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Dungeon Saga Core Rules

Greetings adventurers!
This document includes the Core rules for Mantics new dungeon-delving adventure
game: Dungeon Sagas: The Dwarf Kings Quest Dungeon Sagas: The Dwarf Kings Quest. It builds on the acclaimed Dwarf Dwarf
Kings Hold Kings Hold system, with twists and improvements to make it slicker and allow it to
accommodate up to 5 players. Most noticeably it now also includes a large helping of
mighty Heroes.
During the Kickstarter I hope to show you not just these Alpha rules, but also an improved
Beta version that incorporates your feedback (and an extra scenario or two). So, if youve
any thoughts, comments, criticisms or would just like to say hello, then please get in
Note that this is just the start of the Dungeon Sagas adventure. The Core game is the
foundation on which we build the Advanced game. So while these rules may not include
loot, traps, treasure chests and a myriad other possibilities, rest assured that weve not
forgotten them. Theyre lurking like the monsters, just around the corner
Jake Thornton Jake Thornton
Game Designer
Dungeon Sagas pits a band of Heroes against a horde of Monsters in the ancient ruins
of an underground Dwarf fortress.
One player takes the part of the Necromancer controlling the dungeons monsters.
The other player(s) share a set number of heroes between them.
If more than one player is on the side of the Heroes then they need to co-operate to
beat the Monsters together.
The game is played in a series of scenarios, each of which is a chapter in the Heroes
epic saga.
Each scenario describes the layout of the dungeon and the creatures that inhabit it, as
well as what both sides need to do to win. Scenarios 1-8 are balanced so that they can
be played in order, or as stand-alone adventures.
During a game Heroes and Monsters take turns to move, fight and cast spells as they
compete to achieve the victory conditions for that scenario.
Each Hero has a card showing their game values and the choice of actions they can
take each turn. If they are wounded or need to mark anything else then a counter can
be placed on this card, keeping the board free of clutter.
The Necromancer has a larger version of a Hero card with the game values for all of
his different Monsters.
Magical characters have cards that list their available spells.
Core game values are:
Move: Move: how many squares the model may move in a turn.
Dice: Dice: how many dice the model throws when fighting.
Armour: Armour: the number that an opponent must beat in order to harm the model.
A model must sit in a single square and clearly face one of the four sides of that
The 8 squares next to a model are called its front and rear arcs. The 3 behind the
model form the rear arc. The remaining 5 are the front arc. See the diagram below.
These arcs are important and many rules refer to something happening or only being
possible when a model is in or moves into a models front arc.
Dungeon Sagas is played in Rounds, each of which is made up of several Turns.
During a Round, all the Heroes and some of the Monsters have a Turn.
A Round always begins with a Hero Turn. Which Hero starts is decided by the Hero
player(s) and may be different each Round. The remaining Heroes then take their
Turns in whatever order they decide. A Hero may only take one Turn in each Round.
The Hero counters are included as a reminder of who has been this Round.
After all the Heroes have taken their Turn the Necromancer takes his Turn.
During a Turn a Hero may Move and perform 1 Action. Any desired movement must
be completed before the model takes their Action.
Which Actions are available to a model depends on their abilities and their situation.
For example, a model cannot shoot a bow if they dont have one. Even if they have
one they cannot use it if they are in the middle of a fight.
Actions include:
Instead of taking a normal Turn, a Hero may instead decide to use his Heroic Feat.
Each Hero may only do this once per game, and each Heros Feat is unique to them.
Choosing when to do this is very important. Note that you cannot Move when Note that you cannot Move when
using your Heroic Feat unless the Feat itself says so. using your Heroic Feat unless the Feat itself says so.
As the Necromancer is controlling a large number of Monsters, his Turns work
differently to a Heros Turn.
Within a single Necromancer Turn they may Move and Act with several models. Each
scenario lists the basic number of models they can Move and Act with each Turn.
