Got Myself Some DS

Righty-ho. Stumped over to Mantic and back in the rain with a big box of stuff. Tomorrow I’ll start trying to make sense of where any problems lie and what (if anything) I can do about fixing any of them. While I’m at it, I’ll mix in some of the designer’s notes stuff I’ve never found time to finish, so that will hopefully make things more interesting 🙂

Just to be clear, I’m going to focus on rules. While I can and will pass on comments about physical quality and layout, I’ve not had anything to do with that side of things so I don’t always know why things ended up the way they did – good or bad. That’s all feedback that Mantic needs to hear about so they can fix things (if possible) and improve next time.

So, stay tuned for updates 🙂

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57 Responses to Got Myself Some DS

  1. Pikaraph says:

    Did you get one-of-each ?

  2. Thanks all we can ask (and probably more)

  3. eriochrome says:

    I think to get this book up to the expectations from the kickstarter it might need the Epic Armageddon treatment of a book, then a bunch errata/clarity which is later formed into a single digital compendium. Unfortunate that my hardbound is not what I expected but getting it right in some form is better. And now you do actually have an army of play testers like the BB rules committee used to tune the team balance. I would love the Dungeon Saga rules to reach the comprehensiveness and clarity of LRB 6 some day but that is probably impossible while updates are being sold. I cannot think of a single time I had a BB rule problem where rereading the rule in question and the 1 page FAQ did not explicitly answer it. Such a result was never possible with 40k since new stuff was always coming out.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Quite so. Though the LRB 6 was, of course, the 6th edition of that, and the LRB itself only appeared after several published editions. And even the LRB 6 had errata. Getting things to be clear for everyone is an extremely tricky and time-consuming undertaking.

      • eriochrome says:

        It certainly did. As the proud owner of 2nd edition, a later edition and a collection of copies of digital books it took a while. I think Tom said that they only thing left that really held back the rule clarity was that the block action and process of throwing the block (rolling the dice and determining the result) had the same name.

        While I have been critical I am certainly not holding anyone to that level at this point. But not getting the rulebook back to the writer after layout for a quick check which I think would have caught some of this stuff is not a high standard. Expecting them to actually check a pre production proof or final layout proof is not a high standard. Given that the digital version they sent to use still contained trial to find errors and missed [ ] replace me sections is again not to high of standard.

        I do not think I ever said this book is unacceptable because the person who wrote the character example is incorrect in saying the druid does not have access to any other schools than the druid one (when he does have access to petty magic) instead of saying all his 3 starter spells must be drawn from the druid school. For the process being discussed, it is not important even if incorrect.

  4. Willem-Jan (Hephesto) says:

    On the whole I’m rather happy with the big box of goodies I got this past week. Good quality minis, sturdy, colorful tiles, well laid out rules and books for the core game and expansions. And as a backer I’m very happy with the resin legendary models, something hopefully other fans will be able to pick up later down the line through the Mantic Points system. That witch model, especially given all the magical options a Wizard career can led to, is an absolutely fantastic model.

    The Adventurer’s Companion is a bit of a letdown for me though. Not for what’s in there, but more for what seems to be missing, has been put into the rather cool, but separate, Journal and the printing / proofreading errors that seem to suggest either the wrong version went to the printers or the printer used an older file and there was nobody on hand to check it before getting packaged into the convenient cartons.

    Now typos virtually always sneak in, heck even found a single one in the expansions thus far, and I simply can’t believe Mantic would let this many issues slip by normally. So something must have gone wrong with the pre-production proofs, though the pdf version passed around publicly through Kickstarter still had issues. So this thing just seems to have been rushed when it comes to the production side, there’s even a graphical issue on the cover print with a mirror re-used asset for Ba’el’s sake 😉

    Which is quite a shame as I’m certain the backers would have gladly waited an extra month or two, while complaining about if of course, for a proper product (it’s going to take most of us months to paint and get through the core content anyway). This is something that really needs to be fixed for the general production run (and preferably for the backers as well) and could even be done by using that huge pool of people out there more than willing to proofread.

    That said, certainly hope this hasn’t come across too much as nagging, there’s a huge bundle of goodness and fun here that a lot of gamers and kids of all ages are going to have a blast with this game!

