However, you should do the event that is a repeat from last year. It is $58 instead of $80. It is essentially "sealed deck" in that you only get the random set of tokens they hand you. You cannot bring in outside tokens. In my opinion, this is actually a feature, rather than a bug. Above, a person complained about getting stuck with people who spent a lot of money on tokens in the store and asked them to "hang back". Lol. Nope, I'm not doing that. This person apparently got stuck with jerks -- but that is a risk at any Convention event. You're less likely to get these people at the $58 repeat event.
One of the factors that helped us decide was to consider the time involved in the event. The event duration is listed as two hours, but depending on what slot you have, it can actually take up to 4 hours worth of 'event slot time'.
For example, say you get the 9:12 time slot. You'll need to be ~30 minutes early in order to get registered, form a character, and do the orientation/training. So, you'll get done by 11:12, and not really any sooner than that. So, you can't have any other event scheduled at 8, 9, 10, or 11.
Granted, there is a lot to do at GenCon, and it's not all events. But it does tend to occupy a lot of convention time.
Overall, we did TD for the first couple of years and it was okay, but the luster has worn off. I wouldn't return, even at half price. For me, the opportunity cost is too great.
My son (15 at the time) and I went to Gen Con last year for the first time. That was the first time we did True Dungeon. We started with last year's sealed pack event, and then did all three of last year's dungeons throughout the weekend. We ended up loving it, going whole hog on tokens, played again at Gamehole Con, and we will be playing at Gen Con this year.
I strongly recommend starting with the sealed pack event (this year it's Odin's Redux). Although we had fun in all the dungeons last year, the sealed pack event was the best. It was all noobs (or close to it) and everyone cooperated and had a great time. It's a good way to get exposure to TD at a cheaper price, and you don't have to worry about power gamers ruining the experience (which is rare in any event).
Another recommendation is to visit the True Dungeon website in advance and read the Player's Handbook (not nearly as long a read as the PH for D&D or Pathfinder). Coming in with at least a little knowledge will help.
If you are comfortable that you'll like it, then sign up for Odin's Redux (and do that one first) and then pick one or more of the others (not True Grind) to play. But if you go that route, I'd suggest buying a few extra rolls of tokens in advance of playing anything other than Odin's Redux. The packs are $7.99 for 10 tokens (there are bigger orders as well). You don't need to have a great set of tokens to survive in TD, but it helps to at least have a decent amount of tokens so you can have decent weapons, armor, etc.
As for the groups, sometime you get a group of 4-8 people in your group who came as a group. Usually those people are very helpful as they love the game and will help you with healing, etc. On rare occasion, you might get a "stay out of the way" type of group. The silver lining to that type of group is that they will do the "heavy lifting" in combat and help you survive.
Hopefully this helps a little. Feel free to ask away if you have more questions.
You might have seen a _player_ who graciously was offering to fill the slot with someone for free, but I have never seen or heard of TD itself doing that - and I can think of several good reasons why they wouldn't do that.
In any case, I think it would not be a good idea to plan on this - I think it would be a waste of your time to wait around hoping this happens.
If you don't plan to spend extra money on tokens (which is perfectly reasonable), then I would recommend the sealed quest at $58. It will be a pretty much identical experience to the $80 dungeons (of course, each room is different).
You might compare the price of TD with that of an escape room - escape rooms run around $30 bucks for a 1.5 hour adventure in 1 location. In TD you go through 7 different rooms, and will see puzzles, props, costumed NPCs, sometimes a large animatronic, audio soundtrack, etc..
Anyway - it's worth a shot, but if $58 is more than you feel you can justify don't lose any sleep over it - it will be there next year.
I'm really sorry that happened to you.
If anyone else has an experience like this, please ask to speak with an "AC" (Adventure Coordinator). TD usually has exceptional customer service - and everyone who is on a run deserves an equal shot at the fun.
Finally - TD doesn't sell anything other than random 10 packs of tokens, and various incentives for larger purchases on their online store - I think you might be confusing the secondary market online stores with truedungeon.com's webstore.
