Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Song of Drar and Murin: planning a solo dungeon crawl campaign - Part 2

Old foes soon to meet in a different setting?

With the rules decided, I could begin to work on the details of the game.

Taking the basic 300-point warband as the starting point, I looked at the points for the goblins faction, and found that a troll was 54 points while a Goblin Leader was 45 points. This gave me the idea of assigning the goblins in "cards", each of which represented a total of approximately 60 points - with one card randomly assigned to each tile, I can easily calibrate the opposition faced by my dwarves by deciding the number of tiles a game will have. This automatically gives me a ladder campaign mechanic: by adding one extra tile each subsequent game, I can raise the challenge faced by my warband.

A quick inventory of my figures told me that I can have 1 Goblin Leader plus one warrior card, 1 Troll card, and 3 each of "four warriors", "two warriors plus one archer", and "one warrior plus two archers". Adding a "blank" card and a "draw two cards" card will add more variety and unpredictability to the game.

Terrain placement is facilitated by the design of the tiles. I begin by placing a small tile as the entry point for the dwarves, then randomly picking a large tile to be joined to the starting tile by one of its three "open" sides, which again is randomly diced for. I will then dice to see which of the two remaining sides the next time will join to, again rolling to determine which of its three sides will be connected to the previous tile. This goes on until the number of tiles I want for the scenario has been placed, whereupon any "open" side will be "closed by the remaining small tiles.

The goblin cards are then shuffled and dealt face down onto each tile, to be revealed when a dwarven figure enters it. The exact position of each figure on the tile is determined by rolling 2d6, which will give the co-ordinates for its placement in a Cartesian fashion. One placed, the figures activate using the algorithm specific to its type, unless they come within Long range of the Goblin Leader figure, in which case I they may be activated as I see fit.

Now revealing the goblins tile-by-tile may look unrealistic, but I have decided to consider that the goblins are "arriving on scene" when they are revealed. This means that the goblins were not actually in the next tile all along, but have been rushing towards the sound of combat and have only just come into a distance where they can influence the course of the battle.

Campaign progression can be a in linear, ladder fashion, starting with a 5-tile dungeon (with the Goblin Leader and Troll cards removed from the deck), adding another one or two tiles each subsequent game, till a finale 10-tile dungeon with the Goblin Leader and Troll cards shuffled into the top half of the deck and placed onto the last 6 tiles.

Instead of logging individual advancement, I will award the warband either an extra trooper figure or a warband advance with each scenario won, with only the two "leaders" (Drar and Murin) being eligible for individual stats advancement.

So far the plan seems sound to me, and I hope to start playing next week once I get the tiles from my brother. In the meantime I would like to hear any suggestion from you, my readers, particularly on whether I should have different scenario objectives, and what those objectives should be.



Simon Quinton said...

It sounds good look forward to reading your first play through.

Sean said...

Looks like a good setup. I think your method will make for a good game. Perhaps the dwarves are looking for the previous expedition and need to recover their remains.

captain arjun said...

Yes, recovering remains/treasure/weapon will be one of the scenarios.

Other scenarios I have thought of now including: slaying the troll, escaping pursuit, and of course the finale of killing the goblin commander.

Adrian Tan said...

1) Defend a tile as Dwarf engineers excavate a door/tunnel
2) Unite 2 or 3 separated groups of Dwarfs
3) Safely escort a rescued prisoner/treasure etc

captain arjun said...

Good ideas.

The defend tile one can probably start with all the goblins on the table revealed, and they then move towards the dwarves.

The unite the dwarves one is quite different from other scenarios.


Stephen Holmes said...

These all sound like excellent ideas.

Something quick to st up and pack away - I think Skirmish and modular scenery is the thing for solo.

Of course some random aspect to the enemy is also necessary. The random dungeon and the cards controlling the enemy cover this.