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Subject: Lairs - a missed opportunity? rss

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Tobias Loeffler
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I want to do a new adventure using the minis from "Claustrophobia" and while I was tossing ideas around in my head, what the story should be about and what could happen game-mechanic-wise, I realized that again and again I was looking for excuses NOT to have a lair on a tile or how to replace the "classic" lair with something fun and unique.
I'm not so much looking for solutions to my problems (I have them) but I'm just curious if anybody else feels the same way about the MYTH lairs:

- Lairs take up too much space on a 4x6 or 6x6
- Lairs are taken out too easily on small tiles.
- Lairs nearly always "dictate" a best ways to play a tile.
- Lairs often don't fit into the given narrative.
- Darkness cards depend too heavily on the presents of a lair.
- Lair stats / abilities don't change with the monster type.
- Lairs are the most common reason, why this game crawls to a near standstill, if you got unlucky or didn't do the obvious and attacked it.
- Lair minis often just don't fit into the esthetics of a tile (wrong scale, looks out of place on many tiles (e.g. tavern).

Thanks for your thoughts!
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DrProfHazzmatt
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I have to agree that they end up dominating a tile when they are present. I don't think there's ever really a time where you'd want to focus on fighting minions over a lair as the amount of minions you can kill with 5 AP is less than what will spawn when the Darkness activates.

Now this can lead to a interesting puzzle of "How do I kill off a lair within the least number of Darkness Cycles?" if you put some challenges between you and the lair. The problem is, the only real solution is to kill the minimum number of things to get to the lair and then just dump all of your damage into it.

From a game mechanics standpoint, without trying to just outright change the rules, what if there was a title that halved the number of minions appear from a spawn? This would allow players to spend time possibly dealing with captains or other large threats first without it almost guaranteeing that the players are overrun through sheer volume.

I feel like titles can be a way to modify the game's rules without having to rewrite the rulebook on a regular basis.
 
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David Jackson
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Most of your list are issues that I have with the lair system.

The largest two things for me are -

Unless you are wanting to farm the maximum treasure per tile, it's usually in your best interest to drop the lair(s) asap, ignoring everything else.

The cards in your hand and the ability to get to and attack said lair at the start of a tile (Archer with full quiver and Orion's, a DoT, Devastate, etc) can be the difference between a 5 minute tile clear and an hour long uphill slog. The sheer amount of difference in difficulty/time investment on any given tile, set up the same way each time, is a little off putting.


When I was dabbling with some mini-modules, the two things I was going to try (without changing the game rules) was:

Unique stat cards for lairs - some may have more TN to hit, more Vitality and spawn less critters. Some may have very low Vitality, but require multiple successes to hit. From a regular adventuring standpoint, you could just make up 6 alternate conditions (that would apply to all lair types) and roll a fate dice when setting the tile up to determine what you have. Would just need a table or stat cards to reference.

On kill effects - something that happens when a lair is destroyed. May give you pause on whether you should drop the lair immediately or not. Roll a fate die:

Rage - all enemies get one free activation immediately
Guile - Lair respawns in a different location
Darkness - spawn a mini-boss or captain in the space the lair occupied
Arcane - explodes, dealing damage to all Heroes within 2 squares

And so on.
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David Griffin
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Lairs and Traps are always first priority on a tile (barring highly unusual circumstances) because lairs especially can spawn anything and threaten to overwhelm the players all too quickly. Not sure if this is bad though.
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Judy Krauss
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Take a look at the updated Rat King boss cards in the Q3 Patch file downloadable at:
http://megacongames.com/downloads/

The "Nest" ability turns the boss into a tough, walking/fighting lair (although it does not appear on Stage 2 of the Rat King's monster cards).

(These cards are still being edited before being printed, but they are almost final.)

 
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David Griffin
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Good point. Bosses or mini-bosses who spawn are also major threats.
 
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Stevie P
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I think what can help is lair modifier cards or just different lair cards altogether. I smell another community project brewing. Man I love the little tweaks to the game like this without c9hanging core rules. A lair template card will be forthcoming tomorrow night.
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Tim Chase
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Great topic. I've thought about using Claustrophobia for Myth too.

This was the problem that resonated the most with me:

- Lairs nearly always "dictate" a best ways to play a tile.

Very interested to read everyone's solutions!
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Ben Turner
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Loving this thread - not played enough Myth, but this did seem to be something that locked down the strategy.

For me, the issues expand to:

* some of the "ha, your threat is too high, now here is a punishment" cards are totally nerfed when the lairs are gone (because nothing CAN appear).

So in a way, I'd like the possibility of a minor incursion of monsters, even when the lairs are all gone. Or a random trap. Or some timer.

* It would be good to encounter lairs where taking them down ISN'T the primary goal.

So something like a lair with double-health, but only spawns every other darkness phase?
 
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Judy Krauss
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Phantomwhale wrote:
...

* some of the "ha, your threat is too high, now here is a punishment" cards are totally nerfed when the lairs are gone (because nothing CAN appear).