I'm sorry that happened. If it makes you feel any better, I think the dungeons last year, particularly N2, were very difficult.
If it makes you feel better, it probably wasn't the DMs picking on you. The DMs have a printed module that describes monster stats and abilities, which they are supposed to follow. TD strives for a consistent experience across runs. I think the difficulty was a bit off last year.
If you think a DM is picking on you, please ask to speak with an AC (adventure coordinator) either during or after the run, that DM may be making a mistake, and the AC can correct them so they run the room properly.
1. By default you will run the dungeon at "normal" difficulty. If everyone in the party unanimously agrees you can instead choose to play at non-lethal (you can't die), hardcore (harder than normal), nightmare (much harder than normal). Hardcore and nightmare are not really survivable / beatable without lots of additional gear, but normal is designed for parties with only their token 10 packs.
2. If you die, you still get to go through the dungeon and see the rest of things, but you are not supposed to speak, and you can't interact with puzzles or monsters.
3. Plan to make it to room 7, not to survive / beat room 7. The last room is often a challenge, and even experienced players with lots of resources can die in the last room. You can easily survive / beat the last room, but I'm just trying to set expectations - if you survive to the last room you've done good.
4. There are two classes that can do healing: Druid and Cleric. If you don't have a lot of tokens it's a good idea to bring both of those classes to maximize healing.
A lot of times when players die it's because either the party doesn't have a Druid and/or Cleric, and or because those players are not playing their role and healing people, but are rather "saving it" or only healing their friends.
The Druid and Cleric are not mind readers - if you are within range of getting 1-shotted by a monster (e.g. less than 10 HP), ask for healing!
This is a team event, to some extent you and the rest of the party need to gel and support each other if you want to have success.
5. Bard is a powerful class that can grant +1/+1 to all attacks by doing Bardsong (more with an instrument).
For those people looking to try the game but not wanting to spend the $80 a ticket. If you are willing to barter the treasure at the end of the run with experienced forum runners I would HIGHLY suggest going over to truedungeon.com and signing up on the forums. Go into the Gencon 2019 adventure groups forming pages and make a post stating plainly that you are looking to experience true dungeon but do not want to invest/do not have the money to risk $80 and ask if anyone might swap treasure at the end for a reduced cost ticket in one of their runs.
There are a few forumites who host a run or three for new players each year where they loan out full rare token character builds for the new players and trade the tickets for free or reduced cost in exchange for the boosted amount of treasure available with elite token sets. It's not a guarantee but it's definitely worth a shot.
If nothing else you may find a group willing to take a totally new player with them (at your normal $80 ticket price) and loan you a full character so you can explore the game fully in a fun way.
I was vaguely interested in True Dungeon back when it first started up, but I did not end up playing, and by a few years later the horror stories had already started. I have no doubt that every person's experiences in this thread is an accurate understanding of their own True Dungeon memories; like anything else at Gen-Con, you can assume the event is put on by people with the best intentions, and particularly given the cost and the reputation involved they will try to make sure you have a good time, but you kind of have to decide whether you want to become a True Dungeon Person, as I do not know that there is a kind of person who plays casually every year or two. New players either get scared off by a bad experience with powergamers treating them like disposable garbage, think "well that was fun but I cannot afford that," or become the kinds of people who buy out the whole run for themselves and their friends and probably spend further money on tokens and look forward to it all year.
I guess some of them also become the aforementioned powergamers, but I want to believe there are barely any of those people and they just ruin it for a few new people every year who inevitably come post about it. There was another True Dungeon thread around here somewhere where you can get the motivation for those people on some level, though; based on what one guy was saying, his group spends ... well, based on my math, between $800 and $3,500 every Gen Con, depending on how literally to interpret the phrase "our group's goal is to do at least one of each run, including one at higher difficulty" and knowing that his group varies from 2 to 5 people at most. I can see how if they messed up and only had 9 tickets to one ultra-hardcore-nightmare run and Mr. Confused Newbie was their 10th member that they would be none too enthusiastic about helping you out.
as I do not know that there is a kind of person who plays casually every year or two.
