Alex Reid
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As has been pointed out by people many times, Collective Toil and Survival of the Fittest are pretty bad. So, I decided to make an extra effect for Collective Toil, and a new intimacy table, with a new type of savior, for Survival of the Fittest to be more viable. I have also included the ideas behind why I made each alternative the way I did.


Collective Toil
Add the following text to the Collective Toil card:
Quote:
Once per settlement phase, each returning survivor may choose one of their attributes. If it is less than 0 (or less than 5, if movement is chosen) that survivor may spend an endeavor to add 1 to that Attribute. If you have the Bed innovation, you may choose to instead skip your next hunt phase, and perform this endeavor multiple times with that survivor.
The thing that makes Accept Darkness so good, is that it makes it extremely difficult to die from brain damage, while Collective Toil causes the Bone Witch event, which injures your survivors and will almost always add itself to the timeline again. With this change, Collective Toil acts as a parallel to Accept Darkness, by offering a way to recover from permanent physical damage. In doing so, this also gives them a way to gain the positive effects of the bone witch, with the downsides being easily mitigated.


Survival of the Fittest / Alternative Intimacy
Remove the Hovel bonus effect from the Intimacy table, and make the following changes to it (Note, this change applies to both Life Principles.)
Quote:
Special: If you have Hovel and a Life Principle, if either die result is a 10, SPECIAL CHILD.
Quote:
SPECIAL CHILD: +1 population. If the dropped dies result was 10, RISE OF A PARAGON. If the kept die result is 10, BIRTH OF A SAVIOR. If both results are 10, trigger RISE OF A PARAGON and BIRTH OF A SAVIOR, using the same newborn survivor for both events.
Technically, nothing about survival of the fittest has changed. However, the changes to the intimacy gives them a chance to get a new type of Special Child, the Paragon. SotF has the same chance to get a Paragon as Protect the Youth has to get a Savior (19% for each). However, it is extremely rare for either one to be able to get the others Special Child. The only way to do so is to roll a 10 on BOTH die results (1% chance), which gives the Special Child the effects of both options.


Rise of a Paragon
Quote:
The newborn survivor quickly learns that in this world, only the best survive. From a young age, they chose an aspect of life and dedicate themselves to it, determined to become a master at it. Choose a Virtue:
wrote:
VIRTUE OF HUNTING
Born Hunter: During the showdowns aftermath if you have at least 1 red and 1 green affinity, you gain 2 additional points of proficiency for your chosen weapon. Additionally, you may chose a weapon proficiency when departing for a hunt, even if you have not met the first Age milestone
Quote:
VIRTUE OF HEROISM
Born Hero: During the showdowns aftermath if you have at least 1 blue and 1 red affinity, you gain 2 points of courage. Additionally, when you trigger the Bold story event, you may choose which phase to gain a bonus to, instead of using the current phase. You still roll on the table for your current phase.
Quote:
VIRTUE OF KNOWLEDGE
Born Scholar: During the showdowns aftermath of you have at least 1 blue and 1 green affinity, you gain 2 points of understanding. Additionally, when you trigger the Insight story event, you may choose which phase to gain a bonus to, instead of using the current phase. You still roll on the table for your current phase.
In addition, all virtues gain the following ability.
Grounded In Reality: You may not equip gear with the other keyword, unless that gear is cursed*. Additionally, when you retire you wander off into the darkness determined to spread your mastery to the survivors of other settlements. This survivor is considered dead.
*thats my personal house rule for Saviors as well. It's clear that the intent was to keep them from using the Hours Ring, but it prevents the weird rules conflict that occurred if a savior would gain the Twilight Sword, Belt of Genderswap, or any other piece of cursed gear with the Other keyword.

Paragons are similar to Saviors, with a choice of 3 types for each. However while each Savior is aligned with a single affinity and gives you a bonus for stacking that affinity, Paragons are aligned with two affinities and encourage spreading out your affinities. Likewise, Saviors give very powerful abilities, but burn out quickly, meanwhile Paragons keep their normal life span, at the cost of less powerful abilities.

