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Subject: Bard items rss

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Lior Kiperman
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I can't find the rules for the bard items (for the minions bearing gifts expansion).

When playing with the tricky items variant, how do you decide if the item has been used successfully?
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Noble Knave
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HealingAura wrote:
I can't find the rules for the bard items (for the minions bearing gifts expansion).

When playing with the tricky items variant, how do you decide if the item has been used successfully?


I don't think the Lute (my term for it) is fully detailed in the rules, but based on extrapolation here's how I'd play it:

1) When distributing Courage, add an extra Courage token for the Lute as per an additional Symbol. It may be beneficial to denote that bonus Courage with an Imp rather than a Gold for clarity and bookkeeping.

2) If the last Adventurer with Courage (denoted by said Imp) has its Courage token removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage (edit and survives the attack, mark the Lute as Used.

3) If multiple Bards are in play, and the "bonus" Courage from the Lute is on an Adventurer that also has additional "normal" Courage from the other Bards, the Lute is only used if all Courage on that Adventurer is removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage in a single round (edit and the Adventurer survives the damage that removed the "bonus" Courage. All Lutes are marked used if any "bonus" Courage is removed from an Adventurer that has more than 1 "bonus" Courage and the Luted Adventurer survives that damage.

4) In subsequent rounds the Lute works as in the previous steps, but be sure to take Mourning into account.

Hope that clears things up.

EDIT: Formatting.

EDIT: Added condition that the Luted Adventurer survive the damage, a la Amulet of Fortitude. Thanks AndyK!


Edit: Here's the shortened version I made (repeated below):

1) When distributing Courage, add an extra Courage token for the Lute as per an additional Symbol, accounting for Mourning. It may be beneficial to denote that Bonus Courage with an Imp rather than a Gold for clarity and bookkeeping.

2) If the Bonus Courage token is removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage and the Luted Adventurer survives the attack, mark the Lute as Used. Normal Courage is removed before bonus Courage is removed from the Luted Adventurer. If a Luted Adventurer has multiple Bonus Courage tokens, removing any of them activates the Lutes of all relevant players.
 
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Sophia Lechner
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HealingAura wrote:
I can't find the rules for the bard items (for the minions bearing gifts expansion).

When playing with the tricky items variant, how do you decide if the item has been used successfully?
Good question; as far as I know, they haven't been published. I haven't played it yet, but if I did, I would play it as:

"Pay attention to which adventurer(s) the extra courage tokens are placed on. When the last courage token is removed from that adventurer to prevent damage, the corresponding item is considered used. In the rare case that multiple bards with items place an extra courage token on the same adventurer, both items are considered used if either extra courage token is removed to prevent damage."

This is more memory/bookkeeping than any of the other items, but I don't see a way around it. Except for the +1 HP (which does its own bookkeeping by being on the correct adventurer), all the other items give things that you only care about the total value of, so there's no need to track where they came from.

Edit: now I think this is all wrong. See my much longer post below.
 
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Sophia Lechner
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JemL wrote:
HealingAura wrote:
I can't find the rules for the bard items (for the minions bearing gifts expansion).

When playing with the tricky items variant, how do you decide if the item has been used successfully?
Good question; as far as I know, they haven't been published. I haven't played it yet, but if I did, I would play it as:

"Pay attention to which adventurer(s) the extra courage tokens are placed on. When the last courage token is removed from that adventurer to prevent damage, the corresponding item is considered used. In the rare case that multiple bards with items place an extra courage token on the same adventurer, both items are considered used if either extra courage token is removed to prevent damage."

This is more memory/bookkeeping than any of the other items, but I don't see a way around it. Except for the +1 HP (which does its own bookkeeping by being on the correct adventurer), all the other items give things that you only care about the total value of, so there's no need to track where they came from.


Wow, ninja-ed...it took me 18 hours and 53 minutes to respond, but thenobleknave got it in just 18 hours and 50 minutes. Well played, sir.

Anyway, our answers are the same, except I wasn't explicit about what the actual effect was (probably obvious on the token). I like the idea of using an imp for clarity. Also, I covered the "two imps on the same adventurer" corner case.
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Lior Kiperman
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It makes the lute too easy to be successfully used.

The other items allow the player to kill the character that is affected by the item bonus without it being used:

- kill the thief and the healing potion is not successfully used
- kill the cleric with a monster and then use your trap, so the lucky four leaf clover is not successfully used
- kill the warrior before your wizards require help casting spells, so the magic wand is not successfully used
- kill the wizard with one big hit instead of few small hits, so the amulet of fortitude is not successfully used

Killing the bard in the back is much harder.
Killing the character which received the extra courage token means the item has been used successfully no matter what.
 