Maybe you can get together people to post about this online, as your viewpoint is profoundly under-represented versus the "I am never doing this again" and "this is all I want to do" crowds.
I have probably had 100 conversations with people about True Dungeon between real life and the Internet and have never encountered anyone between "always" and "never." Could be selection bias, but the topic just comes up, I never think about True Dungeon unless I see a thread or someone mentions it, haha.
Keep in mind and folks forget that often times forums are full of the vocal minorities that may nor may not have an accurate view of things. I volunteer for TD at Gen Con and Origins and like to think i see a slightly view of the playerbase, especially as a coach as i'm the guy who either teaches you how to play or puts your pile of tokens into #'s for the party card (please please help your coach and use one of the apps if you've spent money or have a big ziplock bag of tokens. Your coach staff thanks you with 1 extra HP!.
-Quarex, also i am not so much minority when yes it's normal for my group to buy out runs. Think this year it was $2720 all in as that's the 3 new dungeons plus a full True Grind. We skip the sealed to save a little cash/time. But we either buy the whole run out or nothing. No 9 vets and 1 newbie. A habit of what you refer to as TD powergamers i agree is aggravating. Some (not many but there unfortunately a few bad/unthinking apples) folks forget that a PUG (pickup groups or 'standard' mixed group runs) is that, a mixed group. If you/they want higher tier play then there are numerous forum threads and groups (i'm a small group that works with others to fill runs every year) that are willing to work with each other, coordinate, buy out the run to do hardcore/nightmare/epic. It's disheartening for new players see a monster get 1 shoted on normal as someone who knowingly joins a pug and doesn't gear appropriately. Example, i switch from DPS to a tank class or use it as a chance to play something different. We get our loot either way.
I adore TD but am not blind to some issues as i've been there and or see it from a vol perspective. There's contact email as TD folks always looking for specific and constructive feed back.
Just my overly verbose 2 cents.
Friendly neighbourhood DM-NPC for True Dungeon here. I will second seeing an Adventure Coordinator if you have a bad time - our group of co ordinators are amazing and the entire time the event is live they are running around fixing things. But we have to be notified of an issue in order for it to be fixed. We REALLY like the feedback - generally there is an AC at the epilogue part of the dungeon at the end, and they are always looking for things we can better for the next group. For the most part EVERYONE involved in True Dungeon are just trying to make the event fun and I have seen volunteers get replaced mid-shift if things aren't going right.
It does cost a lot. For some people the experience is worth it. There are players that drop TENS of thousands of dollars a year. So some people are really, really into it. That can be a little off putting for new players. My only advice would be that if you find yourself in a well geared group, don't let them bully you into playing outside your comfort level. Most players are the nicest people I've ever met (I come back over and over and over again because the people are amazing) but you DO have outliers as with every and any event/gaming group. From my experience having worked with TD over a number of locations Gen Con is always full parties, and the players are mostly people that are casual. Lots of groups on "Normal", lots of faces I don't see all the time. Other conventions tend to be first time players who have never seen True Dungeon ever, or veterans who follow the event around. Some vet groups are utter riots to run with and love to touch stuff and cause shenanigans. Some veterans are super serious about their game. Gen Con traditionally is where new modules are launched. This year however they launched the new modules (the E series) at Origins, which allowed them to be playtested ahead of time. Last year the dungeons were particularly hard, (and anyone that ran them more than once would have seen they got nerfed) and they definitely took that feedback into account.
I was in E1 at Origins, and it is a fun module. :) I know a bunch of the actors in the dungeon and they're all seasoned performers. The sound is upgrade, there's a lot of new tech and things have been "tweaked" to make it feel more immersive. I think you'll enjoy it.
