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Subject: Messing with the rules rss

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Stuart
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Hi folks. I've played all 3 adventure system games quite a bit now, and am starting to look into alternate rules to tailor the games more to my liking.

One of the things I'm looking at is modifying the turn structure. So I'm wondering if anyone has had a go at this already? And if so, what worked, what didn't? For instance, changing it so that there is just one Hero Phase where all Heroes move/attack (after rolling initiative). Of course this means drastic changes to when monsters activate, etc.

Another thing I'm thinking of is altering the explore/encounter system that keeps pushing Heroes to explore or face Encounter Cards. Obviously you still need something in place that pushes Heroes onward, almost like a timer. And after playing Eldritch Horror and reading about Shadows of Brimstone, was thinking that some kind of "timer track" might work (like the Doom Track in Eldritch Horror, and the Depth Track in Shadows of Brimstone), where the longer you take, the more bad stuff is likely to happen (more monsters, etc). This would be instead of pulling Encounter Cards if you don't explore. Anyone implemented something similar?

Cheers.
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Rhys Corlett
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These are my favourite topics - you'll find lots of people have messed with the rules in both big and small ways. My group has a few favourites.

A) Mix all non-item treasures into the encounters pile (we use card covers, so this works well). This is great, because when exploring you don't know if it'll be a trap or a fresh wind, a curse or a blessing. When using doing this we use treasure tokens to distribute gold/items to prevent heroes getting too many items.

B) A simpler mod - don't draw a card if waiting on a white triangle tile.

C) A slightly more complicated mod: Each hero is give a number of timer/hour-glass tokens at the start of the game. If they end a turn on a white triangle tile without a monster they can pay one token to 'camp' and skip the encounter phase.

Sometimes we use A & B, or A & C, at the same time (which obviously makes the game a lot easier), but we use monster tokens (so 1-4 monsters appear on each tile) and rock have Dungeon Command monsters (lots of 3-4xp monsters). Basically the game is a LOT less encounter driven and there is a lot more fighting.

I look forward to hearing what you come up with.
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Stuart
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Wongawallan
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Oh, I like all of those variant rules!

I've also been writing up some "named tile" specific encounter cards that have a bit more theme/story going on (I know there are some already in the files section, but I wanted to do my own take) that have a mix of both bad and good things, but I do like the simplicity of adding non-item treasures into the encounter deck. Very cool!
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Dave C
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Tel Prydain wrote:


C) A slightly more complicated mod: Each hero is give a number of timer/hour-glass tokens at the start of the game. If they end a turn on a white triangle tile without a monster they can pay one token to 'camp' and skip the encounter phase.


Threads like this are just fantastic. Question: how many tokens do you use?
 
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Alan Stewart
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August222 wrote:
How many tokens do you use?

How many ya got? How many do you want to use. Start with one each and see if people really, really, really want more and then try two each. Or give the party two total and anyone can use 'em. If that's not enough, make it three. There's all KINDS of ways to work this cool little house rule.
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Rhys Corlett
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August222 wrote:

Threads like this are just fantastic. Question: how many tokens do you use?


That's a bit of a trick question.... If we were just playing a single game it'd depend on the monsters/tokens we had in play. If there were the DC monsters and monster tokens, I'd give one or two to each person.

But we use the Ninjadrog/GeckhoTH campaign card decks* in our games. For anyone that hasn't seen them, the cards offer town/village based events that have a good or harmful (mostly harmful) impact on the next game.
So in our games we start with two 'camp/rest' tokens, and in between games you get one more for every village card you draw (max of 2 per visit). Of course, if you get the party pelted with rain and/or attacked by bats, you can end up making the situation worse.

* http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/91144/cr-campaign-even...
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Rhys Corlett
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Kurzon wrote:

Another thing I'm thinking of is altering the explore/encounter system that keeps pushing Heroes to explore or face Encounter Cards. Obviously you still need something in place that pushes Heroes onward, almost like a timer. And after playing Eldritch Horror and reading about Shadows of Brimstone, was thinking that some kind of "timer track" might work (like the Doom Track in Eldritch Horror, and the Depth Track in Shadows of Brimstone), where the longer you take, the more bad stuff is likely to happen (more monsters, etc). This would be instead of pulling Encounter Cards if you don't explore. Anyone implemented something similar?

Cheers.


Back on the original topic, there are a few other ideas I've seen floated about:

* Initiative Rules: After a monster (or monsters) appears, “roll for initiative”.
Option 1 - The 50/50: On a roll of 1-10 the monster(s) moves as normal. On a roll of 11-20 and it has to wait one turn before activating
Option 2a: If the result is more than your hero's speed, the monster is faster than you and moves as normal. If less than your speed the monster has to wait until your next turn.
Option 2b: If the result is more than twice your hero's speed (i.e. the speed you can move in one turn if running), the monster is faster than you and moves as normal. If less than your speed the monster has to wait until your next turn.

* Shuffle ally cards (Dungeon Command and Drizzt) into the monster deck. If you draw an ally you place them on that tile, and then you draw a replacement monster and play that adjacent (so they are in combat).

* A whole new turn structure: Heroes move, then monsters. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1119241/new-turn-sequenc...

* New Encounter Rules:
When drawing an encounter for not exploring, roll a D20:
1-10 - draw encounter as normal
11-15 - draw a treasure first if and only if no monster is on your tile; then, draw an encounter
16-20 - nothing happens

* You can level up at any time for 10xp - no rolling a natural 20 required. Rolling a natural 20 is a critical hit, doing x3 damage.

