$35.00
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

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

Subject: Simulating generic missions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Craig Groff-Folsom
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The conversation on this thread reminded me of an idea I had a while back. The math of SoB is fairly close to the surface. Based on the two core sets, I extrapolated some averages to simulate the two main "generic" missions in this game.

The "generic mine mission" is the mission where the heroes play until they find two Clue icons. At the second clue icon, they have an Epic Threat encounter.

During this type of mission, heroes should see about 4.8 Exploration tokens and 2.4 "passage" rooms. Based on the exploration tokens, they should see about 1.6 instances of combat, resolve 4.4 encounter cards, and then close with 1 Epic threat.

With 6.2 tiles before the Epic encounter, heroes could scavenge about once per tile. Scavenge rolls are generally successful 42% of the time, and the hero draws about 1.19 cards (because multiple 6's add multiple cards). Each scavenge card drawn averages 10 XP, $6.25, 0.09 Gear cards, 0.05 Dark Stone, and 0.01 artifact cards.

I took the XP that each Threat card from the base sets would place on the table, and averaged them. With the assumption of 2 heroes per Low threat card, 4 heroes per Medium threat, and 6 heroes per High threat, the average XP per hero clocked in at about 51.73. Across the combats, enemies were placed by about 1.34 cards. These numbers were compared to averages in the Loot deck to come back with averages for money, Gear, Artifacts, Dark Stone, etc.

The Epic threat deck has different XP values per hero, and different amounts of Loot cards, and those have been figured separately against the same Loot averages.

I also took these numbers and applied them to the "generic Otherworld mission". The rules for the generic Otherworld mission are that the heroes encounter a gate on the first exploration token with a Clue icon (or the gate token that does not have a Clue icon), then they explore until they find two additional Clue icons. Based on the average number of tiles in the mines and in the Otherworld, these missions occur about 75% in the Otherworld and 25% in the mines.

(There are a lot of details behind the hard numbers, including a haphazard back-of-the-napkin Excel spreadsheet, but I've opted to exclude them as they aren't properly formatted. My goal was to reach the end numbers, not provide a step-by-step breakdown of my process. Those with a copy of the base games could reach similar results.)

Generic Mine Mission
Each hero receives:
- $303.80
- 1.129 Gear cards
- 1.827 Dark Stone
- 0.457 Artifacts
- 338.88 XP

Generic Otherworld Mission
Each hero receives:
- $394.88
- 1.118 Gear cards
- 2.4 Dark Stone
- 0.073 Mine Artifacts
- 0.98 Otherworld Artifacts
- 453.75 XP

***

Now, there are plenty of things that are not here. Encounters are only represented by a 50% chance to collect 10 XP (no gear, artifacts, etc.). There are no mutations or injuries/madness. There are no simulations of travel hazards or town visits. These numbers do not include the reward for winning the mission as listed at the end of the mission.

However, if you are looking to get a general idea of how a character could be leveled up to a certain point (a certain number of missions, or a certain XP target to reach a specific level), these will provide realistic ratios to build from when trying to eyeball a simulated progression.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Wrigley
United States
New York
flag msg tools
mb
Huzzah! Proof at last that no game, no matter how fun, can not be reduced to raw statistics. Let us now move on to prove that love is nothing but a biochemical process.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenneth Wiant
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think this is extremely valuable information! especially if you are trying to add heroes mid-campaign or designing scenarios for advanced posse's.

Thanks for cranking the numbers!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
It's great to see some math for a game. However, the problem with averages for SoB is that the game has wild swings of luck based on a few die rolls. What I'm trying to say is that if you did the math for say Temple of Elemental Evil you'd find (I think) a small standard deviation for the threat levels. In other words, the game tries to guarantee you'll have a very challenging game but odds are high you will win if you keep your head. I've had games where a LOT of bad luck gave us a heck of a time but it's rare.

In SoB, the HBTD rolls and the increased threats from scavenge, darkness cards, and growing dreads can produce a staggeringly high swing that can make the game really easy (you go through 3 rooms with hardly any threats and win) OR more likely wild swing up in threat so that you can be overwhelmed in the mine entrance (I've seen it happen).

I'm not sure how to work the math out for that, but I suspect your treatment makes things seem a lot more controlled than the reality of playing would indicate. If you have a good handle on this, it would be useful to know just how wild those swings can be based on the cards of the game and if using the supplementary worlds and monsters changes it a lot.

It might even be interesting to know if there is anything a player can or should do to maximize his chances to succeed -- particular characters, particular equipment, scavenge or not, and so on. In effect, maybe the math can provide useful tips for play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Wrigley
United States
New York
flag msg tools
mb
Don't get me wrong. The nerd in me loved every decimal place of it. But part of me was relieved I had found a game I enjoyed that no one had yet spread-sheeted life life out of. And, as carbon_dragon points out, SOB seems to defy that sort of treatment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
robwrigley wrote:
Don't get me wrong. The nerd in me loved every decimal place of it. But part of me was relieved I had found a game I enjoyed that no one had yet spread-sheeted life life out of. And, as carbon_dragon points out, SOB seems to defy that sort of treatment.


Exactly. By contrast, a game like Star Trek Attack Wing or X-Wing with their special dice and their upgrades that add just a little bit to one part of the combat equation of another thrive on knowing the expected number of hits you're likely to get or the likelihood of defending for a cloaked ship with or without rerolls of some of the dice.

