Sebastian Pacześ
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Well… the time has come. I am finishing the 4th adventure pack for this game. I have played this game solo and with many group combinations. I have succeeded all the quests so far. And I think it is time I can share some knowledge about this game with You.
1. Components - All the game comprise of cards…. You can literally say “cards, cards everywhere”. So let’s get closer look at cards.

a. Artwork – You can like it. You can dislike it. The artwork is not gorgeous. But You can clearly say something is bad, mediocre or supreme based on the picture alone (that does not work for spells- at least for me). And the deeper You explore the game… the better the images.

b. Design – Actually I don’t like it. It does not hinder gameplay. Yet it does not use solutions found in other card and board games. And after doing all those scenarios and adventures I think Paizo made bad move here. My reasons:

i. Traits – they are present on all cards, but they are rarely used. What is the point of them then? Flavor only? I think it is a waste that at adventure 4 I mainly check for “BASIC” treat. I think there should be ICONS in place of those traits. And they should be heavily used. Like ABERRATION. Ah cool I encountered that TYPE of monster, but what does it mean? How does it impact that encounter? “Nothing” and “doesn’t” are the most common answers. I mean You can find the scenarios where “giant” or “harpy” traits do something, but they are to few to be of importance to the choices You make along the game.

ii. Text – it is very generic and abundant in the way what it does in comparison how much place it takes. Let’s take weapons in most cases they do some of the three things:
1. Reveal to do some damage
2. Discard to add some extra damage
3. Check for proficiency
All of them could be just icons and symbols in ONE ROW under the picture.
The rest could be flavor text or anything.

iii. No flavor – You hardly find anything special about the card. If You could just read “When You pick up the sword You see some red stains along the edge. It has been used recently…” it would add up to the immersion.

2. Gameplay

a. Complexity - it is pretty straightforward and well designed. If You are not rulemonger You will hardly find some places where You are stuck. Referring to the rules after few games is not required.

b. Flow - This part of game is well designed. Our gaming group has not come even once to the place, where we did not know how to tackle the situation.

c. Difficulty – low. And I find it as a drawback to the game. I will explain it more below.

d. Design – mixed up. The theme has so much unused potential it is sad it has not spent some more months at design table.

i. Character development – simply genius. Your hitpoints are cards. Your deck evolves slowly. Every character plays differently – VERY differently. Great kudos for the designers for that. It is the only one ‘board game “ that offered me that much fulfillment in “building and evolving my character”.

ii. Very limited decisions – the main decision You will make is WHERE to explore. So as I play AMIRI (barbarian) – I tend to spend my time in places where there are MONSTERS but not many BARRIERS (I am low on dexterity) and I want to find new WEAPONS and ARMOR. That’s all about strategic decision to be made in PACG. The rest is just optimizing Your cards for the sake of passing the checks.

iii. No branches – by that I mean You can only succeed or fail a check (sometimes something bad occurs if You fail a check too much). If you encounter the monster You have to pass the check – nothing more. Lets make some examples what it lacks and what I would like it to be.

1. You encounter MONSTER with MURDERER trait. This tells You to take random ally from the box. If it has “human” trait it is added to the encounter and become his hostage. If You pass the combat check by more than the difficulty to acquire that ally – You can add him to your hand. If You fail the basic check not only the hostage is killed but due to your incompetency one off Your allies leaves You -> Banish 1 ally card from Your hand (or DECK) or discard pile.

2. You encounter MONSTER with ASSASSIN trait. This tells You to take random weapon from the box. The difficulty to defeat him is increased by the size of die the weapon provides (1 for d4, 2 for d6…) plus all the bonus to damage of the weapon (+1, +2, etc…). Monster is also immune to the traits the weapon provides (like FIRE, POISON…). If You should defeat him You CAN try to pass the check to acquire the weapon with the difficulty lowered by 2 (he is dead but maybe he broke the weapon in his last attempt to save his life).

