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Subject: Collected rule snippets from the KS comment thread rss

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Ramsar
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WARNING: Walls of text and minor spoilers ahead. Explore at your own risk unkindled ones!

Since a couple of days Steamforged_Alex is quite active again on the Dark Souls Kickstarter comments thread. He's revealing some interesting tidbits on the game and the rules and indicates that in the next KS updates some more details on the gameplay will be revealed as well*. Also on Nov 25th a playthrough (incl. exploration this time) will be recorded.

*Edit: RELEASED UPDATES:
Exploration (encounter deck, fog gate, number of tiles, sparks, player death, acquiring souls, bonfire tile, luck, treasure)
Mega Bosses #1 (Guardian Dragon, Asylum Demon, Gaping Dragon)
Mega Bosses #2 & Darkroot Expansion (Darkroot Expansion, Four Kings, Sif)
Mega Bosses #3 (Black Dragon Kalameet, Vordt, Old Iron King)
Campaign Play (Setup, sparks, campaign progression, bonfire, dashing)
Traps (yes, only on Traps)


In the meantime, for those who don't want to start digging in the KS comments thread:

TILES
"All the basic tiles are square, with the same node pattern... The thing that changes is where enemies and terrain spawns, which may sound small but changes a lot in terms of how you progress through a room."

"The variation on the tiles comes with the spawn nodes, and obviously where spawn nodes are alters where traps can be. As covered by Jimmy they all have the 3-2-3-2-3 pattern layout on them, by the spawn points from everything changes from tile to tile. For example, if you enter a room from one doorway, the spawn point may be on the other side of the room... But if you enter the room from a doorway that's on the opposite side of the room then you enter and have all the enemies directly in your face."

"3 [node] types and a 'sub type'. Normal types are Basic, Enemy Spawn and Terrain. Sub type is 'Entry Nodes', which are any Basic nodes located adjacent to a doorway. Each Encounter card has Icons of the Spawn nodes on, and shows you what spawns there."

"where things spawn is dictated by the spawn nodes on the tile, what spawns is dictated by the Encounter cards. As an example; if a room has 2 doorways leading to it and you have a room full of melee grunts you'd likely want to enter via the doorway furthest from the spawn nodes. If they were ranged grunts, you'd probably want to access the room via the door closest to the spawn nodes... This is of course assuming you've cleared the rooms to give you access to both doorways."


EXPLORATION
"You move as a group. During an active Encounter your first movement to an adjacent Node is free (this is called a walk), after this another other movements to adjacent Nodes cost 1 stamina. So if you wanted to move 3 Nodes, it would cost you 2 stamina. Outside of Encounters you can move around as much as you please without spending stamina."

"The layout [of the map tiles] is still drawn randomly, this is just all done at the start of the game"

"Tiles are drawn randomly, and placed so they join up. You could just use one of the doorways off the Bonfire and do them in a straight line if you want, that's entirely down to the player.

"The Boss determines the levels of the Encounters used, and that amount of cards is drawn from the deck matching those levels. So for the Dancer who is 2 level 2's and 2 level 3's (I think, I don't have the spreadsheet handy) you would drawn 2 cards from the level 2 deck, and 2 cards from the level 3 deck. Each deck has 12 cards in it for the Core game."


TRAPS
"The tokens themselves have the effects printed on the reverse side"

"For example, a Trap token with 3/1 on it means it deals 3 damage and has a dodge value of 1. A trap with a Poison Icon/2 would mean you get Poisoned, with a dodge value of 2... So on and so forth"

"20 tokens in total, 11 are blank and 9 are traps (I think, I'm not at work and don't have the spreadsheet to hand... It might be the other way around). I believe the amount of Encounters that do, and don't have traps is roughly a 50/50 split... Again I don't have the spreadsheets handy to double check. Each tile has space for between 3/5 traps to be placed on it, depending on the amount of doorways... because more doorways means more entry nodes, so less basic nodes for traps to be placed on"

"When you enter a room and the Encounter shows there are traps present you place tokens on the Basic nodes (there are usually between 4-5 basic nodes on a tile but it does vary depending on Entry nodes). When you walk onto a node with a trap token on it you flip the trap token. Traps can only be dodged, and have a dodge value on them. Once the Encounter has been completed the tokens are flipped back over, but stay on the nodes they were placed on... So if you've walked on any, you need to remember which ones were and weren't traps."