...


You still need to draw a Darkness card if there are any active enemies on the tile, whether there is a lair or not. And if one or more of the heroes' Threat is too high, there will be bad consequences from the card, even if the "spawn" section at the bottom is ignored because there is no lair. Also, there is a chance that the Event part of the Darkness card will cause something to appear without it having to be spawned from a lair.


I agree, though, that making some of the lairs tougher than others (stronger defense and perhaps more Vitality Points) would be fun.
 
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Tim Chase
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I like that the intro Act has an auto-healing lair. I'll sometimes add that to lairs.
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Tobias Loeffler
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Thanks for all your opinions! Really interesting to read. This is what I'm trying atm to solve my lair problems:

Off-tile spawning: This works pretty well with smaller tiles. Enemies spawn on a tile edge (usually opposite where the heroes enter). As there is no lair to destroy to stop the spawn you have to add some other conditions like timers, performing NCAs, standing in certain spot, needing certain items, etc.
If you do your own adventures / stories this also helps with immersion - a lot - and it gives you way better control over the flow of the game (e.g. you usually don't want your intro tile to last 1,5h, while 1,5h for your big final is quite acceptable).

"Story Lairs": These are lairs with special rules attached to destroy them (most of the stuff from the off-tile spawning can be used here). I usually make those pretty tough. They work great for the final of a story when you finally find the lair of the villain. .
Get creative here. There is no need to stick to the lair sculpts. Place magic portals, holes in the ground, eggs, graves, whatever fits your story and location.

Perhaps that is something to add to my ever growing list of custom content. Creating cards that you can use, so you don't have to come-up with your own alternate lairs. Perhaps the trap cards could be used as a template for that. E.g.

Rusty Portcullis - Off-tile Lair.

Place 2 quest tokens on the tile edge opposite to where the heroes enter and a rune token on either the left or right side of the 2 quest tokens.

To close the portcullis and thereby stop new monsters from spawning you have to perform a NCA with TN:7 (pull the rusty lever, that lowers the protcullis) in a square adjacent to the rune token.
The portcullis can only be lowered if there are no monsters on the 2 quest tokens!

What do you think? Is this something worth pursuing?
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Tobias Loeffler
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torva wrote:
Great topic. I've thought about using Claustrophobia for Myth too.


Little teaser...



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David Griffin
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Listen, if all you want is a harder challenge, just do 2 lairs or a lair and a hard trap or 2 lairs and a hard trap. The nice thing about Myth is that the difficulty is fully under user control right?
 
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Stevie P
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But variety is the spice of life!
I think one of the problems to solve is to change how you have to deal with it and not to have it be the hero vs the generic lair all the time.
 
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David Griffin
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steprov wrote:
But variety is the spice of life!
I think one of the problems to solve is to change how you have to deal with it and not to have it be the hero vs the generic lair all the time.


The game's designers seem to agree with you since their adventures so far seem to like the idea of lair like objects (LLO's?) instead of lairs.
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Stevie P
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Also if you look in my h, h, and h module in the files section there is an example of what Tobi is talking about with story driven lair types. Sheeps move through a portal that 1 for 1 spawns random minion or captain. There are 2 artifacts that are on the board powering the portal that you need to do some NCA checks to disarm the portal. Meanwhile hypnotized sheep are spawning on the tile edge and moving towards the portal during refresh phases.

Your heros have to split up to power down the artifacts, kill the sheep before they are overrun, and take out the captains that are raging the minions.
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David Griffin
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Just remember 2 regular lairs is hard. Making them harder can result in a near death experience, so try them out to see what the super lairs are like. Also give us a report on what happens when you tackled it. I'd be interested and I bet others would be too.
 
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zee ogre
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There were some alternate lair cards in the PrinterStudio packs I printed out for 1.2 and 1.3, we've gotten some good mileage from those.

If there's interest, I can dig them up - but they're probably already in the files section. I'd pull them up myself but I haven't figured out how to properly search the files section in the new BGG interface :/
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Stevie P
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The ones with the Health counters on them? I have those, but GeckoTHs card work is just such a great place to start from. I am gone til wed next week so I can't work on the template til then but I was gonna add some of the ideas here to it and show some examples. I am adding a ton of pics so you have plenty of tools.
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zee ogre
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steprov wrote:
The ones with the Health counters on them? I have those, but GeckoTHs card work is just such a great place to start from. I am gone til wed next week so I can't work on the template til then but I was gonna add some of the ideas here to it and show some examples. I am adding a ton of pics so you have plenty of tools.


No, these are two-sided cards that have a generic lair picture, with health and armor values, showing the initial lair spawns. I have 4 2-sided cards, for 8 different lair modifiers (including the standard). They modify a lair for an enemy Type currently in play.

