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Gravity Dungeon: Setup and basics

If you´ve been following the blog you might have noticed the recent new tab on top called Gravity Dungeon.

This is a personal project I've been working on for a while now. A customizable dungeon crawling ruleset that can be used with any miniature you have at home. From now on, together with my usual painting shenanigans, you will find regular updates explaining rules of the game, showing how to adapt your miniatures to the system and adding new content and customization options.

 Today I want to give an insight at the basic setup and game mechanics with some examples to help understand the general gameplay.

The Dungeon Setup
The game is played on a series of Dungeon levels, usually 5, each of them independent of the others. This means that you can split your game sessions easily between the levels if you don't have time for a long delve (Just record your party status and you're good to go).

A level is defined by it's Threat Level (the overall difficulty), and the amount of treasure and monster spawns on it.

Each level has an entry point and an exit point. The heroes objective is to move down the levels until beating the dungeon boss. To exit the level they need to either find a key (by destroying an enemy spawn point) or to lockpick the door to gain access to the next level.

The level exit guarded by a champion
The dungeon info sheet will indicate how many Treasure piles and chests must be placed on the current level. The only requirement is that heroes cannot get to them in a single movement from the level start point.  Treasure piles usually contain gold and potions, but rogues can usually find some more interesting things on them.

The mage loots a treasure pile to find gold!
During set-up, monsters are placed too. There are 2 kinds of monsters in Gravity Dungeon: Champions and Hordes.

Hordes spawn every turn from spawnpoints we will place on the level (following the same rules as treasure). The number of Horde monsters is capped to the Threat Level, so in a Threat 2 level with 2 spawnpoints, there will never be more than 4 horde monsters at a time. If any of them are downed, they will respawn after a short time period.

Champions on the other side are tougher monsters that define the room's challenge. They are stronger than Hordes and harder to defeat but once they are killed they stay down for good.

A champion protects a spawnpoint. The Threat Level of the room is 2 so the spawnpoint can sustain up to 2 alive hordes. 
Once setup is done, the heroes enter the level!

A mix and match party of Warrior, Rogue, Mage and Minstrel from 3 differect manufacturers.

Basic Combat Rolls
In Gravity Dungeon, success and failure of the actions is determined by a 2d10 roll. The roll values are substracted from one another, giving the final success rate for the action. However, if the number of successes is higher that the miniature's stat for that particular check, the test is a failure. 
Doubles always count as a failure.

The warrior rolls 2 successes (4-2) against the Kobold's failure (9-9=0 successes). The kobold takes 2 damage and is eliminated.
Abilities can modify the stats of the combatants allowing them to improve or reduce their chances of success. In the example below, a Kobold Lancer with a COM (combat) atribute of 4 rolls 5 successes (8-3), what would usually be a failure, however, his special ability Mob grant's him +1 COM  for each other Kobold adjacent to the target thus raising his COM to 5 and allowing to turn it's miss into 5 successes! 

The poor bard has only rolled 3 successes (6-3) so he would take 2 wounds. Lucky for him his leather armor reduces the damage in 1 so he comes out with only a scratch.

Combat roll atributes depend on the type of combat, so in melee wou will compare COM atribute, in ranged, the attacker will use it's Dexterity (DEX) against the target Agility (AGI). When using spells Willpower is the go-to atribute. 

The Danger Dice
The lone d6 is only used for lockpicking, as the infamous danger dice. The Danger Dice determines when a trap will spring. When attempting to pick locks, the dice is rolled together with the hero's DEX skill check. If the roll is equal or lower than the current level's Threat level, a trap springs on the unsuspecting hero!

The rogue rolls only 1 success, not enough to open the chest. However the danger dice shows 1! As the current room's Threat Level is 2, a trap springs into him!
Heroes can forfeit lockpicking successes to disarm traps by raising the danger die, by 1 pip per success. In the example above the rogue could spend his success to raise the danger die to 2 but as the result is still equal to the Threat Level, the outcome would not change. If he had rolled at least 2 successes, he could rise the Danger Die enough to disarm the trap. The chest would still remain locked though and another hero would have to try it's luck at opening it.

And that's it for today! Next time we will talk about monster behaviours and how they act without a dungeon master. 

The heroes fight a Werewolf with his pack of wolves at the second level of the Beastmen Den dungeon.

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