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I love Tony Dowler’s How To Host A Dungeon and I finally bought a full copy from him a few months ago. This week I had a day of doing nothing, so I pulled it out and played a full game. I tried to document most of it along the way (forgetting a few years right towards the end because I was actually too caught up in the game, and one year’s photo was too blurry to use).

1 - The Beginning

1 – The Beginning

Like any good game, we start by throwing some dice on the paper. Except when I use a die as a counter, this will be the only time I photograph the dice on the page. Aside from the dice I was using a pad of tracing paper, a pencil, a black pen and a red pen. I don’t have a game of Go to work with anymore like I did when I used to play this a few years ago, so I draw in Black and White beads as circles with B or W in them.

2 - The Primordial Age

2 – The Primordial Age

So we have a couple of Mithral deposites, two caves with magma in them, one with water, and one way up at the top with a dragon (Brynioth the Jealous) and her treasure.

3 - Age of Civilization 1

3 – Age of Civilization 1

The Age of Civilization turns out to be about a Demon civilization. First thing is adding a cave complex with some primordial beasts (lower left) and a Demon Pit in the middle there with 10 demons in it.

4 - Age of Civilization 2

4 – Age of Civilization 2

– 1 Demon dies to infighting
– The demonic Tunnel Worm (little blue d10) reaches the 1st Primordial Beast which is sacrificed and a Charnel Shrine is built.

5 - Age of Civilization 3

5 – Age of Civilization 3

– 1 Demon dies to infighting
– 1 Primordial Beast sacrificed. Demon Palace Built. 1 Demon + 1 Treasure moved into Palace.

6 - Age of Civilization 4

6 – Age of Civilization 4

– 1 Demon dies to infighting
– The last Primordial Beast is sacrificed. A second Demon Palace is built. 1 Demon + 1 Treasure moved into Palace.

7 - Age of Civilization 5

7 – Age of Civilization 5

– 1 Demon dies to infighting
– Tunnel Worm travels towards Brynioth the Jealous
– Tunnel Worm digs @ 2 o’clock, finds mithral. Infernal Engine built with 1 bound demon and the worm’s treasure.

8 - End of the Age of Civilization

8 – End of the Age of Civilization

This actually takes place over 2 years.

– 1 Demon dies to infighting
– Tunnel Worm reaches Brynioth the Jealous who is sacrificed building a Charnel Shrine.

Then the next year the second last demon dies to infighting, and the last demon returns to hell, leaving the Tunnel Worm as a wandering monster and the Demon Pit as a Plague Cavern.

9 - Age of Monsters 1

9 – Age of Monsters 1

A new page is put over the earlier two, heralding the beginning of the Age of Monsters.

After the fall of the Demon Civilization, great shakings occur in the earth and new caves open up (mostly empty except one with a primordial beast).

This year sees the founding of Castle Astego – 2B 1W
The arrival of the Darrow Miners (4B, 1W)
A clan of Orc Breeders (2B, 2W)
And a Fire Giant down in the depths (1B, 1W)

10 - Age of Monsters 2

10 – Age of Monsters 2

A Sphinx moves in to empty cave
Surface – +1B at castle, new farm with 1B
Darrow Miners – Head down to the Mithral Ore, find the infernal engine. Kill 1 bound demon, lose 1 Darrow.
Orcs – +1B, expand to magma cave to the south.
Fire Giant – explores to the old demon pit, dies of the plague.
Sphinx has no where to go, spends 1W for food.

11 - Age of Monsters 3

11 – Age of Monsters 3

A Shrine of Law is established by parties unknown next to water-filled cave
Surface – +1B at castle, new farm with 1B
Darrow – Loot the 1W from the infernal machine. Mine mithral ore creating 1W
Orcs – +1B, Expand to sphinx lair. Attempt to bribe the sphinx – succeed, lose 1W, sphinx gains 1W
Sphinx – Spends 1W for food

12 - Age of Monsters 4

12 – Age of Monsters 4

Wandering Monsters Arrive – an Ankheg in the orc lair; a Skeleton near the Sphinx, a Hogboblin in the Infernal Machine
Surface – +1B at castle, new farm with 1B
Darrow – Loot the W from the mithral mine. Mine more mithral creating 1W
Orcs – +1B, kill the ankheg (-1B), explore to th demon palace (kill the demon) (-1B)
Sphinx – Eats the skeleton
Hobgoblin wanders further down the demon tunnels

