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

Subject: Trying to even things out a bit rss

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Mark T
United States
Southern MD
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As anyone who's played this game will tell you, all the dice rolling can make things swing pretty drastically from easy to hard and back again. Nothing highlights this for me more than the darkness track and roll. It's meant to be a timer of sorts, but it seems like my worst rolls are always my darkness rolls. It doesn't help matters when the darkness track tells you to draw a darkness card and then the card has you move the darkness marker two more spots.
To try to mitigate all this and make the longer missions slightly more achievable, I'm trying something different. When the posse marker is in the first section of the track, I roll 2D8 instead of 2D6. For the second section, I roll 1D6 + 1D8. In the final section I roll 2D6 as normal. This slows the dArkness a bit and makes it feel slightly less hectic, especially if you get stuck in a massive fight that takes several turns to finish. I don't like that the darkness can make a bunch of progress while I'm stuck fighting. We'll see how it works.
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Tom Tremblay
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Maryland
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That would be a cool premise for a Lantern Item, like the void or mining lantern.

I hope FFG looks at these forums to crowdsource ideas!
 
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Tim de Groot
Netherlands
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Well, there is lantern oil in Frontier Towns...

But I agree, failing darkness rolls can make for a quick adventure! How many heroes are you playing with? I had the idea that fewer heroes move slower.
 
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Mark T
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I'm playing with 3 heroes typically. I suppose with more heroes, fights might not last as long, so that might help a bit. Although sometimes there's just no way around a long fight.

In my last game I had a situation (not the final fight either!) where the exploration token was an Attack! That had me draw a medium threat card which told me to draw two low threat cards. I think one of the low threats was a slasher and a peril die of hellbats. The other was tentacles. On the next turn, I failed the Darkness roll which led to drawing a darkness card which added another threat (more hellbats). But wait! There's more. The failed Darkness roll was snakeyes which added an ambush of 4 more tentacles to the brouhaha. I must be forgetting something, because by the time I had added everything to the board there were 2 slashers, a night terror, a bunch of hellbats and almost all of the tentacles from both core sets (and a partridge in a pear tree!). Oh, and everything got two elite abilities due to the posse level. I think it took me a good 15 minutes just to set up that one fight.

Compared to that the climactic fight with 6 tentacles and a Harbinger was rather... anti-climactic.
 
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William Curtis
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Just as a note - a Doubles is not exactly a failure, you do not move the darkness on these you just have (Most Likely) BAD things happen...
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Adria D
Canada
Victoria
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wystan wrote:
Just as a note - a Doubles is not exactly a failure, you do not move the darkness on these you just have (Most Likely) BAD things happen...

This!

If you roll doubles on the Hold Back the Darkness roll, DO NOT advance the Darkness marker. Just do what the table tells you to.

As such, the only time you should advance the Darkness marker when you roll doubles is on double 3s, where the Darkness moves twice. Double 1s, 2s, 4s, 5s, and 6s do not move the Darkness marker.
 
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David Griffin
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Marietta
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I call this the "pile on" effect. It's a hazard of replacing a DM with human judgement with tables and die rolls, but it's exacerbated by some of the tables themselves which call for quite nasty effects which can really mess you up if they happen at the wrong time (and it will right?).

Your solution isn't bad but it's not a whole solution, you can still roll badly, it's just not as easy. My first adventure, my entire party was murdered by a void twister in town at the end of day 2. That introduced me to the problem which I am solving by just exercising a veto on the rolled effects.

If something happens like that, or if you get damaged by heat on the targa plateau or something else totally implausible and unfun, I just ignore it. Pretend you're the DM and ask yourself if it makes the game more fun. If the answer is yes, go with it. If not, don't be afraid to exercise YOUR judgement over the random twists of die rolls. Some people don't mind rolling on the injury table even if it debilitates them because they see it as an interesting story and something to overcome, but if it makes you unhappy, remember the purpose of playing is to have fun so prioritize fun over slavish devotion to the rolls.

Just my opinion though and I'm a new player.
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Chad Hanneman
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If you think of the threat levels in the game, 3-4 players is medium threats. Someone posted that the game seems to be balanced a little better for even numbered posse's. Think of a 3 player posse as hard mode at that threat level.

Also, the game provides a lot of dice chucking and the amount of "swings" should really even out over the course of the game. That does little to make you feel better though when a bad result comes up at a crucial time or a really bad Darkness card is drawn.

I agree with David. Make the game your own a little and adjust things accordingly to suit your play style and desire for difficulty. Personally, I enjoy the tension of constant threat of a party wipe or an adventure gone awry early in the mission due to some adverse circumstances. It makes me feel a little more satisfied when the mission is won in the most dire of circumstances.
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Angelus Seniores
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an idea perhaps, regarding the darkness track is to let the party move back the darkness marker if you defeated 2 or more groups of monsters in a single fight.
i mean, having defeated all these monsters, the darkness should be set back as its supposedly the monsters that represent/spread the darkness.
with only 1 step back it shouldnt affect timing too much while improving your chances to finish the mission.
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Andrea Florio
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I have an house rule for some custom missions I'm developing where you don't lose the game once the darkness marker reaches the exit.

It instead resets and adds 1 to the posse level. And so on.
 
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