Among the many happenings at this year’s Who’s Yer Con was a small taste of the amazing experience that one can have while participating in True Dungeon. A mini-demo was available for attendees to see what they can expect, and a booth in the vendor hall for token transmuting. I popped in frequently and saw quite a bit of traffic around the booth, allowing players to exchange tokens and trade in items they would not use for items that they will. A True Dungeon meet-up occurred later in the evening as well, where players could meet with other players to discuss strategy and thoughts.
Though not a big set-up, the folks at True Dungeon had many of the key components of a real dungeon crawl available for people to test out. Our guide acted as the dungeon master and set up our scenarios and asked us how we wanted to proceed. We entered many rooms with enemies, had to roll for initiative, and try to hit them in their sweet spots. In True Dungeon, combat is done on a sliding disc system. You place your weapon token in a disc labeled with your class, and slide it across the table, aiming for high damage areas on a picture of the enemy. Also available are some puzzles, including a mirror puzzle that my group was not able to crack in the time allotted. Some classes, such as cleric and druid must recognize certain items (such as shapes, leaves, or beads) in order to cast spells. Our group made it out alive, and whether new or experienced, all members of my party enjoyed themselves.
I had a chance to sit down with Jeff Martin, creator of True Dungeon, to ask him what is going to set this year’s crawl apart from other year, and this is what he had to say :
“We’re expanding into a fourth dungeon to get more tickets out there….We didn’t sell out last year, we came close, but it’ll be nice to get more of them out there this year. Our number one initiative this year is to make the whole thing in game from beginning to end. When you step into the story-scape, you’ll be on the edge of a dark forest, and there will be a small village there, you’ll go into an inn that’s themed to your event. You’ll talk to someone in character who welcomes you.”
He goes on to say that each event will have its own private room that you can arrive early to to get to know your party members, and the volunteers in these rooms will also be in character. The pre-event space will be much bigger so that people can have more time to socialize and check out the event, even from the outside. Even the coaches will be in character as opposed to just telling you what to do.
“Last year was just too crowded, low light, a little too confusing for new players, and we’re really going to try to punch that up this year. It will be a much better experience for everyone, especially new players.”
I asked Jeff if he could give me an idea as to what this year’s theme will be, and I was excited to hear that he actually has the next three years roughly outlined, which will definitely keep me coming back.
“This year, its going to be an elven village on the edge of some dark woods, and the adventures will take place in the woods at night. The first event takes place completely in the woods, all outdoors. The second one leads you to a gnome tower. You’re going up the tower to find someone and get some important information from them. The lighting will be much better, fireflies and such, there will even be a pine-scent.”
I was excited to participate in this year’s True Dungeon before I came to this mini-demo, but after speaking with Jeff and experiencing the demo, I can hardly contain myself. True Dungeon will certainly be one of the biggest highlights for me at this year’s Gen Con and if you are attending, I would strongly urge you to consider this real-life dungeon crawl. Be sure to get in the action, gather your friends, get registered for Gen Con and get your tickets for True Dungeon as soon as they’re available.