Louis Schieferdecker
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Maitland
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So I posted before and was very thankful to receive the info that BOTG don't always recharge. Now I have several other questions...

1st, all other characters have D42 divided among their abilities except for the cleric which only has D40, is this a mistake? It seems like her strength should be a bit higher.

2nd, It seems to me that strength is the far weaker younger brother to dexterity in this game. The only thing Strength can do is a kill enemies and bypass a few barriers but Dex can do both of those and with far greater variety as nearly all barriers that have strength requirements have a lesser Dex option and the weapons are nearly identical as far as damage is concerned. In fact Strength requires cards to be able to deal with certain barriers that Dex can just do on its own, therefore slowing your deck down more and making you card dependent that Dex could just do otherwise and the Dex base then has more room for other cards to achieve other things it needs to do all while not giving up anything to STR type character. It seems that characters that favor Dex have a slight (or large) advantage in this way. Making a character that focused on fighting (as opposed to magic) I made him D12 in Dex and D4 in strength because at this point it seems there is no real benefit and he is performing amazingly well.

3rd, What is the story with armor? It seems totally pointless. It is far better to just be better at fighting because your offense is your defense. The rare times that you do take damage like before or after battle or from a barrier bypass armor because it is not combat damage; you could banish or bury the armor but again you are still losing a card so it’s pointless. I have not found a situation in the game yet where armor was worth its weight or card spot. I have played all the scenarios through at least twice and have not yet found a good play for it, especially considering that the people who have armor have smaller hand sizes and it slows down their deck so much and that you don't discard past your hand size so at most you are losing like 4 or 5 cards if you do get wrecked in battle. The magical armor is cool because you can cycle it (recharge it at will) but again the defeats the point because it has to be in your hand to be useful. I have made a few characters using most of the base characters, just changing a few cards and dice around, the biggest change of which is getting rid of armor all together and they perform far better as they just have more what they need to be offensive, which again is being defensive in this game. Because of this, it is also far better to use two handed weapons that do more damage because it is the same effect as having a shield because the more damage you do, the less damage you take. Therefore with a two-handed weapon you only need one card to achieve what you could with two (one-handed and shield, or three with armor), having less of those cards in your hand allows you room for other cards which will make sure you succeed in more situations. It seems like they were trying to keep to a theme by keeping armor but it does not play well at all right now. I will say that if armor/shields could soak damage that was not combat damage or could keep you from discarding or recharging cards due to effects from monsters (like the first villain the requires you to recharge two cards) they would be so much better, but as they are really only useful in a fail result in battle they are very weak. To add insult to injury, there are items to perform far better than armor at reducing damage.

4th, Can someone explain to me why you would not give every character that has the ability to have a spell in their deck that card ability first (like the rogue and ranger) and make it cure. Cure seems to be one of the best abilities in the game and it’s not only because it puts cards from your discard pile into your deck even though that is good, but it is because of the word "SHUFFLE". If there was a skill that said shuffle your deck I would totally take it; it is so good, especially for characters that are recharge heavy. Even if you don't have the divine skill and have to banish it after you use it, cure is a basic card so you get it back after the game because you have to keep replenishing your deck to 15 cards.

5th, Constitution is nearly pointless right now... there are a few checks but most are not important or game changing.

6th, Is it me or are blessings just way better than allies in nearly every way? (Obviously this does not apply if you are the wizard because he has none and the druid because she is awesome because of them.)

7th, A few of the characters do not feel completely balanced. I have heard the argument that some are better solo, others are better in teams. I agree with this to a degree, but there are other characters that I would always want because it seems that they can nearly always do what they need to do and some can help others succeed as well. Other characters seem to just be weaker in comparison to their counterparts, like the barbarian. The only stuff she can do better is have one extra possible high damage, can move after her turn is over which has some cool uses depending on the locations and can bury cards to make certain checks which the fighter cannot do like for weapons and Con checks (when hell freezes over and you need one.). There are negatives though because when you consider the alternative the fighter can recharge weapons instead of discarding them therefore encouraging him to do it far more than burying for a 1D10. His +3 to damage gives you more consistent damage which in this game is essential! The high risk, high reward thing does not work well in this game because unlike DnD, you don't get more than one swing to hit an enemy, if you fail big, you take more damage; so it is better to be consistently good than occasionally great, especially when there are plenty of cards to make you occasionally great. Plus the fighter has higher Dex, which makes no since because a Barbarian is typically the more Dex based character; as it needs a higher AC bonus because he can't wear heavy armor and he wants to wear light armor so he can keep his 40ft movement with higher initiative to smack people who are flatfooted but I digress... The fighter has higher Dex which is just better because it is used FAR more than con in this game, and Dex is actually needed to progress in this game where con is only "needed" in a precious few places. Plus the fighter can help people that are at his location for free, no card required.

