Dungeon Dice is a game by Sam Coates, published by Potluck Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be rolling dice, LOTS of dice, to fight monsters, find treasure and go up in level. The person who is best able to manipulate the dice to their advantage will be declared the winner.
To begin, there are several different colored dice bags. Each one of these dice bags hold a different type of dice. The red dice go into the red bag, the blue dice in the blue bag, the yellow dice in the yellow bag and the monster dice into the black bag. The rest of the dice are stored in the green bag between games. For now however, each player will receive an experience tracker dice and 1 green hero level dice. They will then draw 2 blue equipment dice and 2 red one use dice from the appropriate colored bags. They will also have access to several spell dice that are left in the middle of the play area.
On a player’s turn, he will reach into the black bag and pull out at dice which will be used to search for monsters. The player then rolls that dice. Whatever monster is rolled will be what the player may face and it’s level. Sometimes the dice will show a potion, chest or lock which allows the player to draw a random treasure from the appropriate bag instead of fighting a monster. When facing the monster, the player will determine if they want to face it alone, flee or ask for assistance. This is where bargaining will come in as players will determine if they want to assist the player or not based on what that player is willing to give up. If the other player helps out and the combat is successful, both players will go up in level. Fleeing is merely passing without having combat that turn. This takes us to combat.
Combat is where the player has decided either with or without assistance to face the monster. Once combat begins, fleeing and asking for assistance are no longer an option. First the number of the monster’s level is rolled in black monster dice. The numbers combined are what the strength of the monster are that the hero must beat. The hero rolls their green hero level dice as well as any blue equipment and/or red one use dice that they have. This is the hero’s total. However these numbers will be affected by abilities. This can cause rerolls, dice removal or other effects. Once all the abilities have been resolved, the numbers are compared. If the monster’s total is higher, the hero takes a wound, losing one green dice until the wound is healed. This is pretty devastating at 1st level as there is only 1 die to be rolled. To heal a wound, the player must sit out a round and may only roll the healing spell dice. This will allow the dice to be used again. However if the hero’s total is higher, the monster is beaten and the hero goes up a level. They will also gain a reward that is shown on the monster dice. Another benefit is that red, black and gold monsters are kept and award trophies to the player. Those trophies are fame. Red monsters are worth 1 fame. Black are worth 2 fame and gold are worth 3. The first player to receive 4 fame will be the winner. One last thing of note, dice may be traded at any time. This is optional and entirely up to the players on when and which dice are traded.
As I stated earlier, there are LOTS of dice in this game. These are some of the most amazing looking dice that I’ve seen since Quarriors. Each one is unique in what it does and the symbols that it has. These dice completely blew me away. There’s also several different colored dice bags that I kind of went over earlier. These are very high quality and look great. There is even a HUGE dice bag to hold all the other dice bags full of dice. The bag is truly amazing to behold. I’ve never seen a dice bag this large before. The only bad thing is that this is how you store the game, inside this large dice bag. It’s really not that big a deal, just don’t expect to be getting a box that you can fit on your shelf to hold it all in. I understand that there are also play mats to keep everything a little better organized on the table. I’ve seen pictures of them and they look really nice. I’d say they’re probably worth the few extra dollars to get, not that you absolutely need them though. All in all, this is a really nicely produced game.
9 out of 10
The rules are a little rough around the edges. There are pictures of the dice with descriptions of what each one does. There are lots of examples on gameplay which are very helpful. The quick play rules on the back cover are superb and are probably the best way to understand the rules. All that said, here’s where I had trouble. I needed to read over the rules several times to get the full extent of what I needed to do to play the game. This is probably because the rules aren’t exactly streamlined. It’s a bit of hit and miss. You will be able to play the game, but you just really need to pay close attention when reading the rules. That’s why I recommend using the quickplay guide and going from there. Also, I recommend keeping the rules handy as you will be looking back at them several times to figure out what each symbol on the dice means, at least the first couple of times that you play.
8 out of 10
I realize that at this point, I’ve had a couple of negative things to say about the game. Of course, nothing has been so severe to warrant not taking the opportunity to play the game. That said, the game is really unique and fun. Yes, there’s a lot of luck involved in the game. It is a dice game after all. Sometimes you’re gonna get lucky and sometimes you’re not. That’s just how things go and I don’t care. The game is fun. Once you actually get through the rules and understand the basics, you will have a lot of fun. It plays well as a solo game or with multiple players. It is not a long drawn out game that’s gonna take hours to play. You can get through a game in about 10 minutes per player, give or take. Like most games, that first game is gonna take a bit as you get used to all the symbols on the dice. Once you’ve got that down though, it makes things much quicker. I really like the different types and colors of dice. There’s just a lot of great game in this oversized bag.
9 out of 10
Dungeon Dice is a light to medium weight dice game of monster killing. I love all the different dice. I know I’ve said that already, but they just blow me away at how cool they actually are. This isn’t some Yahtzee clone like some dice games can be. There’s actually a bit of strategy to be had here. Fans of games like Descent and the like should probably like this lighter dungeon style game. The symbology is the only real hurdle to learning the game. My recommendation is to play several times before you decide if it’s for you or not. For me, I like the game and will be playing it a lot more. I recommend you give it a try, especially if you like rolling dice.
9 out of 10
For more information about this game and lots of great accessories, please check out Potluck Games at their site.
Also check out the new expansion at the Kickstarter link below.