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Subject: Two possible variants... rss

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Derek Long
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I have been considering two possible variants to extend the quest/adventurers part of the game a little.

Heroes:

After each quest is completed, the player selects one of the adventurers that completed the quest to become a hero. A hero is placed in a separate pool from the rest of the adventurers (I am planning to create a small holding tile).

When a player has the option to recruit, that player may recruit a hero of the corresponding type if there is one available, instead of an adventurer. To do so, the player must pay 1 gold for a master thief or heroic warrior or 2 gold for an arch-mage or high priest. (I haven't tested this yet, so the values might need to be adjusted, but I think these are probably OK). The player then receives the cube from the heroes pool and, to represent the heroic status of the character, an extra cube of the same colour from the adventurer pool.

In other words, heroes represent *2* of the type of their colour. This variant gives another way to convert cash into adventurers, while adding some extra flavour.

Note that once allocated to a new quest, the hero is treated as a standard adventurer again and, on completion, only one adventurer will be promoted (which might or might not be the same colour as the one(s) that went in).



The second variant requires a bit more work:

Monsters!

To make this variant work I am planning to create a small set of monster tokens and corresponding cards. The idea is this: when a player has a choice to draw an Intrigue card they may instead draw a Monster card. A player may play a Monster card when they could normally play an Intrigue card. Doing so will allow the player to allocated the monster tokens listed on the card (I am assuming this will normally only be one, but I am still considering this) to one (or more if there were more than one monster listed on the card) quests. These may be active quests or unclaimed quests.

Each monster has one or more coloured cube markers on it (lie a quest): to complete the quest a player must now ensure that as many markers as the original quest required are supplied *and* sufficient additional adventurers to ensure that the demands of the monster are *included* in the party. Be careful to note that this means that a quest requiring (say) 4 fighters will not need any additional adventurers to deal with any monsters that can be defeated by up to 4 fighters. But a trap requiring a rogue to defeat it will mean the party needs an additional rogue. Similarly, an evil sorcerer with his minions, requiring a wizard and 2 fighters to defeat would only add a wizard to the demands of this particular quest. Defeating a monster adds some VP to the value of the quest, as indicated on the monster token (usually 1-2VP).

The interest here is in several parts: firstly, there are more ways for players to make things tricky for other players (which is always fun). By making the card set separate, players can always acquire a card they know will allow them to try to make things harder for opponents (like mandatory quests, but there are more of them). Secondly, who can play D&D games without wanting monsters? Lots more flavour (and crunchy bits). Thirdly, because of the way I propose they should work, monsters will tend to force players to recruit adventurers in areas that are outside their typical range of requirements (eg a player who is pursuing piety quests will usually need priests and some fighters - the odd wizard or rogue thrown in - so adding monsters demanding rogues or wizards will force them to compete in other arenas).


Before I make the pieces needed for this idea, I am hoping to get some comments in order to try to get it right. Any thoughts?

- Derek
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Jay Shaffstall
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I like the monster concept. It fits the D&D theme well, and as you point out can cause a player to have to recruit outside their normal area.

This would need a lot of playtesting, though, to ensure it doesn't become *too* easy to delay other players.
 
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Paul Fortner
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I wonder if you could get away with using the monster figures (and/or cards) from something like Ravenloft or Mansions of Madness for playtesting?

You could simplify it to start and just say any undead monsters require an extra cleric, ethereal a wizard, etc. This would give you an idea of how the change affects game flow and inform further tweaks before putting a ton of time into making cards/pieces.

Having all the monster types available to choose from seems more interesting than just drawing cards from yet another deck. It also adds to D&Dness of the tabletop if you use figures.

You might also consider gaining a monster in addition to quests/intrigue as opposed to instead of. I like both ideas and hope you keep us posted on your progress!
 
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Sean M
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jshaffstall wrote:
This would need a lot of playtesting, though, to ensure it doesn't become *too* easy to delay other players.


