beetle is closer, spawn a warrior next to it).

*  Since the last gravedigger beetle is "odd man out", double its health and drop a coin.

*  Increase the wight's health by half again, rounded up, and drop a coin there.

If you try playing with these rules, be sure to drop me a line and tell me how it goes. Eventually, I hope to get the option to select a number of heroes in the companion app, and have it generate rooms with appropriate difficulty, but I want to make sure I have the solo difficulty balanced first!

Cool.  Thanks. Glad to hear it's better.  Sounds like d6 levels might still be a little tough – was it the "standard" enemies that whittled you down, or was it a tough fight in the boss area, or both? (Those need to be balanced in different ways, since the bosses are unique.)

Yes, although it was a pretty long week and I had a lot of the mechanics worked out in my head and an art pipeline figured out ahead of that week. But all the content you see from the initial release was drawn / coded during that week. (This new realm I released this week was done more recently.)

I've updated the description of the tie-breaker rules in the hopes of making it more clear.

And yes, 10 damage is a pretty tough hit, but it's a lot better than 14+!  Also, don't forget abilities that can mitigate damage if you have them. Reducing a 10 to a 9 is a 10% reduction in damage, which is nothing to sneeze at.

The app has been released, which increases the "cost" of buying enemies that the dungeon generator "pays" to populate rooms, so you should also see a reduction in the number and total threat of enemies that you encounter in the dungeon, which should help as well.

Happy adventuring!  I'd be interested to hear how it goes if you delve in with the new app.

Also, let me clarify something.  If I understand what you wrote correctly, I think you might be making critical hits more powerful than they are supposed to be if you're taking 14+ damage from a single zombie attack.  A zombie at maximum can muster 10 damage with a critical hit.

Are you  adding the zombie's dice together, maybe? If so, that is not how it's intended to be played.  You take the highest die, not the sum, to compute the damage.

If there's no critical hit, then you subtract the highest die from the losing side to mitigate the damage.

If it is a crit, there are no dice on the losing side to mitigate the damage, so you subtract zero. The only other thing in play is that a crit allows both of the highest dice to apply their boons. Since zombies have boons on both of their attack dice, it would apply both.

Thus, a zombie which rolls a best-case critical hit of 8:8 would do 10 damage (8 for the highest die, minus zero for the crit, plus 1 for the Ragged Claws boon and 1 more for the Relentless boon). I don't see how it could muster 14+ damage unless you're referring to multiple attacks.

Thanks for the feedback. I’m going to roll out a new release of the web app this weekend that will address some of the difficulty issues on the app end, but that is a good point about health potions and access to healing. I may need to update those rules, too.

Okay, thanks!

Looks fun.

How viable is this game to play with multiple players over Zoom?

You might enjoy two of my games.

 Fable on your Table is a kind of tabletop miniatures RPG with a companion web app that lets you delve into a dungeon solitaire. Includes what I think is a pretty cool "2x2" resolution mechanic that offers a lot of fun detail and mechanical depth. To get the full experience, you need to cut out and assemble the minis and terrain, but technically you could play it with graph paper and pencil.

Dungeon Hero is a pared-down version of the above game's mechanics, boiled down to fit into a "zine".  A "zine" is one piece of paper folded into a little eight-page booklet. Dungeon Hero uses a similar resolution mechanic as Fable on your Table, and comes with some little booklet adventures that you can play solo. This system is much simpler than the other one, out of necessity given the small footprint, but it manages to pack a lot of action into the little "zine" adventures. Also, the adventures are all inspired by classic old-school tabletop adventures, so they are designed to recapture some of those vibes you're asking about.

Both games have some videos you can check out of the gameplay if you're interested.

Heh.  Yeah, sometimes the dice are against you as much as the RNG is. Glad you're enjoying the game, though! It's perfectly fair to kitbash games to make them fun for yourself - it's one of the nice things about non-digital games.

Heh.  The hazards of procedural generation. Maybe I need to revisit the algorithms.

How did you fare against them?

I love this little game!

I'd love to see some keyboard support and a way to quickly jump to the end of a spin so I can play games faster.

(Also, like Jay, I didn't realize that the "+2 Damage" type symbols meant damage against me at first. Maybe a different description like "TAKE +1 DAM" or something?)

You might be interested in a similar game I made called Slay the Dragon.  It's a similar slot-machine-based combat system, only it adds some progression elements into the mix, allowing you to add new symbols to your slot wheels as you go.

Anyway, great job. Love the look of it!

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Well, I didn't intend for people to be able to "pick locks", but being able to kitbash things like that is one of the cool parts of the system!

For unspecified environment things, I think I would just go with d8/d8 – a "middle of the road" difficulty.  That's not supported in the rules document currently, so maybe I need to add that as a sort of catch-all.

Edit: Don't forget to assign traits to those for storytelling purposes!  Try d8 Rusty Lock / d8 Noisy Tumblers or something.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game!  I'm hoping to steal some time to extend it beyond the original release sometime soon!

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It means the lowest of all dice rolled, not just your dice.  In the example you gave, no, it would not cross off an ammunition because it's not the lowest roll - the lowest roll is a 3.

Note that if there are "doubles" for the lowest, then you would cross it off.  For example, if the rolls were reversed – the opponent rolled a 5 and 4, and you rolled two three's, or if you rolled a 5 archery and 3 bow, and your opponent rolled two threes – then you would lose the ammunition because three is the lowest die roll, and the bow rolled that value.

Also, note that the "lowest die roll" still counts even if there is a tie for highest and dice get removed from consideration for applying effects or generating rerolls.  If you, say, roll two fives, and the opponent rolled a 2 and a 1 and those dice are removed, your bow still didn't roll the "lowest" of all die rolls, even though all that are left are two five's and one of them is your bow; the lowest roll was still a one. (Another way to think of it is that the comparison is made before you remove dice due to matches for highest roll.)

