Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dungeon Sagas Missing Missions

I am going to again talk about Mantic's Dungeon Saga Kickstarter now that it is deep in the shipping phase with lots of people getting their full sets.  I have not gotten mine and do not expect to for another few weeks but some of these issues need to be discussed.  Now in terms of Kickstarters this one has had what I will call first world problems.  The game was produced, reasonable looking minis were sent, and outside the standard packing error you get from lowest bidder manufacturing if they promised a physical miniature or something they are delivering.  It is nothing like some of the well know total mess ups which at this point do not even need to be called out by name.  This does not mean everything is great in Dungeon Saga land.  Mantic is essentially a professional kickstarter company having run 10 in total and three after this one so they need to deliver and be very clear when they cannot.

During the funding drive I was not very happy with how vague Mantic was on things like scenarios and tiles.  They would introduce some product and then unlock bonus scenarios, tiles, cards, counters, and such.  But if they never said how many of these things you started with, these "bonuses" do not have quite as much meaning.  For example the warlord expansion has three bonus scenarios unlocked but without a starting number I cannot say that they failed to deliver those scenarios eventhough with only 6 scenarios in the expansion it started with a very weak 3 in that case.  There is not much to say about that now.  I can only say that they did not deliver on things that they were specific on so that is how I will do it.  Most of this will focus on scenarios since that is where the most issues that I see.  Be warned this will be a long post and will go through a good number of updates.  I will not do any updates that I think were well fulfilled.

I will start with the Summary of the things that I think are issues and have the evidence and documentation after.  If you disagree with me about something provide evidence with a link and quotes in the comments but please read my evidence on it first.

Explicitly Missing Items: Updated for Update 95

Ally Mcsween Character Mat Not in Dungeon Master Pledge (Digital Copy Update 95)
Ibahrim Character Mat Not in Dungeon Master Pledge (Digital Copy Update 95)
Missing Dungeon Journal Mission for Logan
Hero AI Cards and Rules in Adventurer's Companion (Informed of Removal)
Hordin and Gnasher Missing Mission in Dungeon Journal
The Path of the Righteous Mission missing from Dungeon Journal
Infernal Crypts Expansion Promised 8 Scenarios only 6 Produced
2 Missing Dungeon Journal Mission vs Green Skins
2 Missing Dungeon Journal Mission vs Hordes of the Abyss
Witch and Dwarf Engineer Classes Missing from Adventurers Companion
Rise of the Shadow King Digitial Adventure Book Missing (Delayed Update 95)
Unholy Crusade 4 Mission Pack Missing from Dungeon Journal (Very Late Move to Digital)
Green Tide 4 Mission Pack Missing from Dungeon Journal (Very Late Move to Digital)
Black Fortress Campaign (? Missions 4+ Assumed) Missing from Dungeon Journal (Very Late Move to Digital)
Winter's Knight Digital Adventure Book Missing (Delayed Update 95)
Dungeon Saga Digital Novel Missing

Additional Things I Missed:
Adventures Companion was supposed to have the history and geography of Mantica section
There were supposed to be Know they Enemy Cards
Art Print was supposed to be Signed
In Fact all 4 of the hero cards for the Heroes listed at the top of the chart are explicitly promised in the Dungeon Master Graphic.

All told that is 19 of the Dungeon Journal Missions that actually were most of those that could be played straight out of the Dungeon Master Pledge to make the extra random orcs and abyss guys useful to people just getting that pledge are missing.  This compares to only to 10 for the base game, 7 Dungeon Journal and 6 Return of Valandor Missions (original supposed to be part of Dungeon Journal) provided.  So not far from Half the promised missions.  The Dwarf Kings Hold missions are different since they are not really playable from the base pledge since you need considerably more undead, dwarves, or elves to play them which required additional purchases or existing miniatures.  Add in the 2 missing Infernal Crypt missions and that is 21 missing.  Since this is mostly text/graphic content, a digital update can fill it in bit sort of sad that the Dungeon Journal that was a major part of the stretch goals got cut down so badly.  For the character Mats the proper thing to do would be to provide the digital versions of all the ones provided in all the expansions to the players.  They have to print them but is it better than trying to hand write them or photocopy them out of the adventurers companion.

Other Significant Issues:

Resin Counter Upgrade changed from Skulls to lame hearts and really poor looking piles of bones.  Edit some people like the new counters.  I am just saying later that it was a significant design change that should have at least been previewed.

Resing Dungeon Traps Very Poor

Proof Reading of Adventurers Companion Complete Skipped-  They included an errata for the mixing page references in the boxes so that makes me think they have know a far amount of time.  They should have told everyone.

