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D100 Dungeon Review

D100 Dungeon Review

D100 Dungeon (Book 1) lets you guide an adventurer through underground caves and dungeons to find wealth and complete perilous tasks. Each game gives your adventurer cash, recognition, and growing strength and skill. D100 Dungeon requires only a pencil, eraser, dice, and creativity.

Create an adventurer and start dungeon training quests to begin your trip. After completing them, your adventurer will be ready to face greater challenges and begin questing to gain notoriety and wealth, rivaling royalty. Who knows, one day their greatest exploits may become stories and songs performed by bards in every tavern in the kingdom.

D100 Dungeon V3 replaces V1 and V2.  Version 3 D100 Dungeon is required to play DriveThruRPG books, PDFs, and extras. Versions V1 and V2 won’t work in this edition.


Details about PDF and Print on Demand choices may help you choose a product.

Watermarked PDFs are Digital Editions. The little watermark appears at the bottom of every left-hand page. It will display your account name and order number without covering the book’s text. The page background is white.

The Collector’s Edition is the Hardcover, Premium Color Book. Gold spine and collector’s badge on front cover. Premium paper is used for the full-color, parchment-backed pages within. The hardcover is glossy. Since there is no Collector’s Edition of the Watermarked PDF, the “Watermarked PDF + Hardcover, Premium Color Book” option does not include the parchment background.

Hardback Editions are standard color hardcover books. With a grey spine and standard badge on the front cover. The interior pages are colored on white paper. The hardcover is glossy.

The Softback Edition is the Standard Color Softcover Book. With a grey spine and standard badge on the front cover. The interior pages are colored on white paper. A glossy softback covers the book.

Be warned: Sometimes print-on-demand books must be updated and removed from the product line. This process may take months and will be available after the upgrade.

Overview of Gameplay

D100 Dungeon includes a single 70-page hard-bound book (or PDF for digital edition). It contains most of the game’s requirements. Character creation is the first step in every excellent RPG, which I always like. Standard fantasy classes: Warrior, Rogue, or Sorcerer. My character is a strong Dwarven Warrior with a Warhammer.

Five sequential training quests begin when your character is ready. While grinding, these will help you grow your character before releasing you on random quests with terrible foes.

Four phases comprise a normal round. Ticking off a time tracker box could mean buying lamp oil, eating, or fighting a monster. Then, d100 (2 ten-sided dice) determines which chamber you enter. There are four possibilities: vacant, monster-infested, topographical (pit, bridge, cave), or quest-related.

Fighting is allowed in monster rooms! There are 100 monsters, including Giant Bats, Ogres, and Green Dragons. You and the monster take turns attacking and defending in fight rounds. Both sides will roll with numerous variables determining damage. Roll low for skill checks and attacks. If your attack rating is 65, roll below it to hit. Rolling 10 or less earns you experience for the skill you were using.

For defense, your body has 10 armor slots for all your clothes. Hand-me-down helmets, mismatched arm bracers, and a blood-stained cloak will make you look like a broke adventurer when you start. But killing monsters yields loot. Unknown armor, weapons, consumables, spells, or monster parts. Shopping is available between quests.

You can search a room after a fight or geological encounter to find fascinating stuff. You may find a treasure, secret entrance, or monster.

After completing quests—some of which require discovering a monster part or looting weapons—you can heal, visit the merchant, and invest gold in ventures in town.

D100 Dungeon Gaming Experience

I played every edition of Dungeons and Dragons from 1st edition black box with red dragon to 5th edition. D100 Dungeon indeed seems like old-school D&D. It’s a dungeon crawl without a DM, but you can tell it was made with care. The charts, granular armor, and hand-drawn cartography bring back memories of playing 1st edition in my friend’s basement.

The 70-page book contains at least half of the game’s many tables. You should know that about this game. You’ll roll a lot on these tables and in combat. You should move on now if that disturbs you. I enjoyed it. I think deep tables help. Most contain at least 100 entries, so you rarely roll the same thing.

The game’s combat system is streamlined and engaging thanks to Martin Knight. You roll for damage and hit the location after your attack. It’s less damaging to hit a monster in the foot than in the head. Monsters attacking you will also hit an area, which your armor protects. A good steel helmet will cushion a head hit. If you get tagged in the foot, that leather boot won’t help.

The game has a drawback there. D100 is volatile and has little luck mitigation. Weak attacks and good monster rolls will leave you bloodied, and there’s nothing you can do about it. D100 doesn’t apologize for its harshness. Good thing the early tasks don’t hurl you at a dragon, but once the training wheels fall off, you better be ready. Bring multiple health potions and be ready to flee if things go wrong.

Your D100 Dungeon experience may also depend on personal preferences. You must manually map each room. It also requires some bookkeeping. Your monster log chronicles your kills, so you know when you gain bonus XP. I felt completely at home because this reminded me of 1st and 2nd edition DnD. If your only RPG experience is Skyrim or Gloomhaven, this may be strange.

Finally, this game has many expansions. One-half dozen additional volumes, a digital companion, and mapping tiles are available online. I wasn’t interested in designing grid maps, therefore the mapping game add-on is probably my favorite. I’m curious how some expansions work with the game.

One last thought

D100 Dungeon is an awesome solo board game that requires only a book, a few sheets of paper, and three dice. Most of the 20 pages of regulations explain keywords or provide examples. You won’t need the handbook after a few quests because the rules are simplified. The paper book will likely make you want the PDF. Using bookmarks to jump to tables in the PDF saves time compared to flipping through the book.

This dungeon crawler will take you back to drinking Ecto Cooler while hacking and slashing. The character advancement mechanism is the game’s main draw, but the story is little. Creating a DnD character and going on quests may be fun for hours in this game.