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David Griffin
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Would I be correct from my reading on these forums and on YouTube videos that if I am ONLY going to play solo, that this game is a non-starter? I know there is the companion that has the invisible overlord rules and I've seen them played on YouTube but it seems to me that they are kind of an afterthought which are used by regular players when they OCCASIONALLY want to play solo?

It kind of reminds me of the solo rules in Deathwing (Space Hulk). Like these they were kind of incomplete requiring some intervention to make them work moderately well. OK for an occasional experience, but not really something you'd want to use all the time.

Or am I underestimating the invisible overlord?
 
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Frank Johnson
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I would say you are. Are they the best rules? No not by long shot but you can get in a really fun game using them.

http://twilight40k.blogspot.com/

This blog a bunch of good source material for using the IO cards and helped me a lot.

Frank
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Brad P
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The rules as initially presented require considerable decisions by the player. I made them more definite in my blog but I would not recommend it for pure Solo as you are still more playing against yourself than against the game. It might be acceptable as Co-op with 2-4 players but literally solo I just do not think is going to be rewarding enough for the 100 dollar or so investment for the base game and the adventurers companion for the IO cards.
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David Griffin
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Thanks. I play with others when possible, but MOST of my games are going to be solo so I'm always looking for games that don't have a player in the role of the "overlord" on the theory that their solo mode, if they have one, will be more tested.

Also, as a LONG time DM, the idea of someone in the nominal GM/DM role who is actually trying to "WIN" against the players is such a violation of all my basic training and principles that I can't abide it. Curiously, I'm more OK with the automated game rules trying to kill me, though I still sometimes step in if the automated DM goes a little crazy on me (I'm talking to you Shadows of Brimstone).

Thanks for responding. I read through your blog and think it's a pretty good read for the rules as I saw them played out. Also it's not a bad tactics guide to "overlords" who are trying to win against the players. I'd make a bad overlord because I'd make the game close but the goal would be for the players to win and have fun. It's an interesting game but probably not a good game for me. I don't have Descent either (for the same reason).
 
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Frank Johnson
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I come from a D&D background as well and I think that this is a game suited for a former DM/GM. I love a good story above all else and with this game I get that when using the IO deck with the added bonus of getting to be a player character too.

http://lostinthedyngeon.blogspot.com/

This is a link to my new blog if you would like to check it out.

Frank
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Thorsten Schröder
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I was a DM too and think it works fine playing against the group.

Look at it this way: In Order for the heroes to feel like they accomplished something, the DM has to make the game a challenge. That's also true for D&D.
Since the consequences here are a 'OK let's try again', it's not so bad to have them loose ones in a while.

We had a game where I (as the OL) won against the group. They were doing fine but were ignoring the timer. They wanted to try again (I told them if they wanted we could just skip the quest - no sense in having a bad time).

Maybe from a MMORPG-perspective. I was a (raiding) WOW-player some years ago. It's such a great feeling to finally kill a boss after several tries (sometimes over weeks) with everyone on the voice Chat cheering! That's only possible when you have to earn the victory.

As a former GM you can enjoy the game even more since you can appreciate when the heroes make clever moves. Better then getting frustrated.

To your first question: The game is alright as a solo game if you are willing to make some of the choices yourself.
The random dungeons don't give you the feeling of a good story. And you have to come up with the end-bosses yourself (or use the ones from eriochrome).
If you play the prewritten story-quests I guess the game is also cool solo.
There is the possibility to play those prewrittens with your own created heroes and a level system for those heroes including dowtime events in the town. But the level-progression of the suggested (precreated) Heroes in the stories is different to those of your own creation so there could be balancing problems.
 
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Brad P
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It is easy to the player overlord to make sure the heroes make it through other than the timer. They do not know what you have in your hand so you can not use your best cards and such.

The worst part in terms of using this as true story telling experience is the win/loss mechanism of replaying. I think with a group of players trying a quest again could certainly still be fun but it is not the ideal mechanism for a campaign.

The Downtime story as presented do not work in the story structures as the campaigns have been presented. It really shows how very little thought was placed into how the various elements would integrate. The Downtime mechanics are pretty reasonable and do a good job of having stuff happen between adventures but only make sense in truly separate adventures as opposed to most of the campaigns which are continuous type story events.

All of this is really off topic. For purely solo play (1 person) the 130 dollar retail for the core game and adventures companion is an pretty big buy in for I think the quality of the components and experience for that specific application. Now say you got the core set for like 60 dollars and used online versions of the IO rules and found a way to simulated the IO cards from some type of random generator it might be fine.

 
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David Griffin
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At the risk of drawing back the curtain a little too much, the role of the GM in an RPG in my opinion is not to defeat the players, not even once in a while, but to make them THINK they just win by the skin of their teeth. In other words, the idea is to craft an interactive story in which the players are doing significant work as the writers in which the heroes win, but not without adversity and with the seeming chance of failing.

