Start by setting up the Dungeon Deck: Separate the Entrance (), Rooms (), Encounters (), and Lair Door () Cards, and shuffle each deck. Then:
A. Draw cards from the Room deck based on hero count: 2 heroes: 9 cards, 3 heroes: 7 cards, 4 heroes: 5 cards (Deck A).
B. Draw 1 card per Hero from the Encounter deck and 3 cards per hero from the Room deck, shuffling them together without revealing them (Deck B). For example, for 4 heroes, draw 4 cards from the Encounter deck and 12 cards from the Room deck.
C. Draw 3 cards from the Room deck and shuffle them with the Lair Door Card, forming a deck of 4 cards. (Deck C)
D. Stack the 3 decks facedown: Deck C on bottom, B in the middle, and A on top. Place this combined Dungeon Deck on the table.
E. Return all unused Room and Encounter cards to the box.
F. Place the Entrance Card faceup in the center of the table.
G. Draw 4 cards from the top of the Dungeon Deck, placing them facedown on all 4 sides of the Entrance. Note: there should be enough space for a 7x7 grid of cards centered on the Entrance called ‘the grid.’
H. Place 1 Altar Marker onto its matching symbol on the Entrance Card.
I. Set aside additional Altar Markers equal to the number of heroes (return any unused markers to the box).
J. Place the Torch Mat on the table outside of the grid, Act 1 side up. Leave space around the mat to place cards into the Goblin () and Minion () slots.
K. Place the Torch Marker on the space at the top of the mat’s track with the number that matches the number of heroes. For example, in a 4-hero game place it on the ‘4’ space.
L. Shuffle the Goblin and Minion Cards, forming 2 separate facedown decks near the Torch Mat.
M. Place the 4 Goblin Tokens next to their matching numbers on the Torch Mat.
N. Place Enemy Health Markers equal to the number of heroes near the Minion Deck (return any unused markers to the box).
O. Shuffle the Boss Mats, draw one without revealing it, and place it Act 1 side up, outside the grid (return unused mats to the box without revealing them).
P. Place the Boss Token next to that Boss Mat.
Q. Shuffle the Loot Cards and Spell Cards, forming 2 separate facedown decks outside of the grid. Note: there should be an area next to each deck for a row of cards to be placed that won’t overlap the grid.
R. Give each player a Hero Mat: Players may choose a specific hero, be randomly dealt one, or be dealt several and choose one (returning all unused to the box).
S. Each player places their hero’s Miniature onto the Entrance Card.
T. Each player takes 1 Health Marker () and 1 Focus Marker (), placing them onto their tracks on their Hero Mat at the highest-numbered spaces.
U. Place the 7 Disarm Markers in reach of all players.
V. Give the 3 Hero Dice and 1 Enemy Die to the youngest player to take the first turn.