My friends and I did TD for nine years straight, then we just kinda...stopped a couple years ago. We used to have a big enough group to buy out the entire slot, when it was 8 people, and we would do so. We also had enough tokens to fully kit out everybody in red gear, with a smattering of purples. However, the jump to mostly purple gear was a cost we couldn't justify, so our motivation to get token packs dropped quite a bit as we were unlikely to see improvements in any given pack purchase.
Some of the rooms were really a lot of fun, and the actors in general have been great. Also fun animatronic monsters. Like others here, I recommend trying it at least once if you're interested. But, as the price and number of players per slot both went up, the flaws became more for us tan we were willing to put up with (when we started playing, it was 7 players per slot, for example; also, wooden nickel gear tokens). We came to expect every year would have at least one grumpy room GM, there would be at least one room where the puzzle either didn't make sense of was too physically difficult for the time limit, and there would be at least one room where we lost 2-3 entire minutes of our time waiting to even enter the room because of a long reset time or a slow preceding group. Sometimes these combine together, so you have a room, where you're supposed to have 12 minutes to do a puzzle, and it takes 8-10 minutes to physically manipulate the components, but you're only getting 9 minutes because it took so long to reset and the GM is grumpy because he/she's been watching groups fail all day. Obviously this can be frustrating.
We still tell the story of our first year where there was a chess board puzzle that had nothing to do with chess. There were hints in the entrance chamber for the room about chess pieces, you walked through 8 doorways onto what was clearly a chess board, and if you tried anything chess related, 2 damage each time. The solution involved compass directions(with the compass rose being given three rooms earlier) and a message written on the far wall about which pattern you had to move in. Years and years later, this is our go to example of bad puzzle design.
But there have also been great rooms. We did a jail break once that was fun. There was a room with 24 eggs and a scale that we could only use three times to find the lighter egg. There was a great medusa encounter.
I guess my point is that TD is often fun, but for our group, the price is now too high for the mixed level of quality we were getting.
That was the year I tried True Dungeon! I still remember how none of us could make any sense out of it (since there was no chess involved) and we ended up brute forcing it and throwing the safety ball back so folks could get through. I died in the next room (IIRC) and didn't get to see the end of the dungeon. (Back then you were removed from the dungeon when you died.)
ObTopic: That year it cost $20 and I didn't think it was worth it to play again vs. doing things that didn't cost $10 per hour. I still don't think it's worth it at $80. If you want to try it, though, I hope you have a good time.
I went 4 years ago and have no plans of ever participating again. I was falsely accused of looking at a medusa, nearly died in the first room and was completely lost about how to approach the puzzles because there ware no instructions given. It was basically "here's a room with shit in it, figure it out". The biggest thing for me was that with 10 people and 1 GM your voice is easily lost. Also, I was a character where you have to ID leaves to do your spells, I was very excited about this aspect. Every time I went to do a spell the DM would just say 'Yep you're good' and didn't even have the equipment to allow me to play my character properly. It was quite frustrating and I never intend to repeat the experience.
For the value, it is essentially combining D&D with an escape room. For 2 1/2 hrs of entertainment, it is a pretty good value. Considering that running it takes hundreds of people, is the size of a football field, and has dedicated actors - it is unlikely TD makes money at GenCon from actual tickets.
People can get as engaged as they’d like. You can do normal runs with just the 10 packs given. It’s the same dungeon with the same puzzles and monsters as the harder levels. For around $50-$100, a player can get enough gear to handle hardcore. Nightmare and Epic are for the more dedicated players who have been at it for years. Yes, some bring many thousands of dollars worth of tokens collected over decades. The way the power curve works, it’s not as big a power difference between a 10 year vet and. 3 year vet if they focus on 1-2 classes.
Generally, vets doing runs with new players will offer to equip them in. Way where they can make as much of a difference as the vets in combat rooms. Occassionally, you get a bad player who just takes over. That is definitely the minority of cases. For the most part, vets organize runs together to take on crazy difficulty levels or do things that are just goofy (nod to the “we are groot” party.)
it’s a great GenCon experience that you cannot get in your local areas. I definitely recommend it.