8th, One of the little things that concerns me about this game is how they have made the wizard and sorcerer. Right now, it seems that the sorcerer is better in a few ways, especially when you make one of her spells a cure so it doesn't matter as much that she is discarding to cast her ability fire spell. But being the only character with an intelligence higher than D6 and the amount of spells that the Wizard has is nice; however the lack of blessings is kind of brutal. What concerns me is what this mechanic could say about the future of the game. How will the game get harder? Are monsters going to require more damage in the future to destroy? If that is the case than her ability spell is going to become more and more ineffective, especially considering you are not recharging that card. Are they going to allow a character to attack a creature more than once in turn? Then it will be considerably harder to use spell casters as they are heavily card dependent. Right now it seems that they have created a rough situation for themselves in this area. The obvious solution is that spells in the future will no longer have to be discarded or recharged, but it seems that that is not on their radar as so many skills that deal with rolling to keep spells. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this.

Let me know what you think and/or have heard. I really like this game, it's probably mostly because its pathfinder but the more I play it, the more I feel like it was not really well play tested, balanced and edited well. I will grant in Pathfinder/DnD, it does feel like that when you are playing the first levels, so I am hoping that as the game progresses this will change.

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M Edwards
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Too much to read, I confess I mostly just skimmed your comments. But...

Bookworm1018 wrote:
So I posted before and was very thankful to receive the info that BOTG don't always recharge. Now I have several other questions...

1st, all other characters have D42 divided among their abilities except for the cleric which only has D40, is this a mistake? It seems like her strength should be a bit higher.

Not a mistake. She is plenty powerful enough with her infinite ability to heal. A lot of people would argue she is overpowered.

Quote:
2nd, It seems to me that strength is the far weaker younger brother to dexterity in this game. The only thing Strength can do is a kill enemies and bypass a few barriers but Dex can do both of those and with far greater variety as nearly all barriers that have strength requirements have a lesser Dex option and the weapons are nearly identical as far as damage is concerned. In fact Strength requires cards to be able to deal with certain barriers that Dex can just do on its own, therefore slowing your deck down more and making you card dependent that Dex could just do otherwise and the Dex base then has more room for other cards to achieve other things it needs to do all while not giving up anything to STR type character. It seems that characters that favor Dex have a slight (or large) advantage in this way. Making a character that focused on fighting (as opposed to magic) I made him D12 in Dex and D4 in strength because at this point it seems there is no real benefit and he is performing amazingly well.

One of the advantages of strength is that it is always available to use in combat. To use dexterity you must have a weapon in hand. I've had to punch a fair number of creatures to death in this game due to unfortunate events. Couldn't do that with dexterity.

Quote:

3rd, What is the story with armor? It seems totally pointless. It is far better to just be better at fighting because your offense is your defense. The rare times that you do take damage like before or after battle or from a barrier bypass armor because it is not combat damage; you could banish or bury the armor but again you are still losing a card so it’s pointless. I have not found a situation in the game yet where armor was worth its weight or card spot. I have played all the scenarios through at least twice and have not yet found a good play for it, especially considering that the people who have armor have smaller hand sizes and it slows down their deck so much and that you don't discard past your hand size so at most you are losing like 4 or 5 cards if you do get wrecked in battle. The magical armor is cool because you can cycle it (recharge it at will) but again the defeats the point because it has to be in your hand to be useful. I have made a few characters using most of the base characters, just changing a few cards and dice around, the biggest change of which is getting rid of armor all together and they perform far better as they just have more what they need to be offensive, which again is being defensive in this game. Because of this, it is also far better to use two handed weapons that do more damage because it is the same effect as having a shield because the more damage you do, the less damage you take. Therefore with a two-handed weapon you only need one card to achieve what you could with two (one-handed and shield, or three with armor), having less of those cards in your hand allows you room for other cards which will make sure you succeed in more situations. It seems like they were trying to keep to a theme by keeping armor but it does not play well at all right now. I will say that if armor/shields could soak damage that was not combat damage or could keep you from discarding or recharging cards due to effects from monsters (like the first villain the requires you to recharge two cards) they would be so much better, but as they are really only useful in a fail result in battle they are very weak. To add insult to injury, there are items to perform far better than armor at reducing damage.

