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Subject: Basic Rulebook PDF and Instant Death? rss

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Brian Torrens
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I have read that the rulebook for this game has not been provided as a pdf but it would be really nice if they could publish a pdf with at least the basic core rules for those of us interested in learning more about the game. I see there are a ton of videos out there but I really prefer reading the basics myself.

I think the thing that that I have seen in this game that turns me off the most are situations in which you roll a dice to discover what happens to your character and the result is.... death. Yikes! I have read that this game is harsh, but to have your character die outright on a bad die roll seems a bit harsh. Can an experienced player say how often they have seen this happen? I like the look of this game, but I would have to justify the cost of jumping in on the next KS based on how often I could actually get this to the table.
 
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Adrien Boyeldieu
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Brian T wrote:
I think the thing that that I have seen in this game that turns me off the most are situations in which you roll a dice to discover what happens to your character and the result is.... death. Yikes! I have read that this game is harsh, but to have your character die outright on a bad die roll seems a bit harsh. Can an experienced player say how often they have seen this happen? I like the look of this game, but I would have to justify the cost of jumping in on the next KS based on how often I could actually get this to the table.


All. The. Time.

But you have to bear in mind that this game isn't really about individual characters, it's about your settlement as a whole. Yes, there will be characters you get attached to, but that's part of the narrative of the settlement: people live and die, but the settlement endures.

If that REALLY bothers you, there is a variant in the back of the rule book, appropriately called hero mode, where every time your character would die, you instead reduce the settlement population by one.
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Sid Rain
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It is harsh, but you shouldn't look at it through the lens of a normal RPG or dungeon crawler. Many times you will have named characters who will die in arbitrary ways, but the characters themselves aren't necessarily important. They're a resource that get spent in the process of trying to collect other resources. Your Settlement is more or less your actual character, and the individual survivors (PCs) represent your Settlement's HP.
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Brian Gill
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I have played through a full 25 year run and have I think maybe 7 times have had a and your dead on a die roll. Granted I always carries items to help mitigate insta deaths.
 
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Brian Torrens
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So if a player has their current character insta-die on a a bad roll, does he create a new character from scratch? How hard is it to catch up to the other heroes?

One further question, how hard is the game for a solo player? Say running multiple characters at once?
 
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Justin Rod
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Not easy, as each character has disorders and fighting arts you'll need to keep track of. It's certainly do-able but you'll have to play at a slow pace
 
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Sid Rain
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Brian T wrote:
So if a player has their current character insta-die on a a bad roll, does he create a new character from scratch? How hard is it to catch up to the other heroes?

One further question, how hard is the game for a solo player? Say running multiple characters at once?

It's relatively easy to start a new character, you've got a pool of characters to pull from (your settlement). All you do is assign a name, maybe adjust a few stats, but you can also just transfer your Gear from one Survivor to the next.

The worst though, if you're playing with a group of other people, is if a survivor dies before you get into a fight with a monster. They're essentially sitting out that game. Usually though, you're going to die in the fight with the monster itself, so they'd be sitting out some portion. You can mitigate that a bit though by just having them manage/control the Monster.

It's not too too bad to solo. The monsters are always AI driven anyways, but you're supposed to have at least 4 Survivors with you each fight, so you do have to track 4 characters. It gets to be alot of stuff to track at times.
 
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Steve Trewartha
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Brian T wrote:
So if a player has their current character insta-die on a a bad roll, does he create a new character from scratch? How hard is it to catch up to the other heroes?

One further question, how hard is the game for a solo player? Say running multiple characters at once?


You don't actually attach a survivor to each player. You have a number of survivors for the settlement and every turn each player can take whichever one they want. You will have more than 4 on the go at once, though not in a single showdown.

It is impossible to avoid instant death rolls. But there are lots of ways to minimise them or reduce the risks. Discovering them is part of the challenge of the game so don't look in advance.

I don't know about solo play, I imagine that it would be hard to manage but I know a lot of people do it. I play 2 player so always controlling 2 survivors and it is no problem.
 
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Timothy O'Connell
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The last of my multiplayer games wrapped up a little under a year ago and I would say that 90% of my KD:M since February of this year has been solo.

One (curmudgeonly, anti-social) man's opinion: playing solo is way better/easier in pretty much every way.

(Related: if you're ever using kdm-manager and you think to yourself, "hey--this thing really seems optimized for a solo player and the multiplayer support is not especially well-implemented or thought-out", now you know why hahaha.)
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Alessio Massuoli
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I personally play better solo than in team.
Or, to rephrase: with the right team it's lots of fun and turns out to have some unpredictable consequences when a player does not want to risk HIS survivor, but the best strategies are for a solo player. You know what you want to do, you execute it masterfully, you adapt to the events when your plan gets scrambled by a reflex reaction.
 
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Nathan Ehlers
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Just to echo what people have said. I've solo'd 2 campaigns and I'm playing one with a group (I'm actually GMing it for them). Soloing is no problem as long as you're organized and methodical. As the game ramps up in complexity, there's ALOT of potential modifiers and abilities that need to be carefully considered. If you just have a mess of cards and paper in front of you, you'll lose track and forget things. If you're generally an organized person or if you've solo'd the more complex war games (where you have to step through robot outlines), then you'll be fine. If you're neither, then you'll need to create a little system for yourself to move through each round.

On insta-death, think of it more like a dudes on a map game. You aren't torn up when one of your various plastic soldiers dies so long as you succeed in taking the position or whatever. Same deal with KD:M. You need to advance your civilization to "win". In that, you sacrifice people. The "horror" part of the horror game comes in with the fact that it entreats you to name and care about each of your little people. It's easier not to care in a solo game than in a multiplayer game because you run everything with an eye towards the team and the settlement. With other people, everyone runs one or two characters and inevitably gets attached to them.
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Drew Olds
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I prefer to play with a group. I've done campaigns with two people, three people and four people.

