# Back-tracking the Catacombs

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Hey gang!

I just bought the new revised edition of Dungeon Quest and love the hell out of it.  I'm actually playing it with my 4 1/2 year old and he loves it too.  The only downside - try explaining to him why he needs to leave the Treasure Room when he keeps drawing sleeping dragons.  LOL!

So I do have a question and a contribution.

First, the question: When entering the catacombs, do you place a catacomb token on the board where you come out?  Are you able to use the exit point to enter back into the catacombs and travel back to the original entrance?  I'm more curious than anything because I've already written a house rule that allows it. But I'd still like to know.

In my house rule, going back through the catacomb:

• The Player spends the number of turns / draws catacomb cards equal to the shortest number of tiles between the original entrance and the exit from which you are back-tracking. (This resolves the issue of having to remember the exact path originally taken)
• In this rule, to keep it consistent and simple, a straight vector (including diagonals) between original entrance and exit is the shortest path to use
• Upon emerging, the Player resolves the explored tile's rule
• If during that back-track, the player draws a "You may exit now" card, he or she may do so:
• Count the number of catacomb cards drawn thus far on the trip back. The "You may exit now" card just drawn inclusive.
• Move that number of tiles back on the shortest vector to the original entrance.  This is where the player will exit
• If unexplored, the Player:
• Draws a tile and resolves the tile rule
• Rotates the room how he or she wishes
• Places a catacomb entrance token on the tile
• If explored, the Player:
• Resolves the existing tile rule
• Places a catacomb entrance token on the tile

Now, the Player(s) has (have) the option of traveling (in the shortest vectors) through the catacombs between entrances and exist.  I look at this as kind of creating a network of exists and entrances under the dungeon.

Anyway, just wanted to share.  I'm also working on a better battle mechanic.  I absolutely love this game for it's elegant simplicity.  But to me, the battle mechanic is just way too rudimentary.  It doesn't really do the rest of the game justice.  I'm looking at how to integrate the unique attributes of each character in a balanced way and I already have an idea.  I'll post it once I've tested it.

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We don't, but I've often wondered about it. That's not in the rules.

If you fall off a bridge, you don't put a catcomb marker on that chamber, for instance.

I think the difference is: the catacombs marker is visible to all players and everyone can use it as an entrance.Besides, there are so many tiles with the catacomb entrance already printed.

Any other means of exiting/entering the catacombs is hidden and secret, from what I can tell.

I think that with even more opportunities to enter the catacombs, it would make survival  easier for those characters that can handle the subterranean levels.

Edited by zealot12

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Yeah, this rule only applies to utilizing catacombs that have already been "discovered" I guess.  The intent would not be to place a marker over a pit or wooden plank over a crevasse.  The difference being - if we can contribute to the mythos - a pit, or wooden plank over a crevasse is most likely not an intended way to get to the catacombs.  I see those pitfalls as structurally flawed hazards due to disrepair and neglect or built with the intent to destroy adventurers.  The catacombs is a structure that was designed to be descended into, out of and, logically, back into and out of again once a way out is discovered and recorded by the adventurer.  If the game designer is to suspend disbelief (thus keeping the player invested in the world they created), it only makes sense for the catacombs to be established as real when you discover them and then, thereby, they should be real when you travel back.

I have thought about the impact to the balance of the game as you mentioned and, honestly, in the few play-throughs I have enjoyed so far, the catacombs are just as deadly as the dungeon proper.  I have died 2x so far out of 5 play-throughs just in the catacombs.  And I have yet to exit the dungeon alive (I haven't even been pushing my luck).  Though my 4 1/2 year old has survived and won 2x!  Honestly, I think the game definitely has room for a bit of difficulty balancing in favor of giving adventurers a better chance.  I'm all for a difficult game.  But given the time it takes to set the game up, a 20% survival rate isn't really worth the effort to me at least.  In fact, we award a treasure card after defeating any monster battled via creature card.  Again, playing to the mythos... in what proper dungeon to monsters not carry treasure with them?!

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We have created houserules to make Dungeonquest  more of a risk management game, with no instant death effects, and a few other adjustments, and they work really well.

