"Order of the Stick: The Dungeon of Dorukan"
Coordinated by Blimix
This game needs heavy modification. Here goes...
These rules are still open to discussion and change. Red
text indicates the latest additions to this document. Green text indicates ideas that have not yet been
Problems with the game:
- The game takes too long.
- Player vs. player action rarely happens. (Two reasons: There's a lot of cooperation in the
game (so people don't want to attack each other), and PvP makes it even longer.) This makes
PvP shticks worthless (thereby screwing those characters who are "balanced" by having more
- Overpowered characters can deprive other players of loot
(intentionally or not) by not having to offer it in exchange for help. Certain important loot cards
may never find their rightful owner. [The cooperative version below sort of
fixes this by creating incentive to give away such loot even when help isn't
- Some shticks just suck.
- The Xykon's Lair sequence is unsatisfyingly short.
- Boosting Elan's Bard Song and Durkon's Healing Spell doesn't help them;
it is arguably detrimental to them, because it reduces demand for those
services. [The cooperative version below gives them some incentive for this
- "Searching for stairs" is dull.
- Belkar's Leaping Attack interacts very badly with rules regarding Ranged Attacks.
So, a couple of easy fixes first (other simple house rules are at the bottom):
- Quick start (optional): Players start the game
with all four of their red-bordered shticks in play.
- Six rooms per level instead of eight.
- Put Xykon at the bottom of the Xykon deck.
- The character who successfully rolls to find stairs may immediately unflip
two of their shticks.
- Use common sense regarding Leaping Attack: Place Belkar into the room at
the start of the Attack. Defending monsters can hurt Belkar, regardless of
the attack's range. Belkar can claim his Loot if there are no other
monsters in the room. (All of those are contradicted by the Ranged Attack
rules taken literally, though the FAQ supports most of these revisions.) Belkar
still may not make a ranged Leaping Attack if he has already
moved that turn, nor may he continue to attack other monsters after a Ranged
Attack. (This last is more for balance than common sense.)
- Ignore the shtick and loot requirements for descending into Xykon's Lair.
Now for the big one:
Individual shtick changes and notes (initial brackets describe reasons for changing
Little house rules and clarifications:
- Elven Senses... Tingling!
- [This was worthless to the player, but with the new reward for finding
stairs, it at least has some value. We'll leave it for now.]
- Ambiguous Gender
- [PvP. Having it just affect monsters the way it did players would be
like a very weak version of Hide; so, no.] Gives +2 Defense against humans.
- Secrets That Will Drive You MAD!
- [Replace the bonus against players.] The bonus applies also to undead.
- Penultimate Arcane Power (x2)
- [Partial PvP.] In addition, draw two cards from the
battle deck into your hand when you defeat a monster with the
Spellcaster ability. (You may discard a detrimental Screw This! card if you
draw it this way.)
- Seldom-Used Quarterstaff
- [Worthless. Replace with:] Locate Creature Spell: Flip this shtick to
select the monster that you play into a battle, or to choose which of two
(randomly selected) monsters another player plays into a battle.
- Blackwing the Raven
- [Weak. Improve to 75% chance.] Works "On a roll greater than 3".
- Elan (who wants slightly better combat ability):
- Conscience Demon
- [Doesn't get used. Replace with a second:] Rapier.
- Conscience Angel
- [Overpowered: It's just a constant +2 bonus to defense. Replace with:]
Always Helpful. Elan may aid other PCs, even when resting or missing a turn.
- Wacky Hijinks
- [Hurts players. Replace with:] Pied Piper: Flip this shtick to select
the monster that you play into a battle, or to choose which of two (randomly
selected) monsters another player plays into a battle.
- Gratuitous Nudity
- [Its randomizing effect is the new default, but boosting Hide is still
good; keep that.] There are some things monsters would rather not see.
Flip this card to reduce the Battle Size by 1 and to boost your Hide shtick.
(Battle Size cannot become zero.)
- Extra shtick idea
- Good Use of Dramatic Scene: +2 attack and defense vs unique creatures.
(Maybe use this to replace Conscience Demon instead.)
- Flip during your turn to unflip another player's shtick. (You may ask for a Loot
card in exchange.)
