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Homebrew Doom Boardgame

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Newest developments start here.



Original Post As Follows:


I must really love this game if I'm still making fan projects....

Anyway, I FINALLY finished constructing the pieces, and now I can test and refine the rules and mechanics.



Here's the aftermath of the first and highly improvised test mission. I used Force Cards from the Mutant Chronicles boardgame to randomize the monsters that appeared in each sector (for the most part).

This started with a full four-marine party exploring a strange alien temple in search of their missing comrade (spoiler: he was very, very dead). The leader started one rank higher than the other three, and as a result was able to kick considerably more ass than his grunts (probably why he survived the longest).

The imps and former humans didn't pose too much of a threat, and even helped the Doomers stockpile their ammo quite a bit. The first sign of trouble was the demon/specter ambush (five altogether). Specters are bastards in this because they're stupidly hard for low-ranking Doomers to hit. Nothing compared to the horror of the first cacodemon, which literally chewed the party in half, leaving two dead and two shitting their pants.

In the end, only the leader made it to the exit door...


...where he was summarily torn in half by a Baron of Hell. The lesson learned was a little bit "tone down boss monsters slightly" and a lot "don't pit first-level players against upper-level demons."

The whole thing turned out pretty Lovecraftian, which has me excited about future mission modules.


Here's the postmortem of the leader: his character sheet, all the stuff he had on him, and the stats of the bastard who ate him. The red boxes and numbers are only used if you have the Backpack. The orange card is a Tactic that can be played in certain situations, and the blue card is a Bonus Objective.


One feature I really pushed for was different elevation levels. The imp, here, is on a catwalk and can take potshots at the two marines below (or drop down to claw their faces off if he wants). The marines can't get up to his level without using the teleporter or raising some stairs.


This thing was a big craft project for sure, much more so than the other print-and-play projects I've made. I had to learn how to cut foamcore to make the tiles thick and sturdy.

If I ever get the rulebook finished, maybe I'll post a pdf for anyone brave enough to build and play their own.

Edited by Impie

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This is going to be the best boardgame ever when it's finished, too bad only the doom community will like this.

I don't really understand what's happening and what are you talking about.

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this seems really fun hope you can finish the rule book! if the game is well done it will probably be liked even outside the doom community

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Reminds me of HeroScape.

If you're not familiar with it, it's essentially a strategy boardgame with interlocking, stackable hexagonal tiles used to create surprisingly intricate geometry. And the character figures were every awesome thing ever. And I mean everything; samurai, robots, demonic aliens, dinosaurs, KGB agents, army men, ghosts, yetis, super heroes, knights, all that shit. It was fun, too.

If there were some decent 3D models other than Doom 3's, someone could easily 3D-print out some gnarly Doom shit for it and it'd still make some sense in the context of the series.

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I much prefer HeroQuest, myself.

Got a better shot of an elevated area from tonight's playtest. Stacking 'em three high allows a single stair tile to make it obvious how to get up and down.

I tried writing the improvised mission I did into a proper module for testing. Bad news is the one game took at least two hours. But this time two space marines made it out alive.

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This is simply made of win.

When its complete, you should show it to ID. Honestly, it looks friggin awesome.

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Wow. just... wow!

Looks like you've put a ton of time into this, and it shows. Incredibly awesome stuff man! Like Doomkid said, when it's finished, you MUST show it to id.

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Nice. If you want to take your project one step further, try to replace monster and player characters with reaper's pewter miniatures :)

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Well, part of the project's purpose was to make a cool Doom boardgame at a fraction of the cost of the ACTUAL Doom boardgame. As cool as the miniatures would be, they'd run me up a lot of dough...

Messed around with map design again:

I also linked Romero and Peterson to the photos. Figured they'd get a kick out of them.

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I did a playtest with the most recent rules and components. I was planning to do a video play-by-play, but I'd rather wait 'til my fancy dice and piece stands come in. This post is IMAGE-HEAVY, so don't expand if your browser can't handle lots o' pics.


"The Shadow Over Titan" is my 5-player test module, which might also serve as the tutorial mission for new players. It's basically a trial-by-fire: whether they live or die, the players should know all the basics by the end.

The plot involves the Argo, a space freighter that crash-landed on a moon of unknown origin in Saturn's rings. They were delivering something important, and the Doomers were sent to retrieve the item, only to be stranded on the moon themselves. They find the wreckage with no trace of the crew, and on the nearby mountain is an unearthly castle where the marines figure the crew must be. So they go to investigate.

All four Doomers are the Space Marine class, named for characters from my Inferno novella: Chief is green, Borg is gray, Adams is red, and Ellison is brown. Chief also gets to be the squad captain who starts at Rank 2 -- your Rank determines how many dice you use for saves, and how many actions you get per turn. Everyone else is Rank 1: they still get 2 dice and 2 actions, but they don't get to use their class ability 'til they're promoted.

