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Subject: Questions for the Creator- Post Questions Here rss

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Rock Bronson

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I have one for you about the kung fu cards- I didn't realize until seeing the more finished manual that stance cards from one kung fu are not always strong to the same styles. For example Flowing Universe's basic stance laughs at Linear and Forceful styles, but Flowing Form laughs at Hidden and Honest styles. Within a school of kung fu, can a player "cover all their bases" so to speak, and have a diverse Laughs At portfolio, or does this vary from school to school?
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Captian Kirk
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esarge wrote:
I have on for you about the kung fu cards- I didn't realize until seeing the more finished manual that stance cards from one kung fu are not always strong to the same styles. For example Flowing Universe's basic stance laughs at Linear and Forceful styles, but Flowing Form laughs at Hidden and Honest styles. Within a school of kung fu, can a player "cover all their bases" so to speak, and have a diverse Laughs At portfolio, or does this vary from school to school?


I balanced it so that each style primarily laughs at two other styles, but each having 2 cards that will laugh at a style besides the main "enemy" style. So the only way to cover bases within the game is to either a) buy another Kung Fu school to unlock other stances, or b) buy other stances when a special development quest turns up which allow the purchase from a school which is not used by another player.
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Rock Bronson

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Very cool- that's what I was hoping to hear! Then since you must choose a style to stick with for the turn, you aren't likely to be laughing at in all three rounds of battle, is that correct? That sounds like it should create good tension as you try to anticipate your opponent and choose a stance order to counter theirs. Sounds to me as though fighting other player opponents is very meaty, I see why a solo play variant would be limited in comparison. I also like that the laughs at system is more than just a stat boost- Disarming a weapon, for example, may not even kick in. It's an advantage, but still requires some planning to use effectively.

I see a lot of advantages for characters with a strong speed stat. How is this balanced against a character who is slower? Also, do all characters have access to lightfoot ability? It seems like those without would be at a serious disadvantage as far as getting to a quest in time.

Also, the version of the LOTW RPG that is up on DrivethruRPG- is this current or is there a more revised version?
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Frank Böttcher
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Is it possible that the icons of "Damage" and "Toughness" on page 20 and 25 are reversed ?

Also the picture of the combat example is wrong: Captain Wang should have a saber instead of a spear and his first stance card should be "Water sphere".
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Captian Kirk
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esarge wrote:
Very cool- that's what I was hoping to hear! Then since you must choose a style to stick with for the turn, you aren't likely to be laughing at in all three rounds of battle, is that correct? That sounds like it should create good tension as you try to anticipate your opponent and choose a stance order to counter theirs. Sounds to me as though fighting other player opponents is very meaty, I see why a solo play variant would be limited in comparison. I also like that the laughs at system is more than just a stat boost- Disarming a weapon, for example, may not even kick in. It's an advantage, but still requires some planning to use effectively.


Thank you. I hope to have a lot of tension here, without too much to track.

esarge wrote:
I see a lot of advantages for characters with a strong speed stat. How is this balanced against a character who is slower? Also, do all characters have access to lightfoot ability? It seems like those without would be at a serious disadvantage as far as getting to a quest in time.


IMO, and I may be wrong about this... speed is actually the least important stat, except for the Shadow Catching style. It allows a big bonus in that you get to see what dice the opponent places first. Speed stat comes into play during the Initiative Phase, when a player may want to make an Initiative Action. Which means spending at least one Qi dice. That would make the player "faster" , but that won't amount to much if you don't have Qi dice left. Luck and proper management of Qi plays a bigger part. I think the lightfoot stat is more important because it increases movement. Everyone can use Lightfoot ability... it's just spending Qi and rolling a die to see how far you move (and add the Lightfoot Stat to the roll). There are only two schools (if I remember correctly) that have bonus lighfoot. Those schools with bonus to lightfoot are a little weaker (in damage and toughness) to the other schools.

The current here is the latest version. I just updated the link on the KS site to this version.

Baerenkeks wrote:
Is it possible that the icons of "Damage" and "Toughness" on page 20 and 25 are reversed ?

Also the picture of the combat example is wrong: Captain Wang should have a saber instead of a spear and his first stance card should be "Water sphere".


