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Lonely TTRPG EP 25 - Dwarf Mine by James Hron
Episode 259th September 2022 • Lonely TTRPG • Black Dragon Dungeon Company
00:00:00 00:31:58

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Dwarf Mine is a game about drawing and designing a mine, uncovering treasure, and surviving the dangers of the mountain.

In Dwarf Mine, you will draw your mine on graph paper, roll dice to determine what gold, gems, or other treasure you’ve discovered, and (hopefully) defeat monsters in combat, keeping your mine alive and thriving!

By the end of your game, you’ll have created a rich and unique history for your mine – no two games are the same!

Thoughts: This game has a great, old school dungeon crawl feel to it. Make sure you don't mess up like I do and use all the gold you can when you can.

You can find Dwarf Mine at https://paperdicegames.itch.io/dwarf-mine or https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/332946/Dwarf-Mine

BDDC logo by https://www.instagram.com/craftyteapotfox/

Music by Samuel Francis Johnson at https://pixabay.com/music/modern-classical-the-transilvanian-castle-11496/

You can find us on Twitter @bddc_pod

You can support us on Patreon https://patreon.com/blackdragondungeoncompany for early releases and exclusive content.



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

SteelStash:

Greetings weary wander and welcome back to lonely.

SteelStash:

TT RPG, the solo actual play and review podcast.

SteelStash:

I am your host steel stash.

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And this week we are playing dwarf mine by James Hron now, before we

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get started, this is episode 25.

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Woohoo.

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We have been doing this for six months now.

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And I just wanna say a huge thank you to all my listeners, Watchers, subscribers,

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and everyone who has been keeping motivated and keeping this moving so far.

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And if you're not one of those people, then by all means drop

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a light, drop a subscribe.

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All right, don't be shy.

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It's okay.

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Every week we play a new game and this week is no different.

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so, like I said, this week, we were playing dwarf mine , a

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mapping game of adventure.

SteelStash:

So dwarf mine is a game about drawing and designing a mine , uncovering treasure

SteelStash:

and surviving the dangers of the mountain.

SteelStash:

In dwarf mine , you will draw your own mine on graph paper, roll dice,

SteelStash:

to determine what gold gems or other treasure you've discovered, and

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hopefully defeat monsters in combat.

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Keeping your mine alive and thrive.

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By the end of the game, you will have created a rich and unique history for

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your mine . No two games are the same.

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So for this, you're gonna need some graph paper or the mountain scape.

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Preferably the mountain scape.

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You will need a dwarf mine sheet, pencil, any eraser, and

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a set of standard TT RPG dice.

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the story of your mine . A game of dwarf mine is played on graph

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paper over a series of turns by drawing and rolling dice.

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But dwarf mine is much more than tracking gold population and

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prestige dwarf mine tells a story.

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The placement and unique names of your rooms are a part of that story.

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Where your ladders and hallways lead into the mountain are part of that story.

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The fate of your mine , whether it falls or not is part of that story.

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When you play, be sure to keep track of the history of your

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mine on your dwarf mine sheet.

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If you really want to explore some role playing write journal

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entries as if you are the leader of the dwarf, mine , yourself.

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Remember every great mine has a story.

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And every great story has a beginning and an end.

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So get ready for the story of your mine to be told.

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All right.

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So it starts off with some helpful phrases as this is episode 25, I

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am assuming that most of you are familiar with polyhedral dice.

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However this does use the term dice chain, which refers to the different dice

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in order from smallest to largest.

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So D four to D six to D eight, basically, as you're playing this game, your dice are

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gonna start out at a D four and you can level them up or move up the dice chain.

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Other important terms.

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All right.

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mine age, your age starts at one, and it increases by one each turn, which is

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different than your mine level, which will be based on how far you have dug

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in relation to your mountain scape.

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For gameplay.

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Gameplay is gonna consist of three activities per round.

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First, you have your turn where you add one to your mine age, and you take one of

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two actions building rooms or using rooms

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for building rooms throughout the dwarf.

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mine , you'll be building hallways, ladders, and rooms, and adding

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them to your mine . Some of the.

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These rooms do have mechanical benefit to your mine

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. Now don't worry.

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There is a rooms table in the back of the book, which describes a,

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how big the room is supposed to be.

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And B what the benefit to those rooms are.

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We will explain as we go.

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Now for using rooms, each room gives your mine a benefit.

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Some rooms, give your mine one benefit at a time.

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Other rooms, give your mine a benefit.

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Each turn rooms can be used to claim benefits during your turn.

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The order in which these rooms are used is up to you.

