OMG. True Dungeon is $80?!
I've never done it, but would like to at least once. Even the "newby" quest for $58 is a bit much...for only two hours.
Am I the only one who thinks this is expensive? I'm sure the demand is incredibly high, so it makes sense, but it's enough to cost me out of it, unfortunately- unless, of course, I'm reading things wrong and it's the price for a group, not individual.
That is for single ticket.
" I'm sure the demand is incredibly high, so it makes sense, but it's enough to cost me out of it, ..."
As near as I can tell, that is the reason for the increase, to keep the demand within fulfillment capabilities.
You have support available for X number of people, and X+1000 wanting in.
What do you do?
Start a lottery? Idontfinkso.
Raise the price till demand drops down to what you can support?Works for me.
Even with the price as it is, demand always outstrips the supply for TD. There are close to 800 TD events, and I'm sure they'll mostly fill up within the first few hours, if not faster.
At least this year the increase wasn't too bad. IIRC, 2 years ago it was $62, then went up to $78 last year. So $2 isn't much.
Whether it's worth it or not, well, that's a judgement call. I don't do TD due to a bad knee, but my friends have done it for years & they always do at least 2 of the full sessions. They've had a few bad experiences, but overall they really enjoy it.
ETA: As aaron points out below, it really is something you should at least try once. You do it, and you might come out of it with a few different opinions:
Boy, was that a waste of $80.
Meh, not bad, but not worth doing again.
That was fun, will definitely do a session or two next year.
That was freakin' awesome.. I'm going to start following TD from con-to-con around the country (like a Grateful Dead groupie in their VW bus), and blow all my disposable income on tokens!
I consider True Dungeon to be a "Bucket List" event. Everyone should do it at least once. Yes, it's expensive, but 2hr concerts for Hootie & The Blowfish go for $225. Heck... IIRC Elton John tickets were over $5k each (and that was for a 3hr concert). So, $80 for two hours or more is not that bad really.
I was able to get in with someone who already paid for the ticket, but the person using it dropped out so he gave me the ticket in exchange for the tokens at the end. Who knows, you may find a generous soul at Gen Con this year offering you a similar deal!
If you really want to do TD and have time (but no money) hang out in Lucas Oil right near the TD entrance. When they have empty slots in games, they will call out and offer free slots to anyone willing to play right then and there. I've seen it happen, and I've seen them bring in last minute people to my group.
As a person who didnt enjoy TD, I 100% believe everyone should try it. Its unique, and it might be exactly your bag. To me, the highlight of gen con is doing things I can't do at an LGS or with friends at home. I can play most RPG's and Board games any time, I can't play Con Specials and True Dungeon anywhere else.
And I would also recommend trying True Dungeon at least once.
It was some time after they made that decision that they found a way to add the beginner dungeon as a way to entice the players who were priced out at $78.
This year they were actually planning on not raising the cost for once, and even announced as much, but then about two weeks later they announced "You know what? We'd really like to upgrade the sound system instead, which will require a price bump to $80."
I've seen them announce that you can run for free (no $80 of generics) because they just want to fill the spot.
My group did it 4 years ago and didn't feel the need to do it again till last year. In other words, although we had a good time, we felt it wasn't something we had to do every year. After the second time however (last year), we decided we never wanted to do it again. That was because we started dying between the 2nd and 3rd room and by halfway all but two were dead. It was over by the next room. This was the Normal Experience and it was miserable, felt like we paid someone near 100 dollars to punch us in the gut. There was no fun at all. I think the DMs were used to power gamers that have unlimited potions for healing and we had none. We died mostly by silly splash damage, 2 hps here, 2 there. We felt like there was nothing we could have done more besides spent even more money to buy tokens before the event and that is not something we want to do. So as others have said, it is mostly a bucket list item and as far as my group is concerned, two time was one time too many!
I went as half of a couple last year because we really wanted to try it out and we left vowing to never do it again. We were placed into a group where half of the people spent a lot of $$$ buying tokens and gear from their online store and pretty much told us to hang back and not ruin it for them since they had invested so much in it. We asked the TD staff if this was how things usually are and they shrugged their shoulders.
Your $58 or $80 in the last few years is generally getting you an actor in professional costume for 24, 36, or sometimes 48 minutes, sometimes a couple actors. The ones with speaking roles I think probably have some training. It's getting you 84 minutes in professionally built sets (other than the floor sometimes, boo convention center concrete). You'll likely get very close to one or two animatronic monsters (though not directly interacting with them generally). Roughly half the sets will contain creative puzzles, usually one of which I would describe as having some custom electronic aspect to it. Almost all of the puzzles involve physically interacting with the set pieces in some way.
