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

Subject: Trading $$$ / Dark Stone? rss

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Jee Fu
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What's the official rule for trading $$$ / Dark Stone among the heroes?

Down in the mines, it seems like the posse could just hand all their Dark Stone to the Preacher at the end of an adventure, let him make all the Will Power rolls, and then just pass it back around. Intended?

In town, if we're allowed to trade freely, it seems like I could hit the Church but throw Sheriff Jones a coupla hundred bucks to buy me some dynamite when he goes to the General Store and finds out they're having a fire sale, eliminating the need to go there myself (possibly saving me a whole Town Day). Heck, under this paradigm we could also pool the party Dark Stone and give it to the one guy who's going to the bank to sell it, and then pass the $$$ around afterward - thus eliminating the need for more than 1 person to hit the Outpost during the entire stay! Are these scenarios, too, intended?

On a side topic, the Rulebook doesn't say that selling prices are negotiable for hero-to-hero transactions but if we're allowed to freely give items/$$$ it seems like we could do that. I'm not sure why you would tho .. fixed pricing + coop gaming sorta defeats the purpose of haggling.

- Jee
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Darryl Gardner
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Well I know that I plan to gouge my fellow comrades for an artifact that I found that they really want. I would expect them to do the same. That depends on my character of course.

My preacher also would not willingly make corruption rolls on your behalf.

I totally think exchanging money/items/darkstone is totally legit, if not encouraged. Though giving money to other players would also be a matter of trust. (would you really trust that bandido/outlaw?) And remember their side bag only holds 5 items. So buying items for you could be potentially shorting items for themselves. (Can't wait for that mule)

Those are my thoughts. Keep it in character, and stay "classy".
 
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Ken H.
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Inspector Jee wrote:
Down in the mines, it seems like the posse could just hand all their Dark Stone to the Preacher at the end of an adventure, let him make all the Will Power rolls, and then just pass it back around. Intended?


I don't like this one because it calls attention to the timing of the corruption rolls. The corruption should be based on how long you hold the darkstone. The rules, logically, take the short cut of having you roll for corruption once per game. It doesn't really make sense thematically, but it doesn't bother me unless you deliberately abuse it by handing your darkstone to another player for the 5 seconds it takes to roll the dice. If that's allowed, why not just set it on the ground for those 5 seconds?

I see no problem with the other things you mentioned.


FencePost wrote:
And remember their side bag only holds 5 items.


Five tokens, right? Not items. That's just for bandages and dynamite. I don't think it applies to darkstone, and definitely not for regular Gear.
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Jee Fu
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Keeping in character, and also within the tenants of a selfless Faith, kinda demands that my Preacher put himself in the line of fire for his comrades especially since his resolve is bolstered by the Lord of Hosts.

From a game-play perspective, I can probably "grittically succeed" (this needs to be a term) 10-15 Dark Stone worth of rolls without too much trouble. And it seems like a better idea than risking all my allies growing tentacles.

I just wanted to know if this is legit. It seems like it is.

You bring up a good point about the side bag tho. As a natural extension to that, there is also the weight limit where gear is concerned.

- Jee

(Side Question: Is Brimstone Ash - bought at the Church - a sidebag item? I can't find a token for it.)
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Magic Pink
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Since trading money and Dark Stone around seems to be against the spirit of the game and is just encouraging people to cheat the system apparently, my players won't be allowed to do it at all.

As for in-character reason, I'm playing a board game, not an rpg.
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Jee Fu
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Rubric wrote:
Inspector Jee wrote:
Down in the mines, it seems like the posse could just hand all their Dark Stone to the Preacher at the end of an adventure, let him make all the Will Power rolls, and then just pass it back around. Intended?


I don't like this one because it calls attention to the timing of the corruption rolls. The corruption should be based on how long you hold the darkstone. The rules, logically, take the short cut of having you roll for corruption once per game. It doesn't really make sense thematically, but it doesn't bother me unless you deliberately abuse it by handing your darkstone to another player for the 5 seconds it takes to roll the dice. If that's allowed, why not just set it on the ground for those 5 seconds?

I couldn't find anything in the rules that say you're allowed to drop things, so there's that. Also timing is everything. Unclear mechanics, no matter how thematic the board game, cheapens the experience for me. I like knowing that I'm pitting myself against an objective standard that the creators attended to with great care. I don't mind if its illegal to pass Dark Stone around - I would just like it to be in rules so I can get a sense of consistency.

You can always make up a themed reason why a rule functions a particular way. Perhaps Dark Stone's mutative influence isn't an overtime thing, and it reacts in a flash immediately following an encounter with irregularly potent creatures.

