3 Dice Dungeon, A Solitaire Dungeon Crawl Game

Posted by on December 29, 2011
'P1050124' by indiepants on Flickr

'P1050124' by indiepants on Flickr

Nearly a year ago, Greywulf posted RPG Solitaire Challenge: 3 Dice, a simple solitaire game of dungeon exploration. In his game, you roll 3 dice for your adventurer’s stats, then for each room in the dungeon, roll 1 die to determine the room’s type, 1 die for a monster, and 1 die for a treasure.

I played the game a couple of times, and while I had fun, I found two major issues:

  1. The game is very swingy. I played several games where I died within two encounters, and others where I could’ve continued playing forever.
  2. There’s nothing to do except trade blows with monsters.

There’s a tantalizing possibility resting in the rooms, though. So, let’s add some design and map the dungeon as you go!

3 Dice Dungeon

3 Dice Dungeon is an expansion of the rules in  RPG Solitaire Challenge: 3 Dice.

You create a character by rolling three six-sided dice (re-rolling if your total is 10 or lower). One die roll represents your BODY, another your MIND, and a third your SPIRIT (or magic). These represent both your current and maximum points in these attributes. You’re now ready to adventure!

Create each location by rolling 3 dice (one for each column) and consulting the table below.

Result Location Monster Treasure
1 Corridor (straight or curved) Goblins None
2 Small room (1d2 exits) Orcs Healing potion
3 Large room (1d3 exits) Ogres Magic sword
4 Vault (1d3 exits) Giants Tome of Enlightenment
5 Temple (1d3 exits) Dragon Spell scroll
6 Great Hall (1d3+1 exits) None Map fragment

Mapping: Draw this location on a piece of paper. Each location takes up about the same space on the overall map, and can have exits to the north, east, south, and west. You must mark the exits logically (an exit cannot lead to a room with no entrance on that side), but otherwise exits can be wherever you want.

How Many Exits Is That? The number of exits in each room includes the one that you entered from, so each room may be a dead end.

Combat

Attacking: If the room contains a monster, you must attack it! Pick an attribute and roll a die. If you roll less than the attribute, you hit! Turn the monster’s die so that it shows one point lower. When you hit a monster that’s at 1, it is defeated. If you roll equal to or greater than the attribute, the monster hits you; decrease the attribute chosen for this attack by 1.

Bleeding Out: If an attribute is reduced to 0, you take -1 on all attack rolls. If all three attributes are reduced to 0, you’re dead.

Crits: When attacking, a 1 always hits and a 6 always misses.

Training Wheels: In your first location, if you roll 4 or 5 for the monster, re-roll (multiple times if necessary). In your second location, re-roll any 5′s for the monster.

Treasure

Once a location’s monster is defeated, you get the location’s treasure.

  • Map fragment — When you’re in a vault, you may use up a map fragment to unearth a powerful ancient artifact (see below).
  • Healing Potion — Increase one attribute by 2 points, or two attributes by 1 point each, up to their respective maximums.
  • Magic Sword — +1 on all BODY rolls. This is cumulative, so if you have two Magic Swords, you add +2 on all BODY rolls.
  • Tome of Enlightenment — +1 on all MIND rolls. This is also cumulative.
  • Spell Scroll — Use this scroll for a +3 on one SPIRIT roll. The scroll disappears once used.

XP

When you defeat a monster (or if there is no monster in the room), total the value of all three dice rolled for the location (room, monster, and treasure). Add this to your XP total.

Leveling Up: For every 50 XP you earn, increase the maximum of one attribute, and return all your attributes to their maximum values.

Moving Around The Map

Returning to Danger: When you return to a room you’ve already visited, you run the risk of encountering a low-level monster who’s sneaked into the room. Roll a die for a roving monster. If you roll 3–6, there’s no monster.

Temple Teleportation: From a temple, you can teleport to any other temple already on the map. When you do, roll for a roving monster. You may only teleport after defeating any monsters in the room.

Descending To The Next Level: You may only descend to the next level of the dungeon from a Great Hall, and only after you have collected one artifact on this level.

Artifacts

Roll a die to find an artifact:

Result Artifact
1 Jade Idol (+2 on an attack roll)
2 Crystal Pendant (+3 on one MIND roll)
3 Boots of Swiftness (run from one fight per player level into a random adjacent room, with no penalty)
4 Scroll of Teleportation (after clearing a room, teleport to any other explored room; use once)
5 Sleeping Salts (cause one monster to sleep; no XP for the monster, and when this room is next visited, it is awake again)
6 Shielding Charm (ignore one hit against you)

Multiple Players

To play with others, each player rolls their own stats. In each location, roll one monster die per player. The highest monster die determines the type of the monsters in the room; sum all the monster dice rolled for the monster’s hit points.

Each player earns the XP total for each location (so, if a location provides 10 XP, each player gets 10 XP).

Note that playing with multiple players is harder, because you’ll have to share the rewards.

The Undead Level

Finally, just for the fun of it, here’s an undead-themed level:

Result Location Monster Reward
1 Corridor (straight or curved) Skeletons Map fragment
2 Small room (1d2 exits) Zombies Healing potion
3 Large room (1d3 exits) Mummy Magic sword
4 Crypt (1d3 exits) Vampire Tome of Enlightenment
5 Temple (1d3 exits) Lich Spell scroll
6 Great Hall (1d3+1 exits) None None

Crypts? A crypt acts just like a vault.

The Undead Are Weak Against Magic: A SPIRIT attack against undead does not automatically fail on a 6.

That’s it. If you play 3 Dice Dungeon, please let me know in the comments!