Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

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

Subject: House Rule Recommendations? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nacho Fist
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Happy Monday everyone. I created this thread to get some insight on standard house rules other groups use. I am only talking about house rules that are always in play.. ones that you believe make the game better.

First I will start with the house rules my group uses...

1. You can only level up AFTER town visits, before the next mission begins. This ones seems to really be working well as most are in agreement that the game is too easy. This stops the problem of characters waiting to level up until they need the instant heal. It also prevents the delay of game caused by someone picking their new skill mid-level.

2. All named encounters have been removed from our encounter decks. Any time a named encounter map tile is discovered we roll a d6. On a 1-4 we face the named encounter. One a 5 or 6 we face a random encounter. If it is an encounter x2, one is automatically random and the other is rolled for. My group has really enjoyed this rule, and it seems to make the map tiles more a part of the game.

Side note... in all other worlds we change this d6 roll to 1-5 named encounter, 6 random encounter. This is only because the other world encounter deck is quite thin. Once the extra encounters are released we will change this back to the standard 1-4 and 5-6, like in the mines.

3. We combine the CoA and SoD loot and scavenge decks. This seems to make the pulls much more random. We toyed with this one for a while, going back and forth, but eventually we were all in agreement that combining these two seems to make the game better. This is especially true for loot draws... they are much more random with the combined decks.

It is in important to note we DO NOT combine the encounter decks. We only use the one set of 12 for explorations. There is too much of a risk of large gaps without clues. Usually we all have to be at work the next morning when playing and cannot risk using a 24-count encounter deck.

Another note about combining... I have seen a lot of posts on here about people messing with the passage cards. We have never done this. We always play with all map cards included. So far we have never run into a problem. Occasionally there are 2 or 3 halls in a row, but it rarely happens. So far using all passages has had no major impact on any of our games.


So that is it for my group's house rules... nothing too fancy.

Do any of you play with house rules that you think improve upon the game? If so, please let me know they are!

Thanks for reading.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Let's see if I can remember what we do that's different from the rulebook...

Advanced Encounters: Normally you draw an extra, named encounter for these rooms. We just draw an extra, random encounter instead. This means no separating special encounters into their own deck, and no knowing exactly what encounter we're getting when we draw the map tile (we've played the game enough that named encounters could have been done from memory by now).

Equipping Gear: We let people equip gear at the start of their activation, rather than at the start of the round. Most of the time, the chosen gear won't have changed.

Higher Threats: When we find the game getting easy for a particular posse, we start drawing from the next level of threat deck. We've run 2 hero posses through with high threats and a Revive token.

Artifacts: Gear & Artifact cards go back in their respective decks after each mission/town visit. Posses and heroes can carry duplicate items. We feel the worlds are too big for there to just be a single Dark Stone Club or Judge or Trun Disintegrator there.

Enemy Targeting and Movement: When a monster group activates, we don't choose targets individually, and roll for each one. We just spread them out over all reachable heroes as evenly as we can, and just roll to break ties. This means you can't have the first enemy target the front hero, and block off access to the back heroes, which increases the difficulty of the fight. It also reduces the fiddliness of rolling for every single enemy.

3 Night Terrors? 3 heroes? All heroes reachable? Everybody gets a Night Terror, even if, in theory, the first Night Terror could cut off access to heroes further back, leading to one hero facing all 3 Night Terrors.

For Ambushes, we place enemies 'outside' the posse. So targeted heroes at the front find monsters in front of them. Targeted heroes at the back (even a tile away) find monsters behind them. We figure ambushing monsters are smart enough to surround their prey, rather than all appearing behind the heroes.


edit: spelling
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Wann
Australia
Western Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We have always used the levelling up house rule and the enemy targeting house rule explained above.

There are no other house rules we use.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nacho Fist
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Thanks for the thoughts guys.

Adria.. I like some of the rules you use. I think I will start using advanced encounters and higher threats when things are getting too easy for the posse.

Also, the enemy targeting and equipping gear rules are really cool.

The only rule I do not think I would use is the artifact one... only because the artifact expansion packs added so many to the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deep_Purple wrote:
The only rule I do not think I would use is the artifact one... only because the artifact expansion packs added so many to the game.

