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

Subject: Cynder: my other hell is in space rss

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Tom Tremblay
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I think most people are in agreement that Caverns of Cynder is probably the lamest, creatively bankrupt otherworld. Hell is the lowest of low hanging fruit for theme in an otherworldly horror game.

I'm trying to work out what the heck Cynder even is, giving it a more imaginative inspired flavour as to it's existence to compensate for it's mediocre theme.

Maybe I'm being too hard on it, but this game is all about storytelling and I have a hard time mustering the thematic juices with this place.

I know the Belial pack probably expands on Cynder (Cynder is his prison?) but from what I've gleaned, it seems he is SoB satan. He's evil, nuff said.

Does anyone have any interesting directions to take Cynder in?
 
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Grant Holzhauer
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I have it, but haven't read any of he content yet. I assumed it was inside a volcano or something.
 
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Jason Hill
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Burnt Lightning wrote:

... creatively bankrupt...


Wow! That's the first time I've ever been accused of that.

Thanks!

-Jason
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Tom Tremblay
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I'm being overly harsh, I kind of just really wanted to use that phrase.

Criticisms are made out of love for SoB, I just have a personal vendetta with hell in games.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Well, the criticism did come from a guy who hasn't designed a game, so there's that.
 
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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Have you actually played it? Mechanically it is far more interesting than Targa and Jargono.
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Scott Everts
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My only issue with Cynder is lack of new enemy types. But we'll eventually have succubus creatures which will help. And they will be fun to paint! devil

There's one mission where you have to find a ghost and that one seemed kind of neat. One I'd probably run as our 2nd or 3rd game.
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Lou Michalski
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I feel not having a lava world would be worse. For games with multiple levels I expect, an ice world, a lava world, a desert world, an underwater swimming world that everyone hates, a tropical world, and some kind of ruins. Now we just need that underwater level and we're gravy.
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Tom Tremblay
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Have played Cynder and own it. I do like the global effect, no criticism there. That part is cool (or hot, hyuk).

My attack on Cynder isn't mechanical, it's thematic. Just interested in seeing if anyone out there has any indepth takes on Cynder.

From the book, it's a fire dimension, a prison for evil creatures. Fairly vague so it's open to interpretation.

I guess my take on it is kind of like some advanced alien cultures Australia where they made a dimension to banish what they didn't like.

It's also being mined with those strange devices maybe for liquid darkstone? which is interesting, like some other aliens found the prison dimension and are trying to exploit it.


Sorry, Jason. It's not nice when some dick on the internet disses your creative process. Pay no heed, It's just a rant on ideas without personalities attached. But you have a lot of my money so who is laughing now.
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Robbie Lyons
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Hmm...I agree that Cynder is my least favourite of the OtherWorlds, but not because of the hellish theme . It's more the execution. It's a little too soft and, for lack of a batter word, video-gamey? I've said before that the Lava Men feel like World of Warcraft enemies.

However, I do think that there is a justifiable reason why FFP didn't go whole hog with the Hell theme. The best depictions of Hell are usually pretty grim and horrifying, for obvious reasons. The kind of extreme violence and suffering necessary to properly convey Hell's...uh...hellishness, would kind of break the fun, pulpy theme of SoB. Seeing some poor soul getting tooth-flossed with barbed wire, Event Horizon style, would probably kill the mood and is beyond any quip your bandido can make.

That said, I really, really hope that a beefing up for Cynder is one the way. Some new, more demonic enemies would be fantastic. I only know of the succubi (which look pretty cool) and Bel'ial. And since I know how popular big B is, I'll just stick my neck out and say he reminds me of a WoW raid boss more than an all-devouring force of cosmic evil. Again, miniature looks great, mechanics seem really cool, it's just purely a matter of visual design. My personal design choice for Bel'ial would probably be a tall, thin goat man, hunched and twisted, beady emotionless eyes staring straight into the unfortunate player's souls. Maybe even just go full medieval and have him be Baphomet.

Actually, I'm going to digress here and say that with the news that the Ancient One and Bel'ial are locked in a cosmic arm-wrestling contest, a more satanic looking Bel'ial would be amazing. A straight contrast between traditional horned and soul-stealing corruption evil versus the cold, uncaring, alien evil of an unfathomable star god. It reminds me of the Clark Ashton Smith story "The Beast of Averoigne", where a Lovecraftian tentacle beast touches down in what is basically medieval France and starts tearing the place up. Then a lone priest summons the only help he can...a horned and gnashing fiend, straight from the pit. It's awesome and I won't spoil who wins the fight!

