Dungeons & Dragons (Bally, 1987)

My first pin ... but not my last

Written by moomoocow, published July 9th, 2013. 8 comment(s).

After many bungled craigslist meets and failed ebay bidding wars... I finally picked up my first pinball, a beat up Dungeons and Dragons, from a nice guy who lived 5 miles away (and who helped me move it for a small amount as well!). The game plays fine, but one of the dragons lair holes is a bit sticky and if the ball gets stuck there, I sometimes have to remove he glass and manually activate the kickout.

The art is beautiful, the topper is majestic and as my first pin, I could not ask for more. The inlane/outlane combo is brilliant - but spoils life for other pins (I keep hitting the space below the flippers to stop outlane drains now!) The rules are a bit weird - as far as I can tell - the key to scoring is the targets - one set of the targets leads to a 400k ball drain bonus that lasts for all remaining balls! Multiball is the result of (1) trapping the ball in either "Wizard escapes" or "Warrior escapes" trap and then (2) getting into associated the "dragons lair" area and rolling down the accompanying ramp, releasing the locked ball - There are some other ways to get multiball, but I still haven't played enough to figure out exact rules for those.

The million point shot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTA6_Ovew14) is a cool idea, but execution is so difficult that it's really not worth it - especially given the points from the regular drop targets are pretty good.

That, combined with the fact that getting into the dragons lair area is a matter of luck (there is no direct shot from the flippers, and you must rely on bumper bounces feeding in) means gameplay is a bit limited to:

1. hitting drop targets

2. locking balls

3. going for mystical millions (too hard)

4. aiming at the bumper targets and hoping for dragons lair


5. blocking in/outlane drains as needed

While this is enough for me - many pinball afficiandos will likely find this mind-numbingly boring. I play pinball a couple of times a week, and I'm slowly teaching my 3 year old kid the mechanics of the game - combining quality family time with pinball :)

This my first (and only, for now) pin - and while I like other pins more (Getaway 2, e.g.), I doubt I'll ever sell this one - between the art, nostalgic associations with the theme and the pure rarity of the game - it's a keeper!


4 years ago
Very cool! I find your story interesting because, like you have already done, I am looking to get my first pin. Now that you have had yours for a few weeks are you still happy with it? Do you have any tips for a fellow noob?
4 years ago
If I ever get more space I've always wanted this pin, I love the theme - how is the rpg concept incorporated into gameplay at all or is it just cosmetic?
4 years ago
Congrats on your first pin! I too am looking to buy my very first whenever I either come across one of my favorites from my teens or a great deal on one I may not have even though of. Hope you continue to love it! :)
4 years ago
Thank you all for your encouragement - I still like the pin - we (3 yo son and me) play 2-3 times a week - I have a pachinko machine too which he plays, while I play pinball - we swap/help each other out once in a while.

The machine is big, especially with the topper - The RPG concept could be improved on - The concept of levlling up could have been used in a super cool way (but was not). The million point shot is somewhat cool but super hard.

Fr a noob, I'd say buy a cheap solid state machine (if I could have done it again, I'd have got a dot matrix, but those are a bit more expensive). Be sure you have transport figured out, coz' it's a pain! If you can get something in the sub 1500 range, just pick it up and see if (1) you like it (2) how often you play - I for example, play too rarely to justify a second machine - but the first machine gives me a lot of value.

If you have any other questions about buying a machine/the D&D machine, feel free to PM me! Thanks again for all your comments.
4 years ago
Congrats on your first! Now the sickness begins!
4 years ago
Welcome to pinside and congratulations on your first pin!
With regard to the dragon's lair holes being a bit sticky, check the switch below it. It sounds like it may not be adjusted quite right.
4 years ago
OK - so much for not justifying a second pin - I just got a 2nd machine .... a Space Invaders. Now, the kid and I can play at the same time!
4 years ago
Thanks for the tip Grossie - fixed it!

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