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Revisiting: D&D Adventure System Games
Haven't played it in a while, would like to get back around to it even just to piddle around with solo. Maybe tonight. The nice thing is that it's REALLY easy to get back into after an absence. It's really intuitive and straightforward.
Galaxy Defenders may kill this off for me when/if I get the expansions for it. It's basically the same system.. but "2.0".
One of these days, I will sit down and create a campaign based of the Galaxy Defenders model for these games.... or... will someone do this already please?
repoman wrote: Own Ashardelon. I think it's probably the best dungeon crawl board game ever made.
Played it last week. It's awesome.
I think you're almost right. It's the best cheap and available dungeon crawl board game yet. Warhammer Quest is the winner of "OMFG" award.
Still, it's exceptional. It really does beat D&DFABG in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the DMless play.
wadenels wrote: I like to get into the storyline in a dungeon crawl game and the D&DAS games didn't really do much for me in that department. I haven't read any of the D&D source material, and the game didn't spark me to do so. Mechanically they work great, but I prefer all the fiction and fluff in Mice & Mystics for a DM-less crawl.
I think that's an advantage LoD has over the others. Anyone, like myself, who read a bunch of Salvatore's Drizzt books knows all about the characters, villains, and scenarios.
I think part of my enjoyment is that I just don't much like dungeon-crawls in the first place. I find them a little slow-paced and sloggy. (To be fair, that opinion is colored heavily by Descent.) These ones fix most of my problems. The trade off might be that they lose a little texture and detail, but I can live with that.
I don't play them as often as I'd like, but this past Thanksgiving I got to play like three games in two days with my sister and her husband. We had a terrific time. I think my sons will like them too, because they are easily my four-year-old's favorite games.
I like DM crawls just a little bit better than the D&DAS and other DM-less games because the overlord can be unpredictable. I also tend to like one-vs-all games just a little bit more than straight cooperative games for the same reason. Games like Doom, Level 7 Omega Protocol, Letters from Whitechapel, Nuns on the Run, etc let you play against someone who is (hopefully) intelligent and unpredictable.
Back to D&DAS games; they and Mice & Mystics are among the best DM-less crawls available right now. If the D&DAS games are lacking anything it's a storyline campaign that has some fiction to back up the scenarios. Claustrophobia, Earth Reborn, L7 Omega Protocol, and Mice & Mystics all provide just enough storyline material to keep me engaged. Even Arkham Horror has enough fluff on the cards to provide some semblance of motivation for your character's actions. D&DAS lacks that. I bet the D&DAS games really shine if you have the type of player who DMs RPGs to provide some backstory for the scenarios and narrative for the game play. Mad Dog makes a good point of how knowing the backstory for Legend of Drizzt makes the game more engaging. I feel the same way about the LoTR coop. The LoTR game provides almost zero narrative other than the names and artwork, but since I know the source material I'm able to really get into it.
Dungeon crawls tend to have some of the same problems as race games...too slow, too much counting, and too long.
I think Claustrophobia is pretty much the gold standard for the genre, to be honest. Dungeonquest is up there too, but it's far more capricious. These games give a full sense of a D&D game with plenty of fighting, loot and a threadbare story to give you a reason to be there. That's enough for me.