THANK YOU! Also, not sure if I'll change the picture or the text, as the character picture uses a spear and I may want the weapon to be that way just for symmetry.
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Rock Bronson

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I saw something on the game board during the 1st video which leads me to believe our heroes may partake in a little gambling, maybe with their reputation? Is that correct? Sounds good... This brings up the economics of the game. Is this aspect fairly light, or will a player need to scrimp and save for those Kung Fu accoutrements? Is purchasing Virtue Medals a valid path to victory? It seems like purchasing at least one is good practice, as it's a wild card and can fill in gaps in availability, as well as mask your victory conditions? Maybe I'm reading too much into that.

I hope you will illuminate the contests and rep bidding mentioned in the manual, too! Though they may be less weighty in the metagame than combat, I have been impressed by the consistency of theme in LOTW and wonder what Wuxia memes these represent.



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Captian Kirk
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esarge wrote:
I saw something on the game board during the 1st video which leads me to believe our heroes may partake in a little gambling, maybe with their reputation?


A very little. There is a an Wuxia casino on the board where they can bet reputation. There are several "auction" quests in which the winner is the one who bids the most...Although not explicit, the quest is called "Wulin Gala" and I imagine that heroes must pull in favors to make sure all the appropriate and strange foods are prepared and stocked.

esarge wrote:
This brings up the economics of the game. Is this aspect fairly light, or will a player need to scrimp and save for those Kung Fu accoutrements? Is purchasing Virtue Medals a valid path to victory? It seems like purchasing at least one is good practice, as it's a wild card and can fill in gaps in availability, as well as mask your victory conditions?


I think saving is not necessary and many games players will wind up with a fair amount of un-spend reputation. Not un-spent because there was nothing to buy, but unspent because the players will think it is more advantageous to focus on getting the final medal or messing with another player than going shopping. I think buying a virtue medal is valid, and sometimes necessary. But keep in mind that the game wins after the player does the last quest, which is on the Destiny Card. Collecting the virtue medals just unlocks those quests. That last quest is always about taking out another player. Which is not easy. 10 reputation coins can buy an upgrade and an internal Kung Fu. It can buy 3 stance cards and 2 upgrade cards (important if the player realizes early on which other player will probably need to be fought and that player's Kung Fu may be stronger against the the player trying to complete the final quest).
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Rock Bronson

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I have some questions about the Internal Kung Fu revealed in the last update- First, about the Jade Spirit Sword; ten weapons is a lot of strategic choices, but seems like it might be a lot to keep track of. How does a player reference their choices in-game? Also, since this weapon is equip-able essentially on a per round basis, is it re-equippable after being disarmed?

With Fire Sutra, the character's attacks are made elemental, or damage is added to elemental attack. This aspect of combat hasn't been touched on. What can you tell us about elemental attacks and defense, and how they affect gameplay?

Lastly, about player vs. mook combat- in other RPG board games the enemies get stronger as the player does, either by only showing up during an appropriately leveled quest or by a mechanic which helps them to match strength. LotW is a new take on this- How did you balance your system in LotW, and what's different from other board game RPGs? Also, the "mook level" seems to be equal to the number of mook tokens at a location where a battle takes place. It confused me at first, but seems like you just count the tokens and follow the chart. Is that correct?
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Frank Böttcher
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More questions:

1. Mooks that survive their quest stay on the board ? Do they block movement or can the heroes move "through" them and fight them at will ?

2. How many weapons may a hero have ? In which phase is a weapon equipped or changed (if more then one weapon is allowed) ?

3. A hero may have a unlimited number of Kung Fu cards, Stance Set Cards and secret art/internal Kung Fu Cards ?

4. What's the cost of all those cards a hero is able to "buy" ?

5. Is is possible to equipp Kung Fu-Syle A and Stance Set Cards from the styles B, C and D ?

6. If a stance set card "laughs at" another style, it is not the style of the equipped Kung Fu but the style of the confronted stance set card ?

7. Internal Kung Fu "Fox Spirit": according to the card I may change the style of one stance set card, but that seems useless. Shouldn't it be that I'm able to change the "VS Style" of one stance set card ?

