It's got dice, it's got dungeons, it's got additional dice...
May 23, 2018 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Dicey Dungeons is a new game from rad indie dev Terry Cavanagh. You choose a class, explore a dungeon, and use dice rolls to power your various equipment and special moves while leveling up to earn more dice to power new loot. Look out for the skeleton, he'll fuck you up!

Right now it's on version 0.7, with a very fun, playable game there already but more content to come and some placeholder stuff and rough edges—the inventory screen's kinda half-built, some stuff needs balancing (like a certain fuckin' skeleton, TERRY), the midi tunes are adorable but also how many times does one need to hear a midi version of What Is Love, like clearly it's more times than I've heard it this morning because I'm still pretty into it but at some point the bloom is gonna come off that rose. Probably.

You can read Terry's blog posts about it as a work in progress.

You may know, in particular, these previous games: VVVVVV (of which see more previously) and Super Hexagon.
posted by cortex (52 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds fun, thank you for sharing!
posted by mordax at 12:27 PM on May 23, 2018

This is a good game. I don't quite grok the Inventor one but the Warrior one is much more straightforward. Haven't tried the thief yet. We'll see.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:34 PM on May 23, 2018

This is fun and reminds me of a board game idea I never got off the ground.

It's super random, it would be nicer if there was more strategy to the exploring.. Right now you can enter a level and kind of see it's game over because the apples are behind too many enemies.
posted by fleacircus at 12:43 PM on May 23, 2018

Beat it on my first go as the thief! Really cool mechanics, good mix of engine building and random chance. Seems like a really good pool of abilities you can get to interact in flexible ways. Love this.
posted by Rinku at 12:46 PM on May 23, 2018

Hey this is good! My take on it was it was a card game a lot like Dream Quest, the way the cards interact. (That's a high complement and not a backhanded criticism of the graphics.)
posted by Nelson at 12:48 PM on May 23, 2018

It was ... okay, I guess? I played as a thief and was doing fine on level 3 but I just got, I dunno, bored and shut the browser.

A lot of clever ideas but it was just too much Yahtzee for me to really think of it as a new and exiting way to play a rogue-like.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2018

dood...this is the first awesome flash game I can remember since one button quest. Thanks!
posted by es_de_bah at 1:10 PM on May 23, 2018

Do NOT join the Guild of Sacrifice, is my advice.

posted by dragstroke at 1:33 PM on May 23, 2018

Inventor was a lot of fun, although I always felt like I was destroying my favourite gadget and a piece of equipment to make a new gadget.

Definitely fun, as I do love roll-allocation systems!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:46 PM on May 23, 2018

A thief who goes all-in on poison is stupidly powerful, unless they run into someone who's immune to poison.

I think I beat the boss in 4 or 5 turns? With like 45 HP of overkill
posted by aubilenon at 1:51 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also has anyone figured out what the crowbar is good for?
posted by aubilenon at 2:18 PM on May 23, 2018

Looks like the crowbar is useful if you have more than one ability that counts down until it activates e.g crossbow - it adds a die's value to all active counts. It seems like you'd kind of need to build your character around it, though.
Source: I have been playing this game since it was posted here please send help
posted by Berreggnog at 2:30 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow, I had a fun job with the fighter. Beat the boss handily, despite his splitting and splitting to toss poison at me forever.

I do see how the engineer is a total wildcard! That seems like a more advanced game.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:30 PM on May 23, 2018

Ah. I don't think I ever had the crowbar at the same time as ANY thing with the countdown, so I didn't know what it meant by counts. I could put a die in it, and it would go away and nothing would happen. So I stopped doing that.
posted by aubilenon at 2:55 PM on May 23, 2018

I got to the boss with the Inventor and had a fire staff and not a lot else. But the boss was a dragon and so absorbed fire. Now I've got to the boss with a thief armed with a poison slingshot, poison needle and upgraded blight spell along with the ability to turn 1 dice into about 20 useful ones.
By turn 4 the boss had 208 poison on him.

The down side was, he was a guardian and thus absorbed poison.
I'm wondering if the boss always generates immune to your main weapon or something.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:14 PM on May 23, 2018

my boss with my poison thief didn't seem to have any abilities. he'd just get more dice each time and if he put 99 pips into his countdown power I'd die. He got like 20 pips into it, because yeah, blight.
posted by aubilenon at 4:57 PM on May 23, 2018

I had him with fighter, and then a rat king with an inventor. I think I maybe just got really unlucky with my first two games?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:20 PM on May 23, 2018

One successful playthrough in, it reminds me a lot of FTL in terms of the flow of play, even though the mechanics match up closely to Tharsis.
posted by frimble at 5:21 PM on May 23, 2018

Man, that skeleton’s difficulty was overhyped.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:50 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just here to say that I won both my playthroughs with Fighter and Inventor due to rampant Spear abuse. It maybe needs to be toned down.
posted by solarion at 5:58 PM on May 23, 2018

