I hope your entry to the month of March was pleasant! Can you believe it’s already March? Feels like new years eve was just yesterday. I suppose time flies when you are having fun.
Speaking of fun, Vale issue 3 is on it’s way. I will be launching a Crowdfundr campaign in time for Canadian Creators spotlight!
Not only will we be putting out Vale issue 3 but also Vale issue 4! A double Release!! Woooo. The Campaign will be going live April 10th 2023!
Currently working on making the page extra fancy, as soon as there is a link to share we’ll be pumping it out on all our socials. As soon as there is more information to share, it will be here, there and everywhere.
Just a very short blog today. We have some really neat stuff in the blender right now, but it’s taking a lot of time. And while we start sorting those things out, there isn’t that much to show you yet.
First off, Version 0.5 is now rolling out. It’s a fairly small update, with a BIG wording fix up in the rulebook. Previously, the rulebooks stated that if a defence roll was higher than the monsters ATK, then they were fine, and if it was lower, they were not so fine. But it neglected to mention what happens if it EQUALS the monsters ATK. Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is, we fixed that, the bad news is: the hero gets hurt.
We have also confirmed that Goblins are Goblins. Like how Spitelings are Goblins.
Which leads us to today’s short development blog. Let’s talk about Dwarves. And digging holes. Did you know that the Dwarf was one of the original classes, and that there were originally 8? It’s true! I was pulling a page from some of the older Dungeons & Dragons where things like Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings were classes and not just templates to jiggle a stat or two! Sure, your Dwarf capped at Level 8 while the Human capped at level 36, but they uh… they had uh… okay look.
The original 8 classes included Dwarf and Elf (who later transformed into the Paladin, see their blog for the wild ride the Paladin went through) on top of the other 6 that are now included in the box. The Dwarf had the rather interesting explode defence dice on a 5 or 6, and came with a flat bonus to armour saves, similar to the Fighter’s attack bonus. They also got bonuses to attacks against Goblins and Orcs.
Ultimately the call was made to cut them for two reasons: 1) the balance was all wonky when a class with even one piece of armour on became an indestructible object. And b) because I’d rather put out a more interesting Dwarf design that just a bland class.
There are definitely designs in the work to have a clan system and bring the Dwarf back as more than just a filler class, but for now, they’re hiding in their mountain homes, diggy digging holes.
See? Told you it was a SHORT update. Ha. Ha.
Here’s the original design for the Dwarf card. As you can see, I probably don’t need an artist.
“So what, two to four players?” “Actually, it’s a solo game!” “Oh, really?” “Yup!” It’s a conversation I have a surprising amount talking about Endless Dungeons. You’ve designed a game that can only be played by one person? Yes!
Solo games have been around for a surprisingly long amount of time. For most of my life I’ve loved playing board games, but usually didn’t have a lot of folks to play with (except my incredibly patient parents), so I often found myself making up solo rules to the games I owned; I played the old Magic the Gathering Solitaire Format; and when I was messing around with making my own games I found that I was usually making them against the game itself rather than a living opponent.
I also grew up as a huge lover of the glut of Choose Your Own Adventure books, and their many knock-offs. I still have a good sized collection, and always grab them when I find them in the wild. As an adult, I find myself seeking out the more complicated systems – going back and discovering Tunnels & Trolls was a big awakening for me, and enjoying books like the re-releases of Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf, which I never knew existed as a kid. Even the ultra-modern incarnations of game-books such as The Paper Labyrinth and Steam Highwayman.
My personal collection of board games that are either directly solo games, such as Iron Helm, Friday, and Dungeon Solitaire, to name a few; or have solo modes like Escape the Dark Castle, Cartographers, even Root grows constantly, and there are incredible communities of players out there drafting and creating brilliant solo modes for games that don’t have official ones. On top of all that, the Print and Play scene is bigger than ever, giving us amazing releases like Colostle, Barbarian Vince, and (Your Name Here) And The Argonauts. Plus the endless and amazing world of journaling games, such as Umbra, Clever Girl, and Sealed Library. Heck, throw in some Oracle cards and these days I can play an entire Dungeons and Dragons campaign solo with very little work!
