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Subject: Sentinels PBF multi-boss gauntlet feedback thread rss

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Shawn George
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Hey guys, with the PBF that I'm moderating (#8) wrapping up within the next couple of days, and it looks like #6 is wrapping up too, I'm starting to think about the next PBF that I'd like to do. And I'm thinking of something pretty epic and challenging, if not impossible. I want to do a continuous gauntlet of 4 different villains from the same expansion. And I can't think of a more thematic set of villains than those from the Rook City expansion. So here's how it's going to go down:

1 This PBF will start some time after PBF #8 ends. Probably early next week. I don't want to run 2 PBFs simultaneously, I hear that's a bad idea.

2 I'm going to take 4, possibly 5 heroes. I'm going to limit this to people that have played a Sentinels PBF before, and priority will go to folks that have either run a PBF already or have otherwise contributed significantly to the Sentinels PBF community.

3 Villains will be fought one at a time in the following order: Plague Rat, Spite, The Matriarch, The Chairman. The first two villains will be fought at the Pike Industrial Complex, and the heroes will relocate to the streets of Rook City for the last two villains.

4 When a villain is defeated, all of their cards are immediately removed from play. All heroes retain their current hands, hit points, cards in play, and any other ongoing effects that they initiated. Heroes may immediately draw one card as a bonus. The next villain will appear at the end of the current turn, following all of their standard setup instructions. Play will resume at whatever turn it left off at.

5 When a villain is defeated, any incapacitated heroes will return to play with 10% of their starting HP (rounded up) for each turn they have taken since becoming incapacitated, with a minimum of 5 HP and a maximum of 67% of their starting HP (rounded up). Their deck is shuffled and they draw 5 cards (the starting 4, plus the bonus card).

6 After Spite is defeated, all cards from Pike Industrial Complex are also immediately discarded, and are replaced with the Rook City deck at the end of the current turn. At this point, one (and only one) player is allowed to exchange their current hero for a new one. If this is done, the current hero's cards are discarded and the new hero comes in with full HP and a starting hand of 4 cards.

The special rules that I came up with are designed to give the heroes a fighting chance, but not make things easy. They are completely untested, so if you'd like to propose a change, let me know. I'm open to suggestions.

I'm posting this now to get a list of people that are interested. I'll announce a player list later this week and allow people to pick their heroes.

Who's interested?
 
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Jeff Dougan
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I'm out for now, as we leave on Friday for a 10-day trip to NC and MI visiting relatives before school starts for the Grasshopper. (Among other things, it is my stepfather's 70th birthday the weekend we see him, so it's a command performance.)

I am, however, hoping to run a match that is against a preset villain-environment combo when I return. I know which one I want, and I'll let folks know when I'm closer to ready.
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Steve Wardell
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I'm definitely interested.

My only concern with 5 is that it sounds like it's better to be incapacitated than low on HP (depending on how setup dependent you are). I'm not sure if (or how) I would change the rule, just my first thought on reading it.
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Khedron wrote:
I'm definitely interested.

My only concern with 5 is that it sounds like it's better to be incapacitated than low on HP (depending on how setup dependent you are). I'm not sure if (or how) I would change the rule, just my first thought on reading it.


The reason that I did it the way that I did, rather than a flat HP recovery (like 50%) is that I didn't want a villain to be almost dead, and have the heroes decide to "kill off" their own during the last turn so that they could get an advantage during the next fight. But I set a minimum amount because I didn't want a hero to come back in at 2 or 3 HP and immediately get killed again by the villain or environment. That isn't fun for anybody.

I'm pretty certain I want incapacitated heroes to come back between fights though. It would suck for a hero to become incapacitated during Plague Rat and be stuck doing nothing but dishing out powers or card draws for the next 3 fights.

I'm certainly open to feedback though, so let me know if you think of an alternative to that rule. What if I changed the card draw so that it's less attractive? Maybe 1 card for each turn you've been incapacitated, up to a maximum of 4 cards?
 
