This Guide is the author’s recommendation for one successful method for defeating the “Dungeon Crawl” campaign on Master Difficulty.
This guide is by no means the only method. Please enjoy the game and discover for yourself all the possibilities. Contained within are some strategies that can be employed to help you achieve a Master Difficulty victory. These strategies are by no means required for a victory. Feel free to develop your own strategies and contribute what you learn to the wiki and the community at large. With these disclaimers behind us, let’s begin.
If you have questions or comments you'd like to leave for us, please edit the Discussion page at the top of this guide and feel free to leave those questions and comments in there! Thanks!
Dungeon Crawl Mechanics
The “Dungeon Crawl” campaign presents unique mechanics to the player when compared to the normal For The King campaign.
1) Main questline is simple and straightforward. Locate the 5 hidden dungeons. Vanquish them and disable their Chaos generators at the end of each dungeon. There is no defined path that MUST be taken. The adventurers are free to go off in any direction and hopefully locate and vanquish these 5 dungeons. (Note: The Forest Mystic character customization can be unlocked when playing this adventure if you're lucky enough to have the Burning Forest biome chosen to spawn the Mage Dungeon. See the Dungeons list for what could spawn in Dungeon Crawl).
2) All important landmarks are hidden. This includes the 5 dungeons, but also includes Sanctums, Statues, and Cult Devices. It therefore becomes a major challenge to:
- Acquire a Sanctum for each character to use as a buffer against accidental death.
- Remove chaos efficiently enough to keep the chaos timeline under control. If you cannot locate a Cult Device and you cannot locate a dungeon, then your options for removing chaos quickly is a major issue. Side-quests from towns to reduce chaos become your only option.
3) Starting Biome varies: The adventurers will find themselves beginning their Dungeon Crawl campaign in one of these biomes chosen at random:
- Guardian Forest
- Golden Plains
- Burning Forest
Starting in the Burning Forest is unlucky. This biome is much more challenging to start this campaign. The Burning Forest has much higher than normal ambush rates. Since there is no technical requirement for you to clear your starting biome simply because you happened to start in it, we highly recommend abandoning this biome ASAP. Get to any other biome like Guardian Forest or Golden Plains and begin searching those biomes for the cult devices and dungeons. Use those town side-quests for reducing chaos. You can always come back to your starting biome much later in the game when you’re more prepared.
4) Chaos mechanic: The Chaos timeline is different from the normal FTK campaign. It is adjusted so that on Master Difficulty chaos will occur every 8 rounds. (Note: The normal FTK campaign has chaos occur every 4 rounds on Master Difficulty).
5) Dungeon scaling: The main questline dungeons will scale up in level as the adventurers vanquish each dungeon. Main dungeons found will first appear at level 2. Once vanquished, all remaining main dungeons will scale to become level 4. Once a level 4 main dungeon is vanquished, all remaining main dungeons will scale to become level 6. Essentially each subsequent main dungeon will be two levels higher than the previous main dungeon vanquished by the adventurers. Note: Mini-dungeons scale the same way as main dungeons except they begin at level 1 and continue to scale by two levels, each being an odd number. Mini-dungeons will cap out at level 9.
6) Town Refresh rates are uniquely different compared to the For The King campaign. Adventurers can expect the towns to refresh (increasing prices & raising the level of sea caves) at the following times:
- 1st: When all team members reach a combined level of 6. (e.g. Three characters each at level 2).
- 2nd: When all team members reach a combined level of 12. (e.g. Three characters each at level 4).
- 3rd: When all team members reach a combined level of 18. (e.g. Three characters each at level 6).
- 4th: When all team members reach a combined level of 24. (e.g. Three characters each at level 8). Note: Max gear now available.
- 5th and Final: When all team members reach a combined level of 30. (e.g. Three characters each at level 10). Note: This will shuffle top end gear in town markets.
A Discussion about Strategy
As with the normal For The King campaign, you want to:
- Be extremely efficient with your movement.
- Keep the chaos timeline under control.
- Acquire as much gold as you possibly can.
- Upgrade your gear as soon as humanly possible.
- Gain experience for your characters as quickly as possible.
- Avoid taking damage.
Due to the mechanics of the Dungeon Crawl campaign and the rapid town refresh rates, the most important goal from the 6 above is the first one: “Be extremely efficient with your movement”. Due to the starting biome being randomly chosen and all things being hidden, you will be under pressure to remove chaos rapidly enough to keep the chaos timeline under control while also progressing your party’s levels and gear rapidly enough to keep up with the town refresh rates.
