A Gamer’s Education: Infinity Dungeon, boot camp for role players

infinitydungeonIf you maggots leave boot camp, if you survive Infinity Dungeonyou will be adventurers. You will be ministers of death praying for dragons. But until that day, you are orc spit. You are the lowest form of life on Eberron. You are not even goblins. You are nothing but unorganized pieces of Dragonborn poo! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard, but I am fair. There is no class warfare here. I do not look down on bards, monks, druids, or aristocrats. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my adventures. Do you scum understand that?

It’s time to get organized, so you better listen up!  Infinity Dungeon is a role playing game boot camp for 3 – 8 adventurers created by D. Brad Talton Jr.  In Infinity Dungeon you will assume the role of an absurd adventurer with a persona ranging from a common archaeologist, to a pop star, mad scientist, or even yourself.  After character selection, shuffle the dungeon cards and put them in the center of the table.  Finally, randomly select an Active GM and make the adventurer to their left the Active Player.

Infinity DungeonTen Hut!  Active GM – it’s now your turn to polish your reading and language skills.  Turn over five cards and place them in the middle of the table on top of each other with only the bottom box showing on each card under the top.  Now read the name of the dungeon room and its description.

Hold up! Are you speaking in monotone?  That might work in other campaigns, but not this boot camp.  Give me some inflection, set the tone of the area! Take your time reading so the adventurers can understand what they are up against!  Feel free to expand on the description, add some of your own flavor to bring the room to life!  Finally, describe the items in the room. At the bottom of each card you will see an item; describe those for the adventurers so they know what they have to work with.

Active player: I hope you’ve been paying attention! Your group is relying on your puzzle solving and creative skills to stay alive.  The description you just heard is the room you must pass through.  Each room has an exit door; your mission is to find it and get your group through it alive.  You can discuss your plan with the group but the final decision is yours.  When you have decided on a strategy, explain it to everyone.

The rest of you get one chance to vote on the plan!  If you approve of it, give it a thumbs up. If you disapprove, think it was too easy, or just want to screw with the Active Player, raise your hand and challenge it.  If you challenge, you must pick another item to be incorporated into the plan.  Active Player! You must reject or accept these challenges.  If accepted, you must think fast and modify the plan using the chosen challenge item.

The rest is up to you, Active GM! Count the voting points. Depending on the group size, a base point score is between 0 and 8 points, approval votes get 2 to 3 points, accepted challenges get 3 to 5 points, and rejected challenges receive no points.  Turn over the top card of the dungeon room deck. If the total score is equal to or greater than the treasure box score (the number in the lower right of the card) the plan was a success, otherwise it failed.

It is now time to display your active listening skills.  If the plan succeeded, you must eloquently describe how the adventurers made it through the room. If the plan failed, you get to weave a tale of the Active Player’s demise!

Is that a smile I see on your face? You think think Infinity Dungeon is a joke? Until you master reading and language skills, until you can quickly solve puzzles, until you prove your active listening skills, you are not ready to advance from Infinity Dungeon!

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Infinity Dungeon is part of the Minigame Library by Level 99 Games.  It can also be purchased separately at lvl99games.com.

Note: if you’re curious, the first paragraph of this article is a modification of a speech from Full Metal Jacket.

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