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Demesne - A FitD Dungeon Building game.  (Pre-Alpha)
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Demesne - A FitD Dungeon Building game. (Pre-Alpha)

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This is the pre-alpha release of Demesne, a Dungeon Keeper inspired Forged in the Dark Game.   FitD uses the base systems created by John Harper for his excellent Blades in the Dark.

In Demesne, you play to find out whether you and the dungeon you’ve built can survive in a world that despises your very existence, a world where monstrous races have been forced into the dark recesses of the land by the powerful and ever expanding forces of good. You play as a group of these monsters building a dungeon and venturing forth into the Overworld to raid and increase your hoard.

You once belonged to a different dungeon, ruled by a powerful master, but after heroes came calling and overthrew them, what was left of the dungeon fell apart. It was then that you realized that there’s strength in numbers, so you’ve banded together to start building your own dungeon under group leadership. Even if one of you falls, the dungeon will survive. While you begin the game with the intent to create a prospering dungeon, events in the game tend to pull characters in different directions and complicate the situation.

As you dig deep into the earth, building rooms, and recruiting minions to do your bidding, you must build your hoard of gold and secure resources to grow stronger. But as you raid the world for these, the terror you cause spreads and you build notoriety - leading to adventurers taking notice of you and aiming at ridding the world of your presence. Can your minions, locks, and traps fend them off?

I'm actively looking for comments and feedback!  Currently, I'm running two weekly playtest games that have been going really well.  If you're interested in playtesting, or even better GM'ing a playtest, please get in touch or hop on the Discord to chat!  I'd be more than happy to help arrange online games!


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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Jonathan D February 28, 2019 3:57 pm UTC
Just want to say that this looks like a lot of fun! Can't wait to try it out.

I'm curious, is the term Gold a holdover from BitD? You mention that it is really a mix of coins, treasure and other random stuff that Monsters use to trade/barter. Since the action taken to get that stuff is Looting, why not use the term Loot? Gold definitely makes me think coins...

Also, under Stash, would Stash 0 mean you just live in the dungeon's hallways? At Stash 0, are you a Wandering Monster? I think that's absolutely hilarious and wonderful!
Customer avatar
Ben N March 04, 2019 3:07 am UTC
In BitD, it's referred to as "Coin" though I felt "Gold" was more appropriate. It could be called Loot as well, though "hoarding gold" just seemed more thematically appropriate, as well as "spend gold to ~".

Yeah, Stash 0 means you just kinda sleep in the corner of some room or something. :)
Customer avatar
Joseph H February 15, 2019 2:56 pm UTC
I really like the concept of this game!I've wanted a dungeon management RPG for quite some time, in fact.

In any case, you asked for comments, so here's a few.

- Early on, your rules suggest that factions are important to the game, and list a number of factions that are opposed to each other and that don't get along... But these factions don't interact in any way with the terror/notoriety system presented later in the game. As a result, it's not possible to e.g.: only raid the one faction everyone else dislikes in order to avoid gaining notoriety with everyone else.
- The rules mention that it's not possible to increase any skill above 4, but there doesn't seem to be any rules for character advancement in the game.
- The rules state that your attributes are involved in resisting consequences, and that a roll is involved somehow, but not how that roll is resolved. What happens if you roll a failure, a partial, a success, a critical? Also, the section on resisting consequences...See more
Customer avatar
Joseph H February 15, 2019 11:36 pm UTC
I'm awake!

It looks like I forgot to finish detailing that "It's unclear how often imps can dig to create new rooms" point I made in my first post, so I should probably elaborate on that. This is a complex one, so it deserves its own post. First, here's all the mentions of how often you can dig that I could find scattered through the rules:
- The Imps or Other Minor Creatures section says "Imps can dig each downtime. They roll your dungeon tier to do so." This doesn't place a limit on how many times the dungeon's imps can dig per downtime.
- The Downtime Activities section lists Dig as a possible downtime activity. A close reading suggests that this is digging yourself or getting non-imp minions to dig, allowing additional digging on top of what the imps normally do. Having that made more explicit in the text would make it easier for a first-time reader to understand.
- The description of the Slave Pen in the Room Types section stats that it gives you "a...See more
Customer avatar
Joseph H February 16, 2019 1:21 am UTC
Anyway, here's more points:
- The Ticking the Clocks section specifies how clocks advance on Critical and Partial results, but not Success results. Presumably a Success should add more ticks to a clock than a partial and fewer than a critical, so I'm guessing a success is supposed to add two ticks, but it'd be nice to have that in writing.
- It's not clear whether the minion slots you get at each new tier of your dungeon can only attract minions of the tiers at which those slots were obtained, or whether they can attract minions of your dungeon's tier regardless which tier you obtained the slot at. The Dungeon Hierarchy section implies that a normal dungeon has a mix of minions of different tiers, which suggests that minion slots have levels, and the the Spawning Chamber would be much less useful if it meant locking yourself into having a low-tier minion in your dungeon when replacing them with higher-tier minions would otherwise be easy. On the other hand, most of the rooms that grant additional...See more
Customer avatar
Ben N February 16, 2019 1:56 am UTC
Wow, thanks a ton for the in-depth feedback! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

A lot of the points you've brought up are honestly the result of the work being a rather constant in-progress doc that's not 100% meant for public consumption. There's tons of vestiges of past iterations remaining throughout and stuff I just haven't bothered putting the time towards writing out. I plan a full re-write as soon as I've kind of pushed through the last few subsystems that need built and playtested. The re-write should clear up these issues substantially. Thanks for pushing through in spite of these glaringly bad points. :)

I just wanted to add that quick comment before I dig through your feedback and post some replies. Really happy I put this up here for people to check out - this kind of feedback is really helpful.
Customer avatar
Joseph H February 16, 2019 5:47 am UTC
You're welcome!

Incidentally, on my first read-through I completely overlooked the rules for character advancement, so please disregard my earlier point about them not existing. Sorry about that.
Customer avatar
Ben N February 16, 2019 9:37 am UTC
No worries! Part of the first write-up of this was to kind of figure out what order to put everything in. If something doesn't stand out or isn't clear, it's really nice to hear about it.

I've read through all of your points and was thinking about replying to many of them, but really I think it'd be better if I just focused on rewriting the doc and have you take a look at a newer version! While I write it, I'm going to make sure that each point you brought up is addressed. I'll update here when the next version goes up!
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