Dungeons of Zennom

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Dungeons of Zennom
Alpha Project
Developer Ed Kolis
Theme undecided
Influences Angband, Final Fantasy Tactics
Released 2008 (alpha 1)
Updated 2008-08-28 (alpha 3)
Licensing undecided, probably permissive OSS like MSPL/LGPL/BSD
P. Language C#
Platforms Windows
Interface ASCII
Game Length undecided
Official site of Dungeons of Zennom


Dungeons of Zennom is a new roguelike in development by Ed Kolis using the libtcod-net library and all sorts of fancy C# stuff that is really superfluous but is great fun to use!

The latest version of Dungeons of Zennom is "alpha 3", available at the game's home page: [1].

The intent is to create an easily "moddable" roguelike, and one that incorporates an interesting skill system borrowed from the Final Fantasy Tactics games but not commonly used in roguelikes. And also to just have fun programming, too!

Equipment-Based Learning

This is the skill system used in Dungeons of Zennom. While not fully fleshed out implementation-wise (there are only 2 skills to learn so far and no way to equip or unequip items), what is intended is that a character can have multiple "roles" (classes/jobs/whatever), but only two of those can be active at a time: a "primary" role, and a "secondary" role. The primary role will determine which equipment can be equipped (so if you are a mage, you cannot equip a broad sword), what skills are learned, and what stats are increased when the hero returns from a trip into the dungeons having gained experience points. Skills may be magic spells, combat techniques, prayers, or whatnot - basically any activatable ability other than the basic "move around and bump into monsters" stuff.

In order to use a skill with this system, one must first wield an appropriate item. Say you have a "sunfire rod" which allows you to cast "solar flare" while you are a mage. You can cast solar flare as much as you like (well, as much as your MP reserves permit) so long as you are wielding the rod. But switch weapons or roles, and you will not be able to cast the spell anymore!

Enter skill mastery. If you gain enough experience points while wielding an item, you can "master" its skills. This means that you don't need to wield the item in order to use the skill anymore - you could then wield a "tempest rod" and cast "thunderstorm" or something. That is, so long as you are a mage! If you become a warrior, you can't cast your mage spells anymore; you can only use warrior techniques. (Unless, that is, you set "mage" as your secondary role, but that's not quite implemented yet!)

Modding the Game

While the game is still early in development, an effort is being made to keep the game "moddable" via an XML file. The structure of this file is of course constantly changing (since the game is under development), but play around with it (it's called DefaultMod.xml and it's located in the DungeonsOfZennom\DungeonsOfZennom\Bin\Release directory where the exe is) and see what you can do!