That just makes it harder to get duplicate items, or even just one particular item. We might not shuffle the cards back in right away if we're doing back-to-back missions with the same posse, now that we have more cards, but they will be shuffled back in at the end of the session. We still allow posses and heroes to have duplicates, if they manage to get them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Death Jester
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Okay so my group likes our games to be realistic but obviously still fun.
We use:
-Grit only for character specific rolls. So no town charts like the Doc's Office.
-No Revive tokens and death is permament. No resurrection from the church.
-Heroes start with 2d6 x 100 gold.
-Tokens used for healing take up an action (instead of an attack) and you cant use them if an enemy is adjacent to you or the person your healing.
-If you use a Grit to move an extra d6 spaces, add your agility value to the total.
-Dont fully heal at the end of each adventure. Heal D6 wounds or sanity when you stay at the campsite/hotel.

These have made our games quite tough and the 5 of us rely on each other to survive and accomplish our goal.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernie Roessler
United States
Visalia
California
flag msg tools
badge
Why were we not in the movie?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deep_Purple wrote:


1. You can only level up AFTER town visits, before the next mission begins. This ones seems to really be working well as most are in agreement that the game is too easy. This stops the problem of characters waiting to level up until they need the instant heal. It also prevents the delay of game caused by someone picking their new skill mid-level.



We do this too.

Also we award 10xp to look through the door. Helps balance some characters.


If you have not done so already, I encourage you to look at the Huckster fan made class.

I like the Rail Driver a lot too but can't find an appropriate mini to go with him so we haven't played with him yet.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Beorndog wrote:
If you have not done so already, I encourage you to look at the Huckster fan made class.

I like the Rail Driver a lot too but can't find an appropriate mini to go with him so we haven't played with him yet.

I forgot about homebrew classes!

We have a couple War Chief characters, and my husband has been almost exclusively playing Occultists (has several at different levels) for the last couple months.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Jelley
United Kingdom
Hungerford
Berkshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Beorndog wrote:
Also we award 10xp to look through the door. Helps balance some characters.


I tried that with 0XP for a passage, 5XP for a tile and 10XP for a tile with an event, but this handed out quite a bit of experience. Now I have a rule that if you find a passage you may immediately scavenge it.

Phil
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken H.
United States
Amherst
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Deep_Purple wrote:
1. You can only level up AFTER town visits, before the next mission begins. This ones seems to really be working well as most are in agreement that the game is too easy. This stops the problem of characters waiting to level up until they need the instant heal. It also prevents the delay of game caused by someone picking their new skill mid-level.


I started doing this too. The delay of game didn't bother me (as I play mostly solo anyway). The problem is that you just don't ever need the free heal after 1st level. I had a character who had enough XP for 6th level, but was still 4th. He never leveled up to 5 because he never needed the free healing.

However, I also realized I was going something wrong, which was allowing heroes to fully heal BEFORE a mission as well as after, basically ignoring wounds that happened in town (unless the town or travel event specifically stated that the wounds carry over).

My new idea is this (haven't tried it yet):
1. Heroes get a personal Revive Token when they level up. So, you don't have to delay leveling up until you need healing.
2. Do away with free Revive Tokens owned by the posse -- each hero has his own supply.
3. Make wounds and sanity damage harder to heal, so that you actually need the Revive Tokens. This could be done by limiting end-of-mission healing to just 2d6 (any mix), and of course no end-of-town healing (which was a mistake anyway).

Based on that, I envision powerful artifacts that require you to spend a Revive Token to activate them -- this is then a very expensive artifact, because you would only have one Revive Token per level gained. Another idea is a new Growing Dread card that takes away a Revive Token.


Adria wrote:
Advanced Encounters: Normally you draw an extra, named encounter for these rooms. We just draw an extra, random encounter instead. This means no separating special encounters into their own deck, and no knowing exactly what encounter we're getting when we draw the map tile (we've played the game enough that named encounters could have been done from memory by now).


I'm not sure I understand this one. The map tile is already randomly determined, so why do you further randomize the encounter?

Quote:
Equipping Gear: We let people equip gear at the start of their activation, rather than at the start of the round. Most of the time, the chosen gear won't have changed.


Yep, I do that. Playing solo, I probably wouldn't be able to remember who had what equipped anyway if I had to decide it all ahead of time. And playing with my kids, trying to get them to commit to something before their turn would be like herding cats.

Quote:
Higher Threats: When we find the game getting easy for a particular posse, we start drawing from the next level of threat deck. We've run 2 hero posses through with high threats and a Revive token.


I'm thinking about trying this one. One possible variation I thought of was to say that if the posse gets through a fight with no hero losing more than 3 health (or some other aribtrary number), then the next encounter automatically goes up a level. In other words, it's just trying to find a specific way to measure when it's getting too easy.