Adventures Companion Hardback contains only Adventures Companion while considerable numbers of backers expected it to also contain the Dungeon Journal which would have doubled it size.  Many of those people added more things to their pledges to get what they believed would be sizable book.  Some even purchased it as an 30 add on based on this idea.  Kickstarter pricing a less than a hundred page book at 30 dollars is pretty high.  Especially for a book no one proof read.

There is an discussion of the missing items here on boardgame geek.

Here is the data I used to produce these promised backer rewards with links, images, and quotes.

Update 9: Keldan the twilight Kin Demonhunter is describe:

 This dark Elf has been included in your Pledge Level from the start and comes with special missions in your Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal,

Sources Report that the dungeon journal does come with 2 Scenarios with Keldan so his missions (note plural) is fulfilled in the base pledge.

Update 10: This update includes the Resin Counter Upgrade:

With this set, you get 16 3D Skull injury counters, supplied exclusively to this Kickstarter in translucent red resin!

I have this set and I got 16 injury counters and 12 bone piles but they are not skulls and bone piles do not look anything like that.  I will review these in more depth at a later time but let me say I am not happy with them but I did get something that is usable so just disappointment.  The skulls were changed to crystal hearts to match the character pad designs but they could have informed customers of the changes to the design at some point prior to shipment.

Update 11: Ally Halfling Thief

Unlocking Ally means you'll be getting a new thick card Character Mat, equipment cards and awesome special abilities as well! 

The Ally model shows up in the dungeon master pledge and you get plenty of cards and abilites in the adventurer's companion but Character Mat is not there.  That character mat was moved to the Tyrant expansion for retail and they appear to have forgotten that they promised it to everyone explicitly.

Update 13:  Ibrahim Human Paladin

Ibrahim comes with his own thick card Character Mat, giving you all the stats and rules you need to add him to your adventure. He also brings the blessings of his chosen god with him, giving you brand new rules, cards, and abilities for this holiest of warriors. 

Just like Ally looks like Ibrahim has a Character Mat promised to everyone.  Again it ended up in the Tyrant set which was an add on extra.

Update 14: Logan the Halfling Fighter

If we hit this stretch goal, we will make “Lofty” Logan, a heroic Kickstarter Exclusive Halfling Fighter, and include him in your pledge of Dungeon Master ($100 and Early Bird).

Unlocking this great new hero character will also add a brand new mission to your Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal, fuelling your pledge level with even more playability.

Now Logan does appear in the Dungeon Journal in the 2 missions that also include Keldan from Update 9 listed above.  But Keldan was promised to come with missions (so at least 2) so their should be one more to fulfill this stretch goal for the backers.

Update 15: Adventures Companion Upgrade and Blaine

 If we hit this stretch goal, we will add A.I. Cards for the Necromancer to accompany new rules in the Adventurer’s Companion. By doing this, we enable Solo Play and what’s been termed as “Fully Co-op.”

It’s fun to be bad so in addition to the Necromancer A.I. Deck, we’ll also create a card deck for A.I. controlled heroes too! If you want to be wicked and rout the forces of good, you'll be able to do so and play solely as the Necromancer.

The AI cards and rules for the bad guys are in the Adventures companion but the Heroes did not make it.  At some point they announced that these rules did not work but I do not think it was in an update so if anyone has that reference it would be helpful.

We’ll make this Kickstarter Exclusive figure in coloured plastic and add him to your pledge of Dungeon Master ($100 and Early Bird). We will also create Kickstarter Exclusive missions featuring Blaine and them to your Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal.

My sources say the Dungeon Journal includes three missions for Blaine so this part is well fulfilled but it does not appear that any of those missions use one of the other Heroes of Mantica from the Adventures companion.

Update 17: Hordin and Gnasher plus Kapoka

Hordin and Gnasher are both Kickstarter Exclusive models included in addition to your boxed game in the pledge level and also come with exclusive special missions in the Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal.

These characters were added to replace a previous license issue that I am not bothering with since it was resolved in the first few days.  The thing to note here is that missions is used again which means more than 1 but sources report these characters only appear in one of the Dungeon Journal Missions so are missing a one at a minimum.

Update 22: Venetia Human Cleric

Unlocking Venetia also opens up the Cleric class for your game, giving you new cards and counters for her divine spells and abilities. Turn Undead and Healing are all staple abilities of the Cleric and both will be present for Venetia to utilise with zeal.

Not only that but we’ll also unlock “The Path of the Righteous” in the Dungeon Journal – a brand new Kickstarter Exclusive scenario pitting Venetia and Ibrahim in a grim battle against the unholy forces of Grund Hammerhand! 

