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Thunderstone Advance: Numenera» Forums » General

Subject: Monsters that require exact attack values, etc. rss

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Dan Conley
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Hi, All! First play yesterday. I really enjoy T'Stone Advance and I like what I've read of the Numenera RPG. So I just figured this had to be a winner...

Here's the thing: WHAT is with the monsters that need an exact attack value to be hit or the ones that can't be hit if your attack value is more than a given number? (10 comes to mind.)

Is this somehow a connection to the RPG or are there other reasons for this design choice? If one of the reasons is urinating me off, then mission accomplished! I found it very frustrating to encounter these. Lost track of how many times I did a Prepare action to get just the right attack number.

Any insight would be appreciated. I know I could house rule it, of course. Just wondered if anyone could explain the justification (if any!) for this.

Thanks!
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Re: Monsters that reuire exact attack values, etc.
I agree; there are some odd design choices when it comes to monsters. Looking at other sets, I often feel that way.

The ultraterrestials bug me too. One of the problems I have with Thunderstone is that sometimes nobody can or wants to go to the dungeon for a long time. Advance alleviates this problem a bit with the Wilderness side of the board, levels and 4-4-4 setup, and prepare action.

But with the ultraterrestials this problem is back; the monsters that let you discard (or destroy) heroes give you some flexibility, but that still leaves 6 monsters that you can't defeat if you are too strong. A dungeon with a few of these and maybe a lvl 1 monster that nobody wants to attack can really stall the game. And I don't see how it makes thematic sense, either.

I have a similar problem with the beasts and their diseases. Iron winds are pretty harsh. I'm sure many people like diseases, it's a big focus in Root of Corruption, but I think they're mostly interesting when given a choice to defeat a valuable monster that gives you a disease, or a less valuable monster that doesn't. But out of different 7 monsters that hand out diseases in Numenera, 6 are level 1! If you play with the beasts as part of a lvl 1/2/3 monster setup, all the level 1 monsters will gain you an iron wind. A 1 xp / 2 vp monster isn't one that you would usually want to defeat, but certainly not when there's a disease attached to it. This can lead to stalls again, when all available monsters are ones that the players don't want to battle.

I also have some minor quibbles with the Ocular Host that kills a monster from your hand as a raid effect (being randomly punished isn't exactly fun), and I wonder why there's a monster called "Philethis" and a different one that's called "Phylethis".

Great game (I love the Abhumans and Bandit Raiders), but some of these choices really puzzle me.
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Will M. Baker
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I'll be interested to see what others say. The Ultraterrestials are one of my favorite monster groups, because they pose such a challenge. Various monster groups require specific skill sets, but most will fall to raw power. The Ultraterrestials require more finesse, a deck that is capable of withholding its full potential.
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Mark Wootton
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yosemite wrote:


Any insight would be appreciated. I know I could house rule it, of course. Just wondered if anyone could explain the justification (if any!) for this.

Thanks!


I don't know that anyone can "justify" anything, or that justification is possible. But I can give you reasons.

The purpose of monster groups in Thunderstone is to provide you with a series of different challenges, that, as you build your deck, you have to think about. If you like, each group is its own puzzle

In 90% of cases it is actually just about getting as efficient an attack value as you can, within some parameters (like needing Magic Attack, or certain immunity). In many cases thinning your deck of lower attack values is good.

There are a couple of Monster groups in Numenera that are designed to make that more of a challenge, to increase the value of cards that can adjust your attack values (through discarding or other means) or cards that provide small incremental increases with other boons.

In the case of these monsters you cannot for example just thin all of the light cards out of your deck, because overwhelming them with raw attack does not work, they have the capacity to sense that and slink back into the Dungeon.

If there was always one way to build deck that was most efficient against pretty much all the monsters you face then the game would be less interesting. I personally really enjoy this group, just like Will, because they make me build my deck differently.

Mark
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Thanks for the insights, Mark and Will!

I'm still not a big fan of the Ultraterrestials, or the Beasts, as they appear in the game. I recently played a game where I combined them into one; I house ruled that the Ultraterrestials gave you an Iron Wind (or two for the Jurulisk) if your attack was too high. This avoided the problem I had with them, that the game can grind to a halt if the dungeon is full of monsters nobody can or wants to defeat.

But I'm pretty new to Thunderstone Numenera, and played with people who had only played Thunderstone (any version) once. I guess that if everyone understands before the game starts what you have to do to defeat the Ultraterrestials and how you can do that with the available cards, they pose an interesting challenge.

I feel that one of Thunderstone's strengths is that you can buy whatever cards you like, and even if it might not be the most optimal strategy, you still get to play the game and kick monster butt and level heroes and score points. It's not all about long-term strategy and efficiency with little room for error. The Ultraterrestials change that. Which is a good thing, I suppose; you get more variation in your games with the Ultraterrestial option. But they do need some sort of warning label: your usual playing style will not make for a very fun game!
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