- Jee
 
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C B
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a) This is a co-op
b) I plan on playing the game to have fun, not to be a rules-hawk
 
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Darryl Gardner
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Inspector Jee wrote:
Keeping in character, and also within the tenants of a selfless Faith, kinda demands that my Preacher put himself in the line of fire for his comrades especially since his resolve is bolstered by the Lord of Hosts.

From a game-play perspective, I can probably "grittically succeed" (this needs to be a term) 10-15 Dark Stone worth of rolls without too much trouble. And it seems like a better idea than risking all my allies growing tentacles.

I just wanted to know if this is legit. It seems like it is.

You bring up a good point about the side bag tho. As a natural extension to that, there is also the weight limit where gear is concerned.

- Jee


I guess that all depends on the perspective of your preacher. In my mind darkstone presents an interesting dilemma for the preacher. He sees it as evil and it's the cause of all this new darkness. It can't stay in the ground to allow more demons to come to earth, but it also can't be allowed to corrupt people here on the surface. It must be destroyed. My preacher might take the darkstone from you so that you don't get corrupted, but would be less inclined to give it back as it must be destroyed or otherwise rendered powerless. If/how that can be done is another matter entirely. ;)

I mean, even having darkstone be sold in town is a little weird to me. I'll take your money so that YOU can get corrupted, mr. semi-innocent blacksmith! Because I sure don't!

And yes, regarding the side bag I was only referring to tokens. But yes weight limits would also come into play for card items. Darkstone and gold don't have weight limits as far as I know.
 
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Derek VDG
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Inspector Jee wrote:
What's the official rule for trading $$$ / Dark Stone among the heroes?

Down in the mines, it seems like the posse could just hand all their Dark Stone to the Preacher at the end of an adventure, let him make all the Will Power rolls, and then just pass it back around. Intended?

In town, if we're allowed to trade freely, it seems like I could hit the Church but throw Sheriff Jones a coupla hundred bucks to buy me some dynamite when he goes to the General Store and finds out they're having a fire sale, eliminating the need to go there myself (possibly saving me a whole Town Day). Heck, under this paradigm we could also pool the party Dark Stone and give it to the one guy who's going to the bank to sell it, and then pass the $$$ around afterward - thus eliminating the need for more than 1 person to hit the Outpost during the entire stay! Are these scenarios, too, intended?

On a side topic, the Rulebook doesn't say that selling prices are negotiable for hero-to-hero transactions but if we're allowed to freely give items/$$$ it seems like we could do that. I'm not sure why you would tho .. fixed pricing + coop gaming sorta defeats the purpose of haggling.

- Jee


This is a cooperative game, so play how you want. I personally certainly don't see an issue with trading money, Darkstone, and items between players. Of course, my group would never have even thought about meta-gaming the system like you suggest to have a single person take all the Corruption hits, etc (which is pretty dangerous to do, by the way)

That said, looking at the rules, there are no rules that say you can trade Gold or Darkstone between players. Items, yes (pg 19, Trading Items), but Gold and Darkstone are "currencies" not items, and nothing in the rules says that characters can trade currencies.

So, I would say that technically, neither Gold nor Darkstone can be traded between players.
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Jee Fu
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The rules imply that you can trade $$$, because the heroes can pool their money onto one person for the purposes of buying a stage coach. I suppose this could be the only legal time the party could trade money (other than selling items) but that seems a little wonky to me.

Dark Stone, however, is not mentioned at all. You are correct about that.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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These are good questions to be raising, I'm sure they'll be FAQed along the way.

I thought I had a good answer for this one:

Quote:
Down in the mines, it seems like the posse could just hand all their Dark Stone to the Preacher at the end of an adventure, let him make all the Will Power rolls, and then just pass it back around. Intended?


But then I realized perhaps DARK STONE interacts with the LIGHT of our sun, and that's when the corruption rolls happen.

My guess though, is that this is an unintentional loop-hole in the rules. Based on KS comments and the general narrative of the rulebook, dark stone seems to behave like any other mutagen; constant long-term exposure causes problems, but each person's individual reaction is different, with some experiencing negative health impacts almost immediately and others interacting with it for months/years with no problem.

Here's how I'd address the issues raised, which since I'm not the designer, are unofficial:

- Whoever is carrying the Darkstone for the majority of the time in the mines makes the rolls. If you want to use the priest strategy, you have to hand the dark stone over to the priest when you find it in the mines. Trading darks stone should be some type of action to avoid abuses like "as a free action the priest tosses me just enough darkstone to power the next shot in my artifact...." For example, perhaps the priest has to make a successful to-hit roll with his ranged attack from 3 squares or less. A miss sends the darkstone in a random direction like dynamite, which must then be picked up as an action, or there's not time to retrieve it during a fight. Players may only exchange darkstone in this fashion once per turn, on their turn.

- You can't leave darkstone on the ground waiting to pick it up later. Treddarians, other prospectors, or the creatures in the mines run off with dark stone that's unattended for a long time.

