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Subject: Looking for Advice for a Modified Prologue (SPOILERS possible) rss

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Chad Haney
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Keller
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So I've played the prologue and the first full game with my regular gaming group and we're really enjoying it, but we all agreed the prologue was pretty underwhelming, bordering on boring. Everything got way better in game 1 but the prologue was not the roaring start we were hoping for which leads to my dilemma.

I have a new copy of Seafall and this weekend I plan to start up a campaign with my son, a friend of mine and his son. Now this group is NOT a group of gamers; we did all play Risk Legacy a couple years ago and they loved it so I've really been anticipating getting Seafall to play with these guys and my son. After playing with my group this week, I'm worried that the prologue might turn my casual group off to the whole thing. One of the things they loved about Risk is the aggressive nature of it and constantly taking over each others territories which is completely absent in the prologue. I do appreciate the tutorial nature of it without any real risk or long term consequence and there are important story elements to it so I don't want to skip it altogether. We don't have time to play two games back to back so I'm thinking of playing a modified shortened version of the prologue and then dive right into game one. Here's what I came up with:

Instead of naming an island after 3 VP, the first person to explore an island successfully gets the milestone and names the island. Once all 4 are named the game is over, read the progression and jump into game one. This should speed up the prologue significantly as they wont be fiddling around with upgrades and buying/selling goods. They can and should still purchase advisors & they'll learn how exploring works. The islands will get a few more resource spots and the whole thing shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. Then we can get right into the meat of game one.

What do you who have played the game a bit think about this? Do you see any pitfalls or issues this could cause that I'm not seeing? I'm still going to teach them all the rules to the game but I find it better with this group to learn as we play rather than a big info dump at the beginning on the game.

I appreciate any suggestions or advice.

thanks!

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David desJardins
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PootJenkins wrote:
This should speed up the prologue significantly as they wont be fiddling around with upgrades and buying/selling goods.


Of course, part of the point of a tutorial is to exercise all of the game options. It really shouldn't take that long (if you're playing correctly, name an island whenever anyone gets 3 VP, not 3/6/9/12 as some have interpreted the rule).
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j n
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I would expect your game 1 to be explore-heavy (not a problem in itself, just a difference), but your first chest-unlock might be delayed a game or two (this might also lead to your players getting bored/frustrated depending on their personalities).

I'd honestly be more concerned about spoiling yourself across the two playgroups and whether that would play out to the detriment of one group or the other.
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Chad Haney
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DaviddesJ wrote:
PootJenkins wrote:
This should speed up the prologue significantly as they wont be fiddling around with upgrades and buying/selling goods.


Of course, part of the point of a tutorial is to exercise all of the game options. It really shouldn't take that long (if you're playing correctly, name an island whenever anyone gets 3 VP, not 3/6/9/12 as some have interpreted the rule).



Thanks for your comments,we played the 3 VP rule correctly so no worries there. Having played already I just think they can get the gist of all the game options in the full first game without slogging thru the prologue.
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Chad Haney
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lactamaeon wrote:
I would expect your game 1 to be explore-heavy (not a problem in itself, just a difference), but your first chest-unlock might be delayed a game or two (this might also lead to your players getting bored/frustrated depending on their personalities).

I'd honestly be more concerned about spoiling yourself across the two playgroups and whether that would play out to the detriment of one group or the other.



Thanks, I'm not too worried about spoilers, we should be pretty far ahead in my regular game group and I'll never take advantage of my casual friends if there's new stuff I know is coming. I'm mainly wondering if you all see any pitfalls in what I'm proposing to modify the prologue in an effort to shorten it in order to get into the full game experience.
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In service to the Imperium of Man
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I don't think this modification will break your game, but I think it will actually discourage raiding rather than encourage it. If the only incentive in the prologue is to be the first to explore an island, you're likely looking at all islands explored within the first turns of Round 2 when ships can reach that farthest island. During the next game, there will be very few raiding options at the start since only one site will be explored on each island.

Furthermore, spoiler for the first unlocked box:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
By delaying opportunities for exploration, you're delaying the players' ability to raid explored sites and unlock the rules for raiding each others' ships, which would probably appeal to their aggressive gaming natures. If what they liked about Risk was taking each others territories I think they'll be disappointed in just raiding each others' provinces, so I'd push for them being able to unlock that first box as soon as possible.
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j n
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PootJenkins wrote:
Thanks, I'm not too worried about spoilers, we should be pretty far ahead in my regular game group and I'll never take advantage of my casual friends if there's new stuff I know is coming. I'm mainly wondering if you all see any pitfalls in what I'm proposing to modify the prologue in an effort to shorten it in order to get into the full game experience.


Nothing will actually break. In theory, anyone's prologue could end with exactly one site explored on each island.

One other thing to think about though is the opportunity to name islands. In theory, the first player will have the best chance of naming two islands, and the fourth player may not even have a chance to reach an unnamed island. Again, you'll have to think about whether this will sour someone in your group (or volunteer to go last yourself since you've played already).
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Chad Haney
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ElAdoranSureshot wrote:
I don't think this modification will break your game, but I think it will actually discourage raiding rather than encourage it. If the only incentive in the prologue is to be the first to explore an island, you're likely looking at all islands explored within the first turns of Round 2 when ships can reach that farthest island. During the next game, there will be very few raiding options at the start since only one site will be explored on each island.

Furthermore, spoiler for the first unlocked box:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
By delaying opportunities for exploration, you're delaying the players' ability to raid explored sites and unlock the rules for raiding each others' ships, which would probably appeal to their aggressive gaming natures. If what they liked about Risk was taking each others territories I think they'll be disappointed in just raiding each others' provinces, so I'd push for them being able to unlock that first box as soon as possible.


That's a great point; we unlocked box one in the regular game group but we didn't have time to go through it so I wasn't aware of what you mention in the spoiler, thank you! I may need to modify my plan or think of another way to speed up the prologue for them based on this.

 
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Chad Haney
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I decided I'm just going to change the 3 glory point requirement for naming an island to 2 points and just roll with it. should speed it up without making much of a difference.
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JR Honeycutt
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The prologue exists so that players can learn the rules and make choices in an environment that they perceive to not be "permanent" in a way that punishes them later in the campaign.

Because SeaFall is an original IP, we don't have the luxury of assuming folks already know the base game well, and we have to teach you the rules in such a way that you can make informed choices when it's time (when the consequences of those choices are real).

If you think your group doesn't need that, because they're either:

a) smart/good enough game players that they'll understand the rules the first time with no issues, OR

b) completely OK with later choices being made without understanding the rules entirely for how those choices might lead to consequences

then I'd say you're fine to modify the prologue how you want.

However, if it seems important to you that your players understand how to play before launching into situations where things might be murky, I recommend playing the prologue as written.

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JR Honeycutt
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As an aside, if you're worried that the prologue might turn the group off to SeaFall because it's "slow and boring", then SeaFall might be the wrong game for them. The prologue is the quickest and easiest experience you'll have playing the game, with the fewest rules and least things to think about.
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Chad Haney
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Thanks for the reply JR, we played last night as I described; every 2 vp names an island and gets the milestone instead of 3. It worked great there was plenty of exploring and everyone was eager to see what happens next.
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JR Honeycutt
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PootJenkins wrote:
Thanks for the reply JR, we played last night as I described; every 2 vp names an island and gets the milestone instead of 3. It worked great there was plenty of exploring and everyone was eager to see what happens next.


I'm glad to hear it!
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