I tend to agree that the starting armor is very weak, and I would far rather have a card in hand to kill a monster than help me survive failing to kill a monster. Some of the advanced armors that are available are quite nice though, especially those that prevent damage with a reveal effect. You do get pinged quite often for an automatic damage before or after combat. The shield of fire resistance is particularly nice.

Quote:

4th, Can someone explain to me why you would not give every character that has the ability to have a spell in their deck that card ability first (like the rogue and ranger) and make it cure. Cure seems to be one of the best abilities in the game and it’s not only because it puts cards from your discard pile into your deck even though that is good, but it is because of the word "SHUFFLE". If there was a skill that said shuffle your deck I would totally take it; it is so good, especially for characters that are recharge heavy. Even if you don't have the divine skill and have to banish it after you use it, cure is a basic card so you get it back after the game because you have to keep replenishing your deck to 15 cards.

Unless you are a divine caster you have to banish that cure spell on use. If you acquire another spell during the adventure it would mean you can't start the next scenario with cure in hand, but would have to take whatever crap spell you found instead. I also don't necessarily agree with wanting to shuffle. If you shuffle you can't know what you will draw. If you are a character who uses the top card of your deck for some purpose, e.g. Seelah, then knowing what is there is very useful.

Quote:

5th, Constitution is nearly pointless right now... there are a few checks but most are not important or game changing.

Mostly agreed, although some of those checks can be quite painful to fail. It also helps you get armor, but since you don't like that either it doesn't matter much.

Quote:

6th, Is it me or are blessings just way better than allies in nearly every way? (Obviously this does not apply if you are the wizard because he has none and the druid because she is awesome because of them.)

Blessings discard to use. Allies normally recharge to use. Plus if you only have blessings you wouldn't be able to use two on a single check. Allies tend to help more with offskills too, e.g. A burglar will give you +d10 to defeat a barrier, where a blessing might only give you +d4 if it is testing your worst stat.

Quote:

7th, A few of the characters do not feel completely balanced. I have heard the argument that some are better solo, others are better in teams. I agree with this to a degree, but there are other characters that I would always want because it seems that they can nearly always do what they need to do and some can help others succeed as well. Other characters seem to just be weaker in comparison to their counterparts, like the barbarian. The only stuff she can do better is have one extra possible high damage, can move after her turn is over which has some cool uses depending on the locations and can bury cards to make certain checks which the fighter cannot do like for weapons and Con checks (when hell freezes over and you need one.). There are negatives though because when you consider the alternative the fighter can recharge weapons instead of discarding them therefore encouraging him to do it far more than burying for a 1D10. His +3 to damage gives you more consistent damage which in this game is essential! The high risk, high reward thing does not work well in this game because unlike DnD, you don't get more than one swing to hit an enemy, if you fail big, you take more damage; so it is better to be consistently good than occasionally great, especially when there are plenty of cards to make you occasionally great. Plus the fighter has higher Dex, which makes no since because a Barbarian is typically the more Dex based character; as it needs a higher AC bonus because he can't wear heavy armor and he wants to wear light armor so he can keep his 40ft movement with higher initiative to smack people who are flatfooted but I digress... The fighter has higher Dex which is just better because it is used FAR more than con in this game, and Dex is actually needed to progress in this game where con is only "needed" in a precious few places. Plus the fighter can help people that are at his location for free, no card required.

I've found them quite well balanced, although I've only played solo with all of them, and only a few of them I've played in groups.

Quote:

8th, One of the little things that concerns me about this game is how they have made the wizard and sorcerer. Right now, it seems that the sorcerer is better in a few ways, especially when you make one of her spells a cure so it doesn't matter as much that she is discarding to cast her ability fire spell. But being the only character with an intelligence higher than D6 and the amount of spells that the Wizard has is nice; however the lack of blessings is kind of brutal. What concerns me is what this mechanic could say about the future of the game. How will the game get harder? Are monsters going to require more damage in the future to destroy? If that is the case than her ability spell is going to become more and more ineffective, especially considering you are not recharging that card. Are they going to allow a character to attack a creature more than once in turn? Then it will be considerably harder to use spell casters as they are heavily card dependent. Right now it seems that they have created a rough situation for themselves in this area. The obvious solution is that spells in the future will no longer have to be discarded or recharged, but it seems that that is not on their radar as so many skills that deal with rolling to keep spells. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this.