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brian
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
As always, interested. My only caveat is since this will presumably take a lot longer, I will be at GenCon and out of town for almost a week. I'll have computer access (most likely) but won't be on as frequent as I am now.
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
ColtsFan76 wrote:
As always, interested. My only caveat is since this will presumably take a lot longer, I will be at GenCon and out of town for almost a week. I'll have computer access (most likely) but won't be on as frequent as I am now.


That's fine, I'm sure to have extended periods of time with limited computer access as well. I fully expect this to take 2 months or so, assuming that everyone makes it to the end.
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Ira Kalina
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I would definitely be interested, but defer to people that have contributed more...
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Steve Wardell
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
As always, interested. My only caveat is since this will presumably take a lot longer, I will be at GenCon and out of town for almost a week. I'll have computer access (most likely) but won't be on as frequent as I am now.


Yeah, I will be at GenCon as well next week.
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Ira Kalina
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Wish I were going to GenCon too. cry

Even if I don't make the cut for this one, I will be intrigued to watch because I would think running the whole gauntlet successfully is very very unlikely (though I proved by keeping cards in play so as not to have to set up for max efficiency).

BTW, I'm really enjoying playing in these PBF's and can't fathom how much time goes into running one. Do you bring all the cards to work, just have them all memorized or are there great tools all the moderators are using?
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I'd love to make it to gencon one of these days too. It's only about a 4 hour drive, but I have a 10 month old at home and it's a busy time of the year for my wife's job, so it isn't exactly easy to leave her alone with the kid.

As far as running this thing goes, I use a customized version of the Google spreadsheet provided in one of the other PBF threads. I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I work from home, so all of my cards are easily accessible for reference
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Jeff Dougan
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Putts wrote:
I'd love to make it to gencon one of these days too. It's only about a 4 hour drive, but I have a 10 month old at home and it's a busy time of the year for my wife's job, so it isn't exactly easy to leave her alone with the kid.

As far as running this thing goes, I use a customized version of the Google spreadsheet provided in one of the other PBF threads. I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I work from home, so all of my cards are easily accessible for reference


Mind me asking which lines of work you & your wife are in? Since this is busy for her, I suspect she's a teacher at some level or another, but it's just a guess.

As your 10-month-old gets older, you may want to look at the columns I write for a local (to me) parenting blog about playing hobby games with kids -- I've suggested hacks for several along the way.
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I'm a software developer. My wife works for a college student ministry, so there's a lot of planning and work leading up to the fall semester.

I'd love to check out your blog sometime. I'm looking forward to playing games with my daughter.
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Ira Kalina
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Jeff, I'd like to see your blog too if you send a link. My kids are 6, 8 and 10 so we play some stuff (Incan Gold, King of Tokyo, FlashPoint, Get Bit) but I'm always on look out for hacks...
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Jeff Dougan
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
My personal blog is updated very, very erratically. The local parenting blog is Chambanamoms.com, and I've just finished Geeklisting the columns. (I had all of the articles linked from their respective games, but I refer to them often enough that I really needed to get around to making the list.)

The usual readership has no idea what these kind of games are before I write about them, so these aren't traditional reviews. At this point, I also have them written several months ahead, but won't update the Geeklist until the next one goes live. (The next 3 are for Formula D, Robo Rally, and Fearsome Floors.)

Edit to add: The Geeklist is here.
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Ok, games #6 and #9 just wrapped up, and my game (#8) will probably be finishing up this evening. So I'll be ready to start my next game most likely tomorrow. So far I've heard interest from Steve, Brian, and Ira. I think that we can all agree that you guys need at least 1 more player. So, is anybody else interested in taking on this challenge?

