Dragonslayer

Dragonslayer

This page describes Dragonslayer, a computer game with a Dungeons and Dragons theme. More specifically it's a "Roguelike" game (which means based on the classic text game Rogue) but played from first person perspective. In the screenshot above you can see a dungeon corridor, with a branch off to the right and another branch leading ahead to a room, with a weapon on the ground and a few monsters nearby.

Download: Dragonslayer is an game script that comes with the program Daedalus. Daedalus along with its applets such as Dragonslayer is a 100% free program for Windows, which can be directly installed from its setup program. Once installed, click the "Dragonslayer" icon in the "Start / All Programs / Daedalus / Scripts" program group to play, or select the "File / Run Script / Dragonslayer" menu command in Daedalus itself. The latest version is 3.2.

Turns: This is a turn based game (similar to computer games like Rogue and Nethack, or a board game). After you decide what move to make, all monsters quickly do so in turn. Strategy and thinking are important, so you shouldn't treat it like an video game where speed and reflexes matter.

Graphics: You play from a first person perspective, seeing through the eyes of your adventurer hero. First person means you should keep an eye out in all directions, because you can be attacked from behind. Graphics are pretty simple, with everything as block tokens (again like a board game), and icons on the ground indicating the various types of items.

Gameplay

At the top of the screen is the message list, showing things that have taken place since you made your last turn, like the results of your last action or monsters attacking you. At the bottom of the screen is the status line, which contains the following:

  1. Level: Dungeon level. You start on dungeon level 1, and on each level seek the pit leading down to the next deeper level.
  2. WC: Weapon class. How much damage your wielded weapon can do to monsters.
  3. AC: Armor class. How much your worn armor can reduce damage monsters do when they hit you.
  4. Str: Strength. Affects your carrying capacity and how much damage you can do.
  5. Dex: Dexterity. Affects how likely you are to hit monsters, and also avoid being hit by them.
  6. HP: Hit points. Current health (before slash), and maximum possible health (after slash). If this falls to zero you die!
  7. Exp: Experience. Experience level (before slash), and total experience points (after slash). You should expect to get over experience level 10 by the end of game.
  8. Kill: Kills. The number of monsters you've killed so far. If you clear out every dungeon level, this number will reach around 150 by the end of game.

The arrow keys are the main commands for movement. The up arrow key moves you forward one square, while the down arrow backs you up one square. The left and right arrows rotate 90 degrees in place, and are free actions which don't take up time or end your turn. Shift+left or right arrow sidesteps or strafes to the square to your left or right, leaving you facing the same direction. Shift+up arrow runs or automatically moves down the current passage until you reach the next passage junction, object, or monster. Moving into a square occupied by a monster attacks it with your wielded weapon. After you die (or after you win) you can still move around to see other parts of the level. Beyond movement, there are 10 main commands:

  1. F1 or "?" - Help: This command redisplays the help text that appears at start of game.
  2. F2 - Restart: This command restarts a new game, erasing any game in progress. Use it after you die (or after you win).
  3. F3 or "c" - Close: Close a door in the square in front of you. You can't close doors if a creature is standing in the way.
  4. F4 or "." - Pause: Do nothing, and let the monsters take their next action.
  5. F5 or "," - Get: Pick up an item you're standing over, placing it in your first available inventory slot.
  6. F6 or "d" - Drop: Drop an item from your inventory. Your inventory is shown, after which you select the letter of a slot to indicate the item to drop.
  7. F7 or "i" - Inventory: Display your inventory. You start with four inventory slots, labeled "A" through "D", which start out empty. You can gain up to 20 slots, through Strength Potions and gaining levels. Checking inventory is a free action which doesn't end your turn.
  8. F8 or "a" - Use: Apply or (un)wield an item. Your inventory is shown, after which you select a slot to indicate the item to use. Using a weapon wields it, or unwields the weapon (becoming barehanded) if already wielded. Using a potion or scroll destroys it and gives you its benefit.
  9. F9 - Map: Displays a map of the current dungeon level, showing rooms, passages, doors, and the shafts from the previous and to the next level. The map only shows the level as it was initially created, and won't reflect later changes (such as made with a Wand of Digging).
  10. F10 - Rotation: Toggles the animation speed when moving and rotating, in determining how many intermediate frames are displayed along the way to your new configuration. Fewer frames improves speed on slower computers, while many frames looks smoother on faster computers.