Sure, video games exist, and I love video games and I love playing them, but there’s something much more relaxing and cerebral to sitting down and breaking out a board game, even if the only opponent is myself. I’ve had a few folks comment that Endless Dungeons could be a really good phone or tablet app. It sure would be easy to add new content and update it, but something about sitting down with a box of cards, breaking them out, and letting the dice tell the story greatly appeals to me. It isn’t about turning off the mind for a while, but letting the mind create the plot as we delve. Playing out the stories that the dice tell me. The Barbarian getting that massive attack, the wizard whiffing round after around, they all tell stories of a party that soon becomes more real to you, and their deaths or victories becoming more meaningful. Why are they here? Is it treasure? Is it vengeance? Is it on command from another?
So for the time being, Endless Dungeons is a solo game. Rules are slowly being put together to bring it up to 2 or 3 players, but at its absolute core, it’s about you sitting down for 20-30 minutes and engaging in something. It’s about you crafting an amazing story.
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canucks! I’m thankful to all of you who read these blogs and have followed or played the development! And to Leah, who’s handling the website and the art! Thank you!
Thanks again for joining us for our Monday blog! This one is a big one, so settle in. Firstly, we’re updating to V0.4, and all versions on all platforms will either be running this version, or are being updated to match. Check the rulebook front pages to see which version you’re looking at.
Version 0.4 brings all the wording across all the cards into line, and has a lot of wording updates across a lot of different cards. A few major points:
1) The wording on all the cards has been aligned around save vs defence. Save and defence are fully interchangeable, but there was some confusion about what was what. So now everything just says Defence. So if you needed to save (i.e against a trap) you just roll a defence roll as if you were being attacked (roll 1D6+modifiers, you have to roll higher than the ATK of the thing).
B) Like 1 above, we’ve updated the wording on all the monsters to reflect this as well. For instance, the Mummy now says “must defend against” instead of “must save against”.
c) Lots of little wording and clarifications on cards like the Skeletons, Zombies, and Ogres. Things are a bit wordier now, but they make sense!
For the full list of updates, make sure you click on “download the play test” and then look at the Updates List PDF. Bust out a pen, write on your cards!
Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk some more about the Paladin.
Last week we gave an overview on the lore behind the Paladin: The mailed fist that dispense the Silent King’s justice across the three holy orders. This week we’re going to look more into the mechanics of the Paladin, and the role they fill in the party.
The Paladin was actually the last class added to the game. Originally, they were some form of a Battle Mage, which took one or two spells, and mixed it with a bit of martial strength. Think of the Elf in Hero Quest as a good example. It created an interesting problem during the prototype playtests that the Paladin was outclassing the Wizard in almost every field – they had more hit points, less weapon and armour restrictions, and could use the Wizard’s spells, the only thing making the Wizard viable. The option was basically nerf the, at the time, Battle Mage, or boost the Wizard. Neither really were satisfactory. So the decision was made to swap the spells. Stop taking magic from the wizard, put a bit of healing in, and the Paladin, nee Warrior Priest, emerged.
Essentially, the Paladin is a jack of all trades class. They start the game with a little bit of everything on hand, but they fill no specialized role. They can use any weapon or armour you find, making them formidable opponents in a brawl, making them more versatile than the Barbarian, but less of a direct bonus than the Fighter, despite sharing a hit point total. Additionally, they get that healing spell that in a pinch can bring a character back from the edge. Finally, they get that little boost bashing down Undead.
In Endless Dungeons, of the 48 monsters, about 1 in 4 monsters are undead, so that’s not an insignificant boost.
In my party, when I draw a Paladin, their position tends to sit first or second in the party, depending on the other party members. Often, if I have a Fighter or Barbarian, they’ll take front row and soak damage until it’s time to pop the heal spell, then swap them around with the Paladin, to maximize life expectancy. If there is no Fighter or Barbarian in the party, they’ll take front row and have their healing spell on hand for an emergency extra few hit points.
Enjoy the Paladin. Knowing they were the class that kept me staring and my notebook at 2am might give you some real pleasure watching them sword the face off a zombie! Also, Leah’s incredible artwork is so far my favourite!
