Dungeon Dash (3.5e Variant Rule)
From D&D Wiki
- 1 Information
- 2 Rules
- 3 Maps
- 4 Spells and Magic Items
- 5 DMing a Dungeon Dash Game
Dungeon Dash is a game that was invented and perfected by three wizards in order to make a competition based on adventuring skills.
The premise of Dungeon Dash is very simple. A tournament organizer will set up a Dungeon Dash stadium and groups of adventurers will come to compete. Usually the group sizes are 4-6, but sometimes solo matches or team matches are done. The stadium itself is a fake dungeon, with open ceilings so a crowd can watch the games. The walls are usually specialty illusions that are only visible and solid to those that are inside the dungeon itself. Monsters, traps, and puzzles are all over the dungeon making up challenges for each room. These challenges are also illusionary so that none of the players are at actual risk.
The teams start out in a room that is their "safe room". They then must proceed through the dungeon, collecting flags. Flags are found by completing challenges in a room as well as in hidden locations (for those good at spotting hidden treasure). The winning team is the one with the most flags at the end of the game.
There are several ways to introduce Dungeon Dash into a campaign.
- If the campaign is just beginning, this can be a great game that all the races share.
- Perhaps it always existed everywhere, except it is played by underground groups
- Only a certain race may play this game (or a certain city/set of people)
- It gets invented mid-way through the campaign and takes the world by storm
The game was originally invented by a halfling wizard named Millow Dembottle. He was a sporadic wizard, and one day just started the first game outside a tavern where a lot of adventuring parties were gathered. The groups of adventurers loved the primitive version of the game and played all day long. Afterwards more important matters became his concern, and he was forced to go on a heroic quest (abandoning any further development on the game).
One of the competitors from the original games devised by Millow, a human wizard named Marcus Longbeard kept thinking of the game. He had found the game to be so much fun and would often write down any real encounters he had had with his adventuring group in a book. His companions thought of him as a little odd, since some days they would get ambushed by deadly monsters and after the battle finished, Marcus would excitedly jot down the details of what had transpired.
After a few years of adventuring, Marcus decided to re-vamp the original idea Millow had come up with, and organized a few matches when he had the time. He used ideas he had seen on his journeys as well as some devious tricks he thought up on his own. Soon enough, he had interested an Ice Sorceress named Vissa who started a partnership with Marcus. Together they developed the game that Dungeon Dash is today.
Marcus currently governs the game of Dungeon Dash and its rules. He is responsible for training judges and making changes necessary to avoid rules exploitation.
The basic set of rules for Dungeon Dash are quite simple. It was designed this way so that less intelligent barbarians wouldn't be left out of the game.
A game of Dungeon Dash is determined by its rooms. Each room contains a challenge and a reward in flags.
The doors in Dungeon Dash are designed specifically to keep groups together. When the group wants to open a door, it will not work unless the entire group is in the room. If they are all in the room, all doors to the room will shut and then the door to the room they want to go to will open. This is a full-round action.
In a Dungeon Dash game, there are different rooms with different challenge levels. The challenge level of a room is indicated by the color of the door to enter the room. Usually, the closer to the center a team gets, the higher the challenge level. A team will also get more rewards for a higher challenge level.
The standard challenge levels for rooms are:
- Very Easy (Cyan Door): Considered an EL 3 lower than the party's average level
- Easy (Green Door): Considered an EL 2 lower than the party's average level
- Normal (Blue Door): Considered an EL 1 lower than the party's average level
- Tricky (Yellow Door): Considered an EL equal to the party's average level
- Hard (Orange Door): Considered an EL 1 higher than the party's average level
- Very Hard (Purple Door): Considered an EL 2 higher than the party's average level
- Impossible (Red Door): Considered an EL 5 higher than the party's average level
In almost every Dungeon Dash game, the middle room of the dungeon is an "Impossible" room.
Types of Rooms
There are different types of challenges depending on the room. The following types of challenges exist:
The following table summarizes the flags earned for completing a room.
|Challenge Level||Door Color||Flags Earned||Number of Hidden Flags|
Each room comes with a number of hidden flags. To find the flags, the characters must succeed at a search check with DC equal to the dungeon standard DC (read the Standard DC section). Success means the party finds a flag. For every 5 the DC is beat by, another flag is found (if available). After 1 minute of searching, all the hidden flags in the room disappear (allowing only 1 search check per room).
In order to make the game challenging for all manner of adventurers, Standard DC are set for the entire game. These DCs are determined by the EL set for the game (before sign-ups happen). Each game is open to parties within 1 average level of the EL for the game.
Standard Skill DC:
Standard Skill DCs are determined through a few qualifiers.
