Dungeon Bowl Special Play Cards

About AFOUL’s house rules for Dungeonbowl, designed for the Adelaide Dungeon Bowl Cup:

The original dungeon bowl rules by JJ were apparently written in a week and rushed out to accompany a release of miniatures for the base game. Since then the only official release was way back in third edition, and this ruleset was hardly comprehensive either. Decades have passed and the base game has changed, a lot. Over a period of five years a small group of players in Adelaide set out not to change or rewrite these rules, but to just play dungeonbowl in a way true to theme. To aid replayability and consistency we started writing down necessary clarifications and tweaks to the original rules and AFOUL’s dunegeon bowl rules were born. We kept to the current base rules (CRP ruleset) and added new rules for situations that don’t come up in the base game. Other than chests and teleporters no rules were taken from the official dungeon bowl supplements of old and even these needed tweaking. The AFOUL rules are a stand-alone add on to the current base rules (CRP). What we ended up with makes for a fun, fast, fluid and challenging game that takes place in under an hour. Later we setup an annual tournament, the Adelaide Dungeon Bowl Cup to spread the fun to other players. Playtesting and input from over 250 tournament matches helped drive the evolution of the ruleset over the first few years. Walls, movement, scatter, passing, levels, teleportation, dungeon arrangement- they all went from an initial mess to a simple cohesive system thanks to the patience and contributions from tournament goers. However there are some things that can’t be covered in a half-dozen pages of rules, this is where the special play cards come in.

The need for Special Play Cards in Dungeon Bowl:

In our ruleset we strive to create an unpredictable and challenging game for coaches. Randomly selecting from different (but standardized) dungeon layouts helps, as does the random allocation of the ball into a trapped chest, and the unpredictable effects of the teleporters. However, rules for hidden traps and unexpected events proved more difficult to get right. To truly capture the unpredictable and treacherous feel of dungeon bowl it became necessary during our development of the AFOUL Dungeon Bowl rules to create a series of special play cards. These cards can be used to spring a trap or an unexpected event on an opponent. They have proved very popular as the element of anticipation they create is an essential part of playing the game at its fullest. You get a real sense that the dungeon is a treacherous place for a blood sport!. Conversely, the dungeon can be a harsh place, and sometimes there is just too much uncertainty to be able to formulate a good plan. Some of the cards can be used to mitigate risks and boost your own play, for example by choosing the teleporter your player will be transported to or having a chest not explode when it otherwise would have.

These dungeonbowl Special Play Cards have been developed by players of AFOUL for use in the Adelaide Dungeon Bowl Cup and other games of fantasy football that use a ruleset derived from or similar to our own (chests, teleporters, etc).

They have four types (like suits in a poker deck):

  • Traps. The most unpredictable and deadly of dungeon features, be careful where you step!
  • Chests. Explosives are the classic way to rig a chest, but not the only way.
  • Teleporters. Have you ever tried to teleport someone? It is really hard and sometimes things go wrong.
  • Cavern Features. There are a lot of ways how a dungeon can differ from a field of grass and these cards try to show some of these.
  • Special Cards. In addition to the primary types above, some cards capture other features of the game, such as referees.

How to use these cards in your games of Dungeon Bowl:

1) As an inducement.

Each card has a value printed in the lower right corner, 10,000gp. This allows the underdog team in a game to use these cards to boost their performance. The cards have been playtested through over a 100 games and the unanimous opinion of the playtesters is that they are a welcome addition to the game and balanced to the 10,000gp value.

2) To add extra variability and fun to the game.

To more accurately capture the treacherous challenges of the dungeon every player should be given 1-3 cards each per game. The more cards in the game, the more wild and unpredictable it will be.