Dungeon crawling… Bands of heroes who delve into a dungeon to slay the monsters and loot the treasures. Weither you do it in a videogame, roleplaying game or on the tabletop, the principle is always the same. And if you combine it with a chibi anime setting and miniatures inspired by 8-bit computergames, you get the awesome game called Super Dungeon Explore, by Soda Pop Miniatures
In Super Dungeon Explore (SDE for short) one player takes up the role of the Shadow Consul, the mysterious organization of evil and controls all the minions and (mini-)bosses, while the other players each control a single hero.
The Consul player place a spawn point in every room of the dungeon and can spawn minions for a total worth of 4 skulls (points) per spawnpoint every round. So the heroes want to make haste destroying the spawn points a fast as possible. Every spawn point has a minion cap, but minions can walk from other rooms into the one were the heroes are. If a minion is destroyed, the consul player can simply respawn him at the beginning of the next round.
Every hero, minion and boss has a couple of statistics like how far they can move and how many action points they have and which special actions they can use. And also how many of which coloured dice they throw for actions like attacking, armorsaves or casting spells (will).
The game comes with three different coloured dice with stars, hearts of potions on each side. Blue has the lowest values and most blank faces, Red is slightly better and Green dice make the best.
An important part of Dungeon crawling is ofcourse loot and treasure. In SDE there is a Loot-O-Meter which progresses along a bar for every wound a hero inflict. At the end of a round, you count how many loot squares the counter has passed and deal out that many loot cards to the heroes so they can distribute them among themselves in order to make the best characters they can. Treasure cards are better items often with extra abilities or actions and can be optained by opening chests or defeating mini-bosses.
The heroes are all quite different. The Barbarian is a killing house with additional attacks and a self heal ability. The Druid can shapeshift into a raging Bear while the Sorceress can throw Area of Effect spells like it’s no effort at all. This way you get to have a completely different party every time you play, which makes for great replayability!
The objective for the heroes is to destroy all spawn points after which the Dungeon Boss is summoned and the Bossfight starts in which the heroes than have to best the Boss in order to win the game. The Consul player only need to take out all heroes in order to survive. Unfortunately, we played the game wrong the first time, since I did not spawn minions from all spawn point, but only from the one in which the heroes were. And also as the consul player, you get to play your turn every time after a hero has been activated, giving you way more turns to wreak some havoc. Luckily we did it right the second time we played and it makes for a much more challenging game 😀
This game is great fun and many of my friends wanted a rematch or are now back to playing World of Warcraft because of it :p There are also a lot of upgrade packs and more coming for SDE with additional spawn point, heroes, (mini-)bosses and even complete adventures like Von Drakk Manor in which the heroes have to crawl through a spooky mansion fighting undead and vampires instead of kobolds and dragons.
I absolutely dig this game, the miniatures are fun (though my wife did comment on some blurry sculpting here and there) and every adventure plays out differently.
Do you like dungeon crawling? If so, how do you play it? On a computer, RPG or tabletop? Please let me know in the comments below 😉
Now the process of painting it all can begin :p