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All the Catacombs, and Elzra, too

Has anyone done the big grid layout of room cards?

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Not sure what you mean.

It’s like a choose-your-own adventure version. You lay out a grid of the room cards and use some sort of exploration method to work your way through a set number of them. There’s more to it than that but that’s the basic idea.


Oh, nice. I’ve done a variation on that, using the standard layout but including a few branching paths that tie back in. It’s fun but you really gotta be committed to a good afternoon of drinks and food to get the most out of it. Thankfully that’s the best way to enjoy it.

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The larger grid layouts are more of a multi-day commitment.

If @Drazini is out there, I’d like to hear from you, seeing as you’re the only one I know IRL that has as much Catacomby-goodness as I do.

I really want to play a grid layout game, it would be really fun - but I don’t know if i can find enough ppl for the commitment.
I’d give catacombs an 11/10 personally


It’s not about the ppl, it’s about the time investment. The regs game takes a few hours as-is, doing a grid could take several sessions.

Maybe a weekly or semi-weekly thing could work (like the days that begin with “T,” or a Friday or Sunday tacked on to the Saturday game-night session, or something), doing a few rooms each time, writing everything down/taking photos of the layout so we could set it up proper next session. The Overseer would have to have a secret “map,” of course, but maybe we could house-rule a level-up system like the DM-less D&D tile games.

It’s an unofficial layout, Elzra hasn’t made a whole ruleset, so there’s some flexibility. We can just invent one, and break it until it works.

yeah, id love to be the catacomb lord of something like that, it would be really cool, ive already got an idea of a way that I can lay it out

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I’m of the opinion that we have that flexibility even with a formal variant. I’ve broken this thing completely and still managed a great time out of it. Skill barriers can really be exploited to great effect.

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Yeah, I know I’m quoting myself.

YES. Details, please!

We are board gamers, we feed on rules. House rules and variations are spice on this food.

I will also share whatever it is that we come up with, too (may take a little time. It’s December and things get bonkers. Example: Tomorrow is D&D night, my mom has a messed up knee and I need to help her, my cat (fill in the blanks, here), all the bills have collided with my debit card… but I think we can still get this to the table soon-ish).

I’ve got a few examples off the top of my head. The aforementioned Surprise Vampire using the “mystery bat” is always fun (good once per group I guess). I like rigging the item deck too, which is super simple to do.

While I haven’t done a grid or campaign, I’ve run a few sessions with branching paths, with the straight route providing fairly standard escalation and the branches usually containing a mini-boss followed by a special room or boon before tying back into the main route.

I’ve allowed “modded” heroes before as well. My younger nephew, for example, really likes using the Paladin from Soloth, but he tends to turtle rather than tank, so we let him start with a throwing axe to give him a bit of incentive to get in there and eat some thwacks. The base characters now have formalized variants, including a tank-ier Xoric, so I’ll be curious to see if he opts for him next time instead.

Another thing I’ve done (and which now has a formalized ruleset, albeit in a different way) is allowing enemies to start on top of pillars for ambushes. The new Ice Box stretch goals include Boulder traps which operate in a similar fashion (Overseer may topple them onto heroes at any time), but I had generally used skellies or zombies perched precariously atop the barriers (a good hard smack could potentially knock them off). Fun times with that.

I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of stuff (I like to introduce Antients and Wyverns in unusual ways), but I’m always looking for new ways to surprise my players, especially when they’re kicking butt.

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Anything called “Surprise Vampire” is probably good in any game (or romantic comedy movie. Seriously, why are there no Surprise Vampires in rom-coms?)

We’ve been avoiding Antients since the first reboot, there’s already so much there, and that’s just adding chaos to an already chaotic game.

But, I think we’re going to start more with the new pillar rules, and doing more with mounts (including the Wyverns).

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Sounds good. Took your advice and double sided the heroes etc to make them easier to find. Not sure I like the new backgrounds though, so holding off the rest. Maybe in January then?

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Yeah I found the new backgrounds to be a bit of a mixed bag. It’s nice the disc colours are easier to spot, but some of the images get obscured as a result. If I wasn’t so hell-bent on making everything look consistent I’d have probably just saved them for the future as well.

As for January, I’ve got a trip home to Ontario planned and loose plans for a big game of Dune, but I’ve also got a baby due in May, so I’ll be hell bent on cramming in as much gaming time as possible while I still can. Let’s set this up!


Congratulations! I have two of my own. My oldest, almost 4, asked to play this today so we got out the mats and some disks and I started teaching him how to flick. He loved it! In another 5 years we’ll be playing the real game!


“Baby” is, broadly, the reason I haven’t really played games (at even a regularity even generously described as “occasional”) in the last two years.

I have no regrets.

I also have a number of boxes on my shelves that won’t see the light of day until my children are a bit older. Hopefully Catacombs isn’t one of them, but I certainly hope it will be a household staple in the future.


My best games have been family games with the nephews (8 and 11) so I’m excited for you guys to experience the game as handled by kids. Catacombs is as good as it is because it’s secretly a tactical cooperative game with plenty to mull over with the team. You can seriously adult it. It’s why it’s seen as a long game.

Plop this big bastard down in front of kids and it’s a fiery flickfest of fury with as little downtime as the poor Overseer can manage. “I can do WHAT?! Doing that! (usually some uncanny success occurs) Awesome, next!”
I swear if I didn’t also play with my partner and their dad it’d be over in an hour every time.

That said, it’s a super fun combo with kids and adults, since the fam can… impose their bright ideas on their kids and get them to slow down, try to formulate a plan of attack, and then execute (usually some uncanny disaster occurs). :rofl:


Tell me about it. Most of our games are played with my 22-year-old son’s friends (and, yes, we still get ice cream after).

It still takes hours because I need to take a lot of potty/beer-refill/smoke breaks, I ain’t as young as I used to be (thankfully I can combine those breaks sometimes).

I need to get my 9-year-old into this, but he refuses to play any game that involves reading, which is nuts! He reads books, and the cards for Catacombs are mostly icons that the older players can explain!

Also, every time he says, “I want to play!” is usually 10 minutes before his mom picks him up. (Setup alone takes a bit longer than 10 minutes). My childcare/gamenight coordination is suboptimal.

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Hey, does anyone have a favorite Hero or Overseer?

I don’t have a favorite Overseer, they’re all pretty good and can all get OP in the endgame, I need to play more in that role.

I’m totally loving the new rules for Roosan (as I mentioned at the top of the thread). Sequolia is still dammed handy, and Larra has become one of our player’s go-to.

Regulus is great, but we had to fake his paperwork from the internet for a while (I didn’t notice it was missing from my copy of the first KS until much later).

I’d let my younger son and his friend start with Xoric or Marorg. They’re both beginner’s characters, sure, but that doesn’t make them bad. They’re both favorites around here, played by seasoned players as well as newbs.

I have legitimately never used a hero yet, but Roosan is probably my favourite. I start every game by heavily recommending someone choose him, but so far, to no avail.

I’m of the same opinion as you with regard to the Catacombs Lords: they’re all a ton of fun.

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