For the people saying "they" will call out free runs, I guess it's possible but I've never seen it. What seems more common is there are people on a waitlist that get pulled in when there are no-shows, but I'm pretty sure they're paying in generics. For truly free runs it's likely other players that purchased a full set of tickets to a run and are wanting to find somebody to fill out their group that doesn't mind not getting tokens. The economics of it are a bit odd, but some people can expect to average around $60 of treasure tokens at the end of a run per ticket so may give out a free run to basically try to gamble with the treasure box.
For the things that can make it a bad experience:
There generally shouldn't be people dying in room 2 or 3 on normal unless there are a lot of incorrect attempts on a puzzle (sometimes it's better if you're not reasonably confident in a puzzle solution to just wait it out and take damage once for failing the room rather than the guess damage built into the puzzles). The only other thing I can think of that would lead to early deaths on normal would be running in the first shift Thursday morning. Sometimes the balance particularly in combat focused rooms might not quite be worked out yet. That shouldn't occur in the retro sealed or E1 events as those are made up of room run either at another con or in previous years. On normal you should expect to maybe start to see some deaths in the next to last room. On all difficulties (other than non-lethal) you should expect to lose some people in the final room. There were some tokens that were making difficulty balancing difficult that were retroactively modified this year to tone down their power that may help as well.
Getting into a bad group is a risk in any event, but considerably worse given the expense of this one. The sealed quest will at least protect you from ending up with overgeared teammates. In non-sealed dungeons it shouldn't be overly common as most of the expensively geared people try to coordinate runs with each other, but it is a possibility.
Is it worth it for a noob to pay $80 for E1? Am I likely to die in one of the first rooms? What happens when you die?
The posts in this thread are starting to make me think it might be a mistake.
If you die, you continue through the dungeon as a "ghost"; you get to see everything but you can't communicate with the party (unless someone has speak with dead or you get resurrected).
The difficulty will determine your likelihood of survival- there is the default normal setting, plus a non-lethal setting to ensure party survival. There are two harder difficulties for people who have a bunch of pre-purchased tickets. Most experienced players will bring more than enough tokens to help outfit your character, and you can prearrange your party makeup on the truedungeon.com forums. Changes in difficulty must be unanimous- otherwise it's normal.
As a noob, I would recommend the sealed deck version (the cheaper run); there are no outside tokens allowed, so everyone has to go with the 10 random tokens you get from the beginning.
Hope this helps!
I've died more often than everyone else in my party put together, and usually because I didn't know what I was doing (ie, completely misunderstanding the concept of "saving throws" my first time, or forgetting I had a weapon equipped that healed me upon hitting a monster).
I have seen *one* person die in room 3 once, but it was a super-fluke occurrence - we took a total of 6 puzzle damage in the first two rooms, and then in room 3 the DM decided to focus on the rogue with a monster that did 8 damage per attack not realizing that the rogue had *exactly* 16 HP. I believe he said afterwards he wouldn't have done it if he knew that she was that close to death (nobody other than me heard her say she went down to 8 after the first attack, but I was the Ranger and didn't have any healing). Honestly, over the 7 runs I've done at Gen Con, I can't remember any other people I was running with dying at all.
Any DM worth their salt shouldn't be actively trying to kill anyone by that point in the dungeon.
I believe last year they had the ability for you to pay at the TD desk with a credit card to buy tickets for open slots. They didn't need/use generics, as this was one of the events that were "ticketless", with purchased tickets tied to the badge that purchased the tickets, just needed to scan the badge.
Last year's sealed quest was rough especially early as they used an older dungeon with newer tokens which didn't quite work out as intended i suspect. Each year set of tokens is seeded with stuff to help with what you expect to see in the dungeon. Normal (default) difficulty is meant to be survivable with with a new party who just has what they open in their free booster and some swapping around.
I say this as a coach/trainer, time is your enemy not the critter. A group who can communicate and act together is far better off with all else being equal. Also if you witness something that you don't think is right please say something and note it down. Especially room# and your run time. Emailing feed back helps as staff can look back and narrow down where the issue occurred.
Think of True Dungeon as a hybrid between an escape room (the puzzle rooms) and D&D for the combats. More recently, there are rooms that are hybrids of both allowing groups to favor whichever direction they prefer.
Essentially, you are buying access to an adventure with professional production, actors, and sets that are at least B movie quality if not better.
I am 5+ year vet of True Dungeon. The extremely well equipped groups rarely cause problems with new players. If anything, they tend to offer to lend equipment to let the newer players experience the game at a more veteran level (level increase tokens, stat bumps, etc.). In 5 years where I have probably done 10+ runs with new players, I've only had 1 person's character die with me (and that was in the last room). Generally, the vets will protect and heal the less equipped players.
With that said, you can do any run at "Normal" difficulty with a standard 10 pack. Success will depend more on your puzzle solving and critical thinking than the combats.
It's definitely worth doing.