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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: I'm a SOBS playtester, AMA rss

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Joel Flamme
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Hey, this is "friend of the Frog" Joel Flamme. Someone in another thread asked for 'content contributors' to talk about how they were involved in the game, so I talked to Jason and he said it would be ok if I went on here to answer questions about rules and playtesting of SOBS. I went ahead and started a new thread for visibility.

I want make it clear though that I do NOT work for the Frog full time (I help with playtesting, work at conventions and model for sexy geniuses); and although I will answer game related questions as best I can, this shouldn't be considered "official". If you have questions about shipping or schedules or other business type stuff, the answer is gonna be "I don't know".

And no, I do not know when the pledge manager will be sent out.
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Bernie Roessler
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What hero class(es) do you like playing the best?
 
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Alexander Juri
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Thank you very much for sharing your impressions.

Could you please tell me something about experience and leveling?
That was main reason I backed this beauty, but in the rulebook there is only a hint, that those rules are in the adventure book. So ... I´m quite excited about it.
 
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Joel Flamme
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Beorndog wrote:
What hero class(es) do you like playing the best?


Each class brings something fun to the table; but I probably enjoy the Bandido the most. I had one that acquired a vendetta against Void Spiders, so I would shout "Spiders!" whenever they showed up. I also enjoyed taking advantage of my high school Spanish to say things like "No bueno, hace frio!" when travelling to Targa. As far as gameplay goes, he (or she) is pretty versatile, being equally proficient with melee, shooting, or blowing stuff up with dynamite.
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Steven Tower
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Hey Joel,

Since we didn't get to see any info on the classes in the rules, how different do they play and when advancing your character is there enough choices that a group could really play all with one character class and still have enough difference between each other?

Also, any inside scoop on the Gambler class? Any chance that it's one of the early stretch goals released? Or just general class details would also be nice to read about.

Thanks and happy gaming,

Steve
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Joel Flamme
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randomnickname wrote:
Thank you very much for sharing your impressions.

Could you please tell me something about experience and leveling?
That was main reason I backed this beauty, but in the rulebook there is only a hint, that those rules are in the adventure book. So ... I´m quite excited about it.


You get experience mostly form killing things, but you can also earn xp from encounters, doing things in town, healing other party members and a ton of other things. One change that was made after the demo day at Card Kingdom was that you now get a little xp from loot cards. This helps keep the gap between various party members closer by providing a baseline (everyone gets loot cards after each battle is complete).

Once you get enough xp to level, you can spend the xp immediately to level. When you do, you'll roll on the class upgrade chart, then choose a new ability. You also fully heal and get a grit. The amount you need for each level goes up as you level. The idea is that it should take one or two missions for your first level, then 2 or 3 more for the next, then 5-7 for the next etc.
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Matt Price
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Did you get a chance to playtest anything in the "town" stretch goal? I'd be curious to hear how it differs from what's included in the base set.
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Joel Flamme
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Unasta wrote:
Hey Joel,

Since we didn't get to see any info on the classes in the rules, how different do they play and when advancing your character is there enough choices that a group could really play all with one character class and still have enough difference between each other?


Each class has three starting abilities that vary quite a bit. They also have 16 upgrades, broken down into 4 'tracks' (think ability trees from Diablo or WoW). The gear you find (and buy in town) can also lead to quite a bit of customization as well. You could do a party of four of the same class if you want, and they would all play a little differently. Personally, I would try for a little variation. For one thing you might find gear that can only be used by a character with a keyword (like Law or Frontier) that you don't have in your party. You also might find a sweet shotgun (the Trun disintigrator is considered a shotgun) that no one can use because you're all playing Saloon girls.

Quote:

Also, any inside scoop on the Gambler class? Any chance that it's one of the early stretch goals released? Or just general class details would also be nice to read about.

