I spent a few hours this afternoon creating a character and playing thru the first Traiing mission. I spent a fair bit of time considering what class/race to choose. I tend to play magic users, then archers, then fighters. The magic rules look to be too complex for a first time player. I also don't like that a caster is punished to cast a spell since it costs health and if you fail, you can also gain a curse. I guess this is to compensate for the fact that the caster doesn't need to spend resources maintaining a weapon? It doesn't seem like a fair trade off to me. Ultimately I went with dwarf rogue. Almost everything in this game can be randomly determined, so I could have saved some time and let the dice choose, but that's just not how I roll.
Next you do randomly roll armor and a weapon. I ended up with a crummy throwing knife, an amazing breastplate, a buckler shield, and some decent leg armor. So my ranged rogue now can't use his best stat (DEX) to attack. Well, he can, once, then he's punching monsters. I'm assuming that the throwing knife is a one time use, I couldn't find rules for that.
All is not lost however, on my first encounter, I managed to loot a very nice Battle Axe. This ultimately carried me thru the rest of the mission, but again using my STR not DEX. When I could score a hit with it, I was one shotting several of the monsters I came across. Both my PC and the mosters I encounterd had around a 40% to hit chance, which made for some long fights. The Giant Bats and I couldn't hit each other (-10 to hit flyers without a ranged weapon). They got so bored they just eventually flew away (escaped).
By the end of the mission, I died once to a surprise attack by a Goatman Archer. (Wish I could have stolen his bow). You do start each PC with 3 'Life' points though, which basically rez you for free. That doesn't bode well for future missions, but you can earn more 'Life' during play. In the post game wrap up, I did some shopping and on the 1 roll I was allowed at the Weapon shop, guess what was there? A recurve bow, which I could just barely afford after selling off pretty much all of the the other loot I found.
So now armed with a proper bow, one fewer lives, I'm ready to dive into Training mission #2, the goal of which is to loot 3 weapons. (irony).
I was admittedly frustrated at times, but once I was all done, and ready for the second mission, I realized that I just had quite a lot of fun. I look forward to the next mission when I can try out my new bow.
There are certainly some fiddly rules and a lot of things to remember, but I think with more practice it will run smoother. There was far more depth to this dungeon crawler than I expected.
If playing a magic user seemed more viable, I would have rated this 5.
HINT: have a good ereaser handy. You will use it, a lot.