Planet Thirteen’s How to Host a Dungeon is a quick entertaining diversion designed for one person. As a game it’s enjoyment level ranks right up there with an actual gaming session. However, I’ve discovered that it can also become an essential part of your DM toolbox.
As I have stated many times, my creative streak seems to work best with SOME kind of inspiration. I’m always on the lookout for something that will jump start my creative synapses. How to Host a Dungeon, does just that.
Let me start by saying this game is a lot of fun. I started off playing this solo and had to improvise rules for two more players before I finished my first dungeon. PIT #2 & #3 saw how much fun I was having and DEMANDED to play along. We had a blast building the first few dungeons. We laughed uproariously as we named the various monsters, humanoids, and the arch-villains. We’re averaging about 3 hours per dungeon, so it’s not necessarily a quick random dungeon. Though I will admit a good portion of our time was spent laughing over the names we invented for the various inhabitants.
You will need a standard set of dice to play this game (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, & d20). You will also need pencils, paper, pens and small beads or tokens (we used little necklace beads from Hobby Lobby), standard fare for a self-published game.
The dungeon pictured was the first one we built. It was built for our ongoing Quest for the Staff of Genesis campaign. So we did not play that build out to the end as we needed monsters for the party to hunt, treasure to find, and a villain to defeat. I also had to shoehorn established points from our campaign into the dungeon design. This was easily handled as the this game is designed to be multi-system compatible.
I had two small quibbles with the game. The first is an acknowledged typo contained throughout the game. The rules are constantly stating to roll a d6 against tables that are obviously larger than six items. When you play amend that rule to read roll a dX (where X = the size of the table being rolled against). The second minor quibble was rules for battles involving wandering monsters and adventurers are printed a different page than the rest of the adventurer and wandering monster rules. These complaints are minor considering the overall fun of this game. Both of these complaints are easily fixable in subsequent printings.
Overall I was impressed with the ease and simplicity of the game. $19.00 for both a print and .pdf version is a very good value. PIT#3 likes the game but would like to see bats added as permanent part of the rule set. PIT #2 found the game to be incredibly fun. I recommend getting the print version as the constant shuffle of pages during the age of Monsters can get to be a hassle using .pdf.
4.95 pointed ears out of 6 – Recommended