8. On page 10 of the rulebook the section "If there are still empty quest slots ..." is printed two times.

9. If in a battle mooks and two players are involved a player may choose to attack the other player. But the mooks allways attack both players, even if one is "helping" them ?

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Captian Kirk
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Baerenkeks wrote:
More questions:
1. Mooks that survive their quest stay on the board ? Do they block movement or can the heroes move "through" them and fight them at will ?

2. How many weapons may a hero have ? In which phase is a weapon equipped or changed (if more then one weapon is allowed) ?

3. A hero may have a unlimited number of Kung Fu cards, Stance Set Cards and secret art/internal Kung Fu Cards ?

4. What's the cost of all those cards a hero is able to "buy" ?



Mooks don't block movement... they are not powerful to block a warrior who can use Lightfoot. Heroes can have more than one weapon but use only one. It is equipped when bought (thank you... I need to check to see that the rules say what happens when you have more than one weapon). They have unlimited number of cards but their Qi is limited to 8. Stance Sets cost 1. Upgrades cost 3. New School costs 5.



Baerenkeks wrote:
5. Is is possible to equipp Kung Fu-Syle A and Stance Set Cards from the styles B, C and D ?

6. If a stance set card "laughs at" another style, it is not the style of the equipped Kung Fu but the style of the confronted stance set card ?

7. Internal Kung Fu "Fox Spirit": according to the card I may change the style of one stance set card, but that seems useless. Shouldn't it be that I'm able to change the "VS Style" of one stance set card ?

8. On page 10 of the rulebook the section "If there are still empty quest slots ..." is printed two times.

9. If in a battle mooks and two players are involved a player may choose to attack the other player. But the mooks allways attack both players, even if one is "helping" them ?



It is possible and advantageous to equip stance sets from different styles but there are limitations on how those styles are bought. Changing one of your stance set cards style prevents others from laughing at you. Mooks attacks are area affect. Players are never really "friends" with mooks.

esarge wrote:
I have some questions about the Internal Kung Fu revealed in the last update- First, about the Jade Spirit Sword; ten weapons is a lot of strategic choices, but seems like it might be a lot to keep track of. How does a player reference their choices in-game? Also, since this weapon is equip-able essentially on a per round basis, is it re-equippable after being disarmed?


If your weapon is disarmed, you can't use a weapon, so this Internal Kung Fu becomes useless.

esarge wrote:

With Fire Sutra, the character's attacks are made elemental, or damage is added to elemental attack. This aspect of combat hasn't been touched on. What can you tell us about elemental attacks and defense, and how they affect gameplay?


It's just an effect of this card for right now. This Internal Kung Fu changes the Toughness of the Opponent and Damage user's damage modifier.

esarge wrote:

Lastly, about player vs. mook combat- in other RPG board games the enemies get stronger as the player does, either by only showing up during an appropriately leveled quest or by a mechanic which helps them to match strength. LotW is a new take on this- How did you balance your system in LotW, and what's different from other board game RPGs? Also, the "mook level" seems to be equal to the number of mook tokens at a location where a battle takes place. It confused me at first, but seems like you just count the tokens and follow the chart. Is that correct?


The level is based on how many mooks are in a zone. You can think of this as either a really powerful non-wuxia fighter, or like an army that gathers in a location.

Attacking Mooks get's easier vis-a-vis characters, as characters quickly level. Of course, at the beginning, there are only Apprentice Quests, which are easier. There goes through a time where quests become too easy... except for Legend quests which are always hard. Issue is that other players will probably more interfere with your quests to prevent you from getting Qi and Virtue Medals. So mid-to-late game, players are often your worst enemies. Oh, and, usually there are a lot of left-over Mooks from early game... often these become more powerful as new quests take affect at the same locations.
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Frank Böttcher
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Thank you very much.

Fox Spirit: "Changing one of your stance set cards style prevents others from laughing at you."
Clever. It's for the defence and not for attacking other players.
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Rock Bronson

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Quote:
Oh, and, usually there are a lot of left-over Mooks from early game... often these become more powerful as new quests take affect at the same locations.