And one final note about Cynder on a postive; The Ghosts of the Damned enemies are five-gold-stars awesome. My favourite OtherWorld enemy variant, even if they are tough to fight in large numbers!
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Andreas Lieberoth Wadum
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I like Cynder both thematically and mechanically speaking. Especially mechanically.

My only thematic objection is that the Christian "hell" theme is somewhat toned down (calling them "Lava men" instead of demons), even if there are lost souls, a dark angelic demon lord and Succubi. Why not just call it like it is? But who cares. If you want it to be hell, it's hell. That's the beauty of a role player's imagination arrrh

'Most everything in SoB is pilfered from somewhere else with a slight Weird West twist - that's what makes SoB content relatable. I see no creative issues with Cynder - if anything it's thematically pure.
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Jan Meyberg
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I'd just like to add my 2 cents - I love Cynder in quite another way than the other otherworlds: THEY are evocative in terms of not being too cheesy (They NEED to be cheesy a little bit to match this pulp story tone which is so characteristical for SoB !), sending the players on the small rim between "do we accept this as nearly realsitic" and "Oh, look, H.P. Lovecraft was here!" ("Oh my, Toto, are we still in the swamps of Lousiana?!" )

Cynder, on the other hand, SEEMS to be obvious hell on first glance. Oh, right, prisoned souls of the damned, lava pits, ...
Alien drilling machines?! A prison for the evil one who was too nasty for the ancient ones to be set free? These subtle hints of some bigger (or, at least, alien) force at work are the reason I liked CotA over SoD before, but it culminates in Cynder. And, in addition, I REALLY like the Souls of the damned. Finally a tough match for our "destroys anything with a single hit in melee" saloon girl!

My only issue with Cynder is that, while the enemies are somewhat tougher than, say, in Targa, the potential payoff of our "holiday tour to Cynder" is rather small. While there are some cool Cynder custom artifacts on BGG, I'd like to see some more, probably underlining the "Deal with Corruption"-effect and theme of Cynder; for example:
Hollow Mask (Hat, 2 Dark Stone) - Rolling the same mutation twice does not have an effect on you.
Blazing Skull (2 hands, 1 anvil, 1 DS) - Instead of an attack, make a Spirit 5+ test. If failed, take 1 Corruption hit. If successful, place a Hellfire Marker on any space within range 8.
(just brainstorming. I don't know if those would be balanced!)
 
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Mark Pierce
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jchill7 wrote:
Burnt Lightning wrote:

... creatively bankrupt...


Wow! That's the first time I've ever been accused of that.

Thanks!

-Jason


Hilarious! Cynder is awesome by the way
 
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J M
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I do feel like I'd have preferred if they had gone all-in on the Hell setting, or else avoided it. I can understand not wanting to put that stuff out there in a game box, as it would be off-putting for a great number of potential customers but this half in, half out "have your cake and eat it also" middle way doesn't quite gel thematically.

The set is great mechanically, with some really fun missions.
 
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Brian C
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I think the setting material for this game is off the charts personally. If I was just after the story, like probably most of FFPs fan base, I think this game would be an all-time favorite.

I can see the issues of the OP though, Cynder's probably the least original of the otherworlds, and being that Hell is tied up with Christianity, you have to wonder where the line is drawn: how deep does the Hell parallel go?

Where I think Cynder shines though is mechanically, like others have said. And Belial is set apart from the rest of the baddies of the game in terms of threat level -- there's no other boss that compares to him currently.

So I would highly recommend Cynder (grab Belial) if you're looking for a challenge.
 
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Eric Harman
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The idea of going somewhere awful after death actually significantly predates Christianity.

The Greeks had a concept of a torturous afterlife.

That said, the fire and brimstone, imprisoned evil dude concept of a hell is certainly a Christian one.
 
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Johnny W
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I am still waiting for the Brimstone Cowboys to show up in Cynder.

One of the most over used expressions has to be, "I'll see you in hell." Westerns are full of black eyed killers, cursing their killers with the promise of meeting them again in hell.

The preacher is such a trope of the western that hell is the country next door.

Hell ought to be broiling with every soul you've sent, so when you arrive there is a huge party ready to tear you limb from limb.
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Tom Tremblay
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"...the news that the Ancient One and Bel'ial are locked in a cosmic arm-wrestling contest, a more satanic looking Bel'ial would be amazing. A straight contrast between traditional horned and soul-stealing corruption evil versus the cold, uncaring, alien evil of an unfathomable star god."

