Friday, November 13, 2009

Dungeoneer: Advanced Fighting Fantasy

This isn’t so much a review as my thoughts and musings about Dungeoneer as I read through it.

So, what is Dungeoneer? It is a 394 page soft cover, trade paperback book that contains the rules for the Advanced Fighting Fantasy role-playing game. As the name indicates it based on the Fighting Fantasy system used in the solo game books. I have no previous experience with the Fighting Fantasy books and only learned of Dungeoneer’s existence through the forums of Advanced Fighting Fantasy is an expansion of the role-playing system used in the game books. Out of curiosity I have ordered a copy of Fighting Fantasy to see how advanced Dungeoneer is in comparison.

Dungeon is divided into four sections.
1. Getting Started
2. The Heroes
3. The Rules of the Game
4. Further Adventures

Getting Started is a very basic introduction to role-playing. Very basic. It discusses what is needed to play the game. It lists items such as six-sided dice, a watch, pencils, paper, and optional miniatures and then discusses each thing. Role-playing itself is discussed in terms of movies. The players are actors playing the characters. The game master is the Director. This is a very interesting approach but one aimed squarely at complete novices.

The second part, The Heroes, discusses the pre-generated character sheets included at the back of the book. It speaks briefly about the three characteristics that each character has: Skill, Stamina and Luck. It then covers and describes the special skills and spells for each character. It does all of this in less than 10 pages and then jumps right into an adventure. There is only cursory mention of game mechanics. This is a learn as you go proposition.

The adventure is called Tower of the Sorcerer. In keeping with the movie theme it is broken up into scenes. The scenes are used to introduce game mechanics, including combat. Combat is presented as a simple opposed dice roll of 2d6 + weapon skill. Highest roll inflicts damage. Damage is variable but instead of rolling dice for damage directly, you roll for the weapon on a damage table. The adventure is a nice introduction with lavish commentary for the first-time Director. It is also very railroady. Self-consciously so. It includes a problem section for each scene that will help the Director “…get the show back on the road.” The other thing I found interesting is that the text kept making comments about what to do if the players do something “stupid” or “dumb”. But it is a nice little adventure with a twist ending that teaches the basics of the game.

I'll post the second part when I finish the book.


  1. 400 pages? Wow, that's a big book!

    It actually sounds like a tempting introductory system, but for the huge rulebook.

    I have been trying to come up with a short (24 pages or less) primer for new gamers.

  2. It is fairly large print. But yeah, long book. The system itself could be distilled down to 10-15 pages or so easily. Including the special skills and spell list.