Neat- I was wondering about that. You can't block movement, but can affect the difficulty of quests with Secret Art of Command, or if you can correctly guess where the opponent is heading, you can arrange a welcome party. devil
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Rock Bronson

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I really like the Mook system. It seems like a very flexible base mechanic to work from, and at the same time, easy to manage as a player. For instance in the Pathfinder Adventure card game, which I like a lot, there are tons of enemy cards, all with different stats, abilities, etc., which is cool in it's own way, but I feel the Mook system fills the same role simply and elegantly. I guess it could be too abstract for some, but I really dig it. I also like the map- there are things to do, reasons to be at a location even if there's no quest, and the things you can do are useful. Heal or gain a reputation, learn new skills. Since there are things to be doing, it makes the movement of mooks significant enough to warrant an art like Command. (Which if you couldn't tell, I totally dig)
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Rock Bronson

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I have a question about playtesting- I anticipate that LotW will succeed, if not now then later. A playtesting group could help spread the word and generate third party reviews and comments for the game. I know that LotW is fully playtested, so I'm referring mainly to expansions. Do you have any plans to recruit in future?
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Frank Böttcher
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Good question. I'm interested too.
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Captian Kirk
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Baerenkeks wrote:

Clever. It's for the defence and not for attacking other players.


But there is also an Internal Kung Fu that lets you change the style of the opponent's card.

esarge wrote:

Neat- I was wondering about that. You can't block movement, but can affect the difficulty of quests with Secret Art of Command, or if you can correctly guess where the opponent is heading, you can arrange a welcome party. devil


Doesn't happen often in a game but it can happen.

Secret Arts / Internal Kung Fu don't get used that much because most players (in the playtesting so far) tend to focus on getting upgrades / Stance Sets / all that as quick as possible, then complete missions to win.

Truth is, I keep thinking about taking Secret Arts / Internal Kung Fu out and using in the expansion. Or at least taking them out of the retail set, letting KS backers get to it. Reason is... 1) the game is already complicated enough, and 2) in a 3 -4 person game, they can win it quicker just by getting powerful enough with Kung Fu. Especially if luck is on the player's side and the player that they need to take out for the final battle is already wounded and other players dont' know what they are doing. These Internal Kung Fu cards really come into play with 4-5 players who are moderatly competent, and battles get really tough.


esarge wrote:
I really like the Mook system. It seems like a very flexible base mechanic to work from, and at the same time, easy to manage as a player. For instance in the Pathfinder Adventure card game, which I like a lot, there are tons of enemy cards, all with different stats, abilities, etc., which is cool in it's own way, but I feel the Mook system fills the same role simply and elegantly. I guess it could be too abstract for some, but I really dig it. I also like the map- there are things to do, reasons to be at a location even if there's no quest, and the things you can do are useful. Heal or gain a reputation, learn new skills. Since there are things to be doing, it makes the movement of mooks significant enough to warrant an art like Command. (Which if you couldn't tell, I totally dig)


Wow. Uh... I have not played that Pathfinder game, but I can't believe you would compare this favorably. OK. Thanks.

Understand that Mooks are guys that you take out. They don't have a story of their own. We don't even call them "bandits", "cultists", "soldiers", etc as it is really not relevant to the main story... the story of the player's character. This is taken from the RPG BTW.

esarge wrote:
Do you have any plans to recruit in future?


Are you volunteering? And BTW, I've play-tested LOTW alot. But only with the same play-testers. It's a complicated game. Well...no... not complicated in rules. But complicated because there are so many different possible variables; different Kung Fu, special Kung Fu, combat system, etc. The expansion will add a few new mechanics even. So yes... need more play-testers. So I feel a certain amount of stress right now... what if the play-testers play one way and understand something that other's don't understand. What if some explanation is getting left out? The game is a fairly "boundless" board-game because it was made to mimic aspects of RPGs. The battle system is fairly (but not completely) balanced (not an easy thing to do). The battle system combined with map movement system is OK balanced. I do fear that a decent min-maxer will figure out a perfect "character build" combination that can defeat any other player in single-combat. I have not made such a thing yet, and if such a thing is possible, it would be rare because others could figure out the same build and attain the component pieces first, preventing the build. And also, in the end, there are more-often multiple-player combats in the end game. But I still worry about this.