3. You encounter MONSTER with ARMOURER trait. This tells You to take random armor from the box. Monster can use all powers of the armor, but he cannot banish it. If You defeat him You CAN try to acquire the armor. Pass the check to acquire it increased by 4 (it is less likely to be of use if you killed him while he was wearing it).

4. You encounter MONSTER with MAGICIAN trait. This tells You to take random spell from the box. Before You attempt to defeat him he uses that spell on You - if the spell causes damage -> Attempt dexterity check with difficulty equal to acquire the spell or take damage equal to adventure number of the spell with its traits. MAGICIAN is immune to attacks with the traits of that spell for the rest of the encounter. Banish the spell.

5. You encounter MONSTER with AMBUSHER trait. This tells You to take random barrier from the box. Before You attempt to defeat him you must pass it’s check (but You don’t get the reward for it) or he is undefeated. Then banish the BARRIER.

6. You encounter MONSTER with COWARD trait. This tells You to take random Monster from the box. Before You attempt to defeat him you must defeat that monster or the primary Monster is undefeated. Then banish the summoned monster.

You see? With 5 minutes of work I just turned generic checks to defeat monsters into some real, unpredictable encounters. And I just made the traits of many cards far more important to the game. It could also make it possible to differentiate all the generic HENCHMEN for particular scenario.

iv. No choices – It is adventure game… and You make no choices. Again imagine something like You encounter BARRIER - Wounded dragon – You can choose to:

a. Kill it – draw armors or weapons from the box until You get one with magic trait – add it to your hand. But then dragon curses You. All the check you make from now on in this scenario have difficulty increased by one.

b. Spare it – you let it heal the wounds in his lair and You add random blessing from the box to Your deck – then shuffle Your deck.

Again I did not add any new mechanic to the game I just made it reacher. This game could be much, much more…

v. Bad implementation of difficulty – by that I mean there is bad implementation of:

1. failing the scenario – You just fail. That’s all. No penalties. There You can apply any house rule for that. But again I am judging the product I got – not what I can make it into with my own ideas. It is just sad that it could be solved by one sentence in instruction: All characters who failed adventure banish randomly 1 card – and then draws 1 card of that type with BASIC trait from the box.

2. death – again it is unconvincing and mechanically not thematic. I think in such a game You should succeed or “DIE” trying. Then If You fail you know You made Your best. Again dying in my opinion should be changed to loosing consciousness – and like in failing the scenario it could mean random banishment followed with BASIC trait draw at the end of the scenario. His following turns should only consist of advancing blessing deck.

These two make the game just too easy to become braincrunching game. We are currently after the 3rd scenario of 4th adventure and apart of one accidental death in the introductory adventure we have had no casualties. Due to it we have funny ongoing quest – to kill off our mage who maintains he is invincible. We almost succeeded ones – one did set off the trap which made damage to all characters at the location and the mage could not avoid taking the damage. His hand was discarded and should he reset his hand at his next turn he would die – luckily he moved to location where he did not have to reset his hand. As fun as it sounds I think the moment 1st person will die will be sad and unthematic in a way what it implies – his character is banished – and he can start from scratch making next adventure with us... sounds unconvincing. Especially the rules state you cannot try to do scenario if You did not make all the previous ones. How about adventures, choosing role, etc. The one who die in our next scenario shall try to make all the 21 scenarios (3 introductory scenarios, 3x5 full adventures, 3 scenarios of current adventure) alone again to be at “level of the group”. Very little thought has been put into it.

3. Fun !!!! – now this is the most important thing “WILL IT BLEND?”


a. IT IS FUN – I mean throwing all those dice is very, very rewarding. Seeing Your character slowly advance makes your approach to the game very personal.

b. It can be set up in no time. I play many different games and we have stable gaming group that actually wants to play it. I mean no one got bored with it. You know after we started playing PACG we decided we needed some real RPG that would give us some more rewarding and immersive game. We tried to set it up… but it have not worked for few moths . And all we need to start new adventure is just open the box.

c. It is casual. It is best served in the evening, when You come back home after work and you know you will kick some butt. By that I mean You can chat, drink beer (or beverages) and just socialize while playing it. But when You encounter something big – You know You will get Your attention.