Keys to making the Dungeon Crawl campaign easy
1) Acquire a raft as quickly as possible.
This may seem very odd, as it is NOT recommended to ever buy a raft in the normal FTK campaign, but in Dungeon Crawl, this is actually essential, especially if your starting biome is the Burning Forest. Walking though each biome is not efficient. You will NOT be able to keep up with the chaos timeline. When your party is on a boat, the entire party moves, tripling the value of each character’s movement. Additionally, you avoid being ambushed in the Burning Forest which has higher than normal ambush rates. So acquiring a boat (raft or fishing boat) is very important. The challenge here is finding the money to afford one.
Feel free to grind nearby enemies to build up a pool of gold. The best enemies to fight early on are scamps, thieves, pirates, and cutpurses. These enemies drop the most gold.
Conserve your gold for that needed raft. We recommend NOT buying Godsbeard until AFTER you’ve acquired your raft. If you are in need of healing, use the Inn services. Once you’ve acquired your raft, you can begin stocking up on herbs and playing normally.
When you have your raft and feel like you’re in good shape, definitely save up enough gold for a Fishing Boat at $90. The earlier you can upgrade to a Fishing Boat the better off you’ll be.
2) Strategic Town Side-Quest selection.
At the beginning of the game you will need to remove chaos quickly. Unfortunately the Cult Devices are hidden and there is no guarantee that one of the 5 dungeons has spawned in your starting biome. You may have difficulty locating a Cult Device or a dungeon in order to reduce chaos. Therefore, it is important to take the Remove Chaos side-quest from the first town in your starting biome. For the 2nd town you reach, you’ll want to take a side-quest that will gain the party some needed money. You need $40 to buy a raft. Use the 2nd town’s side-quest to get the money you need for that raft. If you can manage to save enough for a $90 Fishing Boat… definitely do that.
Towns with Reduce Chaos side-quests: In Dungeon Crawl, not every town has a Reduce Chaos side-quest. Your starting town in your starting biome will always have a Reduce Chaos side quest. It is highly recommended that you choose Reduce Chaos side-quest from your starting town. Each biome has two towns (with exception of the Rogue Isles biome). Of the two towns, one is always considered to be a primary town and one a secondary town. Primary towns in Dungeon Crawl can be counted on to always have a Reduce Chaos side-quest available. These towns are:
- Guardian Forest: Oarton
- Golden Plains: Parid
- Burning Forest: Fire Elm
- Poison Bog: Castle Vakker
- The Rogue Isles: Devil’s Wharf
- Parched Waste: Hasta
- Dropstone Badlands: Imp’s Corridor
- The Shivering Woods: Ravenhook
- Jungle Falls: Texatulan
Item side-quest selection: Once your team reaches level 2, the first Town Refresh will occur. From that point, town side-quests may have an Item Quest that could net you a Goat Wizard Staff for the Scholar. If you find that Item Side quest, definitely take it.
Gold side-quest selection: When choosing gold side-quests from towns you’ll have to choose between a) Bounty quests; b) Exploration quests; or c) Delivery quests. If a bounty quest requires killing a spirit (e.g. Pixie, Ghost, etc) do NOT take that quest. For Delivery quests, the further the party will need to travel, the greater the gold payout. So when you see Delivery quests with a large gold payout, keep in mind that the destination is likely far away.
3) Uncovering every unknown hex:
Since all key landmarks and dungeons are hidden in every biome, it is imperative that you search every unknown hex to locate them. This makes our main goal, “Be extremely efficient with your movement,” even more important. It is time consuming to uncover every unknown hex in a biome. This will slow down your ability to reduce chaos.
To improve your movement efficiency, it is highly recommended that you purchase items that have +Find Distance (e.g. Torch, Brass Compass, Spyglass, Fishing Hat, Gathering Bonet, Disciple Hood). As you move through or around a biome it is extremely important to uncover as large a radius of unknown hexes as possible to reduce the amount of time you must take to complete your search of every biome’s hex. We recommend micro-managing these items by equipping them to each character prior to that character’s movement. These items stack, so definitely take advantage of them all. The vision radius you uncover is extremely valuable.
Searching Tip: There may be times when you need to search unknown hexes that are on the opposite side of an enemy that is in your path. If you step into that enemy, you’ll be prompted to choose to fight it, or to sneak, ambush, or retreat. Choose sneak to get past the enemy if there are lots of unknown hexes on the other side to search. Choose retreat if the hexes you needed to uncover were only those adjacent to the enemy but on the opposite side. By stepping into the enemy and then retreating, it counts as though you have entered that hex. The vision you would receive from that hex is provided to you regardless whether you retreat from that fight or not.
