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Bull Rushing Monsters into Pits
Feb 21, 2021 12:35

We are considering the following changes to Bull Rush, in regards to shoving monsters into pits:

1) Remove the pit shove requirement that there be no other tile into which you can shove the monster. So you can bull rush a monster towards a pit just like any other open tile.

2) Reduce the panic effect to only apply to monsters adjacent to the pit, rather than all monsters in the room.

3) After shoving a monster into a pit, at the end of the following round, the purple worm will emerge from that pit (unless it is dead or already emerged). So if you don’t move away from the pit on your next turn, you will find yourself next to the worm.


Feb 22, 2021 6:14

1) that should work out well, but for an extra: if you pull this off during feat mode you get an extra action 2) most of the time monsters wont be near the pit, so this nerf may break it 3) worms are more the dwarf’s thing so why not do something like a ghost summon and for the dwarf: if a kill is adjacent to a pit, a worm has a high chance for summon

Feb 22, 2021 14:47

I quite like Bull Rush as it is. But I’m open to change. I guess this will make it easier to push individual monsters into a pit, and gives a way of attacking monsters on the other side (push in monster, step away, wait for worm to eat the other one :-)) On the other hand, in crowded situations this might make it rather risky to push into a pit, and it gives those wretched archers yet more chance to shoot at the human.

Also, do you mean adjacent to the pit (so an archer on the other side of the pit is frozen, but a monster next to you but not the pit will immediately attack) or adjacent to the hex the human ended up on (so the archer will shoot, but the adjacent monster will not attack)?

Ghost summon would not give the chance of the worm attacking other monsters. It would just replace the monster you pushed with another one. Pushing two monsters into a pit would then make life significantly harder because the ghosts can keep coming back.

Worm will not attack the dwarf so the worm showing up after a kill near a pit is almost a free Bellow.

Feb 22, 2021 22:34

I meant that only monsters adjacent to the pit (where the monster fell) will be panicked.

Our primary goal with the change is to make Bull Rush easier to understand for new players. The current rule about when you can shove into a pit is quite difficult to explain or understand. So the idea is to simplify Bull Rush by removing that special pit rule, but also reduce the panicked effect, so pit shoving is not OP.

We may hold off on the worm idea. It’s a big change to the pit shoving gameplay, and doesn’t simplify anything for new players. (Although new players might think it’s cool.)

Feb 23, 2021 9:22

I think everybody has issues understanding and seeing all bullrush options and not-options. What currently does only make little sense is that it depends “creatively” on the position if bull-rush is possible or not. “standing better” (opposite of the pit) can destroy the possibility. So simplification is a good goal. Which stunning makes sense is depends on so many things, that I will not judge. However, would be cool to have another “stun message” like “looks how deep that pit is” For the worm I think it is thrilling to have a chance that is high enough, that forces to go away if the “monster pressure” is low, but so high, that one would choose the risk, if it helps to avoid otherwise sure serious attacks. So maybe 10% or 20%.

Feb 23, 2021 12:25

The main problem I have with Bull Rush is working out if a monster is too big to push or not. I’m afraid I don’t know if “Gigantic” or “Gargantuan” etc is bigger or smaller than “Humungous”. “It looks big” is fine for human-sized monsters but poor for small ones like Rats or Kobolds.

Acknowledged the rule for when you can push in a pit takes some getting used to. Especially when there are just two adjacent pits and so pushing in is possible at an angle but not straight. That scenario is not intuitive.

Feb 23, 2021 17:05

Thanks, Raand.

Do you think we should just get rid of the bull rush limitation based on size? So you can always bull rush a 1 hp monster, regardless of how overgrown?

Feb 24, 2021 5:41

That also feels not right. Maybe simpler: If the defense value is above (6,8,10?) you cannot push the monster. 10 is for those who still want to push gargoyles. 6 is for those who just want to push “small monsters”. I am fine with any value in between this range.

Feb 24, 2021 9:13

Good suggestion, Bare Hand. I like:

You can’t bull rush if target has > 1 health or > 5 defense.

I prefer it to the size because then we don’t have to explain sizes to new players, and no one needs to remember the size order.

Feb 24, 2021 17:40

OK so no pushing standard sized Gargoyles or Spectres any more. And presumably now if a monster is enlarged magically it can’t be pushed if its defence is increased to 6+. I see the archer on the other side of the pit does get frozen, and the monsters behind me do get an attack. We’ll see how it goes! Maybe I’ll practice a bit before playing a tournament game :-)

I always expected the Gargoyles to get more defense points when they were stone (like the wraiths get weaker next to fire) but they don’t.