- I'd say combining town actions is okay; but if you want to roleplay their natures, that's good too. You've already got a situation where banditos and outlaws are working side-by-side with lawmen, so clearly they're motivated by a greater concern for what's going on in the mines (be it civic-mindness or outright greed for darkstone).

[Some edits to clarify my ideas.]



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Derek VDG
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The Adventure book implies that players can trade money, due to the Stagecoach. The Rulebook doesn't say anything about Gold and Darkstone trading, but does specifically have a section about trading items (during a game). So, just looking at the Rulebook, at least during the adventuring portion of the game, you technically cannot trade Gold or Darkstone.

So, potentially, trading of Gold and Darkstone is only allowed during the Town phase? That would eliminate the OP's suggested meta for the Darkstone, anyway.

That said, as I alluded to above, I don't see an issue, since its a cooperative game, in allowing the trading of both Gold and Darkstone between players.

Personally, I don't think I'd be willing to take all the Corruption hits for the entire group, even if I had the best save. There's still (generally) at least a 33% chance of failing to save each hit (assuming a 3+ save). So I don't know how feasible it is to give one person all the Darkstone at the end of an Adventure anyway. Besides being a bit too meta-gamey for our group.

As for the in-town examples ... I don't see a reason the party couldn't do just what is suggested. The group doesn't want to stay too long in town. That said, some events and actions at locations are beneficial and require the characters presence in order to benefit from it. So, there are reasons for characters to go to more than one town location in a town stay. That also disregards any 'roleplay' aspect. Do the characters (especially the Lawman/Marshall) really want to give the Outlaw/Bandido all their money and/or Darkstone? Hehe
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Jee Fu
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To be clear, I said the rules imply you can trade money - the Adventure Book is certainly part of the rules. But you are technically correct, they only imply that it can be traded in town - not during an adventure (which is odd semantically; Adventure Book is for Town. Rule Book is for Adventure).

Of course, since you can sell things to other players during an Adventure - and IF you can negotiate the price - well then, that's basically a license to trade cash while you're in the mines. They might as well make it official.

Taking the corruption hits for the whole party would certainly be risky, which is why I'm inclined to believe that its legit.

But guys, c'mon - this is a CoOp board game; if meta-ing the rules to give yourself a edge breaks it, then the designers either made the game too easy or wrote the rules wrong. I don't think FFP would make these mistakes. Ergo, I believe that we're intended to do everything the rules technically allow in order to succeed and that the difficulty/thematics are balanced around that. This is why I want to know what the rules are - so I can pit myself against the challenge as it was intended.

- Jee
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Neil Edmonds
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I agree with Derek about the corruption rolls undesirability.

I'm unfamiliar with the formal rules; but there might be some min/max benefits if there's no limit on the number of procedures the doctor can perform, and no risk of killing / making a hero unplayable. In that scenario, you'd hand dark stone and a bunch of money to one character, who takes all the corruption hits, then they go to the doctor as a town action, and spend all the money to fix whatever rolls they failed. I suspect though, its one procedure per town action for a doctor visit, and there are limits to how many town actions the players can take. If there isn't, there should be limits to solve this rules problem ("Let's see, I'm going to remove a tail, fix two mutated arms, and cure the strange voices in your head, all in less than a day with 19th century tools and medical knowledge. Man, I'm an *awesome* doctor!)
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Neil Edmonds
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Quote:
I don't think FFP would make these mistakes.


Have you reviewed the FAQs and card interactions for Last Night on Earth? How about the balance of A Touch of Evil expansions villains in Co-op? I think it shows they can make mistakes.

Quote:
Ergo, I believe that we're intended to do everything the rules technically allow in order to succeed and that the difficulty/thematics are balanced around that. This is why I want to know what the rules are - so I can pit myself against the challenge as it was intended.


No disagreement here. Unfortunately, all we can offer is opinions and no official ruling. Our opinions just seem to differ from yours. Since they're opinions, you're free to do as you'd like (also, the world would not come to an end even if you did break some game rules; it's your game and your time - have fun!)
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Jee Fu
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Oh yeah, everyone makes mistakes. That's not really what I meant.

I just don't think their vision for the game included a context where players wouldn't min/max their rules in order to overcome the challenge. I don't think they would make the mistake of assuming we wouldn't want to know all the nitty-gritty technicalities - that's what I was getting at.

- Jee
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Derek VDG
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Honestly, it probably never occurred to them that players would think to "game the game" by giving the one player with the best save all the Darkstone at the end of the adventure, simply to min-max the corruption rolls. It never did to me until this topic came up. I don't think it will break the game to do this, but that person will likely lose their character pretty quickly to mutations, even with their better save.

