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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » Variants

Subject: Dynamic Hunt Phase and Quarry List rss

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Tim J
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Connecticut
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So I've been giving a bit of thought to how the hunt phase can be modified to add some challenge to a campaign. One idea I really like is that over time it becomes harder to find quarry. Let's say a settlement keeps targeting lions year after year. They've learned how to kill them effectively and it seems safe. Easy pickings, right? But how many lions are there? What if the prey starts to become scarce?

Then I made this: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3251494/synik224

I'd like to discuss this idea and the rule modifications I came up with. In general I like the idea that over time your settlement has wiped out all of the easy quarry targets and they need to step up to bigger targets. As a bonus, none of it is complicated to implement and there are no additional components required.

The general idea behind this is after fighting a quarry monster, it'll move one space further away from the start space if you're successful. If you're not, it'll move one space closer to help you out. As an example, let's say you kill a L1 white lion. It'll go from 4 spaces away to 5. If you kill another it'll go beyond Overwhelming Darkness. Then, because the L1 lion shares the same starting location as the L2 lion, it'll no longer be available as quarry. You can only hunt L2 or higher lions.

I did modify the Flower Knight's hunt track so you could fight it more than once per monster level. The start location for the group was chosen so that the number of spaces between the first encounter at L1, L2 and L3 has to cross the same number of spaces on the hunt track. It seemed like a reasonable compromise.

I put out a bunch of different examples for some difficulty modifications I was thinking of to demonstrate how this could be an interesting way to play around with campaign difficulty.

So let me know what you think? Interested in giving it a try? Anything you think you'd add, change, or remove?
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Matt Onyx
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So... You only get to hunt two level 1 white lions before they're extinct? Assuming both succeed. That's kind of insane, I can't think of a single campaign (barring new game+) that's ready for a l2 white lion on ly3/4.
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Tim J
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Assuming both Lion hunts succeed, yea, you'd get two plus the prologue Lion before you had to fight a level 2. That doesn't mean you have to fight a L2 White Lion at LY3 though. The Screaming Antelope opens up in LY2 so you could just fight a L1 Screaming Antelope, which allows for 3 encounters at L1 before it is extinct and you have to fight a L2.

Lets say you didn't hate yourself and decided not to sign up for all Nemesis Encounters being Special Encounters, that means you'd skip a year of hunting to deal with the Butcher. In this scenario the L1 White Lion and Screaming Antelopes will carry you to LY7, but that's when the Phoenix becomes available. Then you have a fun choice...What are you more comfortable fighting, a L2 White Lion, a L2 Screaming Antelope or a L1 Phoenix.

Let's say you decided to switch to fighting L1 Phoenixes. You get 2 years of that, which carries you to the King's Man encounter. So starting in LY10 the only option left is L2 Quarry.
 
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Tim J
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Thanks for the feedback, Fen. I agree with a few of your points, and others are assumptions I think you've added as part of thinking about it.

Quote:
First of all, the prologue White Lion is essentially a generic monster in regards of resources. With the exception of certain high impact resources (Sinew, Whiskers, Eye) they are all used to innovate + build generic gear from the BS/OG/Skinnery. So it's not worth considering the Prologue white lion as a white lion at all. Instead it's more like a third of a White lion at best. That's not enough WLs.

Secondly, sets of armor are rarely gathered in 2 fights, it's on average 3-4 fights to get a complete set of monster specific gear with good crit farming. So you're creating a campaign where everyone will mass up in Rawhide and then Leather before moving on towards Lantern Armour. You're decreasing diversity in gear with your attempts to increase diversity in hunt levels. It's a limiting system.


I 'd agree this is limiting gear choices in the early game by forcing you to prepare for the L2 monsters. You need to do something to survive. I don't think that's bad, though. Once you've climbed that wall, it opens back up though. I already like the fact that it forces you to re-prioritize gearing. Once you're killing L2 mobs, you'll have a good chunk of resources to make your sets, assuming you live.

In regards to the system being limiting, I'd argue a lot of the game is limiting. You have limited resources every year that are drawn randomly. Do the best you can, but maybe not what you wanted. Limiting. You get 4 survivors with 9 gear locations. Limiting.

