Danny Frahm
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Ok, this is not a discussion about whether the game is too easy or too hard. Its pointless trying to prove it one way or another. If you don't think the game is hard enough, please don't try to prove it in this thread. Or if you're of the opinion this game isn't SUPPOSE to be hard, once again, lets avoid talking about that too.

OK

My friends and I are gamers/RPGers. We like this game a lot. It seems to be more about character progression than a real co-operative challenge. We have never lost a scenario and we have never had anyone die. The character progression is fun, but its hard to ever feel you're at any real risk, which dramatically drops tension. The below variants I've probably read from various places around the internet, so I don't take credit for anything, even the stuff I did come up with

GOAL
- increase risk during campaign

CURRENT SIMPLE VARIANTs which work with our group
- henchmen and villain are shuffled into the bottom 5 cards. This decreases the lucky "Oh he's on the top of the deck! Location closed" luck of the draw.
- If you take damage exceeding your hand size, bury the top card of your deck. All combat should be meaningful if lost.
- if playing with 1-4 players +1 location. Our group has an easy time with 1-4 players. This is here to up difficulty a little bit.

PROPOSED but untested variants
- At the start of the game bury 2 random cards from your deck. We found that the game was more exciting when you don't have all the cards you really need, i.e. in the first campaign. You spend time trading and getting the right cards to each other. This creates a situation where characters may need to trade to even out weapons, etc. It could potentially create a great deal of tension.

- Each adventure you may only keep one newly acquired card in your deck [under construction] This slows progression of characters. We felt there was significantly less progression after the first couple of adventures. It requires a bit of a memory about what your deck originally was. And there is going to be a little confusion about what to do when you are banishing cards from your hand. Its a work in progress...

- All dice are at -1 die I don't love this. Its clunky and requires more math. This will also nerf some classes more than others, but it is a simple "HARDCORE" ratchet up in difficulty. and increase the significance of a +1 and decreases the power of +die.

- If a blessings says "add one die" it provide a 1d6 extra unless a power specifies otherwise (except when the monk blesses himself in combat). This will decrease the power of the POUR IT ON auto-win roll that we are able to do several times a game to almost guarantee important rolls. It gives a minor buff to unskilled checks too.

- RANDOM ENCOUNTERS! if you move at the start of your turn roll a d6. If the die is equal or less than the spaces moved (minus 1) from your original location draw a random monster to defeat. Not sure about this, but its interesting right? Combo'ed with other variant rules its probably going to be pretty harsh though. Maybe you can bury a card to evade the random encounter...

- RANDOM ENCOUNTERS V2! add 5 monsters to the blessings deck. Add 5 monsters to the blessing deck. Then remove 5 cards at random. When these are drawn the player must immediately encounter this monster. If defeated they may draw a card and continue their turn. If avoided they continue their turn without drawing a card. However, if undefeated they do not take damage. Instead one the next blessings card is turned over and they bury the top of their deck.

I like that last one, but I’d like to see it be a real dynamic part of the game. A real point of decision making. Also I’d like to see more interaction between characters. Maybe if another character is at the same location he can take on the monster instead. Or another character come to his aid by burying a card.... I’m just spitballing now. But I’d love to see more Character interaction.
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Will Chambliss
United States
Phenix City
Alabama
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
quick thoughts
FinalAttack wrote:
- henchmen and villain are shuffled into the bottom 5 cards. This decreases the lucky "Oh he's on the top of the deck! Location closed" luck of the draw.

We like the original rules because you can attempt to close after you kill the henchman.
the biggest part of the fun and excitement of the game is building your character. in the original rules if you close a location because of an early henchman draw you banish all that is left in the pile.

more often than i care to admit some of my friends choose not to close the location because of the cards that could be in the deck...

it creates a tough decision...choose to close loose card but greater success on the whole or search for cards
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Dillon Flaherty
United States
Severna Park
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
Some fun suggestions in there! Personally I haven't tried the additional location step but that's certainly a fun idea.

A simpler version that accomplishes a (probably) similar effect to that is just reducing the number of blessings in the deck when you start. We've found a much more consistently challenging setup when playing with 26 cards for 2 and 28 cards for 3. 24 and 26 would probably work as well, although definitely step up the challenge.

The nice thing about blessing deck modification is that beating (or losing to!) the villain is a -much- less painful experience as is the initial setup. Our group likes to do 2-3 scenarios in a setting, so having to shuffle one less location and pull cards for it each time can definitely add up.

That said, the variety of another location added to the game certainly increases the options!
 
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John Davis
United Kingdom
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
Try replacing some of the cards in the blessings deck with random monsters. If you flip a monster at the start of your turn, immediately encounterthe monster. This really adds a challenge to the characters who empty their hands in other players' turns (Harsk, Lem) and makes it more risky to run yourself low on cards.

