OBJECTIVE OF DUNGEON LORDS: The objective of Dungeon Lords is to develop the most dangerous dungeon and to prevent seasoned adventurers from exploring it.



  • 1 central board
  • 4 dungeon boards (1 per player)
  • 1 progression board (1 Construction side, 1 Combat side)
  • 1 Board of Faraway Lands
  • 32 Order cards (8 per player)
  • 4 Score cards (1 per player)
  • 4 Title cards (1 per player)
  • 30 gold tokens
  • 30 Food Tokens
  • 40 Imps
  • 12 Minion figurines (4 per player)
  • 4 Evilness marker cubes (1 per player)
  • 24 Monster tiles (12 grey-backed, 12 gold-backed)
  • 32 Adventurer tiles (16 grey-backed, 16 gold-backed)
  • 2 Paladin tiles (1 grey-backed, 1 gold-backed)
  • 18 Combat cards (16 grey-backed, 16 gold-backed)
  • 40 Dungeon tiles
  • 16 Room tiles (8 grey-backed, 8 gold-backed)
  • 1 First Player token
  • 4 Event tokens
  • 8 Event cards
  • 40 Wound cubes
  • 27 Trap cards
  • 4 Troll tokens
  • 1 Season marker token

TYPE OF GAME: worker management game

AUDIENCE: teen, adult


As a newly graduated Dungeon Lord, you try to build and manage your own dungeon, building tunnels and rooms that you will fill with traps and monsters. Beware, however, of taxes and other salaries, not to mention the adventurers who arrive at the end of the year to explore your dungeon. And if you attract too much attention, you will be visited by a powerful paladin.


The first player is the nicest player. Set up the game as shown in the pictures.

  • Randomly choose 2 Special Event Cards, which remain unknown and place them next to the Faraway Lands board.
  • Shuffle your Order Cards and draw 3 at random. Choose 2 as Inaccessible Orders. All players reveal them simultaneously.
Central board, with food cubes, first year Combat cards, tunnels, Gold tokens, first year Paladin, player Evilness markers, Imps and Troll tokens, and Trap cards
Faraway Lands board, with Wound cubes, Monster tiles (for both years), Room tiles (for both years), first year Adventurer tiles, second year Adventurer tiles and second year Combat cards
Progression board, Construction side, with the Season marker and the three Event tiles
Player board, with 3 tunnels, 3 food tokens, 3 gold tokens, 3 Imps, the 3 Minions and 2 Inaccessible Order cards
Example of a 3 player game setup (note that the yellow player board has been folded and placed on its fictitious player side)


A game of Dungeon Lords takes place over two years, each consisting of two periods:

  • Construction period, broken down into four seasons, during which players develop their dungeon
  • Combat period, during which players defend their dungeon against a group of seasoned Adventurers

The progression board has two sides, one for each period, on which the successive phases to be performed are clearly indicated.


– New Season Phase

Reveal 3 new Monster (or Ghost) Tiles and 2 new Room Tiles, and place them on the central board. Every season, except in autumn:

  • Reveal Adventurer Tiles (4 with 4 players, otherwise 3) and arrange them according to their background and glyph, from the least powerful (far left) to the most powerful (far right). If two of them have the same power, replace the last drawn.
  • Reveal next season’s Event tile. If it is a Special Event, reveal a Special Event Card.

– Orders Phase

Choose the orders of the fictitious players (with 3 or 4 players only, see detailed rules).

Choose 3 Order Cards each from the available cards in your hand.

Each player reveals his orders and places, in turn, a Minion figure on the corresponding action squares.

– A player who decides to place the Recruit Monster (or Ghost) order first must pay 1 Gold.

– If there is no more free space on an action for a Minion figure, place the Minion on the corresponding Order Card (the action is lost).

The actions are performed in the order shown on the Central board, from left to right, top line then bottom line.

– Taking Food, Improving Reputation, Recruiting Imps, or Buying Traps: pay the cost shown to the left of the arrow (if there is one) to receive what is on the right of the arrow. It is not allowed to pay part of the cost to get part of the winnings.