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Noble Knave
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It seems the Lute will be more easily avoided in the first year than the second. A 3-symbol Bard with the Lute makes it literally impossible to avoid the effects, unless the Luted Adventurer is killed solely by Fatigue or Ghosty/Riddle is used. Killing Adventurers in front of and behind the Luted Adventurer will eventually let Mourning take care of the bonus symbol, as long as the Luted Bard doesn't have 4 Symbols total.

I think the inherent balancing in the Tricky Items is that you can try and avoid drafting the Adventurers that get the hard-to-avoid items. This is sometimes more easily said than done, but it does require more care in regards to the Evilometer.

I'm sure houseruling could make the Lute less powerful, but I think JemL and I are right about how it works in the rules as written. I agree with his corner case of the same Adventurer being double Luted, too.

 
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Noble Knave
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Here's the ways I can think of to kill a Luted Adventurer without triggering the Lute:

1) Fatigue
2) Ghosty
3) Riddle
4) Cockatrice (if there's an extra Courage on that Adventurer)
5) Poisoned Dart (if there's extra Courage or a Thief present)

It's not impossible to do that, but it is certainly tough to avoid triggering it in many cases.
 
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Lior Kiperman
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thenobleknave wrote:
I'm sure houseruling could make the Lute less powerful, but I think JemL and I are right about how it works in the rules as written.

Where are the rules for successfully using the lute item written?
 
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Noble Knave
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HealingAura wrote:
Where are the rules for successfully using the lute item written?


It isn't, really. We've both based this on the Tricky Items rules as written and extrapolated based upon the fact that the Lute gives an extra Symbol to Bards. So it could be that we're misinterpreting the existing rules since no rules yet exactly describe this; I think we're correct.
 
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Andy Kerrison
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Much like the amulet of fortitude, I would not consider the lute 'used' if the adventurer in question was killed outright, regardless of whether that included the effect of a courage token or not. That is to say, if the result would have been the same without the courage token, then it was not used.

That feels to me closer to the intent and effect of the magic items on other hero types.
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Noble Knave
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Andy_K wrote:
Much like the amulet of fortitude, I would not consider the lute 'used' if the adventurer in question was killed outright, regardless of whether that included the effect of a courage token or not. That is to say, if the result would have been the same without the courage token, then it was not used.

That feels to me closer to the intent and effect of the magic items on other hero types.


That's an excellent point that I hadn't even considered. I'll update my post above.
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Noble Knave
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Boiled the rules down to a cleaner version for the Lute of Enchantment (as I'm calling it):

1) When distributing Courage, add an extra Courage token for the Lute as per an additional Symbol, accounting for Mourning. It may be beneficial to denote that Bonus Courage with an Imp rather than a Gold for clarity and bookkeeping.

2) If the Bonus Courage token is removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage and the Luted Adventurer survives the attack, mark the Lute as Used. Normal Courage is removed before bonus Courage is removed from the Luted Adventurer. If a Luted Adventurer has multiple Bonus Courage tokens, removing any of them activates the Lutes of all relevant players.
 
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Sophia Lechner
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thenobleknave wrote:
Boiled the rules down to a cleaner version for the Lute of Enchantment (as I'm calling it):

1) When distributing Courage, add an extra Courage token for the Lute as per an additional Symbol, accounting for Mourning. It may be beneficial to denote that Bonus Courage with an Imp rather than a Gold for clarity and bookkeeping.

2) If the Bonus Courage token is removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage and the Luted Adventurer survives the attack, mark the Lute as Used. Normal Courage is removed before bonus Courage is removed from the Luted Adventurer. If a Luted Adventurer has multiple Bonus Courage tokens, removing any of them activates the Lutes of all relevant players.


After thinking about it some more, I realized there's a better option. Copying your wording, but proposed changes in bold.

1) When distributing Courage, if no adventurers have been captured yet, add an extra Courage token for the Lute as per an additional Symbol. It may be beneficial to denote that Bonus Courage with an Imp rather than a Gold for clarity and bookkeeping.

2) If the Bonus Courage token is removed due to Trap/Monster/Ghost damage and the Luted Adventurer survives the attack, whether or not the Luted Adventurer survives the attack, mark the Lute as Used. Normal Courage is removed before bonus Courage is removed from the Luted Adventurer. If a Luted Adventurer has multiple Bonus Courage tokens, removing any of them activates the Lutes of all relevant players.

Here are my thoughts behind the change. The interesting thing about items is that they add subgoals to the "capture the adventurers" minigame, in addition to the already existing subgoals of "use few traps", "allow few conquers", and "allow fewer bad spells". The subgoals each item adds are:

Healing Potion: never stack damage on adventurers during a healing round beyond what's printed on your priests.