Feb 25, 2021 12:32

Don’t like it……having only some monsters panic make the bull rush not very useful as you counter-attacked a lot.

Feb 25, 2021 18:02

I’m not so sure. It is definitely different. There’s much more opportunity to push monsters into pits now, because you just need one pit and one monster next to it. But things move and attack, as you say. Before, it was a weapon good in more crowded situations but now it’s good when the monsters are fewer or more spread out, and more risky in crowds. Eg now you can just shove the last monster or two into the one and only pit in the room for a guaranteed strike (if they aren’t too strong). That’s even viable with two next to each other as long as they’re both next to the pit.

The gargoyles are harder now you can’t push them around.

Feb 25, 2021 18:44

Love it. It always frustrated me that I couldn’t push monsters into the pit when I wanted to.

Feb 26, 2021 12:04

So, I am starting to look at bull rushing for the first time, and there is something that I find puzzling:

Apparently you cannot push a monster that has only one hit point left, if it started life with two or more points?

I was just experimenting with a Rat of Unusual Size (but, after all, it’s still only a rat), which is possibly misnamed. Perhaps instead, a Rat of Unusually Bad Defense. Despite its negative defense stat (-2), and despite the fact that it only has 1 HP left, it still manages (somehow) to resist pushing, either into an adjacent space or adjacent pit.

How is this physically possible?

Feb 26, 2021 13:38

The hp limit on bull rush is because 2+ hp monsters are usually larger and thus not easily shoved. The fact that the monster has been injured does not make it any smaller or easier to shove.

Feb 27, 2021 9:29

I didn’t see this section before commenting on the “new” bullrush posted most recently.

After reading these excellent comments - and playing the “new” version, some thoughts occur to me. But first let me say that I really appreciate your efforts to make the game accessible to new players; playability and readily understood rules are important considerations that many game designers over look.

The new system is pretty good; I like it. And, it’s easy to grasp, so kudos. But after reading these comments - and playing it - you MIGHT simplify it even further. Consider: Pit-push ONLY when push is a direct line between human and pit OR when there’s no open tile for enemy to dodge. (that is stricter than the current system). Keep the defense max but change it to only 1hp monsters of any size, and wounded 2hp monsters of normal size (except during feat mode) and BIPEDAL. You’re knocking them off-balance on the edge of a precipice, see?

The issue IMO, is that -relative to the OTHER characters - the dwarf is overpowered. Not overpowered relative to the game, but the other characters. (again IMO) So it’s more how to bring up the others while being internally logical and also easy to pick up.

Please don’t nerf the dwarf, as he’s an almost perfect balance between risk and reward; he’s very satisfying to play. With his outstanding defense die and the help of wormy, with careful strategy he is impressively formidable.

If you can somehow recreate that formula with the other characters…. wow. Even so, your game is immensely entertaining. I am grateful that you created it!

Feb 27, 2021 13:04

I agree the dwarf is very satisfying to play, even with Hunker tweaked down a bit to stop the high ranking dwarves with Hunker III being pocket battleships. I see the tournament winners are back around 40 dragons now.

Jury is still out on the new bull rush for me. It’s definitely playable, but it’s different from the old one now. I’m still learning how to use it. The swordsman is good to play as well, though. Perhaps not quite as strong in the tournament as the dwarf.

The elf is (and I thought always was) hard to play. The reward was there in the past for those that learned how. I’m not sure if it is right now.

Thanks again for an excellent game that is really fun to play!

Feb 28, 2021 12:49

Raand999, the elf used to be my personal favorite, though she wasn’t the “best” (My impression is that was always the dwarf, right from the beginning.) she was very very good, and though challenging to play well, was quite formidable when one succeeded. They’ve nerfed her so hard now, she’s no fun at all and of little use even in the tunnels. She’s not only easy to hit (and seemingly EASIER to hit than before, though I’m not sure why), but w/ only two hp she’s easy to kill. Maybe the answer is to boost her shield die the way they did the human’s bow die. I don’t know what the answer is, but I hope they figure it out; I miss her. I only play her now to keep her level in parity w/ the other two; I have an almost-OCD thing about symmetry, see

Feb 28, 2021 15:14

ChadIcon, when you say she’s of little use in the tunnels, do you mean that she’s worse than the other heroes, or just no better?

Couple ideas to help the elf:

1 ) She can hold her focus vs. multiple monsters. (Attacking another monster would not end focus she already has.)

2) Worms and ghosts don’t immediately attack when they arrive. (This would apply to all heroes, but the elf would benefit the most.)

Feb 28, 2021 17:41

Rowdius, I mean, she’s no better than the other in tunnels if she can stay at bow range; if not, she’s worse. She’s just really horrible at defense.