Quote:
Artifacts: Gear & Artifact cards go back in their respective decks after each mission/town visit. Posses and heroes can carry duplicate items. We feel the worlds are too big for there to just be a single Dark Stone Club or Judge or Trun Disintegrator there.


Same here, although I question whether this is a "house rule". I think it's the designer's intent, though it is admittedly (and frustratingly) not mentioned in the rules.


Quote:
Enemy Targeting and Movement: When a monster group activates, we don't choose targets individually, and roll for each one. We just spread them out over all reachable heroes as evenly as we can, and just roll to break ties. This means you can't have the first enemy target the front hero, and block off access to the back heroes, which increases the difficulty of the fight. It also reduces the fiddliness of rolling for every single enemy.

3 Night Terrors? 3 heroes? All heroes reachable? Everybody gets a Night Terror, even if, in theory, the first Night Terror could cut off access to heroes further back, leading to one hero facing all 3 Night Terrors.

For Ambushes, we place enemies 'outside' the posse. So targeted heroes at the front find monsters in front of them. Targeted heroes at the back (even a tile away) find monsters behind them. We figure ambushing monsters are smart enough to surround their prey, rather than all appearing behind the heroes.


Hmm, I think I prefer the normal targeting and movement rules, but I do like your Ambush idea.


DeathJester23 wrote:
Okay so my group likes our games to be realistic but obviously still fun.
We use:
-Grit only for character specific rolls. So no town charts like the Doc's Office.


My house rule for Grit is that you can't reroll anything that comes on a chart. The one exception is for curing injuries and madness, where I do allow grit.

On the other hand, when playing with my kids, I tend to let them Grit whatever they want, because it's more important for them to remain interested in the game. The kids even have their own house rule which is that you get one free reroll per game, even without grit.

Quote:
-No Revive tokens and death is permament. No resurrection from the church.


I see your point, but after playing around 25 games, I have never seen a character die, and have only had a relatively tiny number of KO's (almost all being limited to 1st level characters).

So, this rule change probably doesn't do much. Personally, I think upping the danger level is more important than reducing the ability to recover.

Quote:
-Tokens used for healing take up an action (instead of an attack) and you cant use them if an enemy is adjacent to you or the person your healing.


That's actually a very big change. I could see it making the game significantly harder. My only dislike is that it kind of nerfs the Preacher. My Preacher is constantly healing people, like almost every turn.
Quote:
-Dont fully heal at the end of each adventure. Heal D6 wounds or sanity when you stay at the campsite/hotel.


Cool -- I like the idea of healing based on time spent in town. Maybe it should be d6 for the Hotel only, but d6-1 for the Camp.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rubric wrote:
Adria wrote:
Advanced Encounters: Normally you draw an extra, named encounter for these rooms. We just draw an extra, random encounter instead. This means no separating special encounters into their own deck, and no knowing exactly what encounter we're getting when we draw the map tile (we've played the game enough that named encounters could have been done from memory by now).


I'm not sure I understand this one. The map tile is already randomly determined, so why do you further randomize the encounter?

This way we don't go "Oh, X tile? That means we'll have Y encounter - better heal up before we get to the Exploration phase!" or something along those lines. And it saves us from having a separate Encounter deck, reducing fiddliness a bit.


Rubric wrote:
Quote:
Higher Threats: When we find the game getting easy for a particular posse, we start drawing from the next level of threat deck. We've run 2 hero posses through with high threats and a Revive token.


I'm thinking about trying this one. One possible variation I thought of was to say that if the posse gets through a fight with no hero losing more than 3 health (or some other aribtrary number), then the next encounter automatically goes up a level. In other words, it's just trying to find a specific way to measure when it's getting too easy.

I don't have a specific way of determining when to increase the difficulty. For higher level posses, we're playing consistently (only way to get to higher levels) so if we cruise through a couple missions, we'll increase the threat. Or base it on which heroes we bring along.

Rubric wrote:
Quote:
Artifacts: Gear & Artifact cards go back in their respective decks after each mission/town visit. Posses and heroes can carry duplicate items. We feel the worlds are too big for there to just be a single Dark Stone Club or Judge or Trun Disintegrator there.


Same here, although I question whether this is a "house rule". I think it's the designer's intent, though it is admittedly (and frustratingly) not mentioned in the rules.