You have to plan for the possibility of having multiple combat checks, so you need to balance your spells appropriately. Fortunately the casters have large hand sizes. You can also back up with a weapon. I don't think many normal monsters will have multiple checks to defeat, although I'm sure most future villains will, and maybe some henchmen. It will be interesting to see.

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1) Not all characters as exactly the same. Is ‘2’ really that big a deal? Having permanent access to healing (albeit at the loss of exploring) is pretty powerful.
2) Keep in mind that you are only seeing the FIRST adventure in the campaign. You cannot judge the entire campaign on just the first scenario. There very well could be a large number of Strength checks required in later scenarios/adventures. Harsk (Dex D8+3) is not as good at killing monsters as Valeros (Str D10+3), for example. Sure, Dex in general has more tests right now than Strength. Right now. And, as mentioned, Strength is the default combat. Dex can only be used (excepting Sajan) if you have a weapon that changes the test to Dex. And if you’re making your own character you’re really just making things up. Seems a bit like cheating; being able to choose the “best” set of stats, skills, and cards. You should just play with the characters that the game was playtested and balanced with. Change the picture and background if you want to personalize your PC more. I wouldn’t recommend making up your own characters.
3) Armor isn’t pointless. There are actually a number of monsters that deal Combat Damage outside of the combat roll. The Goblin Commando, for example. “Before the encounter, the Goblin deals 1 ranged combat damage to you.” Scout: “Before the encounter, the Scout deals 1d4-1 Ranged Combat Damage to you”. Ogre: “If undefeated, the Ogre deals 1 Combat Damage to each other character at the location.” Etc. Pit Trap and Trapped Passageway barriers deal Combat Damage. All of those can be prevented with armor. Then, armor gives you a ‘cushion’ if you fail a combat check, which does happen. Often, I find combat checks that fail do so by only 1 or 2 points. Anyway, there are currently a number of cards that deal combat damage outside of actual combat, then there is damage gained in combat. And, this is (again) simply the first adventure.
4) If you do not have the Divine skill, the Cure spell is BANISHED when used. Meaning, it can be used exactly ONCE and then is gone, and cannot be used in the next scenario unless you manage to find another one. You do not “automatically” get it back. You only get to choose another basic spell from the box if no new spells were acquired by the GROUP during the scenario. Replacing the spell must come from the group’s spells at the end of a scenario, before you can pull from the box.
5) True, there aren’t many Constitution checks yet. Again, this is just the first adventure in a long campaign. More Constitution checks will probably come up.
6) Blessings are powerful, but almost never recharge. Most allies can recharge, unless being used to explore, in which case they are just as powerful as a blessing. Additionally, allies often can give a better bonus than blessings. Blessings add primary dice. Most allies add a specific die. If Kyra needs to make a Dex (d4) check, then most blessings will simply add a second d4 (and is discarded). A Troubador adds a d6 and is recharged. Ally is better. Of course, blessings also get to be played for other characters, which makes them useful in that way. Then again, there are also allies that give +1d10, or absorb damage, or allow the passing of a check, etc, that blessings cannot do. It simply comes down to the situation.
7) Sure characters aren’t always balanced. They aren’t always balanced in an RPG either. The answer given to you is the answer. Some characters are better solo, and others in teams. Some are stronger than others. It isn’t always about min-maxing. Some people simply want to play a cool barbarian. She might not be the best all-around character, but she isn’t particularly underpowered or handicapped. Keep in mind that things like blessings are giving her a d12 for combat, instead of a d10 for the fighter, so Amiri actually benefits more from things that add base dice.
8) Again, CURE is dangerous for non-Divine casters to take, because in all likelihood you will LOSE it after the first cast. Second, Seoni and Ezran has different purposes. Seoni is much more of the damage dealer of the two. Although, unless there is a healer in the group, she needs to be careful about discarding too much. Ezran’s big power is the ability to explore multiple times in a turn for free.
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