As a teenager, I played lots of role-playing games and spent hours pouring over character sheets and preparing adventures. We had a fairly large group of about 6-7 people who met regularly, using GURPS most of the time, but also venturing into Cyberpunk 2020 and Traveller.
As you might remember, when the new Star Wars RPG came out, I decided to get the starter box so as to introduce my nephew into RPGs. He immediately took to it and demanded adventure after adventure, which left me somewhat weary, as I discovered that preparing RPG sessions is not only lots of work, but also something I no longer enjoy that much.
So I was looking for a system with very simple rules, that is available in German so he can work through the book himself and, most importantly, offers lots of easy accessible ready-made material to makes the game master’s life as easy as possible.
Enter Dungeonslayers. Labelled as an ‘old fashioned’ RPG, this German product is available for free and offers a comprehensive fantasy RPG rule set. It is based on a D20 mechanic, where you have to roll below your skill level, the result also indicating the amount of damage you have done when attacking – so everything is dead simple. The game is geared towards dungeon crawling but works very well for other types of adventures, although there is a clear emphasis on fighting – something which is no problem for the nephew, as he wouldn’t be too excited about intricate narrative games anyway.
Dungeonslayers has a friendly and very prolific community, which offers lots of additional material for free. Of special interest to the lazy game master are the dungeons-2-go, one- or two-page long dungeon adventures that can be used out of the box or as elements to build your own adventure around.
And then an amazing thing happened: One of my new work mates turned out to be an old role player and when we talked about this, another one who listened in declared that she had always wanted to try such games. Posthaste, a group was formed and K. and me are now regularly playing with our new friends. Fortunately for me, the old hand agreed to share the role of game master, so I don’t have to do all the hard work.
Who’d have thought that I would ever return to RPGs? Now I just have to find a way to introduce miniatures… after all, I’ve got some fantasy figures I’ve painted for HeroQuest!
Dungeonslayers is also available in English and in French. It pays to visit other language communities, as they offer unique material and adventures.