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So the second part of a round is treasure and combat rolls for your

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treasure rolls you must have added at least one square to your mine in

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the form of a hallway, ladder or room during your turn in order to find some

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treasure, then to make a treasure roll.

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You're gonna roll one D eight, add your mine age to the roll, and

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then

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look for the corresponding number on the treasure table.

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Combat roles are very similar.

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You were gonna roll one D eight, add your mine age to determine the results and

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then go to the combat page to find out what combat you have found yourself in.

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Now, there are some persistent events.

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This will be the last phase of a round.

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All right.

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And the results of most combat rolls are done once.

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Combat is complete.

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However, some special, usually dangerous combat rolls are persistent.

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That means they last until they're defeated, killed, or otherwise.

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Leave.

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If an enemy in combat is described as persistent, the enemy continues to impact

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your mine during this phase of the game.

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Rules for persistent enemies are listed in the combat table

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for which they are rolled.

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You may attack persistent enemies as many times, as you wish.

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During the persistent phase, the health of persistent enemies does not regenerate

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in between turns unless otherwise stated.

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If you kill a persistent enemy, you gain prestige equal to its original health.

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If you kill a persistent enemy or a persistent enemy leaves,

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for any reason, your mine level automatically increases by one

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combat.

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All right.

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Mining is dangerous and sometimes all you can do is fight for what you got.

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But a key thing to note is that.

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You and the enemy attack simultaneously.

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So even though you're going to be describing them in order,

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all attacks are simultaneous.

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So for attacking the enemy, when combat occurs.

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Your mine will attack the enemy by rolling your mind's attack dye, all mines start

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at the bottom of the dice chain with a D four building barracks can improve

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your attack die and certain resources like ore used in an ore forge can add a

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modifier to the result of your attack die.

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The result of the attack die.

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Plus any modifiers is the amount of damage that will be dealt to the enemy's health.

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being attacked.

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Your enemy has also.

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Attacking your mine in combat your enemy will deal damage to your

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mine by rolling its own attack die.

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The combat table will explain what attack die.

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The enemy will roll for their attack and any special abilities

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the enemy has while attacking the results of your enemy attack die.

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Plus any special abilities is the amount of damage your mine will receive.

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Your mine will lose population equal to that damage.

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Combat ends when either your enemy's health is at or below zero, your mine's

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population is at or below zero, or you are in combat against a persistent enemy.

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Persistent enemies only attack once in regular combat.

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Be sure to read the rules for how the enemy attacks during the persistent phase.

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Remember, you may also attack persistent enemies during the persistent phase.

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Ending the game.

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So a game of dwarf mine ends when your population falls to zero.

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When this happens, the final chapter of your mine story has

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been written prestige and age.

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After a game of dwarf, mine has ended add up your total prestige and mine age

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This could be treated as a final score of sorts and serve as a benchmark of success.

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You can measure the score against future mines or with

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the mines of your dwarf friends.

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So for any of you guys who decide to pick up this game make sure

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you drop me a comment and let me know what your mine score was.

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And we will see how you do compared to me.

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Now the rest of the book starts going into some of the different things that you got.

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All right.

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So this is your room table.

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All right.

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Showing the various rooms that you can build and how much they

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cost and what size they are,

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as well as any benefits they might give you.

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You have your treasure tables, which will be based on your mine level

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as well as various expansion rules in order to help add complexity

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or make the game more challenging.

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Now we are not going to be doing any of the expansions.

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We are just going to be playing the base game.

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But you do have things like mountain creation, which allows you to have

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random rooms already set up that you would have to find more than a

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dragon giving you more deadly enemies.

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Besides the final boss, dragon

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bloodlines for creating unique dwarf leaders, as well as

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benefits for them and more rooms.

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Moving on to the back of the book.

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We have appendix one, which is all the rooms in one page.

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Conveniently set up for you.

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You also have a room name, generator, and an achievement list.

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Now the achievement list, just some fun things that you can do as you

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play multiple sessions of this.

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Go ahead and print this out, stick it on, or stick it in your notebook

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with the rest of your dwarf mine stuff and check it off as you play.

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Now, moving on over to our game sheet before we get in.

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You have your mountain scape, which has a lovely picture of the

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mountain and your mine is divided up into four different levels.

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Each level is represented by horizontal and vertical blocks.

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And the levels kind of vary in how deep they actually go.

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So level one is the shallows level four is the deepest For your player sheet.

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You got a spot for your mine name, your dwarf, leader gold,

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starting population, all of that.

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Now for starting population and gold, you start with 20 and 20 of each.

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Again, you start on a D four for everything and a mine

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level of one mine age of one.

