Matt's Dungeonquest Stuff

Dungeonquest[at BoardGameGeek] is a dungeon crawling game from the 1980's. The goal is enter the dungeon, get the most treasure, and get out alive. Getting treasure isn't too difficult, but getting out alive is. The game has two expansions, Catacombs, and Heroes for Dungeon Quest. Both are worth using.


There are many ambiguities in the rules. Here are some rulings and clarifications we've made. And here are some house rules you could consider using.


Fantasy Flight remade this game in 2010. I've played the remake once and found it to be OK, but it doesn't have that Eighties feel…

One notable aspect of the remake is that it increases the number of rounds of play from 26 to 30 while retaining the same 10×13 board. Now, they have, of course, changed many other things as well, so this is not directly comparable to the original game. Nevertheless, since time is so limited in the original game — going to the Treasure Chamber and escaping with no mishaps or corridors takes 20 turns — I think it is a worthwhile, and reasonably non-arbitrary, variant to also expand it to 30 turns. See also my house rules.


There are a few mathematical questions you might ask about Dungeonquest. I consider the answers to be somewhat spoilery, so if you'd rather keep Dungeonquest more RPG-esque and maintain a greater sense of mystery about what's in the castle, don't click through.

Unpunched Catacombs cards and tiles

This is what they look like: front 1, 2, 3, back 1, 2, 3.

Notice that the room tiles fit together into a single piece of art. I assume this is true for the base set tiles as well, but I haven't seen an unpunched set or tried to reassemble my set.

Physical game

The game has 1980's production values, which is very nostalgic, but occasionally troublesome.

One of the crypt cards is a good eighth inch wider than all the rest. This is consistent between sets. IIRC, it is the "shuffle the deck" card, which means most shuffling methods will tend to bring it right back to the top. For my set, and one I prepared for a friend, I carefully trimmed it down to the same size as the rest so that the deck is shufflable and pretty close to unmarked.

A similar problem occurs with the dragon chits. They're, like, all different sizes, with lengths ranging from slightly under 2 1/32" across to a full 2 1/4". (Somehow, the widths are all the same.) They are not amenable to trimming, because they're pretty thick, and also because the trimmed ones would have one clean edge, making them different from all the rest which have those little punch-out connection bits. I suppose one could trim all the edges. But I prefer to put the dragon chits in a bag to be drawn from instead of stacking them like a deck.

You're supposed to keep your life and the sun position with these little plastic cones. They are too easily knocked around or even blown out of position. I tend to use stones instead. It's okay to use the provided black cone for monster damage, since you only use it briefly and can probably remember where it's supposed to be.

Maybe it goes without saying, but you don't have to unpack the whole game to play it. Most games don't use all of the decks. I have all the decks bagged in small ziplocs, and I start the game with them, bagged, next to the board, except for the Room cards, which I know I'll certainly need. Each bag gets opened as needed. It would be sensible to unpack the Search and Monster decks at the start as well.