  • A player who has the ability to spy (eye symbol on the Improving Reputation action) looks at one and only one of the Combat Cards (the one he wants, but without changing their order).
  • In the Second Year, you receive an additional Trap Card if you perform the Buy Traps action, and then discard any of your Trap Cards.

– Tunnel Digging or Gold Mining: a building permit authorises you to use up to the indicated number of implements, or less if you wish. In square III, you must have an imp as foreman, regardless of the number of imps you employ. Trolls cannot dig or extract. Construction/mining rules:

  • New tunnels must be adjacent to an existing Room or tunnel. You cannot fill in all the squares of a 2×2 square. You need an imp for each new tunnel, which you place over the new tunnel.
  • Each Imp extracts 1 Gold in an unconquered tunnel, place it on top of it. Two imps cannot extract in the same tunnel. You may extract in a newly constructed tunnel (but not with the same Imp).

Recruit a Monster (or Ghost): players perform this action in reverse order (from III to I). When you recruit a monster, pay its cost, indicated in the top left corner (on square III you must pay 1 Food in addition).

– Build a Room: Players perform this action in reverse order. On squares II and III, you must pay 1 Gold. On square I you do not pay anything, but you run the risk of not being able to build (because there are only two rooms per season). The built room replaces an unconquered tunnel. Building rules:

  • Two rooms cannot be adjacent.
  • The First Year rooms can only be built in the areas indicated on the Room tile.

– If an order has not been executed (because you could not act, or if you did not want to), place the Minion on the Order Card to indicate this.

– Production and Order Recovery Phase

If you still have unused Imp Figurines (or Troll Tokens), you can send them to a production room. Place the indicated number of Imps (and/or Troll Tokens) on the room, and pay any additional costs, to achieve the indicated result. Imps produced by a room can be put to work immediately.

In the First Year, a Room can produce once per season, and twice per season in the Second Year (for double the number of Imps).

Finally, take back your two inaccessible Order Cards. Also take back the first Order card played this season, or one of the Order cards with a Minion Figure. Move the other two Order cards to the inaccessible Order squares.

– Event Phase

Events affect all players in turn, starting with the first player.

  • Pay Day: for each monster (or ghost), pay its cost, otherwise it goes away and you receive 1 Evilness point.
  • Taxes: for each pair of non-empty tiles in your Dungeon (conquered or not) you are taxed one Gold, rounded up. For each Gold that you cannot or do not want to pay, place 1 wound marker (- 3 points at the end of the game) in the Unpaid square, next to the Minions’ desk.
  • Special Event: Proceed according to the text on the Special Event Card.

– Adventurers Phase

In this phase, adventurers of the ending season are assigned to players’ dungeons.

In a two-player game, move the fictitious player’s Evilness Marker one square up.

The least powerful adventurer (the one furthest to the left) goes to the lowest player on the Evilness Track. The next adventurer goes to the next player on the Evilness Track, and so on. Tie ties are broken in turn order, the first player being the nicest.

The new adventurers are placed behind those of the previous seasons, except for the warriors who always go to the front of the group.

End of Season

Put all the Imps back in the Imp’s Lair.

Pass the First Player token to the player on the left, except in autumn.

Example of a season: the blue player chose Recruit Monster, Digging Tunnels and Recruiting Imps. He paid 1 gold as the Recruit Monster order card is in first position, then recruits a Slime. After that he uses two Imps to dig two tunnels (he might have used three Imps, as he was on the square II, but didn’t want to), and pays one food to recruit a new Imp. After that, he uses his three remaining Imps to produce one gold in one of his rooms. Last but not least, being the most evil player (there is a tie with the green player, but he’s not the first player) he receives a mighty 8 health points warrior.

The Paladin

There is only one Paladin per year.

The Paladin leaves his tent and goes to the dungeon of the first player who reaches or exceeds the Paladin’s tolerance level on the Evilness Track.

If a player subsequently goes above the tolerance level and above the player who is currently targeted by the paladin, the paladin moves to that player’s dungeon.

