Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dungeon Grind

 As gamers, we have all been faced with a playing session where one or more of the participants can not attend due to something unexpected.  It could happen for any number of reasons.  In some of these situations, there are other options that will allow the game to continue - DM can control the character, another player can control the character, the character could sit out for a session, or the remainder of the group could pull out a board game or something else.  Under any of these circumstances, game night can continue on.

There are also other times that an absence or two can have a tremendous impact on a game session so it would be best to just cancel.  Maybe the campaign is at an important crossroads?  Maybe several players have to cancel for the night?  Regardless of the reason, game night is officially cancelled and you are left with some new free time for recreation.  Sure, you could pull out a video game or a movie but that is not going to satisfy the itch.  You are really in the mood for some fantasy gaming, so what do you do in this situation?

My solution for this problem is a proposed game I call Dungeon Grind.  Admittedly, the experience will be different from playing a role playing game with a group of people and closer to something like a rogue-like game.  Although the experience will be limited in scope, it will still offer the basics of the role playing experience. 

The Concept Explained

The game rules will allow a single player to take a party of characters on an adventure through a dungeon, maze, etc.  Creating the party of adventurers is the first step in playing.  The player will have 4 slots in the party to fill with warriors, mages, priests, thieves, etc.  It is entirely up to the player how the party is made up.  Something similar to the characters produced in Searchers of the Unknown would be ideal; in fact, SoTU will serve as a great blueprint for many of the features of Dungeon Grind.  After the characters are created the party is ready for adventure. 

The player now sits down with dice, pencil, graph paper, party sheet, and rules to play the game.  The party always starts at room one on level one of the dungeon.  Using charts and tables in the rules as a guide, the player will generate the rooms and corridors of the dungeon.  The rules will also help determine monsters, treasures, and stairs down.  As the game progresses, the map gets drawn out on the graph paper.  You can keep playing and keep going further down in the dungeon for as long as you are alive or until you get bored.  If you got tired of drawing the dungeon as you go, you could swap a dungeon with another player and play through theirs.  A site that shares all of these dungeons could also be set up; people could download and play them. 


I do not know if I would ever get around to doing anything with this but I might someday.  The idea just came into my head and I needed to get it out.  There is the basic idea. 


  1. Nice idea. This is something I have always done, typically using the random dungeon generator in the ADnD DM's guide. There are also many other tools available now to do this sort of thing.

    If you are interested in this sort of stuff you should check out Mythic, it is a sort of a system for play without a DM or solo. I have not got very far into it yet though, too much other stuff going on.

  2. Thanks! You know what's funny? I completely forgot about the random dungeon Yeah, it would be much easier to do this type of thing now because of the availability of the tools to help.

    I will check out Mythic.

  3. Let me know you think. Something else you might be interested in is play by blog. I just started playing in one of these this weekend. It's quite interesting so far and the DM is doing an awesome job.

    What I am liking is the ability to make a move every day or so. Not real time consuming but still scratching that itch. I told somebody else it could almost be like Words With Friends. You could be involved in multiple games at once.

    The site I'm playing on is called "The West Kingdom" and it's DM'd by Bard. I'd like to find a few more of these to play in but Bard may have me spoiled cause he's really good.

    I may try to follow up on this topic in the near future for my blog... Thanks for the idea.

    1. A follow up on this topic in your blog would be cool. Thanks for the info about the blog gaming. That may be my only hope of finding a game these days.

  4. A very good idea. I can see this coming in handy in several ways.

    1. That's what I was thinking. I don't know how often I would do it but I think it would be worth a shot.

  5. Replies
    1. Agreed. Please, let me know if you do give it a whirl.

  6. If ever a game night had to be cancelled I could never game alone. This disappointment of a cancelled game was too great and crushed my creative juices and any drive to game. So usually it was quality time spent with my wife (who was also part of the rp group), and look forward to the following week's session and chill.

    Good post :)