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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Official FAQ/Errata? rss

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Edwin Santoni
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Davie
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So the Flying Frog website seems to be abandoned outside of their webstore, is there any official FAQ's or errata list anywhere for this game? Lot of questions, and this forum is packed with lot of conflicting info and uncertain rulings.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I have been stalking Jason's replies to rules questions as best I could and I have compiled them into an unofficial FAQ located in the City of Ancients Wiki

Right here
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David Griffin
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Most of these clarifications are solutions to problems I don't have. That being the case, I'd say play it as you want to and don't worry too much about what Flying Frog thinks the rules should be. Maybe I've been corrupted a little by Myth's attitude to the rules but what matters is having fun.

If YOU think the Rancher or the Gunslinger is too powerful, by all means use these corrections or come up with your own, but if not, well any company that doesn't bother to put out an official FAQ probably doesn't care how you play as long as you keep buying their stuff right?
 
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Jee Fu
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carbon_dragon wrote:
If YOU think the Rancher or the Gunslinger is too powerful, by all means use these corrections or come up with your own, but if not, well any company that doesn't bother to put out an official FAQ probably doesn't care how you play as long as you keep buying their stuff right?

They care, they're just too busy to get to it right now. Jason is probably the only one could oversee such a behemoth and until the KS is fulfilled, the community won't tolerate anything else coming from them (which is kind of an bad attitude for the community to have, since KS fulfillment and game-design don't really share a resource pool).

That being said, FFP is definitely OK with you making up house rules to fill in whatever gaps you may find.

Personally, it does drive me a little crazy when the official comprehensive rules for a game aren't easily accessible. I have a running list of "Things to Ask FFP at Gen Con" that I slowly amass over each year of playing their games, only to unleash it upon them when they're at their most vulnerable. I feel sorta bad about it ha, but ... I want to play the game they created, and being forced to make up rules just to keep things moving along feels a little like having to draw on a painting I bought because some of it wasn't colored in.

But hey, I know plenty of people who love to color so ... to each his own!

- Jee
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Most of these clarifications are solutions to problems I don't have. That being the case, I'd say play it as you want to and don't worry too much about what Flying Frog thinks the rules should be. Maybe I've been corrupted a little by Myth's attitude to the rules but what matters is having fun.

If YOU think the Rancher or the Gunslinger is too powerful, by all means use these corrections or come up with your own, but if not, well any company that doesn't bother to put out an official FAQ probably doesn't care how you play as long as you keep buying their stuff right?


I completely agree with the mentality of do what you want in a home game. But there should be support on their website. It's important for growth of their products and community. I've had to do research on basic things that should be pretty available to new people joining the game.

Examples:
There should be an explanation on their site about what elements to not use when combining the core sets, since this is universally suggested by about everyone to own both.

There should be suggestions on what expansions are for new players and which ones are intended for more advanced players.

As mentioned above, there should be a FAQ.

Having an official FAQ will alleviate issues if and when someone from our community wishes to actually run this game at a convention or local game store. It's just common sense and good business strategy. That's why you see almost every other company operate this way.
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Neil Edmonds
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Expansions like Frontier Town and the introduction of ranged enemies indicate the rules are a bit fluid as new exceptions/holes are discovered when integrating new and older content.

The rancher was brought up as being OP, but that extra attack after killing an enemy figure is by design. Jason said at a demo that the character is supposed to be streaky, much like those old westerns when a crackshot takes out several opponents at once.
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David Griffin
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I've played maybe 5 games so far with the Rancher in every game. I have had 1 streak where she cleared 5 or so enemies. Those games included a gunslinger too, which had fast draw and which has been good, but not overpowered next to the Rancher, the Lawman, and the Saloon Girl who, with her two handed axe has one-shotted large monsters on more than one occasion.

The Gunslinger and the Rancher are good, but but not atypically so. My rancher just got a third shot which I'm looking forward to. My gunslinger does have the trusty pistol, but that only gives him 3 shots from agility and getting agility bonuses is pretty tough to do for that class.

