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$1,628 pledged of $1,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Melissa Fisher
$1,628 pledged of $1,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Dungeons & Delvers is a tabletop role-playing game that focuses on the classic model of exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, and looting treasure. It's geared towards younger gamers, but fun for everyone!

The game began as a kind of side project, so that we’d have a role-playing game to play with our daughter: something that used more than just six-sided dice, could help teach math skills, allowed for some character customization, but still easy to learn and play.

The guys over at Skinner Games played a one-shot about a week ago: check it out over here.

An adventurer’s stats and skills are measured with dice: a d4 is the lowest you can go, and represents either a poor stat or being untrained at a skill, and everything caps at a d12.

There are four stats: Might, Agility, Intellect, and Grace. Most adventurers start with a d8 in their primary stat, d6 in two others, and a d4 in the last (generally the one deemed least important). Each class can choose from three stat arrays in case you want to mix things up.

There are (currently) 15 skills. Each adventurer starts with 3-4 at d6 (baseline proficiency), and as you level up you can increase them or become proficient in new skills (which also start at d6).

When you want to do something (and the GM isn't certain of the outcome), you pick the most relevant stat and skill, roll both dice, and compare the total against a target number. If you meet or beat the target number, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail.

Races and class talents, and some equipment (like two-handed weapons) let you roll more dice when performing certain actions: whenever you roll three or more dice, you just choose the two highest and add them up.

For example, your cambion fighter (Might d8 and Melee d6) is confronting a lizardman warrior (Defense 7).

You roll both dice and get a 3 and 5 respectively, for a total of 8. Since this exceeds the lizardman’s Defense you land a hit and inflict 1 Wound.

The lizardman is still alive (since he can take 2 Wounds). The dwarf fighter takes a swing at him next. His Might and Melee is the same as the cambion's (1d8 and 1d6), but since he's packing a two-handed weapon he gets to also roll a d4.

Rolling all three dice he gets a 1, 3, and another 3. Since you only ever choose the two highest results when rolling more than two dice, he adds up both 3's, for a total of 6, which means he just barely misses the lizardman.

Unlike monsters, adventurers have three Defenses: Block, Dodge, and Willpower. When a monster attacks you, you’ll often be able to choose how you try to resist it (generally with Block or Dodge). Note that some monsters have attacks that are easier to resist with certain Defenses.

For example, an iron golem tries to clobber an elf fighter. If he chooses to Dodge, the golem rolls its usual d12+d8…

...but if he tries to Block, the golem gets another d6 added to its Attack (as with adventurers, monsters also only choose the highest two dice results).

Even though his Block is 1 higher, he's better off just trying to get out of the way!

For a non-combat example, a cambion rogue discovers a locked door (Difficulty 9 to unlock). 

She tries to pick the lock, which is an Agility+Thievery task. Her Agility is d8, while her Thievery is d6: she rolls both and gets a 9, which is enough for her to successfully pick the lock and get through!

Picking a lock is an example of a task that can be retried, and there are rules that let you handwave the amount of time instead of wasting time rolling over and over again (though if there are consequences for failing you’ll have to deal with them).

Adventurers are a combination of race, class, and whatever other details you'd care to describe. Any race can be any class, and while some races are well-suited for some classes there aren't any "bad" choices.

The current list of races:

  • Cambion
  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Frogman
  • Human
  • Ishim
  • Kobold

And the current list of classes:

  • Barbarian
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Wizard

Your race gives you a racial talent to reflect the nature or abilities of that race. Each race has access to more than one talent: for example, dwarves can start with an additional Wound, be resistant to poisons, or better wield axes and hammers.

Your class determines your starting stats and skills, what armor you can use without suffering penalties, what gear you start with, and how many Wounds you can suffer before getting knocked unconscious.

Classes start with one or more talents that reflect what the class can do or is particularly good at.

Here's an example of a 1st-level elf wizard:

Since the wizard's key stat is Intellect, that's always a d8 regardless of the array you choose. Their Arcana also starts out at a d8 (making them one of the few classes to start with a skill that high). Combined with the Magic Missile and Evoker talents, he starts out with a pretty potent magical attack at 2d8+1d4.

The downside is that without a magic focus the wizard discards his highest die result, and he can only suffer a couple Wounds before going down. This particular wizard has the Abjurer talent, which lets him use his Intellect instead of Might to determine his Block Defense, which will make him a bit more resilient to harm.

The core book describes a diverse collection of people and creatures, but there is also plenty of advice on creating your own.

Monsters are essentially simplified adventurers: since part of the GM's job is controlling all of them this makes it easier to handle. 

As an example, here's a typical skeleton warrior:

  • Attack is what the monster rolls when attempting to harm the adventurers.
  • Defense is the Difficulty that the adventurers roll against when attempting to harm the monster.
  • Wounds is how many hits the monster can take before being incapacitated or destroyed.
  • Speed is how far the monster can move on its turn.
  • Treasure determines what, if anything, the monster has on its person or in its lair (the treasure line specifies what can be in its lair).
  • XP is how many experience points every participating adventurer receives when the monster is defeated or otherwise overcome (whether you stab it to death, blow it up, sneak by, bribe it, etc).

The rest are special abilities or traits that the monster possesses. In the case of the skeleton warrior, they're easier to smash apart with blunt objects, but they can't be poisoned, are immune to disease, and you can't talk your way past them.

 

QUICK START ADVENTURE UPDATE

We're adding a quick-start intro adventure to the bundle! It was originally written so interested groups could start playing right away (it teaches you the rules as you play and comes with pregen characters), but we're going to spruce it up and add it to the Explorer level and higher. If you back at a level that gives you a print-at-cost link, you'll also get a print-at-cost for the adventure.

We’re a two-man operation, so we prefer to keep things simple instead of making a bunch of promises that could result in a late or underwhelming delivery (or something not being delivered at all).

Therefore, this Kickstarter campaign is mostly about the core game book, though there's also going to be a GM screen and paper minis.

The core book will be around 180ish pages (depends on how many pages are needed for the additional classes and index).

Physical copies will be fulfilled using DriveThruRPG's print-on-demand service.

When the physical book is ready to go, we'll send you a discount link for whatever you backed, and then DriveThruRPG charges you the bare minimum required to print and ship the book.

For a softcover B&W, expect the printing cost to be about $4.25, while color is around $6.60. Hardcover will cost about $10 and $12.25 respectively.

As with almost everything else we've made, anyone backing at a level where you get a PDF will get both a B&W and color PDF, so you can use whichever you prefer and if you want to save ink printing all or parts of it yourself you can.

Same goes for the GM screen and paper minis. You can go here and here to get an idea as to what to expect from the GM screen.

As for the paper minis, the core mechanic examples above include some pictures, but here's a group shot:

We made them very quickly as a visual aid: the final versions will actually fit on a typical 1-inch square battle mat, be available in color and B&W, and have images on both sides.

We know that stretch goals are appealing, but it wouldn’t feel right essentially holding content like extra races and classes hostage, especially since we really want them in the core game, too! 

Of course, depending on time we might throw in some new/extra things we cook up, anyway.

Risks and challenges

The game text is 90% done, so the only challenge is finishing the other 10% (mostly races and classes) and getting the rest of the art done (also mostly for some of the races and classes, plus some of the monsters).

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    Explorer

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