Delve playtest: entering the dungeon

Test run of Delve with 4 adventurers, in marching order: the Thief, the Swashbuckler, the Shieldmaiden, the Elf. I picked these four because they all move pretty quickly, so we won’t get stuck in hallways for long periods of time.

Starting AP: 4 HP: 4

(This may not be the final rule, but currently, the Adventure Pool and the Hazard Pool start with points equal to the number of adventurers. I don’t think they should start empty, since points don’t go into the pool until after a hazard is defeated, so the first encounter would always be with no points to spend. Granted, that might be interesting: as a player, you’re in the position of having to kickstart the momentum of the game by questing forth and bumping into the first dangerous encounter. Another assumed rule that may or may not change: there’s always a safe chamber at the entrance. That’s not how all or even most dungeons actually “start”, but it’s convenient.)

(Oh, and die rolls are listed with the white die first, and the black die second.)

From the entry to the dungeon, the first area is a safe intersection (6,2) with 2 additional junctures. The Thief takes the left corridor to find (1,4) a dangerous hallway. GM uses 1 AP to add a hazard so things can get started properly, opting to roll on the hazard table for the actual detail: (5,5) means Catacombs, which the Thief decides to investigate. It’s level 1, and the GM decides that letting there be Catacombs without having something pop up in them would be lame, so there’s a minor creature, an animated skeleton, with an equally minor treasure.

AP: 5 (+1) HP: 4 (+1,-1)

The Thief gets to go first (higher Move), and rolls Strike. (3,3) is a tough decision, but she opts to take the black die to give the GM a point. Either die is good enough to deal damage, so the skeleton loses 1 Health. The skeleton swings back, and gets a wimpy (1,1). The Thief nimbly dodges. Meanwhile, the other adventurers are moving up to join, although the Thief will probably finish the job first. A (2, 1) isn’t great, but the Thief’s skill is enough to compensate, and she decides to take the white die, but doesn’t feel like adding a detail. The treasure is hers for the taking: a Fog Flask tucked in with the burial goods.

AP: 6 (+1) HP: 5 (+1)

The party moves up to a storeroom: it’s a dangerous room, so an AP goes in the Pool, and there’s going to be another significant encounter. The party can all fit in the room (it’s a 5×5), but the Thief and the Swashbuckler are the only two who will have moved into the room for the first turn, so when it’s time to Reveal, they’re the only two who have to deal with the Magic Sigil (3,3) graven into the floor this turn. The Thief mutters quietly – no using Sneak this time. The very air seems to heat up: it’s a Health (E) test to resist the painful aura of the sigil. No kidding around here! Fortunately, the sigil doesn’t actually cause Health loss, only penalties. The Thief rolls (3,6) and the Swashbuckler rolls (2,5) – an AP from the Thief, who takes the white die but still doesn’t pass, and a point to the GM for the Swashbuckler taking the black die to similarly negligible avail. The Thief decides to use the detail accompanying the AP to suggest that the Swashbuckler take his Fast Move to knock over a bundled-up carpet and roll it out over the sigil – the Swashbuckler has to agree, since it’s a detail that affects him, but this sounds like a good plan, so it’s a yes. However, the GM spends the newly acquired point to declare that the sigil doesn’t require line of sight to operate, so the cover is irrelevant.

When the Shieldmaiden gets into the room on turn 2, the roll of (4,2) gets her an AP from the white die, and the Elf’s (2,5) gives the GM another point as well. Nobody passed the test, though, and the Elf is now rolling for an effective 0 Health, too. OUCH. The Elf decides to kick in the Magic special to counteract the sigil. Spells go at the end of turn, but there’s nothing else here to contend with first, so it’s okay. In the meantime, though, someone else gets to Pick Up Items. (6,1) – an Ancient Grimoire is wrapped in an oiled cloth for protection behind some more mundane goods on one of the shelves. The Elf’s going to get that without dispute, with a side helping of gratitude for shutting down that painful sigil.

AP: 8 HP: 6(+2, -1)

(At this point, I’m wondering if having AP flow tied to the die rolls is a good thing or not. It seems to be inflating the Adventure Pool a bit faster than necessary, although the party isn’t spending AP on specials yet, either.)