Here we have another promised scenario for the dungeon journal call "The Path of the Righteous" which does not appear to be there.

Update 33: Infernal Crypts Expansion

The new expansion pack, with a working title of Infernal Crypts, is an opportunity to take your party of heroes on an all-new adventure – and encounter an all-new enemy.
The expansion pack features:
- Rulebook featuring all you need to know to play with the denizens of the Abyss
- 6 New Scenarios with an all-new narrative 

This expansion explicitly lists 6 scenarios at the initial unlocking.

Update 37: Bonus Scenarios

3,850 Backer Stretch Goal: BONUS SCENARIOS!
When we break this stretch goal, we will add:
- 2 scenarios to your Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal that sees our heroes take on the mighty Greenskins!
- 2 scenarios to your Kickstarter Exclusive Dungeon Journal that pits your heroes against the demonic hordes of the Abyss!
These four bonus scenarios give you brand new quests for your heroes to undertake. They supplement your adventure and the expansion packs with new challenges that will test your mettle and your resolve. Who knows, they might even see a mixed force to fight against...

So here we have 4 bonus scenarios using the miniature from the Greenskin and Abyss packs in the Dungeon Master  pledge.  These do not appear to be provided according to my sources.

Update 38: Abyssal Molochs

You’ll need all your wits about you when fighting a demonic Moloch lest your heroes be torn apart by sheer brute force…
If we hit this stretch goal, we will produce the large troll-sized Abyssal Molochs and will:
- Include two of these miniatures in the Infernal Crypts expansion pack ($25)!
- Include one of this miniature in a pledge of Dungeon Master ($100 and Early Bird)!
- Add a bonus seventh scenario to the Infernal Crypts expansion pack!

Those miniatures do show up but as far as my sources tell me Infernal Crypts only has 6 scenarios so 1 missing that is explicitly promised.

Update 40: Adventures Companion Upgrade, Hardback, Characters

To celebrate this enormous milestone stretch goal - $600,000 is an incredible amount – we have created a Limited Edition Hardback Adventurer’s Companion. This book is only available to Kickstarter Backers with a few available to round out the print quantity. This will be available as a $30 Optional Add-on – but it will be included free with all pledges of $200 or more!*

This is one of the more contentious issues I will discuss here.  The in writing promise a Hardback Adventurer's Companion but the text in the image specifically call out that it also contains the Dungeon Journal.  Now the Dungeon Journal includes a lot of stuff so the difference between these two things in terms of size is pretty large.  They also use the test Compendium on the top of the book in the image.

Ravenna – Female Witch
This great new miniature depicts the Witch, cast in Collector's Edition Resin exclusively for this Kickstarter. She can be used as a Witch, Druid or female mage character.
Gunn – Dwarf Engineer
This new Dwarf figure is cast in Collector's Edition resin exclusively for this Kickstarter. He can be used to depict the Dwarfen Engineer class in the Adventurer's Companion.

Here they show 2 new characters you can buy in resin.  They do not promise any missions but they do seem to say that their are Witch and Dwarfen Engineer classes since witch is listed as explicitly different from Druid or Female Mage.

Don’t stand there, it’s a trap! Get 3D sculpted counters to replace your card counters. Each tile has a different trap effect sculpted underneath the tile.

On the traps I will leave it at people are not impressed with the product.

Update 43: Drech’nok the Destroyer

If we hit this stretch goal, we will produce Drech’nok the Destroyer – a mighty Abyssal Champion to lead the demonic hordes against your heroes!
We will include this miniature in the Infernal Crypts expansion at no extra cost.
Not only that but we will add a second bonus scenario, giving you a total of eight new missions to play with the Infernal Crypts expnasion!
Finally, we will also add The Lair of the Beast – a new boss room and battle-arena for a final showdown between Drech’nok and your heroes!

With this guy you get to 8 explicitly promised mission in the Crypts expansion.  I have heard that there are only 6 so 2 are missing.

They also show the same image for the Hardback Adventures Companion which says it includes the Dungeon Journal Also.

Update 44: Rise of the Shadow King and Unholy Crusades

 Rise of the Shadow King is a Dungeon Saga Adventure Gamebook in which YOU are the Hero. Set in the fantasy world of Mantica, you can immerse yourself in a quest to defeat the Shadow King, master of undeath. This is a classic adventure where you have plenty of opportunity to battle the undead denizens of Mantica, travel across plains, swamps, forests and an ancient fortress as you journey towards your ultimate goal. You might even stumble upon a Zombie Troll!