Thery're in a thread below yours.

Edited by zealot12

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I saw those!  I like 'em.  We'll give them a try too.  I'm not really into instant death either.  There is so much leading up to the game - the set up, the adventuring, etc. only to have one card say "Game Over" at no fault of the players' own with no recourse.

I still don't like the battling out of the box either.  Neither the cards nor the solo dice options.  We have come up with a mechanic that hearkens back to D&D.  Basically, we roll to test agility and use the character's strength as a factor in dealing damage.  I find it a lot more exciting and it makes players think more about which characters they want to choose.

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That sounds interesting.

What formula are you using to calculate damage?

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First, the question: When entering the catacombs, do you place a catacomb token on the board where you come out?

Yes. Unless you've run out of catacomb entrance tokens, in which case I believe you just come up and can't go back in. (Maybe the entrance collapsed behind you?)

Are you able to use the exit point to enter back into the catacombs and travel back to the original entrance?

You are able to re-enter the catacombs from the "exit" point, however, traveling through the catacombs would use the same rules as before. So, you could aim in the general direction of the previous "entry" point, but you may end up missing it by a few tiles on the way back.

Thematically, the catacombs are a maze of tunnels and it's easy to get turned around, even if you think you know where you're going.

None of this is intended to throw water on your house rules, of course. By all means, play the way you like it. I'm only answering the questions asked by RAW.

Edited by Steve-O

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First, the question: When entering the catacombs, do you place a catacomb token on the board where you come out?

Yes. Unless you've run out of catacomb entrance tokens, in which case I believe you just come up and can't go back in. (Maybe the entrance collapsed behind you?)

Are you able to use the exit point to enter back into the catacombs and travel back to the original entrance?

You are able to re-enter the catacombs from the "exit" point, however, traveling through the catacombs would use the same rules as before. So, you could aim in the general direction of the previous "entry" point, but you may end up missing it by a few tiles on the way back.

Steve-O, RAW for the Revised edition indicates: "Do not place a catacomb entrance marker on the chamber you exit into" (Rules Reference, p. 6).

I take this to mean that according to RAW, you cannot re-enter the catacombs from your exit point (unless there is a catacomb entrance marker printed on the tile, or if someone searches or a card reveals a catacomb entrance there)… but of course, if players are happy house ruling otherwise, more power to them.

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Steve-O, RAW for the Revised edition indicates: "Do not place a catacomb entrance marker on the chamber you exit into" (Rules Reference, p. 6).

I take this to mean that according to RAW, you cannot re-enter the catacombs from your exit point (unless there is a catacomb entrance marker printed on the tile, or if someone searches or a card reveals a catacomb entrance there)… but of course, if players are happy house ruling otherwise, more power to them.

Thanks for pointing that reference to the Rules Reference Guide out.  I'm very surprised I missed it! I was scouring for it.

Anyway, I've run this house rule a few more times and I actually like it quite a bit. Not being able to place a marker coming out of the catacombs is just not intuitive to me.  It takes me out of the moment.  But now I know the rule if playing with other folks.  thanks for helping me with my question!

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Thanks for your help. There are many reasons why in the last couple of years I have come back to table gaming from decades of pure video gaming.  Not the least is the fact that you can play exactly as intended but you can also allow your creativity run wild and play the game with your own touches of creativity.  I love it!

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Steve-O, RAW for the Revised edition indicates: "Do not place a catacomb entrance marker on the chamber you exit into" (Rules Reference, p. 6).

Oops, my bad. I have the non-Revised edition.

Then again, maybe we misinterpreted that rule and it's been like that all along.

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Thanks for pointing that reference to the Rules Reference Guide out.  I'm very surprised I missed it! I was scouring for it.

You're welcome.

Somehow I missed it too for the longest time (see the thread I started regarding questions about Revised edition rules). I agree that it's counter intuitive… but that's Dungeonquest for you? Maybe you're supposed to imagine that all catacombs and secret doors have one-way exit mechanisms? Not so hard to believe… given that some far stranger/crazier stuff goes on in that dungeon!

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