An opportunity for improvement for the next iteration of #DelvingDeeper is in the number of monsters appearing. #DelvingDeeper V4 assumes around 8 players, whereas recent polls show that 4-6 players is now the norm.
According to the original game, a group of 4-6 players can expect to run into 2-12 bandits, goblins, orcs (or similar) on the 1st dungeon level. Or 3-18 on the 2nd dungeon level. And so on. Those are some tough numbers for a group of six players–let alone a group of four.
A magic-user may be able to nuke a few groups, but eventually it will come down to fight club with the players outnumbered. This is where player strategy is paramount. Retreating to choke points, use of missiles, spears, and plate armor really counts.
This is also is where morale is the players’ supreme advantage.
#DelvingDeeper V4 recommends non-player morale should be checked at one-third numerical losses across the board.
This means a dozen bandits might be defeated by the loss of just four men. Well now… this is beginning to look more plausible for our group of 4-6 players.
Assuming a morale check is called, the bandits (or orcs or whatever) would require a throw of 9+ on 2d6 (28% likely) to carry the fighting to the players. On a roll of 6-8 they would hold their ground; presumably only attacking if attacked. On a roll under 6 they would retreat, flee, or surrender. Now it’s starting to seem almost too easy!
But it won’t be. The dice will be fickle, and opponents such as berserkers–who need never check morale–are all the more dangerous. Beware of these!