Lucky Four-Leafed Clover: never use a trap that would deal more damage than printed on your thieves.

Magic Wand: don't have a spell round with exactly the right amount of spell power.

Amulet of Fortitude: make sure the capturing blow on this wizard is more than just one damage.

All of these subgoals are interestingly different, but they have two things in common: they're all easier in year 2, and they can all be done most of the time (although you'll likely end up less efficient in other ways if you do).

All of the previous proposals for the lute, including mine, break both of these two guidelines. The subgoal on my first proposal was "capture adventurers equal to the lutes printed on the bard, plus one, before damaging the adventurer". Andy/thenobleknave adds "or, don't damage the adventurer except for the capturing blow". But that first subgoal is much harder with two lutes than one, and impossible with three, while even the additional "capturing blow" subgoal in year 2 is either a Demon, Ghosty/Riddle with lots of help, or Monster Catapult (with a big monster, no anti-trap, and still doesn't work if it's the Bard 6***).

With my new proposal, the subgame is "capture one adventurer before damaging the one with the imp",

This is not much easier in year two than in year one, but at least not much harder. And it's roughly the same level of difficulty set by the others, while being entirely different.

It also means there's some real strategy in trying to aim your Lute at the right players during distribution (with either variant), because you want it to go to players counting on their "attack all" monsters/traps. With either of our previous proposals, it was likely to get counted used as long as it hit any bard, no matter whose (especially in year 2).

Finally, counting it used even on capturing blows matches the precedent set by Lucky Four-Leafed Clover, which is also a damage prevention effect - if one Clover on a priest is the only anti-trap in the party, and you use a trap that eliminates that priest in a single blow, the Clover is still considered used, and now the Lute will work the same way.
 
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Andy Kerrison
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There is also an alternative to my original suggestion I came up with, but it's more complicated to track.

Whenever the bonus lute point prevents damage on an adventurer, place a marker on that adventurer. If, at any point, that adventurer has markers equal or greater than his remaining hit points (and is not dead), then mark the lute as used. This takes the earlier suggestion one step further, and is effectively 'only mark the lute as used if the bonus effect actually saves a life' - again, extrapolating from the amulet theme.
 
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Noble Knave
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Jem, interesting idea there. On the one hand, I don't think it follows from the existing rules very well (the exception would be if Mourning takes the Bonus Courage first, which is effectively what your ruling does -- but it's shaky at best since the Bard still has that extra symbol). On the other hand, I agree that it makes the difficulty of avoiding it more on par with the other items.

I see what you're saying vis-a-vis Lucky Charm's damage prevention vs the Amulet's bonus health, and how they're implemented, so I guess the way I wrote it doesn't follow existing rules exactly either.

I sent a GM to Paul Grogan of CGE, he's more active on BGG than Vlaada is and hopefully can come give us an official ruling.

Also, your "how to avoid" the Amulet is slightly off, it should be:

Amulet of Fortitude: make sure you do not do damage exactly equal to the Wizard's normal health.
 
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Paul Grogan
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"Paul Grogan of CGE" ? I wish, maybe one day.....

I do however have CGE contacts, one of which I am going to hopefully speak to tonight. Failing that, I can try and contact Vlaada, but I dont want to risk having one of the new CGE releases delayed if I disturb him at a crucial time

So, leave this with me. I cant answer immediately as I've only played DL with the magic items once before, and never with the expansion, so this might need a bit more thought.
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Noble Knave
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Ah, mistook the fact that you're an insider and do previews with working there. Thanks Paul! Your help, much like your delightful previews, is greatly appreciated.
 
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Sophia Lechner
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Yes, your wording for the Amulet subgoal is better than mine; mine is only equivalent if you end up capturing the adventurer and is awkwardly phrased anyway.

I agree with you that my proposal doesn't match the rules for the other items very well: the other items all keep their benefits until the adventurer with the item is eliminated, and the Lute with my proposal doesn't. (and it's not just that Mourning takes the bonus symbol first...the Mourning for the first captured adventurer, with my proposal, eliminates both the bonus symbol and one printed symbol).

But I think this mismatch is okay, in order to keep it in balance with the others, both in difficulty of avoiding the "use" and in the extra difficulty it adds to combat.

I also hope we can get some official word from CGE, good luck Paul!
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Lior Kiperman
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Vít Vodička from Czech Games Edition said that the official ruling for the bard item will not be available for at least a few months "(definitely not before Essen)", but he will try to contact Vlaada and ask him.
 
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