I do like the general idea and the D&D-ness this would add. But I also agree with Jay that just added as an idea it could very easily break the game. Part of the fun of LoW is that it's strategic, but in the main the strategy is about lots of positive choices rather than a painful slog. Make sure as you're developing this idea that you keep an eye on keeping it fun.
 
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Derek Long
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Thanks for the comments. Although I agree that it might end up requiring multiple attempts, I still like the idea of making pieces for the purpose. I like the use of cards rather than taking a selection of a monster for two reasons: it keeps the secrecy (you don't reveal which monster is in play until you play it) which prevents your opponents second-guessing what might be the attack and when, while it also maintains the "pot luck" feel of other intrigue cards.

I also think that it is important that it should not be "in addition" to an intrigue card, since this would make the intrigue action more valuable than it currently is and disturb the balance. By making it "instead of an intrigue card" then the balance is likely to remain - effectively it adds more mandatory quests to the pack of intrigue cards, since the effect of a monster on a quest would be equivalent to putting out a mandatory quest that has to be followed before the quest. The only differences are: a player can delay only a specific quest, rather than all quests, by attaching a monster and the effect of a monster I have proposed limits the choice of quests that can be usefully attacked. So, the monsters are actually slightly weaker than Mandatory Quests (depending on the requirements of the monsters), but have two benefits: you can always obtain them (when you select an Intrigue card action) and you can apply them to a quest before it is even chosen by a player, which might delay it from even being selected.

- Derek
 
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Derek Long
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So, here is a possible version of the Heroes variant tile.



The rules are as follows:

When a quest completes a player may remove one of the adventurers from it and place it on the appropriate space of the Heroes tile. When a player recruits an adventurer they may, instead, recruit a Hero of the corresponding type if available, by paying the indicated price (1 or 2 gold). They then take the hero and also one adventurer of the same type and add them both to their tavern. The hero and the companion are then considered as equivalent to adventurers for all subsequent purposes.

I'll let you know when it is playtested!

- Derek
 
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M. B. Downey
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Derek Long wrote:
When a player recruits an adventurer they may, instead, recruit a Hero of the corresponding type if available, by paying the indicated price (1 or 2 gold). They then take the hero and also one adventurer of the same type and add them both to their tavern. The hero and the companion are then considered as equivalent to adventurers for all subsequent purposes.


So for one extra gold I can get three fighters instead of two when I visit the Fields of Glory? Can I do it twice by paying two gold and get four fighters, assuming I have enough heroes?

What if I have completed the Gryphon Riders plot quest? When I get that fighter (my fifth!), can I also use this ability to gain a sixth fighter?

What about from quest rewards? Do I get to recruit my heroes when I gain adventurers that way? And if someone uses my building?

What about an Intrigue card that I play? That someone else plays?
 
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Derek Long
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If there are enough heroes and you have enough cash, every time you could recruit an adventurer, yes, you could recruit two.

In theme terms the heroes are simply high-level adventurers who will work only for extra incentives. In game terms, I don't think this should create any significant change to the balance, since the hero supply is strictly limited by the completion of quests and the opportunities they offer are gold->adventurer which is a conversion that is currently possible in other ways. Eg for 3 actions I can get 4 gold and recruit 8 rogue/thief adventurers via the Smugglers' Inn. With this addition I could hope to use 2 actions to recruit 6 or 3 actions to recruit 8 and have 2 cash left (if I can manage to claim 4 cash on each of two actions). Later in the game it can become slightly easier to get cash, but the hero supply remains limited, so I am unlikely to be able to cash in to acquire huge bands of adventurers.

I like the idea of adding a (relatively small) additional choice: when I recruit, should I pay extra cash to recruit an extra adventurer or two? Choices are, after all, the key to strategy.
 
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M. B. Downey
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Can you recruit multiple high level adventurers off of one recruitment?

For example, I have two archmages and four gold. I go to Blackstaff Tower and get one wizard. Can I pay four gold and get both of my archmages?

Would the end result be that I get four wizards, or that I get three wizards (because the companion of the first archmage turned into the second archmage and his companion)?