If we break 4,500 backers, we will include a digital copy of this book in every copy of the Dungeon Master pledge level ($100 and Early Bird). 

This digital adventure book appears to have not materialized.   The print run was cancelled since it could not work at that price level but we were still supposed to get digitial copies.

This will form a new short story featuring the Abyssals, and include a set of 4 narratively linked scenarios for fighting the forces of the Abyss, prominently featuring our Paladin and Cleric. 

This gives you a whole new set of missions to play through with your bonus Abyssal miniatures in the Dungeon Master pledge level.

Here we have a 4 scenario campaign that were promised.  This one is not in the Dungeon Journal since they let us know in update 92 which happened to be 2 weeks before shipping to backers but months after the files went off to printer in update 79. This update was at the end of July.

When we hit this stretch goal, we will produce the Undead gribbly brought back to unlife by the insidious Necromancer Mortibris. This incredible Monstrous Beast is a mighty boss-level enemy for your heroes to face, one that will take all of your might and courage to defeat!
If we hit this stretch goal, we will produce it and include it free(!) in pledges of Dungeon Master ($100 and Early Bird) along with everything you need to play.
We will write and add a scenario to your Dungeon Master pledge where eight of your heroes (2 per player!) will take on the beast and a replenishable horde of Undead minions.

Another Mission promised but it appears that their is a mission in the Dungeon Journal for 8 players so we will count this for that.

Update 49: Green Tide

We get another use of this image calling it the Hardback Adventures Companion.  This is the third time during the drive.  If this is not the correct image it should be fixed by this point.

$825,000 – BONUS Green Tide
If we hit this stretch goal, we will add the Green Tide campaign to your Kickstarter exclusive Dungeon journal!
This will form a new short story featuring the Orcs, Goblins and Trolls, and include a set of 4 narratively linked scenarios for fighting the Greenskins, prominently featuring the Naiad, the Salamander and the Dryad.

So we have another 4 mission campaign missing.  This one was also mentioned as delayed in update 92 months after they knew it was not going to be in the Dungeon Journal.

Update 52: Black Fortress Campaign and Winters Knight

Overrun by all manner of dungeon critters, goblins and undead gribblies, this campaign will strongly focus on Orlaf and the party of adventurer's he assembles as he seeks to rescue a damsel in distress – and princess of his tribe - from the clutches of the dark forces that reside in the Fort!
When we break this stretch goal, we will include the scenarios free in your Kickstarter-exclusive Dungeon Journal, giving you a new campaign that you can play and more game for your money!

They do not list the number of missions but campaign and not mini campaign should be at least 4.  Again this is a victim of update 92.

5,500 Backers Winter’s Knight, a Dungeon Saga Adventure Gamebook by Matt Gilbert
The last game book went down so well, Matt Gilbert has agreed to write new one – so if you can’t wait until August to get your Dungeon Saga goodies, now you’ll have a second adventure to delve into!

Another digital Adventure Book with no mention since they were not doing print copies.

Update 54: Valandor

If we hit this stretch goal, we will produce Valandor - a mighty hero to fight back against the darkness, and the Undead Demon Lord Ba’el.
We will include him FREE in pledges of Dungeon Master ($100 and Early Bird).
Furthermore, we will write a set of scenarios that feature Valandor leading a party of warriors against the tide of monsters that have inflicted the world of Mantica, in a bid to defeat Ba’el and his hordes.

They produced this and he has missions.  They are converted into an included expansion in Update 55

Update 56: Dungeon Saga Novel

We’ve been working with a great writer called Greg Smith on the Dungeon Saga background. He’s asked to write Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King’s Quest The Novel and, as a big thank, we’re going to include it free digitally in your pledge.

Even I forgot we were supposed to get a digital novel.

Update 63: Hardback Compendium and

Adventurer's Companion Hardback Compendium
Backers get this upgrade for pledging $200 or more. However, it will not automatically update on the pledge manager until after the pledge manager has closed.

Not an image here but they do use the term Compendium which was on the cover of the book that was supposed to include the Dungeon Journal.

The Return of Valandor
Thanks to your amazing generosity we've been able to make a number of great improvements to the game. We'll talk about these in more detail over the next couple of weeks but one that directly affects the pledge manager is a fourth expansion.
We've rolled Ba'el and Valandor together with all their rules and scenarios into a new expansion pack. This is automatically included in pledges of Dungeon Master and up and costs nothing extra! You can also add on additional expansions for $25:

Being my most generous self maybe this frees up the one mission I assigned to Bael to another hero.

Update 66: Hardback Compendium

Just to clarify one question that has cropped up from a small group of backers. If you’ve spent $200 or more, you do not need to add the Hardback Compendium to your pledge. We will automatically update your pledge for you. 