Version 0.3 Updates and the Bringers of the Silent King’s Justice:
Hello everyone! Thank you for coming by and reading the blog! We are now up to V0.3, but the updates for this version are fairly minor:
1 ) The Wraith fiend has been clarified a bit. They roll against EACH point of damage received. So if you roll and deal 5 points of damage, it has to roll against EACH point of damage it would receive. It’s wording has been updated to say: “Every time the Wraith would take a point of non-magical damage, roll 1D6. On a 1-4 that point of damage is ignored. Roll for each point of damage”
B) There are some instances where a character or the party has to “save against”, this has been clarified in the rulebook. You roll a “save against” exactly as you roll a defence roll. You must roll higher than the level of ATK for whatever you are saving against. This has been clarified in the rulebook.
And now with those minor changes out the way, here is the lore surrounding the Paladins. The Silent King’s mailed fists.
Enter the Paladin.
Paladins The three Holy Orders form the powerful hand of the Blind Court. The Paladins act as the sword and the shield, carrying out the word of The Holy Truths; the twelve scriptures brought forth by the Blind Court when the Silent King swept aside the Court of Whispers as the Dying began.
The Blackened Hand sees heresy and witch-craft everywhere their torches can reach, acting as inquisitors and purging those who can read the Winds of Change from the realm. The Bloodied Rose ride north with the armies of the Silent King to battle the ever invading Barbarians, acting as stalwart reminders of the Holy Truth to those defending the edge of the world. Acting often as a violent reminder to those who would waver in their duty to the Silent King. Finally, the Order of the Severed Sword are powerful beast hunters, seeking out the evils that plague the realms and bringing them to heel.
The Lord Ardents, leaders of the three Orders each view one another with ever deepening suspicion, and constantly jockey for the favour of the Silent King, often as not clashing against each other as much as the foes they purport to persecute.
Paladins will often join adventuring parties and groups of mercenaries as both a way to further their own specific Order’s ends, or as a way to keep track of a specific person or group and ensure that their actions uphold the Holy Truths. The Paladin is a strong catch-all fighter. Able to offer a small amount of healing while still being a formidable sword-arm.
In this blog post, we’re going to keep a light on how cool our Wizard friends are. Last post we looked at the lore behind the Wizards. The great expulsion and how they’ve ended up exiled and hunted to the ends of the earth by the Silent King’s hunters, the Order of the Blackened Hand. This week we’re going to talk a little about design, and tactics of everyone’s favourite glass cannons.
I love Wizards. Sure, you could be a Fighter. Big and burly and swinging a sword like it’s a popsicle stick. That’s cool, but bending the forces of reality? That’s awesome.
Wizards in Endless Dungeons are the weakest when it comes to hit points. While they hit as hard as a Paladin or Barbarian out of the gate, the fact that they can use almost none of the weapons or armour you’ll find in the dungeon will quickly find them falling being their more physically able meatshie- companions. Unlike the more robust characters, the Wizard starts the game with their full complement of powers and as used slowly decline in ability.
The Wizard will start each game with six randomly determined spells out of a total of twelve, spread across five possible spells: Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Strength, Protect, and Teleport. As a spell is used the Wizard loses it, and cannot cast it again for the duration of the game.
Fireball and Lightning Bolt are direct damage spells, with Fireball dealing a swath of damage across multiple foes, and Lightning Bolt hitting one foe hard. Strength and Protect allow you to boost an ally’s stats for a battle, and Teleport allows the Wizard to pull the party across the dungeon, making them invaluable in a deadly encounter or at the end of the Dungeon when the party is trying to flee.
The design methodology behind the Wizard is a bit of risk/reward, and a bit of knowing exactly when to use those one-time expendable abilities. Do you keep the spells for a particularly difficult encounter? Or do you use them at the earliest opportunity? The Wizard has four hit points, which means even a small skirmish can cut a Wizard in half, and there is a very real possibility some bad rolls will see them dead very early in. Have the meatshi companions been taking hits so you could save those spells only to see the Wizard fall to some nasty rolls? Or has he been blasting away to keep them in peak condition?
