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James
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Finally cracked open my expansions and read through the different campaign changing ones like Sunstalker and Dragon King. Checking out the final battle and victory and loss conditions it is a similarly grim fate either way.

This is the part about the ending and now endings I have never quite understood. Well partly. A part of me gets that the endings are appropriately grim. Like your fate was always sealed and the point of the game was never to "win" at all. In this way I feel the endings fit the world of KDM.

However, at the same time a part of me wants to say "whats the point"? For instance take the Sunstalker campaign. I was hopeful that this campaign might introduce a more interesting ending that furthered the story of the humans, but the win and lose conditions are almost exactly the same.

Win = "While you were busy fighting the infant Suntalkers fricking ate the entire settlement and other survivors, your battles survivors so worn out from the fight just give up. You Die. #Gameover story event. The End"

Lose = Old Sunstalker eats everything and hops back up in the sky to start the cycle over again. You Die. #Gameover, The End."

The Dragon King one felt "Slightly" more upbeat like you all become gods almost etc. But Sunstalker felt particularly deflating imo. And to some degree the main campaign is slightly deflating as well.

So here's the main reason I am asking this question. Explaining this game to other players is difficult. How do you make them not focus on winning the game and how do you make them want to keep playing knowing full well that winning means dying anyways?

Here is one part of KDM I feel Poots missed out on. If winning does not really "reward" you anything then what is point, and what is the incentive to play again? When I first got KDM I was expecting a mechanic that allowed your next campaign to inherit some if not all of certain things from the previous campaign like gear, and settlement upgrades structures and certain innovations like beds etc. (Not sure why I was expecting that.) But I loved the idea that your next campaign of survivors actually picked up where your old ones left off, even settling around the same old lantern hoard. Winning, even if it meant dying, could have meant leaving more behind for those that came after. But alas this was not the case.

Maybe I'm missing something? Is it really as simple as "Winning = Losing with style" or did I miss something in the rules/story events that addresses this to make winning matter for future campaigns?
 
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Death Jester
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Frankly I'm super bothered that you just read storylines without coming across them in game, and the endings of the campaigns to make it even worse.

To answer your question, the Lantern Festival expansion yet to be released will expand the campaign beyond the last fight and change the ending currently resulting in death. This will see more stories and even higher tier monsters.

As of current though, specific time travel events can send your hunting party back with all their gear for a new game+ so if you want to variant that at the end of the campaign you start again or even just keep going you can just hunt Level 3s or hint down the legendary monsters.

Asking if youve missed something... I feel youve missed playing the game blind and the enjoyment of the experience that entails, regardless if it ends in death. It's the journey that gets you there that is memorable.

2c
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James
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DeathJester23 wrote:
Frankly I'm super bothered that you just read storylines without coming across them in game, and the endings of the campaigns to make it even worse.

To answer your question, the Lantern Festival expansion yet to be released will expand the campaign beyond the last fight and change the ending currently resulting in death. This will see more stories and even higher tier monsters.

As of current though, specific time travel events can send your hunting party back with all their gear for a new game+ so if you want to variant that at the end of the campaign you start again or even just keep going you can just hunt Level 3s or hint down the legendary monsters.

Asking if youve missed something... I feel youve missed playing the game blind and the enjoyment of the experience that entails, regardless if it ends in death. It's the journey that gets you there that is memorable.

2c


Spoilers have never bothered me. Quite the contrary actually. It allows me to temper my expectations and better enjoy the game. Which is one of the reasons I am "mostly" ok with how the campaigns end. I don't spoil it for people I play with, but some players have been very upset with how the game ended once we got there for the main campaign.

You say I've missed going in blind, ok, lets say that were true, back to my question what then is the incentive to play again and win, if winning sends me to an identical "Gameover" Story event as losing?

Thank you for your 2c though. It sounds, hopefully, that the Lantern Festival might help with some of this.
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esin .
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Appreciate KDMs vision to be a grim horrorifying, merciless world, but share your frustration with the endings. I feel like great horror is a bit like Pandora's box; you need at least a small ray of hope to bait you on throughout all the miseries. To feel like there's something to lose.

Once you realize losing it all is inevitable it's not so much scary as it is deflating. I don't want Lantern Festival to end in all smiles and rainbows, just a sense of having obtained something lasting through all the loss.
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IA Seldon
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Honestly, man, the PotSun ending is exactly right. The whole campaign is basically a Japanese Noh drama. And most Classical Japanese drama ends just like that campaign does. You can find examples of this in Kurosawa films.

I like the PotStars ending, because I can empathize with the Dragon King and his dying wish. But for pure theme, PotSun takes the prize.
 
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James
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Yes I think I would be way more ok with Sunstalker ending if there was more apparent effort. By that I mean please don't make the "Victory" ending a footnote sentence on the showdown page. Of all the things that deserve a page or two of art and a couple of sentences similar to a story event the Victory ending is one of them imo.

Same goes for the others as well. The main campaign at least does a better job of this and there is a game variant that indicates things "could" have continued even if bleak. Sun and Dragon I feel could have been way better and still be grim by spinning it in a a way that is more cyclical. For instance, maybe the followers eat the heart and become dragons or fight for one to become the last one and while not needing to fully explain it indicate that the next campaign you are basically worshiping and fighting the last of your own ancestors. Everyone can still die, but I'll feel like I am still connected to the story and the world when next I play.

Same idea could work for Stalker even with the ending basically as is, just make it more than a blurb on the edge of the showdown page. And instead of the survivors just giving up which makes no sense, have the death of the ancient stalker plant the seed for the next cycle of babies in some way.

The journey is definitely a fun one, but the apparent "low" importance put into the ending takes a little wind outta the sails for me. Instead of nothing more than a few sentences how about a dedicated story page like the other events in the campaign? Tell the grim story ending you want, but make it "matter" to me the way you made the rest of the story matter to me. Heck how about even one last roll on a table that takes into account as many of the decisions we've made throughout the campaign as possible to indicate what kind of spectacular death awaits us?
 
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