As such, the vast majority of the words in here are theirs, not
mine; I irrevocably assign copyright over these words to Alderac for
The basic idea was taken from
Daniel Ban's forum post,
which is also just variant on the solo rules.
Facing the Darkness Together
If you would like to work with your friends instead of against them,
try this co-operative variant. Along with the basic variant, we offer a variety
of difficulty modification options.
Follow the regular setup from the base game, but do not fill
the Ranks of the Dungeon Hall.
Each player's turn follows the same process as the regular game. You can visit
the Village, enter the Dungeon, or Rest as normal. But after each player's
turn, the Monsters will creep out of the depths of the Dungeon towards the
At the beginning of the game, you will have a number of rounds in
which there are no monsters out at all; forces are gathering in the
depths but have not actually begun their assault. Start with 3
complete turns around the table in which the Dungeon Hall is left
totally empty, and if you find that too easy, try reducing it.
For the rest of the game, on each and every player's turn (except
after a victory, see below), turn over the monster on the top of the
monster deck and put it in rank 3. This pushes the monster in rank
3 into rank 2, and so on.
If the Dungeon Hall is full, adding the new Monster will push a
Monster in Rank 1 out of the Hall. This Monster attacks the
Village! Place the Monster card face down in a special
“Monster Score Pile.” This will be your collective “opponent”
in the game: your goal is to earn more Victory Points than the
total VP value of the Monster Score Pile at the end of the game.
Fighting the Monsters will alter the advancement of Monsters out of
the Dungeon, depending on your success in battle.
Losing a battle against a Monster: if a player attacks a Monster and fails to
defeat it, the Monster does not return to the bottom of the deck. Add the
Monster to the Monster Score Pile, then refill the Dungeon Hall normally. Since
you have removed a Monster from the Hall, any Monster in Rank 1 will not be
pushed into the Village.
Winning a battle against a Monster: if a player attacks a Monster and is
victorious, add the Monster to that player's discard pile as usual and
refill the Dungeon Hall normally. Since you have removed a Monster from the
Hall, any Monster in Rank 1 will not be pushed into the Village. Also,
as a reward for your victory, at the end of the next player's turn, do not
advance the Monsters in the Hall by flipping over the top card of the deck and
adding it to Rank 3.
The game ends when the Thunderstone reaches Rank 1, as usual. If a player
defeats the Monster in front of the Thunderstone, that player is able to collect it and
add it to the collective score.
Total up all the Victory Points in each player's deck normally, and then add
the totals together: the result is the collective score for the noble
adverturers defending the town. Add up the points in the Monster Score Pile
separately to get the Final Monster Score.
If your Victory Point total is higher than the Final Monster Score, the players
have saved the Village from destruction and you win the game! If there
is a tie, the players win if they collected the Thunderstone. Otherwise… let’s
not think about what happens…
Notes About Card Powers
All cards that move Monsters in the Dungeon Ranks, such as Banish, Elf
Sorcerer, and Magi Staff, cause problems for these roules. The basic solution
here is to simply disallow them (i.e. do not have them in your village at all).
Another option is to allow the cards themselves, but not the relevant powers;
the Elf Sorcerer is still useful even without the ability to change monsters in
the dungeon ranks, but rather less so than he would be otherwise; this probably
makes the game more challenging.
Another option is to treat any card effect that removes a monster from the
dungeon hall as instead granting a free turn where no monster advances out of
the hall, just as if you had defeated a monster. This probably makes the game
easier, especially if you allow such effects to stack (i.e. you defeat a
monster and use such a power, so you get the following two player turns without
automatic monster advancement).
Similarily, all cards that harm other players, such as the thief abilities,
cause problems for these rules.
Again, the simplest option is to play without these cards.
Another option is to allow the cards themselves, but not the relevant powers.
This probably makes the game more challenging.
Another option is to reverse the effects of the powers: have them help the
other player(s) instead of harming them. This certainly makes the game easier,
but it also makes it more co-operative, which you might find satisfying.
There are a variety of ways you can make this variant more difficult; feel free
to choose any of the following options as you like, or combine them.
Some of these, especially the number of turns at the beginning without monster activity, can be used in reverse to decrease the difficulty, as well.
- Add a monster type to the monster stack. This shouldn't actually make the game more difficult as such, but it certainly will make it longer.
- Increase the number of turns with no monster activity.
- Instead of using the score in the Monster Score Pile as the score to beat, take that value and then multiply that number by 2 to get the Final Monster Score. Increase the multiple for further difficulty.
- Remove half the cards of each level from all stacks of Hero cards at the beginning of the game (so there will be only three Level 1 Heroes, two Level 2 Heroes, and one Level 3 Hero of each type). Also remove half the cards from each stack of Village cards (so only four cards of each type remain). You will have fewer resources to combat the Monsters of the Dungeon! For further difficulty, reduce the available cards even more.
- If you defeat a Monster worth less than 2 XP, the Monsters will advance normally at the end of your next turn. You only get a reprieve if you defeat a Monster worth 2 XP or more. For further difficult, increase the XP limit required to stop the monsters.
- Remove the ability to give yourself a reprieve: monsters always advance, even if you defeated one the previous turn.