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One Deck Dungeon – Hands on at PAX Unplugged!

Ever wanted to do a little dungeon crawling, but didn’t have a full group around? Maybe, you didn’t feel like dragging out all the books, and rules that make most of our fantasy RPGs work. Not to worry as One Deck Dungeon has you covered. This past PAX Unplugged a few of us Red Shirts had a chance to sit down and play One Deck Dungeon hands on and it did not disappoint.

The game begins with the simple premise of entering a dungeon with the intent of exploring it for adventure and treasure. The “Deck” functions as the dungeon with all the encounters and dangers hidden within the cards. The Deck also functions as the “Timer” each action in One Deck Dungeon takes time represented by cards from the deck discarded away. When the pile is empty you descend a floor and the challenge gets a bit tougher until you reach the final boss…or die.

The game comes with the requisite fantasy classes to represent your character. During our playthrough, the mage and rogue were available, though you can be a warrior and paladin as well as others. Your characters stats are represented in the form of colored dice available to you to perform actions. For the rogue, you had the advantage of having plenty of the pink agility dice and a handful of blue magic dice, but almost no yellow combat dice.

These dice are what let you defeat monsters or bypass dungeon challenges. For instance, a particular challenge card may require you to make so many yellow die rolls to bash your way through it, or perhaps include the ability to magic it away by using the blue magic dice. It will be up to you and your adventuring party to decide how best to approach encounters.

You will also pick up gear, and skills by defeating monsters that can add to your base dice pools and provides a nice form of progression as you work your way through the dungeon. However, the loot is also your experience points that you will use to level. It adds another nice choice to the proceedings as you will decide if you need that XP or if that +2 agility dice is what you’re really after.

We were unable to defeat the dragon during our playthrough as some of our choices kept us low on our combat dice throughout our dungeon run. All in all, though, it was a blast to play. The conversations between encounters matched what you would expect from a full-fledged RPG, as gear was dolled out and even what door to open next was debated.

You can check out the game your self over on the One Deck Dungeon website. The game is also making the transition to digital formats through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The folks over at Handelabra Games are handling the transition from a physical card game to something worthy of Steam, much like they did with the Sentinels of the Multiverse a game which we previously covered here.

Whether you’re looking for a tabletop experience or holding out for the digital release, One Deck Dungeon will not disappoint fans of good dungeon crawling fun. From the classes to the items, and monsters fans of the genre will be right at home, while the simple, but interesting ruleset will keep the dice rolling and the action moving forward…or downward!

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