The playstyle and rules of the new Dungeon! boardgame are very, very close to the way the original ran when I played it back in the late 1970s. There are some name changes (elves are now rogues, heroes are now clerics, superheroes are now fighters), some new monsters, and some new management details, but in general the play experience is about the same. I’d say this was more a clean-up and updating than a revision, and that’s fine by me. I loved the original, and am enjoying the current version as a quick-and-easy diversion with friends.
However, just because the new Dungeon! isn’t a major revision doesn’t mean you can’t take it farther. While playing the game this week, it struck me that all the elements for making it a cooperative game, where everyone works to win together, are already in place. With just a few extra rules, the existing boardgame can offer an entirely different style of play. Below are more initial rules for Cooperative Dungeon!
In Cooperative Dungeon!, either all the players win, or they all lose. To win, the players must “bank” treasure equal to the combined victory treasure values for all their heroes. (Thus a group of two dwarves and one wizard must bank 50,000 gp to win). The following rules are added to a Cooperative Dungeon! game.
*A hero “banks” treasure by ending a turn in the Great Hall, and placing treasure in a “bank” cup. (Any space where you can keep the treasure that has been banked separate from treasure in play will do.) It doesn’t matter which treasure is banked by which player – all banked treasure counts towards the amount needed for the players to win.
*Banked treasure can no longer be used by players. This makes the decision to bank items like the ESP medallion and magic swords tricky.
*If a hero dies (gets a “12” on a roll of The Monster Strikes Back table), and unused heroes are available, the player begins a new hero in the Great Hall as normal. However, the amount of treasure the group needs to bank to win increases by the value of treasure the new hero would have needed to win in a normal game.
*If a hero dies and there is not an unused hero available (all eight possible heroes have been used or are currently in play) the players lose the game.
*When anyone gets a treasure card, they may decide to keep it or give it to another hero, as long as that hero is not in the Great Hall. This can be useful for moving treasure from lower levels to heroes closer to the Great Hall, or for moving useful treasures like magic swords to heroes who can best use them. A treasure can only be given to another hero when it is first obtained – afterwards it stays with whoever has it until it is banked.
*Any cards that are revealed (such as those uncovered with the ESP medallion or crystal ball) are shown to all players and placed face-up.
I have lots more rules expansion ideas – new heroes, new treasures, new monsters, even feats to customize heroes — and I hope to present those as time goes on, after I see how many people are interested in these.