Dungeon

There are 20 different randomly generated dungeon levels in Dragonslayer, summarized in the following table:

Level Level type Wall appearance Monster count Monsters appearing
1 Dungeon (Open) Red brick 5-10 FJR
2 Dungeon Orange brick 5-10 BIKO
3 Dungeon Yellow brick 5-10 GS
4 Dungeon Brown brick 5-10 AN
5 Dungeon (Jungle) Green leaves 10 HL
6 Dungeon Red brick 5-10 Z
7 Dungeon Orange brick 5-10 P
8 Dungeon Yellow brick 5-10 T
9 Dungeon Brown brick 5-10 Y
10 Arena (Gladiator) Red brick 10 M
11 Dungeon Red brick (dim) 5-10 C
12 Dungeon Orange brick (dim) 5-10 W
13 Dungeon Yellow brick (dim) 5-10 Q
14 Dungeon Brown brick (dim) 5-10 E
15 Maze (Minotaur) Gray stone (dim) 10 (5 Minotaurs) V
16 Dungeon Red brick (dark) 5-10 UX
17 Dungeon Orange brick (dark) 5-10  
18 Dungeon Yellow brick (dark) 5-10  
19 Dungeon Brown brick (dark) 5-10  
20 Arena (Dragon) Blue crystal 1 (Dragon) D

There are 5 special levels in Dragonslayer:

Items

There are 50 different items in Dragonslayer. These items fall in six different categories:

Type Name Attributes
Weapon Twig WC 0
Weapon Stick WC 1
Weapon Knife WC 2
Weapon Dagger WC 3
Weapon Club WC 4
Weapon Short Sword WC 5
Weapon Sword WC 6
Weapon Battle Axe WC 7
Weapon Spiked Mace WC 8
Weapon Longsword WC 9
Weapon Sword Named Excalibur WC 10
Armor Shirt AC 0
Armor Jacket AC 1
Armor Leather Armor AC 2
Armor Studded Leather Armor AC 3
Armor Ring Mail AC 4
Armor Chain Mail AC 5
Armor Scale Mail AC 6
Armor Splint Mail AC 7
Armor Banded Mail AC 8
Armor Plate Mail AC 9
Armor Dragon Scale Mail AC 10
Amulet Pretty Amulet None
Amulet Strength Amulet Str +(1 + enchantment)
Amulet Dexterity Amulet Dex +(1 + enchantment)
Amulet Toughness Amulet HP +5x(1 + enchantment)
Amulet Protection Amulet AC +(1 + enchantment)
Amulet Regeneration Amulet Regeneration +(1 + enchantment)
Amulet Life Saving Amulet On death: Full heal & destroy amulet
Potion Potion of Water Heal 1 hp
Potion Potion of Healing Heal 10 hp
Potion Potion of Extra Healing Heal 50 hp
Potion Potion of Gain Level Advance to next experience level
Potion Potion of Constitution +5 current and maximum hp
Potion Potion of Strength +1 Str
Potion Potion of Dexterity +1 Dex
Scroll Blank Scroll None
Scroll Scroll of Enchant Weapon +1 enchantment to weapon
Scroll Scroll of Enchant Armor +1 enchantment to armor
Scroll Scroll of Enchant Amulet +1 enchantment to amulet
Scroll Scroll of Charge Wand +5 charges to wand
Scroll Scroll of Teleportation Teleport self to random location
Scroll Scroll of Create Monster Add monster in square faced
Scroll Scroll of Create Door Add door in square faced
Wand Wand of Nothing None
Wand Wand of Probing Gives stats of monster
Wand Wand of Striking Does 10 damage to monsters
Wand Wand of Digging Digs tunnel through walls
Wand Wand of Teleportation Teleports items and monsters
Wand Wand of Polymorph Changes items and monsters

More details about specific items:

Monsters

There are 26 different monsters in Dragonslayer, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each monster has the following statistics:

