Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dungeon Twister 2: Meet the Dungeon Crawlers

One thing I greatly admire about Dungeon Twister 2 is the choice of characters. It is evident that Chistophe Boelinger, the designer for the game, spent a great deal of time thinking about classes and abilities. The 8 players on your "team" go, for the most part, beyond the typical D&D party fodder you are used to seeing in these scenarios.

More like the Dirty Dozen, each character comes from radically divergent backgrounds…and finds themselves working as a team solely because that is the only path to survival.

Here are the players in our game:

Loves to dish out the punches!

1) The Colossus - This giant-sized character is the beefiest fighter in the bunch, with a combat score of 5. He is also the absolute slowest, with a movement of only 2. That means he can only move 2 squares per action point, and ensures if he begins the game on the starting line, he is almost certainly not going to get out of the arena before the end of the game.

The Colossus also has the very useful power of being able to bust through locked portcullises, hereafter referred to as GATES. This is great because often you want to start the Colossus in the middle of the board somewhere. And the gate breaking ability prevents your opponent from locking him up in a cell or something, depending on the layout of the room. Unfortunately, he can still find himself placed in a corner surrounded by pits. As Wesley Snipes is fond of saying: Colossuses can't jump…they still have the same vulnerabilities as most other characters regarding pits.

2) The Cleric - This is the dungeon-explorer's classic healer with a little fighting ability on the side. Combat value is 2, with a pretty decent movement of 4 as well. Clerics can fight, and they can also act similar to the doctor in Team Fortress. Run a guy down a corridor with the Cleric right behind, and he can heal you up right after you get knocked down. Unless you run into overwhelming odds, a character teamed up with the Cleric is pretty tough to kill. Seems to be good in conjunction with the Telepath.

3) The Telepath - On paper, the worst character in the game by far. Combat value is 0. Movement is 3. His "telepathic" power means he can command the opposing character in any hand to hand combat to play the combat card of his choice (not zero). This ability leads to 2 different tactics. He can sacrifice himself to pull a 6 out of someone's hand. Or he can automatically win a fight (this is hampered, of course, by his incredibly horrible combat value). Check out Wayne Reynold's awesome Telepath art on the right.

4) The Wizard - The classic wizard of any dungeon crawler. Combat Value of 1. Movement of 4. What I can never seem to remember during the game is the wizard posesses the power of levitation. He goes right over the top of pits! Unfortunately you have to remember that during the game. Maybe if the miniature was riding a flying carpet, things would be easier. He also knows how to operate the super-awesome Fireball Wand. If he can get this artifact into his hot little hands, the Wizard can use the Fireball Wand to obliterate (doesn't even leave a body!) another character in his line of sight. So much fun.

5) The Naga - My favorite! The Naga is the master of mobility. He has a Movement of 6. And a Combat Value of 2. He can slither right through arrow slits. In fact they should probably reverse things and call the arrow slits "snake holes" because I was doing a lot more slithering than I was ever doing arrow shooting. The Naga, at least in my games, has a tendency to become separated from the pack because of his superior scouting abilities…he is your go-to man to discover the contents of each tile so you'll then know how to move the rest of your guys. Luckily he is an expert at getting out of sticky situations.

Ready to run…err…slither like heck!

6) The Backstabber - The Backstabber has lock-picking powers like any thief, but can also gain a bonus to combat if attacking someone from the rear who is already engaged in combat. In my first impressions, this is kinda tricky to pull off, what with the maze-like corridors and all. Usually there is a pit in the way at least, so the Rope can be helpful. Like the Colossus, you want the Backstabber up somewhere she can help other characters escape from cell predicaments and provide backup against rushes.

7) The Mechanork - Somehow a Mekboy from the world of Warhammer 40K has teleported into Dungeon Twister. He has a combat value of 2 and a movement of 3 on account of his arthritic knees. But he does know how to make the rooms twist the OPPOSITE way they are intended to go. This is much more useful than it first appears!

8) The Banshee - The most "terrifying" of characters. The Banshee has a combat value of 1. And a movement of 4. Somehow, the undead can move faster than the Mechanork…and judging from the model this guy has been decaying for a while! He can scream very loudly at someone for 2 action points. His target then become annoyed/disgusted and subsequently moves 1 space in the opposite direction from him. It CAN push characters into pits…which turns an otherwise lame ability into total awesomeness! I wonder how repulsive a scream has to be to force someone to jump into a pit full of grinding gears?

Of these operators, the cleric, wizard and mekanork are the only ones carried over from the original game. All others are new and original creations, modified in various ways from the original game's crew.

Goblin: This is obviously the character that would eventually become the Telepath. They are both weedy, cowardly individuals. The Goblin's only ability was passive…if he made it out of the Dungeon he was worth 2 VP instead of 1. The Telepath on the other hand has his weird combat ability to help do something during the actual game.

Thief: The original Thief could both pick locks and temporarily disarm pit traps. The new Backstabber is a similar rogue, but can only pick locks. She does gain a very useful combat advantage.

the Wall-Walker from the original rulebook

Wall-Walker: Dungeon Twister 1 had a strange fellow called the "Wall-Walker". Not a wizard, he instead had an innate ability to walk through walls and appear out the other side. Strangely enough, he could not walk through gates. The Naga carries the same sort of maneuverability on a more limited scope, thanks to the invention of arrow slits (snake holes), and even gets a bonus on movement.

Troll/Warrior: The Colossus. The Colossus has a big combat score like the troll, with the gate-busting ability of the Warrior.

Banshee: completely original, as far as I can tell. No other creature even in the previous Dungeon Twister expansions could scream quite like that. Very few abilities cost the astounding price…2 AP…that this ability does so from the designer's standpoint it must be pretty powerful.

Next post I will jump into some of the mechanics of the game.

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