* Class bonuses (Option A)
Each class can attempt to avoid one sort of encounter. Roll a D20, and on a roll of 11+ the hero can choose whether or not to discard the encounter:
Rogues: Avoid Traps
Clerics, Mages, Paladins: Avoid Curses
Fighters, Barbarians: Avoid Events
Rangers: Avoid environments

* Classes Bonuses (Option B)
Different classes get a bonus to one roll type and can try to avoid specific conditions.
- Rogues: get a bonus to their disarm traps, and they get to roll to disarm before anyone is hurt.
- Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins: get bonus rolling to discard Dazed or Confused conditions, and they get to roll as soon as they are impacted (rather than waiting for their next turn).
- Clerics, Rangers: get bonus rolling to discard poisoned or immobilised conditions, and they get to roll as soon as they are impacted (rather than waiting for their next turn).
- Wizards: get bonus rolling to discard Confused or Immobilised conditions, and they get to roll as soon as they are impacted (rather than waiting for their next turn).
(If you wanted to use A & B, I guess Rogues would get added along with rangers)
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Orlando Neto
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I like some simple rules:

When a 4 xp monster enters in the game, add a treasure chest in the same tile;

There are many tipes of encounters: event, event-attack, environment, hazards, curses and traps. I like to make different decks for each kind and make some rolls to find out what do you get;

I like the dead end variant: roll a die to see if you place a dead end in the tile;

LoS is a good one too.

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Jesse Fergism
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I also use the rule that if a Rogue draws a trap when exploring a tile they may immediately roll to disable. Kind of a nice perk for Rogues, and a good incentive to have a one in a party.
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Ryan Chambers
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Some great ideas in here. Especially like Tel's ideas of mixing non-item treasure cards into event deck and the camp tokens. Elegant in avoiding the "roll for" proliferation that I think is contrary to the streamlined design approach of the system.

For turn flow alteration, I use two key house rules:

1) Explore costs 2 Speed and does not end a heroes turn

2) Ready Action: A hero can choose to use a non-move action to "ready" an At-Will card. This card can be executed at any time between the conclusion of resolving the encounter card drawn (if any) and the beginning of the next hero's turn.
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Stuart
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chamr wrote:
Some great ideas in here. Especially like Tel's ideas of mixing non-item treasure cards into event deck and the camp tokens. Elegant in avoiding the "roll for" proliferation that I think is contrary to the streamlined design approach of the system.

For turn flow alteration, I use two key house rules:

1) Explore costs 2 Speed and does not end a heroes turn


I'm not sure I understand the logic behind this one. This would seem to discourage players from exploring, or outright prevent them if they didn't haev enough Speed left after moving to the edge.
 
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Rhys Corlett
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I think the idea is that, if you explore at the start of your turn, you then have a chance to react to the monster. So (please correct me if I'm wrong, chamr) if your hero normally moves six, on his turn he could explore first, then use his remaining four speed to close on the monster and attack before the monster can react.

I haven't actually heard of this change before, but it addresses the monsters always getting a free shot at an exploring hero. If I were to use that rule, I think I'd re-introduce the more aggressive encounter deck, since it would make the monsters far less deadly.

Part of the problem I have with the system overall is that the heroes are catching fairly unfair attacks constantly from both monsters and encounters. Many monsters do unavoidable damage and always move first (and the poison monsters often feel unfairly powerful), whereas encounters (while necessary to keep the party moving) also do constant unavoidable damage.
I don’t mind copping unavoidable damage from monsters or encounters, but getting it from BOTH infuriates me (accept in Ravenloft where, to be fair, you’re taking on a demi-god in his own domain).

With this rule, you’re no longer getting guaranteed damage from monsters, as you get to attack first – and if you do, it’s because you over extended yourself. Given that you regain that control, I would think that you’d need the nasty encounters to introduce the core dilemma of, “should I explore now – letting the monster attack, or should I wait til next turn and risk a terrible encounter for not exploring”.

Of course, that dilemma is in the base game to some degree, but waiting a turn at the cost of an encounter is never worth it unless you’re already overwhelmed with monsters, as exploring in the next turn doesn’t net you any benefit over the monster that will appear.
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Waggly Bean
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I suppose the above speed rule would also allow you to explore two tiles in one turn, if you wanted to risk it!
 
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Gedo Thagirion
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Maybe some reasonable solution to "explore during your move" topic would be to use Cattie-Brie power as a base for modification (At the end of your Exploration Phase, you can move up to 2 squares).

And use it in a way "save some your movement to use at the end of your Exploration Phase" by moving less during your Hero Phase. So having speed 6, moving 4 squares, you will have "2 points of movement left". Then you explore, place a monster and have a chance to move 2 squares -> either move back (if diagonally you can even leave tile making yourself being 2 tiles away from monster (in most cases safe)) or to move forward - to engage monster and prevent it from jumping one tile at you (since most monster tactics are less brutal for adjacent heroes or on the same tile).

Since simple "explore during your hero phase" makes whole game mechanics broken - you have special phase for exploration when many additional effects may trigger (environmental encounters), so this is not only about "place a new tile".

While 'Cattie-Brie-like move' after exploration is just making game little easier. Maybe to be applied for Rouges and some more agile characters? Maybe to increase cost of moving at the end of exploration to 2 points per square?
I will try test this idea this weekend, while playing some not-tank characters.
 
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Rhys Corlett
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GRUSZKA wrote:


Since simple "explore during your hero phase" makes whole game mechanics broken - you have special phase for exploration when many additional effects may trigger (environmental encounters), so this is not only about "place a new tile".


I haven't tested it yet, but it seems workable to me. It's just moving the exploration phase into the middle of the hero's phase.
 
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