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So we're gonna go ahead and dive on into our game.

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Play.

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Our mine is going to be called Kazad stache with the

SteelStash:

dwarf leader of steel stash.

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Being in charge.

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So steel stash leading a group of 19 other dwarfs.

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So we are gonna go ahead and get started and build our first room.

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Now the rules, don't specify how many things you can build on a turn.

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We're gonna go ahead and say, you can build one room, a turn, hallways and

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ladders are free rooms do cost gold.

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So we will say that you can build one room a turn.

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If you have the gold to do it.

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You can build the hallways and ladders in order to connect it.

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However, one thing to note the rules do say that you have to

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have at least a square between each hallway, ladder or room.

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All right.

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So you cannot have rooms butting up right next to each other.

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There has to be a square in between.

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But that means that some of our rooms are going to be very important

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as we only have 20 goals to start out with.

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And we have to hope that we will be able to get more.

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Minor clarification.

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I kind of forgot.

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You are finding treasure every round.

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So the gold isn't necessarily the issue.

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The issue is gonna be our population and our strength.

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So I think up front, I think upfront.

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The first thing that I need to build is going to be a hovel,

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which is a three by three room.

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It is going to cost me four gold, but that allows me to gain one population

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each turn for every hovel that I have.

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So we are going to go ahead and build our first hovel towards the top of our mine.

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We will go ahead and.

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At hovel a name based on the appendix.

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Okay, so that's gonna be one D 20 for the prefix and one D six for the hovel name.

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So one D 20 plus one D six.

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For an 18 and a two.

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So 18, the prefix is going to be a number one through eight, for

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example, third, or in this case first, and for two, it's gonna be city.

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So this is going to be first city.

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And we will go ahead and add the establishment of first

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city to our mining history.

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In addition to that, we just wanna make sure that we have a ladder

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and hallway going up and out.

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There we go.

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So we have our ladder and hallway established.

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And our first hovel established.

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All right.

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So that is going to be it for our build phase.

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Moving on to our treasure and combat.

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I'm just gonna go ahead and roll two D eight.

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Save myself a little bit of time because the tables are right next to each other.

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So for treasure, I get a one and for combat, I get a six.

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So treasure plus mine age.

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So treasure is going to be two.

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mine is going to be six.

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So for a level one, mine rolling.

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A two, you have mine d two gold and one ore so we're gonna go ahead

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and add one ore to our ore tab.

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Our gold tab.

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We were at 20, we went down to 16 for building the hovel we are up two.

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So we have 18 gold.

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And then again, combat is seven.

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So seven, a goblin tunneling party.

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Outstanding right off the bat.

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We get to do some combat.

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We have a goblin tunneling party.

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They have four health and a one D four attack.

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So I'm going to roll two D four per turn or.

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Per combat round to see what happens.

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So, as we were excavating first city, we seemed

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to

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have found a little hole.

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And from that hole, there was a chittering.

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And from that chittering, there was goblins our mighty dwarfs

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took arms and rushed towards the goblins dealing four damage.

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The goblins struck back savagely dealing four damage as well.

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While the goblin raiding party was destroyed.

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Unfortunately, our population was also hindered and we have dropped

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down to 16 total population.

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And as we have no persistent threat, That will be the end of

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that turn or correction that round.

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So that brings us up to mine age two, because of our hovel our

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population goes from 16 to 17, and now we enter our build phase.

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Having been concerned by.

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Having been concerned by the fact that we've already run into goblins

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I think,

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I think barracks is the next order of business.

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I think establishing a barracks is gonna be our next order of business.

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I.

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So that is going to cost us three gold.

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Our gold goes from 18 to 15, but our attack die will now move up to.

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A D six and we need to give our barracks a name.

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We need to give our barracks a name.

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So once again, that's gonna be a D 20 and a D six,

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13 and five.

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So 13 is gern five is shield.

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So gern shield barracks.

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And that will be it for our build phase.

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Moving on to our treasure phase.

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We got three plus two, which is five.

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Five is you have mine one D six gold outstanding.

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So we get to roll one D six for our gold.

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And of course we roll a one.

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Of course we roll a one, but our gold goes from 15 to 16.

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We have made some improvement.

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It's all right.

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It's all right.

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It's all right.

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It's okay.

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For combat we rolled a four plus two is six,

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and it would seem that there was a dire Wolf.

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Hiding in the tunnel that we built our barracks.

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So the Dyer Wolf has a health of four and an attack of one D six.

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So we are going to roll two D six, one for one D six for our attack,

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one D six for the Wolf's attack.