I think this will result in a lot of grabbing for low level quests at the beginning. The 25 point Arcane and Piety quests will be very easy, too.

This will also have a huge impact on Mandatory Quests.
 
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M. B. Downey
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Rather than have an additional mat with these extra rules, would it just be better to say that after every quest you can pay 1 or 2 gold to keep one of the required pieces for yourself? It seems simpler and cleaner.

And if you don't pay, others can pay (at a higher price?) to snag one of your adventurers? That would be more interesting, I think.
 
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Derek Long
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You can recruit one hero each time you could have recruited one adventurer. So, if you go to the tower you can get an Archmage if there is one, for two gold, but that's it. Doesn't matter how much gold you have - you only have one recruitment opportunity in that case, so you can get at most 2 wizards from the tower. On the other hand, at the Smugglers' Inn you can recruit 4 adventurers (rogues or fighters) so with sufficient cash and sufficient heroes you can grab as many as 8 to your tavern, although only in even numbers of rogues or fighters (because each hero will become two of the corresponding type).

I agree that an alternative would be to pay to keep an adventurer, but I don't agree that it is more interesting: a side effect of the heroes idea is that completing a quest opens up additional opportunities to *other* players. This avoids run-away benefits and makes the decision about which adventurer to promote more tricky (since you cannot assume you will be able to recruit this hero yourself).
 
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M. B. Downey
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Derek Long wrote:
(since you cannot assume you will be able to recruit this hero yourself).


I missed that when reading the first time. Hmm. That changes things significantly.
 
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nicolas debord
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Monsters for commerce quests ?

I think you need to affiliate monsters to quest(or traps or bad events)

Sorcerer for an Arcana quests
GOblins, orcs, trolls for Warfare quests

bad weather or calimshan traders for commerce quests...

yes, it's a Good idea... keep on digging !

 
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Derek Long
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Yes, I was also thinking that it might be good to key monsters to quest types. On the other hand, I don't want to end up adding the same stuff to existing quests, so no more wizards for arcane quests. Instead, I want to have something that goes outside the boundaries of the usual requirements for quests. So a rogue or two for a Piety quest, a priest or a fighter for a commerce quest (with appropriate reasons - after all, that caravan might need more protection, or the ship need a blessing).

I'm thinking about it... I wouldn't mind having something that tied to the faction too - currently they count for nothing.

On the other variant, the heroes option worked well in my test game last night. We enjoyed the extra options and it occasionally made the choice between priorities much harder to resolve at the start of a turn, which is good. To clarify a question that came up: the buildings that store adventurers (eg Jester's Court) and say "Take all cubes on the building" as the action *are* considered recruitment actions, so if there are heroes available they can be used to "replace" one of the adventurers in the building. In fact, since the way they work is to add one to the recruitment, you can see this as simply adding the hero cube to the rest of the cubes on payment of the price (think of this as the hero's companion was lurking in the building and, on securing payment, pulls in the hero to join the party).

Anyway, I am currently satisfied that this option works as I had expected and intended, so I recommend it to people to give it a try.

- Derek
 
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Chris Baldi
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I like the monster variant but think you sell the potential short. Instead on monster cards call them plot twist cards or event cards. This opens up the potential of not just cards that make quests harder but cards that could assist players in completing their own quests. I also like the idea of cards that are specific to a quest type or scenario.

Some example ideas I came up with are:
Defensive wall: -1 or 2? fighters off the requirement of a warfare quest.

Mutual Interest: 2 players may cooperate on a quest (they split the reward).

War Blessing: add 1 cleric to the requirement of a warfare quest.

Arcane Wards: Add 1 Mage to the requirement of 1 Skullduggery quest.

Bandits: Add 2 fighters to a trade quest.
 
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Tamer Morad

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I really like this Monster variant idea I am going to try this on our next play. Will tell how it goes... If you are able you should ammend the title of the thread and add ...Monster and Heros. i think this will generate more buzz and input for you!
 
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