I'm not sure it's a house rule either, but a lot of people here on BGG restrict their artifacts to one per posse, or one per hero.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Finn K
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Adria wrote:
Let's see if I can remember what we do that's different from the rulebook...

For Ambushes, we place enemies 'outside' the posse. So targeted heroes at the front find monsters in front of them. Targeted heroes at the back (even a tile away) find monsters behind them. We figure ambushing monsters are smart enough to surround their prey, rather than all appearing behind the heroes.

edit: spelling


This is how I read the rules for ambush in the role book, even the example image shows enemies completely surrounding the heroes. For the image check page 23 of the rule book.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like some of the ones used in this review.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1297584/shadows-brimstone-w...

Specifically 1,2 & 4.

Also Hexcrawl is good. If you don't want to deal with the travel and the persistent towns, you can just roll up a new town every time you hit a frontier town. Keep track of the mines you've blownup or sealed, then on the 17th one go to Brimstone to end the campaign.

Super simplified, but it keeps the town modifications, which are really cool.

With just a bit of tweaking I bet you could make the overland darkness tracker work without using the rest of the overland system. Maybe just increase the darkness one step every time the players hit a town?

I also recommend keeping the random movement. Strange I know. Archaic some might say. But I think it's an integral part of the game.

I also limit the number of minis of any type that can be on the board to three. On Med threats, no more than 3 minis can be placed at one time, try to get all the creature types listed on the card. Follow elite ability rules for insufficient models as per usual. High threats can place 4, Epic 5.

I take out all the passage cards, just to speed up the game.

I pretend that the linking squares, the most notorious bottle-necks, don't exist. Sometimes the players can still bottleneck, but it's less common.

With the custom rules from the link above, there are enemies all over the map, coming from different directions, so I redefine the End of a Fight to be whenever the heroes have killed every mini on the board.

So far so good. Enjoying the game much more and it plays much more quickly.

It's still a dice chucker, I just have to do so less often.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Chalmers
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mb

I created this same thread awhile ago.

I have updated my entry with our current House Rules:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1277228/house-rules-post-yo...

1. When creating a character we draw (3) personal items and choose one of them.
Why this rule? We felt that some of the random personal items our characters received were pretty useless for them and we wanted to have at least a choice. Thematically I don't think a hero would go into a mine without something that was at least slightly useful for them to have while in there.

2. When creating the Mine Encounter Deck, since we were playing with the Advanced Encounters, we thought it was much more thematic that we remove the Mine Encounters that relate to the Map tiles we might pull and use the remainder for the random Mine Encounters on Map tiles that did not have an Advanced Encounter.
Why this rule? It only cut the random Mine Encounter deck down to about 1/2 it's size and so far seems to not have broken anything. It seemed more thematic that we did not come across the Broken Elevator on a tile that was not the actual Elevator tile, and then later on actually drawing the Broken Elevator map tile and having that same encounter again.

3. After completing a fight and "catching our breath" it did not make a lot of sense to us that only the heroes that did not activate on the last round of the fight were able to roll D3 to regain Health and Sanity, so we allow all Heroes to regain Health and Sanity. Also we roll a D6, not D3.
Why this rule? We are playing (2) players and as the Outlaw I was mostly activating on the last round of the fight, killing the last monster and then my friend did not activate. It seemed very unlikely to us that I was ever going to be able to roll a D6 to recover Health and Sanity, so we housed it.

4. After combining the Darkness Deck from both core sets we removed the doubles from one of the core set decks.
Why this rule? We pulled 3 Void +1 Combat die Darkness cards on one adventure, thank goodness we did not fight any Void enemies!! We thought that was a little excessive so we trimmed it a bit, now we can only get a max of 2 +1 Combat for Void enemies.

5. After combining the Map tile cards from both core sets we removed all the Passage doubles.
Why this rule? We were finding we were taking hours through 1 mine and it was kind of because we were drawing too many passages, since we are playing with less passage tiles we are still drawing them but obviously not as much. It does not seem to have made the maps easier but it does make them slightly shorter to play.

6. I have set the Exploration Token "deck" to be even with 5 clues and 5 non clues, randomly removing 2 of the non-clue tokens.
Why this rule? This is a bit tougher to justify, but again it was a time factor. The adventures are long as they are, having more non-clue then clue tokens was making them a bit excessively long. Having the Exploration tokens set to 50/50 clues/non-clues just seemed to make sense to us.