Awesome. Glad you enjoyed it.

And thanks for supporting the bundle!

Thanks for playing the game – hope you enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading your comments.

As for how to review it for the 7DRL, I'm not sure. My guess is that you need to contact Darren Grey or Slashie to get set up as a reviewer if you're not already.

I'm on board. Thanks for doing this.

I used Apple's Pages word processor. I set up the page setup to have the metrics of each individual eighth-of-a-page, then then made an Automator script to convert the PDF that produces into a series of .png files, which I then lay out in another document with pre-set page positions and rotations. I then export that as PDF.

That way, I have two PDF's: one that can be read by a PDF reader and it will flow in the way people expect, and one in a foldable format that will fold correctly.

Hm.  Not sure why that would be happening, but it sounds like a pretty juicy bug you found there!

Thanks for taking the time to notify me! 

Well, if you're looking for a more fulsome Dungeon Hero experience, you might check out my Fable on Your Table game. It's got some mechanics that are very similar to Dungeon Hero, but it has printable miniatures, a deeper combat system, and a companion web app that procedurally generates dungeons.  Dungeon Hero was created as a distillation of that game, so if you're looking to go the other way and get something more detailed and expansive, that's a good pick!

Also, I suppose there's nothing preventing a PDF that has more pages.  I just felt that the 'zine size made it nice and portable and kept the play time to nice, enjoyable sessions that never go on too long. But there are people who have expressed interest in making their own Dungeon Hero adventures, so maybe we'll see some new adventures with these kinds of mechanics.  (Or maybe you will write some?)

Yes, I've thought of that; these adventures are quite linear!  Problem is that entirely split tracks through the adventure would also shorten the adventure, and we're pretty tight on space as it is with just one printed page.

am exploring some branching mechanics in the later volumes.  For instance, the vampire adventure in Volume Three has a fortune-telling mechanic that can expose new weapons you can use to take down the vampire, but they come at an increased threat cost.  It's not something you choose, but it does have some branching narrative.

One thing I'm thinking for Volume four are one-entry decisions you can make, that are either/or decisions that may have repercussions later for plot point later.

I've also thought briefly about a larger, "folio" size adventure resembling a hex crawl type adventure that has a truly branching narrative with a mini-adventure (a series of traits) on each page with a decision at the bottom of the page to take you to another page (basically, hex to hex). Those sorts of things will be much harder to playtest thoroughly, so they'd be slower to produce, though.

Nice! Glad you're enjoying them!

Glad we got it sorted!

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Hmm.  I just double-checked the file, and it appears to be correct.

Which file are you printing?  If you want the 'zine format, print "Volume One v1.4.pdf".  The "standalone" versions (like "Core Rules v1_5.pdf") are there for the people who just want to read them as PDF's on their tablets.

I've also updated the info pages with notes to this effect so hopefully it will help other people avoid the same trouble you experienced.

Thanks for adding the photo - that makes clear what the issue is.  I will look into it tonight and get back to you!

There's a video on how to fold the 4x2 'zine format on the page above. 

If that doesn't explain the issue, let me know!

No problem.  I wasn't aware there would be an issue with "scale to fit", so it's good to know.

Hope you enjoy the new adventures!  I should be able to get the next volume of adventures available sometime this week or early next week.  (Depends on how much tweaking I have to do if they end up being too easy or too hard during playtesting.)

Sure.  Here's my process:

First, I split up the adventure into fourths, with about 15-20 entries per part.  Then I roughly set the difficulties for each part like so:

*  First part is mostly d6's with some d8's.
*  Second part is mostly d8's with some d6's and some d10's.
*  Third part is mostly d8's and d10's with a few d12's.
*  Last part is mostly d10's and d12's.

I sprinkle in a few outliers here and there, but that's the basic structure.

Then I put in the twists and plot points.  You always want at least six challenges between each plot point so there's always at least one challenge between them.

More plot points and complicated twists (like the vikings in the Frost Giant adventure) take up space, so the more of these you have, the fewer entries total you'll have if you want them to fit on the 'zine, which in turn means that you might need to ramp up the d10's and d12's to add a little difficulty since the player will do fewer challenges.  (Unless those twists make things harder, in which case, you might need to ramp things down.)

I lay it all out in a word processor.  If you want it to match the style of the existing adventures, you'll want your "pages" to be 2.75"x4.25" with 0.2" margins, laid out 8 to a page on an 8.5"x11" page.  The font is "Charter", and here are the various font sizes:

*  Body is 9pt roman.
*  Plot points are 8pt italic.
*  Headers are 15pt bold with underscores.
*  Title is 22pt bold.

The image is 2.35"x2" with a 2pt black border.  I draw it by hand with a ballpoint pen and scan it in.  The lock, fight, and treasure images are just Emoji.

I'll tweak the plot points and challenges a bit so they flow nicely on the pages and don't crete orphans.

Then I playtest!  I don't release an adventure until I've beaten it, and if it seems too easy or too hard, I'll go in and tweak some of the challenge difficulties.

If you make some "Dungeon Hero" zines, let me know, and I'll share them with my followers on Twitter!

That is correct!

Hope you enjoy it!

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Then my goal for the game is accomplished! Glad you're enjoying it. More is coming.

Glad you like it!

I can't take credit for the cut and reverse fold setup, though - that's a staple of the "zines" community.  I picked up the technique looking at other people making 'zines around the web.  (It is pretty cool, though, isn't it?)

Nice!  I'll check it out.