Heroics and Knowledge allows you to control the build of your survivor more closely, while also accelerating the process, however they effectively lose their major benefit once they reach max Courage/Understanding. Virtue of Hunting does not mad out, as you can change to a different weapon after getting mastery, and grind out a second one. However I didn't worry about that too much, as it comes with the cost of losing all ranks in the old weapon, and thus not having that Paragon get the benefit of Mastery.

I chose Courage, Understanding, and Proficiency, because in addition to being obvious alternatives to the age track that Saviors use, they each also tie into one of the existing Hero Classes that make cameos in the various story events. Courage is the Forsaker, Understanding is the White Speaker, and Proficiency is the Twilight Knight.

I also tried to make sure that the bonuses were high enough that you can max out the chosen stat with the short lifespan of a savior.
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Corporal Joe Bauers
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They progress faster instead of having powers, I think it is fair.

Although I think I would be inclined to always choose Hunting over the others, as getting weapons mastery is a big deal innovation wise.
 
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Stuart Holttum
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How many playthroughs of the core game did you play before concluding there were fixes needed?

How many playtests of your new rules have you carried out?
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Corporal Joe Bauers
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Straight to the aggression! I love variant threads.
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Symmetrical Docking wrote:
Straight to the aggression! I love variant threads.
Aggression? Nope. Just want to know.

Having now played over 30 lantern years, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that all the various rules and principles are a LOT more balanced than they may seem, with many having non-obvious effects depending on the paths taken.

I'm therefore very interested to hear how much playtesting has gone into proposals for change before I consider making those changes - however interesting they may be.
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Nick Wirtz
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I like the Survival of the Fittest change, and agree that one was necessary, at least the hovel thing is a nice buff that doesn't hugely add to total population since they're of limited use.

The paragons are fun and I like the concept, not sure it's necessary. The only thing I'd change is that mastery doesn't count towards settlement mastery- way too easy to hit the high levels there. Also, think it should probably except the twilight sword, since that weapon is so brutal, and pushing through those first years is a serious challenge/reward IMHO.

Confused what your collective toil change is saying, and still not sure it's necessary to change that one, but it's definitely the weaker of the options.


Stu, I agree a lot regarding balance after playing a lot, but think that the survival of the fittest thing is really just a hugely weaker option.
 
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Brett Burleigh II
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Collective toil suddenly becomes a runaway leading choice. That with beds, I could pump up speed all kinds of silly. Letting folks pick the attribute is a bit too much.

I'd maybe restructure it to match the random chance of a bone witch roll (to be more of a direct offset effect), or even a 2d10, where a double lantern would allow the selection of any attribute.
 
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Corporal Joe Bauers
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Re-read, he said if the stat is below 0!
 
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Stuart Holttum
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
Stu, I agree a lot regarding balance after playing a lot, but think that the survival of the fittest thing is really just a hugely weaker option.
What is the purpose of the game, in your opinion?
 
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Corporal Joe Bauers
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I can answer for him, it's to win at all costs, while maximizing every single gain. arrrh

I heard that he also read the entire book and every piece of gear and card in advance before he even played the tutorial. devil
 
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Nick Wirtz
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IDK, having an immersive, challenging game? Not having some substantially (IMHO) worse options to the point that they'd never be taken by experienced players unless they're willingly shooting themselves in the foot?

The principle ruined our first settlement on its own, and a non-option feels like a design misstep, not some sort of fluffy option that's a little worse.

It'd be fine if that variant had been some sort of "no-kids hard mode," but I think that it comes down to not being a functional choice within a realm of roughly equal diverging paths.

And thanks for the benefit of the doubt, Joe.
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Brett Burleigh II
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Symmetrical Docking wrote:
Re-read, he said if the stat is below 0!
Ok, Bed innovation and Graves + collective toil, and let's say you go home with a half dozen endeavors and add 6 speed, or 6 evasion to a survivor... all it takes is a survivor death (it can be easy to setup someone to die even if you're kicking Monster butt).

At that point, why would anyone ever pick Accept Darkness? It has saved exactly 1 survivor in my settlement thus far.
 
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Corporal Joe Bauers
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Re-read it, it says re-perform this endeavor.