Yeah, it may turn out that I am Skeletons Georg or something. I did get him eventually, on a run I later won.
posted by cortex at 6:03 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:24 PM on May 23, 2018

It feels like there’s a lot of potential in it. (The combat GUI still seems kind of inefficient.) Here’s to version 1!
posted by Going To Maine at 6:36 PM on May 23, 2018

Is there a way to pause enemy attack options? Often it plays so fast I can't see what they are doing.
posted by Mitheral at 9:02 PM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

where is the wooden stake to kill the vampire?
posted by PinkMoose at 11:37 PM on May 23, 2018

Just had another go with the thief, ending up against the poison immune rat king. But managed to win with lockpick, counterfeit device, snake eye charm and hacksaw, so even though my poison needle was no good I could still spam huge amounts of dagger attacks followed with a backstab.

I like the mechanic that the thief generally wants lots of low number dice whilst the warrior wants a few really good ones. It really leads to different priorities and playstyles by class. Really well thought out design.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:59 AM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're lucky enough to encounter the Bandit as a thief, you can grind for as much money as you want. The bandit only has two actions: a once-per-battle Pickpocket attack which they always use on their first turn if possible (which almost always happens), and a Run Away countdown. Neither does physical damage. Equip a thief with a pickpocket and a lockpick, and the odds are pretty good that you can use your own pickpocket to zero out the total money transfer, and then whenever possible steal the bandit's attack to get positive money. When they run away, fight the battle again, repeat as much as necessary. For some reason the once-per-battle attacks aren't limited when stolen, so you may be able to use the bandit's own ability 3 or 4 times per battle if you're lucky. Even if this bug (if it's a bug) were fixed by limiting you to one use of a stolen once-per-battle power, you could still net +1 gold by using your own attack once and the stolen attack once, and since the bandit has no physical-damage attack doing so is quite safe.

One fix which would make the bandit effectively annoying would be if enemy once-per-battle powers, once used, are no longer available to be stolen (this might seriously nerf the thief against an enemy with a really good once-per-battle power, if they're not lucky enough to steal that power first round). Even then a thief could maintain gold parity in a battle with the bandit by equipping a pickpocket, but they couldn't come out ahead and might still have a bit of a struggle to defeat the bandit before they flee.
posted by jackbishop at 5:45 AM on May 24, 2018

I noticed that bandit exploit but it seemed awfully grindy, also gold is not so much a limiting factor in my games. I think the easy way to fix it is to ensure the bandit only has 1 gold in its inventory. Either that or have it so that when it flees, it flees for good.

I agree with Mitheral that a way to slow down / review the enemy's play would be nice.

Finally won on my third playthrough as a Warrior. Wish I started with that, it's the simplest class. I just muddled through by stacking shields and using shield bash (from a shop) to damage. The upgraded shield bash is overpowered IMHO; it goes from requiring doubles to just a single even.
posted by Nelson at 10:25 AM on May 24, 2018

I just won with the thief using an enhanced crowbar strategy. Very satisfying. Particularly so as I got face up against the vampire, was able to flee and optimize my inventory and then go back for a final battle that wasn't even a nail-biter. A very satisfactory lunch break.
posted by meinvt at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2018

I think thief is the most fun. I ended up with a poison absorbing boss and was still able to beat it by detonating my poison.
posted by Akhu at 1:32 PM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I just muddled through by stacking shields and using shield bash (from a shop) to damage. The upgraded shield bash is overpowered IMHO; it goes from requiring doubles to just a single even.

I feel dumb, because I can't figure out how to make shield bash work. It just says "no effect" every time I use it, even when I have a lighter red shield equipped.

Also does anyone have a list of the midi pop songs being used? There's one I can't quite place, and it's gnawing at me when I play.

Also I only realised reading the blog just now that the characters are themselves dice.
posted by rollick at 2:34 PM on May 24, 2018

Shield bash takes whatever your current stored shield value is and applies it as damage. So you first have to charge up your shield value (by playing dice on the shield equipment), then use shield bash to apply that as damage. The initial shield bash requires doubles, two dice, but the upgraded shield bash only requires a second even die. It's not hard to get like 10 shield stacked up, then proc 10 points of damage every turn with a single 2 or something.
posted by Nelson at 2:56 PM on May 24, 2018

The Crystal Sword (x3 damage once per battle, no 5's or 6's) makes playing as the Warrior trivial. Wait for your limit break, load a 4-pip into the Crystal Sword, and that's 24 points of damage from a single die. Combine that with a couple of broadswords, and most of the end game enemies go down in one to two rounds.
posted by Iridic at 3:02 PM on May 24, 2018

Ohh, thanks Nelson. I can see the power in that, all right.