The changes you’re attempting are good, as is your seeking feedback, but it depends on your goal for the “final” game. When the game first came out, I was trying to play it like old-school D&D, as adventurers capitalizing on their different strengths to create an effective team.

And that’s how it worked then. In a crowded room where the elf can’t maneuver, send in the brawling dwarf with his hi defense die; the human took on multi-hp baddies, and the elf shone - especially - in the tunnels, bc unless one had a cache of fire scrolls the slimes could not be killed (lightning and exploding spores, I know, but you get my point).

That did not apply in tournaments, but it was a different animal.

It no longer works that way, at least not for me, and I’m a little bummed about it. Obviously I’m still playing and enjoying the game. I am not someone who would push for a super-character, though many people would, not realizing that once they got their wish that game would become boring very quickly.

You’ve avoided that trap so far, even while soliciting and incorporating feedback into the game. I’m impressed.

From your seat, I would be looking at stats. People will always have different play-styles, embodied by the different characters, but how often is the elf played? Now that the big changes are implemented, is she played more, the same, or less, overall?

If ya’ll were like, “Whoa, almost everybody’s playing the elf and no other characters,” and then after the changes it was more balanced, that’s a strong indicator of “mission accomplished.”

I DEFINITELY felt that way about the human before your changes. He WAS nearly useless. Now I play him a lot and have to check myself before he gets way ahead of the others.

A team tournament, where all 3 characters worked together, would have been very appealing to me once upon a time. Now, not so much.

I’m ranting here, or something. Sorry. Thanks for the great game. It is super fun. Your tips are ALWAYS useful.

(final sub-thing: please put on a direct reply option in the forum, so responses collect under the relevant post. Scrolling through the whole thing scanning for one’s screen-name to field replies is quite wearying.)

Feb 28, 2021 22:03

For my part, I can consistently do much better in the Tournament using my (higher level) Elf, rather than my (lower level) Dwarf. I suspect that the level difference (which is usually around 2 levels) is responsible for the Elf being better; and that the Dwarf would have been stronger if their levels were more similar.

In contrast to my Dwarf, which still gets significant playing time (in specific situations in the Career-mode and Campaign-mode, and in a few specific Hunts), my (lowest-level) Human runs a distant third, and almost never gets any playing time at all. It loses HP much faster than either my Elf or my Dwarf, so I have no incentive to play it. Ever.

I suspect that for other players, it might be the Elf or the Dwarf that is currently the weakest for them. Whichever is the weakest will get the least playing time in the future, and will fall further behind the other(s)–reinforcing the pattern.

I wonder whether there is a way to organize Dungeoneers so that all three characters get a significant amount of use by each player who has access to all three. Over time, all three character types could acquire improved skills, and become more satisfying to play.

One possibility that comes to mind is allowing players to accumulate XP from 3 daily hunt scores every day (one for each character type), rather than the single XP boost that is permitted now (which is applied to whichever character gets the furthest on any given day).

More variety in the play equals a more enjoyable game. Right now, there is an unfortunate built-in mechanism for causing each individual player to tend NOT to use 1 or 2 of the three character types. Can that be fixed?

Feb 28, 2021 23:45

Beetletoe – Yes, I like the idea of hunt XP bounties resetting for each hero. We could also have hero-specific tourneys, so you can do 3 tourneys per week (on per hero) – or 4 if we also allowed a hero-swapping tourney.

To ChadIcon’s very good point about wanting each hero to be better for certain situations, a couple thoughts:

A) We could back off on the elf’s well-roundedness by significantly increasing her Dodge percentage against missile and breath attacks (so she’s safer when at a distance) but don’t apply Dodge to melee attacks when Evading, so she is always vulnerable to adjacent monsters. By increasing the Dodge percentage, we could make her the best hero to have in rooms with archers (and we could add more archers to the dungeon).

B) We could work on making certain monsters be particularly good/bad for each hero.


  • Make more monsters like skeletons where there is a bow penalty (eg. scorpions and beetled are “shelled” or particular monsters like the orc captain or orc guard are “Armored”)

  • Give certain heroes immunities, like the elf can’t be stunned by ghouls and the dwarf never suffers from despair. (Maybe dung monsters should emanate stench, and the dwarf is immune from that too.)

  • Make it so Giants and Ettins can’t be leapt over (“Towering”)

Stuff like that. What do you think? Any other ideas?

Mar 1, 2021 2:32

Hi, Rowdius.

Reducing any aspect of the Elf’s melee defense would be problematic (particularly in unavoidable crowded rooms).