That is super cool. Two takes on pure evil, ying and yang of evil but without harmony. Belial looks a little too much like Uriel from Diablo for me, when I buy it I'll paint him up iridescent black or something, more distinctively SoB and less like a Blizzard pre-order figure.



The way I'll rpg Cynder with my group is as some long dead alien created limbo dimension (the Targans?)tailormade to make the inhabitants suffer. Chiefly made to imprison Belial and other lesser evils of their universe.
Long after these aliens have come and gone, Cynder still remains, some advanced enough cultures who can control Darkstone have found this dimension and found it rich in Darkstone (maybe DS is what keeps this Cynder in existence. Anyone who strip mines Cynder hearing about it's DS riches runs the risk of destroying cynder and releasing it's convicts)
Similar to Childhood's End, Christianity's vision of Hell is actually Cynder seeping into humanities subconscious through the void between worlds.

Or maybe Cynder was created as above to contain Belial, this containment dimension existed in some other unknown state but Belial was able to influence the nature of his prison and over the aeons shaped it from within to become his domain, though still imprisoned within it.

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Tom Tremblay
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I love the fire mechanics in Cynder, I wish those Lava tile markers came into play more often as they are awesome and have only run into them once.

I Had this idea which could be cool for implementing them with the Lava Men so they come into play more often.
Maybe if a Lava Man takes maybe 5 damage from 1 turn of combat, then a lave tile marker is placed on it's square(if it isn't a lava square), since it's blood is lava pretty much.
When a Lava Man is killed a Lava Tile is placed where it was killed, as it's body reverts into a puddle of lava

These tiles wouldn't count towards it's regeneration when adjacent to Lava.
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Ryan

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I like the theme for Cynder as well. I don't see any issue with using a well established archetype, such as Hell for Cynder. It makes the world recognizable for the players. It paints an intriguing picture as we imagine a group of cowboys spelunking through some caves and stumbling upon a gate to Hell. I also wish that the theme was more established, with more of a dark foreboding feeling. Mechanically, we dread going to Cynder. The clothing penalty really takes its toil and we almost always end up dying to Belial. Ouch.

It would be awesome if more background information was established in the game.
 
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Adam Harrison
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Burnt Lightning wrote:

I love the fire mechanics in Cynder, I wish those Lava tile markers came into play more often as they are awesome and have only run into them once.

I Had this idea which could be cool for implementing them with the Lava Men so they come into play more often.
Maybe if a Lava Man takes maybe 5 damage from 1 turn of combat, then a lave tile marker is placed on it's square(if it isn't a lava square), since it's blood is lava pretty much.
When a Lava Man is killed a Lava Tile is placed where it was killed, as it's body reverts into a puddle of lava

These tiles wouldn't count towards it's regeneration when adjacent to Lava.


Great idea!

I'm stealing this, with some slight adjustments. I'd go for a "T-1000" type of regeneration, so, the spawned tiles WOULD count towards regeneration. And, also, that when killed, the lavaman explodes into lava tiles on its space and three adjacent spaces opposite the direction of the killing blow.
 
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Adam Mitchell
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Exo Desta wrote:
And Belial is set apart from the rest of the baddies of the game in terms of threat level -- there's no other boss that compares to him currently.


To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's Joker, "Wait until you get a load of the Swamp Raptor and Sand Kraken!"
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Joe F.
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I believe the Flesh Stalker (Gen con preview at this point) is native to Cynder. Cynder and Derelict Ship were his cards if I remember correctly.
 
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Mike X
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Dave41fan wrote:
Have you actually played it? Mechanically it is far more interesting than Targa and Jargono.


My group and I played a mission in Cynder the other night. I believe it was called "Broken Seals" (on End Times difficulty). The final room had three encounters: Venting Steam, Crumbling Crust, and Sign of the Shadow King.

It was so thematically chaotic that we felt rushes of both joy and despair. It was like the final 30 seconds of an "anybody's game" Superbowl. It's because of moments like this that I will continue buying everything for this game.
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Steffen Büning
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I think most people are in agreement that "I think most people are in agreement that" sentences are the worst kind of sentences.

Seriously, that is common and very bad habit on the internet

If you have an opinion state it like " I think that " and then ask "what do you think". If you really now someone else say "I think that... and a friend" or "a couple of friends/people on this board". If you know of thousands that have stated it you can use your phrase.

Sorry to hijack the topic, but I hate how so called "public opinions" are just few comments on the internet, seems to happen more often lately..

Topic: I like the lava theme and the gameplay is great compared to the core sets!
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