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Subject: Unintentional consequence of Schrödinger's Coins? rss

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Daniel Becerra Aller
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Yesterday, while showing the pnp game to a friend, we get to the last room fairly quickly and with plenty of health and cards left.

And we realised that in order to loot all the coins and treasure left scattered around in the dungeon, we finsihed leaving one Living Bones monster alive and to not attacking it, so the scenario wouldn't end. That was quite anti-climactic and my friend's perception of the game got hurt badly by that ending.

So, I think this is gonna happen in any scenario where the ending condition depends on the players actions. They could just artificially prolong the game in order to take the loot, not attacking the last monster, not opening the final chest and so on.

Is there any way to prevent this? It seems against the spirit and heart of the game experience, and thus I believe the game should punish it somehow.
And please abstain to say "you shouldn't do it". I should be encouraged by the game and its rules to play in a certain way, and not be left free hoping I would do a sub-optimal decision.

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Milo Gertjejansen
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I think the scenario time is limited by your hero cards. So you couldn't just keep going since you have to pick two cards per turn.
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Daniel Becerra Aller
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Yes, but as I said, we had plenty of cards still left, that wasn't a problem for a time.

The issue here is that suddendly we realize it was better not to attack and kill the last monster left, at least for three or four rounds of the game, in order to give us time to scavenge at will.

As I said before, it was my friend's introduction to the game and he found that gimmick completely absurd and pointless. Why should we have to distract the monster to take the treasure instead of simply killing it?
I tried to justify it by the "schrödinger coin" metaphor but it did not help his perception of a gamey, tucked-on mechanic.
 
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Marty McFly
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Keep in mind that this is a semi-coop game in that, thematically, it is every player for him- or herself. Sure, you're all trying to get through the scenario, but the "reality" is that you're all actually just using the scenarios as a means to get to your Career Goal.

With this in mind, it is conceivable that a single player leave the group to head back to unclaimed loot. Is this best for that player? Hard to tell; it depends on whether or not the scenario is still finished and what kind of strain it puts on the party relationship (e.g. in the next scenario, will the party members decide to not help out the greedy player?). The decision then becomes, "Do we (or I, as the case may be) loot this room entirely before moving on, or do we press on anyway to save time just in case?"

This type of play might not sit well with some groups, but I do think that it fits the theme of the game and the idea that all players are mercenaries first and friends second.
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Renan Neori
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I might try to develop some houserule for bidding cards left in players' hands at the end of combat to have the first pick of the loot after battle. I don't really like how loot suddenly disappears when the enemies die.
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Juan Crespo
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This is a throwback feature really common in video games. In my opinion, it's better left to be solved by meta-gaming. Players need to reach a precarious pact to move forward, as it takes two (or more) to be able to keep a baddy alive and pick up all loot. If one of the players doesn't stick to the agreement on how to do it, then there are gonna be consequence later on. That's part of the semi-coop mercenary nature of the game; it undeniably fits well thematically. Every man/woman for himself in the end.
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David Moffett
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This is what I'm probably going to do: When the scenario ends any loot tokens left on the dungeon floor and swept up, their value calculated, that value will be halved and then the result will be evenly distributed to the party. I know thematically we aren't all buddies and we aren't gonna share the loot like that, but I know my group isn't going to like the whole leaving-all-the-treasure-on-the-floor-thing. This way you are still incentivized to collect the treasure mid-scenario but no so much so that you are likely to delay the end of the scenario artificially.
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Daniel Becerra Aller
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I think I'm not explaining the issue as good as I thought.

This is not a problem of one player dedicating to loot.

This is not a problem with the semi-coop nature, each player for himself.

This is not a problem with "loot now or saving for later".


This is a problem of "We enter here with the objective of killing all them monsters. The scenario is de-facto done. We've already won. There's only one easy peasy enemy left. So let's forget about it and loot all that gold while we can, then kill that pesky skeleton, for if we kill that skeleton first we'll lose all that treasure!"

Is this how the game is intended to play? Really?
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Daniel Becerra Aller
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ReinhartTR wrote:
This is what I'm probably going to do: When the scenario ends any loot tokens left on the dungeon floor and swept up, their value calculated, that value will be halved and then the result will be evenly distributed to the party. I know thematically we aren't all buddies and we aren't gonna share the loot like that, but I know my group isn't going to like the whole leaving-all-the-treasure-on-the-floor-thing. This way you are still incentivized to collect the treasure mid-scenario but no so much so that you are likely to delay the end of the scenario artificially.