– In case of a tie, the first player is the nicest.

– If the paladin moves to a new dungeon during the Combat, he keeps any wounds he may have.


Flip the Progress Board over, then place the Combat Cards face down, in order.

The Combat has four rounds. As soon as an adventurer’s number of Wound markers reaches or exceeds his hit points, he is eliminated and immediately goes to your Prison. Your Battle is over:

  • if you eliminate all your adventurers
  • or after four rounds of fighting
  • or if you no longer have an unconquered tile (in that case, the Adventurers reach your prison and free an adventurer)

– Planning phase: all players can do this simultaneously. Choose one of the unconquered tiles closest to the entrance and place a Minion figure on it. Then choose one or more monsters and traps to use for this battle.

  • In a tunnel you can play only 1 trap and/or 1 monster.
  • In a room, you can play only 1 trap (but it costs 1 Gold) and a maximum of 2 monsters.
  • You can play as many ghosts as you like.
  • You don’t have to play a trap or a monster (or ghost).
  • If you no longer have an unconquered tile, discard an imprisoned adventurer instead of planning.

– Revelation Phase: Reveal the Combat Card for this round, as well as the traps and monsters assigned to the battle.

– Battle Phase: Players fight in order, starting with the first player. Course of the battle (indicated on your dungeon board, top middle)

  • Trap Step: reveal your Trap Card (pay for it if necessary) and apply its effect. Thieves reduce by one Wound per trap symbol, protecting the first adventurer first. Then undo the Trap Card.
  • Quick Spell Step: If the Combat Card is a quick spell and the group has enough magic points (3 magic stone symbols) apply the effect of the quick spell.
  • Monster (and Ghost) Step: your monsters (and ghosts) attack in the order of your choice, then are stunned (turned face down) for the rest of the Year (unless you use a retreat attack, indicated by a white arrow).
  • Slow Spell Step: If the Combat Card is a slow spell and the group has enough magic points (3 magic stone symbols) apply the effect of the slow spell.
  • Healing Step: If at least one monster (or ghost) has attacked and wounded an adventurer in this battle, remove 1 Wound marker from the group for each heart symbol on the Adventurers, starting with the Adventurers at the front.
  • Conquest Step:
    • Fatigue: The group receives the number of Wound markers indicated on the Combat Card. They are assigned one by one to the first adventurer. If he is eliminated, the remaining markers go to the next adventurer.
    • Conquest: If at least one adventurer remains, the group conquers the tile. Flip the tile over and move your Evilness Marker down one space.
In this example, after the two first combat rounds, the blue player has eliminated one warrior and inflicted respectively 4 and 3 wounds on the remaining adventurers. He then plays his last trap and last monster (a Slime). The trap inflicts 4 wounds to the first adventurer (Wizard) but 3 of them are prevented by the Thief. The combat card is a slow spell, so it’s not cast before monsters’ attack. Then, the player chooses to use the spit ability of the Slime, thus inflicting one damage to each adventurer which is just enough to eliminate both of them. The combat card was a slow spell, and is therefore not applied as there is no more wizard to cast it.

Second Year


  • Flip the Progress board over on the Construction side, then reshuffle the event tiles and place them on the relevant squares.
  • Place the new Combat Cards on the City square of the central board.
  • Defeat the First Year paladin if it is still on the Central Board.
  • In a two-player game, move the Evilness Marker of the dummy player two squares down on the Evilness Track.
  • Pass the First Player Token:
    • To the player on your right, in a four-player game.
    • To the player to your left, in a three-player game.
    • No need, in a two-player game.

At the end of the winter, spring and summer seasons, the First Player Token passes to the left, as in the First Year.

Play the Construction and Combat of the Second Year.


Use the help cards for Victory Point counting

  • Score victory points for each dungeon.
  • Score victory points for the titles.

The player with the most victory points wins and is declared Lord of the underworld.

All players with a positive score receive their Dungeon Lord licence.

Enjoy! 😊

Nakoa Davis