So, let's talk about something that I haven't brought up in quite a while: Dungeon Slam!
I've occasionally broken out DS! now and again in the last year or so, but I haven't exactly been doing a whole lot of substantial revision on it. The biggest issue keeping DS! from being a "real game" is the run-time: I can't seem to get it under two hours without making major changes to the game mechanics and the way that chance is involved with the game itself.
|Risk--has anyone finished that game?|
|A session of Dungeon Slam!|
from Origins 2008.
Imagine, if you will, a "static" system like Savage Worlds or even d20. Each dice roll is compared against a number, which varies based on the difficulty of a task. Modifiers are then made based on the circumstances facing the situation and the person acting within it. However, in a system based on contested rolls--such as Dungeon Slam! as well as Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and several other games--that static modifier is replaced by another roll, on the act-ee's part.
While you'd figure that this wouldn't slow down the game too much, once you start adding in modifiers, re-rolls, and other chance-altering mechanics common to most games, the game slows down to a crawl, which brings us back to the core problems with Dungeon Slam!. It simply takes too freaking long.
But, with its numerous problems and several competitors on the market--Super Dungeon Explore, Munchkin Quest, and Dungeon Run come immediately to mind--I've decided to put Dungeon Slam! on the shelf indefinitely.
That said, writing Dungeon Slam! hasn't been a waste in any sense of the word. In fact, I learned a lot from the act of writing it--particularly in how to structure a game and how to format a prototype for Publisher and Adobe. And, there's a lot I can take from the best elements of Dungeon Slam!...
- The PvP race structure.
- The item upgrades mechanic.
- The open-board motion.
- The ability to actively screw your neighbor without specifically engaging them.
- The fundamental stats and mechanics (minus the opposed rolls).
...but to see the fruits of my labors, you'll have to tune in for the next entry!