Another reference to something called the Hardback Compendium which is what the image has as part of the name for the book containing both the Adventures Companion and the Dungeon Journal.

Ignore this photo it is just here for a rules question:


  1. Thanks for putting this together, I'd really like to see them answer to backers for this disappointment.

    1. I sent the link to Chris but I doubt he will have time to respond to me. There appear to be a lot of unhappy backers on many fronts which is to bad since the base game seems solid.

  2. Geeze, that is a long list! Half of those things I'd forgotten, or not noticed yet as the typos and misprints in the hardback book are rather distracting. There was also a note in the recent update to say that they had forgotten the powered up versions of the Journal characters as well, so we don't have things like Ultimate Blaine.

    The hardback book is a little lacking in various content areas, though I don't know if some of them are just me expecting more than then ever intended.

    For example, the Character creation section explicitly says you can use it to create bad guys to pit against your heroes, but never actually tells you how to create a villain that doesn't use one of the hero races or archetypes. There is one generic "boss" for a few of the races at the back of the book, but these do not cover some of the key archetype villains that you'd want, like a vampire character, a ghoul king, a Succubus leader or an Elohi commander.

    The Bestiary at the back of the book covers all of the models that you could buy during the campaign, but I could have sworn there was a statement in the comments (somewhere) that it would include *all* of the monster/unit types in Mantica. The list in the book (afaik) doen't cover all of the currently available units and certainly doesn't cover the newer additions to KoW2, which was sent to the printers well before DS. I can only assume they are holding these back for something else...

    1. Having said that, I do think it is a great looking game and would have been a complete success if they hadn't overpromised on the books and adventures. How easy would it have been for them to send out an update about the shift to digital adventures months ago?

    2. Thanks for comments. There is a lot they should have done. In their quest to make expansions they pretty much neglected the Adventurers Companion. It is an absolute shell of what was promised. Every section I look at I find myself a mix of sadness and confusion. Even if any section actually works when done by someone who knows what they are doing it seems unlikely that if you just give the section to someone it is not going to be a ton of work to figure it out.

  3. Some other items that have been mentioned in one of the threads on BGG are the Know Thy Foes cards shown in the core box image. The assumption is that the Treasure and Equipment decks became Spells and Items, but that is pure speculation

    1. I really did not both with cards and tiles and counters. To tough to track. The know thy enemy cards sound like a reprint of the overlord panel which is not a secret item like the quest book so pretty minor.

  4. Thanks for all the detective work. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely Mantic will do anything about any of this. The hardback AC, which was the main incentive to back this on KS, is less than half of the promised content and poorly edited. What a disappointment. Mantic has permanently lost me as a customer over their handling of this KS.

  5. Missing Character sheets:
    Hordin & Gnasher

    Missing Rules:
    Funny Bone Undead Jester
    Twilight Kin Assassin
    wiz (from Dungeon Raiders Addon)
    Biggit (from Dungeon Raiders Addon)
    Immortal Guard (from Doom Guard Addon)
    Lesser Obsidian Golem (eventually only Obsidian Golem in the Bestiary?)

    I'm missing Levels for the models in DKH of the DJ.

    Hero AI cards
    I know why they are removed, but I wonder why Mantic could make AI cards working in Mars Attacks and Deadzone and not in DS.
    MA and DZ are also complex systems.

    I have character sheets with Legendary Versions for
    - Ally McSween, Halfling Thief
    - Venetia, Human Cleric
    - Hrrath, Salamander
    - Ibrahim, Basilean Paladin
    - Kapoka, Gladewalker Druid
    - Arianya, Naiad Demonhunter
    So I do not understand what should be wrong.

    I wonder why the Spirit of Valandor has no further special abilities. I would have expected more.

    1. I did not see any promises for character sheets/cards for the Kickstarter exclusive models.

      Jester and Assassin had no promise of rules.

      I have not checked the KOW models vs the AC yet as I had not AC at the time and really do not know what is what from their descriptions. I can look more into that,

      DKH is in the Dungeon Journal which I do not have yet so I will look more closely when it arrives,

      They just reported that they were not working well due to the very assymetric structure of the game so they dropped them. Maybe they were getting to complicated for the scope of the game as a basic dungeon crawl.

      The Character sheets for the Blue plastic heroes are in the expansions while 4 of the bonus heroes(Ally, Venetia, Hrrath, and Ibrahim) are supposed to be in the Dungeon Master pledge without buying the expansions. They are not.

      Thanks for the comments. I will probably be able to go through the list again once my Carton B shows up.