Quote:
Certain Expansion monsters, who require multiple hunts at the same level are not good here. The Dung Beetle Knight (who is virtually unkillable at level 3) is a prime example, the design of that monster is about learning how to fight it at level 2. The Sunstalker is likewise hampered, you generally need to kill the level 2 three or four times to build a variety of key items in it's gear grid. The Gorm is another one, you do not want to fight the level 3 more than once or twice in a campaign but the Gorment armour generally takes 5 to 6 hunts (including level 2s) to make. You're trying to fix a problem you see in the game, but really the problem is with the core monsters, there is little value in killing lvl2+ versions of the WL/SA/P as the rewards are garbage (Elder Cat Knife, Spear of Longinus and The crown).


I'll admit I haven't played with all of the expansion monsters yet, but I'll point out if you want you can just hunt with more than 3 Quarry monsters and you'll never need to see a L3 DBK or hunt a L3 Gorm more than once. The point of this idea was to provide a way to adjust difficulty if it was desired. I'd say if people aren't interested in playing around with the difficulty, this variant wouldn't be for them.

I think though you're thinking I did this to get people to fight L2 monsters and that's really not the case. I just wanted a way to play around with difficulty, forcing different gearing paths and decisions and mix things up. I primarily play solo, so the game is like a big sandbox for me. I just wanted to mess with the parameters a bit. Also, for what its worth, I think the L2 WL and L2 SA are fine. I always walk away with more than just L1+2 resources when I fight them and its a more interesting fight. I got my campaign win a little bit ago, so I've scratched that itch. Making it to the Watcher is cool, but I want some good hard fights along the way. I know as I keep integrating expansion material I'll get some of that, this seemed fun too.

Quote:
The Phoenix is another issue, the level 1 is basically equivalent to a lvl 2 White Lion/Antelope and the level 2 Phoenix is around as tough as a lvl 3 White Lione/Antelope. So the escalation in difficulty is far higher than you're giving it credit for. The level 3 phoenix is also prone to causing timeline resets, that will be a source of frustration for players forced to fight it over and over.


This is assumption town. I know the L1 Phoenix isn't a walk in the park. I'm willing to bet I'm not the only idiot that walked in there LY7 on their first campaign and got TPK'd. The point I'm making is I think a choice between L2 WL, L2 SA and L1 Phoenix at LY7 is interesting. I don't think any of those are safe at LY7. Also, in a WL, SA, Phoenix game, you'd never have to fight a L3 Phoenix. The numbers work out so that with Nemesis encounters the L1-L3 WL, L1-L3 SA and L1-L2 Phoenix is 24 hunts. Or just add a 4th quarry. Or count Overwhelming Darkness as a viable space for the monster. This concept is very flexible intentionally.

Quote:
Finally, I don't think you've really considered what this does to the campaign monster progression in the mid to late game. Level 3s are horrific to fight and generally are beyond most settlements until the very late game. In addition your variant means more and more hunts will end in starvation (unless they have settlement watch). Ending in a deeply unsatisfying end game where almost nothing is huntable because the monsters keep fleeing off the end.


I agree with you about the L3's running off and Settlement Watch being a solution. Given that it requires people to own an expansion though, adding in a way to proxy that into the core game is something that would need to be addressed.

Again, thanks for the feedback. I had no illusions about this being for everyone, but that wasn't the point. I wanted a way to adjust the difficulty of a campaign that was more interesting (at least to me!) than +X hp, +X dmg, +X spd, +X toughness, etc. I like thinking about what I'd do differently knowing that I have to kill a L2 or a Phoenix in LY7.
 
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Matt Onyx
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I understand you want to increase the levels quickly, but it feels more like "Well, the white lion is level 2. We're not ready for that, you guys want to just write off four nameless survivors and skip this year?"
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Nick Wirtz
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Well put, fen.

I'd been down on the spidicules because it required defeating a l3 for the armor set, but that was in the context of the core monsters, not in relation to a new design model.

I think you're right, that unique rewards might be an appropriate incentive for higher-level monsters, since I've similarly been trying to figure out what combination of reward or pressure might incentivize that.
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