Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hamburger Hole: "DungeonQuest" (Third Edition)


By all accounts, my obsessions are both cyclical and seasonal. In the summer I'm constantly outdoors so the only games I play are quick, lite strategic diversions but as soon as the weather turns cold, I find myself inexorably delving delve back into more time-consuming like Dungeons & Dragons. Faced with such a long, miserable hibernation, why not while away the hours killing orcs and exploring caverns?

Even between RPG sessions I have a hankering to play any board game with the words "dungeon" and / or "dragons" in the title. It's kind of a sickness. One game that can easily be defined as recreational sickness is DungeonQuest.

As I've lamented many times before, I went through a tragic period in my life when I thought that I was "too cool for board games". As such, I missed out on buying such thematic and adventurous fare as Wiz-War, Warhammer Quest, HeroQuest and Talisman. I also managed to telegraph the first edition of DungeonQuest, probably because I lived in a Podunk town where procuring such things was akin to buying enriched uranium on the Black Market. 

So, when Fantasy Flight reprinted DungeonQuest in 2010, I was all over it like orange on Donald Trump.   

So why was I so keen to pick this one up? Well, I'll just let the good folks at Fantasy Flight explain things by proxy:

"DungeonQuest is a re-imagining of the classic board game of dungeon exploration for 1-4 players. Set in the vibrant fantasy realm of Terrinoth (first popularized by Runebound), DungeonQuest retains the peril, tension, and brutality of the beloved original game while updating both mechanical and thematic elements. Players take on the roles of courageous (or foolish) heroes willing to brave the legendary dangers of Dragonfire Dungeon. Fortune awaits those able to venture into the dragon’s lair...

"Legends say that the doors of Dragonfire Dungeon open every sunrise, welcoming brave adventurers into its depths. But once the sun sets, the doors close and seal the fates of those who lingered too long. Only a few have ever returned from Dragonfire Dungeon, and those who have usually come back near death. But they return as heroes nonetheless.

"In
DungeonQuest, players must guide their heroes through the twisting halls of Dragonfire Dungeon in pursuit of unimaginable riches hoarded by the Dragonlord Kalladra. Whoever can amass the most wealth and make it out of the dungeon before the closing of the doors seals their doom will emerge victorious. However, merely surviving the harrowing dungeon is a feat all its own...

"While many similar games rely on a player to control the machinations of the dungeon,
DungeonQuest is unique in that the dungeon essentially runs itself. No one at the table knows what lies around the corner, creating a new play experience every time. Additionally, DungeonQuest also includes rules for solo play, so you can even challenge Kalladra’s keep on your own!

"Great riches and everlasting glory await if you can survive Dragonfire Dungeon. The Dragonlord Kalladra has challenged all heroes of Terrinoth to test themselves against the most dangerous dungeon in all the realms.

"Dare you face the dragon’s challenge?"


Looking for a full map to the Catacombs? Then click on the following link and you'll know where all the secret doors are in Dragonfire dungeon!   

***
Now, when they say that "DungeonQuest retains the peril, tension, and brutality of the beloved original game", they ain't whistlin' Dixie. The game is notorious for its sadistic challenge level. The other day I decided to take up the gauntlet and lead four Characters into the dungeon to try and pick up a few scraps of treasure and then beat feet back to the exit before they were all squished like gnats.

CHARACTER SELECTION

TATIANNA

CHALLARA AND BRIGHTBLAZE

BROTHER GHERINN

HUGO THE GLORIOUS



TURN ONE

Tatianna moves east into a Dungeon Chamber which turns out to be a dead end. She finds an equally-Dead Adventurer lying there and opts to loot the body by drawing one Corpse Card but, alas, it doesn't possess anything of value.

Challara decides to move south. She drops a Chasm Chamber down and then draws a Dungeon Card. It's a "Cave-In" which try to navigate across next turn.

Brother Gherinn ventures one space North. He places a Dungeon Chamber and then draws a "Secret Door" Dungeon Card. This allows him to move to any adjacent space so he decides to place another tile to the west as normal which turns out to be a Trap Chamber. The Trap Deck reveals another "Cave-In" which he'll have to contend with on his next turn.

Hugo the Glorious moves one space east into a Portcullis Chamber. He draws a Dungeon Card which reveals that the room is Empty. On his next turn he'll attempt to lift the Portcullis and move back to the Tower Room.

TURN TWO 
The sun token moves one space.

Tatianna moves back to the Tower Room.

Challara wants to move one space west but has to get past the "Cave-In" in order to do so. She rolls two dice and gets a "10" which exceeds her Agility so she has to stay put. Since she failed the Attribute Test she receives a Determination Token, which improves her chances slightly on her next attempt.

Brother Gherinn finds himself in the exact same situation. He rolls two dice and gets a "4" which ties his Agility so he inches his way one space north. In a classic "out of the frying pan into the brazier" kinda deal, this also turns out to be a Cave-In Chamber! Gherinn draws a Dungeon Card, revealing an "Unstable Potion" which he decides to pocket. 

Hugo the Glorious attempts to lift the Portcullis and get out of the room. He rolls a "10" for his Attribute Test which is three higher than his Strength of 7 so he stays in place, receiving a Determination Token for his troubles.

TURN THREE 
The sun token moves one space.

Tatianna moves one space south. She draws a Dungeon Chamber and, in turn, a Dungeon Card, which reveals... a Troll! This results in...

***COMBAT***

Since I'm playing solo, I'm using the solitaire combat rules. As such, the Troll's Life Value is revealed as 4. Tatianna then uses her pre-battle special ability, revealing the top five cards from the Combat Deck to look for any Ranged cards. She gets a "Quick Shot" and adds this to the Troll's Damage Stack. 

ROUND ONE

Tatianna draws five Combat Cards and decides to play a three-point "Cleaving Blow" while the Troll gets a random two-point "Lightning Bolt". Since Tatianna's card value is higher, the "Cleaving Blow" is added to Troll's Damage Stack while the "Lightning Bolt stays in the Combat Stack.

ROUND TWO

Tatianna draws five more Combat Cards and decides to play a four-point "Soul Burn" while the Troll pulls a "Bolt of Agony". Since the latter is only worth one point, the "Soul Burn" goes into the Troll's Damage Stack. But this triggers a "Deathblow" since two cards in the Combat Stack share the Magic Icon of "Soul Burn". Those cards are also added into the Troll's Damage Stack and the creature is killed. Even better: Tatianna comes out of the battle completely unscathed!

Still trying to deal with the "Cave-In" Card, Challara tries another Attribute Test. She rolls a "9" which is still higher than her agility of 6 + 1 Determination Token. She banks one more Determination Token for next time.

Brother Gherinn is also dealing with his own Cave-In Chamber. His Attribute Test roll is "6" which is higher than his Agility of 4, so he also gets a good ol' Determination Token.

Once again Hugo the Compound Hernia Victim attempts to lift the Portcullis. He gets a "10" resulting in another failure and another Determination Token.

TURN FOUR 
The sun marker movies one space.

Tatianna moves one space east and finds a Catacomb entrance. She draws from the Dungeon Deck and spots a Crypt which is revealed as Empty after a Search attempt. Next turn she must decide to stay on this level or venture into the subterranean bowels of the dungeon.

Challara attempts to maneuver her way through the "Cave-In" again. She rolls a "9" which is still higher than her Agility of 6 + 2 Determination Tokens so she picks up her third Determination Token.