TERRAIN
Here's a breakdown:
+ Treasure Chests - Terrain you can't walk over, the first time you successful defeat an Encounter with a Treasure Chest in it you immediately get 2 Treasure Flips
+ Gravestones - Terrain you can't walk over, gives you insight into the Bosses behaviour deck
+ Barrels - Can be rolled into for an additional one Stamina, destroying the Barrel. Can also be rolled into following a successful dodge, also destroys the Barrel.


COMBAT
"Backstab is represented by the weak points on bosses, which obviously needs arcs to function. As Grunts don't have arcs you can't backstab them unfortunately, this was partially why we added the attack options to the weapon cards. You don't have a backstab, but you do have the choice of light and heavy attacks."

"Blocking is mitigation, so say I get hit for 5 damage and roll a 3 on my dice I'd take 2 damage. Dodging goes against the 'Dodge Value' shown on each card, and you need to roll an amount of success equal to the dodge value. So if my armour gives me 2 dodge dice I have a good chance of rolling to dodge against an attack with a dodge value of 1... But it's far more risky against a dodge value 2 card. We have also added a 'Luck token' mechanic, which allows the player to re-roll one die. Generally in playtst this is saved for defensive rolls, but can be used offensively if you choose."

"The more players you have, the more combined resources you have... But you can't react as immediately to the enemies movements. When there are less of you, you have less combined resources... But the turn order is shorter, so you can react quicker to what the enemies are doing. It kind of naturally balanced itself without the need for number tweaking in that regard"

"Now players jsut recover 2 stamina at the start of their activation."


SOULS
"Within the standard play you get 2 Souls, per player, per Encounter. Which would mean a group of 4 would get 8 Souls from this Encounter. The cost of leveling up from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is 4 Souls. So from this one Encounter we could level 2 characters up to Tier 1 to Tier 2 on one stat, alternatively we could buy 4 treasure flips (Treasure flips cost 1 soul each in the standard play through) and level up on person from tier 1 to tier 2. So on and so forth, there are a variety of things you can spend them on."

"Souls are gathered, and lost as a party. When you gain Souls they go into your party's 'Soul Cache', then it's up to the party where they think they're best spent."

"Generally Souls are rewarded from the Boss in accordance to how many Sparks you have when the Boss dies (1 Soul Per Spark Per Player)."


SPARKS & ESTUS
"Sparks are something we've included to add a lose condition to the game. Without it there was no tension, and tension is required to get the right feel within the board game."

"Simply put 'Sparks' are your party's lives. Whenever you rest at the Bonfire, be that because you've optionally returned to gain your Estus and other 'once per spark' abilities back... Or because you've died you will use up a Spark. Once you run out of Sparks you lose, and it's as simple as that.

"The number of Sparks you start with is based on the number of players in the game, the less players you have the more Sparks you have."

"That's correct on the Estus, you have one to use and once you've used it you have to rest at the Bonfire to refill it"

"The Estus is one per spark, and this is a permanent thing. Though, at the end of all encounters be it exploration or a Boss fight you get to wipe any stamina used or damage taken off... so the Estus is your 'in combat' version of this. There are no restrictions as to when you can use it outside of that it has to be during your own activation."


DYING
"Any time someone dies, you all go back and it consumes a Spark. You all need to travel in the same direction."

On the fact that once one player dies the fight is lost and the whole party must return to the bonfire: "It is indeed immediate. Without this rule dying just didn't seem to matter enough in boss fights. One person would run in, do as much damage as they could paying no attention to how much stamina it cost because they were just softening him up for the rest of the party, whether they died or not didn't really matter. This wasn't promoting any sort of co-operative and if anything was entirely counter to it. Once this rule was added you needed to work together, and it further increased the tension of the fight."