Increasing the aerial defense would not be that useful (as the Elf often has a greater range; or can get close enough to attack in a single leap).

A bit earlier, we were discussing the fact that the Elf already has trouble competing with the Dwarf, assuming similar levels. And this is AFTER your recent strengthening of the Elf melee defense. Prior to that strengthening, the Elf was not competitive with the Dwarf at all. (Indeed, while the Elf was still nerfed, I refrained from playing in the Tournament at all, as it was hopeless.)

Further, the new attack move of leaping over enemies (sometimes multiple enemies) is unique to the Elf, and is a lot of fun. But it only makes sense to try it when the odds of a successful counterattack are low.

I think that a one-dimensional Elf would be much less enjoyable than the current version. Although swapping a one-dimensional aerial Elf in and out of the game, depending on the room, might still succeed in Career or Campaign mode, it would make the Elf useless for a Hunt or Tournament, where swapping is not allowed.

Mar 1, 2021 8:48

Thanks, beetletoe. The change I described would only affect melee defense when you Evade as an action. So it would not affect the chance of a counterattack after leap attacking. That is, unless you leap attack and then evade on your next action - do you do that often?

Mar 1, 2021 13:58

beetletoe is right about the possibility of one character falling behind. For me, it’s the elf. I played Basic for a long while, so the swordsman got played most, with the others just getting played when I was on white dragons. When I upgraded, the dwarf had just been overhauled and I started playing him more.

I very much like that the different heroes have different strengths and weaknesses leading to different styles of play. It adds interest and depth to the game.

Mar 1, 2021 15:56

The elf becoming even MORE vulnerable during melee holds no appeal for me. Some ideas do come to mind. It’s just brainstorming of course, but the game is so great a capturing D&D-ness in a video game, you might capitalize on that feel w/o really effecting the power balance.

I’m not implying that dwarf needs any additional buffing, but an example might be their reputation for being naturally good at fighting “giant” enemies. OR Dwarves are naturals underground… maybe dwarf can see what’s in the tunnels before going in?

you have part of it with the elf, being good with a bow. They are known for an uncanny resistance to certain undead powers, like fear. Maybe, once scared by a specter she doesn’t auto-flee from it thereafter

The human: so okay, can’t shove-n-slice bigger than 1 hp. But, did you ever, as a kid maybe, do the trick where your buddy gets down behind someone and you shove them backward? So, what if a too-big is in FRONT of a 1 hp monster (maybe too-big has to be wounded). Too-big is not injured, but is moved back 2 spaces, and both victims are stunned for a round. Too-big shoved over and into a pit? Stunned for 2 rounds, and you can’t shove in Jr while too-big is in there.

I’m just spit-ballin’ here, but there a lot of fun “flavors” could can add without janking up the mechanics

Mar 1, 2021 17:50

Rowdius, BTW, you are absolutely wrong about wormy. I’ve been chomped upon pop-up multiple times, in multiple settings. including just a moment ago. jury’s still out on ghosts

Mar 1, 2021 17:56

and again! of course, being the elf, naturally he hits EVERY TIME!!!

Mar 1, 2021 18:10

ChadIcon - sorry, my post was not clear. I was not saying that it is currently the case that wormy doesn’t immediately attack. I was proposing a change to make it so that worms and ghosts don’t immediately attack. The other proposal was that the elf could keep her focus against multiple targets.

Mar 2, 2021 8:43

I feel like wormy should attack the turn it pops up only if called by dwarf, as it’s been called to battle instead of popping up to see what’s going on (and super useful for dealing with multi-health enemies in hunt). Otherwise, I like the idea of worms and ghosts not attacking the turn they appear, since it’s impossible to react to that. The worst is when the auto-attack occurs right after shooting a bow, since the character is completely undefended.

Personally , I also like the idea of multi-focus for elf. But if I were to choose between the two changes, I would probably pick the ‘no action upon pop-up’ change, as it’s incredibly annoying across-the-board to be attacked before having a chance to react.

Mar 2, 2021 12:03

Hi, Rowdius.

In answer to your question, I believe that, yes, I do frequently Evade after a leap attack. Whether to follow the leap with an attacking or defensive move depends on the arrangement of enemies in the room. I am trying very hard not to land in a space next to an un-stunned monster, even a fairly weak monster. As an Elf, I will need to collect a very large number of enemy HP for each one that I lose, so I try to avoid situations where a monster gets a free shot, when I am not defending.

I would definitely favor having ghosts not attack on the turn that they reappear, as they are very annoying, and always seem to show up exactly where I am standing.

