Friday, January 2, 2015

A virtual dungeon crawl

Two Hour Dungeon Crawl, as the name implies, is a rules set focused on "dungeon crawling" as many others around. However, following Two Hour Wargames' motto ("just play the game") it is meant to be played with little preparation and without lots of tiles, props or miniatures.

I was one of the playtesters for this game, so I was already familiar with it as I read the final version. However, there were some changes from the last playtest version that, in my opinion, made the game even more streamlined. After a few quick tests to see if I got everything right, I created my hero and recruited other three members to the party:

Sir Reginald, the knight (rep 5 star), plate armor, longsword and shield.
Gweldyn, the elf warrior (rep 4 grunt), plate armor, two-handed sword.
Bordim, the dwarf soldier (rep 4 grunt), chain mail, spear and shield.
Yelena, the human thief (rep 4 grunt), leather armor, twin blades.

I decided to try the "RPG Kit" for Tabletop Simulator for this game. In order to use the pre-packaged models I decided that the Big Bad would be an orc (as the RPG Kit comes with goblin, orc, troll and ogre figures, among others.) The adventurers are represented by color-tinted knight miniatures: Reginald is red, Gweldyn is green, Bordim is blue and Yelena is yellow.

The mission: the adventurers must explore the dungeon that is the hideout of Krog, the orc bandit (rep 4 warrior, leather armor, sword and shield.) On the fourth turn I rolled doubles, generating a PEF (possible enemy force) that was placed on the starting tile. Maybe it was an ambush set up by Krog? [The blue block marks the dungeon entrance. Each "dungeon tile" is represented by a square of 3x3 small tiles, so in the following picture we have four dungeon tiles.]

Five turns later, the adventurers met a single orc in a room (rep 4 warrior, chainmail, sword and shield.) He won the charge into melee test and thus went for Yelena, who seemed to be the more fragile of the group [it was a mistake for me to place all four in line.] The thief tried to parry with her two swords but the orc's strength, combined with the momentum from the charge was too much, and she was knocked down.

The rest of the party surrounded the orc. Sir Reginald struck first, but the orc parried his sword. Bordim went next -- the orc dodged his attack and stabbed him in the gut, taking the dwarf out of the fight. He then blocked Gweldyn's attack, who barely avoided the counter strike.

The orc turned back to Yelena, who was getting back on her feet, and sank his sword in her chest. She let out one last scream, which echoed through the dungeon corridors, and then was dead. Finally, Reginald bashed the orc, who fell to the ground, and Gweldyn cut his head off. They only found two bronze coins with the orc [but Gweldyn won a silver coin for the sake of rep improvement tests.]

Though wounded, Bordim survived the fight [but he suffered a rep reduction.] Impressed with the rage of the orc, the adventurers decided it was time to exit the dungeon.

They did not encounter any other enemies on the way out, although they could hear sounds of something moving about. Sir Reginald, grim faced, carried Yelena's body, while Gweldyn helped Borim.

Despite the losses, the adventurers reached their objective, as they mapped three rooms of the dungeon and got out. Sir Reginald could not improve his Rep, but Gweldyn did -- and as he reached Rep 5, he left the party to look for greater challenges!

Never underestimate an orc with a shield. Actually, the combination of the orc's Rage attribute, the warrior's Fanatic attribute and the shield bonus create a charging nightmare. Better protect your more fragile party members!

Creating the dungeon map in Tabletop Simulator is certainly harder than just sketching the rooms in graph paper but the visual result is cool. The fact that I can save the resulting dungeon for future use is also nice. I will have to look for other tile sets or maybe create my own for future use.

Playing with the virtual 3D miniatures was surprisingly satisfying. I guess the physical simulation plays a big role in this. I can only imagine how it would be to play using an Oculus Rift or other immersive display.


Slorm Chaplain said...

Thanks for your post Ricardo, I was interested in Virtual Tabletop, and after read your comments I have bought it.
It is great!
But I am still learning how to prepare a dungeon, which mod do you use for play this AAR?

Ivan Sorensen said...

Interesting. So is this a replacement for the old "Warrior Heroes game that also had dungeon crawling?

Fitz-Badger said...

Interesting report.
Seems like that orc might've been a bit overpowered for the party... and that wasn't even the "big bad"?

Ricardo Nakamura said...

Thanks for the comments!

@Slorm: I'm using pieces that already come with it. Look into Host -> Chests -> RPG Kit for both the tiles and figurines.

@Ivan: Yeah, I think so. To be honest, I have the older Warrior Heroes but haven't tried the dungeon crawling from that book.

@Fitz-Badger: An effective combo + my usual bad rolls :) Depending on your hero's Rep an orc can be a Big Bad too.

Iain Davidson said...

@Ivan - 2HDC is just that - a quick dungeon crawl game whereas Warrior Heroes is more detailed and includes adventures outside dungeons. Like many THW rules, you can mix and match which bits you want, so for me I'll probably keep the Warrior Heroes dungeon generation because I prefer the higher detail.