4. Replayability

a. That’s my main concern here. Above I pointed what this game lacks to me. To get the complete adventure path I will spend totally about 150 USD (I just need to order 6th adventure to fulfill it). It is quite much by any means. How often will I replay it? I will certainly do something to adjust the game to our group taste, to make it more difficult and rewarding, which will make it see out table some more.

b. The game is unique for me in many ways. I will not sell it. And I hope to return to it from time to time. For now I will not buy next adventure path, unless the new rules I will find more rewarding and I will see that the immersion is much deeper in it.

5. Should You get it?
a. If You want EURO game
b. If you do not like cooperative games
c. If You search for REAL challenge

SKIP IT.

d. If You like to have fun
e. If You like cooperative games
f. If You like D&D
g. IF You like RPG but don’t have means to set it up

Take base set and check if it suits You.

What should you expect from adventures – increasing difficulty of checks which is offset by better and better items you acquire. No important mechanics are drawn into the game with adventures. I would say expansion is in quantity not quality.

Summary

So… how to sum it up. It is not perfect game by no means… BUT if it isn’t – go find something better. It is like Lord of the Rings. It is Masterpiece because it was first. Should it be published for the first time nowadays it would get some hype… but it would not be treated like masterpiece: characters plain like sheets of paper, no moral dilemmas, stupid foes dying like flies, etc… Now go to the Tolkien fan and say it aloud. He will shrug and say: get off – IT IS TOLKIEN. Same credits apply here – it has flaws, some minor, some big… but I just killed dragon yesterday with 6d12 and 1d10!!! so get lost and tell me when we can arrange playing our next adventure devil.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Thanks for posting this. It's always great to hear from people who have spent a lot of time with a game, so they really understand it.

For me, decisions (choices, options) are the heart of any game. So it surprises me that you overlooked the decision that pervades our games of PACG: When to use blessings. And to a lesser degree, when to use spells and allies, and when to discard/recharge a weapon vs. just revealing it. All of those are meaningful, and often non-obvious decisions, and we face at least one of them at least every other turn, if not more.

Also, you mentioned choosing WHERE to explore, but there is also an important decision about when to stick together and when to split up. My cleric is adventuring with my buddy's fighter, so both of our characters are strongest in the same location. But splitting up allows us to temporarily close locations.

We are 9 plays in, and we are still improving our skills at making all of those decisions. Maybe we are just slow, but we are both still learning new tricks for how to play our characters most effectively (mostly regarding hand/deck management).

On a different topic, I found it interesting that you praise the setup ("in no time"), where others have complained that the setup is a bit arduous. I find myself in the mid-point in that debate.

Personally, I'm fine with the permadeath/no penalty for failing paradigm. Perhaps because it makes the most sense thematically. If you fail at a quest, it's not like some referee is going to walk up and break one of your weapons to punish you. I also understand the desire of many people to houserule it differently.
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Jan Beighley, Jr.
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I think permadeath is very thematic. If you run up on a sorceror or a dragon and you don't get them, they're going to get you, not render you unconscious. Is it a steep penalty? Absolutely, but it should leave more incentive to not leave yourself in position to not get yourself killed. It does add one more level of decision making to be made during gameplay.

Also, I do understand the thematic want for monsters to leave items behind, but as the game is designed that would give you access to another 10-20 weapons/spells/armors, etc... per scenario... your decks would increase in quality much, much faster, which would in turn make the game easier.

I think there is definitely room for more design space to be used, and with future adventure paths I would expect for more varied scenarios and challenges, but the baseline had to be estabilished to deviate from it.
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Sebastian Pacześ
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peakhope wrote:

For me, decisions (choices, options) are the heart of any game. So it surprises me that you overlooked the decision that pervades our games of PACG: When to use blessings. And to a lesser degree, when to use spells and allies, and when to discard/recharge a weapon vs. just revealing it. All of those are meaningful, and often non-obvious decisions, and we face at least one of them at least every other turn, if not more.