How many monsters to use? For a 4 player game I add 5 monsters to the 30-card blessing deck, shuffle and then remove 5 cards (not looking at them). This means you are never sure just how many monsters there are in the deck...

[edited: I originally put 40 instead of 30 by accident]
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Balen
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
Interesting ideas, I'll probably try a few this weekend and see if they play well with my current House Rules and Variants.

I typically play with an extra Location with any number of players except 6, it just makes it more challenging and makes decisions more important because time becomes more valuable. I especially like adding a Location or two with fewer people because turns seem so abundant.

I wanted to do something with "Critical Hits" like your exceeding hand size as well, but found its hard to balance because it punishes the more "tanky" characters who have less cards, and the more squishes with more cards tend to be less likely to discard a whole hand.
My solution was if damage taken equals Character's exact handsize, they take a "Critical".
I may swap my debuff of losing -1 to all checks until you're healed with burying a card though.

I like some of the proposed ideas, I'll definitely try a few. Random encounters sounds fun. Definitely check out my thread and see if it sparks any ideas or combinations.
 
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Aaron Bedard
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Somerville
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
Some great idea's here.

It's funny, I play with two separate groups. One is 3-player (Dwarf, Monk, Paladin) and 2-player (Elf & Wizard).

With 2-player we have a hard time.. a lot of the adventures come right down to the wire and we have had to bail on the mission more than a few times when wounds start to add up. I love this. I want the game to be tough and feel like a real adventure with that tangible fist-pump feeling when we pull it off.

With 3 players, however, we breeze through our adventures. Very little tension. Are never even close of going through the blessing deck and I don't think have ever failed an adventure. We did have Lini die one night in a very tragic turn of events.. and that has provided for our favorite memory yet..when the game finally hit back.

Not sure if it's that our 3 player party is just more diverse and dynamic, thus able to do more things well. Or if the game is simply that much easier with 3 players. But lately we have been discussing ways to up the difficulty and provide more tension.

We have not used this variant yet, but we are going to try it the next time we get together. I would very much like to hear other players opinions on this.

It is simply: Other players can only add a blessing to a check if they are in the location where the check is being made.

One thing we talk about sometimes is how it's strange how seldom we adventure together, that we are always charging our way through separate locations. This makes sense when it comes to tracking down the villain and closing locations, but thematically it feels a little strange.

So I feel like the above variant addresses that issue a little, going through locations together becomes a bit more important. Go into it alone and run into the villain, it's not a gimme with everyone just tossing a blessing and sucking all of the tension right from a climatic battle.

I'm excited to give it a try.

The variant where players are simply adding +1 location does sound very good and easy as well though. I may mention that as another option.

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Balen
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
RawDealDemo wrote:


One thing we talk about sometimes is how it's strange how seldom we adventure together, that we are always charging our way through separate locations. This makes sense when it comes to tracking down the villain and closing locations, but thematically it feels a little strange.

So I feel like the above variant addresses that issue a little, if you go through locations together becomes a bit more important. Go into it a lone and run into the villain, it's not a gimme with everyone just tossing a blessing and taking all the tension right out of the battle.


I'd really recommend my Linear Board Variant

I had the same reaction to the Adventures in terms of togetherness and group effort. Since playing this Linear Board, I don't find any reason to not play it.
It may seem like a bit much of information at first, but it's really quite simple with some guidelines. After the first play it's really quick to setup.
 
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Robert Davis
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
jrd23 wrote:
Try replacing some of the cards in the blessings deck with random monsters. If you flip a monster at the start of your turn, immediately encounterthe monster. This really adds a challenge to the characters who empty their hands in other players' turns (Harsk, Lem) and makes it more risky to run yourself low on cards.

How many monsters to use? For a 4 player game I add 5 monsters to the 40-card blessing deck, shuffle and then remove 5 cards (not looking at them). This means you are never sure just how many monsters there are in the deck...


I'm very new at this game, so please forgive me if I ask something that is obvious. Why does your Blessing deck have 40 cards? I thought the Blessing deck was always set up with 30 cards.

Thanks
 
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John Davis
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Re: Variants to make the game challenging and more enjoyable
bdavis506 wrote:
jrd23 wrote:
Try replacing some of the cards in the blessings deck with random monsters. If you flip a monster at the start of your turn, immediately encounterthe monster. This really adds a challenge to the characters who empty their hands in other players' turns (Harsk, Lem) and makes it more risky to run yourself low on cards.

How many monsters to use? For a 4 player game I add 5 monsters to the 40-card blessing deck, shuffle and then remove 5 cards (not looking at them). This means you are never sure just how many monsters there are in the deck...


I'm very new at this game, so please forgive me if I ask something that is obvious. Why does your Blessing deck have 40 cards? I thought the Blessing deck was always set up with 30 cards.

Thanks

Sorry, I made a typing error, I meant 30. Thanks, I've now fixed my original post.
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