Brother Gherinn is also mired in the same situation. This time he rolls a "6" which is still one higher than his Agility of 4 + 1 Determination Token. So, he gets a second Determination Token.

Once again, Hugo the (Not-So) Glorious attempts to lift the Portcullis. This time he gets a "9" which is equal to his Strength so he finally lifts the friggin' thing and moves back to the Tower Room.

TURN FIVE 
The sun marker moves one space.

Tatianna decides to enter the Catacombs, moving one space in an easterly direction. She gets a "Shuffle" result which is just placed back into the deck. Her next pull is a "Torch Goes Out" card which she'll have to contend with at the start of her next turn.

By now Challara is really kicking herself for not using her special ability to discard and redraw a different Dungeon Card! She tries to find a way past the "Cave-In" and rolls a "6"...success! She moves one space west into a standard Dungeon Room and draws a Dungeon Card, encountering a "Sorcerer". This time she ops to discard this card and draw again. It's a "Crypt" which she Searches to finds 250 Gold Coins!

Brother Gherinn tries to get to the other side of the Cave-In Chamber. He rolls "9" which is still higher than his current Agility of 4 + 2 Determination Tokens, so he receives a third Determination Token.

Hugo the Glorious moves one space north. He draws a Dungeon Tile and a subsequent Dungeon Card which reveals a Dead Adventurer. He Searches the body and finds 50 Gold Coins!

TURN SIX 
The sun token most one more space.

Tatianna spends her "Rune of Luck" to relight her torch. The next Catacomb Card she draws reveals an Empty Room. Yes, more progress made!

Challara and Brightblaze move one space south, encountering a Dungeon Room and drawing a matching Dungeon Card. There's a Dead Adventurer stinking up the joint so she decides to Search the body but it doesn't yield anything of value.

Increasingly determined, Brother Gherinn tries to get past this latest Cave-In. This time he rolls a "6" and succeeds, moving onto a Bridge Chamber. Before attempting to cross the Bridge he uses his special ability to voluntarily take one point of damage in order to gain three Determination Tokens. He rolls a "6" on his Agility Attribute Test and succeeds! He immediately moves one space North, encountering a new Dungeon Room which prompts a draw from the Dungeon Deck. Behind the door he bumps into an animated Skeleton!

***COMBAT***

 The Skeleton only has a Life Value of only 2 so Gherinn decides to stand his ground.

ROUND ONE

Gherinn draws five Combat Cards and out of this he plays a 4-point "Barrage" while the Skeleton randomly gets a 1-point "Bolt of Agony. This triggers a Counterattack since the Ranged icon on "Barrage" matches the Counterattack symbol on the "Bolt". The Skeleton reveals five new cards but only "Lightning Bolt" contributes to the Skeleton's attack. Gherinn still wins and the "Barrage" goes into the Skeleton's Damage Stack.

ROUND TWO

Gherinn draws another five cards. He selects a 4-point "Soul Burn" while the Skeleton reveals a 1-point "Slash". Once again the iconography matches up for a Counterattack and the Skeleton reveals five more cards. This time a 3-point "Cleaving Blow" is added to the Skeleton's effort which results in a tie, I.E. a Standoff.

ROUND THREE

Gherinn draws another five cards and this time he decides to play a "Fire Blast" while the Skeleton's random card is a 4-point "Heart Strike", which wins the exchange. Since Plus "Cleaving Blow" and "Slash" are matching Melee cards, this is considered a Deathblow and are added to Gherinn's Damage Stack.

ROUND FOUR

Gherinn draws five more cards and then casts a 4-point "Soul Burn" while the Skeleton draws a 3-point "Cleaving Blow". Once again, this gives the Skelly a chance to Counterattack. He draws five more cards but, miraculously, none of them are Melee cards. Gherinn wins this exchange, and since "Soul Burn", "Fire Blast", "Lightning Bolt" and "Bolt of Agony" are all Magic-related, it's considered to be a Deathblow and all of them are added to the Skeleton's Damage Stack. As a result, the Skeleton is annihilated and Gherinn wins the fight, although he does suffer three points of damage, one for each card in his Damage Stack.

Hugo the Glorious cautiously creeps one space East. He moves into a Dungeon Chamber and draws a Dungeon Card. There's a "Crypt" in the room which he decides to search, finding 120 Gold Coins! Unfortunately, this room has no exits so next turn he must decide to either search for a way out or go back to the entrance yet again.

TURN SEVEN  
The sun marker moves one space.

Tatianna continues her trek in the Catacombs. She stumbles upon a "Hidden Trap" which turns out to be poisonous snakes! She rolls one die which inflicts four points of damage on her. Yikes!

Challara and Brightblaze move one space west arriving at a T-intersection Corridor Chamber. She then decides to move one space south, arriving at a four-way-intersection Dungeon Room, prompting a Dungeon Card draw. It's a dreaded "Torch Goes Out" card which she decides to turf thanks to her Special Ability. Her replacement card turns out to be a "Crypt" which she immediately Searches. She comes across some "Old Bones" which immediately spring to life and attack her.

***COMBAT***
This results in combat against a two point Skeleton which she can't Escape from. 

ROUND ONE

Challara draws five cards and decides to play a 3-point "Rapid Fire". The Skeleton draws a 2-point "Aimed Shot". Since Challara's card is higher, the "Rapid Fire" goes into the Skeleton's Damage Stack.

ROUND TWO

Challara plays a 3-point "Cleaving Blow" versus the Skeleton's 1-point "Slash". Once again Challara's attack strength is higher so the "Cleaving Blow" goes into the Skeleton's Damage Stack, killing it! Challara avoids all damage in the scrap! Yay!

At the beginning of Brother Gherinn's turn he attempts to go through the western Door. He draws a "Door Open" Door Card so he proceeds through to the Dungeon Room and draws from the Dungeon Deck. The room appears to be Empty.

Hugo the Glorious Searches the Chamber that he's in. He draws the top card from the Search deck and finds a passage down into the Catacombs!

TURN EIGHT 
The sun marker movies one space.

Tatianna continues her trek in the Catacombs by moving into an Empty room.

Challara and Brightblaze move one space west and stumble into a Spiderweb Chamber. She doggedly tries to cross through the web but rolls a "6" which is exceeds her Strength. She stays in place and receives one Determination Token as a consolation prize.

Brother Gherinn moves one space west, entering a Chasm Chamber. He draws a Dungeon Card, encountering a "Shade" which will relentlessly pursue him until he enters the Catacombs or exits the dungeon. Going forward he must roll two dice at the start of every turn and if he rolls "snake eyes" he's killed outright! Seems legit.
 
♪♫ "Spiderwebs to the left of me, Chasms to the right, here I am...stuck in the middle with yeeeeew!" ♪♫

Hugo the Glorious ventures down into the Catacombs, drawing a "Hole In The Roof" card which allows himself to exit. He decides to ignore this and press on.


TURN NINE 
The sun marker movies one space.

Tatianna continues her delve through the Catacombs, encountering a "Horde of Rats". Fun! This forces her to Test her Armor Attribute. She rolls a "9" and deducts this result from her Armor of "4" which inflicts five points of damage. Yikes!

Meanwhile Challara attempts to extricate herself from the Spiderweb Chamber. She rolls of "4" against her Strength so she tears free from the web and moves one space west encountering yet another falkin' Cave-In Chamber! She also has to pull a Dungeon Card but discovers that the room is Empty.