In our group we encounter no stalls at all. The turn actually takes 1 minute or two depending on number of explorations. For me it means there are no meaningful decisions to be taken along the turn. If there were such decisions we would be constantly punished for rushing things. If I can remember for all our games we didn't make the goal in 30 rounds maybe once (I am not sure if it occured at all at multiplayer game - i decided to stall few times when doing scenarios alone).

Blessings/ Allies / Spells

Each character excels at something else. I acquired all blessings of Gorum i could. It means I add 1d12 or 2d12 to ALL checks (i ticked appropriate POWER check the first moment I could). So did other characters. Consider that when I could take CARD feats I took Blessing for obvious reasons. I only took other slots when I maxed my Blessing stock. Other did the same. Then allies for the same reasons.

This game rewards You for Your exploration. You just need to have spare blessing in case of henchman / villain. All other cards are means for exploration mainly. Same with allies /spells.

Discarding weapons

It is also straightforward. My Amiri now has d12 +4 to melee checks. With Gorum it means 3d12 +4 without even using the weapon. I have also option to bury unnecessary card to get d10 +1 to combat check. So why and when should I ever consider discarding my weapon? With weapon it turns usually to something like d12 +d8+6 without sacrificing any cards. It is fun but where is the challenge? If I really need to defeat that bane I rather ask Sajan for blessing he will recharge anyway than spend my own.

There is ONE but to my argument of course – if You play solo or in two player mode and Your group is unbalanced (by that I just mean it excels in only 2 or 3 attributes) it can give You challenge. Nevertheless where is the challenge when You count Your cards and say I stall from now on – cause I can die if I fail next check. There was undead scenario (adv 2 if I remember) with additional villain who could be defeated only by cleric. I attempted it 4 times solo till I was able to close 2 locations and kill villain in 3rd (it was obvious because I was not able to close 3rd location at all).

peakhope wrote:

Also, you mentioned choosing WHERE to explore, but there is also an important decision about when to stick together and when to split up. My cleric is adventuring with my buddy's fighter, so both of our characters are strongest in the same location. But splitting up allows us to temporarily close locations.


Again it is strategic decision You make once/twice in a game. It is not tactical decision You do on Your turn. You decide in dvance which locations You will close first - but then You just explore them till You find villain / henchman.

peakhope wrote:

On a different topic, I found it interesting that you praise the setup ("in no time"), where others have complained that the setup is a bit arduous. I find myself in the mid-point in that debate.


If i had to check some tables, calculate things, then refer to other tables and then to other things i would admit it is tedious.

But it is adventure game and You obviously want to feel that each location is somewhat different, and this game solves it in most efficient way:

1. Check for number of players

2. Read special scenario rules (if they affect setup).

3. Prepare henchmen / villain(s)

4. Take deck and deal appriopriate number of cards to each location

5. Shuffle

It is superfast for what it provides. It can be tedious IF you have chaos in your box. In our group two players prepare scenario in 5-7 mins with shuffling location decks. So I will not state anything against the setup.


peakhope wrote:

Personally, I'm fine with the permadeath/no penalty for failing paradigm. Perhaps because it makes the most sense thematically. If you fail at a quest, it's not like some referee is going to walk up and break one of your weapons to punish you. I also understand the desire of many people to houserule it differently.


Your opinion just like my review is subjective. I appreciate Yours but i will support mine.
 
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Sebastian Pacześ
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jbiggs78 wrote:
I think permadeath is very thematic. If you run up on a sorceror or a dragon and you don't get them, they're going to get you, not render you unconscious. Is it a steep penalty? Absolutely, but it should leave more incentive to not leave yourself in position to not get yourself killed. It does add one more level of decision making to be made during gameplay.




