Popup Dungeon is all about creativity and fun, but it can be a bit at once much if you're not used to it. This page will help you, with or without completing the tutorial, to learn how to defeat enemies in combat and how to navigate the campaign system. If you've already played the tutorial and wish to learn more about content creation/download, charms or the story campaigns, you can skip the first part.
Starting Popup Dungeon for the First Time
Unless you've already seen some material about PUD and its campaign and battle system, it might be wise to (re-)start with the tutorial. To start any campaign or dungeon run, just click on the big treasure-box in the middle of the game menu, which will open up and present you with your game options. If you start PUD for the first time, this will be the only option you actually have, so go ahead and take a look.
If you play for the first time, you will notice that the character selection in the lower half of the box is locked, that the game mode is set to stories and the campaign set to tutorial. Later on, you can choose between different games, which will consist of one or multiple campaigns or runs, but for now, just hit the confirm button in the upper right corner twice to start the tutorial.
Once the tutorial starts, you will see the campaign mode of the game, which basically presents itself as a series of cards or nodes you navigate through. Click on a node to see its description and hit the button below the text panel to activate the node, possibly triggering a challenge, a level, a dialogue or just advancing another step down the road - it depends on the node. The first node to encounter is a dialogue node, introducing the helpful Ding Bat which will guide you through the tutorial and offer tips and details for most actions performed in the game in the lower left corner. Just click your way through the dialogue. Once you're finished, the card will close and you will move on to the next one(s). If multiple cards present themselves at once, you will have to pick one of them to continue - which might have lasting consequences for your run! In this case, your first choice is whether to continue or skip the tutorial (in case you've played PUD before or don't have the time now, you can return later to play the tutorial again).
Continuing the Tutorial
You can learn most of this if you just follow the Ding Bat's advice, but if you think you missed out a few details or want to be extra prepared, read on.
If you continue with the tutorial, you will now play your first level: This is where the action happens and battles are fought - good thing you have the Ding Bat at your side to help you navigate this place. You can click on any (unexplored) tile to move your party leader (in this case: Magnor) and explore new rooms. To move the camera, simply use the arrow keys or W, A, S and D. You can rotate the camera using Q and E or Z and C for a snapping turn. At last, zoom using the mouse wheel or R and F.
Once you run into an encounter, your enemies will be placed on the map and you get to plan your own deployment. During this phase, you can pick up Magnor and move him to any of the highlighted tiles (click to place) and set his orientation (click again while aiming in a certain direction). The Ding Bat will remind you of this, of course, and will also display this as a little tip in the lower left corner in case you forget about it (if you don't like this, you can disable these tips later on in Options - Game - Overlay UI).
Once you're satisfied with your deployment, you can hit the Battle button in the lower left corner to start the fight. But wait! There are a few more things to know before engaging the enemy, and The Ding Bat is about to explain them, so listen up (or skip the dialogue and read this instead).
Whacking with Wits - Stuff to Keep an Eye on
First of all, in the upper right corner, you will notice some round portraits showing the face of Magnor and the goblin. The order of these portraits (top to bottom) shows who will act first, second, etc. in each round - it is called the turn order. All heroes and enemies taking part in a battle are listed here and you might need to scroll down to see them all in bigger brawls. If you hover over a portrait the entity in question is highlighted, showing you its position on the battlefield. You can also access its character sheet from its portrait with a right-click tp learn about its abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Once an entity has acted in a round, its portrait will turn dark and move to the bottom of the list. The turn order is determined at the beginning of combat by the speed and initiative (which might change during a battle, altering the turn order) of each entity plus a random number between 1 and 20. It is key taking into account who acts first in any battle, but for the moment, don't stress about it, Magnor is well prepared for advancing enemies.
Above each entity's head, be it friend or foe, is, next to its name, a green health bar, a blue circle on its left showcasing the number of available Action Points (AP) and a green circle on the right side declaring the number of movement points left for this turn. Movement points tell you how much an entity can move in a single round, taking its current amount of AP into consideration (AP movement cost is determined by the mobility stat). Some entities might also show a little red box reading react, indicating that this entity (for example: Magnor) might act outside of his own turn!