The numbered tiles determine turn order, and are randomly handed out each round. The Mastermind goes first...

...but unfortunately for him, there's no monsters to command in Sector A, so he can't do anything. So he holds his turn for now; later, if any monsters show up, he can "cut in" and take his turn anytime between Doomer turns.

Chief scans the sector for loot, and finds some helpful items on top of the skull pit, including a "quest item." The Mastermind marks the items' locations with red markers.

He should've searched for traps first. He steps on a tripwire and triggers an ambush with his last action! Three former Argo crewmen shamble out, armed to the teeth! Everyone has to make a Moxie save to not be "Surprised" -- they all pass, so fortunately nobody panics.

The Mastermind cuts in and takes his turn after Chief. The two zombiemen take potshots at Chief and miss terribly. The shotgunner, though, manages to pepper the rest of the squad with one shotgun blast. The attack yields little damage though, and everyone's mostly fine.

Adams then steps up and proceeds to MURDER EVERYTHING. Her first turn and she's already earning her stripes.

After looting the sector of all the gear they can find (and Mastermind holds his turn again due to lack of monsters), Chief opens the door to Sector B. The opposition here is...more unearthly. And unfortunately, Chief fails to hit anything, even with the Space Marine's "shoot/brawl re-roll once per turn" ability.

The Mastermind cuts in again: the imps and the zombie all single out Borg and ruin his shit.

At half-health, Borg gets fewer defend dice. He hasn't set foot in Sector B and already he's in trouble.

And because the module allows the Mastermind to teleport reinforcements into Sector B if the Doomers fail a scan, he drops a shotgun guy behind the bas-relief.

Adams comes to the rescue once again and blows the imp's face off with her new shotgun (she's earned it).

All the marines have Bonus Objectives to complete for promotions as well. Chief's (after swapping BO's with Borg at the start) is "My New Pet," which requires that he enslave a former human and lead him to the Exit Door alive. He successfully drugs the bastard and makes him join the Space Marines.

Then he makes his new friend shoot his own colleagues. He even spots another shotgun guy behind the bas-relief!

And also a locked door on the opposite side of the sector.

Adams and Borg clear out the sector, and after a few more botched scans, an imp teleports in at the end of the round.

Foolishly ignoring the imp, Chief and Borg opt to investigate the north door, finding their first Demon in a long, dark tunnel network. The darkness makes it more difficult to do much of anything, especially hitting targets.

Adams and Ellison, being young and stupid, decide to explore beyond the south door, and run into some real trouble. Adams manages to kill the Demon with one shot, then ducks out of sight. Unfortunately for Ellison, the Mastermind goes next, and the imps rain fiery pain down upon him.

Then the already-forgotten-about Bonus Imp nails Adams in the back, since his teammates couldn't reach her. Both Doomers are reduced to two defend dice from their injuries.

Meanwhile the zombieman pops a cap in Chief's new friend, spoiling his Bonus Objective. Then the demon homes in on Borg: the monsters get 1 move and 2 actions this round, so the demon can't reach him.

OR CAN IT? Demons and Specters have the "lunge" ability, allowing them to make limited ranged attacks to close the distance between their prey.

It fucks up Borg something fierce. He's down to 1 health and 1 defend die. That he survives at all is a miracle.

Meanwhile Ellison kills all the imps for their insolence. Finally Ellison accomplishes something! And Chief pops the Bonus Imp in the back.

Determined to prove that she's all bravado and no brains, Adams moves forward alone, toward the Switch on the lower level of Sector C.

That's when she finally notices the specters.

Which tear her in half.

Along with the rest of the squad. Game: Mastermind.

Never. Split. The party.

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I homebrew games and this is truly 'Wow!'. Its got a lot of the actual feel of the game while using board game mechanics properly. This fusion is top notch.

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Looks pretty cool. Reminds I used to play some games with miniatures with my brother. I think we used some lego structures or some random objects for obstacles...

Maybe for darkness, the character could aim longer time to hit better, or have some flares that can light an area for a few turns. Maybe plasma and fireballs can light an area for a turn. Muzzleflashes could also work.. if someone fires a weapon and doesn't move from the tile, then the darkness would have less effect. Getting closer to the enemy could also make it easier to hit.

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I'm still tweaking the rules and mechanics, but if they work consistently and the game is fun, I can probably do a "Hell On Earth" expansion adding Doom II stuff.

