I tried the variant suggested by http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14490620#14490620.

Adventure: Perils of the Lost Coast
Scenario: Brigandoom!

Rolling to see how many adventures: 6

Rolling to see who participates gave me in order:
Amiri
Valeros
Sajan
Merisiel
Kyra
Harsk

Locations for 6 players:
Woods
Waterfront
Farmhouse
Wooden Bridge
Academy
Prison
Garrison
Treacherous Cave


I started Amiri at the Woods but she only had a short sword in her hand and no way to perform multiple explorations. She spent most of the game slogging through the underbrush only finding an item and some armor.

Valeros went to the prison because he was best suited to handle a diplomacy check to close the location.

Sajan took to the Waterfront, because he is not hindered by the use of weapons (subtract 1 from each dice rolled if using a weapon).

Merisiel went to the Wooden Bridge. She spent the whole game at this location. I really believed she could succeed at the Stealth check, but she proved me wrong.

Kyra attempted to get new spells from the Academy. She pushed hard to get through the deck with additional explores.

Harsk easily passed the Fortitude check to stay at the Treacherous Cave. First explore for Harsk in the Treacherous Cave he come across a shadow!! With a combat of 13 for the Shadow, I go for it with only 2d8 using a light crossbow. I rolled a 1+4 = 5. Ouch!!! Discarded all the cards in his hand.

On Sajan's second turn he came across Jubrayl Vhishki, our villain! Temporarily closed the Woods, Academy, Prison, and Treacherous Cave (rolled a natural 1 for Merisiel so the Wooden Bridge stayed open). Easy win for Sajan by blessing himself twice. Waterfront closed.

Rather soon after, Valeros closed the Prison by beating up a henchman. Then headed over to the Farmhouse where he found another henchman within an explore or two. Easily beating the random monster to close the location. No villain to be found. Very easy combat checks for him because he had found a chest full of weapons at the Prison.

Nearing the end:
I was able to close all locations except the Wooden Bridge, Treacherous Cave, and Garrison by the end of the game. I knew the villain was either at the Wooden Bridge or the Garrison. Because no one had spent much time at the Garrison there were a lot of cards still in the deck. Sajan, Kyra, and Valeros all tried their best to find the villain. Harsk and Amiri were at the Treacherous Cave to try to temporary close if anyone found the villain. By this time Harsk has been hurt so badly there are no more cards in his deck. One little scratch and he is dead! Merisiel was down to two cards in her location, one of which had to be the henchman and the other unknown.

Flip the last blessing!
Merisiel explores to find a henchman. She uses her dagger and Harsk fires a bolt for her. She slays the henchman but once again fails the check to close the location. Using an ally she explores again hoping against hope it is the villain. It is Jubrayl Vhishki. (I could win, I could really win!!!)

Trying to close locations I start with the Treacherous Cave. Shouldn't be a problem. Both Amiri and Harsk have Survival. In an attempt to save blessing for the fight I roll for Harsk first to try to close the location. Fail! Okay this time I bless Amiri because she has a +3 to survival compared to Harsk's +2. Rolling 2d6 with a +3 for a check of 7, gave me 1 + 2 + modifier = 6. Location is NOT closed. The villain can escape.

Game Over.

Thoughts: This was the first time I played with more than 4 people. I knew I had to explore as many times as possible. That's probably why I pushed Harsk so hard and he really paid for it. I really liked this variant because I got to play with some characters I don't usually play with. That being said, I probably didn't use many of them to their full potential. In the end it was the timer that really hurt.
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Kirk Monsen
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The main idea behind that variant is all the 11 player decks are built out, so that it would be rare to find any basic cards at locations, therefor getting better loot quickly. Were you experiencing this?
 
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Overall I think I did see more non-basic cards. It was very true for the armors and weapons, but not so much for items or allies.
 
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