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I recently had my 1st (solo) game of Roll Player, & while I was initially skeptical of how the puzzle aspect of the game would play out - especially without an opponent - I was pleasantly surprised by how good the game was!

While I only had one play & hence not qualified to do a full review, it did clear up a lot of the questions I had regarding the game prior to obtaining it. That's why I thought of creating a thread to 'answer' those questions myself in case anyone had the same doubts as I once did. Hope it helps!

But first here's my character:


My Human Paladin. I scored 31 points, achieving a Luminary (3rd) rank


1) How was the puzzle aspect of the game?
It was surprisingly difficult from the beginning till end. During early game, apart from backstory & class card, my decisions were also greatly influence by the market cards, & which attribute action to 'give up' as there weren't many dice to manipulate.

As the game progresses, while there were more dice to manipulate, the dwindling number of attribute actions made each line harder to complete, both in terms of having the EXACT number (& at times color) to reach the target range & the psychological difficulty of giving up an attribute action completely. However with enough effort it is definitely possible to complete most, if not all, of the attribute goals, though I'm not sure if this is the correct move per se (more on that later).


2) Was the economic system in the game tight enough, in terms of both gold gain & market cards? Or were you able to buy almost whatever you want?
IMO there are a lot of factors that could contribute to how tight gold was for you, especially in games of low player count since less dice would come out from the bag. For my playthrough I pulled out 2 gold dice at setup, & I was able to use my paladin's ability at least 7 times out of 12 rounds (+1 gold each round if alighment is at 3-star).

For that reason, IMO gold was slightly abundant for the 1st 3 rounds or so. I was able to purchase market cards without much consideration for their gold cost. During middle to late game, I did find myself constraint by the lack of gold, having to discard at least 3~4 market cards throughout for gold. Even then I rarely have more than 1~3 leftover gold after purchasing, & even spent round 11 discarding for gold. It wasn't because of the lack of gold dice either, though I often find myself choosing dice of other value/ color for my goals. It didn't help that some of the 2nd-stage market cards were more costly.

As for the random 'AI' market discard (depending on which initiative card you took, you roll & possibly remove 1 market card before purchasing), IMO they felt a lot more significant during early game, mostly due to a) me still forming a direction to approach the game with & b) the abundant gold, to the extent that I was sometimes giving up high pip (& initiative) dice just to be able to purchase a card 1st... & cursing for bad discards.

During the later stages, when gold was few, I sometimes find myself choosing dice without any consideration for the market, & only look at my options AFTER the AI discard. On hindsight this seems like a mistake, though at that point in time I really couldn't afford putting gold/ market 1st & using attribute actions to manipulate lower value dice. However as high-reputation traits are usually found in the 2-pip market cards, I suspect a different game approach - one with less emphasis on attribute goals but points from trait cards - was also viable.

All in all, the AI in a solo game works, have very little upkeep & could definitely influence your decisions instead of just limiting the market pool.


3) How were the skill cards? Did you find them important? Since there's only a few dozen of them, what's your opinion on their replayability?
As it was my first playthrough, I can't say much about the replayability or samey-ness, though I suspect they won't be an issue. The skill cards were strong, & without a doubt helped me achieve most of my attribute goals. However, due to the "one refresh per round" & alignment shift, I find myself rarely using each more than once or twice. Based on that & my (IMO) medium score, my initial impression is that they're important, but not so much that you want a handful of them... which is an easy trap to fall into due to how flashy they are compare to the other market cards.


4) What did you find unappealing in the game?
As hinted above & as expected, I did find the CHA attribute action (market card cost $1 less this round) the least 'useful' of all attribute actions. However despite the 1-reputation star of the CHA row + gaining the dedicated trait early, I did not rush to complete this row, though this maybe due to me not drawing a blue die during setup. This might change with a class that gives more RS for that row.


5) After finishing the game, what did you find most surprising?
One of the things that surprised me was how "low" my score was despite finishing FIVE of my attribute goals, & intentionally giving up on the 6th for a trait card. This was in addition to a perfect backstory & alignment, which made me think that maybe it ain't worth focusing so much effort (dice + skill cards) to complete them all, but instead diverse out.

Another surprising factor was how the end game was more than just points scoring & had its attraction as well. Now while I do care about a game's theme/ presentation, I wouldn't say I'm one to reflect deeply on how my game decisions fits thematically. Yet after scoring I find myself trying to come up with a coherent story for my character, & an ending based on my results. More importantly, I had fun generating the story! It was like a mini-game after the game, & while I didn't put in "thematic effort" on the cards I purchased throughout the game (again, mechanic > theme), the final story telling gave a sense of satisfaction to an otherwise typical "I win or I lose" ending.

In fact a part of the reason behind this thread is my urge to share my story with you guys! Sort of like a testament to the character I created whom I'm proud of



Here's the story of my Paladin:


Quote:
He was a hermit paladin; one who have long abandoned the empire he once served & devoted his life to the holy teachings. For this he has lead a life of seclusion from the outside world, with only the company of his sole son. However, this all changed when a mysterious illness came upon his child, placing him near death's grasp.

Armed with nothing but a leather pauldron of his own making, along with the acrobatic prowness & more importantly, the mental concentration of his crusading days, the old paladin decided to once again set foot on a quest to find a cure. Yet, years of isolation made him poor not only in wealth, but clumsy in the social workings of the outside world. Without any friends or gold to call his own, the old paladin was forced to use his cunning, intimidation & some slight of hand along his way if he ever hopes to succeed in his journey. "A necessary evil for the greater good", he persuaded himself, though at the great cost of not only his honor, but his sense of righteousness as a holy knight...



(Given my scoring rank of Luminary, I came up with the following ending)


... Despite his greatest effort, he was still too late, returning only to find the lifeless body of his child; cold as steel & pale as the snow now covering the land. Yet the old Paladin did not find anguish, but peace in his heart... For in his journey he had encounter countless individuals, many of which he had helped luminate their hearts, & will go on to enlighten the hearts of others in need. While himself has lost something precious, he has aided others in finding theirs; & in doing so, found the true meaning of being a holy paladin...



Hope you enjoy my story
Let me know if you have any questions/ comments & I'll get back to you as I can. Cheers!

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Joshua Nash
United States
Manor
Texas
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Excellent work! Very much appreciate this approach.
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Matt Smith
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Nice write up. I need to get this game to the table again soon.
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Keith Matejka
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Middleton
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Fun read. Glad you're enjoying it.

Keith
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Sea
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Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed my write up

I also added one more Q&A regarding my thoughts on the gold & market cards as well
 
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D R
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nice story, felt like you role played well
 
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