13 - Age of Monsters 5

13 – Age of Monsters 5

A Fire Giant moves into old Fire Giant’s lair (with the old Fire Giant’s treasure and a warning not to enter the demon pit because of the plague).
Surface – No castle growth (5B), +1 farm
Darrow – Loot the W from the mithral mine. Mine more mithral creating 1W. +1B because they are so rich.
Orcs – Loot 1W from Demon Palace, +1B, expand into the demon pit, -1B to plague. Encounter sphinx again. Attempt to bribe (+2 on roll). Bribe fails. Sphinx kills 2 orcs.
Sphinx – Still bribed by first encounter with orcs, wanders to the demon pit and dies of the plague.
Fire Giant – Wanders up to the Hobgoblin and eats him.

14 - Age of Monsters 6

14 – Age of Monsters 6

The Darrow build a crypt to their great king with 1W, -1W for the Darrow
Surface – No castle growth (5B), +1 farm. Castle is now fully supported. Dungeon Excursion explores the one cave that touches the surface, returns home, builds a city (2B, 1W) and a dungeon. Dungeon connects to the Charnel Shrine where the demon’s tunnel worm still dwells. Worm and 1B from the city are killed.
Darrow – Loot 1W from the mithral mines. Expand along the worm tunnel deeper underground.
Orcs – +1B, explore.
Fire Giant – Eats his 1W

15 - Age of Monsters 7

15 – Age of Monsters 7

Fungalith Delvers set up right beside the other Mithral Ore. (2B 2W)
Surface – New Farm. Excursion of 3B 1W head into the dungeons under the city. Grab 2W in the old Carnage Shrine, then encounter the Darrow and are wiped out. Darrow reduced to 1B, but gain +3W for a total of 7W. Age of monsters ends because all that loot attracts the attention of…

16 - Age of Villainy

16 – Age of Villainy

V1
Alpha Villain – CinderHelm the Fire Giant Tyrant takes 3W from the Darrow Hoard. Spends it all on a Grand Lair.
Fire Giant – Expands influence, forages to the orc ZOC. Kills 2B orcs.
Surface – +1B castle, 1 farmer moves to the castle. 3B excursion into the dungeon again! This time 1B is lost fighting the last Darrow, much loot is returned to the surface (4W). Build a wizard’s tower!
Orcs – +1B, Explore
Fungaliths – Mine mithral producing 1W
Adventurers! – 3B 1W – Collect 1W from the Darrow Crypt, Enter the Fire Giant’s domain. Adventuring group rolls a 2 (+3 = 5), giant rolls a 5 (+2 = 7). Party wiped out, Giant gains 2W 1B

V2
Fire Giant – Expands influence, forages to the orc ZOC again. Wipes out the orcs. +1B, loots 1W
Surface – +1B in castle, 1 farmer moves to castle. 3B 1W excursion into the dungeon! Nothing to be found within 1 finger of surface. Return and build a temple (2B 1W) on the edge of the city.
Fungaliths – Loot 1W from Mithral, Mine more mithral making 1W, expand by +1B because of richness
Adventurers – Not enough monster groups for adventurers to enter, thus undead rise in the three tombs. 1 undead is in the fire giant’s domain and is destroyed instantly, giving the fire giant it’s treasure.

V3
Fire Giant – Spends 3W for +1B (4B total). Expands influence. Nothing within foraging reach, consumes last W as food.
Surface – No growth in castle, 1B moves to a farm
Fungaliths – loot 1 W from mithral, mine mithral for 1W, grow due to riches.
Adventurers +1 – 6B, 1W. Encounter undead under the city (5B, 2W), miss the Darrow Crypts and wind up in the Fire Giant’s domain. Adventurer’s roll a 7, Giant rolls a 5. Giant is slain!

And thus ends the Age of Villainy!

17 - New Age of Adventure

17 – New Age of Adventure

And a quick re-draw of the map gives us the New Age of Adventure.

And here’s an animation of the whole thing (sorry for the quality, these were photographs taken across multiple hours of play with a camera-phone so the lighting gradually changed and so did my angle).

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