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All right.

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So we attacked with three, they attacked with five moving on to the next one,

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because we have to resolve this.

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They still have one health.

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We rolled a six.

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Couldn't have rolled that on the first one and they rolled a two.

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Couldn't have rolled that on a first one.

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So the dire Wolf is dead, but they have also killed 7 of our dwarfs.

SteelStash:

Which is a sad day.

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Indeed.

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Our population has gone from 17 to 10.

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We still have no persistent attack that brings us up to a mine age of three.

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I think for this, we are going to have to try and build another hovel.

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All right.

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We have built our second hovel so let us see what that does for us.

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As far as names go.

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So this will be low city.

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So we have first city and low city.

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No standard naming conventions among these dwarves.

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Everything shall be different.

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Sorry.

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I forgot to add my one population for the start of the turn.

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So my population was 10 now.

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11, thanks to first city.

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And that will take us to our treasure and combat phase.

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So let's hope for a high treasure, low combat.

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So I rolled threes for both, which means I got sixes because of my mine age of three.

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So , treasure six for mine level one, one D six gold and

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one, ore that is, that is nice.

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My ore is now up to.

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Two and 1d6, 4 outstanding.

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So I was at six or I started around at 16.

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I spent four to build my hovel.

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I gained four, so I am still at 16 gold.

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At least I broke even on this round.

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Better than I've been doing the past two, but for a six on the combat,

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we have found another dire Wolf.

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So once again, that is a health of four and a attack of one D six.

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I also have an attack of one D six.

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Let's roll these dice and see what happens.

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In the first phase of combat my dwarves of strike out and do two

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damage while the dire wolf snarls and snaps back killing five dwarves.

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Again, in the second phase of combat

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my remaining dwarfs, rally dealing six damage while losing another five dwarfs.

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So I have lost 10 dwarfs total.

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I go from 11 to one.

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Steel stash is the last one standing.

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It seems that the wolves have taken the gates.

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We've barred the doors, but will there be any help?

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We don't know.

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Unfortunately, yeah, I'm down to steel stash.

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Thank goodness.

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I have two hovels.

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So I'm gonna be getting two dwarves back right now, actually,

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because that is the end of.

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Round three and we move on to round four.

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So my population will go from one to three.

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These dwarfs should not ask what happened to everybody else.

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Don't worry about what happened to everybody else.

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Worry about what we are going to do to build our city up.

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Now I'm torn because I feel like I should.

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I feel like I should be trying to increase my attack some more

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because I keep getting attacked.

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by wolves, but these wolves are doing so much damage that it almost

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doesn't matter about my low rolls.

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I don't know if increasing that is going to help any, I know I need more dwarves

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and I can build three more hovels total.

SteelStash:

You can only have a total of five, we're yeah, we're gonna go ahead.

SteelStash:

We are going to go ahead and we are going to build another hovel.

SteelStash:

On the hope and prayer that.

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We survive this next round.

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So let's go ahead and see what this hovels name shall be.

SteelStash:

This will be a number and city.

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Everything is being named city.

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So this is gonna be second city.

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So we have first city, low city, and second city.

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Weird order for naming this.

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It seems that it seems that maybe the dwarves are trying

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to get away from low city,

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the naming convention of low city, as that brought nothing, but the near extinction.

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Of the mine first city.

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Yeah.

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First city hurt, but it was only some goblins.

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So now we move on to treasure and combat.

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Hoping for.

SteelStash:

Okay, well we roll twos again.

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Double twos.

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So I seem to be rolling doubles for my treasure and combat role.

SteelStash:

My mine age is four.

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So those numbers are gonna be six.

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Again, again, again, a six.

SteelStash:

I already know what combat is

SteelStash:

because I've rolled it three times in a row now.

SteelStash:

It seems that we have, it seems that we have tried to settle on a

SteelStash:

dire Wolf nest, a dire Wolf den.

SteelStash:

There is nothing but dire, wolves only dire wolves in the mountains,

SteelStash:

but we'll add our one ore and our one D six gold up front.

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So we have three ore.

SteelStash:

Our goal was at 12 because we had to spend four for the hovel.

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We were rolling one D six

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and got a three.

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So gold is up to 15 and now it is time to

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do combat and it is not looking good for the home team.

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Looking get slightly better for the home team.

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We roll the three, the Wolf rolled the one.

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So it is one and two.

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That is where simultaneous attacks is annoying.

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We're both probably gonna roll high right here.

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I don't even wanna look.

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We both rolled six S.

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I rolled a six and they rolled a six.