My concern was not in desiring to get new armour first. It was purely in making the game more diverse and thematic.

jbiggs78 wrote:

Also, I do understand the thematic want for monsters to leave items behind, but as the game is designed that would give you access to another 10-20 weapons/spells/armors, etc... per scenario... your decks would increase in quality much, much faster, which would in turn make the game easier.




As of permadeath my opinion is somewhat different. If You are not penalized at all for not succeeding the scenario what's the incentive to risk character you have built for 20-30 hours? There is no glorious death here. I agree that such game could offer hardcore mode. But first it should provide means to maintain consistency of the group.
 
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Gabriel Conroy
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I think this is an excellent review and agree with pretty much everything you said.

On the plus side I'd add something which I think is really important, namely the gender equality in the game. I don't know any other game which does such a good job of having great kick-ass female characters and using female pronouns just as often as male ones to describe players. Male players (of which I am one) would never encounter the opposite, so many are probably oblivious to this issue, but from personal experience in my family it makes a big difference. I play this regularly with my daughter and both she and my partner really appreciate this aspect of the game.

As far as I'm concerned this should just be the norm in all games, and frankly it's so easy for game designers/manufacturers to do it, there's no excuse not to.
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Gabriel Conroy
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One area where I disagree with you and others is needing a penalty for losing a scenario. Having invested time in a session and gotten through several locations, I rarely feel a lack of tension when we are getting close and there is a risk of losing. I grant that it's easy to come up with simple & thematic ways to penalise loss, but this is one where I agree with the designers.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Skywarden wrote:
Blessings/ Allies / Spells

Each character excels at something else. I acquired all blessings of Gorum i could. It means I add 1d12 or 2d12 to ALL checks (i ticked appropriate POWER check the first moment I could).

I'm not quite sure I follow this, perhaps because I have only played 9 times, and 8 of those were in a 2-hero campaign (and I don't own the game so I can't go and research stuff right now). But if I understand you, then all I can say is that I am Kyra, and I would love to stock up on Sarenraes...but I don't think our group has encountered even a single one, and we definitely haven't obtained any.

I believe that for the first 18 (?) scenarios, blessings must be discarded (or in rare cases recharged) to boost a check, or to explore more. THAT is the big decision almost every turn. Failing a monster or barrier check is really bad, not because of the damage, but because it wastes a precious turn. Choosing when to use my Aid spell is almost as interesting (not quite as much because it can't be used to explore).

As Kyra, I also have to decide when it is time to use my heal ability, and on who, and whether to use blessings when I do, to make it more effective.

Quote:
Discarding weapons

It is also straightforward.

With Kyra and Valeros, it is usually, but not always, straightforward. At least a few times a game, there is a pause while we figure out whether we really need the extra power.

Quote:
There is ONE but to my argument of course – if You play solo or in two player mode and Your group is unbalanced (by that I just mean it excels in only 2 or 3 attributes) it can give You challenge.

This may indeed be why we see things differently, since I'm in a 2-player, one-hero-each campaign.

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peakhope wrote:

Also, you mentioned choosing WHERE to explore, but there is also an important decision about when to stick together and when to split up.

Again it is strategic decision You make once/twice in a game. It is not tactical decision You do on Your turn. You decide in dvance which locations You will close first - but then You just explore them till You find villain / henchman.

This is an important decision, but I agree it's not one you make every turn. In our party, there are probably a few times each game where we should make a conscious choice. We have tried always sticking together, and we have tried always staying apart until Valeros needs healing. I'm pretty sure that neither is the optimal strategy, so we have been experimenting with splitting up and joining at different times during the scenario, and those are not yet obvious decisions for us.

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Your opinion just like my review is subjective. I appreciate Yours but i will support mine.

Indeed.
 
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Skywarden wrote:


Each character excels at something else. I acquired all blessings of Gorum i could. It means I add 1d12 or 2d12 to ALL checks (i ticked appropriate POWER check the first moment I could).