7. (NEW) When drawing multiple Encounter cards from an Exploration token or a Map Tile we FULLY resolve each Encounter card 1 at a time. We encounter each card in the order they were drawn (leaving the next card face down until we complete the first one), fully resolve it (this includes if there was an Ambush or enemies placed, the entire fight would take place before resolving the second Encounter card).
Why this rule? The Encounter cards did not "mesh" well when played at the same time, it made the encounters less "clunky" when playing them one at a time. This might make the encounters easier if multiple encounter cards add enemies but we figure if we still have to fight all the enemies from BOTH Encounter cards it works out, we just get to "catch our breath" in between.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sador42 wrote:
1. When creating a character we draw (3) personal items and choose one of them.
Why this rule? We felt that some of the random personal items our characters received were pretty useless for them and we wanted to have at least a choice. Thematically I don't think a hero would go into a mine without something that was at least slightly useful for them to have while in there.

We do similar, but only deal out 2 items to choose from.

sador42 wrote:
3. After completing a fight and "catching our breath" it did not make a lot of sense to us that only the heroes that did not activate on the last round of the fight were able to roll D3 to regain Health and Sanity, so we allow all Heroes to regain Health and Sanity. Also we roll a D6, not D3.
Why this rule? We are playing (2) players and as the Outlaw I was mostly activating on the last round of the fight, killing the last monster and then my friend did not activate. It seemed very unlikely to us that I was ever going to be able to roll a D6 to recover Health and Sanity, so we housed it.

I think you misread the rules on Catching Your Breath. Heroes who have activated in the final round heal D3 wounds or sanity in any mix. Heroes who have not activated in the final round heal D6 wounds or sanity, or gain one grit (player's choice).

sador42 wrote:
4. After combining the Darkness Deck from both core sets we removed the doubles from one of the core set decks.
Why this rule? We pulled 3 Void +1 Combat die Darkness cards on one adventure, thank goodness we did not fight any Void enemies!! We thought that was a little excessive so we trimmed it a bit, now we can only get a max of 2 +1 Combat for Void enemies.

We like the increased challenge this gives. Some games the Darkness deck doesn't hurt as at all, and other times it beats us up like your example. We just take it as it comes.

sador42 wrote:
5. After combining the Map tile cards from both core sets we removed all the Passage doubles.
Why this rule? We were finding we were taking hours through 1 mine and it was kind of because we were drawing too many passages, since we are playing with less passage tiles we are still drawing them but obviously not as much. It does not seem to have made the maps easier but it does make them slightly shorter to play.

We've removed 1/3 of the passages (have Caverns of Cynder) from our deck. If we ever draw two (or more) passages in a row, the second (and fourth, and sixth) are ignored.

sador42 wrote:
6. I have set the Exploration Token "deck" to be even with 5 clues and 5 non clues, randomly removing 2 of the non-clue tokens.
Why this rule? This is a bit tougher to justify, but again it was a time factor. The adventures are long as they are, having more non-clue then clue tokens was making them a bit excessively long. Having the Exploration tokens set to 50/50 clues/non-clues just seemed to make sense to us.

It can suck drawing lots of non-clues (we've drawn 6 non-clue icons before drawing 3 clue icons), but that's part of the game. That combined with the Darkness track keeps the pressure on. We've already alleviated that pressure slightly with the passage modification; I don't think I would alleviate it any more with this modification unless I really needed to keep the play time down (ie a demo).

sador42 wrote:
7. (NEW) When drawing multiple Encounter cards from an Exploration token or a Map Tile we FULLY resolve each Encounter card 1 at a time. We encounter each card in the order they were drawn (leaving the next card face down until we complete the first one), fully resolve it (this includes if there was an Ambush or enemies placed, the entire fight would take place before resolving the second Encounter card).
Why this rule? The Encounter cards did not "mesh" well when played at the same time, it made the encounters less "clunky" when playing them one at a time. This might make the encounters easier if multiple encounter cards add enemies but we figure if we still have to fight all the enemies from BOTH Encounter cards it works out, we just get to "catch our breath" in between.

I don't like this one. Again, I like the randomly hard (or sometimes easy) rooms you get from the encounter deck. If that means we face 2 or 3 threat cards from one set of encounters, so be it.

I also don't like the idea that you could, for example, go through a fight from one encounter, then get an encounter that affects your ability to hit or defend or move in the second one. Did that mud or steam of whatever it is just stay tucked away until the last dying monster pushed a button and released it into the room? Doesn't really work for me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.