Tempus Draconis

Tempus Draconis is a game for 2 to 8 players created by Paolo Vallerga and Valerio Porporato and distributed by Scribabs. In this game players take on the role of brave adventurers going into the Millenarocca to free the prisoners and destroy the evil that imprisoned them, hopefully escaping the Millenarocca alive.

Setting up the game does not take long at all. First off you create the Millenarocca by placing the hexagonal tiles. You can do this in various ways but I would suggest to use the standard arrangement of tiles for a shorter gametime. For each player participating an entrance is added to the dungeon. You create piles for the monster, spell, room and amulet cards. One of the five monsters starts at the center of the library. The monsters only differ in amount of hit points needed to kill and amount of wounds they inflict upon the adventurers. Each player chooses one of the twelve adventurers and places it at one of the entrances. The adventurers all have a different special ability.

 

The game itself develops in 4 phases, setting the eight prisoners free, complete your amulet, defeat the monster and escape the Millenarocca.

In the first phase it is up to the adventurers to set the prisoners free. You start your turn by rolling a 12-sided die for movement (unless you used a staircase on the previous turn). This dictates in which direction the monster moves as noted on the tiles. If this would cause the monster to leave the board he does not move and when there is an entrance he destroys it and any adventurer on it. Otherwise he simply moves to the center of the room. Any adventurer already in that space draws a monster card to resolve, gets rip points as denoted on the sheet and is transported to an entrance. After the monster has moved, the die roll indicates how many spaces you may move.

Afterwards you get to do the following actions. When you are in the center of the room corresponding to the one on top of the room deck you can take this card. Here you can find items, runes and prisoners. When you free a prisoner you get the top piece of the amulet deck except for the eight prisoner but more on this later. The next action you could do is exchange items but no spells with an adjacent adventurer. The third option you have is to convert runes into spells and finally you can also cast spells. There are three levels of spells. The first level spells are usefull in critical situations like healing, blocking the monster, adding an entrance. The second level spells are used to steal stuff from your fellow adventurers. The most powerful spells are helpful in defeating the boss. You also have the option to use the room's special ability if any. These vary from trying to heal, learning spells, rotating rooms, teleporting or using a staircase as a shortcut.

When the eight prisoner has been freed the Element of the monster is to be determined by the roll of  a die. This last prisoner has one piece of the amulet of the opposite element for the adventurer. The remaining amulets are shuffled into the room deck with its discard pile. Also the monster discard pile is shuffled back into its deck.

Now we roll into the second phase where you need to complete your amulet which must have exactly four pieces.

When a player has completed his amulet he can start at phase 3 and try to defeat the monster. When you attack the monster you first resolve a monster card, afterwards you roll the 12-sided die and sum up the attack values of your items.The opposite  amulet pieces to the monster element in your amulet gives a +1 bonus. Each RIP you have left is a negative one to your attack strength. Another player rolls for the monster. The difference in attack strength is the damage done to the one with lowest attack strength.

Once the monster has been defeated it is time to escape the Millenarocca. The adventurer who defeats the monster is transported to safety immediately. The others need to escape through an entrance. From this point forward the monster does not move anymore cause he is defeated. Now the Millenarocca starts to crumble instead. When you roll the die for movement the room or entrance corresponding to the die roll gets destroyed and if an adventurer is on the room, he is defeated.

This continues until all players have escaped or are defeated. You can play this game in two different ways. Simply play a dungeon and whoever killed the monster is victorious or play it in campaign form and try to be the first to become prince or princess and defeat Arguille The Dragon.

In the latter you gain experience points after each visit to the Millenarocca when you survive it. The number of experience points you have collected states to which caste you belong and how many lives you have. Also, when adventuring, the monster is determined by the highest caste among the adventurers.

First off I have to say that the rules leave a lot for interpretation. For instance, the movement have some gapps in the rules like, can you be in the same square as another adventurer, can you pass an adventurer, do you have to move at all or can you hoard a space. We applied these as we saw fit but it would be nice if this was addressed in the rulebook. This is a game that falls under the category of roll and move games and you will be doing a lot off it. The first phase of the game can drag on a bit since the prisoners are shuffled completely random in the deck so you'll be running from room to room to room. You can get bad rolls which will influence your performance during the game. We have noticed that the boots are super powerful if you get them early because they add six to your movement. I love the monster movement in this game. Each time you pick up a room card, leaving you in the center of the room endangers you of being attacked by the monster. Once the prisoners have been found the game starts to get going. Seeking for the amulet pieces usually does not take long and then it is time to hunt down and defeat the monster which is usually done in two attacks. The spells are fun and is the only way you can directly influence another adventurer. The first part of the game takes too long in my opinion and the rest is over too soon. The campaign is a nice addition but it is actually doing the same thing over and over with a slightly better adventurer against a stronger foe. We had fun with this game but it isn't one that we would play regularly.

Play with Honor

Johnny