Super Dungeon: Explore 2nd Edition Designer Diary
Lead designer, Justin Gibbs, walks us through couple of the core changes between Super Dungeon: Forgotten King and Super Dungeon: Explore 2nd Edition.
Super Dungeon: Explore 2nd Edition Designer Diary
The Forgotten King version of Super Dungeon: Explore was an amazing game that immersed players in an imaginative world of monsters and mayhem while giving them a strategically satisfying experience. Updating such a stellar game to a new edition was a difficult task, but there were a few things that could be improved upon.
First, I want to talk about the aspects of Forgotten King that we kept when converting it to second edition. At its heart, Super Dungeon: Explore is still a game of dungeon diving, monster slaying, boss destroying fun. The dice are unchanged, so your Heroes and monsters are still looking to roll those hearts, stars, and potions. All of the original Hero and monster cards from Forgotten King are still perfectly usable in second edition, meaning you can still play the characters you love and enjoy. And the core of the game, advancing tiles and destroying spawning points until you have a final showdown with the boss, is still very much intact. It is still the game you know and love, it is just streamlined and cleaned up.
The Mighty Monster Chart
Forgotten King, while a great game, did have some issues. Its playtime could run long, and sometimes Heroes would stall on a tile rather than advancing through the dungeon and experiencing the full scope of the game. This was largely due to the fact that the game lacked a sense of urgency for the Heroes; there was no threat urging them onwards. Sometimes the Heroes could even feel punished for advancing their goals when a Mini-Boss spawned after they took out a spawning point. In order to give the Heroes a sense of urgency and speed up playtime, we made a few changes.
The most important change we made was the Mighty Monster Chart, an evolution of first edition's Adventure Tracker. The Mighty Monster Chart consists of a number of spaces that the Dungeon Boss moves along every turn. At the end of every Consul Turn, when a new space is reached, the Consul gets stronger. The space will list new monsters that spawn, bonuses that are gained, and even when a Mini-Boss or the Dungeon Boss itself comes into play. This means that, no matter what the Heroes do, the Consul is coming for them, and they had better gear up and get ready! The visual of the Dungeon Boss creeping along the chart is also an ominous view as the Heroes rush to gather treasure and take out those spawning points!
Monster and Hero Activations
We also streamlined the way that the Consul plays a bit. In Forgotten King, the Consul could only activate a set number of Skull Points worth of monsters. In second edition, the Consul may activate any 8-Bit or Super monsters in play without any restrictions. This makes things easier on the Consul while encouraging the Heroes to clear out what they can, because nothing will just sit around on the Consul Turn!
Of course, with all of the monsters in the dungeon potentially activating, Heroes needed a few more tools as well. In second edition, two Heroes activate every Hero turn (as opposed to one in Forgotten King). This both balances the other changes we made to the Consul, and makes the game play faster.
Heroes also start with a set number of Princess Coins. When a Hero is destroyed, the party must spend a Princess Coin to bring them back adjacent to the Start token OR any other Hero in play, allowing the party to continue advancing. If a Hero is destroyed and the party does not have a coin to revive them, the Consul wins. This is unlike Forgotten King, where Heroes were eliminated one by one, creating a situation where some of your friends may have to sit the game out. In second edition, the Heroes all win together or all lose together. Additionally, when a Hero is revived with a Princess Coin, they place it on their card and it grants them an armor bonus. This both prevents the Consul from targeting the same Hero over and over again, and gives second edition that video game feel when a character is revived blinking, resistant to damage for a time.
Super Dungeon: Explore Leveled Up!
Those are the most significant changes going from Forgotten King to second edition, but there are more that we are certain you will love. Changes such as the ever-present Dungeon Boss making a brief appearance when a Boss Sighting space is reached on the Mighty Monster Chart, triggering the Dungeon Boss’s Timeout effects for any Heroes who are lagging behind. Or the fact that the Heroes can find better treasure the farther they delve into the dungeon. If you were a fan of Forgotten King, check out Super Dungeon: Explore - Devil Island, which includes the complete 2nd Edition rules, because it took what you knew and loved and made it bigger, better, and faster!
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