  5. Really happy you do this Jake. You should head over to:
    and read through the forums there. There is especially confusion about how creating spell-casters are supposed to work, regarding Petty Magic. Would be nice to get that cleared up. 😉

  6. Note I only have the pdf so don’t know if these are new errors or not, but alley has shooting long range in the companion (the cards look correct with short)

    While on the subject of character creation I assume the named characters don’t follow normal rules as starting stats for the paladin don’t work (seems shorted an armour) also why would some one the “blessed aura” over “blessing?”

    Is the five dice limit still the intent as erochrome successfully made a salamander starting with 6 combat dice (barbarian salamander) which could soon go to 7 at level 4 without magic items.

    When doing uncharted dungeons is it really 2 overlord cards Per dungeon card, that would give the heroes 6 turns dor a standard sized layout, 2 turns for a two cars layout.

    When playing against invisible overlord how do you track time? Count the normal number of overlord cards -3 for the number of turns? As I assume you must reshuffle the io cards as you go through them quick checking for interrupts.

  7. Rasmus says:

    Hey Jake, love the game so fare, nice simple rules and still alot of tactic is needed

    I do however have a few questions 😉
    1. in the base game mission 1, there is a chest only Danor can open it, in side it there is a armour only useable by elf, can danor pass it on to Madriga, since it is an amrmour and not a paraphernalia, further more, if the heroes do open the chest can Madriga start mission 2 with it, assuming we play a campain??

    2. when making a hero using the rules in AC what level do a starting hero has lvl 1 or 0??

    3. can you make rules so we can turn some of the normal minnions in to bosses, would really like a Vampire boss

    • Pikaraph says:

      Good idea about minions to bosses !

      • eriochrome says:

        Since as far as I can tell their is no even suggested formula for match bosses to heroes so having this type of thing is almost not required. It is all just do what feels right in the Random and Design your own sections. Probably just start by comparing the minion to the closest race+class analog (in terms of size and toughness) to compare the starting stats. Add a point or so if it does not feel right but not many. Copy down your race abilities and give yourself the 5 wounds. Then just work down the tree.

        For a Vampire Dervish I would compare vs a Human and get:

        Human Dervish M 8 CD 3 A 3 Wound to Injury 3 Frenzy (2)

        Vampire M 7 CD 5 A 2 Spellcaster (Spell: Transfix), Swoop

        Vampire Dervish M6 CD 5 A 3 Wounds 5m Tranfix, Swoop, Frenzy (2)

        That seems like a pretty tough guy and I have not given him any levels. Making the characters is easily calculating the Threat and know what to do with that is the issue. Since I really do not know what to do with the threats lists I have as the random dungeon uses threat numbers from 3 to 15 to populate regardless of hero levels it seems not so useful to spend time on the issue at this point.

        • eriochrome says:

          Vamp Dervish Move should be 8.

        • eriochrome says:

          Speaking of boss templates the or one seems bad asyou pay 2 move for 1 heart which does nothing since bosses usually are not injurable.

        • Tyr says:

          What dyou mean, not injurable? Of course they are. Unless they dont have red hearts, ofc, like Grund. 😛

        • eriochrome says:

          From AC page 24

          Heroes and Bosses only suffer 1
          wound per attack, regardless of
          how many times they are Hit.

          Unless otherwise specified, non-
          Hero models are never Injured.

          Bosses and Heroes are clearly individually addressed in the rules so Bosses (since they are not heroes) are never injured useless we are specifically told they are injurable which if they tell use on the card the same why heros they would let us know. You can claim that the little heart things imply they are injurable but as presented it could just be for if you were planning a party of evil heroes going through a good dungeon since we have profiles for humans, dwarf, and elf minions.

          If a bunch of the bosses from the expansions can be injured I do not know slow boat issue here.

        • eriochrome says:

          As has been noted the template to villian rules are a little sparse. If you play them just like they are heroes it is very rare to get one that cannot be injuried(if not impossible as far as I can tell since I do not see a +1 Heart on any advancement lines) so it seemed like you would not make what is actually the rare exception the basic rule.

  8. seb says:

    yeah there is not enough profile for bosses !
    also more monsters ! (there is a Manitcore in the Dungeon Journal).

  9. seb says:

    @eriochrome : you’re wrong, bosses are heroes.They can be injuried.

    • eriochrome says:

      I am just using the wording of the damage section on page 24 as written. It talks about them both distinctively as Heroes and Bosses. If every time you said hero is meant bosses then you would not say it that way. It then specifically says Non-Heroes cannot be injured. The game has the following things that can have wounds, Minions, Heroes, and Bosses. If they meant minions they should use the term minions. If their is an NPC or something I would expect specific rules for him since I need to know it he counts as a hero for number of wounds he can take from a single attack. He is again an exception and not what I write the general rules in mind for.