The Wizard presents a real opportunity for the party to have some added firepower and support options, but at the cost of being very poor in actual hand-to-hand combat. It’s strongly recommended the Wizard takes the back slot in the party. Being hit only on a 6 is going to greatly extend the life line of this very frail member of the party.
The Wizard is very broad, and there is lots of opportunity to add more for the Wizard. More spells, specialist classes, and maybe even an apprentice could show up in new content for Endless Dungeons!
P.S. Raistlin was definitely an influence for the Wizard class. Does that make the Fighter Caramon?
We want to highlight some of the characters, lore and mechanics in Endless Dungeons.
We’re starting with one of our favorites: The Wizard.
Masters and dabblers of the flows and ebbs of the Winds of Change, Wizards were once held in the highest regard, from the lowest village hedge-mages to the Grand Masters of the Court of Whispers. Their ability to shape and control the Winds allowed them to carry great power in whatever role they filled, wherever they filled it; and were often seen as the power behind the Silent King.
This all changed with the coming of the Dying, and as the Winds of Change blew colder and darker, the wizardly orders began to lose their grips on the mysterious force. When the Silent King banished the Court of Whispers, the first grand edict from the Blind Court was to purge the wizardly orders from the realm, decrying them and their foul ways as the cause of the Dying.
Those who could fled from the court to Xarzothoth, the Great Tower in the Golgar Mountains. Those that remained were put to the sword and torch in a futile attempt to stem the Winds now corrupting the land. The Order of the Blackened Hand was raised by the Silent King to act as witch hunters and inquisitors who now travel the width and breadth of the land seeking out any who have even the most rudimentary grasp of the Winds of Change to silence them forever.
From the massive, impregnable tower of Xarzothoth, the eight Grand Masters still scheme and pull their puppet strings even with the warped Winds of Change. Their influence stretches out from the tower like a blot of ink on a white paper. Their minds twisted into hateful shadows of their former selves, waiting for a time to regain the power they once held.
Most Wizards however are lone wanderers, knowing that to reveal their powers to the wrong people could mean a long and painful death. They often sell their services to mercenary parties and stay well hidden in populated areas. The Wizard will provide a fragile, yet invaluable member of the party.
Welcome to the blog for Endless Dungeon! You are about to dive into a realm where madness has gripped the land, and an endless winter is slowly descending. Those in power have begun to lose their minds as their power slips away, and the few who can fight are dying, and dying tired.
Endless Dungeons has been a project of mine for a long time, slowly working little bits here and there and I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and make a big push with it, because I’ve been loving what I’ve been creating. I’ve teamed up here with Oddyssey Studio to draw on Leah’s incredible talent to put art to my designs, and while we have a very simple playtest version available, eventually our goal is to release a full product, along with lots of expansions.
Endless Dungeons is designed to be a highly modular, solo, brutal, rules light, fast dungeon crawl experience. Get in, kill the monsters, get the loot, kill the boss, get out; or die trying. Once you have the rules down a full game can be completed in 20 minutes. With its highly modular nature, it’s extremely easy to add more content to your games – more heroes, monsters, rooms, spells, events, loot, and mechanics; allowing players to craft the dungeon crawl experience that they’re hunting for. Being rules light allows it to be very easy to pick up and play. No massive boxes, no huge rulebooks, no learning complex systems – everything is designed to be easy to grab right out of the box.
We need people to playtest the game, and help us figure out where all the gaps and holes are, and get excited for the future of this project that we’ve been working like mad on. You can get the game for free right now by clicking above on the Download the Playtest button, and there’ll be the files you need to print out a copy of the game, as well as instructions.
This is a playtest, so things may change. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog here and in the Download the Playtest section to see when things update and what rules may be tweaked based on the feedback we get from you and your fellow playtesters, and files will be kept updated on the site. As of launch we are on V0.2, however, the premade playtest kits are V0.1, so, you may already need to take a look in the Download section to see what’s changed.
Thanks for checking things out. We have a LOT more coming. Art updates, lore, blogs, development behind the scenes, and more! If you have any questions, please ask 🙂