Quick Look: Cavern: a D20 Roll and Write Adventure
Designer: Brad Hiscock
Artists: Peter Zalba
Publisher: Convivial Games
Year Published: Currently on Kickstarter. Link at bottom of review.
No. of Players: 1-99
Playing Time: 10-90 minutes.
From the Publisher:
Deep in the woods, there’s an abandoned tunnel network that has been overrun by a horde of creatures. You will venture inside and traverse through multiple floors and into its depths. Your goal is to clear each floor, defeat the creatures within, and collect treasure.
Each turn, you will roll to determine your type and amount of movement. As you pass through each square you will resolve interactions as they take place such as collecting weapons and items or fighting an enemy. You continue through each floor until you find the exit. You can use collected items/weapons, gain levels, and roll against traps, enemies, and bosses.
The game is over at the end of any floor when you wish to stop, or after five floors have been cleared. Count up all of the points you’ve earned on each floor to determine your total score. Compare this score to our ranking system to be awarded a title such as “seasoned adventurer”.
The map size and difficulty increase as you get deeper into the cavern, so keep an eye to your hearts and be wary of the number of enemies you want to take on. If you lose your hearts, it’s game over. Let your adventure begin.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype PnP copy of Cavern. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Over the last 5 years I’ve probably got a couple dungeon crawls to the table. I believe they include Catacombs, Dungeons of Infinity ,Arcadia Quest & Dungeon Fighter. They’ve been fun. But unfortunately, once my wife’s health got to a point where I became the one that had to be in charge of learning and teaching games to the family and moving away from our game group we haven’t been able to get them to the table anymore, until today….
10 year old daughter: Great solitary game, but also works for 2 people. But, I think if there were more than 1 or 2 people it wouldn’t really work as a game.
Rules & Setup:
Besides the anxiety of learning and teaching others the game which deems from my ADHD, the other big deterrent of getting dungeon crawls to the tabletop was setup. I don’t remember too much set-up being involved for Dungeon Fighter, I could be wrong though. It seemed there was a lot when it came to Arcadia Quest and especially Dungeons of Infinity because the one we played was a prototype before it’s first unsuccessful run on the Kickstarters.
Then there was Cavern. Which will require you to print out the pages, hence it being a Print & Play game.
Set up was quite simple. The longest portion of our setup for Cavern was figuring out which end of our new Table4Games Board Gaming Table we needed to access in order to remove the covering so we could get to the felted portion of our gaming table.
Then grab your previously printed map, the rules, a pencil and a D20 (we used our D20’s from both our VHS Dice: Surge and our VHS Dice: Plasmic Punch dice sets.
and you’re good to go. Note: I don’t think it comes with a pencil and/or a D20 (If you’re new to dice or roll playing games this is the dice with 20 sides on it)
10 year old daughter: There setup is really easy because you just need to find the map and the rules are you can’t go into a space more than 2 times.
Theme and Mechanics:
The new art is pretty spot on, we played on a prototype so it wasn’t all that, but it is a roll and write game. We’ll have to play it with the updated art and rules. We enjoyed what we had to work with. It’s even better now as you’ll see in the Kickstarter campaign after you read finish reading this review! I love Roll & Write games! You Roll the dice and write something down, simple….
10 year old daughter: The theme is a medieval cavern. Once you get to the end of the map you can choose to stop the game or keep playing.
It’s just like I said in the mechanics section, You Roll the dice and write something down, simple….
10 year old daughter: It’s really fun overall.
Artwork and Components:
Print the maps and rules from the files you’ll get after the Kickstarter is completed.
And bring your own pencil and D20 Dice.
10 year old daughter: The new artwork is really cool and looks really nice.
I LOVE the updated art! The rules are simple enough and setup and tear down is SUPER fast! Storage space is super compact as well. Just store the files on your computer until you’re ready to play, then just print it out!
10 year old daughter: I’d say my favorite part is when you’re fighting enemy’s in battle.
I understand why it didn’t happen, but the only thing I’d say could improve this game would be giving us some laminated sheets (When I have the brain power and what not, I’ll be doing this myself with the updated maps so I can play over and over again until the dry erase markers die, and then I’ll get a new marker and start it all over again. Oh and don’t forget, I could always go for a new D20, love me some dice!
10 year old daughter:
Like I said, it doesn’t really come with it’s own character. I think it would be nice if it came with a character or 2 like they do in other games.
Especially with the very low buy in, if you’re okay printing your own games and playing with your own dice, I’d definitely recommend you backing Cavern to add to your collection. Heck, even if you don’t like printing your own games, I’d say email the files to someone else and have them do the hard part and then play it!
10 year old daughter: Overall it’s a really fun and solid game! If I had to rate it between a 1 & 5 I’d probably give it a 4.5 because it doesn’t come with a character.
Players Who Like: Dungeon Crawls, Roll & Write Games, Zero Set-up and just having fun!
10 year old daughter: Probably D&D, I still haven’t played D&D but it’s probably a lot like that it made me think of D&D while playing it.
After reading Lake’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Cavern: a D20 Roll and Write Adventure will be live on KICKSTARTER for the next 28 days, and has or is about to surpass its funding goal of funding goal of $37.
Check it out and back it HERE for less than $5.
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Lake Leafty – Owner
Lake was a pharmacy tech in just about every facet you can think of including as a veteran of the United States Air Force. He’s also a husband to his wonderful wife with whom he has been blessed to be the father of 5 great children. Due to circumstances beyond his control he got thrown into the world of Tabletop gaming. As an overachiever he couldn’t just sit there quietly playing games. So he started podcasting about games in May of 2017. Ever since then has been slowly trying to grow his evil regime starting with The Giveaway Geek
and now EBG.
Lake Leafty has done Reviews, News & Interviews which can be found HERE.