David Griffin
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I'm using one for solo games I saw on YouTube -- pooling all experience and money to make it easier to handle multiple characters by myself.

I'm also ignoring any outcome in town (or getting to town) that would result in the death or disfigurement of the characters. I adopted this policy when ALL my characters would have been killed by a void twister on day 2 of my first visit to town after the introductory adventure. Kind of made the game pointless.

I'll take wounds or sanity hits and lose normal items, but no items critical to the class. I saw a guy on YouTube lose his special pistol that was the key to all his abilities just with 1 bad die roll. He also gained a sudden mutation from drawn cards that negated his armor resulting in his death and the death of the mission mere moments later. I understand many people like overcoming all obstacles but that just seems un-fun to me.

I've heard there is errata regarding some points of the game but until there is official errata I'm not going to any effort to find out what they're thinking. I'll wait till they publish new rules (as Myth did).

So what do you do? What rules did you introduce and what was the intention of the rule -- to make things easier? Harder? Simpler? Or are you a stickler for the rules as written, no matter what they say? Tell me what you think.

I've only played a couple of games so far but so far so good if you're willing to ignore the wilder luck swings that seem to happen now and then.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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I play vanilla, by the book. No one said life was easy in Brimstone!
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nick b
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I largely play the rules as written although I made a few changes to make thing s a little tougher. I don't level up during a quest, even though this is allowed, and I will only level up characters after the mission is done.
I also set a rule for myself that in the unlikely event that a character dies, they MUST be resurrected during the next town phase or else they are permanently dead. As I play with Frontier Town rules, I automatically include a church in the next town. I like this because it can force my posse to make some real sacrifices to raise money in order to resurrect the dead hero. I have therefore lost a few heroes during my campaign and think this adds a greater weight to those who survive.

Like you, I will occasionally adjust or modify an event if it will really make playing the next game a drag. I think dramatic swings are part of the game, as are difficult or cruel events but sometimes things happen that can dampen your willingness to keep playing!
In my campaign, all of my heroes had been carrying really severe injuries for several games and they were finally in town with a ton of cash. A town event (demon attack?) would have ended the town visit early so I made the call to ignore that part and continue the visit and heal up my heroes. They had passed all of the required attribute tests for the event and I figured they had been injured long enough! I have only done this a few times, however, out of a LOT of games.

I know some people want the combat to be more tactical, but I think there is enough to keep track of at the higher levels so I am perfectly happy with the combat as is!
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Brian M
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Hard time remembering everything here...most of it is small "tweak" type stuff to make abilities better (or worse).

* We play with less experience required to level up. Can't remember if it was 2/3 or 1/2. Found the campaign took too long, and that we got equipment too fast relative to level up (playing normally, had everything good from the decks and shop at level 4 or so).

* Since we batch monster attacks, when you use a "prevent all damage from one source" against a group of attacking monsters, you block hits equal to (number of hits)/(number of monsters attacking you) rounded up. For example, if you have 4 stranglers attacking you and take 6 hits, you could use a "prevent all damage from one source" effect to block 2 of the hits. (6/4) = 1.5, rounded up to 2.

* Select which weapons you are using at the start of your turn instead of the start of the round.

* A hero that doesn't get a turn in a round may choose to make a move instead of gaining a grit or healing.

Specific Monster Tweaks:
* Swamp Hellbats (can't remember their exact name) inflict a poison on each hit, rather than one poison per a whole attack. This makes them a bit nastier, but it makes it much easier to just roll entire sets of hellbat attacks at once.

Specific Character Tweaks:

* Cap on Rancher's max extra attack rolls. This is now an official errata as well, so we're going with their +3 next time we have a rancher.

* We've tentatively ruled the Gunslinger to suffer a -1 to hit when adjacent to enemies, but some of the other official errata downpowers the Gunslinger a bit, so it may not be needed.

* Scout gains 1 Grit for exploring. Scout also has several ability tweaks that I can't remember.

* Bandido's ability to use dynamite in a close combat attack works on a to-hit roll of 6 rather than on a critical.

* Saloon Girl's ability that gives +5 XP for healing instead increases the range by 1 space.

Pretty sure there's a lot more that I'm not remembering...
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Targanth Phelandir
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carbon_dragon wrote:
I've heard there is errata regarding some points of the game but until there is official errata I'm not going to any effort to find out what they're thinking. I'll wait till they publish new rules (as Myth did).

The Errata that you mentioned is on the BGG page. From the OVERVIEW tab, scroll down to the COMMUNITY WIKI section. Then click on the +MORE in that section and you have the errata. I realize you may not care, but they are at least collected and available without leaving the pages.
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David Griffin
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Another one I just thought of has to do with being forced to leave town before you're recovered. The game doesn't want you to do this, but is there any in-game reason why you shouldn't just travel to ANOTHER town and do yet another stay in town?

Presumably even if you didn't do that, you could do a TOWN adventure as your next adventure, in which case you are still IN town and would not have to travel after the adventure.