There are risks to staying in town, and the longer you stay in town the more dangerous it becomes. There is incentive to keep town visits short, and to not spend a lot of time repeat visiting locations. I'd also have to look at the town charts closer, but I don't know how much the Doctor can fix mutations. I believe he is mostly healing for wounds and Injuries, not mutations. If he can fix mutations, it is probably extremely expensive, which will dip deeply into the group's gold reserves to fix multiple mutations.
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Neil Edmonds
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Thanks Jee and Derek. This discussion was helpful to me.

I'm sure Jason Hill did the best he could with the rules, but it's tough covering every possible rules interaction. I suspect Derek's on the right track with his observation. A strict/literal interpretation of the rules would require a specific rule allowing dark stone to be traded, followed by the corruption roll rules being followed literally when the mine is exited. If a rule or adventure scenario allows the exchange of certain items - like money or artifacts - but doesn't specifically mention trading dark stone, then the "have one character make all the rolls" strategy wouldn't work because there's no way to exchange dark stone between players.

Once you're willing to accept some ambiguity in the rules, I don't think Jee's interpretation is unreasonable if there are game systems in place that make the tactic undesirable. As Derek pointed out, a greater risk of killing a character quickly, multiple increasingly-risky trips to town, and possibly the doctor's inability to cure mutations - all systems designed around a player hoarding dark stone - add a legitimate risk to Jee's strategy of concentrating that risk on one character vs. spreading it around the whole party.

Jason's got a BGG account, you could always try Geekmailing him. There's also Flying Frog's facebook page and the Comments section of the Kickstarter campaign.
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Jee Fu
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Jason is pretty sharp. It's difficult for me to believe that FFP didn't expect people to do everything they legally could to conquer his masterfully crafted underground death maze. In all likely-hood, there does exist a rule for this and it just either didn't make it into the Rule Book or FFP felt like the lack of mention was enough of an ruling (which would imply that passing Dark Stone around illegal).

Either way, no prob. If its intended to be illegal, cool - don't even have to think about it. If not, there are - as you all have pointed out - real risks associated with it which act as a balancing factor. I'll just make a call in the mean time.

Thanks for the input guys!

- Jee

 
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Ken H.
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Inspector Jee wrote:
or FFP felt like the lack of mention was enough of an ruling (which would imply that passing Dark Stone around illegal).


laugh To me, that implies it is legal. But that's why we need rules, I guess.

Thematic elements in this game are huge. And while I'm aware of the risk of inferring rules based on theme alone, the story elements of this game practically demand that you can trade gold and any other possession. It's supposed to be like an RPG. Of course you can trade your stuff.

I still don't like trading Darkstone for 5 seconds, just to circumvent the corruption rules, though. Just my opinion, but I won't be doing that. Other than that, I really don't see any problem with buying stuff from your companions, or asking your buddy to pick up some dynamite for you.

If trading makes sense in your story line, it adds to the game. If you're doing it just as an exploit, then it detracts. But again, to each his own.
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I think it's pretty thematic not to load Darkstone onto one character. In the Kickstarter video, the story basically says that too much Darkstone gathered in one spot destroyed the town. Best reason of all to keep it dispersed amongst the party and not on one character!
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Corruption is relatively easy to cure, Mutations are not. Heaping all your darkstone on one character means that guy would quickly turn into a chaos spawn, 3+ Willpower or no.

Trading money in town would be fine, as long as you did it before people actually visited the location. As in, fine to do so after camp rolls, but before Location Event rolls. No waiting for a player to roll a fire sale and go "Oh, now I want dynamite!"

My big trading question is whether or not the Rancher can forge +1 damage upgrades onto other players' guns.
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Jee Fu
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Regault wrote:
Trading money in town would be fine, as long as you did it before people actually visited the location. As in, fine to do so after camp rolls, but before Location Event rolls. No waiting for a player to roll a fire sale and go "Oh, now I want dynamite!"

That's not really inline with the usual FFP mentality for decision making with respect to timing, but I could see an argument for that restriction.

- Jee
 
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Darryl Gardner
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Until FFP tells us otherwise, I think it's really up to the players in the group. As long as you keep it consistent then do what makes sense to you.

For me, I would consider town locations to be 'separate map tiles'. Having cash and items instantly wired from one location to another doesn't make much sense to me. But that's me. Other people feel differently, or maybe feel that the game is hard enough without giving yourself voluntary handicaps.

I enjoy the challenging feel that this game is giving me so far.. even though I've never played it. I look forward to the inevitable corruption goo and death zombie that await my future characters. devil

 
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Jee Fu
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Yeah man tell me about it - I'm already on Preacher #3 ("Father Estaban Cortes Tercero"). #1 was crushed by falling rocks and #2, while still alive, now goes by the monkier "Lord Tentacleeze."

- Jee
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