Brother Gherinn rolls for his Shade companion and gets an "8" so he's safe for the time being. He then moves one space south and encounters - guess what? - another Cave-In Chamber. How many of these friggin' things are there in this game? He also has to draw Dungeon Card and, on the surface at least, the room appears to be Empty.

Hugo the Glorious continues to explore the Catacombs. He also runs into a "Horde of Rats" but with an Armor Attribute Test roll of "3" he's unaffected by the rodental deluge.

TURN TEN 
The side marker movies one space.

Still deep underground, Tatianna draws one card from the Catacomb Deck and encounters a "Vampire" which forces her to test Agility or Armor, whatever's lower. Mercifully she rolls a "4" so she cleanly avoids a very deadly threat!

Challara attempts to cross the Cave-In Chamber. She rolls a "7" which is one point higher than her Agility so she receives a Determination Token. It's deja vu all over again!

Brother Gherinn tries to follow suit, Testing his Agility. He gets a "6" which is two points too high so he also draws a Determination Token. Side note: his Shade roll is also a "6".

Hugo the Glorious moves one more space East in the Catacombs and sees something sparkle in the darkness. It's a Gigantic Diamond worth a whopping 4000 Gold Pieces. His goal now is just to get the fuck out A.S.A.P.!

TURN ELEVEN 
The sun marker moves one space.

Still underground in the Catacombs, Tatianna comes across a "Hidden Trap", which turns out to be *surprise, surprise* another fucking "Cave-In", which she'll have to contend with on her next turn.

Challara attempts to clear her own Cave-In Chamber. She rolls a "9" which is two points higher than her current Agility of 7 (6 + 1 Determination Token), so she gets a second Determination Token and her turn is done.

Brother Gherinn tries to rectify his own situation but his roll of "9" is considerably higher than his current Agility (4 + 1 Determination Token) so he receives another Determination Token. His Shade roll is "7", so he's okay there.

Hugo the Glorious continues his underground trek, drawing an "Exit" which he immediately decides to take. He re-appears top side four spaces east shifting one space north because of his die roll of "1". It's a Corridor Chamber which he'll encounter next turn.

"Flawless Sense of Direction Powers: ACTIVATE!!! I said...ACTIVATE!!! damn you!!! Aww, shit."

TURN TWELVE 
The sun marker moves one space.

Thanks to Tatianna's high Agility, her roll of "7" pays off and she easily scampers past the "Cave-In". She draws a new Catacombs Card which mercifully reveals an Empty room.

Challara tries to duplicate that feat. She rolls an "8" which ties her current Agility (6 + 2 Determination Tokens) so she hustles one space west revealing a Chamber of Darkness. On a roll of "2" she gets turned around and pops out again in the Cave-In Chamber! This forces her to pull a new Dungeon Card which turns out to be a Crypt. She searches the thing and finds an "Unstable Potion" which she "Yoinks!" and then moves on.

Gherinn's "Shade" roll is 5. He attempts to *Yawn* get across the Cave-In Chamber, rolling a "3"... success!  He moves one space east into a Dungeon Room and draws a Dungeon Card. It's a Golem. Wheeee!

***COMBAT***
Noting the previous triumphs of Tatianna and Challara, Gherinn decides to fight this five-point monstrosity, drawing five cards for a starting hand.

ROUND ONE

He decides to play a 4-point "Barrage" while the Golem gets a random 2-point "Double Strike". The "Barrage" goes into the Golem's Damage Stack while the "Double Strike" stays in the Combat Stack.

ROUND TWO

Gherinn tables a 4-point "Heart Strike" versus a random 2-point "Aimed Shot". This results in a Counterattack since the icons match up. The Golem pulls five more cards, adding a 3-point "Rapid Fire" which adds to his effort. Gherinn places these two cards in his Damage Stack. Ruh-roh.

ROUND THREE

This time it's Gherinn's 4-point "Barrage" versus the Golem's 3-point "Fire Blast". Once again there's a Counterattack and the Golem's resulting card pull includes two "Lightning Bolts" and a "Bolt of Agony"! All four of these cards go into Gherinn's Damage Stack! It's not looking good for our favorite wizard / Phantom of the Opera cosplayer!

ROUND FOUR

Realizing all too late that he's hideously outmatched, Gherinn tries to Escape. He randomly draws a 3-point "Burning Hands" versus the Golem's 4-point "Hammer Smash"! This inflicts 3 more damage on Gherinn so between this, his previously-incurred wounds and everything currently in his Damage Stack, Gherinn is killed. Dragonfire Dungeon has claimed its first victim!

"I have erred."

Hugo The Glorious moves one space east, arriving in a Rotating Chamber that turns 180°. "Jane, stop this crazy thing!!!" 

TURN THIRTEEN
The sun marker moves one space.

Tatianna's luck goes from bad to worse. Her next Catacomb Card draw is a "Sneak Attack" from a Demon! She's forced to Test her Luck, rolling "8" which deals two points of damage. Even scarier:  the now finds herself in combat with her abyssal assailant!

***COMBAT***
Tatianna is now staring down an eight-point Demon. As per the card's instructions she can't Escape so she takes advantage of her Special Ability, drawing five Combat Cards. Among these is a "Quick Shot" which she adds to the Demon's Damage Stack.

ROUND ONE
After drawing five new Combat Cards she plays a 4-point "Soul Burn" while the Demon gets a 3-point "Cleaving Blow". Unfortunately this opens the door for a Counterattack but by some miracle the Demon doesn't draw any more Melee Cards! So, the "Soul Burn" goes into the Demon's Damage Stack while the "Cleaving Blow" goes into the Combat Stack.

ROUND TWO
Another five cards are drawn for Tatianna. She decides to play a 3-point "Fire Blast" while the Demon gets a 2-point "Aimed Shot". Again Tatianna wins and the "Aimed Shot" goes into the Combat Stack while the "Fire Blast" goes into the Demon's Damage Stack. So far she's dealt three points of damage!

ROUND THREE
Tatianna plays a 3-point "Rapid Fire" and the Demon gets a 2-point "Aimed Shot". Once again, Tatiana wins this round outright, adding her "Rapid Fire" (as well as the "Aimed Shot" in the Combat Stack) to the Demon's Damage Stack. Meanwhile, the "Aimed Shot" that the Demon's just played gets added into the Combat Stack.

ROUND FOUR
Tatianna drops a 2-point "Lightning Bolt" while the Demon gets a 1-point "Bolt of Agony". Tatiana handily wins again so the "Lightning Bolt" is added to the Demon's Damage Stack. So far he's taken six points of damage!

ROUND FIVE
Tatianna rips off a 3-point "Rapid Fire" versus the Demon's paltry 1-point "Slash". Once again luck is on her side and she adds the "Rapid Fire" plus the "Aimed Shot" into the Demon's Damage Stack thanks to a Deathblow. Since this represents eight points of damage to the Demon, Tatianaa wins without taking a single wound! YAS!!!

Seeing that there are few palatable options on the other side of the Chamber of Darkness, Challara tries to cross the Cave-In Chamber once again. She rolls "7" which is one higher than her Agility of 6 so she gets one Determination Token.

Hugo the Glorious strikes out east, drawing a T-intersection Corridor Chamber. He decides to keep truckin' one space south, drawing yet another goddamned, motherfucking, cock-a-doodie Cave-In Chamber. Just as he enters the room he draws a Dungeon Card which reveals a "Swinging Blade Trap". He decides to use his one-shot "Rune of Warning", discarding the trap without resolving its effect.