The whole thing is a bit implausible since if 3 days or so was the life expectancy of every town there would soon be no towns left. I means it should be perfectly safe (safer at any rate) to be in town than on adventure but I'm not sure it is, right?

Plus if you're playing a Sheriff (Lawman) or a Rancher, or a number of other characters, they presumably have a "home" town, in which case there should be advantages there -- access to more resources, friends, more immunity to certain types of town events, and so on. The Frontier town box has some in-town "activities" that have some appeal -- helping to rebuild towns, tending the sick, and so on. It might feel more like a real place if you had a stake in a PARTICULAR town. Plus some town events (or travel events) seem like they could be handled in a combat encounter better than rolling dice. So a group of Indians attacks you or a band of outlaws, maybe I'd prefer fighting it out. In town I guess you can kind of do that on the town board. Presumably the "mutant" town event with the infamous gang coming to town would be a natural for this.

The "real" or "home" town would be an instantiation of one particular town type (your choice). You name it and keep track of the buildings. If some get destroyed, you use the rebuild action to help rebuild. If you get murdered on some adventure for the town, maybe they help you more than a generic town would (who will at best sell you help).
 
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Tim de Groot
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I am using the following house rules atm. It adds some more depth and difficulty to the game. I especially like the Realistic Diagonal Movement, as that tends to matter a lot quite often. That way range becomes more of a factor.

Advanced encounters
Every Unique Room Map Tile has a specific theme to it, and there is a matching Encounter card in the Encounter Deck that shares that theme. At the bottom of each Map Card that represents a Unique Room is a red band that lists the specific Encounter associated with that room.
When using the Advanced Encounters Optional Rule, any time a Unique Room is Explored, the listed Advanced Encounter is added to that Exploration. Search the Encounter Deck (and discard Pile if needed) to find the listed Encounter card (shuffle the deck afterwords).
This is in addition to any other Encounters or Attacks listed on the Exploration Token. Also, Advanced Encounters like this cannot be canceled or re-drawn.

Dangerous Dynamite
Dynamite can be a very powerful tool to take out groups of Enemies or do some damage against high Defense targets. Thematically though, Dynamite is a dangerous thing to just be carrying around in your Side Bag with you, as it is notoriously unstable.
To represent this extra element of danger, you may elect to use the Dangerous Dynamite Optional Rule. Any time a Hero takes 10 or more Wounds from a single source, they must roll a D6 for each Dynamite Token they have in their Side Bag. For each roll of 1 or 2, that Token immediately explodes, centered on the Hero’s space.
Note that this only includes Dynamite Tokens in a Hero’s Side Bag, so if they are carrying Dynamite in a different way (such as a Dynamite Satchel), that Dynamite is considered to be safely stored and does not need to be rolled for.

Below the Darkness (Posse lvl 3+)
One way to make the game more deadly is to use the Below the Darkness Optional Rule. Whenever the Darkness marker passes the Hero Posse marker on the Depth Track (positioned on a higher numbered step than the Hero Posse marker), from that point forward, all Enemies get a free Elite Ability as the Darkness has grown ever stronger!

Realistic Diagonal Movement
When moving any Model (Enemy of Hero) diagonally, every second Space of movement in a diagonal direction costs an extra 1 move.
The same rule applies when counting Spaces for a Ranged Attack.

---
And before I actually played the game I would have expected to add these optional rules as well. My current posse isn't doing well enough to warrent an increase in difficulty, but I have tried out the other ones here. I felt the advance fight rule doesn't add too much. Just that a high init char might not get range. When I tried it out I also used the half movement rule, and most enemies died before they could even melee. I stopped using it, as I am happy with how the base game handles placing monsters. Recently started a 4p game, so might get back on that on a later time

Posse Level Difficulty Increase
All Enemies in an Adventure get a Bonus based on the Hero Posse Level. The Hero Posse Level is equal to the highest Level Hero in the group at the start of that Adventure. For comparison below is the new and original chart.

Posse Level Enemy Bonus (origininal) Enemy Bonus (increased) Enemy Bonus (average)
1 No bonus No bonus No Bonus
2 No bonus 1 Elite Ability 1 Elite Ability
3 1 Elite Ability 2 Elite Abilities 2 Elite Abilities
4 2 Elite Abilities Brutal Side of Enemies 3 Elite Abilities
5 Brutal Side of Enemies Brutal Side of Enemies + 1 Elite Ability Brutal
6 Brutal Side of Enemies Brutal Side of Enemies + 2 Elite Abilities Brutal Side of Enemies + 1 Elite Ability
7 Brutal Side of Enemies + 1 Elite Ability Brutal Side of Enemies + 3 Elite Abilities Brutal Side of Enemies + 2 Elite Abilities
8 Brutal Side of Enemies + 2 Elite Abilities Brutal Side of Enemies + 4 Elite Abilities Brutal Side of Enemies + 3 Elite Abilities

As new official enemies added by expansions are tougher than those from the two core sets, you may choose to not apply this House Rule for them and keep the original chart (or use the average chart for all monsters).

