Co-Optimus - Editorial - Tabletop Co-Op: Dungeon!

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Tabletop Co-Op: Dungeon!
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Tabletop Co-Op: Dungeon!

Grab some pizza and a soda, roll the dice, and escape while you can


It’s time once again for another installment of Tabletop Co-Op. We'll go on an adventure into a network of monster filled rooms in search of treasure. Horrible ogres and foul skeletons bar your way, but gemstones, magic swords, and bags of gold await! Join a group of friends on a trip into the Dungeon! board game.
Dungeon! is a very old game. The board game, designed by Gary Gygax himself came along only a few short years after D&D came along and changed the gaming lansdscape forever. Dungeon! plays like a cross between D&D and more traditional board games like Sorry or Parcheesi. In many ways, it is a “lite’ version of D&D, great for introducing fantasy RPG concepts to young children or non-gamers. Many versions of Dungeon! have been released through the years, and last month, a slick new redesign hit the shelves of local game stores everywhere.
Before we get too, er... deep into Dungeon!, one thing must be noted: The default ruleset for the game is competitive in nature. Players delve into the various dungeon levels on their own, without assistance from others. The goal is to be the first person to recover a set amount of treasure. While the game works just fine in competitive fashion, I much prefer the cooperative variant posted on Wizards of the Coast’s recent variants column.

Variant Rule: Instead of playing the game against each other, you are all working together to defeat the Monsters and claim treasure. At the beginning of the game, add up the gp amounts of Treasure needed to win the game for all Heroes, and divide the total by 2. That number is the collective amount of winning Treasure for everyone. During the game, you can play with your Treasure cards face up. Once the Heroes have enough Treasure to win, each Hero must return to the Great Hall. The Heroes lose the game if one of the following things happen:

  • Two Heroes are killed during the game.
  • You have a number of revealed Monster cards in the numbered slots on the side of the board equal to the number of Heroes +2.
A party of heroes working together to survive the dungeon, cooperating to get rich together, feels much more like D&D than a race to accumulate treasure. Of course, the cooperative variant is also much more in tune with our take on gaming here at Co-Optimus.