So far I just don't see the problem. Based on my YouTube viewing of the guy doing an outlaw class long term play, THAT class is at least as powerful than my gunslinger. It does have a real problem with very high defense that needs criticals which it can't easily do, but I don't think even that class is overpowered. The company has actually done a pretty good job of making ALL the classes viable.

In normal RPGs, you need all the character classes in a good party. They all have their role. The fighters are the tanks and damage dealers, the Clerics heal, the mages deliver area attacks. If you're worried about unequal experience, just pool the experience. That's what I do most of the time. Any of the classes can get hot if it gets the EXACT right mix of gear, that's the fun of the game.
 
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Andreas Lieberoth Wadum
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There is a lot of randomness in this game, so I'm having a hard time assessing the real balance issue. To me theme and game experience is more important, but still: In my experience from 3 campaigns, the gunslinger is a bit unbalanced, but mostly because he's annoying to have in a party. Not because he's OP by all other measures.

It's not that he will get all the XP (although the "xp for a damaging hit" favors characters who can get a lot of shots off quickly rather than those holding a big armor piercing canon!), but that he consistently steals the thunder from slower characters in new encounters. So for me he's a problem for shared game enjoyment, because some players never get to shine, rather than an issue of mechanical balancing.

We now play with shared mine xp rewards, and have considered doing a dice roll for initiative so our Scout, Rancher and Bandido can get to go first sometimes.

If the XP rules are ever revised, I hope they will somehow reward playing the role of the tank, and make calculations simpler than the "how many times did I hit"-stuff that goes on now.

OK, end of slightly OT rant
 
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Ryan

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I admit it. I am a rules nazi. I love everything to be organized and codified in a rulebook and I hate house rules because my OCD makes me feel like I am cheating. I love this game, but there are some rules that really need to be officially clarified. I wish that flying frog would allow for a volunteer community rules liaison position. I would do it, and I am sure there are several people active in the community that would also jump at the chance. We need someone who can draft an official FAQ and dole out official answers to rules queries. I own TONS of games, and for me, Shadows of Brimstone stands out among them as having the real potential to be a long lasting classic. Just need more support, in the form of a web site overhaul and community liaison.
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Eric Harman
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I imagine they'll start considering working on an official FAQ once everything else is done.

The backers would loose their minds if ffp published an FAQ before finishing fulfillment.
 
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Ryan

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Sorry, but I really disagree. The game is out for retail sales. Most established game companies release FAQS and rule clarifications shortly after release. Shadows of Brimstone has been out for public consumption long enough to deserve the same level of attention. This issue is separate and not in any way related to the kickstarter project.

As a side note, I am a backer and would not lose my mind if they created a FAQ before they finished fulfillment. Not speaking for other backers, but for me, I understand this is a MASSIVE project from a company that has done everything they can to keep things moving forward. I am fine with the delays. My personal opinion is that the game needs someone actively working on the rules with the community to keep people engaged. I'm not talking about a huge investment of time, maybe a couple hours a week.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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Quote:
I admit it. I am a rules nazi. I love everything to be organized and codified in a rulebook and I hate house rules because my OCD makes me feel like I am cheating.


But you're not playing it "wrong", you're dealing with an ambiguous situation in the game. So long as you deal with the rules problem honestly and consistently from game to game, you're playing it "right" until the game designer issues an official correction. I'd also say you're playing the game "right" if you resolve the rules problem and then later discover a solution that you prefer compared to the initial ruling you made; since you used critical thinking and experience to discover a better solution.

This type of thinking is a requirement for Role Playing Games and there's definitely RPG aspects to Shadows of Brimstone.

Quote:
I wish that flying frog would allow for a volunteer community rules liaison position. I would do it, and I am sure there are several people active in the community that would also jump at the chance.


There's nothing stopping you from cataloguing the list of problems with the games rules. I did this with Defenders of the Realm: Dragon Expansion and got very good results from Eagle/Gryphon Games.