      • mastertugunegb says:

        If you use them as Bosses, then they ignore injured state. If you use them as Heroes rather than Bosses then they would count the Injuries rules.

        There should be options for those playing evil gits as Heroes. Some of the Bestiary entry Bosses have Racial Feat options that are dependent upon their being Bosses rather than Heroes, such as the Orc Boss Feat affecting Orc Minions, which, unless the Orc Hero gets some “hench-Orcs” becomes a bit useless.

        • Pikaraph says:

          It would be great to be able to have evil heroes be able to fight against Mortibris or the dragon for example.

        • mastertugunegb says:

          That’s probably the easiest to do. If you go evil Heroes on Good Overlord, you need to whip up 9 Good Overlord Cards and maybe make some Good Overlord Bosses… or maybe use the Heroes of Dolgarth as Bosses…

          That could be interesting. Facing Orlaf or one of the others as a Boss, then maybe Valandor as the Overlord.

        • eriochrome says:

          Evil heroes work just fine as is. Just use the boss template as your race template. Only one that is a real big issue is the Ogre as he might not be able to get down the halls but he gets a +1 CD which as the Salamander Barbarian is currently testing out as near game breaking. Most of the racial feats work fine and those are choices so if it is not a workable thing take a different one. There are not a ton of feats but one or two good for any specific character at this point. The goblin and abyssal dwarf feats look very interesting in the you often win the game by getting places and not killing people.

        • eriochrome says:

          I am not sure what good overlord cards would be but as I do not have anything other than the AC and some resin piles of bones and dead rising minis, I do not know what orc, abyssal, or dragon overlord deck would be like. I think good overlord might have more interrupts but other than that be pretty standard.

  10. eriochrome says:

    I honestly do not want to be too hard on Jake as we have and will probably never know how the organization and development of this project went through. The AC promised to backers by Mantic was an extreme ambitious project. Far harder than anything else that needed to be done since the core rules have stayed pretty constant since the beginning. Jake appears to have done a nice job on a number of fronts including lots spells, cards, traps, locations and other things. I would have liked to see a few more learnable abilities and feats but that is actually what expansions are for.

    Unfortanutely the way the project appears to have ended is with Mantic delivering to backers who put over 200 dollars into their project what can be at best generously described as a Hardbound Collector’s set of Beta Rules. A lot of care seems to have gone into balancing missions which is great but a slightly unbalanced mission is easier to fix with an errata handing out an extra healing potion or changing a monster on the map as if it was a misprint than having to rewrite whole sections of the AC which if it had been shown to anyone outside their limited circle would have spotted these problems in days and perhaps advised them how to get a head of them even if there was not time for a significant rewrite.

    Many of these are not deep problems but stuff that shows up almost immediately to pretty much anyone reading the sections. They sold all these expansions sold and lost sight of the first really new thing they promised. There were plenty of people out there who would have signed NDAs for a chance to look at this book early and give comments without even any monetary compenstation so it cannot be about money at that end. The only thing that makes since is they ran out of time and had to do 1 shipment and it had to be early enough to get retail to stores before christmas so they decided what they had was good enough. I think pretty much ever backer who has looked at the AC in depth will disagree. Mantic started as a company that made cheap miniatures for GW players, they appeared to be trying to become a real game company with this and stretch out to people outside old GW people and into broader audience. Well a lot of that broader audience feels burned and they will be telling their friends. Penny Wise Pound Dumb.

    • Rasmus says:

      I agree, that the AC is a bit annoying to read (see page xxx) but it is not unuseable, and it is not THE game, I am telling all my freinds how great of a game this is, I do mention the AC stuff, because it is big egnough that I feel it need saying, but I dont feel it actualy subtracts from the game

      • eriochrome says:

        How important you feel the AC is very dependent on the backer. I personally have tons of minis and lots of tiles of different types. I was mainly in it for the rules as I did not have a ruleset that I could put those items to really good use without more work on my part than I wanted to put in for a dungeon crawl kind of thing.

  11. Nakano says:

    Once all fixes are done (BGG list is a good start reference), it would be nice to get, in addition to the updated pdf file, a full errata sheet. I already started writing reference page numbers to my hardback adventure companion.

