DKH Mini-Update

As most of you will know already, the next Mantic Kickstarter starts soon and is the latest in the Dwarf King’s Hold series – or is it? After considerable debate and many, many suggestions, we’ve decided to change the series name for this and future products. Despite Ronnie’s abiding love of all things Dwarf, it’s just possible that a future product might not be set in a Dwarf Hold. So, we’ve decided to call the series Dungeon Sagas instead.

Like previous games each box/book/whatever will have an individual title as well. In the case of the first of the Dungeon Sagas, it will be The Dwarf King’s Quest, so it ties in nicely with what went before. Plus, the main Bad Guy¹ is Mortibris again, who regular readers will remember from the very first DKH game. Yes, he’s back.

I took the current version along to Mantic HQ on friday and we had a five player co-op game. All told, it worked very well (even if I do say so myself). Clearly there are still some rules to iron out, details to add, and balance to refine, but the broad strokes are there. It was nice to see the various players debating tactics and actually co-operating, even to the point of the Elf saving the Dwarf’s bacon at one point². Honour was restored though, because although the Heroes lost the game in the end it was the Elf getting badly hurt that caused it, so the Dwarf could lay the blame squarely on him. At least, that’s how the Dwarf’s going to tell the tale while the Elf heals up…

If you’re interested in knowing more, Mantic have just started their teaser campaign.





1: Of course, Mortibris wouldn’t see it like that.

2: Ronnie (who naturally played the Dwarf) may remember this slightly differently.

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22 Responses to DKH Mini-Update

  1. Ronnie says:

    Dwarf – saved by an Elf – where is the honour in that!!

  2. TGM says:

    No complaints from me. It means Mantic is planning products and support beyond a stand alone release. Hopefully the game will sell well and support will continue for many years to come. I always found it befuddling and annoying when GW dropped almost all product support for Warhammer Quest just a year after release.

  3. crimsonsun says:

    Welcome back Jake, good to see you posting once again 😀

    I must say I am very excited by the whole prospect of a Dungeon romp done well, more though I am interested in the book of depredation and what it includes, as well as if it will be filling out the more unusual dungeon critters in terms of Models. In fact I am surprised that Mantic have not run a series of entries for the Best Dungeon Monsters (Not Trade Marked – though their are ways around that for example Age of Wonders calls Beholders; Watchers instead) with a little bit of fluff and if needed a description with the winners being included in said book. For me its the Slimes, Spiders, Centipedes, Sewage Monsters, or even the Fairies etc that really make a dungeon memorable, especially the ones that have really unusual immunities, and rules for taking damage as no adventurer worth their sort wants a epitaph saying bravely died of dysentery after heroically fighting the sewage monster in the bowels of the Necromancers Crypt (Pun Intended).

    That’s not too mention that I am really keen to try/see what you create in terms of a fully competitive dungeon romp where I get to do my damn best to Kill my RPG group in a fully balanced enviroment, I am especially keen to see how this handles Campaigns do I get to level my monster Bosses if I win dungeons? get access to new Traps? Monster Types? tricks and Powers? Can I get more under bosses? or buy some monster groups equipment? maybe I can forge my Bosses or Overlord Nercomancer some ritual blood forged weapons? or I find ancient artefacts in ruins? Can I forge allegiances with other intelligent Evil/Neutral forces to utilise there troops, equipment and perhaps a under boss?

    As far as I see it I have seen/played Dungeon romps for 24 years now but I have never seen this aspect explored properly, its either the old style where the DM is supposed to guide the players though the story but they are not really supposed to be trying to win just forge a Narrative, or the modern style which is everywhere you look at moment of a fully Coop system, both of which I feel are better served by a RPG (though they are more time constrained) in terms of enjoyment all round.