Once it's time for Magnor's turn, you will notice three cards popping up at the bottom of the screen: These are Magnor's abilities in a fight and each one of them comes with an AP cost (blue seal, upper left corner) and a range (red seal, left side). If you hover over a card, you can inspect its details and you will probably notice that the game starts highlighting the goblin on the map - a recommendation on how to use this ability for maximum effect. For the moment, it is completely sufficient to just double click on any ability to execute it as recommended - later on, you can try dragging it to the right side of the screen: this will allow you to select the target and the user's final position in detail. This fine-tuning will become more important as your party grows (you can start most other campaigns with up to 5 heroes) and the positioning might become important - you don't want to block your caster's attacks with your warrior after all.
Back to the Campaign Table
After your second level, you will get the option to make your first challenge roll by picking The Enchantress' node. A challenge node forces you to roll a die to test for a certain outcome. How high you need to roll can depend on multiple factors but is often directly tied to your party member's statistics or it might be a straight roll. Whether you pass or fail this roll determines which node(s) you encounter next and thus your campaign options. In this case, you will just return to the previous choice of picking the Sarge or no one if you fail the throw, so don't worry and give it a try!
What Comes Next?
By now, you have either beaten or skipped the tutorial and you probably know how to navigate levels, the campaign table and how to beat goblins, kobolds and cats - what's next? Well, you might want to...
Do Another Run
For the beginning, you might want to test out different party combinations and explore the different tilesets the game has to offer. Just click on the game box in the main menu and browse through your game and hero options. To preview a hero's abilities and stats, simply rightclick his or her cubicle. If you want to add a hero to your party, drag and drop him onto one of the five slots in the upper middle of the box. Some heroes might show a golden ring once they're chosen: this indicates that they have multiple builds with different abilities and statistics you can choose. You can search for heroes by name, role or a certain statistic (say, earth power) - this search will automatically include different builds of heroes, so looking for Orin will show you all five Orin builds there are.
For starters, you could try and play an endless run which will take you through multiple levels spanning across all tilesets - offering you to end the after battle no. 3,6,9... You can also start one of the story-driven campaigns if you like a bit of roleplaying: Maybe take a look at Sweetwater or Run Home (this one includes some additional mechanics and lots of choices so you might want to start with Sweetwater first, it is more straightforward). For most runs, a party size of three to five heroes is recommended (if you pick more heroes, battles take longer as you encounter more enemies, but this will increase the amount of gold earned). You will usually need a nice mix of ranged and melee attacks and someone to support and heal your group. A balanced team could include Orin (ranged and AoE attacks), Claire or Nictodemus (healing and support/summoning) and Magnor (to prevent enemies from closing in on the others).
After a longer or especially difficult run, you might be awarded a charm token (and often enough gold to buy another one) - so go on and take a look at the Charm Menu. It wouldn't be a real adventure if you didn't get something out of it after all.
Getting and Equipping Charms
Throughout all levels you will find gold, either by beating fiendish enemies or destroying unsuspecting props, and once you have enough you can buy a charm token. Charms are a permanent boon you can equip to strengthen your party and most runs might award you with a charm token (and some gold, of course). Most campaigns and runs will adapt their difficulty to your party's power level, but some might have a static difficulty, making a good set of charms necessary in order to beat them. You can also combine charms to create better ones, see also here.
Modifying a Run
If you like a certain campaign or story, but feel it's too easy or too hard, you can add a game mode to it. The mode button will show up for any run you've beaten before and is right next to the confirm/start button. If a game mode changes the difficulty of a run, it will also adjust the reward accordingly - which is also a good way to earn some more gold.
Download New Content
If you can't wait to play with iconic figures from literature, movies or your best friend's creations you should take a look at the at the steam workshop. You can also directly download new campaigns and game modes, enemies, heroes and their equipment from the game's creation tools.
Create Your Own Content
The main feature of PUD is its content creation system, allowing you to modify and add to almost any aspect of the game: enemies and heroes, ability media and your very own campaigns and game modes. There are separate tutorials for each aspect, but in general, you might want to start with ability creation if you're planning on making a new hero or enemy, working your way up to equipment and media creation. Creating your own runs and campaigns can take quite some time and requires a lot of planning, but if you feel brave, take a look.