TURN FOURTEEN
The Sun Marker moves one space.

Tatianna draws yet another Catacombs Card and finally comes across a "Hole in the Roof". She tests Agility and rolls a "4"! With a song in her heart she exits the oppressive Catacombs, popping out ten spaces east, shifted one space south thanks to her die roll of "1". Next turn she'll encounter this space!

"Cool! I'm soooo close to the exit. All I need to do now is pick up a single friggin' dime and I got this by the ass!"

Challara tries to cross the Cave-In Chamber. Again. She rolls a "10" and gets a Determination Token.

Hugo the Glorious travels north to the T-intersection Corridor and keeps on going one space north. It's a Dungeon Room leading west, so Hugo draws one Dungeon Card and finds 40 Gold Coins.

TURN FIFTEEN
The sun marker moves one space.

Tatianna moves into the T-junction Corridor and then moves again south into the Dungeon Room, drawing one Dungeon Card. At face value, the room appears to be Empty.

Challara tries to move past the Cave-In. She rolls a "6" and finally picks her way through the rubble, moving one space south, locating a Catacomb Chamber. She then draws one Dungeon Card and spies the body of a "Dead Adventurer" which she Searches to find a "Rope".

Hugo the Hopelessly Lost moves one space west and enters a Dungeon Room with no exits. He draws a Dungeon Card and finds a "Bottle Imp" which he quickly scoops up.

TURN SIXTEEN
The Sun Marker moves one space.

Tatianna Searches the room and finds a "Secret Door". She picks up a Dungeon Room tile and places it off to the east and immediately moves into that space, drawing a card from the Dungeon Deck. There's a Crypt in the room containing "Old Bones" but she finds nothing of value among the detritus.

Challara searches the room she's in and finds an entirely superfluous entrance to the Catacombs. Fate seems to be screaming in her ear!

Hugo the "Glorious" Searches the room he's in and finds a "Secret Door" which he places off to the north. This lets him move into the Treasure Chamber so he randomly draws one card from the Dragon Deck...and pulls "Dragon Rage"! Kalladra wakes up and scorches Hugo for five points of damage! Mercifully he didn't pick up any Treasure Cards so he doesn't have to discard anything. Hugo runs screaming out of the Treasure Room, exiting through the north west Chamber. This turns out to be a Corridor which he'll encounter next turn.

Drakon on loan courtesy of Fantasy Flight.

TURN SEVENTEEN
The sun marker moves one space.

Tatianna moves one space west back to the Dungeon Room. She draws a Dungeon Card and assumes that the room is Empty.

Now desperate to find a way out, Challara enters the Catacombs moving due south. Her very first card draw is a very promising "Treasure Chest"! Noice!

Hugo the Dumbass encounters the Corridor and moves one space west. He attempts to cross the Web Chamber, testing Strength. He rolls a "5", easily clearing the room. He moves again, placing a Catacomb Chamber with an exit leading North. He then draws a Dungeon Card called "Curse of the Wizard". On a random roll of "5" all of the Corridor Chambers rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise! This means that Tatianna is now trapped! Way to go, dipshit!

TURN EIGHTEEN 
The Sun Token moves one space.

Desperately looking for a way out, Tatianna Searches the room and finds 70 Gold Coins. Now that she's finally found something of value, she's allowed to exit and go for the win. But is it too little, too late? 

Challara continues to pick her way through the Catacombs. This turn she encounters a dreaded "Bane Spider". At the start of all of her future turns she must roll one die. If she rolls a "1" or "2" she suffers one Wound and her turn immediately ends. If she rolls "3" to "6" she kills the icky thing, discards the card and proceeds on with her turn.

Still running and screaming bloody murder, Hugo charges one space north. Just as he moves into the next Chamber the floor suddenly gives away, forcing him to Test his Luck. He rolls "7" which is considerably higher than his luck of "3" and he tumbles into a Bottomless Pit.

Whelp, it's all up to the ladies now!

 "I regret nothiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!"

TURN NINETEEN 
The Sun Token moves one space.

One last time, Tatiana frantically Searches the room for an escape hatch but comes up Empty.

Challara rolls a "1" and suffers a wound from the "Bane Spider". She then moves one more space through the Catacombs into an Empty room. (Error: if you fail to kill the Bane Spider, you can't move)

TURN TWENTY 
The Sun Token moves one space.

Tatianna moves into the Spiderweb Chamber and Tests Strength to try and tear her way through it. Unfortunately she rolls of "5" which is one higher than her Strength so she gets one Determination Token. I'm sure that'll help loads.

Challara kills the Bane Spider with a "4" and then draws her next Catacomb card, revealing an Empty room. Ah, man...time's gettin' short! 

TURN TWENTY-ONE
The Sun Token moves one space.

Tatianna once again tries to free herself from the Spiderweb Chamber. She gets a "7", I.E. another failure which means that she picks up another highly useful Determination Token.

Challara's next Catacomb Card draw is a "Sneak Attack" from a Skeleton. Her roll is "8", which is higher than her Luck of 7 so she takes one point to damage and must now fight the Skeleton.

***COMBAT***
It's Challara versus a two-point Skeleton!

ROUND ONE 

Challara plays a 4-point "Heart Strike" and the Skelly draws a random 1-point "Slash". Her card goes into the Skeleton's Damage Stack while the "Slash" is left in the Combat Stack.

ROUND TWO

Our heroine plays a 2-point "Aimed Shot" versus the Skeleton's random 4-point "Barrage", so the undead fiend wins that round. The "Barrage" is placed in Challara's Damage Stack and the "Aimed Shot" goes into the Combat Stack.

ROUND THREE

She then plays a 4-point "Soul Burn" against the Skeleton's weak-sauce "Bolt of Agony". This is enough to kill the Skeleton!

TURN TWENTY-TWO 
The Sun Marker moves one space.

Tatianna hacks away at the webbing which holds her fast, but she rolls a "12" and is stuck there for another turn. She gets one more Determination Token but his is about as useless as a pup tent versus Jason Vorhees.

Things continue to go sour for Challara. She runs smack-dab into a feasome "Naga" in the next space of the Catacombs which forces her to turn around!

The card might as well read: "You Soil Your Pantaloons. Move Back Five Spaces."

TURN TWENTY-THREE 
The Sun Marker moves one space.

Once again Tatianna tries to rip her way through the Spiderweb Chamber. She rolls a "7" which ties her current Strength of 4 + 3 Determination Tokens, so she hustles on to the next room. It's a Dungeon Chamber that mercifully slots in perfectly with the Corridor off to the east! Things are looking good until she draws a Dungeon Card which turns out to be a "Crossfire Trap". She Tests Armor, rolling a "9" versus her armor of "4". The difference between the two results in 5 points of damage. Unfortunately Tatianna had already incurred 11 damage so the plucky adventurer inadvertently ends up doing her dead-on Satipo impersonation from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 "It's...it's just a flesh wound. I'll be awrite. Imma walk this off..."

On the start of Challara's turn she draws another freakin' "Bane Spider". This x 100.

TURN TWENTY FOUR
The Sun Marker movies one space.

Challara fights the Bane Spider and rolls a "2" so it causes a wound and her turn immediately ends.