And that's a partial solution to the problem. Thank you.
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Isaac Childres
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Because of the wide variety of end conditions to the scenarios, there needs to be a universal rule for a definitive end to a scenario.

Also allowing players pick up all the money after a scenario ends completely negates any urgency to pick up the money during the scenario. Well, either that, or picking up the money becomes an almost antagonistic process because it turns from "take what you can grab" to "take what we were going to split fairly."

The rules can lead to some unthematic situations, but I firmly believe the rules capture the best feel for the game.
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calpurnio pison

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i think that situation forces to make decisions (loot now and take the risk of no kill the last monster, or kill it and loose the treasures). you played good enough to the decision were obvious. when i played, i arrived to that situation with only 1 or 2 rounds left, and i prefered the goal in mission over the loot of coins (because killing the enemy is never sure with one attack).

i like the rule as is just now. (although it makes no sense; in the other hand, returning to the same mission to kill another time all bandits makes no sense too. but it's a game).
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Mike Daneman
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Caedes wrote:
ReinhartTR wrote:
This is what I'm probably going to do: When the scenario ends any loot tokens left on the dungeon floor and swept up, their value calculated, that value will be halved and then the result will be evenly distributed to the party. I know thematically we aren't all buddies and we aren't gonna share the loot like that, but I know my group isn't going to like the whole leaving-all-the-treasure-on-the-floor-thing. This way you are still incentivized to collect the treasure mid-scenario but no so much so that you are likely to delay the end of the scenario artificially.


And that's a partial solution to the problem. Thank you.


Agree, this may help somewhat, although even to avoid losing half the value players may keep a monster alive if they're still in good shape with their cards. I'm still thinking if there's a better solution, but haven't come up with one yet that doesn't invalidate the value of the loot ability.
 
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Renan Neori
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How about making it so scenarios have a chance to end up with the place you're in falling apart or quickly becoming a death trap you must escape NOW once all the enemies are dead?

There's no forewarning on which scenarios might end that way. If they end peacefully with nothing happening then yay, you can loot the place after the battle, but if everything's suddenly coming down there's no time to loot, must escape!

So players can't know if they should spend time on looting mid-battle or not, and it would suddenly make sense that all the loot disappeared into the ether, or was unlootable suddenly.
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Marty McFly
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Not entirely sure what is possible from the Loot tokens, but it could simply be that each player gets 1 Gold (or some other value) for each uncollected Loot. That way, you still get something without having to "game the game".
 
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Chris Seidler
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I'd think about it this way:

You must have played very good when there is only one monster left to kill but much time for doing that. Because of your good moves and lucky punches against the other monsters you now have the time to loot as much as possible.

I'd say: Well done, Sir!
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Kai B
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Caedes wrote:
I think I'm not explaining the issue as good as I thought.

This is not a problem of one player dedicating to loot.

This is not a problem with the semi-coop nature, each player for himself.

This is not a problem with "loot now or saving for later".


This is a problem of "We enter here with the objective of killing all them monsters. The scenario is de-facto done. We've already won. There's only one easy peasy enemy left. So let's forget about it and loot all that gold while we can, then kill that pesky skeleton, for if we kill that skeleton first we'll lose all that treasure!"

Is this how the game is intended to play? Really?


Maybe you should increase the difficulty of your Scenarios so that such a situation dont happen agein?
As I understand you, your problem is that you have to keep one enemy alive to have time to collect loot and the scenario wasnt hard enough because at the end you have a lot of cards and ´Hitpoints left.
But when the Game is harder for you, you dont have the option to do so because when you are with the final enemy and few cards left, you have to kill him quick because otherwise you loose.
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Kathrin
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@Daniel if you haven't read it, some similar concerns are also discussed here, with some more suggestions. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1437885/dislikes-rulebook

I am pretty sure this rule got tested and is what seems to be the best fit for the game. I also think that the first scenario is easier than later scenarios, just to help players get into the game. Which means in later scenarios you probably won't finish with a lot of cards left.

What would interest me is the average amount of cards players are left with after a scenario? And how likely it is that one or more players are exhausted at the end? Maybe Isaac or a playtester can share some insight here, who has played more than the first scenarios and more than only a few games.