The more control the game exerts over chance the more a mathematical analysis of the game will help. Some people don't do the analysis but kind of figure it out by repeated play, but it amounts to the same thing. Some games, like Mage Knight, with very limited luck don't need the analysis. If the game laughs at mathematical analysis by allowing the threat to rise so high that no amount of preparation can suffice, it becomes less useful.

Now some people, many on this forum, LIKE the idea of a game that can get totally completely out of control, causing them to crash and burn in style. To me that's just poor game design, but not, I suppose, if the fans like it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Wrigley
United States
New York
flag msg tools
mb
carbon_dragon wrote:

Now some people, many on this forum, LIKE the idea of a game that can get totally completely out of control, causing them to crash and burn in style. To me that's just poor game design, but not, I suppose, if the fans like it.


This game causes me a great deal of cognitive dissonance. I know it's a huge, sprawling, un-, or rather, non-balanced RNG mess. But it's also fun as heck. In fact, with its lack of win conditions, near-impossibly to 'lose', and the vague sense that any decision you make is meaningless; I'm starting to believe it might not even be a game. It's more like a toy, or a play set. But I'll be damned if it's not the best Cowboys and Indians (and Tentacled Hellbeasts) play set I ever owned.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Groff-Folsom
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
carbon_dragon wrote:
In SoB, the HBTD rolls and the increased threats from scavenge, darkness cards, and growing dreads can produce a staggeringly high swing that can make the game really easy (you go through 3 rooms with hardly any threats and win) OR more likely wild swing up in threat so that you can be overwhelmed in the mine entrance (I've seen it happen).

I'm not sure how to work the math out for that, but I suspect your treatment makes things seem a lot more controlled than the reality of playing would indicate. If you have a good handle on this, it would be useful to know just how wild those swings can be based on the cards of the game and if using the supplementary worlds and monsters changes it a lot.


You are absolutely right that the swings can be a vastly different experience. At first I started with minimum and maximum values, but I realized quickly that the scope of such a project was far outside of my available time.

Instead, I set out to capture the "boring" mission. For something like simulating 6,000+ XP, it's probably pretty accurate. This isn't intended to tell wild and crazy stories or memorable tales.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bern Godfrey
France
Lissac
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The only way to get a reasonable average (if you need math to play a game) is to play the game with the same scenario, with the same conditions, with the same characters at the same level, X number of times (X being the choice of the player), amount of times. There are no "what if's" with math. If you change the above conditions, then you must start again from 0 and apply the new conditions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Simulating generic mission
Well you can describe threat in terms of variability, as a probability field. Basically showing the lilelihood of a average mission, the likelihood of an easy mission, and the likelihood of a overwhelming mission and what choices lead to that likelihood. There might be some tips in that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Groff-Folsom
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
bern1106 wrote:
The only way to get a reasonable average (if you need math to play a game) is to play the game with the same scenario, with the same conditions, with the same characters at the same level, X number of times (X being the choice of the player), amount of times. There are no "what if's" with math. If you change the above conditions, then you must start again from 0 and apply the new conditions.


So, the only way to know that a reasonable average of a coin flip is to do it over and over? You can't just use probabilities? I guess I don't understand.

With SoB, we know the probabilities. We know the average XP values of threat cards. We know the average draws from decks of cards. This is just stringing them together to get a result.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Well there's something called the Monte Carlo technique which would sort of generalize to say creating a computer program with all the choices and have it run with a random number generators a whole BUNCH of times to generate the numbers (at least estimates). But it would naturally be better if you could do the math correctly and explain your method.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Groff-Folsom
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
carbon_dragon wrote:
Well there's something called the Monte Carlo technique which would sort of generalize to say creating a computer program with all the choices and have it run with a random number generators a whole BUNCH of times to generate the numbers (at least estimates). But it would naturally be better if you could do the math correctly and explain your method.


What else do you need to know that I haven't included above?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Dave41fan wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
Well there's something called the Monte Carlo technique which would sort of generalize to say creating a computer program with all the choices and have it run with a random number generators a whole BUNCH of times to generate the numbers (at least estimates). But it would naturally be better if you could do the math correctly and explain your method.


What else do you need to know that I haven't included above?


No I was just saying that it's always nice when you get to the answer in some definite understandable form rather than just throwing a computer program at it a million times and seeing what the estimated result is. I'm just preferring the idea of understanding the math to the programming method. And I'm a retired software engineer.

To be fair, to create a good computer program, you have to have a pretty good understanding of the problem too.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philippe Franck
France
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm surprised by the low number of darkstone you're getting. That's much less than what i get from a scenario. Otheewise excellent data. Helps defining victory rewards for custom scenarios for example.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
n rode
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello Dave41fan,

I am planning a campaign were certain players will not be able to attend all of the sessions. Something like this could be useful for describing what happens to their characters when they are not with the posse and for not letting them fall too far behind. Perhaps it could be adapted to charts that describe adventures with probabilities adapted around bell curves and flavor text.
My curiosity is how the rate of loot and xp scale over levels. Of course, this information could be gathered empirically after several parties had leveled up, but I was wondering how you perceived the rate of loot, xp, and acquisition of negative effects to vary over level ups.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sandy Springs
Georgia
flag msg tools
I don't see the value of this exercise if you're not also going to include negative effects such as corruption, injuries, item loss, etc. Giving someone 3 "generic missions" worth of cash and XP without also rolling for tails and crushed limbs isn't anything like a realistic parallel to actual gameplay.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.