Jim P
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I know there has been a lot of talk about the difficulty of this game, both in general terms, and in relation to specific things like the Wrath Base Adventure, or particular characters, like Lancer Alain.

I wanted to take a bit of time to think about this, both in terms of the general issues, and in terms of how the different approaches to the game differ, and how people - both players and designers respond to that.

It ended up being somewhere over 4,000 words, so I've turned it into a Blog Post over at Fistful of Meeples but I'd really appreciate it if people had the time to read and share their thoughts - as I say in the article, not just a thought on whether X is too easy/powerful or not, but how this sort of thing cna best be dealt with?
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John Rodriguez
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You have some good thoughts and I agree with most of them.

As far as over-powered characters those exist in all the sets really. I'm sure they try to balance what they can. That doesn't bother me so much.

Personally I think they just need to address how difficult it becomes with more players. No errata, no scenario changes - just give larger groups a bigger boost somehow.

I think Wrath is wonderfully balanced with 2-3 players personally. It's a challenge but still fun and playable with 4. With 5-6 I can certainly understand why it can be so difficult. Paizo just needs to give larger groups larger bonuses somehow - even if it's just for this set. I fear it's just time to scale the blessing deck based on number of players.
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Aaron Abercrombie
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The biggest thing that stuck out to me in your thoughts is that you rarely split the party. In playing through the first two games and almost through Adventure 3 in Wrath, we rarely keep the group together. For most scenarios, I would think, that would make them much harder.

In RotR, we used Kyra and Harsk. Harsk's abilities to help others at other locations encouraged us to keep our characters split up. For the most part, we kept that strategy in S&S, but bumped our party up to 4. The biggest thing to learn going to 4 characters was balancing the expenditure of blessings on exploring versus using them for checks. With 2 characters we horded them and rarely used them for extra explorations. With 4 characters, you have to be more aggressive, but not go so crazy that you don't have any for helping out on checks.

In Wrath, we kept to 4 characters but couldn't resist adding Arueshalae when she showed up so we're bumped up to 5 now. I probably wouldn't have agreed to it because I was worried about another location making thing too tough, but it hasn't been bad. We've always had at least one good healer in our group. Adding Arueshalae gives us two for Wrath. We're maxing her blessings and using her as Balazar's personal medic so that he can go nuts with extra turns and blessings and get healed right back up. His hand size makes it nice so that he turns his deck over quickly and has a constant supply of blessings and allies. We've had to be careful that he doesn't get jammed up with too many monsters in his hand.

I don't see how Alain is so overpowered. Like you pointed out, he has a small hand size and has one less card every time he cycles a mount for a new turn so he's risking a tougher encounter each extra encounter. If other characters bail him out with blessings or other cards it then weakens them on their own turn and possibly creates fewer bonus explorations for them. In terms of combat bonuses and abilities, Harsk and Balazar are just as tough from what I've see. Plus Alain seems like a jerk based on his backstory so there was never a chance we were going to play him, hehe.

We've enjoyed Wrath a lot so far. The encounters are ramped up, but the characters seemed cranked up as well. I would say the difficulty is close to the same as S&S. Some of the ship encounters could be brutal in S&S. Plus so far in Wrath, there's a couple of ways even fairly early on to save dead characters. One other revelation for us with Wrath has been evading. I don't know if we ever used in in the first two games but use it a lot now with Ekkie and Harsk. It's been very useful.

Speaking of hard, in our last game at one of the 3 barrier locations, all 3 were Demonic Horde, ouch.
 
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Jim P
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abercrab wrote:
The biggest thing that stuck out to me in your thoughts is that you rarely split the party. In playing through the first two games and almost through Adventure 3 in Wrath, we rarely keep the group together. For most scenarios, I would think, that would make them much harder.


I should probably clarify.

If we're playing with a group of 6, we'll typically start out at six locations, and only gradually double up. Major exceptions to this are scenarios which force you all into one place, or particularly obvious synergies (Damiel used to hang around with Ranzak to give him potions of heroism, flying etc).

The type of "split the party" that we've only done twice (S&S 5-5 and WotR 2-something) is the "this scenario is impossible with 6, so we're going to play 2 separate 3-character games, and see if that makes it any saner (it did).
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Aaron Abercrombie
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Mightyjim wrote:
abercrab wrote:
The biggest thing that stuck out to me in your thoughts is that you rarely split the party. In playing through the first two games and almost through Adventure 3 in Wrath, we rarely keep the group together. For most scenarios, I would think, that would make them much harder.


I should probably clarify.

If we're playing with a group of 6, we'll typically start out at six locations, and only gradually double up. Major exceptions to this are scenarios which force you all into one place, or particularly obvious synergies (Damiel used to hang around with Ranzak to give him potions of heroism, flying etc).

The type of "split the party" that we've only done twice (S&S 5-5 and WotR 2-something) is the "this scenario is impossible with 6, so we're going to play 2 separate 3-character games, and see if that makes it any saner (it did).


Ah, hehe, that's a lot different. That's an interesting idea and way to tackle things.
 
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