The Necromancer simply chooses one of his models and Moves and Acts with it just
like a Hero.
Instead of Moving and Acting with a model that is already on the board, a
Necromancer may raise a Skeleton Warrior from a Pile of Bones marker. Simply
replace the pile of bones marker with a Skeleton Warrior, facing any direction the
necromancer chooses. This counts as both the models Move and Action. If the model
is raised in one or more enemy front arcs then each enemy model gets a Free Strike
as the Skeleton Warrior tries to reassemble himself. Resolve these in an order chosen
Rounds and Turns
by the attacking player. A model that is raised from a pile of bones in the
Necromancers Turn cannot do anything else in that Round.
In addition, the Necromancer can play cards (see below).
Finally, the Necromancer has a Dark Deed. This is similar to a Heros Feat, though it
works differently because the Necromancer is not on the board. The Dark Deed can
be used once per game. It can be used instead of moving and acting with one model
during that Turn. See the Necromancers reference card for its effect.
The Necromancer has a deck of 12 cards.
Shuffle these before the game begins, and deal 3 to the Necromancer player.
The Necromancer gets one card at the end of each of his Turns.
These cards are one-use only. If the deck of cards is exhausted then the Necromancer
cannot draw any new ones.
When the Necromancer can play a card depends on its type:
Extra Models, Double Number of Models, Raise Skeleton cards. Extra Models, Double Number of Models, Raise Skeleton cards. These
are played during the Necromancers Turn. Only one can be played each Turn.
An Extra Model card allows the Necromancer to Move and Act with that many
additional models this Turn. A Double Models card allows the Necromancer to
Move and Act with twice the base number of models listed on the scenario. Note
Necromancer Cards
that a single model may still only Move and Act once per Turn. Raise Skeleton
cards allow the Necromancer to raise that many Skeletons from piles of bones.
Interrupt cards. Interrupt cards. These are played after one Hero has completed their Turn and
before the next begins. The Necromancer immediately gets to Move and Act with
the number of models listed on the card. These models may Move and Act again
either by using extra Interrupt cards or during the Necromancers Turn. Note
that you cannot Interrupt after the last Hero's Turn in that Round because at that
point it is already your Turn.
How a model may Move depends on whether they begin their Turn in the front arc of
an enemy model or not.
A model that does not start in an enemy models front arc may Move up to a
number of squares equal to their Move value.
A model that starts their Turn in the front arc of an enemy model has 2 options:
They may run away from it if they want to. This is called Breaking Away (see
They can remain in the same square and change their facing if they choose.
A model cannot cannot Move directly from one square in the front arc of an enemy model
to another square in the front arc of the same or any other enemy model.
A model cannot Move through another model.
A model can Move diagonally as long as one of the squares to either side of the
diagonal move is empty and would be a legal move. See the diagram.
If a model Moves into the front arc of an enemy model during their Turn then they
must stop. They cannot go any further, though they may still change the models
facing before they finish their Move.
Changing a models facing is always part of a models Move. You may change the
facing of a model at any time during the Move part of its own Turn. You may not
change its facing at any other time.
If a model starts their Turn in an enemy models front arc then they can either stay
where they are or Break Away from them.
If they stay where they are then they may turn on the spot as their Move, and then
Fight or Spell (depending on the available spells) as their Action.
If they start in an enemy models front arc and Move into a new square then they are
Breaking Away. Remember that a model cannot cannot Move directly from one square in
the front arc of an enemy model to another square in the front arc of the same or any
other enemy model.
To Break Away a model must first survive a Free Strike from its foes. A Free Strike is
a Fight with all the normal modifiers. The only difference from normal is that it is not
in the attacking models Turn. Note that a model may make one or more Free Strikes
even if it has already acted this Round and could not normally do anything else.