TURN TWENTY-FIVE 
The Sun Marker removes one space.

Still locked in a death battle with the Bane Spider, Challara rolls a "1" and takes yet another point of damage, ending her turn. 

TURN TWENTY SIX
The Sun Marker moves one space. In addition, Challara must now roll to see if the doors of the dungeon seal up. She rolls a "1" and the maze locks down like a bank vault. Even worse: Kalladra wakes up and stalks through catacombs, hunting down and killing our last remaining hero. 

GAME OVER - NO SURVIVORS



***

REVIEW

PROS
  • Dying Miserably Never Looked So Good. DungeonQuest clearly showcases Fantasy Flight's typically-gorgeous production values. I.E. the cards, the board, the tokens and the figures are all top-notch. I just love the way the board looks at the end of the game: kinda like the world's most lethal game of Dig Dug
  • Quick Start. At its heart the game is as simple as Carcassonne meets Drakon: just pick a direction, select a face-down tile, place the tile on the board, move your figure in and then deal with the horrible, horrible things that are about to happen.  
  • It's Thematic. The game really does feel like an olde-skool dungeon crawl, complete with bad-and-even-worse choices, fleeting hope cruelly being ripped away, insta-death and perpetual feelings of inevitable doom. In fact, the danger is so palpable, the twists are so terrible and the kills are so so arbitrarily inhumane that I often find myself chuckling out loud.
  • It's Exhilarating. You're constantly rooting for your poor little character to survive. Since the game is so ridiculously challenging you feel like cheering whenever you overcome even the simplest of obstacles.  
  • It's Tense. Re-reading this session report had me biting my nails in suspense. Sorry but it's downright terrifying when your escape route suddenly vanishes half way through the game and you now have to figure out a completely different way to get out before the resident wyrm wakes up.
  • It's Slightly More Strategic Than You Think. Looking back on the game I know I could have leveraged some of the character powers a bit better and not wasted so much time. For example, I know I didn't take full advantage of Challara's ability to turf and re-draw tiles. And she probably shouldn't have given up on the Room of Darkness so quickly.
 CONS
  • Luck Be A Lady Tonite. A lot of your fortune (or misfortune, more accurately) is predicated on what tile you pull. You can mitigate this somewhat by playing a very conservative game, I.E. beating feet right back to the Tower Room just as soon as you pick up so much as a single coin. But, hey, where's the fun in that?
  • Terrinoth Sucks.  I've said this before but I'm really not a fan of Fantasy Flight's bland, generic, puerile fantasy world. At least things were starting to improve by the time this version of DungeonQuest came out five years ago, but it still had a long way to go. I mean, Challara and Brightblaze. "Brightblaze"? L-a-a-a-a-a-m-e. Just think of how much cooler the game would be with a creepy, Gothic Warhammer-y / Games Workshop vibe than this generic crap. 
  • Combat Is Atrocious. Actually the combat system isn't terrible; in fact, there's a kernel of a decent mini-game buried in there somehwere. But within the confines of a quick n' dirty game like DungeonQuest, it brings the whole thing to a screeching halt. Besides, it's thematically wonky. Why would a brick like Hugo cast spells like "Fire Blast" n' shit? And why are Sorcerers trying to bury a battleaxe in my skull?  
  • The Frustration Factor Is Off The Charts. Just read the report: my game had more "Cave-In's" than a Chinese coal mine. When you're running out of time and you're desperately scrambling for an exit, it feels as if you're trying to run in hip-deep mud. 
  • Surprise! You're Dead! Hey, I really don't mind a challenge, but just look at poor ol' Hugo in the example above. He's doin' well, he's collected a nice l'il nest egg o' loot, he's bookin' it to the closest exit and then, all of a sudden, he's falling like Palpatine down the Death Star reactor shaft
***

The thing to remember about DungeonQuest is that it's product of a time when dungeons were deathtraps, monsters were legitimately terrifying, traps were deadly, poison killed outright and undead fiends sucked levels outta you like bubble tea through a straw. Back then Dungeon Masters were sadistic cuntnuggets who cooked up the cruelest, most creatively-evil ways to murder their way through reams of Character Sheets. Don't believe me? Then check out the The Tomb of Horrors.

Back then DM's didn't give a shit about your character's extensive background story or your skills synergies or your optimized builds. You didn't live long enough to need any of that shit!

Which is why DungeonQuest is a game slightly out of time. In the first edition the Character survival rate was estimated to be around 15% which has supposedly increased to a downright generous 21% in the version I own. So if you're one of those people who'll pout, bitch and whine whenever your character gets randomly squished like the invasive insect that he or she is, then you really need to give this one a very wide berth. 

But for the rest of us it's a gloriously nostalgic romp through Blackhumor Dungeon.

DungeonQuest scores three pips out of six with a dragon-horde-sized tilt up to the top of Kalladra's horns!

 
***
Wanna lead your friends through the fantasy equivalent of Saw: The Board Game? Then click on the following image to learn more about DungeonQuest and help this blog get back to the Tower Room!
Please note, the third edition which I own is currently out of print. The Revised Edition, pictured above, is described thusly by Fantasy Flight:

"This new edition of DungeonQuest features a streamlined combat system (thank fux) that harkens back to the classic editions of the game, and a deadlier (!!!) dungeon than ever before. A brand new Torchlight Variant offers you a new way to explore the dungeon's depths, while building an even more complex and sprawling dungeon throughout the game." 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quick Start Character Summaries For "D&D 5'th"


Howdy, fellow dungeon crawlerz!

In addition to my ongoing 3.5 campaign, I'm starting to dabble more and more in the recently-released and justifiably-lauded fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

What's particularly good about this iteration of the game is how quickly you can whip up a character and jump right into the action. Fellow blogger and D&D nut Kiel Chenier came up with a super-helpful character generator a little while back which is great for dialing up random combo or guide you in making an informed decision about the sort perks you'll get based on your chosen races, class and background.

And that's precisely what inspired this entry. After using Kiel's character generator I then find myself delving back into the manual to take note of all of the Proficiencies, Equipment and Features that my newly minted hero starts out with. 

So, what I wanted to create was a quick, at-a-glance, bullet point summary of these things so I could just jump right in and start ganking orcs right away without missing out on any of my entitled perks. 

So, without further ado, here's my Quick Start Character Summaries For D&D 5'th.