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So, even though there should have been one other dwarf standing with me at

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this time we're gonna go ahead and say that that first attack knocked

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everybody out except for steel stash.

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Once again.

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And.

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Dwarven leader steel stash glares into the eyes of this dire Wolf and

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both let out a guttural growl as they leap forward towards each other.

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And as the Wolf, tears out my throats, I stab its heart and we both die together.

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Thus passes steel stash and ends

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the exploration of a Kazad stash, but that is dwarf mine a.

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Mining map making game.

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So that was super fun.

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I really liked that.

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My total score was crap.

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So I have a feeling that anybody who plays is gonna beat my score.

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But again, send me a comment, lemme know what your score was and.

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We can see, I'm not even gonna keep track of my score if you

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played, you won congratulations.

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But tell me anyway, because I am curious, I'm curious how you guys succeeded.

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Maybe it was you didn't roll six after six, after six after six,

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but Hey, these things happen.

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That's what happens when you use dice?

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This game was fun.

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I liked it.

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I would wish that I could get to a point where.

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I could see what the rest of it was like.

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Now part of that was on me.

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I probably could have used some of the extra rooms and whatnot to,

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generate gold and everything like that.

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From the expansion set, I mean, but, you know, I just wanted to

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experience what the base game was.

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So.

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Definitely a fun game.

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Definitely rolls more in line with more in line with some of

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the old school dungeon crawl.

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Like it's got kind of that old school dungeon crawl feel to it because

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you are using, it's not procedural generation because you aren't rolling

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for like what rooms you're going into.

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Those are conscious decisions that you are making.

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I wanna say that I think you can build as many rooms as you have gold for build

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as many rooms as you have gold for.

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I think that was my biggest downfall.

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The fact that.

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I had gold and I wasn't building rooms.

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I limited myself to one room turn.

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And that was a detriment that is not stated in the rules.

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Again.

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That is something I just made up for my play through, build as many rooms

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as you have gold, because you could build four hovels and a barracks.

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Your attack would go up to D six.

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And you would be generating four dwarves, a turn

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right off the bat, like right off year one.

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And that is that is a much stronger start than what I did.

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If I had done that, I like the dire wolves still would've hurt, but they

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probably wouldn't have hurt as much.

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Now, of course, that also like that also makes things more interesting.

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I, that, that probably would make things more interesting because

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the only way to get treasure is to build something on your turn.

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Now, hallways and ladders do count, but, but if you do not have the gold

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to build a room, that means you need to build a random hallway or ladder.

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And because.

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You have those limitations on where rooms can fit and,

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and how close things can be to each other that that actually starts to force

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you to go deeper into the mine . and so, yeah, that's the way to do it.

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Build, build as much as you have gold for, and then on turns that you don't have gold

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build a hallway or a ladder for free, just so you can try to build up some more gold,

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which I think is where I think is where.

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The room expansion would potentially hurt this game because one of

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the things you can build in the room expansion is a mine shaft.

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Now, granted mine shaft does cost 20 gold, but it gives you

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gold every turn, regardless of whether or not you do anything.

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So like I thought about it, I legit thought about it.

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I thought about just building that and.

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Just generating gold, every turn.

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I'm glad I didn't because that would've made this play through

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even more painful than it was.

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So I wouldn't recommend adding the mine shaft right off the bat, because

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you're adding your mine age to your combat roles, which means every turn.

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You are not doing something to help your defenses.

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You are ticking closer and closer and closer towards a more

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dangerous persistent threat.

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And you definitely don't wanna be caught off guard trying to build up,

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trying to build up enough gold to like max out your barracks or something.

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Just.

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Right up front, either build as many barracks as you can, and some hovels or

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build as many hovels as you can and some barracks, and then try to try to use the

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use the gold you find during the treasure phase to build your barracks to max level.

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And then you can worry about like, and then you can worry about the other stuff.

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At least that's my recommendation.

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Now that is one thing I do like though because you were adding your mine

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age to your treasure and your combat roles, especially your combat roles.

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You can't just hide behind what you got, because again, you were

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always ticking closer and closer and closer and closer and closer.

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To those persistent threats.

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And as you dig deeper and deeper down and get to further and further levels,

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you're gonna run into harder and harder threats.

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So you definitely want to make sure that you are taking advantage of any

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opportunity you can to add a room just so that you can deal with those

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persistent threats when they come.

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But like I said, brilliant little game, definitely had a lot of fun on this.

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You can find dwarf mine on itch and drive through.

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They are on both.

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I'm going to drop both links down below.

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But the game is $7 totally worth it.

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Definitely go check it out.

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Tell James I said hi, and that I sent you and remember