    I am really hoping for a fully flexible system that is inclusive for both the Heroes and Villains during the Dungeon as well as in the Post game sequence, so both sides are building and developing their options for the coming conflicts. So maybe for example, at the start of a campaign the bad guy can select his Evil Character Type and associated Sub Bosses 2-3, then have some basic rules where he can spend some kind of resource system to select maybe a few tweaks in traps or Monsters. At the start they will be able to access some very generic monster types (Rats, Spiders, slimes, animals etc along with low level monster associated with its class) and very basic traps or hazards that can be used against the Heroes, to which using resources gathered by foiling adventurers in Dungeons causing mayhem and generally being evil they can expand upon these, or maybe call in an allegiance of a different Class type Sub Boss at increase cost (limited in number) to add more variation. So using the main games bad guy as an example of what I mean, the Evil player selects a Necromancer to be the Evil Overlord, then the player can initially select where they wish to spend their evil allowance, which is spent firstly on 2 Boss Monsters: Thus shuffle forth a Ogre Zombie Shaman and a Wight Lord, the player is then able to spend some remaining points to access a more deadly pit trap, a basic Warding rune for a lock and a couple of monster upgrades allowing the player the ability to utilise a couple of Necromancer level 2 base creatures and a single level 2 standard dungeon creature.

    Now how to get the these traits into a dungeon in a fair way while maintaining the Evil players ability to make solid strategic choices, set up traps and real threats to the party, without it being one sided either way I do not know. Perhaps depending on the quest undertaken the Evil player has access to some specific Dungeon tiles that provide a choice of set up options, as well as being optionally able to utilise/include a Sub Boss monster who will provide additional strategic modifications to the dungeon based upon Skills chosen, in addition to their combat prowess though at the risk of losing a powerful commander and access to their abilities if things go the Heroes way.

    Now obviously that’s just what I could think of while typing this but too me, to suggestion that something like this may be on the cards has really got my attention.. I can only hope and dream though….

    Thanks for Reading

    PS – If you had not thought about this style or if you had and wanted to bounce some idea’s around I would be more than happy to offer my thoughts/assistance. I feel it is a very difficult challenge in terms of mechanics, that will be sitting on a knife edge in terms of balance and not only that but you have to write the whole thing from a Coop prospective as well! ( I do not Coop well either).

    PPS – Oh the Evil player blatantly requires some kind of ability to temp good heroes into Darkness, such temptation should come with very serious power gains but at a immense risk to itself. (One thing I’ve always loved about WFRP 1st, 2nd and 3ed is how the games handle this, player can gain almost god like power but they will always meet a truely horrific end at there own hands before the campaigns end!).

    • Quirkworthy says:

      What you’re describing is mostly things I’ll be trying to fit in the advanced game. It’s in there that I’m allowed to do all the crazy stuff 🙂

      Whether all of what you suggest is possible or even desirable in a board game is probably best tested out on the table. I suspect that you may be right that a number of aspects are really better served by RPGs. Doesn’t hurt to experiment though…

      • crimsonsun says:

        Thanks for the reply 😀
        I was fully understanding that almost everything I am talking about will be in the advanced book of misdeeds, I imagine the core game will have only a marginal more detailed system than that of something like hero quest, form what Ronnie described it seems like there will be a larger degree of fixed advances than the obvious blast from the past but otherwise the basic structure sounded very much like that. (Which is a good thing IMO – I am only gaming today because of Heroquest..)

        I am imagining something along the lines of the Warhammer Quest advanced book for the add on I was/am just hoping for more tools to make both the Heroes and the Villains roles a progressive competitive system rather than the guided style of old, with the previous post being more a brain storm of ideas than anything else.

        Thanks for the reply
        REALLY looking forward to this…. Crimsonsun

        • PikaRapH says:

          I am only gaming today because of Heroquest = +1000
          REALLY looking forward to this = +1000 😀

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The main difference (other than depth and complexity) between the basic and advanced versions of Dungeon Sagas are to do with the level of choice. In the basic game the scenarios tell you exactly what you have, what the dungeon is like and what you need to do to win. There is no choice. This allows it to be picked up and played with the minimum of fuss and confusion. Also, the scenarios can be more rigorously tested and well-balanced. This suits some people and some situations. It is intended to be the most broadly appealing of approaches.