***
RACIAL TRAITS

DWARF 

  • +2 to Constitution.
  • Base walking speed is 25 feet. Speed not reduced by heavy armor.
  • Darkvision 60 feet.
  • Advantage on Saves vs. Poison. Resistance (1/2 damage) against poison.
  • Proficient with battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer and warhammer.
  • Choose one Tool Proficiency: smith's, brewer's or mason's tools.
  • Double proficiency bonus for all stonework-related Intelligence (History) checks. 
  • Languages: Common and Dwarvish.
Hill Dwarf includes base Dwarven Traits plus:
  • +1 Wisdom. and 
  • +1 Hit Point maximum, +1 every time you gain a level.
Mountain Dwarf includes base Dwarven Traits plus:
  • +2 Strength
  • Proficient with light and medium armor.
ELF 

  • Dexterity +2.
  • Base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision 60 feet.
  • Proficient in Perception.
  • Advantage on "Charm"-related Saving Throws and immune to "Sleep".
  • Meditate instead of sleep.
  • Languages: Common and Elvish.
High Elf includes base Elf Traits plus:
  • +1 Intelligence
  • Proficient with the longsword, short sword, short bow and longbow.
  • Pick one Wizard Cantrip, Intelligence based.
  • Languages: choose one extra language.
Wood Elf includes base Elf Traits plus:
  • +1 Wisdom.
  • Proficient with the longsword, short sword, shortbow and longbow.
  • Base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
  • Can attempt to Hide in foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist...etc. 
Dark Elf includes base Elf Traits plus:
  • +1 Charisma
  • Darkvision 120 feet 
  • Disadvantage on all attack rolls and Sight-based Wisdom (Perception) checks in direct sunlight. 
  • Know the "Dancing Lights" Cantrip, learn "Faerie Fire" at level three and "Darkness" at level five. Must complete a long rest to re-cast the latter two spells. Charisma-based.
  • Proficient with rapiers, short swords and hand crossbows.
HALFLING

  • +2 Dexterity
  • Base walking speed is 25 feet.
  • Re-roll "1" on any attack roll, ability check or saving throw. Must accept second result.
  • Advantage on fear-based Saving Throws.
  • Move through the space of any creature that's a size larger than you.
  • Languages: Common and Halfling.
Lightfoot includes base Halfling Traits plus:
  • +1 Charisma
  • Can attempt to Hide when obscured by a creature at least one size larger than you.
Stout includes base Halfling Traits plus:
  • +1 Constitution 
  • Advantage on Saving Throws against Poison and Resistant (1/2 damage) to poison.
HUMAN

  
  • +1 to all Ability Scores or Variant Human: +1 to any two Ability Scores plus gain one Skill and one Feat.
  • Base walking speed is 30.
  • Languages: Common and one extra language of your choice.
DRAGONBORN

  • +2 Strength, +1 Charisma
  • Base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Draconic Breath weapon: Save DC = 8 + Constitution modifier + Proficiency Bonus. Creatures takes 2d6 damage, 1/2 on successful Save. Replenish after short or long rest.
  • Draconic Damage Resistance: 1/2 damage from your related draconic ancestry damage type.
  • Languages: Common and Draconic.
GNOME

 
  • +2 Intelligence 
  • Base walking speed is 25.
  • Darkvision 60 feet 
  • Advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma magic-related saving throws.
  • Languages: Common and Gnomish
Forest Gnome includes base Gnome Traits plus:
  • +1 Dexterity score 
  • "Minor Illusion" Cantrip, Intelligence-based. 
  • Communicate simple ideas to Small or smaller beasts.
Rock Gnome includes base Gnome Traits plus:
  • +1 Constitution score.
  • Double Proficiency Bonus for Intelligence (History) checks for magic items, alchemical objects or technological devices.  
  • Proficient with Artisan Tinkers Tools. Spend one hour and 10 gold to build a Tiny clockwork device. See Players Handbook Page 37 for details.
HALF-ELF

 
  • +2 Charisma and +1 to any two other ability scores.
  • Base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • 60 foot Darkvision.
  • Advantage on "Charm"-related Saving Throws and immune to "Sleep".
  • Choose any two Skills.
  • Languages: Common, Elvish and one extra language of your choice.
HALF-ORC 

  • +2 Strength +1 Constitution.
  • Base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • 60 foot Darkvision.
  • Proficient in the Intimidation.
  • Unless killed outright, drop to one Hit Point when you are reduced to zero. Must complete a long rest to use this again.
  • Roll melee weapon's damage again and add it to total damage on a critical hit.
  • Languages: Common and Orc.
TIEFLING

  • +1 Intelligence and + 2 Charisma.
  • Base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • 60 foot Darkvision.
  • Resistance to fire (1/2 damage).
  • Know the "Thaumaturgy" Cantrip at level one, learn "Hellish Rebuke" at level 3 (cast as a Level 2 spell) and learn "Darkness" at level five. Must complete a long rest to re-cast the latter two spells. Charisma-based. 
  • Languages: Common and Infernal.
CLASS FEATURES

BARBARIAN

  • d12 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient with light armor, medium armor, shields.
  • Proficient with simple weapons and martial weapons.
  • Proficient in Strength and Constitution Saving Throws.
  • Chose two Skills: Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception and Survival.
  • Starting equipment: great axe or any martial melee weapon plus two hand axes or any simple weapon plus an Explorers Pack and four javelins.
  • Rage: Twice at Level One, replenished by long rest. Duration: one minute, ends if knocked unconscious or if you haven't attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. Can be ended voluntarily as a bonus action. Advantage on Strength Checks and Strength Saving Throws. +2 to damage on Strength-based melee attacks. Resistance (1/2 damage) from bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. Can't cast spells.
  • Unarmored Defense: Armor Class equals 10 + Dexterity modifier + Constitution modifier if not wearing armor. Shields can still be used.
BARD

  • d8 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient with light armor.
  • Proficient with simple weapons, hand crossbows, long swords, rapiers, short swords.
  • Proficient with three musical instruments of your choice.
  • Proficient in Dexterity and Charisma Saving Throws.
  • Choose any three Skills.
  • Starting Equipment: rapier, long sword or any simple weapon plus diplomat's pack or an entertainer's pack plus a lute or any other musical instrument plus leather armor and a dagger.
  • Spellcasting: Two Cantrips known. Four Spells known. Two Spell Slots at 1st level. 
  • Bardic Inspiration: Give one other creature within 60 feet a d6, limit of one die. Spend it within the next ten minutes to roll and add the results to one ability check, attack roll or saving throw. Can apply the after rolling the d20 but before the DM declares success or failure. Number of uses = Charisma modifier, minimum of one. Replenished after long rest. 
CLERIC

  • d8 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient with light armor, medium armor and shields.
  • Proficient with simple weapons.
  • Proficient with Wisdom and Charisma Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills: from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion and Religion.
  • Starting equipment: mace or warhammer plus scale mail, leather armor or chain mail plus light crossbow and 20 bolts or any simple weapon plus a priest pack or an explorer is pack plus a shield and a holy symbol.
  • Spellcasting: three Cantrips known, two Level One Spell Slots
  • Choose one Domain:
Knowledge
  • Gain access to the "Command" and "Identify" Spells.
  • Learn two languages of your choice. 
  • Double Proficiency bonus for two of the following Skills: Arcana, History, Nature, Religion.
Life 
  • Gain access to the "Bless" and Cure Wounds" Spells. 
  • Proficient with heavy armor. 
  • Regain 2 + the spell's level additional Hit Points when using a first level or higher healing spell.
Light 
  • Gain access to the "Burning Hands" and "Faerie Fire" Spells. 
  • Gain the "Light" Cantrip. 
  • Warding Light. When attacked by creature within 30 feet use your reaction to impose Disadvantage on the attack roll. Number of uses = your Wisdom modifier, minimum of one. Replenished by a long rest. 
Nature 
  • Gain access to the "Animal Friendship" and "Speak With Animals" Spells.
  • Learn one Druid Cantrip of your choice.
  • Proficient in one of the following Skills: Animal Handling, Nature or Survival.
  • Proficient with heavy armor. 
Tempest
  • Gain access to the "Fog Cloud" and "Thunderwave" Spells. 
  • Proficient with martial weapons and heavy armor.
  • Wrath of the Storm. As a reaction, force a creature that hits you with a melee attack to make a Dexterity Saving Throw or suffer 2d8 lightning or thunder damage. 1/2 damage on a successful save. Number of uses = Wisdom modifier, minimum of one. Replenished by a long rest. 
Trickery 
  • Gain access to the "Charm Person" and "Disguise Self" Spells.
  • Blessing. Use an action to touch another creature other than yourself to give it Advantage on Dexterity skill checks. Lasts for one hour or until you use this feature again. 
War
  • Gain access to the "Divine Favor" and "Shield of Faith" Spells.
  • Proficient with martial weapons and heavy armor.
  • Make one weapon attack as a bonus action when you use the attack action. Number of uses = Wisdom modifier, minimum of one. Replenished by a long rest.
DRUID
 