They all work great. We haven't tried out the (harsh) 5/6 player option yet. I can imagine all the troubles we'll have with it, though.
 
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Henry Akeley
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odinsgrandson wrote:
I prefer to play with a group. I've done campaigns with two people, three people and four people.

They all work great. We haven't tried out the (harsh) 5/6 player option yet. I can imagine all the troubles we'll have with it, though.


The 5-6 player variant is a joke. I ignore it entirely. To me this game is 1-4 players with 2 or 3 as optimal. I like 3 the most personally.
 
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Brian Torrens
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Epidemius wrote:
odinsgrandson wrote:
I prefer to play with a group. I've done campaigns with two people, three people and four people.

They all work great. We haven't tried out the (harsh) 5/6 player option yet. I can imagine all the troubles we'll have with it, though.


The 5-6 player variant is a joke. I ignore it entirely. To me this game is 1-4 players with 2 or 3 as optimal. I like 3 the most personally.


How so? Is it just too difficult with more than 4 players?
 
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Nathan Ehlers
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The variant has you ramp up the monster difficulty to offset the added player(s). The problem is that there isn't a very good way to do that, so as written, you make it so the monster is crazy hard (not unbeatable, but the beginning of the game is really frustrating). Plus you add to that the fact that 5 or more players is just too many cooks in the kitchen to get anything done in the game.
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Sid Rain
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sirgalin wrote:
The variant has you ramp up the monster difficulty to offset the added player(s). The problem is that there isn't a very good way to do that, so as written, you make it so the monster is crazy hard (not unbeatable, but the beginning of the game is really frustrating). Plus you add to that the fact that 5 or more players is just too many cooks in the kitchen to get anything done in the game.


I miss that show.

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IA Seldon
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Rulebook pdf is verboten by Poots. Just give up that dream now. Besides which, you'll be spending vast amounts of time in the book anyway as you deal with events. There is a printing company that will turn your book into a hardback copy, and there is a hope that the new kickstarter will have hardback copies of the core rulebook as an option.

Playing the game is an experience. As a group the optimal number is 2-3, which will keep people in the game longer if you have a death. The number of insta-deaths is much larger than most games you will play, and you will suffer tremendous amounts of those events in your first couple of failed campaigns.

Then you learn how not to die. The game teaches you how not to fall into a pointy spike with your face, by showing you that you fell into that spike by doing something easily avoidable. There are a few times where you're just plain screwed, but those are very few compared to the "You got screwed but this could have been avoided, here's how..." events.

Rule No. 1 that every RPG player must be told when starting this game for the first time: Do. Not. Become. Attatched. To. The. Survivor. They are meat-sacks, and should be used as such until your survivability rate for the game advances (10 or so failed campaigns should drop your kill/live ratio to a reasonable number). You have to teach them that, and quickly, otherwise they will quit the game in frustration as their "badass" survivor has their head asplode.

Solo play is encouraged for the core owner at the very least, so you can learn as painlessly as possible the pitfalls of the game to help gently steer a group session away from painful deaths. Group play is fun because the management of the settlement becomes much more faceted and techniques might evolve that never occured to you.
 
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Gabriel Wannes
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The more I read about this game, the more excited I get! I cannot wait for the kickstarter to begin so I can get my hands on this piece of art thats disguised as a boardgame. And I can imagine the KS itself will be a lot of fun
 
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Hugh Jorgan
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Brian T wrote:
I have read that the rulebook for this game has not been provided as a pdf but it would be really nice if they could publish a pdf with at least the basic core rules for those of us interested in learning more about the game. I see there are a ton of videos out there but I really prefer reading the basics myself.

I think the thing that that I have seen in this game that turns me off the most are situations in which you roll a dice to discover what happens to your character and the result is.... death. Yikes! I have read that this game is harsh, but to have your character die outright on a bad die roll seems a bit harsh. Can an experienced player say how often they have seen this happen? I like the look of this game, but I would have to justify the cost of jumping in on the next KS based on how often I could actually get this to the table.


It does suck, big time, but at the same time... it makes the game emotional and interesting. The constant risk of death keeps me on edge. On the flip side, unbelievably lucky rolls are always a cause of grand jubilation. This game wouldn't be as epic as it is without tragic and brilliant roles.

I think you'll enjoy the Stars campaign; survivors die, but their legacy (children) become stronger and stronger with each generation.

As your survivors get more experienced, there DEFINITELY are ways to offset simple instant death from die rolls; this keeps it from being unfair to the point of being unenjoyable.
 
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IA Seldon
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Gabriel85 wrote:
The more I read about this game, the more excited I get! I cannot wait for the kickstarter to begin so I can get my hands on this piece of art thats disguised as a boardgame. And I can imagine the KS itself will be a lot of fun


The game is very fun, and great for replay value. But do take a break every once in a while to play something else.

I know, I can hear the chants of "Heresy!" coming ever closer as the pitchfork-and-torches mob approaches my doorstep. But you do need a break from it now and then. The othe problem not mich talked about with this game is the burnout feeling it can induce. Like, say, having to start the game all over again because...well...KD:M happened all up in your grill. Then called you a bitch and drove away laughing.

In the beginning that leads to either feeling frustrated, or leaving you with a burning desire to smash that bastard monster that TPK'd everyone right in the teeth until it stops moving.

Later on, though, it just feels...ugh.

When you hit that feeling of Ugh, it's a sign to take a break and play something else for a little while.

Oh, and speaking of expensive games, now that I've started playing Star Wars Armada (great game, love it because it's the old Rebellion computer game on a table and I loved that damn game to death) all I can say to people who say $400 is hella expensive for a game is: "Are you insane?"
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