This is an area I have very limited experience with, but I have been toying with the idea of making a generic, boardless dungeon crawl type game. It would include RPG-Lite elements, campaign mode, experience upgrades, equipment upgrades, non-combat actions, etc.
I have only really played Heroquest, mice and Mystics, and some Frostgrave as a taster for this genre. However, I am pretty sure their are other great games and mechanics out there to steal from. Hence the thread!
What are some key components to make a really great Dungeon Crawl style game?
I think a good dungeon crawl should allow characters to show off their mighty abilities and feel slightly stronger as the game progresses, without removing the challenge of the game.
If you do something awesome and get rewarded with the ring of +1 hp but then the next monsters deal +1 extra damage than the previous, all of a sudden your reward becomes insignificant, it doesn’t make you feel stronger. That is the key, feeling stronger not being stronger necessarily.