So you start from the beginning, if the stat is not less than 0, then the endeavor does nothing...
 
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Stuart Holttum
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
IDK, having an immersive, challenging game? Not having some substantially (IMHO) worse options to the point that they'd never be taken by experienced players unless they're willingly shooting themselves in the foot?

The principle ruined our first settlement on its own, and a non-option feels like a design misstep, not some sort of fluffy option that's a little worse.

It'd be fine if that variant had been some sort of "no-kids hard mode," but I think that it comes down to not being a functional choice within a realm of roughly equal diverging paths.

And thanks for the benefit of the doubt, Joe.
Thanks for the response, it's appreciated. Personally, I DONT feel it is a significantly WORSE choice, from what I've seen of the game. What it does do (again from what I've seen) is give a significantly DIFFERENT game, that requires a total re-think of a number of other choices in the game.

I'm therefore rather reticent to consider changes that neuter a major choice in such a way.....hence my question to the OP about his play/playtest experience, to begin to find out if how his views and experience of the game differ from mine.
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Nick Wirtz
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I'd suggest trying it in practice, if you haven't (sorry, not assuming you haven't since you disagree, just sounds like you haven't).

It means you can almost never shore up your population if you're in trouble- you're gambling really bad odds when there are better chances of losing 1-2 newbs, vs gaining 1 with 1 str buff (about the easiest stat buff to get in the game), and it means you'll never want to take family and gamble a veteran. We had settlement where we were never able to have kids after the first, so it became purely attrition.

The buff isn't worth it if you never get the buff.

If it'd been "everyone gets +1 str" or some less-terrible table than "statistically, you never get saviors and are more likely to lose than gain," that'd be a different thing, but it isn't. You effectively trade something (protect, with chances to increase your pop) for nothing (survival, with a buff you should avoid trying to access).
 
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
It means you can almost never shore up your population if you're in trouble- you're gambling really bad odds when there are better chances of losing 1-2 newbs, vs gaining 1 with 1 str buff (about the easiest stat buff to get in the game), and it means you'll never want to take family and gamble a veteran. We had settlement where we were never able to have kids after the first, so it became purely attrition.
Exactly. Pushes an entirely different play style. I wouldn't quite go so far as to say it made it a different game, but it's pretty close.
 
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Brendan Concannon
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Collective Toil is fine as it is.
It's actually very powerful and just as good, if not better, than Accept Darkness.

As for Survival of the Fittest? Haven't gotten that one figured out yet.
 
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Brett Burleigh II
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Joe - I was wrong, Must've read too fast. It can completely undo the downside to an otherwise fine choice. Sure, that's nice. But this KD:M, not KD:Nice.

Variants, house rules, etc.... I mean, a bunch of adults sitting around a table, hovering over cards, rules and toys makes a game. Heck, anyone who owns a copy is entitled to do with it as they please!


Re: Survival of the Fittest - check out the Lyonesse session report. That user is very smartly calculating total population to achieve certain results for milestones. He managed to knock out society early and culled his population to prepare for the kingsman. He keeps his breeding make male locked up in the settlement and uses an innovation when he wants a baby made.

It is an entirely divergent path. Each of these principles are supposed to be utterly different and pull / push in different directions.

[Edit: typo]
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Stu, maybe I'll need to give it another chance down the line, but I don't consider shooting yourself in the foot a different play style.

It's like, what if one of the principles said not to use helmets, or don't use anything with reach or range, or nothing with consumable? Nothing beneficial, just not giving you access to a thing. The other one was just not an absence, or maybe a slight buff to what you were denied.

I think it's a fine concept as one of the alternate game modes like the bone settlement, but I think it's a false option in the game proper.

Brett, I'll need to look at those down the line. Maybe that'll sway me, but it'll depend on what's done that can't be done with Protect.
 
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Stuart Holttum
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
It's like, what if one of the principles said not to use helmets, or don't use anything with reach or range, or nothing with consumable? Nothing beneficial, just not giving you access to a thing.
Yes, that is what the CARD does when you get it. And, as a result, there are changes you must make to your play style that have knock-on events and different benefits unlocked down the line.

It is, by no means, a total negative.
 