If the hero DOES fail, and dies in the movie you're watching, my guess is most watchers won't like it -- most readers won't read your next book. You want something uplifting, not depressing (at least I and my players did). Most people don't have fun losing. Yet, if they think they're definitely GOING to win no matter what, that's empty too. The ability of a DM to make the players BELIEVE that they might just lose while allowing them (though their own ability and skill hopefully) to win gloriously in the end is the mark of a good DM.

I have lower standards for games like this, but it still bothers me a bit to see something crafted after RPGs to be so 180 degrees out of true (for me).
 
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It was certainly designed from a different frame of mind. The structure of it is more of a competitive puzzle game with random elements than traditional RPG. The designer is from a miniature wargaming/boardgaming background with a heavy 1 vs 1 emphasis. The precursors in the series are very much underground miniature skirmish games just with very fixed parameters as opposed to open list building.

In that frame of reference the game works well for the published scenarios and some of the adventurers companion material matches that context. If the Overlord is really a player and not a story teller than the downtime mechanics work great to take that phase of the game out of his hands. The problem there is that the material for the overlord side does not match that frame of reference. Nothing provided in the random dungeons or design your own dungeon works well if the overlord is really a competitive player and not a storyteller.

As an RPG Lite experience with the customer characters and home made or random dungeons it sort of falls down do to this. All the individual sections of the Adventurers companion are fixable (and generally require fixing to use) but as a whole it still does not really work as an RPG Lite. The Storyteller is still left with work similar to a traditional RPG but the rules for the in game elements are very weak on anything outside of combat and opening doors. Traps, Searching, obstacles, varied environments, secret passages are all bread and butter of traditional rpg dungeon adventures and are pretty weak here.

I always sound so down on it. What it does well it does very well. Existing missions with the pre generated heroes are very fun for a group of say 3 people (1 overlord and 2 players each with 2 heroes). Once you get to the sandbox side, they give you the sand but forgot the box or maybe they give you the box but a little sand, some gravel, and some boulders might be a better description.
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David Griffin
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I have learned that trying to change the fundamental character of a game to suit myself is usually not successful. I'm not near good enough a game designer to do more than very slight tinkering. The most I do is to add an occasional house rule to an already good game.

I guess what I'm saying is that this game, while interesting, is not aimed at me, though that isn't meant as a criticism.

I backed Dungeon Crusade and Massive Darkness though, so I have some hopes there.
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Thorsten Schröder
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Bot Games look promising and are designed for coop/Solo.
Seems a good choice for you. I hope they deliver.

I am in on memento mori too (though the dark fantasy look bores me a bit).
When Dungeon Crusade gets a late pledge I'll considere that too.
 
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David Griffin
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I'm having fun with Shadows of Brimstone and I'm looking at Myth as well. I kind of like how Mage Knight almost eliminates luck to make it a cool tactical puzzle game, and how Shadows throws caution to the winds and just gives you loads of monsters to fight. Different strokes. I suspect Myth is going to be somewhat similar to Mage Knight since it seems more cerebral.

I love dungeon crawls though, I just don't have a game group so I stay away from games you can't also play solo. Too bad the invisible overlord thing wasn't more polished. I kind of like the look of this game.
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Thorsten Schröder
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From what I've seen SoB looks fun. But I like to stick to the fantasy theme. Also it looks to expensive for me in retail. But I dont really know how much game there ist to just one of the basesets.
I'd be cateful to compare myth to Mk. Two completley different games but I guess you know that and just mean the tactics against luck factor.
I love myth and have played it solo (3 Chars). But I feel that it shines as a game where you discuss options with your buddies and start storytelling during the game with your friends.
But there are definetly a lot of players using it as a solo game. It does not feel like a crawl in a dungeon.
DS has this nice claustrophobic feel... caused by the restrictions on movement and zones of controll as well of the strict order of your actions (first move, then attack -not the other way around)
 
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David Griffin
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Cuthailion wrote:
From what I've seen SoB looks fun. But I like to stick to the fantasy theme. Also it looks to expensive for me in retail. But I dont really know how much game there ist to just one of the basesets.
I'd be cateful to compare myth to Mk. Two completley different games but I guess you know that and just mean the tactics against luck factor.
I love myth and have played it solo (3 Chars). But I feel that it shines as a game where you discuss options with your buddies and start storytelling during the game with your friends.
But there are definetly a lot of players using it as a solo game. It does not feel like a crawl in a dungeon.
DS has this nice claustrophobic feel... caused by the restrictions on movement and zones of controll as well of the strict order of your actions (first move, then attack -not the other way around)


Do you see the claustrophobic feel as a plus?
 
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Thorsten Schröder
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Yes I do. It gives you the feeling that its easy to make mistakes and that you have to be very careful.

Of course there is still the luck factor and if you really roll bad all the time all your best plans dont matter. But you can hope till the end that you luck changes. We had some rolls that seemed so unlikely that we were all just laughing. A friend of mine started his first game with four 1s on four D6s. That was some smacktalk about the drunken dwarf.
Dice rolling and luck brings hogh emotions to the table. But with tactics you can influence how much luck you need.
 
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