Campaign Mode

Campaign Mode is a cooperative format of Dice Masters where one player acts as the controller of a host of dice that are advancing upon the world and the rest of the players work together to survive the onslaught and defeat all the bad guys. Originally designed by Ryan Johnson, with tweaks by Andy May and others.

Players: 3-6 players, plus one person as the "Dungeon Master"

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Setup

Players: construct a normal team of 8 characters and 2 Basic Actions. Typically there is some sort of theme to follow where one of the characters must be a certain type, and the player only has one die of that character. For example, in our Spider-Man campaign, you had to have at least one character that was either Spider-Man himself or had a Spider-friend affiliation with one die on it to be your starting character.

Players can use the globals and BACs of the player to their immediate right and left, as well as their own.

DM: the DM constructs an 8 character team as well, typically following the theme. So for our Spider-man campaign, the theme was "Sinister Six," which a couple of other Spidey villains to supplement. For each character, they will need 2x[N] dice for that character, where [N] is the number of players (not counting the DM). They will also need 40 sidekick dice. Yes, folks, all those extra sidekick dice finally become useful! Note: for the rest of this article, I will refer to the DM's characters as "Villains," but they can be anything. D&D can be Good vs. Evil, or you can flip it and have the "Villains" be the heroes, a la "Forever Evil."

The DM then sets up his team facing the other players, but with his character cards turned face down. They will be revealed as the game goes on.

Game Play

Players start the game with the die of their one starter character in the field on whichever they chose. One player will be chosen as the starting player, and a token of some kind put in front of them to indicate such. Then the DM begins the campaign. Each round, the following happens:
  1. Read the script, reveal villain
  2. Roll villain dice
  3. Distribute villains
  4. Player turn
  5. Attack phase


Read the script, reveal villain

This is where the DM gets to have some fun. Check out some of our sample scripts below for ideas, but make it your own and have some fun! Somewhere in there, though, you reveal the next Villain, turn over their character card, and dump out the dice. At the end of this phase, you should have 1 Sidekick and 2 Villain dice of the revealed Villain for each opposing player. These dice then go into the Dice Bag (you may want to make sure you have a large dice bag, the standard ones from the starter set are not going to cut it for this!).

Roll villain dice

The DM draws out 2 dice for each opposing player - so in our 5 player game he was drawing 10 dice. Add anything from the Prep Area (as the game goes on, there will likely be a LOT of KO'd dice from the previous round), and then proceed to roll a TON of dice.

The DM gets three rolls total. Each roll, pull out any dice that come up character, then go on to the next roll with the rest of the dice that came up energy. So:
First roll - pull out characters.
Second roll - re-roll all the dice that didn't come up character face on the first roll.
Third roll - re-roll all the dice that didn't come up character face on the second roll.

Any dice that are on the energy face after the third roll stay in the DM Reserve Pool.

Distribute villains

Arrange all the character dice in the following order: from the most recently revealed villain on down, with sidekicks being last, and within a given character from highest attack to weakest attack. Then, starting with the starting player, distribute the dice one at a time, moving clockwise. These dice will be considered "in the field" for the DM, but are only able to attack/block the player they are in front of.

Note: this is also the time when Players would do any of their globals that would typically be done on the opponent's turn, like PXG.

Player turn

Now the player gets to take their turn. This part goes pretty much normally for the Main Phase.

Attack phase

There is only one shared Attack phase for both the DM and the Players.

First, determine if the DM is attacking a given Player. The DM only attacks if he has three of the same character (including sidekicks) in front of that Player. If he does, then ALL characters attack. At first, this seems easy, but remember that KO'd dice get re-rolled next turn, so as the game goes on, it becomes more and more likely, and the Players need to make sure they are managing what is in front of them!

If the DM is attacking, then the Player must defend. Standard rules apply, and if the Player is hit down to 0, they are KO'd and are out the rest of the campaign.

If the DM is NOT attacking, which will be most of the time earlier in the game, then the Player can decide if they want to attack. There are two main differences here from normal Dice Masters. The most important is that the DM has infinite life, so dealing damage to your opponent isn't nearly as important in this game unless it triggers some kind of effect. Instead, the focus is on KOing the Villains. Thus the second difference is that the Player gets to choose which Villain dice he or she wants to attack with each of their characters. Players can attack one Villain die with multiple of their character dice.

Once the Player has decided which dice they want to attack with, then damage is resolved normally. Player dice that are KO'd go to their Prep Area as usual, DM dice that are KO'd go to the DM Prep Area.

End Game

The end condition of the game can vary depending on the theme. For our Spider-man campaign, the final Villain was Green Goblin, and the game wasn't over until all the Green Goblin dice were out of the bag and KO'd.

Side Plots

There is plenty of room for side plots. For example, in our game, during one of the reading of the scripts, before the Villain was revealed, Spider-Man ran into Aunt May. Each player was then given an Aunt May die in their field, along with some additional rules: Aunt May could not attack, but while she was active, the Player could pay 1 energy and send Aunt May to the Used Pile in order to "Save A Civilian." We represented these with custom dice, and for every 5 Civilians the Player saved over the course of the campaign, they would get a Booster Pack of their choice as a reward.

You can also add additional reward tiers if you like. For ours, we rewarded a Booster Pack of choice for every X Villains that the Player KO'd over the course of the campaign.

Enjoy!

This is a work-in-progress, so feel free to tweak or alter to fit your mood, style, or group. For example, when we played this with the kids, we structured the Villains to start out easy and gradually get harder, but still be relatively beatable. We also altered it so that if there were three villains in front of a player, only those three villains attacked instead of everyone, making it much less lethal.

But of course the DM is free to be as devious as they like.

Bottom line, have some fun!

Sample Scripts

Here are some examples of past scripts. Feel free to use, modify, or add your own!

Spider-man vs. The Sinister Six
Dr. Strange and the Avengers vs. Dormammu and his minions

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