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An Educational Introduction to Role-Playing Games

Dungeon Dudes(tm): Animal Expedition

"Not Just Another Virtual Pet"

#51 #52 #53 #54 #55

Click on the picture for the character with which you would like to work.

Tell it to explore or search for animals to photograph.
Be the first to photograph 14 different animals!
Be careful because some of the wild animals might injure you! Eat and rest to regain hit points if you're injured.
Earn experience points, gain experience levels, and accumulate mass quantities of gold.
Print your character and battle your friends offline using the Dungeon Dudes Combat System.
Read on for sample lessons and rules explaining the combat system.

An Educational Introduction to Role-Playing Games

"Because A Dude's Gotta Learn Stuff"

The Dungeon Dudes: Animal Expedition is designed to be an educational introduction to role-playing games designed for grades 2-6.

Many people ask, 'What exactly is a role-playing game?' The answer becomes more difficult with each passing year. Role-playing games are every where in today's society. Many of them are as different from each other as are elephants and chihuahuas. When children play cops and robbers they are role-playing. When people use dice and a set of rules to create warriors that explore dungeons and battle dragons, they are role-playing. Many of the top selling computer and video games are role-playing games. Many psychologists use role-playing to help people work through various situations that they may encounter. The main element that is common to all of these types of role-playing is the element of 'play pretend.'

The Dungeon Dudes are a unique hybrid between computer role-playing games, pen-and-paper role-playing games, and games of tabletop battles using miniature figures. The computer interface allows the players to take on the role of a pretend character. The goal in this particular adventure is to take a picture of 14 different animals. In the process, the pretend characters will find gold and gain experience. Players can print their pretend characters in order to use them in offline battles, similar to many games that allow players to battle collectible miniature figures.

Many children begin playing RPG's for the purpose of having fun but accidentally find themselves becoming better at not just the three R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) but also at problem solving, budgeting, and interpersonal relations. This simple program demonstrates that the learning process does not have to be accidental, but can be made a direct part of the game itself. The aim is to make learning a truly fun process.

My introduction to role-playing games came when I was in third grade. Very few eight-year-olds can immediately calculate 10% of any given number, mentally add sets of 3 or more numbers, and understand terms such as Wisdom and Charisma. The idea of setting a budget came very quickly in the form of, 'How much equipment can I buy for 100 gold pieces?' or 'What would be more efficient, to buy a horse and a saddlebag or try to get by with a larger backpack?' Personal communication skills were learned not only by directly interacting with the other players, but also by role-playing the interactions between different characters. e.g. 'How will the shop owner react if I offer 10 gold coins for that horse that I need versus paying 30 without questioning it?'

Listed below are 1) definitions for some of the terms that players will encounter when playing the Dungeon Dudes, 2) rules for doing offline battles between two characters, and 3) a list of questions that can be answered by students who are playing Dungeon Dudes(tm): Animal Expedition. Teachers or parents can print these questions and require the players to answer them as they play. This set demonstrates only one possible way that educational material can be directly integrated into a role-playing game. If you are a teacher, school administrator, or business that would like to have a custom set of educational 'dudes' created, please contact Jeffrey A. Mills, DVM of Dimensions Game Software at

Good Gaming!

Sample Lessons

"Because A Dude's Gotta Get Smart"

Children can be given worksheets to fill out while they play the game. At the end of the time period, the students can print their characters and

Define the Following Terms


Draw lines from each word to the correct definition

MammalAn animal whose young develop in a pouch.
MarsupialAn animal that eats primarily plants.
CarnivoreA small mammal with paired incisors.
InsectivoreA mammal that has hoofs on its feet.
RodentAn animal that lives primarily in trees.
LagomorphAn animal that eats primarily insects.
PrimateAn animal that eats primarily meat.
UngulateAn order of mammals including humans, apes, and monkeys.
RuminantA hoofed mammal that spits up its food and chews it again.
ArborealA small mammal with incisor teeth used for gnawing.
HerbivoreA class of animals that nurse their young with milk.

Give an example of each type of creature



_____An arboreal creature lives primarily on the ground.
_____A chicken is a mammal.
_____A camel is an herbivore.
_____A ruminant spits up its food and chews it again.
_____An insectivore eats primarily plants.
_____A marsupial has a pouch.
_____A snake is a mammal.
_____A rabbit is a rodent.
_____An opossum has hoofs.
_____A wolf is a carnivore.
_____A mammal nurses its young with milk.
_____A bat is a flying mammal.
_____An herbivore eats primarily meat.
_____A rodent does not have any teeth.
_____An ungulate has hoofs.

Understanding Your Dungeon Dude

"Because A Dude's Gotta Know The Rules"

The Basic Stats

The Basic Commands

Understanding The Dungeon Dude Combat System

"Because A Dude's Gotta Fight"

Other Game Terms

Dude Vs Dude

The Basics:

Example: Zed (Attack 14 / +7, Defense 14 / +7, Hit Points 10) vs Bob (Attack 16 / +8, Defense 16 / +8). Both players roll a twenty-sided die. Zed's number is higher, so he is the Attacking Dude. Zed rolls a 12 and adds his +7 Attack Bonus to get 19. Bob rolls a 9 and adds his +8 Defense Bonus to get 17. Since a 19 is more than 17, Zed scores a hit and rolls a four-sided die (result is 3). Bob loses 3 hit points. Now, Bob becomes the Attacking Dude and Zed becomes the Defending Dude. In the next round, Zed is attacking, then Bob, then Zed, etc. until one of them faints. The last Dude standing is the Winning Dude. The Winning Dude can rest to regain its hit points then fight another Dude.

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