Advanced Fights
In order to give some time to the Posse to react to what is threatening them: Each time an Exploration Token, a Card of a game Encounter calls for an Attack, instead of placing the Enemies on the same Map Tile together with the Posse, place them in a randomly chosen adjacent (explored or unexplored) Room/Passage.
To do so, for each Enemy type randomly determine an Exit from teh Map Tiles where Heroes are.
If it is an open exit, draw a Map Tile card and add a new Room or Passage adjacent to the Map Tile where teh Exploration Token/Card/Encounter calling for the attack was just turned face-up/drawned/rolled. Place the Enemies on this Map Tile following the normal rules.
The newly placed Map Tile follows the usual rules:
- It counts as an extra Map Tile on the Depth Track (move the Posse Marker)
- It receives a face-down Exploration Token if it is a Room and is available for Exploration as soon as the fight is over.
Ambushes are played as in the rulebook.

Monster movement
Half the monster movement.
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David Griffin
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In regard to advanced encounters, I definitely don't want an ADDITIONAL encounter, but I've taken to allowing myself to substitute the thematic encounter for any that are already there 1 for 1. That way I get to see the thematic encounter but don't get a difficulty increase.

As far as difficulty level, this game is really all over the place. It's hard to "tune" the difficulty because one mission can turn out to be easy and the next can kill you in the first room. So if you have an easy time of it and you tune it harder, the next mission you get slammed. Then you tune it easier and the next mission is too easy.

You know, were it not for the "penalties" for failing the mission, it would be a perfectly acceptable tactic to run when you have to. The game tries to beat you about the head with town buildings being destroyed and such, playing on your heroic desires. If this were eliminated, the difficulty level wouldn't be so hard to navigate, you'd simply have to come back to finish the mission. No buildings destroyed or other supposed consequences to the poor town. You could even come back to the mission in progress with the map intact. You might need wandering monster rules till you get back to where you were. THIS would be like every RPG campaign I've ever DM'd or played. The players are always getting in over their head, or having their resources exhausted etc., and going back to town (where there are no rampaging red dragons to fry them while they are resting).

I think the answer has to be dampening those oscillations somehow. Not to mention the fact that the gear you have can be really critical and that's luck too right? I saw the Outlaw Joseph Scott videos (at least to 47 so far) where he's playing with 1 hero. He lost one of his outlaw pistols on a travel hazard and his success rate went down considerably. He then lost his armor to a mutation in a dungeon and got killed within turns (no armor saves). I'm not happy about that either. I like cool stuff but it would be nice if the monsters scaled not only to level and number of characters but also to certain gear items so that if you lose that gear item the monsters get fewer elite abilities to compensate. Otherwise you fall below that invisible power curve associated with your level/number and BANG you're dead.
 
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Simon Webster
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carbon_dragon wrote:


As far as difficulty level, this game is really all over the place. It's hard to "tune" the difficulty because one mission can turn out to be easy and the next can kill you in the first room. So if you have an easy time of it and you tune it harder, the next mission you get slammed. Then you tune it easier and the next mission is too easy.l


Dude, IMHO, you're seriously over-thinking it.

This game shines when the mechanics fall away and the narrative takes over. Balance? Forget it.
Enjoy the ride.. the adventure. Even if the game bitch slaps you around for a while, well... that's awesome. It's a co-op right? Co-ops are known to be difficult to win, to one degree or another.

And eventually, through all that, your characters slowly but surely will come to a point where they can overcome pretty much any challenges the game throws at them.
And THAT is the game.
Brave nobodies, soldiering on through great adversity to become the heroes the world deserves (if not what the world needs..)

True Story:
There is a sentence uttered so frequently by my group during our plays that it has become almost a catchphrase..
"This fucking game!"
We all love it.

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David Griffin
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You have a good point I admit. I guess I'd say that the character development component of the game activates my careful strategy gene where I spend hours carefully plotting what upgrades I should save for or what gear cards I should look out for etc. I love that kind of plotting. I'm not the sort that can let himself run away with the narrative.

When the game gives you some catastrophic result, I don't like my plans upset. It's why Ghost Story annoys me SO MUCH. There's no way to even get a plan started in that game -- as soon as you do BANG it goes down in flames. But that is what some people like. So I guess as Harry Callahan said, a man has to know his limitations.

Nevertheless, I'll try to remember your advice.
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Brian M
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Quote:
Balance? Forget it.
Enjoy the ride.. the adventure.

To me, balance is a good part of what makes an "adventure" fun. Getting stomped without a chance is boring. Slaughtering enemies without blinking is boring.

Hitting the right balance where a game rides the thrilling edge of defeat without ever being sure if you'll make until the last moments - that's where the excitement is.

That's also what is worth paying lots of money for a game. If you want an unbalanced game, you can jot that down in an hour or two.
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Pierre Mercier
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Targanth wrote:
The Errata that you mentioned is on the BGG page. From the OVERVIEW tab, scroll down to the COMMUNITY WIKI section. Then click on the +MORE in that section and you have the errata.
Thanks for your help. The new BGG interface is really a PITA. soblue
 
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