          But some folk want more.

          The Advanced game is a sandpit to play in with a toolkit of options. Almost everything is mutable. At least, that’s what I want to do. Like all Kickstarters, we start with the core of what we must have to make the game work at all, and then add to that if we get the funds. Fingers crossed 🙂

        • PikaRapH says:

          Count me in !

  4. mario martinez says:

    How much longer until we see the redo of Grim Cargo: Project Pandora?

    • mastertugunegb says:

      I’d probably want to see what the next run of Warpath plastics and resin figures will look like before a new version of Project Pandora… Unless -following the current Mantic trend- they get their own all-new models (compatible with regular Warpath and or Deadzone naturally).

      • PikaRapH says:

        Mantic should do Veer-Myn faction for Deadzone and then adapt it for Pandora v2, there are too few different units ins Pandora : no shotgun or flamer for Corp for example, a Deadzone faction would add this.

        • mastertugunegb says:

          That’s the funny thing though, there IS a flamer in Project Pandora, along with a Fusion Gun and a Thermal Rifle (the Corporation weapon sprue that comes with the Corporation Marines figures). Just no official PP:GC stats for them.

          It is a shame that the Veer-myn Chem-thrower doesn’t necessarily work like a saturation weapon in the game, but it’s not like Veer-myn need it to, rules as written, they have so much going for them with their ability to work in Dark Tiles and Toxic Tiles without penalty, not to mention their Rush and general compentency in melee.

          Just a shame they didn’t get released with actual stats at the time of release.

        • PikaRapH says:

          Yes, those three weapons to use in the 6th scenario… they should have been made available (remeber Alien and the flamer in those narrow corridors), I hope to see something coming next for this game !

        • Mario says:

          I highly agree! If this does get a make-over I would like to see Veer-myn models akin to Dreadball’s and stat cards for Deadzone in Grim Cargo!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The simple answer is that I don’t know when PP will be revisited. It’s one of the things I need to ask Ronnie when I next sit down with him to talk about future projects rather than imminent Kickstarters 🙂

      • Mario says:

        Please persuade him for this to be the next Kickstarter! Space Hulk as we all know is back in hibernation, Incursion is going to get a very very small release. We need a good “Aliens” style game set in the fantastic Warpath Universe.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Unless plans have changed, I think Mantic are going to revisit the tabletop Warpath game as their next big Kickstarter. PP isn’t forgotten though. All in good time 🙂

  5. Pingback: Meet The Mighty Heroes Of Mantic’s Dungeon Sagas

  6. C says:

    I saw the Beasts of War interview with Ronnie about DKH/DS. RR says the scenarios teach you the game as you play (good), but *please* include with each scenario suggested “power levels” for the characters, for groups who aren’t playing the scenarios in sequence. As the owner of a dungeoncrawl, I don’t want to play the same starting scenario over and over again, just because I’m playing with a different gaming group. The original HeroQuest didn’t give suggested “power levels” for characters, so some scenarios were too easy for some characters, and others were too hard for others. Thanks!

    • Rob Taylor says:

      that is why in the second book you will be able to create your own dungeons.

      • mastertugunegb says:

        Possibly with three different power level loadouts for having performed poorly, average and exceedingly well in the missions prior.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      My intention is to include a way of players putting their own heroes through the basic campaign, and allowing the Necro player to tinker with his defences too. I’ve not finished the base campaign yet though, so this is still just a series of scribbles in my notebooks.

      The idea of carrying effects/bonuses over from one scenario to the next is a possibility. However, the idea of the basic campaign is that each scenario is balanced and you can therefore go back and play one in the middle as a stand-alone game without having to worry about what happened before.

      In the end though, I’m all for variety and replayability, so I’ll squeeze in as many variations as I can get away with. No reason I can’t do both 🙂

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