  12. Hi Jake,
    thanks for the time of reading this.
    I’ve played some chapters of the Dwarf Kings Quest campaign and I am enjoying it as much as Dwarf Kings Hold 🙂

    My friends and some players on BGG were wondering what’s the point of Danor being injured so easily. He’s injured with just one wound, but we cannot figure out how this could effectively have any influence in the game, as:
    – as as mage, he’s likely to attack with spells, but magical attacks don’t get the -1 for being injured.
    – he’s stats are already at the minimum (2 combat dice, 1 armour), so he does not get -hank 1 when fighting or defending

    Thank you!

  13. Grim Tree says:

    I also wondered the same as the below point someone else made

    “1. in the base game mission 1, there is a chest only Danor can open it, in side it there is a armour only useable by elf, can danor pass it on to Madriga, since it is an amrmour and not a paraphernalia, further more, if the heroes do open the chest can Madriga start mission 2 with it, assuming we play a campain??”

    To expand on that, I’m not sure what the thinking was behind have a character pick something up he cant use like a weapon or armour, then not be able just to pass it to a friend in that adventure. If this was a mechanical decision it would be good if it could have been fixed a bit more thematically. Maybe when its picked up no one can use it till its identified after the adventure?

    Also I wondered what you did with the main campaign but using the AC campaign rules as is doesn’t explicitly mention it. I take it you ignore the hero setup for feats spells and equipment and just use what you picked up from the last adventure and whatever equipment and feats you have got up to that point?

    Lastly I have not tried the random dungeons as yet, but there doesn’t look to be able to scale them to the characters levels? Is there an easy fix by calculating the monster count on each card by the heros levels in some way?

    Thats it for now, thanks for a great game!

    • Nakano says:

      If missions are written that only a certain character can do something / certain type of character can use something, I wonder whether using custom characters is easy to do then.

      • eriochrome says:

        The character creation flavor text make it very clear that having someone with break ward is not optional. If you do not have a character with break ward, you will just get stuck and lose some of the published missions.

        I think having only the mage recover the armor for the elf is to make it part of the overall story you are telling without having it specifically affect the mission itself. It is cooler to find the armor in the dungeon and then get it in the next mission than just get it in the next mission. I do not think that combat is the time to put on armor anyway.

  14. raek says:

    hi Jake

    in Adventure “journey from the west” if Overlord give 2 command per turn… they can be used in two raise 2 piles of bones in a single turn?

    or the overlord uses the Raise Dead card spell?

    • raek says:

      Feat question….

      Earning a feat is a rare type of experience boost. The number of feats a Hero can know is based on their current level:
      Level 1-4: 1 feat
      Level 5-8: 2 feats
      Level 9-10: 3 feats

      Choosing Feats:
      “a Hero’s new feat can be freely chosen from either his racial feat or the general feats”

      Question; Hero’s don’t have feats at level 0?

    • eriochrome says:

      The cards are essentially extra actions but they are sort of random to add a little variability to the game. Since you can only play 1 per turn outside of interrupts if you do not have a better card that you specifically want to use and you have a raise dead card and that is what you are going to do with a command it is better to use the card and then use the command for something else (not on the model just raised as he counts as having been activated).

      Raise Dead 1 is probably one of the weakest of the Necromancer overlord cards so it is a good thing to just use if you have an undead that needs to be raised.

      • raek says:

        but… (from dungeon saga rulebook, not AC)

        “The player may give Commands to his followers, allowing to move and Act with several models and/or Raise SEVERAL piles of bones within a single turn.”

        “Several piles of bones” would indicate that you can use Raise dead more than once when using commands points?

        • eriochrome says:

          Raise dead is a command option, It is also a specific overlord card. You can raise dead the following ways assume you have say 2 commands, 1 raise dead card, and a 2 extra command card.

          1. Raise 2 piles of bones using your commands. 2 Total End
          2. Raise 1 pile of bones using you raise dead card, then another 2 with your commands. 3 Total End
          3. Raise 2 pile of bones with your extra command card, then another 2 with your commands. 4 Total End.

          Anyplace you use a command you could instead act with another model so with 3 you could raise 2 piles of bones then act with 2 other already existing skeletons or do it in the opposite order of acting than raising. Instead of raising any in case three you could also act with 4 existing models in case three which is not the case in 2 which at best you can act with 2 and raise one.