Each enemy model that has the Breaking Away model in its front arc gets to make a
Diagonal Movement Diagonal Movement
The model at square A wants to move to square B. This is possible as long as the
model could legally move to one or other (or both) of the squares marked X. If both of
the squares marked X are blocked, then square B is also blocked.
Break Away
Free Strike. These are resolved in the order chosen by the attacking player.
A model may Fight an enemy model if it starts with that enemy model in its front arc,
or moves so that this is the case during its Turn.
When models fight both roll dice. However, only one model (the attacker) can cause
damage. The other model (the defender) is simply defending itself.
Other than during a Free Strike, a model is always the attacker in its own Turn.
Fights are resolved in a series of steps. When you have played a few times you will be
able to merge some of these steps together and resolve everything very quickly.
While you are learning it is easiest to take the steps one at a time.
First, check the defenders Armour value. The Heroes have a Know Your Foe card
with this on for easy reference.
Next, roll the dice. The principle used here is: roll once, read twice roll once, read twice. You roll the
dice once, and then use this single roll to determine the outcome of the fight.
Roll once. Roll once. Both players roll a number of dice equal to the models Dice value,
modified by the following:
-1 dice if the model is injured (by any amount). The Barbarian ignores this
-1 dice if the model is outnumbered (by any amount).
-1 for the defender if they are being attacked from behind.
Modifiers cannot reduce a model to fewer than 2 dice. If a model has 2 dice and
still has negative modifiers to take, then reduce its armour instead. Note that this
will not have an effect on attacking models. A models Armour cannot be
reduced below 1. Once a model has been reduced to 2 dice and 1 Armour it
ignores further penalties.
Read the results once. Read the results once. Take away any dice from either side that do not beat
the defenders Armour value. These attacks are too weak to get through the
Armour, and the defence too feeble to help.
Read the results again. Read the results again. If the attacker has any dice left, compare them to any
remaining dice the defender has. This is done in pairs, starting with the highest
dice on each side, then the second highest, and so on. Each time the attackers
dice beats the defenders dice they score a Hit. If the attacker has more dice than
the defender then each remaining dice that is unopposed scores a Hit.
Models react differently to being Hit. What injures an Elf may be completely
ignored by a Troll. Compare the number of Hits scored to the defenders model
type on the damage table below to find out the effect.
Monsters do not track wounds. They suffer the effect listed on the table immediately.
A Hero only suffers 1 wound per attack, regardless of how many times they are Hit.
Wounds on Heroes are cumulative. Heroes keep track of wounds they have suffered
using the counters provided.
A Hero can take 4 wounds and still fight on. However, if they take a 5th wound then
they are Crippled and they cannot continue. In most scenarios the Heroes lose if one
of them is crippled.
The Dwarf attacks a Skeleton Warrior who has an Armour value of 2. The Hero is
injured, and so loses 1 dice. There are no other modifiers.
Roll once Roll once
The Dwarf rolls 4 dice (5-1) for his attack and gets 1, 2, 4, 6.
The Skeleton Warrior rolls 2 dice and gets 2, 5.
Read once Read once
Removing the weak attacks that do not beat the Skeletons Armour leaves the
Dwarf with 4 and 6.
The Skeleton is left with a 5.
Read again Read again
Comparing the dice in pairs, the highest dice for the Dwarf is a 6 against the
Model Type Model Type 1 Hit 1 Hit 2 Hits 2 Hits 3 Hits 3 Hits 4 Hits 4 Hits 5 Hits 5 Hits
Any Hero Any Hero
1 Wound 1 Wound 1 Wound 1 Wound
Skeleton Warrior, Skeleton Warrior,
Archer or Revenant Archer or Revenant
Reduced to a
pile of bones.
Destroyed Destroyed Destroyed
Zombie or Armoured Zombie or Armoured
Zombie Zombie
No effect Destroyed Destroyed Destroyed
Fight Example
Skeletons 5. This is a hit.
The second attacking dice is a 4 and the Skeleton has nothing left to oppose it
with so this is also a hit.