Thanks and happy gaming,

Steve


I don't want to give specific examples because the gambler is still being balanced, but his class abilities deal mostly with cheating and sleight of hand which translate into gameplay as maniputaing dice rolls. He's shaping up to be one of the more unique classes, mechanics-wise.
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Joel Flamme
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mattprice wrote:
Did you get a chance to playtest anything in the "town" stretch goal? I'd be curious to hear how it differs from what's included in the base set.


We still haven't hit the town expansion very hard. At a certain point during playtesting we decided to narrow the focus down to the two core sets. Now that those are done and the basic framework of the game is solid, we're slowly introducing more and more of the stretch goals and add-ons. We want to make sure that nothing we add in throws game balance out of whack.

From what I've seen though, a large part of the town expansion will be expanded event charts and purchase lists for each location. I believe it will also include rules for 'mini-adventures' to take place in the town while you're there. I believe the plan is also to actually play out events as a combat instead of just representing it with skill checks.
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Jorge B
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Thanks.
Browsing the rule book, the only thing I wasn't totally sold on was the "running away" rule. It just seems too easy to pack and go in the middle of the action if things are going bad for the team, with no explicit consequence of doing so, and a bit anti-climatic. Care to comment? Are there some adventure-specific consequences (penalties) for failing adventures?
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Joel Flamme
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tiborvadovan wrote:
Thanks.
Browsing the rule book, the only thing I wasn't totally sold on was the "running away" rule. It just seems too easy to pack and go in the middle of the action if things are going bad for the team, with no explicit consequence of doing so, and a bit anti-climatic. Care to comment? Are there some adventure-specific consequences (penalties) for failing adventures?


Don't worry, there are definitely consequences for failure. They vary with each scenario and are listed in the adventure book(s). Some examples are that the party might have to roll extra hazards while travelling to the next town, one or more random buildings in town might be destroyed, or the town itself might be destroyed and the party must go directly to their next adventure without re-supplying (or healing injuries, or curing corruption, or curing madness, etc.).
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Brian M
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Thanks for answering questions!

Quote:
When you do, you'll roll on the class upgrade chart, then choose a new ability.

Any more details on this? Are you rolling for what abilities you get, or rolling for stat bonuses or what? How does the roll vs choice break down?
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Joel Flamme
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StormKnight wrote:
Thanks for answering questions!

Quote:
When you do, you'll roll on the class upgrade chart, then choose a new ability.

Any more details on this? Are you rolling for what abilities you get, or rolling for stat bonuses or what? How does the roll vs choice break down?


When you roll for your upgrade bonus, you'll roll 2D6, add them together and look at the result on your class's chart. Some example results would be "gain +1 Luck or +1 Agility and D6 Wounds and/or Sanity (your choice)", "+1 Combat", or "+1 Max Grit". The more powerful upgrades are rarer (3, 4, 10, 11, etc.) and the 2 and 12 results are usually something unique like "Vendetta - choose a specific enemy and get +10 xp for every one you kill" or "You can take 2 more corruption before getting a mutation".

The abilities are the main way that you get to customize your character. For example you might want your Bandido to focus on shooting things. At level two, you buy the first ability in the "Guns" track that lets you use a grit to get extra shots. At level three, you can either take the next ability in the "guns" track that lets you re-roll a failed Willpower save once per turn, or you could take the first ability in one of the other tracks (Explosives, Brawling, or Scoundrel). The last ability in each track is usually the most powerful (the fourth ability in the Bandido's "guns" track is +1 to hit with ranged). Characters max out at level 8 which means you can either take two full tracks or a few abilities from multiple tracks.

Edit: corrected some terminology.
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Gavin Downing
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Thanks for dropping by, Joel! (Incidentally, you play a friend's favorite ToE character, ever since he used Harlow's ability to turn two horses into a Book of the Dead.)

Is there anything you can tell us about the Outlaw class? How about the Samurai class?
 
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Bryan K
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What are the missions like and how do they differ from one another? Are their different objective types?
 
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What's your favorite gaming moment that has happened so far?
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Odie Bracy
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First, thanks for stopping by and answering questions!

Second...

