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> D&D Kingdoms: Stronghold Simulator, Just released on GOG.com
Wounded Ronin
post Sep 27 2015, 09:08 PM
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So I just downloaded D&D Kingdoms: Stronghold Simulator. I thought it would be fun to run an old school D&D kingdom and manage it while also letting player characters run around on autopilot and battle monsters.

The game was fun for a few hours but it's basically half-baked. The stronghold management aspects are extremely simplistic. Basically you build structures (spending gold) that create either gold, food, or slots for more population and adventurers. There's no spatial interplay between the structures so once you get enough resources to build the gold-generating structures you can build whatever you want as long as you make sure that your upkeeps are roughly aligned with your revenues. I thought managing a kingdom would be fun but it actually becomes really boring, a chore of endlessly expanding stuff. To advance in the game you need to fill in a certain arbitrary number of city blocks.

Maybe it was OK for its time but when you look at it next to recent Sim City games, where management is much more complex, it feels poorly designed.

The best part about the game is recruiting dozens of D&D adventurers (each with their own level, hitpoints, character class, and so on) and going out and attacking monsters and demolishing the monster dens. In this way the game is like a real time strategy game. It is amusing because there are no tactics. The adventurers just haphazardly swarm towards a spot on the map you designate and dogpile the monsters. It is humorous to have like 20 level 4 characters dogpile an orc stronghold. Then in the graphics all the adventurers are swarming around all the monsters and all the fighting occurs on its own. You just watch. To make matters more annoying it's hard to select specific units; you essentially set a beacon on a certain map coordinate and all PCs who weren't told to guard a certain place move for that coordinate. It kind of reminds me of the chess game from History of the World.

This is fun for me, but if you ever sent all your adventurers into a fight where they can't win, I guess it means you lose your army, as there is no way to retreat from combat, per the manual. If you don't know ahead of time what your odds will be you might as well send everyone to maximize your chances of winning. After you demolish an enemy stronghold all remaining enemies make a beeline for your capital. Up until then they just stand around and move to defend their stronghold if you have adventurers on it. I guess they tried to make you divide your forces, leaving some to defend the capital, but again it's a pretty half-baked AI strategy.

When you select a map coordinate to dogpile on, you can actually send only a certain ratio of available adventurers to that place, but again, why would you do that? You just raise the odds that they will be killed if they don't show up full strength.

I feel like there were some good ideas in this game and if someone wanted to do a sim-city D&D hybrid today with role playing elements the basic concept would be a good one. However as implemented this old game did not develop all of its ideas very well and it quickly gets dull and tedious for me.
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Iduno
post Oct 11 2015, 03:17 PM
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Yeah, D&D gets licensed out to anyone to use for anything. I was pretty excited when I saw the Lords of Waterdeep game. Played once, and found out pretty quickly it was a really generic game with D&D poorly added for flavor.

I think what I really want is a game where I can just roll up a character, and throw them through a random (long) adventure or dungeon to see how far they get. Nothing hugely meaningful, just collect items and levels to see how far you can get.
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Wounded Ronin
post Oct 12 2015, 12:39 AM
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QUOTE (Iduno @ Oct 11 2015, 10:17 AM) *
Yeah, D&D gets licensed out to anyone to use for anything. I was pretty excited when I saw the Lords of Waterdeep game. Played once, and found out pretty quickly it was a really generic game with D&D poorly added for flavor.

I think what I really want is a game where I can just roll up a character, and throw them through a random (long) adventure or dungeon to see how far they get. Nothing hugely meaningful, just collect items and levels to see how far you can get.


Yeah, me too! Somehow, I'd like to see a more hands-off management type game where you don't control the tactics, but instead you focus on managing a platoon of adventurers, providing training and gear, and choosing what missions to take on. It would be more like a hands off management game.
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