          I think in general the smart play for necromancers is to take first and raise last since you can adjust which models you raise based on the results of the actions. The only time I would even try it in the other order would be if I just had to raise a model in a front arc which triggers a free strike. If the model makes it up then acting with another model can give me an outnumbering bonus or if it fails I can try again on the pile of bones (if the raised skeleton was returned to a pile state) since I think I really need to get him up like he would block the path to the door for the turn I needed to win the game.

  15. Bobalot says:

    Hey Jake – this is totally unrelated but I have just finished skimming through the Adventurers Companion and have a suggestion for Adventurers Companion 2:The Advengening.

    I was hoping to make a Cleric that would later learn necromancy, or a necromancer who eventually got divine spells to make an Ophidian Priest but it doesn’t seem possible. I liked the idea of a support character who relied on minions to keep the bad guys off him while he kept everyone standing. So when Ronnie comes knocking about the next set of expansions just keep it in mind 😉

    On topic however both the core rulebook and adventurers companion are fantastic books, even with the layout faux pas I think this is easilly the best product Mantic have developed yet. Especially that core box!

    • eriochrome says:

      As written there is nothing to stop a Necromancer evil hero from learning the Divinity school but I do not think that is what you mean.

      • Bobalot says:

        Aha! Yes you are correct I had somehow gotten it into my head that a wizard of necromancy could only learn new new spell lores from the list wizards can originally pick from. Fantastic!

        • eriochrome says:

          If I had to guess, I would think that is intended to be that way. Being a Druid or Cleric is less cool if the Wizards can learn all your spells and so many more but it certainly is clear in the rules currently that they can learn those schools and then get spells from them during advancement.

      • Lony says:

        shouldnt be more fluff on mantica? Nice map? 😀

  16. Tony Barber says:

    Wow it seems you are distancing yourself from the game. Don’t do that. Fix it so it is a game you and we can be proud of. It is almost there.
    Best regards your conscience

  17. Hakon Blum says:

    not sure how the DS forum is organised, but i am now thinking maybe my post should be here and not where i first wrote it, so here it is:

    just got my expansion to dungeon saga today.
    unfortunately i couldn’t make my favourite heroes, while the options are amazing, i feel you left out some really popular profession choices.

    The martial artist (monk) –
    who uses unarmed combat and no armour
    +2 move +2 attack +1 heart holy, spell caster, choose 1 from divinity, aeromancy, pyromancy, geomancy, hydromancy, 1 spell (rule idea: self defence, a martial artist may never have higher then armour 1, but adds 2 dice to his attack value when defending)

    The Warlock –
    a spell sword of sorts
    +1 attack, +2 heart, spell caster, summoner, 1 minor spell (blast, 2 attacks at range long, 2 dice 90 degrees or upgrade to 3 dice for 180 degrees, each attack may target a different target) 1 major spell from petty, sorcery or necromancy (evil only) – place 6 choose 1
    (Summoner – may summon an imp Move 5, Attack 2(short), defence 1, stealth, fire, wound (2))

    • Quirkworthy says:

      “Popular profession choices” in Warcraft, perhaps. Or D&D. But this is the fantasy world of Mantica, so things may (indeed, should) be different.

      I suspect we may see more professions added over time, though which they might be is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, coming up with your own new professions is an entertaining option, and I’d encourage you to do so and then share them with others so everyone can try them out. Adding little touches like this is all part of making the game your own 🙂

      • Hakon Blum says:

        yeah i see your point about wanting to be seperate from those 2 fantasy settings, and i must admit i do play both games you mention, but my personal opinion is the idea of “unarmed combat” and the idea of “selling ones soul” for power transcends a fantasy setting. so i do hope you will consider them in a future release.

        As for making my own rules up i think i will do that, i’ve had a think about the “self defence” rule and decided to change it from +2 dice when defending to +1 dice when defending for the martial artist and -1 dice to the attacker, this will come help avoid those 2 dice minimum and 6 dice maximum being reach often.

        Other profession of interest to me for you, and others out their to have ideas for rules about are:
        a beast tamer
        a swashbuckler
        an assassin
        an opposite of the paladin who uses necromancy instead.
        and some type of engineer who combines mechanical and arcane to use gadgets to fight.
        (if bard can have its own singing card why not mech magic cards)
        and finally a tactician/general who can manipulate his allies and lure his foes into making mistakes using tactical moves similar to what is found in deadzone.

        One other thing i would really like to see in an expansion is the “evil races”

        • eriochrome says:

          You could just give them the stalwart rule as opposed to bonus dice. It is already there.
          I know someone did a dwarf engineer class with gear cards. I would check board game geek variants for it.

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