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Rock Bronson

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jiaxingseng wrote:

Wow. Uh... I have not played that Pathfinder game, but I can't believe you would compare this favorably. OK. Thanks.

Understand that Mooks are guys that you take out. They don't have a story of their own. We don't even call them "bandits", "cultists", "soldiers", etc as it is really not relevant to the main story... the story of the player's character. This is taken from the RPG BTW.


Heheh, I may not be a typical player. First off, no RPG experience. I have some limited experience with the adventure card game, but zero with Pathfinder or D&D RPGS, so I could have a different perspective than most. What I was trying to say is that the RPG board games I have played give players something specific to imagine; this maintains it's consistency of theme, but the strength of this, specificity, is also it's weakness. Here is the goblin card I pulled out of the encounter deck, and this Goblin has exactly the same art as the others, yet I am now trying to imagine it as a new foe in new surroundings. For me, this is breaks immersion and feels 'game-y' I personally like the idea of the mook system better, as the particulars are left to my overactive imagination and likely tableside hyperbole. I do think however, that a few cues and descriptors might keep it from being too abstract.

jiaxingseng wrote:
Are you volunteering? And BTW, I've play-tested LOTW alot. But only with the same play-testers. It's a complicated game. Well...no... not complicated in rules. But complicated because there are so many different possible variables; different Kung Fu, special Kung Fu, combat system, etc. The expansion will add a few new mechanics even. So yes... need more play-testers. So I feel a certain amount of stress right now... what if the play-testers play one way and understand something that other's don't understand.


Yes, of course I am volunteering and it sounds like Baerenkeks is too, but it may be the wrong time? Having two teams of playtesters to communicate to and between right now sounds like more work rather than less. A larger playtest group could help iron out anything that's been taken for granted as a result of playing with the same people, but you may be able to get most of the relevant info from fans anyway and then amend what you wish for subsequent editions if necessary. I do think that if the game is popular having experienced English speaking fans to field basic to middle-weight newbie questions on BGG and playtesters to answer about specific rules interactions for the competitive players would be awesome, and maybe help a communication bottleneck. If it becomes advantageous, I am happy to help.
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Frank Böttcher
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esarge wrote:
If it becomes advantageous, I am happy to help.


Me too.
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Frank Böttcher
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Another question:

In the final Quests (Defeat the Death Cult, For the Emperor!, etc.) there is allways:

"Take out the player with most ...."


Let's say I reveal my final quest and my target with most .... is player X. But two rounds later player Y ist the player with most ... .

Does my target change ? Maybe the Death cult leader tricked me the first time and is really another player ? Or is the target player only identified once ?


How long does it take to "take out" an unwounded other player ? Is this possible in one fight or is it necessary to hunt him around the board ? He may even win the game while I'm on his trail !
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Captian Kirk
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Yes. So... my fear for this game is that I miss simple things that the instruction book did not cover. The card says take out Player A who has these conditions. I assumed that if those conditions change, then the target becomes Player B and this would be obvious to all involved. Since you ask the question (and none of the playtesters here in China asked that), I feel this and other questions should be put in a FAQ in the manual.

To answer your question... the card says take out the player who meets that condition. So if the condition changes, so does the target. In practice, has not happened while I played the game, but it could happen.

Your explanation for why the target changed makes me happy. This is because you are thinking of it in the correct way... in terms of an evolving story.

About how long to take out an unwounded player... well. My goal in the combat system design was that players fighting in two back-to-back battles with other end-game level players of equal strength would, on-average, get taken-out after the second battle. Some Kung Fu styles, though brittle, have the ability to cause 5 or more Risk Points in a single battle; this could cause a player to get taken out. The other , common method for taking out another player is to wait for the probably target to be away from other players (as other players will gang-out to defend the target), preferably when that other player is pursuing a Legend Quest.
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Frank Böttcher
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Thank you.

The more I learn about this game the more I like it

It is really a clever design

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Rock Bronson

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Baerenkeks wrote:
Thank you.

The more I learn about this game the more I like it

It is really a clever design


I agree. I had interpreted that just the opposite, and am glad I was incorrect. I am so excited by how the mechanics not only encourage, but create meaningful emergent gameplay.
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