"The party returns to rest at the Bonfire when a member of the party dies, when you rest at a Bonfire (be it because you died, or because you choose to voluntarily to regain your Estus etc) all Encounters respawn"


INVADERS, EMBERS & SUMMONED
"Invaders can randomly spawn into Encounter once you draw a specific item (known as an Ember) from the treasure deck, so they make Encounters harder. Summons are allies you can summon in, you pay a cost in stamina to summon them in and then have to pay in stamina to activate them during your activation."

"Invaders are added to Encounter randomly (via tokens, 4 tokens, 3 are blank when flipped over, 1 shows you are being invaded). In the campaign Invaders are placed into specific rooms rather than being random. Summons has a stamina cost to summon them, and an activcation cost in stamina for them to... well, do something. They operate using decks, but the direction of their movement isn't specified so you have some degree of choice in what they attack/offer support to. Summons activate alongside the player that has paid the activation cost, so they don't prolong the turn order."

"When you drawn an Ember the tokens are placed facedown on the tiles. When you enter a tile the token is flipped, if it's blank you're safe, if it says you're being Invaded then... Well, you're Invaded. So once you draw an Ember, you're going to be Invaded... It's just a matter of when. The Invader drops so pretty sweet loot, so you only get one shot at them. If they kill you, you lost your shot at their treasure. Obviously once you have the expansions Invader's can start to stack if you draw Embers in short succession... So you could within theory, end up with multiple Invaders in one Encounter."

"Embers grant the person who 'cracks it' damage reduction. -1 damage taken if you take 3 or more damage in one hit"


(MEGA) BOSSES
"Rough Mega Boss 'mechanics' run down (some of these aren't entirely finalised yet, but won't be 1 million miles away):
Kalameet - Puts Mark of Calamity on people, which reduces success rates on the affected players dice rolls. Has a seperate Strafing Run deck, which displays nodes via a diagram which are hit by fire.

Four Kings - Heat Up and King deaths spawn more Kings, each King has a similar behaviour set but each has a different twist. (Different movements, arcs hit, harder to dodge, focuses more on the player with aggro... So on and so forth)." "When you hit the Heat Up value, another King spawns... And when a King dies, another King spawns."

Old Iron King - Only has 3 movement nodes, submerges and emerges between them. When emerging you resolve the emerge attack from the behaviour card before the main behaviour.

Gaping Dragon - Has Corrosion mechanics that effect gear, and performs charges following stomach slams.

Executioners Chariot - Run around a big ring killing Necromancers that are spawning skeletons while avoiding the Chariot that is moving around the ring. Hit a switch at the top of the ring to destroy the Chariot (it crashes into a gate you lower in the video games). Then fight the 2 headed horse that was dragging the Chariot around.

The Last Giant - Rips his own arm off when he heats up and uses it as a weapon, generally his heat up attacks have further range because of this.

Asylum Demon - Interacts with 'Wind Up' cards before heating up, upon heat up all 'Wind Up' cards are removed from the deck and replaced with heat up cards. Also has a rule that enables you to use him as a Mini Boss if you wish to.

Vordt - Very fast, turns around whenever he hits a wall and interacts with the Frostbitten condition a lot.

Manus - A lot of AoE damage, has some special rules around his various 'Abyss' magical attacks... He's just generally terrifying.

Guardian Dragon - Somewhat similar to Kalameet, but rather than being straight lines it's collection of nodes within his weird giant bird cage thing he's trapped in. Has some interactions around him flying around."

"O&S fight together, their behaviour cards in the initial deck show a behaviour pattern for each of them. Once one of the dies the other recovers to full HP and you swap out the old deck with an entirely new Heat Up deck. So if you kill Smough, you then fight Ornstein on his own with his Heat Up deck... And visa versa."