I'll be interested in seeing the full version of this, once the assets are added and the gameplay expanded. It's a neat twist on a deck building game.
posted by rollick at 3:07 PM on May 24, 2018

wait WHAT

so there is thingy that you can put a rolled die into. that thingy lets you choose to increase or decrease the value of the die by one. if you put a 1 into the thingy and decrease it, you get a 6, and if you put a 6 into the thingy and increase it, you get a 1.
posted by juv3nal at 3:19 PM on May 24, 2018

Beat it on my second try as thief - the upgraded hacksaw (splits the total of three dice into six dice) plus a counterfeit device (which duplicates any dice), along with backstab (which increases damage for each device used in the turn, but only activates with a 3) was crazy good; I had no problems with having a large dice pool by throwing all of my 4-6 rolls into hacksaw. That meant I usually had lots of small numbers (which kept my dagger going, running up the backstab damage) and also usually meant I had a 3 somewhere on the table, which could be duplicated (again, running up the damage) - basically, after splitting my dice up & duplicating, I would stab with the dagger until I had one die remaining (always a three) and backstab to end the turn. I was pumping out 30+ damage in a turn.

Fun game though! Now to try a different class
posted by nubs at 3:22 PM on May 24, 2018

Played as the Thief, had a good time. This is fun.
posted by Fizz at 4:09 PM on May 24, 2018

Yeah I knew about the tweak option, it just never occurred to me that it would wrap around at 1 and 6. Unfortunately the game seems to discourage that kind of experimentation; there are a number of actions that just get wasted if you try to use them the wrong way, and the text isn't always explicit enough to tell you what not to do. Although I suppose it's not that big a deal, considering how short each playthrough is.

I do really enjoy how rewarding it feels to discover an unexpected combo or interaction, e.g. using Fury+Spanner to duplicate dice.
posted by teraflop at 8:22 PM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just figured out a workaround for a UI bug involving large equipment, the ones that take two squares. It kept randomly not letting me place things. I finally realized it matters where your mouse cursor is. It works consistently well for me if I grab the top of the equipment and drop it on the top of the two squares in my equipped inventory.

Just won a game with the Engineer. I really do like all the mechanics and synergies between equipment. OTOH I feel like I've seen most of what this version has to offer. Also it feels like you're pigeonholed into one of several builds; a poison focussed build with small dice, a big hammer build with large dice, maybe something shield-focussed.
posted by Nelson at 8:24 AM on May 28, 2018

The square(s) where you are dropping things turn green when the item will fit there.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 AM on May 28, 2018

Also does anyone have a list of the midi pop songs being used? There's one I can't quite place, and it's gnawing at me when I play.

Yeah, me too. I can recognize "What Is Love" and "Tell It To My Heart", but there's another one I can't place.
posted by umber vowel at 2:52 PM on May 29, 2018

Is it "It's Raining Men"?
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 10:38 AM on June 1, 2018

New version is available, with a witch! and slightly better music.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:06 PM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had a hard time finding it, so here is the page that links to each version:
posted by team lowkey at 4:15 PM on June 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Witch is very interesting and tricky.
I had an odd couple of games. In one I was down to 2 hp and a cleric was silencing me every round so I couldn't use my spellbook, but in return I was casting Magic Armour, Hex, Hall of Mirror and Poison Arrow. So he couldn't damage me because of the armour and he could also just about heal the damage I could do to him.
But, because of hall of mirrors on the turn where he missed his silence roll I had about 30 dice and could fire loads and loads of spells at him in one big kapow.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:21 PM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah witch is crazy meta game breaking.
posted by Nelson at 5:31 PM on June 8, 2018

New version is available, with a witch! and slightly better music.

It looks like “frozen” dice have also changed in this version - they get forced to one instead of locked out. (Curse does this to all your dice - did it do that before?) The witch is cool, but I think that it would be more balanced if she could re-order the spells in the spell book. As someone who got burned by being cursed a bunch of times, it would be handy to be able to keep spells in the 1-slot that help you compensate for the fact, and in general to help strategize.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:46 PM on June 9, 2018

I also wish the spell box for the witch were a bit more forgiving; I’ve tried to do 1 damage multiple time but have had the cursor outside of the box juuuust enough that the game has decided I’m casting a spell instead.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is it "It's Raining Men"?

Y'know, filtered through the bleepy-bloopy tones of midi tracking, "It's Raining Men" sounds an awful lot like "Locomotive Breath".
posted by jackbishop at 5:01 PM on June 9, 2018

Has anyone won yet as the witch? I haven't made it past witch lvl. 3.
posted by mnop at 5:50 PM on June 16, 2018

Update: Beat it as the witch, using upgraded hall of mirrors and magic dagger.
From the developer "the next build, v0.9, is due on the 22nd of June." Looking forward to it!
posted by mnop at 6:39 PM on June 16, 2018

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