Unless I'm forgetting something, you don't get the d12 for all checks, you get the an extra of the die you would be using for that check. So if it's a melee check, great you get your d12, but if it's a wisdom check, you get your d4 or d6 or whatever your characters wisdom is.

Additionally, how many blessings of Gorum have you managed to acquire for your character? We're currently half way thru the hook mountain massacre (so maybe 10-14 total missions?) and while I no longer have any blessings of the gods, I only have 2 of the 'best' blessings for my character, and that's about standard for all of our characters, 2-3 of the optimal, the rest are just whatever we were able to replace the BotG with.


EDIT: Nevermind, I see that both the advanced builds let you always use a D12 with that specific blessing.
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Sebastian Pacześ
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peakhope wrote:

This is an important decision, but I agree it's not one you make every turn. In our party, there are probably a few times each game where we should make a conscious choice. We have tried always sticking together, and we have tried always staying apart until Valeros needs healing. I'm pretty sure that neither is the optimal strategy, so we have been experimenting with splitting up and joining at different times during the scenario, and those are not yet obvious decisions for us.



That's my point but I see it as drawback. You do some decisions but they are not brain crunching, and they are not strategic. Let's take it to the core - what impact has the "spread strategy" vs "stick strategy" in this game?

If you split - the main difference is IF you encounter villain You will be able to temporally close extra locations, and win sooner if defeated Villain has nowhere to escape. But if he escapes you get extra chance to find some blessings.

If you stick together – Your benefit Is You can close the location sooner – but if You encounter Villain – he will have more open locations to run to and You will get extra blessings (more open locations). In our gaming history only ONCE we did make decision to stay together – when Boas were eating out our allies.

So where is that meaningful decision? I do not find it. It does not mean You do not make decisions in this game, but in my experience I did not make a single choice I would refer to afterwards and think “Wow – it was good move”. It is only “WOW! – I encountered GIANT! Am I on my own or will somebody help me?” and “WOW! I found great spell/sword/armor – If someone wants it – spare me a blessing”. The things You don’t know are to big to affect Your choice. That’s why I find this game very simple yet fun.

Also decisions you take while exploring are not that meaningfull – all turns to shall I use blessing to acquire boon / defeat bane. And it is pretty easy – I know my hand and my deck. Once You start replacing your cards with new found ones… there are very few situations when You do want to acquire boon. Usually You don’t care. Also with current mechanism of taking wounds I just check what will I discard if I loose the check. It shall be 10 times that much input on thought to consider this game making You some DECISIONS for me. If I want them – I play LOTR LCG – in that game I THINK about each how to USE each card, how to DEAL with encounters, hot to mitigate RISK of bad SHADOW effect?. And LOTR changes pace with each stage of scenario. In PACG is not such a thing. And I am not stating it is worse/better - only that it is completety different beast.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Skywarden wrote:
Let's take it to the core - what impact has the "spread strategy" vs "stick strategy" in this game?

If you split - the main difference is IF you encounter villain You will be able to temporally close extra locations, and win sooner if defeated Villain has nowhere to escape. But if he escapes you get extra chance to find some blessings.

If you stick together – Your benefit Is You can close the location sooner – but if You encounter Villain – he will have more open locations to run to and You will get extra blessings (more open locations). In our gaming history only ONCE we did make decision to stay together – when Boas were eating out our allies.

I think this is another case that is hard to generalize across all parties. Depending on the number, classes, and equipment of your characters, it can vary. For our little party (Kyra+Valeros), sticking together has substantial benefits: Kyra can heal Valeros, and Valeros gives an automatic +d4 to Kyra in combat. Also, Augury and the Spyglass can be powerful when played during the other player's turn, to help them decide whether or not to explore again. But splitting up allows temporary closing, as you point out.

Quote:
in my experience I did not make a single choice I would refer to afterwards and think “Wow – it was good move”.