Steve, I'm thinking of revising rule #5 to say this:

When a villain is defeated, any incapacitated heroes will return to play with 10% of their starting HP (rounded up) for each turn they have taken since becoming incapacitated, with a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 50% of their starting HP (rounded up). Their deck is shuffled and they draw 4 cards.

I think that would make incapacitation a less attractive option. Thoughts?
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brian
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Putts wrote:
Ok, games #6 and #9 just wrapped up, and my game (#8) will probably be finishing up this evening. So I'll be ready to start my next game most likely tomorrow. So far I've heard interest from Steve, Brian, and Ira. I think that we can all agree that you guys need at least 1 more player. So, is anybody else interested in taking on this challenge?

Steve, I'm thinking of revising rule #5 to say this:

When a villain is defeated, any incapacitated heroes will return to play with 10% of their starting HP (rounded up) for each turn they have taken since becoming incapacitated, with a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 50% of their starting HP (rounded up). Their deck is shuffled and they draw 4 cards.

I think that would make incapacitation a less attractive option. Thoughts?

What are you doing with Heroes that aren't incapacitated? It seems you are just leaving them where they ended. At that point, if I am at 1 HP, knocking myself out is a benefit as I can shoot for more HP.

I think there should be some increase in health from game to game or it will be over quickly. I understand this is offset by keeping hands and cards in play but that is also offset by having cards in the trash.

Perhaps if a heroes is incapacitated, all other heroes also recover the same amount as the incapacitated one.

Or if no one is incapacitated, then you get 2 HP back for every hero in play (Hx2). Or add bonuses for number of villains defeated?
 
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Ira Kalina
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I am totally game for playing and defer to you on rules. I do like the idea that heroes get drained and do not automatically rebuild before the next villain comes into play, but I think it would also be thematic if the victorious heroes that were not incapacitated experience a "surge from victory" and catch their breath momentarily (e.g., anyone under 10hp automatically ups X to a max of 10, anyone over 10hp gains 2-3 hp). But I will play either way.

I agree we need at least 4 and possibly 5 to have enough power to have a shot.

Also, are we talking advanced level? I assume not, but want to double check...

In any event, I'm totally into this idea.
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I personally think that already having cards out in play is a huge advantage. I think that by granting an across-the-board HP recovery, this will just feel like 4 separate fights, rather than a challenging, continuous gauntlet. But how about this:

When a villain is defeated, any non-incapacitated heroes with HP of less than 25% of their starting HP will recover to 25% of their starting HP (rounded up). Furthermore, all heroes (regardless of HP) will have the option of shuffling their discard pile into their deck.
 
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Shawn George
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Kalii wrote:
Also, are we talking advanced level? I assume not, but want to double check...


I don't plan for the villains to be fought on advanced difficulty. I feel like it will be challenging enough as is.
 
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Steve Wardell
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I agree that keeping your cards out is a big advantage, usually. Some heroes are less setup-dependent, and some villains may leave you without much of a setup at the end of the fight.

As I said originally, I'm not sure that the rule needs to be changed, and have no idea how to make it better, since a way to come back seems important; otherwise bad luck in the first fight could lead to a very boring next 3. I'm willing to give any rule a shot, I just wanted to make sure people had realized that might be a concern.
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Putts wrote:
I personally think that already having cards out in play is a huge advantage. I think that by granting an across-the-board HP recovery, this will just feel like 4 separate fights, rather than a challenging, continuous gauntlet. But how about this:

When a villain is defeated, any non-incapacitated heroes with HP of less than 25% of their starting HP will recover to 25% of their starting HP (rounded up). Furthermore, all heroes (regardless of HP) will have the option of shuffling their discard pile into their deck.

You can try it. I just think that the game is supposed to be balanced 1 villain to H heroes. Doing 2 back to back might be ok to keep HP in tact but I don't think they will have the stamina to last 4 rounds. Look at the games we have. Most Heroes spend at least 2/3 of their HP in one fight even in our best PBF games. I think you will find everyone incapacitated before the end of Round 2 even with their cards out. If you gave everyone 25% of their HP back at the start of each round, you are still only 1.75 of a Hero times 4 villains.

