Saturday, cookiemonger, her brother, and I assembled and ran a short crawl in Dungeons of the Catan Horror. It took a little time to set up, as the pieces I had were scattered about the study, though the Catan pieces were easy enough to find. (The game’s been living in the dining room for over a week.)

We, uh, didn’t bother with the newer setup rules ’cause we just wanted to play, and explaining rules would have taken time, so what we did instead was roam from room to room, fighting random monsters. Actually, I couldn’t find my box of miniatures, so we used little green six-sided dice, which we rolled to get the monsters’ levels.

It was spontaneous, and fun in a spontaneous kind of way. I mean, it was great to have the materials on hand, and we all had a working knowledge of the rules. I think we got through two encounters in about an hour. We didn’t do any roving about the “world map,” but I don’t think that crushed anyone’s hopes.

If what you’re looking for is a BYOA dungeon crawl, Bring Your Own Adventurer, then what I’ve built not only works, but it works super, fantastically, awesomely well. What more do you need to play than a group of three friends, pre-built characters, some dice, and the revised static monster chart?

You know what it got me thinking about? I was starting to wonder what I could do to integrate the monsters into the game better, and how I could fit trap and treasure rooms. That line of thought brought me to Elder Sign. I mean, the dice pool concept has really been growing on me, and now I’m thinking about room and trap placement.

Elder Sign doesn’t use “traps” in its Adventure Cards, though I suppose you could argue “terror” is a trap on its own. Still, that isn’t quite what I was looking for in a trap concept. More, I was looking at the requirements for task completion. If you’re looking at the Skill Challenges from Fourth Edition you could almost be convinced… almost.

Could I build a “Quest Deck” of some kind? I mean, drawing cards is often more effective than rolling dice and consulting a chart, … I mean, unless you’re talking about drawing from nine different Arkham location encounter decks, an enormous Mythos deck, and an overflowing Other World encounter deck. Seriously.

I guess what I realized is, … the static monster chart is practically a game by itself. Well, not a game inasmuch as an expansion or a supplement for Fourth Edition. What it’s done is gotten me thinking about how to accommodate really abstract monsters (literally just a line on a chart), perhaps with an abstract dungeon room.

So, I’m packing my copy of Third Edition’s Dungeonscape when I go to work this morning. I don’t think I necessarily need the Adventure Cards from Elder Sign, I think I already have what I need from them already. What I need now are some rooms, some traps, and maybe a theme or three. *ponders*