I think I solved the darkness issue: turns out the darkness is fine, and it's just that the specters were too tough. I'm making it so they're tougher to hit in the dark, but in the light you see them fine...but they also don't have to reveal themselves when they enter a Doomer's line of sight, unless the Mastermind makes them reveal with an action, or a Doomer accidentally shoots or bumps into one. So you can enter a room with a couple of monsters, kill them all, then move in to scan for goodies, thinking you've secured it...only to have three specters jump you.

I did have a little something in the rulebook about the darkness effect, stating that logical exceptions can be made. For example, Lost Souls are easy to spot in the dark and no harder to hit than in the light, because they're constantly on fire. Tough part of this project is balancing it so that the basic rules are concrete like a board game, but the players can still improvise like with an rpg, and invent or add things on the fly.

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This is very cool, man! Question: Is the board (floor cards) laid out ahead of time, or do the players flip over floor cards to discover what's there? (Like, the board/floor tiles start out face down, with monster cards under them, and when you choose to move, you can flip over a new tile to see what's there.) Is that how it works?

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This is one of the most fucking exemplary things I've seen in a long time.

You should make an expansion pack that adds more random encounters, some special theme/sidequest rooms, a few choice realm667 bestiary critters, and a few marine/scientist/medic hirelings that behave mainly like NPCs but the party of players can give them basic commands like "soak up damage", "heal me", "search for secrets", "help me disarm this trap", etc.

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Thanks for the kind words fellas!

kb1 said:

This is very cool, man! Question: Is the board (floor cards) laid out ahead of time, or do the players flip over floor cards to discover what's there? (Like, the board/floor tiles start out face down, with monster cards under them, and when you choose to move, you can flip over a new tile to see what's there.) Is that how it works?

Each mission has a map with the full layout, marking where everything first appears (monsters, furniture, elevation levels, etc), and labelling any areas with important flavortext or events. For simpler maps, the Mastermind can "reveal" each sector as the Doomers discover it. For more complex maps, he's advised to build the entire layout ahead of time, but without placing monsters or furniture until they enter the Doomers' line of sight. The latter can work for every mission: the Doomers might have a basic floorplan of the area, but no idea what's lurking in the halls, nor where the Exit is.

The trouble I'm having right now is a decent map format that's easy to read and easy for others to use, both when running the game and when making their own maps.

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Thanks guys.

Also if anyone does get the game built and plays a few missions, please do share a play-by-play or at least general impressions and feedback. It'd help me a lot!

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Wow! This looks great going to try and print it out today if not then sometime this week. I am working on making a D20 version of Doom and you've inspired me to continue on it. Hopefully I make some progress this week!

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Updated the rules a bit.

- Elevation levels give an attack bonus of +1 die.

- Failing a Surprise check reduces the Doomer in Rank based on the check difficulty (default 2): if this reduces him to Rank 0, he loses his next turn. At the end of each turn, he gradually recovers until he's back to his current rank...assuming nothing scares the piss out of him again.

- Better clarified the reason behind the "lower is better" system for rolling saves.

- "Blast" weapons deal 2 Hits in damage automatically to the target, plus blast damage.

- Collecting loot is faster and easier now. Markers only indicate special loot, such as keycards, and can only be collected if the Doomer occupies the same space; otherwise, loot is automatically taken when found.

- Doomers can freely pass items around. It only costs them an action to (un)equip weapons and armor.

- Mastermind always builds the full map at mission start, but does not furnish or populate it: the idea is that the Doomers have a basic floorplan of each area, but no idea where anything is. This makes it easier for the Mastermind to manage the game during a session.

- "Surprise" mechanic renamed "Shaken" which seems more universal.

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Another update following a playtest last night.

- Rank only determines how many dice you use for saves. Speed determines how many actions you get.

- "Beast" mechanic for monsters changed and refined.

- Space Marine class stats adjusted so they have an easier time shooting things.

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And I just realized the mission pack was an outdated version this whole time. Fixed.

Did a few more tweaks to the rules and cards while I was at it.

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Damn, do I have Outland references in this as well? That movie musta embedded itself deep in my subconscious when I saw it as a kid. (I even read the novelization...)

I guess I'm doing a hell of a lot of updates on this game lately. Right now I'm tweaking the weapon mechanics, and hopefully they'll work a little better as a result. For example:

Old Shotgun
You can divide the total damage among multiple targets.

New Shotgun
Up to 2 additional targets are damaged by the same shot if they are adjacent to the original target, at -1 Hit per additional target.

The fewest dice a Doomer can have for the shotgun is 4 (default 2 dice, plus 2 for the shotgun itself) for a maximum of 4 Hits on a good roll. I think the latter makes it more useful as a spread weapon, both for the Doomers and the Shotgun Guys.

This update and a few others will be added later in the week.

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Most recent build of the game is available for download in the OP. I believe the rules and mechanics are now much smoother and reliable.

All it requires now is someone insane and bored enough to build a copy for themselves...

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