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Thornwatch» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules Questions and Feedback rss

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culix _
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Hey I have some rules questions. Is this a good place to ask?

1. The 'Coordination' Greenheart skill reads "Rotate 1 ally’s momentum card to its vertical position. That ally takes another turn this round".

Does this mean the newly untapped ally should take a turn right after the Greenheart's turn ends? If they were turned sideways, presumably that means they've already acted during the round. The Momentum rules say "The next turn always is indicated by the card nearest the root of the momentum track that has not been rotated", so this sounds like after the Greenheart you pick the just-rotated ally that is closest to the root.

2. The 'Second Chance' Blade skill reads "Take 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand". Does this mean the Blade gets to choose which cards to take? Do you always take the top 2 cards?

3. Can I please request a Judge ability/spell that lets me move an enemy's Momentum card up after Momentum has been dealt? This would be beautifully evil devil, but a nice way to set up some encounters. For example, in the Hunted scene it's great if the Gliders can act first and knock the heroes back.

I'm thinking maybe we could have a moderately expensive spell to adjust a single Momentum card up 1 spot, or a very expensive spell that lets the Judge re-shuffle and re-deal the entire Momentum track.

4. How open should the Judge be with monster rules and abilities? Should all monster abilities be visible to the players in advance and known at all times?

For example: the Swamp Choir adjusts their Momentum when more and more heads are killed. Should the Judge let the players know in advance so they can plan? Or is that intended as a surprise?

5. I'm guessing with all of the player cards and combinations one of the design goals is to reward system mastery for players that learn how to play well. Is that correct? What about rewarding system mastery for the Judge? Is the intent that anyone should be able to pick up a scene and play the Judge roll easily, to dish out a difficult encounter for players? Will there be any room for Judges to learn more about how to run certain scenes or monsters to make them most effective?

I would find this most satisfying if both players and Judge had some depth to improve their system mastery. That feels like it would be most rewarding for a victory if both sides had pulled off lots of smart moves, were counter-maneuvered, and then still made it to victory

6. I'm guessing you've already thought of this, but what do you think about having the Judge play as a deck of cards too? It's the obvious symmetry with the player mechanics, but I'm just wondering if there were any design goals or reasons for why you chose *not* to have the Judge play as a deck of cards.

Personally I strongly vote to *not* have the Judge use a deck of cards. It's one less thing to remember, and I think the Judge role is more fun and meaningful if they have their full array of options in front of them at all times. I'd strongly prefer a game where the players feel like they won because they were smart and used good strategy than a game where the players won simply because e.g. the Judge drew a bad hand of cards. But I love hearing about the design behind this game

Thanks for your time!
 
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Eddie Janes
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1. Your interpretation sounds right. The newly un-tworped character gets to go next.

2. I assume you get to pick.

3. I would not be surprised to see this in some scenarios/storyboards.

4. You can probably play either way, but I assume this is open information.

5. See recent KS updates about the role of the judge that discuss this very topic.

6. Again, check out the links here and on the KS of the various interviews that the Mikes and the other designers have given over the past few weeks. A lot of the design decisions have been made open which is a really neat aspect of this game and the teams involved.

If you have more specifics, shoot the team an email as they are wanting feedback from people who have played with the PnP.

I'm so looking forward to playing more Thornwatch!
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Eddie Janes
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Also for 6. While I don't think Decks will be a part of the Judge's arsenal in Thornwatch, I would not be surprised to see something like this show up in Lookouts or Daughters.
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Mike Selinker
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culix wrote:
Hey I have some rules questions. Is this a good place to ask?

1. The 'Coordination' Greenheart skill reads "Rotate 1 ally’s momentum card to its vertical position. That ally takes another turn this round".

Does this mean the newly untapped ally should take a turn right after the Greenheart's turn ends? If they were turned sideways, presumably that means they've already acted during the round. The Momentum rules say "The next turn always is indicated by the card nearest the root of the momentum track that has not been rotated", so this sounds like after the Greenheart you pick the just-rotated ally that is closest to the root.

2. The 'Second Chance' Blade skill reads "Take 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand". Does this mean the Blade gets to choose which cards to take? Do you always take the top 2 cards?

3. Can I please request a Judge ability/spell that lets me move an enemy's Momentum card up after Momentum has been dealt? This would be beautifully evil devil, but a nice way to set up some encounters. For example, in the Hunted scene it's great if the Gliders can act first and knock the heroes back.

I'm thinking maybe we could have a moderately expensive spell to adjust a single Momentum card up 1 spot, or a very expensive spell that lets the Judge re-shuffle and re-deal the entire Momentum track.