- The Standard Skill DC starts at 14 to represent a 50% chance for a character with no stat bonuses and 4 ranks in the skill.
- For each EL above 1, increase the Standard Skill DC by 1.
- For each 4 ELs, increase the Standard Skill DC by 1.
- For each 10 ELs, increase the Standard Skill DC by 1.
For Example: A EL 11 Dungeon Dash has a Standard Skill DC of 27. This gives a character with a +4 stat bonus, skill focus, and max ranks in the skill a 6+ chance on a d20 of succeeding a Standard Skill Check.
For rooms that have a negative or positive EL, add or deduct twice that amount to determine the DC for Skills in that room.
For Example: A EL 11 Dungeon Dash has a Standard Skill DC of 27. A Normal Room (EL -1) therefore has a Skill DC of 25. This gives a character with a +4 stat bonus, skill focus, and max ranks in the skill a 4+ chance on a d20 of succeeding a Skill Check.
Standard Save DC:
Standard Save DCs are determined based on the primary saves of characters.
- The Standard Save DC starts at 12 to represent a 50% chance for a character with no stat bonuses and the save as a primary save.
- For each 2 ELs above 1 (3, 5, 7, etc), increase the Standard Save DC by 1.
- For each 10 ELs, increase the Standard Save DC by 1.
For example: A EL 11 Dungeon Dash has a Standard Save DC of 18. This gives a character with a +4 stat bonus, a feat with +2 to saves, and the save as a primary save a 5+ chance on a d20 of succeeding a Standard Save.
For rooms that have a negative or positive EL, add or deduct that amount to determine the DC for Saving Throws in that room.
For example: A EL 11 Dungeon Dash has a Standard Save DC of 18. A Normal Room (EL -1) therefore has a Save DC of 17. This gives a character with a +4 stat bonus, a feat with +2 to saves, and the save as a primary save a 4+ chance on a d20 of succeeding a Standard Save.
The point of the games is not just for a test of skills, it is also a show! Each match, bonus flags are awarded to a team that makes the best performance. Teams earn "Performance Points" throughout the match. There are a few ways to earn the crowd's respect.
- A Perform (any) check after completing a room with a DC of the Standard Skill DC will earn 1 point if succeeded and 1 extra point for every 5 points the check was surpassed. For every 10 points below the Standard DC the check was however, 1 point is deducted.
- Any time a saving throw is barely passed (1 lower would have failed), 1 point is gained.
- Any time a Player is reduced to either exactly 0 Hit Points or exactly -9 hit points from something other than a team-mate, 1 point is gained.
- Any time a skill is passed by at least 10 points, 1 point is gained. This does not apply for using Perform (any) after a challenge.
The team with the highest "Performance Points" gets an extra flag for each 5 they earned. This bonus is given at the end of the game.
Flags contain a magic curse that makes them difficult to carry around while still defeating challenges.
When holding a flag, a character gets -1 to skill checks, saving throws, attack rolls, and armor class. This penalty increases by 1 every time 2 more flags are held in addition to the first.
Flags can be deposited in the "safe room" where they will still count as collected in the final score.
A game of Dungeon Dash typically lasts 20 minutes (or 200 rounds).
Whenever the party enters a room roll a d10 and consult the following table to determine the challenge type:
Afterwards, look at the following sections to randomly determine the challenge:
Since all of the challenges are illusions, a character does not actually risk death in a game of Dungeon Dash.
Experience and Gold
A single game of Dungeon Dash gives experience equal to half its EL if won, and one third if lost. Monetary rewards are also determined this way, except are one fifth if lost.
Dungeon Dash can be played in a variety of arenas. Most are symmetrical and allow for 4-6 teams of 4-6 players. Some are very chaotic and seemingly random.
These are popular maps used in standard games:
Spells and Magic Items
Some changes of functionality of spells (and allowed spells) occur for a game of Dungeon Dash as well as some changes to magic item effects.
- Teleporting can only happen to a location within the arena.
- Dispel effects do not work against the illusionary creatures and walls. They are treated as "real" for the purposes of dispel. This means that if a monster has a +2 longsword, the enhancement can be dispelled, but the illusion cannot.
- Illusions created in the dungeon by players (or the illusionary traps and monsters) act like illusions and are not treated as "real".
- Any spell that gives a bonus to a skill check, gives one fifth the bonus (to a minimum of 1).
- Any spell that gives a bonus to a saving throw, gives one third the bonus (to a minimum of 1).
- Any item that gives a bonus to a skill check, gives one fifth the bonus (to a minimum of 1).
- Any item that gives a bonus to a saving throw, gives one third the bonus (to a minimum of 1).
DMing a Dungeon Dash Game