Harlow Morgan wrote:
You also might find a sweet shotgun (the Trun disintigrator is considered a shotgun) that no one can use because you're all playing Saloon girls.


Does this mean that the Trun might be making an unexpected appearance for the Kickstarter release?
 
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Joel Flamme
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gavindowning wrote:
Thanks for dropping by, Joel! (Incidentally, you play a friend's favorite ToE character, ever since he used Harlow's ability to turn two horses into a Book of the Dead.)


Your friend has excellent taste. Have you tried Dark Gothic yet? (It also stars Harlow Morgan.)

Quote:

Is there anything you can tell us about the Outlaw class? How about the Samurai class?


I actually haven't played the Outlaw yet, but I've been in several games with one. If I remember right, when you visit town, you have to make a check to see if you're recognized (kind of like the Scarlet Shadow in A Touch of Evil). One of the cool things about the Outlaw is that one of their three starting abilities turns him from a tank to a bit of a glass cannon. His starting stats are Defense 4+ and Ranged to hit 5+, and the ability (I can't remember the name) switches those stats so they hit on a 4+ but have a defense of 5+. Another fun thing is that since they're keyword Outlaw, they can attempt to rob the bank in town. The Bandido is also keyword Outlaw, so he can as well; but because of the skill checks involved, the Outlaw is much better at it than the Bandido. The risk with robbing the bank is that you can get caught and hanged, so you might not want to do it without a grit or two.

As for the Samurai, he's still a bit of a work in progress.
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Bernie Roessler
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Sounds like the Outlaws and the Lawmen shouldn't get along. Is there any rule preventing the two types being in the same party?
 
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Chris Leigh
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Don't suppose you fancy knocking up a session report to give a taste of the game over the course of a session? Big ask so no biggie if not!
 
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Gavin Downing
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Harlow Morgan wrote:
Your friend has excellent taste. Have you tried Dark Gothic yet? (It also stars Harlow Morgan.)


Yep! I preordered Dark Gothic, and when it arrived, he quickly chose Morgan as his favorite.

Thanks for the details on the classes! I've already been designing the backstory for my Outlaw character; I can't wait to play him!
 
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Joel Flamme
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Ultros64 wrote:
What's your favorite gaming moment that has happened so far?


I think my favorite moment was when we were first trying out a mission where wave after wave of enemies appear and the goal is to survive. Well, the mission was in some serious need of toning down because after a few turns, all the heroes were KO'd except one. We rolled for holding back the darkness and it came up as double sixes. When you roll doubles to hold back the darkness, you consult the event chart for the world you're in, and double sixes on the mine event chart is 'second wind'. "Every hero heals D6 health and/or Sanity or recovers a grit". We all paused and turned to Jason to ask "so does that affect KO'd heroes?". He thought about it for a minute and replied "good question". We discussed it a bit and it was agreed that KO'd heroes suddenly shrugging off their wounds to re-join the fight is awesome, so that's how the mine event chart now reads. "Every hero heals D6 health and/or Sanity or recovers a grit. KO'd heroes heal 2D6 wounds and/or sanity."
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Joel Flamme
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OdieBracy wrote:

First, thanks for stopping by and answering questions!

Second...

Harlow Morgan wrote:
You also might find a sweet shotgun (the Trun disintigrator is considered a shotgun) that no one can use because you're all playing Saloon girls.


Does this mean that the Trun might be making an unexpected appearance for the Kickstarter release?


The Trun Disintigrator is an artifact (I think it's in the Targa artifact deck?). As for when when or if Trun as enemies show up, that falls into the "I don't know" category of question.
 
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Ken H.
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Thanks for all the information, Joel!

Do you have any comments on the shape-shifting Darkstone Shaman? I'm kind of assuming the answer will be that it's still in development, as with Gambler and Samurai.
 
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Brian M
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Oh, here's a not-very interesting question but one that would be very helpful to have an answer to; how much darkstone do parties usually have at a time? This is very important for determining how many bags of the plastic darkstone tokens to order!
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