I would say we have a "Wow, nice move!" moment about once every scenario or 2. However, almost every turn I can think to myself, "Yup, glad I did this and not that". I used my cure before my heal, to maximize my chances of getting the cure back. I held back my blessing instead of using it to explore again, so I can use it to grab that war razor +1 to replace my crappy basic mace. We chose to close a location with 6 cards remaining, to try to win, rather than pushing our luck to try to get extra goodies.

I suspect that we just differ on the meanings of "interesting" and "meaningful". You and I probably look at the same decision (say, whether or not to discard a weapon), and I say, "Hey, that's interesting", and you say "Meh, automatic". I see the subtlety of using your blessing of Torag vs. Desna as being meaningful (based on what you might encounter), while you figure there's only a 2% chance that particular decision will end up mattering in the end, so why stress over it.


EDIT: Also, with Kyra's healing ability, it is more often worthwhile to spend a blessing to gain a blessing (or ally who can explore again). Because even if we don't keep it after this scenario, we had the use of it during this scenario, without giving up much.
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David Murray
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Thanks for the review, enjoyed reading it.

One point to mention is that traits are used quite extensively in the came. Monster traits have a large impact on how they fight.

For example:

Ranger - monsters with this trait deal damage before you engage them.
Aborations - require fortitude or constitution checks
Undead - immune to poison and mental
Incorporeal - needs magic weapons to defeat

I agree that this is an aspect of the game that could be improved upon.
 
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peakhope wrote:
On a different topic, I found it interesting that you praise the setup ("in no time"), where others have complained that the setup is a bit arduous. I find myself in the mid-point in that debate.
Yup, that comment caused me to frown. For me setup is taking longer than actually playing the game - not a good sign.
Even if you keep playing the same scenario (with different characters) you'll have to shuffle all decks and create fresh location decks for every game.

Otherwise I mostly agree with the review, except I don't find it particularly fun (yet). I haven't played it as much as the OP, though. I've only played the with the Base Set so far and I'm really looking for reasons to invest more money into this.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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jhaelen wrote:
peakhope wrote:
On a different topic, I found it interesting that you praise the setup ("in no time"), where others have complained that the setup is a bit arduous. I find myself in the mid-point in that debate.
Yup, that comment caused me to frown. For me setup is taking longer than actually playing the game - not a good sign.
Even if you keep playing the same scenario (with different characters) you'll have to shuffle all decks and create fresh location decks for every game.

Setup takes me about 5 minutes, or perhaps 10. I almost always set up the next scenario before putting the box away after we play, so we can just dive in instead of having to wait for the setup. Setup time will scale up with the number of characters, and I'm only in 2-character parties, which helps.

Quote:
Otherwise I mostly agree with the review, except I don't find it particularly fun (yet). I haven't played it as much as the OP, though. I've only played the with the Base Set so far and I'm really looking for reasons to invest more money into this.

If you have played a single party through 8 scenarios and still don't find it fun, I would recommend that you not spend any more money. Additional boxes have some surprises and twists, but mostly it is "more of the same". If you have only played with a shifting party, or especially without starting to identify strongly with a single character, then you should do that first before deciding whether or not the game is right for you.

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The set up takes a bit if you're playing multiple characters alone.

If you're playing with friends, set up shouldn't take long at all! I have them help me set up and it takes like 2-3 minutes to get all the locations assembled and shuffled. 4 people building takes makes it super fast.
 
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peakhope wrote:
If you have played a single party through 8 scenarios and still don't find it fun, I would recommend that you not spend any more money.
That's exactly what I did.
Nonetheless, I started playing again with a different set of characters and I think it's slightly more fun. The reason is Kyra's ability to 'heal' other characters. With her the game resembles a deck-building game slightly more, although that comes with a cost: She's even more boring to play than other characters since her main function is to support the other characters.

Why don't all characters have ways to heal themselves? It would have improved the game a lot.
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paradigmeffect wrote:
The set up takes a bit if you're playing multiple characters alone.
Yep, I've only played solo so far. And there's really a lot of shuffling and card searching/sorting to do before you can start another game.
 
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