Quote:
I own TONS of games, and for me, Shadows of Brimstone stands out among them as having the real potential to be a long lasting classic. Just need more support, in the form of a web site overhaul and community liaison.


And there's the rub, each customer want's something different. I've heard people saying the game needs a structued campaign system and story in order to be a long-term classic with no mention of websites or community liasons. The game is what it is (the designer's "vision"); but there's nothing stopping you from modifying the game to bring it closer to what you want it to be.
 
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Ryan

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You are absolutely right. The whole dislike of house rules is a personal thing, and I totally own that. Some people come up with some great variants, many of which are really professionally done. Its weird, because we play a lot of RPGs too, and even when I am running those, I dislike house rules. I can gloss over issues during a session, but afterwards I'll invest large amounts of time delving through rules and forums to find the "official" resolution.

My game group has started a list of rules we don't fully understand or are not really addressed and we have house ruled them because they're ambiguous. I just personally want an official FAQ. I am not trying to exert my will and desires onto other people. Just expressing my own view.

Things like when can you spend grit or how changing equipped slotted items works is left undefined by the rules, so we had to come up with answers.

I agree that everyone wants something different from their gaming experience and the company can only do so much. Things like their website being really outdated goes beyond my personal opinion though and into the realm of provable fact. ;-)
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Neil Edmonds
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Thank you.

I can attest to the power of cataloguing errors and rules questions. Publishers and designers have limited time, so anything that makes addressing customer needs easier or more accurate will get higher priority. It's also important to do the cataloguing early in the product lifecycle, since it's hard to get changes made once a product's been out in retail for a few years.

All of this advice isn't a guarantee that any or all of the errors you report will be addressed, but it's the most constructive way to encourage the publisher and designer to do so.
 
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Jee Fu
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rakur wrote:
You are absolutely right. The whole dislike of house rules is a personal thing, and I totally own that. Some people come up with some great variants, many of which are really professionally done. Its weird, because we play a lot of RPGs too, and even when I am running those, I dislike house rules. I can gloss over issues during a session, but afterwards I'll invest large amounts of time delving through rules and forums to find the "official" resolution.

I am the same way. You are not alone.

rakur wrote:

Things like when can you spend grit or how changing equipped slotted items works is left undefined by the rules, so we had to come up with answers.

I can't really help you with Grit (and I tried, oh believe me I tried - my Grit codifications have their own thread somewhere around here), but equipment-changing actually does have an official ruling buried in the Cynder Rulebook. It says you can only change Clothing Items at the Start of the Turn. Since Cynder was put out later than Core, we can assume this is a meant to be a restriction solidification to the old version of "any time you want to swap, outside of a combat" rules that the Core RAW put forth (although the Core RAW did mention this restriction for Items with Hand-Icon requirements). So basically, anything carried on your person that you want to be able use has to be declared equipped at the Start of Turn, combat or no.

If - however - you're talking about swapping items that go in sockets (or "Upgrade Slots"), you're allowed to do that at any time between 2 discrete game events as long as

a) the upgrades came from a non-cursed Gear/Artifact
(and not from Town/Ability)

and

b) the upgrades aren't currently in the process of being threatened. So, once you know for certain that you're about to discard an Item, you can no longer un-socket it and save the Upgrade. An example of this would be the Travel Event "Harried by Hellbats" (now only the 2nd worst Travel Event!). You have to roll for all your Dark Stone (including Items) to see if Hellbats snatch them up (discard on the roll of a 1 each). You can un-socket stuff before you start rolling, but once any dice hit the table you lose the chance until its fully resolved.

Sidebar on Harried By Hellbats: Can you Grit these rolls? My current understanding says "No" because its something that isn't based on your stats or a choice to pay for the right to roll (like Surgery or Bandaging someone). But I could see an argument for the roll representing your Hero trying to hold on tight, rather than just an abstraction for whether or not Hellbats manage to snipe it while you aren't looking.

- Jee
 
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