The Reflective Leather Hood of Character Depth

GameSetWatch offers some ideas for how a simple dungeon-crawler like Biclops Games’ Monsters’ Den: Book of Dread could incorporate additional story elements and character depth.

Confronted with a new game with minimal narrative trimmings, my instinct is to ask: how could we do a story with this mechanic? How do we make it good? Sometimes I have to conclude that we really can’t — that the game is so abstract or so essentially lightweight that the elements of narrative can’t be convincingly hung on that hook.

But sometimes I can imagine what the story would be — except that it would fundamentally change the nature of the game.

Take “Monster’s Den: Book of Dread”: it’s a dungeon-crawling game, with a party of four who can engage in tactical battles with assorted monsters.

I’ve had a guilty fondness for this genre since Wizardry, though Monster’s Den is slicker and easier to handle than the versions I tried in the 80s, and it’s free, too. Monster’s Den offers a little bit of framing narrative for each of the three campaigns available (one of which is a survival mode where you face wave on wave of attackers until you and the city you defend finally collapse).

Thanks, RPGCodex.

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