"You gain all the Boss specific treasure into your inventory upon defeating Boss, no randomness to it. You kill them, you get their loot. Works the same in both campaign, and non-campaign play... But the 'triggers' for the loot dropping can be altered in campaign play. For example in the Core box DS1 campaign run, you have to fight 2 Gargoyles back to back... And only get the loot when you kill the second. If you don't manage to kill the second, you have to go back to the Bonfire and fight the first again. Essentially trying to get the Belfry Gargoyles themed fight, and this was what we came up with to do that with only 1 Gargoyle model in the box."


GRUNTS
"Grunts have one behaviour on their card, and they perform this ability every time they activate. There are 3 types of targetting in the game:
+ No Target - Just walks in the direction shown and doesn't turn to face anyone. If you're in the way, you get hit.
+ Target - Goes on a priority order of closest, aggro, taunt value.
+ Target Aggro - Always targets the aggro irrelevant of their proximity or taunt value.
Example: Ranged Grunts such as Crossbow Hollows Target Aggro, Step Backwards (if possible), then shoot at the Aggro. They do this everytime they activate, so you have to wary of what you do during your activation knowing that you're getting shot at."


CAMPAIGN PLAY
"It's Mini-Boss, Main Boss (and if you have them Mega Bosses) played in an order matching that of the video games with varying amounts of exploration in between depending on the distance between the locations in the video games. For example if you opt for a Dark Souls 1 play through you go straight in against the Asylum Demon (if you have him). Then onto a Bonfire, through to the Gargoyle after 3 (I think) tiles of exploration. But this is modular so you can leave out steps if you don't have certain Bosses, or you could just opt to run a smaller scenario that fits the models you have. Some extra mechanics are added to match the longer play time, and things like Invaders and Mimics are placed in Encounters rather than being random as they are in a standard play through."

"Varying tile limit is used during Campaign Play"

"In Campaign Play we have a rule for 'Dashing through', where all the Grunts get to activate and you get to dash through to the next room and ignore them. This doesn't cost stamina, but any damage you take during the Grunts activation stays"


TREASURES & EQUIPMENT
"The Treasure Deck is precisely that, pay for a Treasure, Flip a card. The card then goes into your inventory for you to do with as you please."

"In standard play they just gather in your inventory, and generally you find yourself checking back through after levelling up for a specific piece of gear to see if there was anything in there you can now use. You can sell them back in Campaign Play"

"Armour expansion comes with 20 treasure cards in total, 10 of them are Treasure cards for before you kill a Mini Boss, and 10 for after you kill a Mini Boss. The 10 before the Mini Boss are generally weaker than those that go in after."

"60 Common Treasures, Starting equipment (varies between 3-4 cards depending on Class), 10 Class specific treasures each, 10 Legendary weapons, 18 (I think) Boss specific treasures..."

"Upgrades have stat requirements, so as long as you have the required stats and the equipment has upgrade slots you just slap them on. Weapon upgrades (Gems and Titanite) are permanent. Armour Upgrades (Rings) can be moved at any time"

"All PCs starting equipment matches what they start with in DS3. Levelling up is done via 'Tiers'. Base through to a max of Tier 3. The maximum stat is 40, but the PCs have stats varying between 9-40 for each attribute. For example, the Herald has 40 Faith at Tier 3... But his Tier 3 in Strength is 37. So if a weapon requires a Strength of 40, the Herald wouldn't be able to use it. In Campaign Play we've added access to a 'Tier 4' for every character. Tier 4 is considered to be 40, so any PC can use any weapon. But it costs a lot of Souls to get to Tier 4."


VARIOUS
"She's [Firekeeper] waiting for you to visit her next to the Bonfire, her and Blacksmith Andre are how you level and gear up"

"You don't need to rest at the Bonfire to upgrade and buy treasure, that's why the NPC's are there"

"you get one Luck token. That token can be used to re-roll one die. In between encounters you can buy it back from the Firekeeper, and you get it back from resting at the Bonfire."

"Single Player works exactly the same, but you get a starting 'Gift' of 16 Souls to spend"
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anthony dybacz
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The tiles are still the biggest issue for me; all being the same size with the same pattern. Would like to see some variation, even if it is as simple as 'the wall here means you cannot go from this node to that one, must go around'.