However, I am not sure how I feel about Worms. As things stand right now, Worms can be either harmful or helpful, so the Elf or Human character needs to make a strategic decision about whether to try to kill them, or not, given the opportunity. However, if the Worm would almost never attack the Elf on the first move, then killing them would almost never be the correct choice (a la the Dwarf). Making the other characters more Dwarf-like in respect to Worms thus reduces variety (differences between character types) in the game.

Side note: for making play more interesting, I believe that I had previously raised the possibility of having more of the regular monster types sometimes (randomly and unpredictably) be helpful by either attacking other monsters, or at least not attacking the player unless attacked first. (This is aside from the occasional helpfulness of Worm, Reaper, Swampy, who still consistently attack the player, given the opportunity.)

Side question #1: If Wormy is present in a Hunt layout, what are the actual odds per turn of the Worm appearing?

Side question #2: Given that the Dwarf gets an odds boost from having 3 or more monsters adjacent, I am curious about whether the bonus is calculated at the beginning of the Dwarf’s turn, or while the turn is in progress.

For example, suppose that my Dwarf is surrounded by exactly 3 monsters. I hunker. The first monster attacks me, and I assume that my defense gets the 3-neighbor bonus. I counter-attack, and I assume that my attack gets the 3-neighbor bonus. (Both true?) OK, suppose that my counter-attack causes the monster to either die or move away from me after it is hit. When monster #2 attacks me, do I still get a 3-monster bonus (because there were 3 at the beginning of MY turn), or did I lose the 3-monster bonus as soon as one of the monsters uncooperatively stopped being my neighbor?

–Just curious

Mar 2, 2021 14:59

Rowdius, now it’s making more sense! lol. No worries. As far as the idea goes, it has potential. Maybe more along the lines of “there’s something about the elf”. When pop up/in enemies first appear and other enemies are adjacent, they just don’t seem to notice the elf at first. BTW, I do not consider the swamp thing a pop up monster. He’s there, you can see him. But crawler, wormy, death, etc. most definitely.

I don’t count specters either, though I do wish we knew they were in the room before the BOO! Didn’t they used to appear in the “room contents” list on the right? They dont any more, until you bump into them!

also the multi focus idea might be cool

other ideas in that vein: focus bonus also accumulate during leap attacks

an option to leap to confuse- a razzle-dazzle leap: no damage but she has a better chance to get her distance.

learn from mistakes: each time the same monster hits, her defense against it improves

OH! one side item i’ve been meaning to mention. A “steatching bow” sound when clicking the dwarf’s “shoot an arrow” button!

thanks for being awesome!!

Mar 2, 2021 15:48


Chance of wormy appearing in a hunt is same as in the dungeon: Anything next to a pit has a 1% chance per round to attract the worm.

The frenzy calculation is done with each attack, while the turn is in progress. So if you kill something on a counterattack, it lowers the frenzy total for the next attack.

Mar 9, 2021 14:45

You talked about tourney mode:
In the long run it might be OK to have three different tourneys, but I don’t like the idea of a all-hero-tourney. This would be too time consuming…
However, to make it more “interesting”, why not introducing a rest for the last character that was used. That way we are forced to play with different characters and cannot simply rely on one single maxed out dwarf… I think the winner of the tourney should prove he is a “complete” dungeoneer. Maybe others think different, but we can ask here!
Other points:
It would be cool to have a dead-sign that is different for all 3 characters to make the character visible.
Thay way we can also simply use one board for 3 tourneys. Elf, human and dwarf could just be in one board (sorted by dragons killed as now), but with place numbers (colored?) that correspond to their character specific success.

Mar 9, 2021 23:12

Hmm, this would be a definite boost, but it would be nice if you could bullrush critters of appropriate size who normally have more than 1 HP but have been whittled down. The purple worm idea would be a definite downgrade, in my opinion, though it would have situational, though risky uses.

Mar 20, 2021 15:13

@rowdius: requesting a couple clarifications re: Beetletoe’s questions- the 1% for wormy’s appearance. Is it cumulative? or does it reset upon entering another room? If you re-enter the same room, does it pick up from last time, or start over?

Re: beetletoe’s Q about Gird, Using the +3 example. Dwarf is in Gird-mode surrounded by 3 foes - and it’s their turn to strike (meaning dwarf will get 3 counter-strikes w/o the player doing anything). Dwarf kills 1st attacker during counter-strike. Gird is GONE? Or Gird bonus drops? (Your answer is clear that it is lessened) So, does it drop to the next-lowest gird-level (so if it’s +3 then it would be gone. But if he was at Gird-II, then he’d drop to Gird-II), does it loose 1 for each successful counter-strike? That’s what’s unclear to me.

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