Here’s where it starts getting really good.
In The Age of Monsters, represent units of monster population. represent units of loot. If at any point, 1 monster group has 6 or more , an arch-villain is attracted to the dungeon and the Age of Monsters comes to an end.
Monster groups come in different flavors. The flavors often have rules that supersede the normal rules for that group.
If a monster group is wiped out, write “abandoned” next to its name on the map. Dead groups leave their loot behind. If there are too many groups to manage, just move on to the Age of Villainy.
Setup and Turn OrderEdit
The Age of Monsters is played out in rounds, called years. The surface kingdoms are a special monster group that acts every year. In the first year, instead of following the turn order below, follow the setup rules for the surface kingdoms. Then set up 1 delving group, 1 breeder group, and 1 alpha predator on the map at random.
Each year thereafter, do the following:
- Roll a d6 on the map, and consult the Monster table.As always, the position of the die on the map matters—that’s where you’ll carry out setup.
- If a monster group has been rolled, carry out setup for that group.
- Resolve a year according to the rules for each monster group on the map in the order they arrived.
Any time you place a monster, roll to determine its flavor on the relevant table and read the special rules for that flavor.
|1||A delving group arrives.|
|2||A breeder group arrives.|
|3||An alpha predator arrives.|
|4||Wandering monsters move in.|
|5||A special feature is placed.|
|6||Adventurers enter the underground in search of fortune whilst undead stalk ancient halls.|
When a monster group bumps up against another group, there’s an encounter. Each monster group has its own rules for how it encounters its neighbors.
When wandering monsters encounter other monsters or groups, no dice are rolled.
A wandering monster’s strength is equal to its number of (usually 1). When a wandering monster encounters another wandering monster or a group, it kills population equal to its , but loses 1 for each point of damage it does.
Usually this means that a wandering monster will kill 1 for each it has. However, alpha predators gain +2 in conflicts, so a wandering monster usually needs 3 to harm an alpha predator at all! Alpha predators will almost always defeat wandering monsters handily.
When a monster group encounters another group on its turn, each group rolls a d6, adding its population to the roll. This is called the encounter roll. The higher result is the victor. See the rules for the group that’s taking its turn to find out what happens as a result.
Zones of ControlEdit
Monsters have zones of control (hereafter called ZOCs). These are the areas where they have influence over the dungeon. By default, a group’s ZOC extends one bead width out from all beads in the group. Some groups also have special rules about expanding their ZOC. See the rules for each type of group.
If a monster group arrives on the map in another group’s ZOC, an invasion occurs. The arriving group immediately encounters the group it arrived on.
If the invaders survive the encounter and do not destroy the group, move them 1 thumb away from the defender’s ZOC. If this puts them on another group’s ZOC, they invade that group in turn. An arriving group may bounce from group to group until it is destroyed or finally finds a safe location to make its lair.