4) Sea Caves scale throughout the game based on Town Refreshes and thus, based on your team’s overall level.
These scale along with your party’s level, often jumping two levels above your team. This makes completing Sea Caves difficult as you must enter them just prior to every team member reaching the level of the Sea Cave itself. (e.g. if the Sea Cave is a level 2 cave, then at least one team member in your party must be level 1). If all team members in your party reach level 2, then any Sea Cave you approach will be level 4… making it impractical to attempt.
In order to route in Sea Caves to your game, you’ll want to tackle them when 2 out of 3 team members in your party are at a level equal to the Sea Cave, with one party member being one level below. As a result, it is difficult to route in more than 4 Sea Caves during a Dungeon Crawl game without taking additional risk. The safest times to route in a Sea Cave are:
- Level 2 Sea Cave - When party of three are at levels 2/2/1. Meaning one party member hasn’t yet reached level 2.
- Level 4 Sea Cave - When party of three are at levels 4/4/3.
- Level 6 Sea Cave - When party of three are at levels 6/6/5.
- Level 8 Sea Cave - When party of three are at levels 8/8/7.
5) Once you’ve acquired your raft and gotten control over your Chaos timeline, your objectives should be to:
- Acquire at least two Godsbeard for each character
- Acquire Party Heal ability through an item if your party’s characters don’t start with the ability built in.
- Acquire Upgrade weapons per what is recommended in the FTK Master Guide.
- Upgrade from a raft to a Fishing Boat.
- Acquire at least one Panax for each character.
- Pipe Up at least your intended Party Healer, and if you can, pipe up all characters.
If you’re able to accomplish those objectives, and your Chaos timeline is under control, the rest of the game should be relatively simple to handle.
Here is an example of us performing the objectives above from the start of a Dungeon Crawl game until we're secure with our boat and timeline. (37 min) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/885404932?filter=highlights&sort=time
Continue to seek out town side-quests for reducing chaos, gaining gold or good items. (Goat Wizard's Staff and Boots of Might are our preferred Item quests). Continue to seek out fights with enemies that are your level or below.
For the rest of the game, continue to seek out and vanquish dungeons as needed to keep the chaos at bey. There are plenty of town side-quests for reducing chaos as well as plenty of Cult Devices that you can use to reduce chaos such that chaos should never become an issue in this game mode.
Ideal Team Load Outs
One of the main goals you should have is to deck out your team with an ideal set of weapons and gear. Before entering the 5th and final dungeon, we prefer to have:
Intelligence Character's ideal set:
Weapons: Tome of Wonder and/or Volcanic Tome; Great Water Tome or Starfish Staff; Lightning Tome or Thunder Tome or Tome of Storms; Knotted Staff or Yew Staff; Glacier Tome or Great Frost Staff
Armor: Mystic’s gear (Chestpiece/Headgear/Boots); Volcano Hat; Assassin Boots
Trinkets: Golden Hourglass; and Majestic Belt; or Bellowing Horn; or Noise Maker; and Icy Talisman; and Flaming Talisman
Necklace: Old or Polished Necklace; Faded Pearls or Enchanted Pearls; Golden Ruff
Strength Character's ideal set:
Weapons: Iron Anchor and Great Hammer or Frozen Great Hammer or Ice Sword or Gladius and Aegis of Husher
Armor: Royal Helm; Inferno Armor; Royal Boots or Boots of Might; Wizard Hat or Iron Foil Hat
Trinkets: Majestic Belt; Bellowing Horn; Golden Skull; Great Rune
Necklace: Rusty or Golden Medallion or Amulet of Souls; and Lightning Talisman
Talent Character's ideal set:
Weapons: Golden Lute and/or Fancy Theorbo and/or Silver Lute or Ornate Lute
Armor: Full Dream gear (Chestpiece/Headgear/Boots)
Trinkets: Ester Oil; Noise Maker
Necklace: Golden Ruff; Shiny or Sparkling Pendant
Awareness Character's ideal set:
Weapons: Assassin's Bow or Royal Bow or Golden Spear or Golden Bow or Waldhar's Wrath
Armor: Full Assassin's gear (Chestpiece/Headgear/Boots)
Trinkets: Golden Skull; Ester Oil; Noise Maker
Necklace: Golden Ruff; Clouded or Pale Crystal
Please keep in mind that the above loadouts are the desired set. You may not be able to acquire every piece. This is what you're striving for is all.
Well… I hope you find this guide helpful. Visit us on the FTK Discord.
Special Thanks to Sheldon1994 for all the play testing and ideas.