Letter Creature Level HP Str Dex Behavior Speed Color
A Giant Ant 4 15 10 8     Medium Red
B Bat 2 8 5 5     Black
C Cyclops 11 50 20 15     Purple Magenta
D Evil Dragon 20 200 30 30   Double Red
E Elemental 14 5 35 20 Random   Cyan
F Fungus 1 1 1 2 Frozen None Dark Yellow
G Gnome 3 20 8 8   Half Yellow
H Hobgoblin 5 40 10 10     Orange
I Imp 2 20 2 10   Half Orange Red
J Jackal 1 6 4 4     Medium Yellow
K Kobold 2 10 6 6   Half Medium Green
L Leprechaun 5 10 4 20 Random Double Dark Green
M Minotaur 10 50 20 15     Brown
N Nymph 4 8 1 20     Blue
O Orc 2 15 5 5     Dark Blue
P Pudding 7 40 20 5   Half Green
Q Quantum Vortex 13 1 50 15 Random Half Purple
R Rat 1 2 2 3 Flee Half Brown
S Giant Spider 3 15 8 10   Half Light Gray
T Troll 8 30 15 10   Half Gray
U Dark Unicorn 16 50 20 25 Flee   Black
V Vampire 15 40 25 20   Double Dark Red
W Giant Worm 12 80 30 5 Random Half Dark Brown
X Xanthian 16 30 25 25   Half Magenta
Y Yeti 9 40 20 10   Half Dark Cyan
Z Zombie 6 20 15 5   Half Yellow Gray

Most monsters have strength and dexterity both roughly 2x their level, and hitpoints roughly 4x their level. In general, any monster with a stat lower than its level is abnormally weak in that area, and any monster with a stat more than three times its level is abnormally powerful in that area.

Combat

Offense: When you attack a monster, you hit if a random number from 0 to your (dexterity + experience level) is greater than a random number from 0 to the monster's (dexterity). If so, then you do damage equal to a random number from 0 to your (weapon class + strength + experience level) minus a random number from 0 to the monster's (level). In formula terms: "if Random(Dex + Level) > Random(MonsterDex) then damage = Random(WC + Str + Level) - Random(MonsterLevel) [can't be negative]."

Defense: When a monster attacks you, it hits if a random number from 0 to the monster's (dexterity) is greater than a random number from 0 to your (dexterity + experience level). If so, then it does damage equal to a random number from 0 to monster's (strength) minus a random number from 0 to your (armor class + experience level). In formula terms: "if Random(MonsterDex) > Random(Dex + Level) then damage = Random(MonsterStr) - Random(AC + Level) [can't be negative]."

Armor: Armor acts as effective damage reduction, potentially reducing damage you or monsters take by up to the AC value. Monsters have effective AC equal to their level. There's a difference between a miss and a hit for 0 damage. A miss failed to connect in the first place, while a hit for 0 damage was a low damage value combined with a high AC value which reduced the actual damage to 0. Good armor is important to stay alive against the powerful monsters in the dungeon. For example, simple unenchanted Ring Mail (AC 4) will on average reduce the damage of every hit you take by 2.

Experience: Every time you defeat a monster, you gain experience equal to (monster level) squared. For example, a level 6 monster always gives 36 XP. When your XP reaches the next threshold, you gain an experience level. Your level factors into many formulas, effectively making gaining a level equivalent to a potions of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, along with scrolls of Enchant Weapon and Armor, all in one! The table below indicates the experience points needed to reach each level, and the delta of how many additional points are needed to reach the next level.

Level Experience Delta to next
1 0 10
2 10 10
3 20 20
4 40 30
5 70 30
6 100 100
7 200 200
8 400 300
9 700 300
10 1000 1000
11 2000 2000
12 4000 3000
13 7000 3000
14 10000 10000
15 20000 20000
16 40000 30000
17 70000 30000
18 100000 100000
19 200000 200000
20 400000 300000

Tactics (general): Fight one monster at a time, which means don't let yourself get surrounded. If you must face multiple monsters, focus on eliminating one at a time, usually starting with the most dangerous, to reduce the damage you take over time. When encountering a new monster, let it be the one to move next to you if possible, so you can make the first attack.

Tactics (fleeing): Monsters can't move or attack diagonally. If you're low on health, and a standard speed monster is next to you, instead of fighting you can run in circles (or even just move back and forth) while it chases you. You can slowly regain health in the process, as long as no other monsters appear to corner you. This does not work for fast double speed monsters, because they can move next to you and then hit you, before you get a chance to move again.

Tactics (Dragon): The Dragon at the end is the toughest monster in the dungeon, and can easily kill you if you're not careful. Useful items and tactics in the dragon fight are:

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This site produced by Walter D. Pullen (see Astrolog homepage), hosted on astrolog.org and Magitech, created using Microsoft FrontPage, page last updated October 4, 2016.