4. How open should the Judge be with monster rules and abilities? Should all monster abilities be visible to the players in advance and known at all times?

For example: the Swamp Choir adjusts their Momentum when more and more heads are killed. Should the Judge let the players know in advance so they can plan? Or is that intended as a surprise?

5. I'm guessing with all of the player cards and combinations one of the design goals is to reward system mastery for players that learn how to play well. Is that correct? What about rewarding system mastery for the Judge? Is the intent that anyone should be able to pick up a scene and play the Judge roll easily, to dish out a difficult encounter for players? Will there be any room for Judges to learn more about how to run certain scenes or monsters to make them most effective?

I would find this most satisfying if both players and Judge had some depth to improve their system mastery. That feels like it would be most rewarding for a victory if both sides had pulled off lots of smart moves, were counter-maneuvered, and then still made it to victory

6. I'm guessing you've already thought of this, but what do you think about having the Judge play as a deck of cards too? It's the obvious symmetry with the player mechanics, but I'm just wondering if there were any design goals or reasons for why you chose *not* to have the Judge play as a deck of cards.

Personally I strongly vote to *not* have the Judge use a deck of cards. It's one less thing to remember, and I think the Judge role is more fun and meaningful if they have their full array of options in front of them at all times. I'd strongly prefer a game where the players feel like they won because they were smart and used good strategy than a game where the players won simply because e.g. the Judge drew a bad hand of cards. But I love hearing about the design behind this game

Thanks for your time!


Sorry, we were a little busy the last couple days.

1. Every time you try to determine who goes next, pick the card closest to the root. So if a card to the left of the person that just acted is suddenly upright, that card is going next.

2. Any two.

3. The Judge already has this. It's called Apex Predator: "Spend OOO when resolving momentum to move an enemy momentum card 2 spaces toward the root."

4. So far we've always played it open. However, I admit I have never had a player who asked "Can I see the enemy's rules card?" nor have I ever seen a Judge object to it. We'll see whether players do that or not in testing.

5. Guaranteed to happen.

6. Not likely to happen. The Judge already has a million things to worry about without getting a deck of cards to handle.
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culix _
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Hey Eddie, nice work - it looks like you were completely right
 
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culix _
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Hey Mike, thanks for the reply! No worries about timing of course

This is great, thanks. The rules match how I thought they should work. I'm not sure if it's intended, but the "Hunted" scene seems to be a good instance of system mastery for the Judge.


One other question:

7. In the "Signs and Portents" scene, is the number of objective tokens the players gain intended to determine the outcome of the adventure? Or is it merely a mechanic for denying the Judge ebb? The scene ending text says "the Thornwatch have found the way forward", and "pick one of the following", so by-the-text it doesn't seem to have any effect. Was this just to make it easy for the print-and-play?

You likely have this already, but what do you think about having the number of objective tokens the Thornwatch capture help determine success or failure? An easy mechanic would be a target number, like "the Thornwatch succeed if they have captured four or more objective tokens". That's simple, but may be anticlimactic, as the party loses interest as soon as they reach the number. Something more fun might be "For each objective token the Thornwatch capture, roll 1 die. If the Thornwatch roll three or more total successes, they succeed". This could keep players interested in playing to the end, because each token rescued increasese the change of success and is worthwhile, but success is never guaranteed.
 
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culix _
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Two other questions that came up during recent sessions:


8. Can the Judge buy more monsters than are included in the print-and-play? e.g. Can I print off more Glider pawns and buy them too? Or is there meant to be a monster limit?

9. What happens if a player casts a terrain effect in an area that already has an active Thornwatch terrain effect? Are they prevented from using the ability? It does nothing? Can you choose to overwrite one active terrain effect with a second one?

For example: the Sage had already cast Bridge of Ages, and wanted to cast Grasping Vines on top.

Personally I vote for overwriting and replacing with a new effect - that gives the players the most choice and seems like the most fun
 
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culix _
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Okay, a few more questions from a recent session.

10. The terrain card Murky Depths says "To leave this space, heroes must spend both an action and their move". The Blade ability Run-Hit says "Move 1 space before or after this attack". Does that mean if a Blade is standing in an area with Murky Depths they can't move out of the space to perform their attack? Or do they get to move out for free?

11. The Briarlock ability Bolt of Respite says "may return up to 2 wounds from their hand or deck". Does this mean the player gets to go searching through their deck to pick any wound cards they want? Does it only apply to wounds sitting on top of the deck?

Thanks for your time!
 
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