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Nick Wirtz
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TBH, none of the benefits seemed very useful- the only ones I remember running across are a few events where you have around a 1/5 chance of getting a stat buff or skill instead of something else. Not common or reliable. Maybe I'm not remembering something or haven't run across it?

Yes, I was hyperbolizing a little, but I still don't see enough to make it even remotely close to worth it.
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brrrmanza wrote:
Joe - I was wrong, Must've read too fast. It can completely undo the downside to an otherwise fine choice. Sure, that's nice. But this KD:M, not KD:Nice.

Variants, house rules, etc.... I mean, a bunch of adults sitting around a table, hovering over cards, rules and toys makes a game. Heck, anyone who owns a copy is entitled to do with it as they please!


Re: Survival of the Fittest - check out the Lyonesse session report. That user is very smartly calculating total population to achieve certain results for milestones. He managed to knock out society early and culled his population to prepare for the kingsman. He keeps his breeding make male locked up in the settlement and uses an innovation when he wants a baby made.

It is an entirely divergent path. Each of these principles are supposed to be utterly different and pull / push in different directions.

[Edit: typo]
I was going to post about my beloved Lyonesse and its murderous leader.

My first settlement went protect the young, graves collective toil and was killed by two consecutive TPK, a three year Plague and the bone witch.

My second settlement swapped collective toil for embrace the darkness and got board with endeavour rolls so had enough population to drown the watcher in bodies.

Lyonesse is my second experiment in a survival of the fittest settlement. My last one died to armoured strangers after a Radom encounter boosted my population to cull levels.

It does play very differently to a protect the young settlement and I couldn't have gotten this far without previous experience from my other settlements

Plan
You need a starting population of 14 so your first birth gives you accept the dark for brain damage protection. You don't want a 20% chance for survivors to die form brian damage. As time goes on and you gain insanity it isn't as much as a problem, but you need to protect your meager population.

Talking of which your next plan is to reduce your population to get the good armoured stranger result, I'm planning throuh that this happens at 8 or less, but my next play through will be at 7 or less as it does seem doable.

After this innovations that you want are
Face painting, for intermacy
Clan of death, for better survivors of you do birth them

Next you want barbaric for even more strength bonus.
And always save up love juice

Now the reduced population comes into play when regal visit happens. Myth will have guide post, accept the darkness and survival,of the fittest. This turns regal visit from 100% bad things happen to 30% bad things happen.

My only worrying moment was in one year when I knew I had a murder about to happen and my highest Hxp character had the twilight sword. She would die and when the knight returned my fist master would gain the sword, which I didn't want.

So I sent her out to complete the mastery and allowed another survivor get murdered. Luckily the murderer wasn't killed due to accept the darkness. However I was down to 6 population.

Next turn I used face painting four times on my remaining male then two love juices to get the population back up.

Problems. Not using aguary incase of accidental intermacy means no one in my settlement has more than 2 understanding.

I am randomising gender and I was down to 1 male as I knew I had a bigger risk of losing women than men to intermacy, luckily a gender belt has given me a second male

Watcher fight. You will not have any retinues. No idea what to do apart from punch it using luck stones and possible the Xmas axe.
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Nick Wirtz
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Interesting stuff.

I'm not sure what's given people such problems with the Watcher, though... sure, it has some horrible attacks, but we weren't having trouble killing it even without retinues (we'd been intending to save them if we got strength penalties... also, strictly as written they don't require population, they just expend it if they die).
 
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Hellena Handbasket
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I generally like the idea of these changes, especially with the different saviors (very flavorful!), but I'm not sure I'd pick Survival of the Fittest even with the changes you mentioned. If we were trying to fix Survival of the Fittest, perhaps we could create a new high tier innovation that gives a bonus to intimacy rolls? That way you could play a survival of the fittest play-through as a trade-off of early game for late game.
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Brett Burleigh II
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Zamnath wrote:
If we were trying to fix Survival of the Fittest, perhaps we could create a new high tier innovation that gives a bonus to intimacy rolls?
Much simpler to execute and as you go on to say, it preserves the experience of learning the play style in the early and mid gameā€¦
 
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