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The King of Dungeons
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The King of Dungeons

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The King of Dungeons is a new fantasy role playing game, where you and your friends get together and make stuff up about spells, swords and shenanigans.  

I’m going to make a couple of assumptions here. You know what an RPG is. This isn’t exactly your first rodeo right? Also, I’m reasonably sure that you’re also a GM, which means you know how books like this work already. All of which is good. I’ve written King of Dungeons in a pretty conversational tone. If I’ve got it right, then this should feel like one gamer talking to another. Rather than hold your hand through basic roleplaying procedures that you have seen umpteen times in the hoary old ‘What is a Role Playing Game?’ section that you probably just skimmed anyway, I’m just going to pitch this my way, to you, GM to GM.

I've been gaming since the days of yore (when everything was black and white, and you had to colour in your own dice with crayons). I've spent most of that time searching for the perfect dragony/dungeony-like experience. I've read so many other people’s iterations on the classics I thought it was time to brew my own. I call it a remix, or a cover version.

The inspirations and influences are clear: it is dungeoning and dragoning through a modern lens of systems, married to a mind-set of making it up as we go along. It’s not from any particular school, it’s just the way I like to play my games, hopefully presented with some passion and a sense of humour.

I’m really bolting together three elements of play. I like tactical, action-oriented combats. I like free-wheeling exploration and interaction in my games. And I wanted a reason for it all to hang together, based on the core premise of; what if professional adventuring was an actual thing in the setting?

I also wanted to have the chance to record my personal thinking on gaming ideas without having anyone answer me back.

The system chassis is the Archmage Engine, which you might know from The 13th Age Roleplaying Game. That itself is a blend of the world’s most popular roleplaying game and the more indie narrative sensibilities. It’s been simplified and stripped right back. I’ve added other bits and pieces from all over the gaming spectrum and my own brainium. The system is to 13th Age what Basic D&D was to AD&D; compatible, but stands up on it's own.

The setting is implied. It’s heavily adventurer-centric. It’s actually more of an adventuring structure that you can drape over your own, or shop bought, setting of choice. Adventuring is a career, and after a while becomes its own raison d'être beyond simply killing monsters in ill-lit holes and absconding with their stuff. 

How does this play with your current stuff? Awesomely. If you’re old school, then there might well be some bits you fancy nicking to liven up the downtime elements of your gaming. If you’re more new school then the more loosey-goosey soft-crunch might inspire you in some way. You can use all your old adventures as a skeleton for your sessions. For example, using the montage system, veteran gamers could drop the Tomb of Horrors into a session and have it done in one sitting. That would be cool right? 

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Tyler H September 09, 2020 9:35 pm UTC
I bought this and read through it. I'm excited to try running it, but I have a question. Looking at the kickstarter, there are adventures being written for this, but I don't see them in the pdf I downloaded. Are they a separate purchase? Or am I missing something?

Customer avatar
barry S September 26, 2020 7:10 pm UTC
Hey Tyler, you can grab The Call of Cataclysm here on DriveThru.

It's the first of a planned sequence of scenario/setting books. Thanks for the support so far! Baz.
Customer avatar
Tyler H September 26, 2020 11:16 pm UTC
Ahh, thanks!
Customer avatar
Patrick B July 13, 2020 11:45 am UTC
The game seems pretty cool except for one bizarre thing. At 138 pages of rules with no fluff or setting, it's by no means a rules-light or storygame, and yet it abstracts equipment completely. Punching someone with your fist does the same damage as hitting them with a two handed sword. Wearing street clothes or platemail gives the same protection. Fate does this, but Fate is an entirely different style of game. It's just weird to me to have a standard fantasy roleplaying game type system that has no equipment rules or item lists.
Customer avatar
Justin W June 09, 2020 9:02 am UTC
This is a fun game and I am enjoying the simplification of the 13th Age rules. However one thing I am not a huge fan of (from D&D) is the masses of dice for attacks and spells. Perhaps an easier method would be to roll 1 die type and multiply. So attacks do 1d6 x your level. A 7d8 spell would simply inflict d8x7 damage. Bell curve out but hopefully a much quicker result.
Customer avatar
Martin K March 12, 2020 2:18 pm UTC
Drivethru doesn't let me post a review for some reason, so here's my 2 cents ...

So I got this a few days ago and I dig it. It's got the good parts of 13th Age - quick & easy d20 rules, martial classes that can actually do stuff other than "I attack", narrative cues and flexibility to use the rule of cool.

At the same time, it cuts the parts of complexity didn't add much to gameplay, like feats, the difference between ranged and close quarters, and other, small things you wouldn't even notice missing unless you put the two games side by side.

This makes King of Dungeons an excellent game for casual beer & pretzel play and con pickup games. If you've got four hours with a bunch of strangers and not much time to explain rules, this is the book you want to hit the table.

The only thing I'd miss from 13th Age are the icons - but of course they can easily be ported over and dropped in.

Overall it's a solid work, and a great tool to introduce...See more
Customer avatar
Martin K March 12, 2020 2:19 pm UTC
So with the good stuff out of the way, there is one gripe I have to voice. The game renames at least 21 (twenty-one!) core game terms for no apparent reason. Do you really need to say "Promotion" instead of the term "level up" that D&D players used for 45 years? What was the point?

One of them, "cursed" for ongoing damage, isn't even used anywhere in the book except list of conditions.

It's also no longer talking about "engaged" as a measure of PC-enemy distance, but still uses the term "disengage"

But if there's ever an errata rework, maybe some of that can be cleaned up?
Customer avatar
Diego B December 23, 2019 12:09 pm UTC
I tried to make prints of the class pages and I noticed that some parts of the text are covered by large capital letters (an error in the pdf for sure) that overlap. Has it happened to anyone?
Customer avatar
Diego B December 13, 2019 1:10 am UTC
Question about "Two Weapon Shenanigans": at page 92 I read "natural 12 you can reroll" but at page 131 I read "natural 2" (as in 13th Age rules). Which is right? I have this doubt cause when the Escalation Die is 2+ and you roll a natural 2 you fumble.
Customer avatar
Antonio E November 30, 2019 6:33 pm UTC
Any chance of a small preview?
Customer avatar
Diego B November 30, 2019 9:21 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Sebastian A November 26, 2019 11:17 pm UTC
Is this game compatible wih OSR modules?
Customer avatar
Sebastian A November 20, 2019 5:57 pm UTC
13th Age is already a simplified d&d4 system. How is this compared to 13th Age?
Customer avatar
barry S November 24, 2019 8:35 pm UTC
Simpler, from a rules perspective at least. I say in the blurb above that "The system is to 13th Age what Basic D&D was to AD&D; compatible, but stands up on it's own."
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File Last Updated:
July 29, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on August 06, 2019.
Grand Scheme Publishing
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