Two hits on a Skeleton Warrior reduces it to a pile of bones. Remove the model
and replace it with a pile of bones marker.
A model that is in the front arc of an enemy model cannot Shoot.
If a model can make Shoot Actions then this will be listed on its card. This will also
list the base number of dice to be used for Shoot attacks. This is often different to the
number of dice the model will get in a fight.
A model can only see things in front of it, and only Shoot at things it can see (diagram
A target must also be in range. There are two range sticks to determine if a target is
in range or not. Use the straight edge of this to see if the is a clear shot between the
shooter and target. If they cannot see then they cannot shoot!
A clear shot is an unblocked straight line between any part of the Shooters square
and any part of the targets square. The line is blocked by any square that contains a
model or a wall.
In terms of resolving dice rolls, Shoot works like Fight, but can be done at a distance.
The only modifier for a Shoot attack is a -1 dice if the shooting model is injured.
In the scenarios listed here, only the wizard can cast spells.
There are two types of spell: Major and Minor.
A model can cast either one Major or up to 2 different Minor spells in a single Turn as
his Action.
If a model casts a Major spell then the spell will need to recharge. Place the
recharging counter on the spell card as a reminder. A recharging spell is unavailable
for one Round.
Spells have a range, like shooting, and use the same range sticks. For some spells you
need a clear sight of the target (the spell range will say sight). Work this out like
shooting. Other spells have a range, but can be cast whether you can see the target or
A spell that needs a clear line of sight like shooting can only be used when shooting
can. In other words, not whilst the model is in a fight. A spell that does not need a
clear line of sight can be used whether the model is in a fight or not.
A spell automatically does what it says on the card if the target is in range and visible
(if that is required). Sometimes this is an automatic effect, other times it requires a
dice roll. See the spell cards.
All Heroes can carry potions.
A scenario will list when Heroes have potions.
A Hero may drink a potion during their Turn in addition to their Move and Action.
This takes effect immediately (see the card for the specific effect).
A Hero may always choose to drink a potion they are carrying.
A Hero can let another Hero drink a potion they are carrying if they choose to
(regardless of where they are on the board). Whether a Hero wants to be generous or
not is up to the player controlling them.
Doors always start closed.
Doors occupy a square.
A door can be smashed open by Fighting it. A door has Armour 3 and rolls 3 Dice.
If a door takes a single Hit then it is smashed open. Remove the door counter.
Some doors are protected by magical wards. These cannot be smashed open. Instead,
the Wizard must break the ward to open the door. Remove the door counter as soon
as the ward is broken.
There are two training missions before the adventure proper begins.
The Journey From The West
The Dwarf and Barbarian must fight their way through a horde of skeletons and then
smash their way through the doors of the dungeon. This teaches the players the basics of
movement and fighting.
Necromancer: Necromancer: 2 models per Turn.
Winning: Winning: The Necromancer wins if he can Cripple either Hero. The Heroes win if they
can smash open the door.
The Journey From The East
The Elf must hold back the undead while the Wizard deals with the magical ward locking
the eastern entrance to the dungeon. This teaches the players shooting and spells.
The Elf and Wizard start with 1 healing potion each.
The doors next to the Wizard have a strength 5 magical ward on them.
Necromancer Necromancer: 3 models per Turn.
Winning: Winning: The Necromancer wins if he can Cripple either Hero. The Heroes win if they
can break the magical ward and open the door.
Scenario 1
With the Heroes all together now, they fight their way through the entrance hall and into
the dungeon itself. This is the first of the campaign scenarios.
The scenario is in two stages. At the start of the game, only place the tiles up to the first
sets of doors. When one of the doors is smashed open the remainder of the tiles and
models are placed.
Necromancer: Necromancer: 4 models per Turn.
Winning: Winning: The Necromancer wins if he can Cripple a Hero. The Heroes win if they can
smash open the single door on the second part of the level.