- Swipe (x2)
- [No PvP use, so improve its use against monsters.] If you have not used up your movement
for the turn, you may continue to move after a successful Swipe. (You can provoke a second
battle in one turn this way, but you may not use Swipe to fight that one also.)
- Ridiculous Bluff (x2)
- [PvP. Replace with:] Find Secret Doors. Flip this card to move to any room
on the same level instead of your normal movement. Boost: You may also take
two spaces of your normal movement.
- [Keep this. It's funny, not directly harmful, and helps preserve Belkar's character.]
- Twin Daggers of Doom
- [The boost is PvP only. Change boost ability to:] Carnage. Once you kill a monster, all
other monsters in the room suffer a -2 (morale) penalty per boost to both attack and defense, until
the end of the turn. (This pentalty does not accumulate with subsequent kills.) Mindless
monsters are immune to this effect.
- Doesn't Play Well With Others
- [PvP.] Kill Stealer! When you defeat the last monster in a battle stack
that was created on another player's turn, and that player is still in the
room, place this card with your saved monsters. [Usage is the same as the
- Probably Evil
- [Modify so its use is not entirely detrimental.] Each monster drops one extra Loot card
when killed while supported by Belkar. [This is inspired by the +5 monster modifiers in
- Deep-seated Emotional Problems
- [PvP. Replace:] This becomes a second Hated Enemy shtick.
- Keen Nose
- [Monster viewing not very useful now, so improve its other bonus.] Gives +3 to Evade traps.
- Poor Tracking Skills
- If a randomly played monster is of the selected type, a replacement is
played from the same hand (to which the forbidden monster will return).
Even supporting monsters of the selected type may not be played. (You may
not select Goblins or Undead while in Xykon's Lair.)
[Note that there is potential for abuse of this rule. Let's keep an
eye on it, in case it needs changing.]
- [PvP.] Flip this shtick to stop one monster on your floor from providing Support
- Party Leader Veto
- [Replace with:] Party Leader Encouragement: Flip during your turn to unflip
another player's shtick.
- No Rest for the Weary
- [PvP.] You may still aid other players while you are resting or missing
- Clank, Clank, Clank
- Doesn't affect party members.
- Incomprehensible Accent
- [This is okay, even without the PvP use.]
- [Mostly useless.] Flip this shtick at any time to
discard one monster from your hand.
Official FAQ. Most of it is good.
- Because Xykon cannot be moved, and area effect attacks cannot be used if
the top monster in a stack is immune, Poorly Planned Illusion cannot be used
to move the stack of monsters under Xykon into a different room. [This is
partly a guess, as Xykon may not technically be immune to the shtick, only
to its effect. But moving monsters away is a cheesy way to weaken him
(either by killing them first or by sending them to a different level), and
so violates the spirit of Xykon as a badass.]
- Elan cannot offer help in exchange for Loot that he doesn't drool over.
[Implied though not stated by the FAQ. Also balance issues: Fully boosted,
Elan would give 0+4 for another character's one-drool-factor loot, and so
that character couldn't compete to receive their own loot.]
- You can offer NPCs loot that you drool over, as long as no other PCs
drool over it. [House ruled and then confirmed by the FAQ.]
- Eternal Gratitude affects all of the Loot offered to a single player.
(This contrasts with the FAQ, which applies it to all of the loot offered
to all players.) (Also, consider it a "beneficial" card.)
- The FAQ answer about getting a bonus against a monster type when using an
Area Effect shtick makes little sense. Whichever monster is the hardest to
beat, after accounting for any bonuses you get against that monster,
is the one that you have to defeat to win the battle.
- When you start your turn in a room with a monster, and you fight it, you
may choose whether to Attack or Defend. (This contrasts with the FAQ, but
we've been playing that way: Sometimes, we essentially give up the initial
defending turn in order to be able to Attack on the next turn. It seems
like a valid and not unbalanced strategy, and also makes sense in the
context of the game.)
- The FAQ ruling that a monster can support only one monster in each room
should be applied only to the Horde ability. [This revision only
really affects Area Effect attacks, in which playing according to the FAQ
could cause a weak monster to rob a powerful monster of needed bonuses.]
- If a monster's only support ability is negated by
"I Forgot They Could Do That," then creatures supporting it do not
have to be played.
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