The modifiers I have:

1 - Normal Lair: 5H 3A no special
2 - Dark Lair: 5H 4A Malice: +2 AP at the end of every Darkness Cycle while this lair is present
3 - Robust Lair: 10H 3A no special
4 - Lair Stronghold: 5H 8A no special
5 - Heavy Lair: 5H 3A Heavy Spawn: Add 2 minions to each spawn, except Iathi; add 1 minion to each Iathi minion type spawned. Only Minion spawns are affected.
6 - Ironclad Lair: 5H 3A Plated: +7TN vs ranged attacks that target this lair.
7 - Lethal Lair: 6H 2A Deadly: During a Normal Spawn; if there is not a Captain of the lair type currently on the tile, Spawn a Captain.
8 - Paranoid Lair: 5H 5A Leery: At the start of the Darkness Cycle, the Hero with the highest Threat gains 2 threat. This threat gain occurs before the Threat Penalty for any Darkness card drawn.

We don't use these modifiers all the time, but they make for some interesting challenges when we do. I actually don't know who to credit for these cards - they were in the PrinterStudio pack I ordered from the link that was posted here quite a while ago.

Cheers
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David Griffin
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zogre wrote:
steprov wrote:
The ones with the Health counters on them? I have those, but GeckoTHs card work is just such a great place to start from. I am gone til wed next week so I can't work on the template til then but I was gonna add some of the ideas here to it and show some examples. I am adding a ton of pics so you have plenty of tools.


No, these are two-sided cards that have a generic lair picture, with health and armor values, showing the initial lair spawns. I have 4 2-sided cards, for 8 different lair modifiers (including the standard). They modify a lair for an enemy Type currently in play.

The modifiers I have:

1 - Normal Lair: 5H 3A no special
2 - Dark Lair: 5H 4A Malice: +2 AP at the end of every Darkness Cycle while this lair is present
3 - Robust Lair: 10H 3A no special
4 - Lair Stronghold: 5H 8A no special
5 - Heavy Lair: 5H 3A Heavy Spawn: Add 2 minions to each spawn, except Iathi; add 1 minion to each Iathi minion type spawned. Only Minion spawns are affected.
6 - Ironclad Lair: 5H 3A Plated: +7TN vs ranged attacks that target this lair.
7 - Lethal Lair: 6H 2A Deadly: During a Normal Spawn; if there is not a Captain of the lair type currently on the tile, Spawn a Captain.
8 - Paranoid Lair: 5H 5A Leery: At the start of the Darkness Cycle, the Hero with the highest Threat gains 2 threat. This threat gain occurs before the Threat Penalty for any Darkness card drawn.

We don't use these modifiers all the time, but they make for some interesting challenges when we do. I actually don't know who to credit for these cards - they were in the PrinterStudio pack I ordered from the link that was posted here quite a while ago.

Cheers


Sorry what does H and A stand for -- 5H 3A?
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Ben Locke
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carbon_dragon wrote:
zogre wrote:
steprov wrote:
The ones with the Health counters on them? I have those, but GeckoTHs card work is just such a great place to start from. I am gone til wed next week so I can't work on the template til then but I was gonna add some of the ideas here to it and show some examples. I am adding a ton of pics so you have plenty of tools.


No, these are two-sided cards that have a generic lair picture, with health and armor values, showing the initial lair spawns. I have 4 2-sided cards, for 8 different lair modifiers (including the standard). They modify a lair for an enemy Type currently in play.

The modifiers I have:

1 - Normal Lair: 5H 3A no special
2 - Dark Lair: 5H 4A Malice: +2 AP at the end of every Darkness Cycle while this lair is present
3 - Robust Lair: 10H 3A no special
4 - Lair Stronghold: 5H 8A no special
5 - Heavy Lair: 5H 3A Heavy Spawn: Add 2 minions to each spawn, except Iathi; add 1 minion to each Iathi minion type spawned. Only Minion spawns are affected.
6 - Ironclad Lair: 5H 3A Plated: +7TN vs ranged attacks that target this lair.
7 - Lethal Lair: 6H 2A Deadly: During a Normal Spawn; if there is not a Captain of the lair type currently on the tile, Spawn a Captain.
8 - Paranoid Lair: 5H 5A Leery: At the start of the Darkness Cycle, the Hero with the highest Threat gains 2 threat. This threat gain occurs before the Threat Penalty for any Darkness card drawn.

We don't use these modifiers all the time, but they make for some interesting challenges when we do. I actually don't know who to credit for these cards - they were in the PrinterStudio pack I ordered from the link that was posted here quite a while ago.

Cheers


Sorry what does H and A stand for -- 5H 3A?


Health (hit points, or blood)
Armor (number needed at a minimum to successfully attack it)
 
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David Griffin
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Thanks. Maybe the malice one should power the new journeyman malice hero.
 
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kostas nikolo
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zogre wrote:
There were some alternate lair cards in the PrinterStudio packs I printed out for 1.2 and 1.3, we've gotten some good mileage from those.

If there's interest, I can dig them up - but they're probably already in the files section. I'd pull them up myself but I haven't figured out how to properly search the files section in the new BGG interface :/


I think you are referring to this: Lair Spawn Cards
 
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