Just something to think about before investing everyone's time and it doesn't quite work out.
 
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Ira Kalina
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
I am good with whatever works. I am most concerned when we get to Matriarch and Chairman because I got smoked silly by Matriarch and haven't played Chairman yet. I do like the one continuous battle concept (very Knightfall-ish, so long as we all don't end up with broken backs and some nut taking our roles ;-)

I do think we would need to put some thought into proper team allocation though...
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Steve Wardell
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
ColtsFan76 wrote:
Putts wrote:
I personally think that already having cards out in play is a huge advantage. I think that by granting an across-the-board HP recovery, this will just feel like 4 separate fights, rather than a challenging, continuous gauntlet. But how about this:

When a villain is defeated, any non-incapacitated heroes with HP of less than 25% of their starting HP will recover to 25% of their starting HP (rounded up). Furthermore, all heroes (regardless of HP) will have the option of shuffling their discard pile into their deck.

You can try it. I just think that the game is supposed to be balanced 1 villain to H heroes. Doing 2 back to back might be ok to keep HP in tact but I don't think they will have the stamina to last 4 rounds. Look at the games we have. Most Heroes spend at least 2/3 of their HP in one fight even in our best PBF games. I think you will find everyone incapacitated before the end of Round 2 even with their cards out. If you gave everyone 25% of their HP back at the start of each round, you are still only 1.75 of a Hero times 4 villains.

Just something to think about before investing everyone's time and it doesn't quite work out.


Part of that (but only part) is the knowledge that we only have one fight at a time. I know my goal is to end the game at 1 HP; otherwise you're wasting resources.

However, quite a bit of damage is unavoidable, and 4 villains in a row will be tough to survive without quite a bit of healing. I'm wondering if we need to make sure we bring heroes with significant healing; something like Absolute Zero, The Scholar, Nightmist, The Argent Adept, and Tempest.
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
ColtsFan76 wrote:
Putts wrote:
I personally think that already having cards out in play is a huge advantage. I think that by granting an across-the-board HP recovery, this will just feel like 4 separate fights, rather than a challenging, continuous gauntlet. But how about this:

When a villain is defeated, any non-incapacitated heroes with HP of less than 25% of their starting HP will recover to 25% of their starting HP (rounded up). Furthermore, all heroes (regardless of HP) will have the option of shuffling their discard pile into their deck.

You can try it. I just think that the game is supposed to be balanced 1 villain to H heroes. Doing 2 back to back might be ok to keep HP in tact but I don't think they will have the stamina to last 4 rounds. Look at the games we have. Most Heroes spend at least 2/3 of their HP in one fight even in our best PBF games. I think you will find everyone incapacitated before the end of Round 2 even with their cards out. If you gave everyone 25% of their HP back at the start of each round, you are still only 1.75 of a Hero times 4 villains.

Just something to think about before investing everyone's time and it doesn't quite work out.


How about 50% HP recovery between the 2nd and 3rd fights? I'll concede that trying to survive 4 boss fights will be next to impossible, I'm just trying to come up with something a bit more thematic.
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Re: My next Sentinels PBF...the Rook City gauntlet
Khedron wrote:
Part of that (but only part) is the knowledge that we only have one fight at a time.

Understood. I think the play style will change up significantly as you don't go for it all in the "last" round.

But on the flip side of that, you do those big pushes because it is all or nothing. If you hold back the big bang (like the 40+ points we just did in Game 9), then you open yourself up for more hits - possibly incapacitated - some of which may be more devastating as new cards come out. Trying to live longer means we see more villain cards from a specific deck, which removes more of the luck in dealing with that character.

If you gave me the choice to start with say 5 cards in play and 25% of my health or no cards in play and 100% of my health, I would take the 100% health hands down.
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