As stated in the other thread I most likely will try a variant where the players can continue the scenario, as usual playing 2 cards, if no hero is exhausted. Maybe with the addition of forbidding rests after the scenario goal is completed. If this would lead to 0-2 additional turns for the heroes, I could see us going for it, but if it would allow us to loot everything, so that the tension and decision making of previous rounds is removed I would miss something.

I'm eagerly awaiting the final game to see if the problem just disappears when seeing the final rules and scenarios or am happily looking forward to test some variants to adjust it to my liking.
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Kai B
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Caedes wrote:
ReinhartTR wrote:
This is what I'm probably going to do: When the scenario ends any loot tokens left on the dungeon floor and swept up, their value calculated, that value will be halved and then the result will be evenly distributed to the party. I know thematically we aren't all buddies and we aren't gonna share the loot like that, but I know my group isn't going to like the whole leaving-all-the-treasure-on-the-floor-thing. This way you are still incentivized to collect the treasure mid-scenario but no so much so that you are likely to delay the end of the scenario artificially.


And that's a partial solution to the problem. Thank you.


I think the rulebook should simply state that there is no gold on the "Gold" spots, but to call them "Loot Spots" and when you loot there you find gold. When the Scenario is over, the Loot Spots are gone, there never was Gold as far as your group can see it.
Maybe just add a little chance to find nothing at this spots so that it makes more thematic sense.
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that Matt
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Caedes wrote:
This is a problem of "We enter here with the objective of killing all them monsters. The scenario is de-facto done. We've already won. There's only one easy peasy enemy left. So let's forget about it and loot all that gold while we can, then kill that pesky skeleton, for if we kill that skeleton first we'll lose all that treasure!"

While you guys run off to that chest in the other chamber, I'll be picking up a couple coins and killing the skeleton before you get there. whistle
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Sebastian Grawan
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Chrisback79 wrote:
I'd think about it this way:

You must have played very good when there is only one monster left to kill but much time for doing that. Because of your good moves and lucky punches against the other monsters you now have the time to loot as much as possible.

I'd say: Well done, Sir!
My thoughts exactly!
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Thomas King
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Personally, the more I read about the looting, the more I think the game won't work for us. In general, the half co-op where greed is rewarded more than hard work is going to be pretty niche, I think. I would much rather a full co-op, and I think most people would. Maybe fans can create alternate rules for full co-op where grabbing loot is still an important decision, but not one made at the expense of the rest of the party.
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David Spangler
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I like the idea of "Loot Spots" rather than "Gold Spots". However, I have to say that my gaming group loves full co-op, not partial co-op games, so wonderful as this game seems to be in many respects, it probably wouldn't see much play. I understand that "I'm in it for myself alone, not to shre" mercenaries make for an interesting theme and are a novel part of this game, but this plus the retirement rule and the inability to share loot, etc., really does go against the grain for my gaming group.

I might still back it just to play solo. I think Isaac has created an innovative product here, and I appreciate how his designer mind works.
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Robert
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Have the last monster gather up all the loot tokens and run for the exit. laugh
 
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David Moffett
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I mean, I'm going to play the game at first with rules as written, but if my group balks at the loot system I'll house rule it. I intend to play the Scoundrel first and I intend to act like a Scoundrel, looting when it might not be the best time to do that, at the expense of the party, and as much as possible (if I happen to draw the career goal that requires me to collect 200 gold this will be doubly so). I feel like the loot system is built around increasing interaction and generating tense situations and I can appreciate that, but I also know my group is fickle and I sometimes have to house rule mechanics they don't like, or we don't play those games, even if those house rules muck up the system a bit. Making it so all loot is collected, even using my limited reward system, would probably muck up the system. In my mind it would:

1) Make the game easier, more gold available equals better access to items/enchantments.
2) Decrease tension in scenarios as there would be less urgency to collect the piles of stuff on the floor.
3) Make acquiring (at least 1) career goals easier.
4) Create a more fully co-op feel.

These factors may make your experience better or worse depending on the preferences of your group (if you intend to play with one) and yourself.
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aron craig
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A possible house rule occurred to me that might land somewhere between the two extremes - Any characters that have loot cards left in their hand can take 1g per card and the end of the final round. That would give you little bit of the tension still with trying to keep certain cards around while still easing off on the "we cleared the dungeon and just left the gold sitting in the corner" thing a touch. Just an off-the-cuff idea.
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