  • d8 Hit Dice 
  • Proficient with light armor, medium armor, shields. Druids can't use metallic armor and shields.
  • Proficient with clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears.
  • Proficient with Herbalism kits. 
  • Proficient in Intelligence and Wisdom Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills from: Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion and Survival 
  • Starting equipment: wooden shield or any simple weapon plus a scimitar or any simple melee weapon plus leather armor, an explorer's pack and a druidic focus.
  • Languages: Druidic 
  • Spellcasting: Two Cantrips known plus two 1st Level Spell Slots.
FIGHTER

  • d10 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient with all armor and shields.
  • Proficient with simple weapons and martial weapons.
  • Proficient with Strength and Constitution Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills: Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception and Survival.
  • Starting equipment: chain mail or leather armor, longbow and 20 arrows plus a martial weapon and shield or two martial weapons plus a light crossbow and 20 bolts or two hand axes plus a dungeoneer's pack or an explorer pack.
  • Choose one Fighting Style: Archery (+2 to ranged attacks), Defense (+1 AC bonus while wearing armor), Dueling (+2 to damage when wielding a melee weapon with one hand), Great Weapon Fighting (re-roll results of 1 or 2 on damage rolls when using a weapon two-handed. Must accept the second result), Protection (If carrying a shield you can impose Disadvantage on attack rolls directed at allies within 5 feet), Two-Weapon Fighting (add Strength modifier to damage of second attack when wielding two weapons).
  • Second Wind: use a bonus action to regain Hit Points equal to d10 plus your fighter level. Replenished after short or long rest.
MONK

  • d8 Hit Dice
  • Proficient with simple weapons and short swords.
  • Proficient with either one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument.
  • Proficient in Strength and Dexterity Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion and Stealth.
  • Starting equipment: short sword or simple weapon plus dungeoneer's pack or explorer's pack plus 10 darts.
  • Armor Class = 10 + your Dexterity modifier + Wisdom modifier if not wearing armor.
  • Martial Arts: Use Dexterity instead of Strength for attack and damage rolls when using unarmed strikes and Monk weapons. Option to roll d4 in place of normal damage for unarmed strikes or Monk weapons. Make one unarmed strike as a bonus action when you use an unarmed strike or a monk weapon for an attack action. Martial Arts can only be used if unarmed or wielding only Monk weapons and you aren't wearing armor or carrying a shield. 
PALADIN

 
  • d10 Hit Dice 
  • Proficient with all armor and shields.
  • Proficient with simple and martial weapons.
  • Proficient in Wisdom and Charisma Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion and Religion.
  • Starting equipment: a martial weapon and a shield or two martial weapons plus five javelins or any simple melee weapon plus a priest's pack or an explorer's pack plus chain mail and a holy symbol.
  • Divine Sense. As an action know the location and type but not exact identity of any celestial, fiend or undead within 60 feet of you that isn't behind total cover. Lasts until the end of your next turn. Can also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as per the "Hallow" spell. Number of uses = 1 + Charisma modifier. Replenished after a long rest.
  • Lay on Hands. Restore a number of Hit Points = Paladin level x 5. Can also spend five points to cure one disease or neutralize one poison. No effect on undead and constructs. Replenished after a long rest.  
RANGER

  • d10 Hit Dice
  • Proficient in light and medium armor and shields.
  • Proficient with simple and martial weapons.
  • Proficient with Strength and Dexterity Saving Throws.
  • Choose three skills: Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth and Survival.
  • Starting equipment: scale mail or leather armor plus two short swords or two simple melee weapons plus a dungeoneer's pack or explorer's pack plus a long bow and a quiver with 20 arrows.
  • Favored Enemy: Gain the related Language. Advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track and on Intelligence checks to recall info.   
  • Natural Explorer. Gain double Proficiency bonus on Intelligence or Wisdom check related to your favored terrain. While traveling for an hour or more, difficult terrain doesn't slow your group, can't get lost except by magical means, you remain alert to danger, move stealthily at normal pace if alone, can forage for twice as much food and you can determine exact numbers, size and how long ago creatures passed through the area.
ROGUE

  • d8 hit dice.
  • Proficient with simple weapons, hand crossbows, long swords, rapiers, short swords.
  • Proficient with Thieves Tools.
  • Proficient in Dexterity and Intelligence Saving Throws. 
  • Chose four Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight-of-Hand and Stealth. 
  • Starting equipment: rapier or short sword plus short bow and quiver with 20 arrows or a short sword plus a burglar's pack, dungeoneer's pack or an explores pack plus leather armor, two daggers and thieves tools
  • Expertise. Choose to get double Proficiency bonus on either two of your Skill Proficiencies or one Skill Proficiency and your Proficiency with thieves tools. 
  • Sneak Attack. While using a finesse or ranged weapon, deal an extra d6 damage to any creature you have Advantage on when you hit or if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet, that enemy isn't incapacitated and you don't have Disadvantage. 
  • Languages: Thieves Cant. 
SORCERER

  • d6 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient with daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows.
  • Proficient in Constitution and Charisma Saving Throws. 
  • Chose two Skills: Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion.
  • Starting equipment: light crossbow and 20 bolts or any simple weapon plus a component pouch or an arcane focus plus a dungeoneer's pack or an explorer's pack plus two daggers. 
  • Spellcasting: Know four Cantrips and two Spells with two 1st level Spells Slots
  • Sorceress Origin. Choose one:
Draconic Bloodline 
  • Chose your Dragon Ancestor (see page 102 in the Players Handbook).  
  • Languages: Draconic.
  • Double your Charisma-related Proficiency bonus when dealing with dragons.
  • Draconic Resilience. Hit Point maximum +1, increases by +1 whenever you gain a Sorcerer level. Your unarmored AC = 13 + your Dexterity modifier. 
Wild Magic 
  • Wild Magic Surge. Once/turn, roll a d20 after you cast a Sorcerer Spell. On a roll a "1", consult the "Wild Magic Surge Table", page 104 Player's Handbook.
  • Tides of Chaos. Gain Advantage on one attack roll, ability check or saving throw. Replenished by a long rest. Any time before you regain this feature, roll on the "Wild Magic Surge Table" immediately after you cast a Sorcerer Spell. You then regain the use of this feature.  
WARLOCK

