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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » Variants

Subject: Igniting Dragon Bile rss

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Walter Melnyk
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In tonight's game with a feverish search for a second torch to ignite a second flask of Dragon Bile, we wondered if a variant allowing a flame-based spell to activate the DB is something that makes sense. It certainly seems a logical thing to do, but how badly would it impact game balance?
Anyone tried or considered this?
 
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Adam Trezise
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Thematically it would make sense for this to happen - not sure how it would work, gameplay wise.
 
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Bob Hansen
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The game is too easy as it is. It would just make it even easier.
 
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James Drury
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For the sake of math and game mechanics, think of it this way.

Dragon bile is thick and slimy, and to be ignited requires a fire level of 5 (I used 5 because I don't know if any expansion items will have lvl 3 fire spells). The highest current fire spell in the game is lvl 2, therefore not powerful enough to ignite the bile.

Torches have a fire level of 5, but cannot be used in combat because the wood/straw/whatever is too brittle, it will simply splinter apart rather than do any damage.

Now if you throw the torch into the bile from 1 space away, you lose it as it will burn up in the fire. You can however light the bile standing in the same space (range 0) and thereby keeping the torch in your inventory... but this will cause your character to immediately die.
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Walter Melnyk
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How would it work?
About the same way a torch-ignition does. You take one action to place the Dragon Bile and a second action to roll a flame-based spell. If you succeed with the spell, the DB is lit.

And what about game balance?
A reply raised a good point about making the game too easy. In that case, I'd consider this an optional variant only in games that you know will be challenging - such as when you choose to play with fewer survivors. For example, we played the second full mission with only 4 heroes and got smoked after a fun but desperate struggle.
Maybe a rule of thumb would be, this option could be used in a mission that you have lost and are replaying.
 
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Jack Reda
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A way to balance the difficulty would be to have the possibility of mishap. If there's threat that casting the spell could injure you or the group, it makes using it more of a last-ditch effort, and that tough decision is something I find always exciting in games.
 
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James J

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blipadouzi wrote:
You can however light the bile standing in the same space (range 0) and thereby keeping the torch in your inventory... but this will cause your character to immediately die.


I know this is slightly OT nitpicking, but people seem to have enough questions about rules without creative interpretations. The torch is always discarded when used to light the bile, as per the card text. Being at zero distance makes no difference.

As for the OP, I think a house rule is fine, but not for standard play. The immediacy of igniting a bile trap is one of the few tense moments of the game. Not finding the torch due to unlucky searches stinks, but it also means (assuming you were searching enough) that your survivors are geared up and mowing down the horde with little trouble.

If I were allowing a spell, I would probably make it tough by saying:
1) caster has to be at range 0 or 1 (you must ignite with your hands right on top of the bile)
2) caster takes 2 damage at range 1 (and is killed at 0, as always)
3) fire spell used is now unavailable, either for set number of turns or for the rest of the scenario (either the scroll was damaged, or it will take the caster and other survivors time to forget the smell of scorched palms before they are in the right mind set to let the magic flow)
 
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James Drury
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japester1 wrote:
blipadouzi wrote:
You can however light the bile standing in the same space (range 0) and thereby keeping the torch in your inventory... but this will cause your character to immediately die.


I know this is slightly OT nitpicking, but people seem to have enough questions about rules without creative interpretations. The torch is always discarded when used to light the bile, as per the card text. Being at zero distance makes no difference.

As for the OP, I think a house rule is fine, but not for standard play. The immediacy of igniting a bile trap is one of the few tense moments of the game. Not finding the torch due to unlucky searches stinks, but it also means (assuming you were searching enough) that your survivors are geared up and mowing down the horde with little trouble.

If I were allowing a spell, I would probably make it tough by saying:
1) caster has to be at range 0 or 1 (you must ignite with your hands right on top of the bile)
2) caster takes 2 damage at range 1 (and is killed at 0, as always)
3) fire spell used is now unavailable, either for set number of turns or for the rest of the scenario (either the scroll was damaged, or it will take the caster and other survivors time to forget the smell of scorched palms before they are in the right mind set to let the magic flow)


Yeah, I was not making that a statement of how the game is played, but rather in response to the house rule idea. The thought process was, you stand in the same square, keep the torch in hand, burn yourself up, and the torch with it, thereby ultimately losing the torch. Was putting it in a theme perspective.
 
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James J

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blipadouzi wrote:
Yeah, I was not making that a statement of how the game is played, but rather in response to the house rule idea. The thought process was, you stand in the same square, keep the torch in hand, burn yourself up, and the torch with it, thereby ultimately losing the torch. Was putting it in a theme perspective.


Yeah, I wasn't trying to ding ya. I know you know this stuff. And I don't want to criticize anyone for rules questions (lord know how much I've leaned on BGG for my own education). But I can see someone getting creative and trying to find a way to recover the torch after use. I've had players in my own group try to recover a dead player's gear. LOL. But you are entirely correct--the end result is the same.
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Luke
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vlad48 wrote:
It certainly seems a logical thing to do, but how badly would it impact game balance?
Anyone tried or considered this?


Sounds great, cool idea.

As for game balance, yes I agree this makes it easier.

You could attempt to balance it by removing some torches from the item deck maybe.

Keep in mind that you'll also have a chunk of abominations, wolves, archers, and crowz available(soon)should you feel the need to make your games more difficult down the road.

And you can always take the first 12 cards out of the zombie deck. That's the "easy matrix." Although IIRC, in BP there's an abomination card in there, so maybe leave that in.

So I'm all for it. Along with allowing survivors to use a trade action on a corpse to loot its gear.

I mean come on. They would have wanted it that way.

 
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