  • d8 Hit Dice.
  • Proficient in light armor.
  • Proficient with simple weapons.
  • Proficient in Wisdom and Charisma Saving Throws.
  • Choose two skills: Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature and Religion.
  • Starting equipment: light crossbow and 20 bolts or any simple weapon plus a component pouch or an arcane focus plus a scholar's pack or a dungeoneer's pack plus leather armor, any simple weapon and two daggers.
  • Pact Magic. Know two Cantrips and two Spells, with one 1st level Spell Slot.
  • Choose Other Worldly Patron:
The Archfey
  • Gain access to the "Faerie Fire" and "Sleep" Spells.
  • Fey Presence: As an action, make all creatures within a 10 foot cube from you roll a Wisdom Saving Throw against your Warlock Spell Save DC. Any creatures that fail are either "Charmed" or "Frightened" (your choice) until the end of your next turn. Replenished after a short or long rest.
The Fiend
  • Gain access to the "Burning Hands" and "Command" Spells. 
  • Dark One's Blessing: Gain temporary Hit Points = Charisma modifier + Warlock Level (minimum of one) when you reduce a hostile creature to zero Hit Points.  
The Great Old One
  • Gain access to "Dissonant Whispers" and "Tasha's Hideous Laughter" Spells. 
  • Awakened Mind:  Telepathically speak to any creature you can see within 30 feet. Creature must be able to understand at least one language.
WIZARD

 
  • d6 Hit Dice
  • Proficient with daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaff, light crossbows.
  • Proficient with Intelligence and Wisdom Saving Throws.
  • Choose two Skills: Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine and Religion.
  • Spellcasting: Know three Cantrips with two 1st level Spell Slots.
  • Arcane Recovery. Once / day after a short rest choose expended Spell Slots with a combined level equal to or less than half your Wizard level rounded up.

BACKGROUND PERKS

ACOLYTE
  • Proficient in Insight and Religion 
  • Languages: two of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: a holy symbol, a prayer book or prayer wheel, five sticks of incense, vestments, set of common clothes and a belt pouch containing 15 gold pieces.
CHARLATAN
  • Proficient in Deception and Sleight-of-Hand
  • Proficient with Disguise and Forgery Kits.
  • Starting equipment: Fine set of clothes, a disguise kit, tools of the con of your choice and a pouch containing 15 gold pieces.
CRIMINAL
  • Proficient in Deception and Stealth.
  • Proficient with one type of gaming set.
  • Proficient with thieves tools.
  • Starting equipment: a crowbar, a set of dark common clothes including a hood and a belt pouch containing 15 gold pieces.
  • Variant: Spy.
ENTERTAINER
  • Proficient in Acrobatics and Performance.
  • Proficient with Disguise Kits and one musical instrument.
  • Starting equipment: choose one musical instrument, the favor of an admirer, a costume, and a belt pouch containing 15 gold pieces.
  • Variant: Gladiator. 
FOLK HERO
  • Proficient in Animal Handling and Survival.
  • Proficient in one Artisan's Tools and one Land Vehicle.
  • Starting equipment: Choose one set of artisan's tools, a shovel, a set of common clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces.
GUILD ARTISAN
  • Proficient in Insight and Persuasion.
  • Proficient in one type of Artisan's Tools.
  • Languages: one of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: Chose one set of artisan's tools, a letter of introduction from your guild, set of traveler's clothes and a belt pouch containing 15 Gold pieces.
  • Variant: Guild Merchant.
HERMIT
  • Proficient in Medicine and Religion
  • Proficient with Herbalism kit.
  • Languages: one of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: a scroll case stuffed with notes from your studies or prayers, a winter blanket, a set of common clothes, an Herbalism kit and 5 gold pieces
NOBLE
  • Proficient in History and Persuasion.
  • Proficient with one type of gaming set.
  • Languages: one of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: a set a fine closes, a signet ring, a scroll of pedigree and a purse containing 25 gold pieces.
  • Variant: Knight. 
OUTLANDER
  • Proficient in Athletics and Survival.
  • Proficiencies with one type of musical instrument.
  • Languages: one of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: A staff, a hunting trap, a trophy from an animal you killed, a set of traveler's clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces
SAGE
  • Proficient in Arcana and History.
  • Languages: two of your choice.
  • Starting equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you haven't answered yet, a set of common clothes, a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces. 
SAILOR
  • Proficient in Athletics and Perception.
  • Proficient with Navigators tools and water vehicles.
  • Starting equipment: belaying pin, 50 feet of silk rope, a lucky charm, a set of common clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces.
  • Variant: Pirate.
SOLDIER
  • Proficient in Athletics and Intimidation.
  • Proficient with one gaming set and land vehicles.
  • Starting equipment: An insignia of rank, a trophy taken from a fallen enemy, set of bone dice or deck of cards, a set of common clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces.
URCHIN
  • Proficient in Sleight-of-Hand and Stealth.
  • Proficient with Disguise Kit and Thieves Tools.
  • Starting equipment: a small knife, a map of the city you grew up in, a pet mouse, a token to remember your parents by, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gold pieces.

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Well, there ya go, folks. If I missed anything really important or goofed something up, please let me know in the comments below and I'll endeavor to fix it.

Even though I did this for entirely selfish reason, I'm hoping that it'll help others as well. At the very least you should be able to use this to quickly pad out your character sheets, jump right into the game and make sure that you don't miss out on any critical Skill synergies, free Equipment and / or clutch class Features that'll help your little paper champion survive that first dungeon delve.

Quest on!

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Wanna create a Rock Gnome Barbarian who can also play "Smoke on the Water" on a hurdy gurdy? Then click on the link below to learn more about the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Players Handbook and help this blog level up!


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Image Credits

Gimli: http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121008105956/lotr/images/e/ec/Gimli_-_FOTR.png
Legolas: http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/9/95/Legolask.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130604231140
Bilbo: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/6/6a/80444620141013001436.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150113141309&path-prefix=pl
Boromir: http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/d/de/Boromir_-_FOTR.png/revision/latest?cb=20121023114949
Dragonborn: http://pre07.deviantart.net/950d/th/pre/f/2011/160/d/0/rimas_the_dragonborn_by_fushark-d3iiidf.png
Gnome: http://orig15.deviantart.net/c08c/f/2013/199/6/8/gnome_by_yngvemartinussen-d6e2e0k.jpg
Half-Elf: http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110131180416/dndawokenheroes/images/4/44/Half-Elf_%28main%29.png
Half-Orc: http://klubbsaga2015.wdfiles.com/local--files/half-orc/Half-Orc%2038%20%28Sir%20Albert%20Portrait,%20by%20artbytravis%29.jpg
Tiefling: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/21/a5/91/21a591ac5bb8ad733da66a7d230ccb72.jpg
Conan: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mLICTmSLJlA/maxresdefault.jpg
Doof Warrior: http://cdn-1.boosharticles.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/mad-max-fury-road-coma-doof-warrior.png
Van Helsing: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_DSs2bX13hVc/TD81Avx-qxI/AAAAAAAACSo/M-cOots5ShA/s1600/vanhelsing.jpg
Willow MacGregor:  https://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3bb429U9L1qemva8o1_500.jpg
Leonidas: http://finalcutking.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/300-effect1.jpg
Shaolin: https://koolcampus.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/bb.jpg
King Arthur: https://www.thewrap.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/nigel-terry-150503.jpg
Strider: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/c/cc/Aragorn_Close_up_-_FOTR.png/revision/latest?cb=20121003053523
Arya Stark:  http://i.lv3.hbo.com/assets/images/series/game-of-thrones/character/s5/arya-stark-1920.jpg
Gandalf: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/8/8d/Gandalf-2.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130209172436
Warlock: http://80shorrorrelief.com/reviews/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/warlock.jpg
Harry Potter: https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/f9m50ef7wllwnzwtiilb.jpg