But I am sure the tiles have been debated ad nauseum and they are not going to change it.
 
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Scott Arnone
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CardboardAnt wrote:
The tiles are still the biggest issue for me; all being the same size with the same pattern. Would like to see some variation, even if it is as simple as 'the wall here means you cannot go from this node to that one, must go around'.

But I am sure the tiles have been debated ad nauseum and they are not going to change it.


I'm pretty sure the varying terrain does exactly that--block nodes so that you have to go around.
 
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Ramsar
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Added snippet on boss loot and node types
 
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Rob Treasure
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I think the tiles is something that will be spiced up with expansions and could be fairly easy for someone creative to make some corridor, open space etc ones that wouldn't break the game at all.

Annoying but easy to overcome.
 
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Christian Koch
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Thank you for putting these informations together, Sir!
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Nicholas Johnson
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Tiles worry me too. A dungeon crawl miniatures game where you abstract there dungeon down to a grid with no walls sounds awkward.
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I don't know how I feel about the tiles, I'll wait until I see them before making a final judgement but on paper it sounds kind of lazy.

I do like this rule about dying however. It makes sense gameplay wise and even thematically.

Quote:
On the fact that once one player dies the fight is lost and the whole party must return to the bonfire: "It is indeed immediate. Without this rule dying just didn't seem to matter enough in boss fights. One person would run in, do as much damage as they could paying no attention to how much stamina it cost because they were just softening him up for the rest of the party, whether they died or not didn't really matter. This wasn't promoting any sort of co-operative and if anything was entirely counter to it. Once this rule was added you needed to work together, and it further increased the tension of the fight."


Keep the host of embers alive people!
 
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Tom
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vincentdante wrote:
I don't know how I feel about the tiles, I'll wait until I see them before making a final judgement but on paper it sounds kind of lazy.

I do like this rule about dying however. It makes sense gameplay wise and even thematically.

Quote:
On the fact that once one player dies the fight is lost and the whole party must return to the bonfire: "It is indeed immediate. Without this rule dying just didn't seem to matter enough in boss fights. One person would run in, do as much damage as they could paying no attention to how much stamina it cost because they were just softening him up for the rest of the party, whether they died or not didn't really matter. This wasn't promoting any sort of co-operative and if anything was entirely counter to it. Once this rule was added you needed to work together, and it further increased the tension of the fight."


Keep the host of embers alive people!




It is neat, but i fear it could split hardcore dark souls fans (gladly i don't know any that play board games so much).

While i like the idea of the game host dies its over for the whole party, i don't like it if someone is running around and dies becaus he is unlucky and doesnt care about the group. Like in Zombicide, if someone decides to do something really stupid (open doors with the words "i can do this" and dies right away in the next 2 rounds.). Here it sets me back even if i didnt do anything wrong.

But maybe i am have the delusion that this game will be so hard that this would be critical rule for fun but it isnt and you can beat the game with 4 players easier as with 2 but you earned it.

So far i like where this game goes (looking back from the begin of the Kickstarter)
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Ressless wrote:
It is neat, but i fear it could split hardcore dark souls fans (gladly i don't know any that play board games so much).

While i like the idea of the game host dies its over for the whole party, i don't like it if someone is running around and dies becaus he is unlucky and doesnt care about the group. Like in Zombicide, if someone decides to do something really stupid (open doors with the words "i can do this" and dies right away in the next 2 rounds.). Here it sets me back even if i didnt do anything wrong.

But maybe i am have the delusion that this game will be so hard that this would be critical rule for fun but it isnt and you can beat the game with 4 players easier as with 2 but you earned it.

So far i like where this game goes (looking back from the begin of the Kickstarter)


I think that sounds very much in the spirit myself.
 
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Ramsar
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Added official update schedule and link to the already published one. Scoured Kickstarter comments section again for additional snippets
 
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Nicholas Johnson
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It was really nice to clear up a lot of these rules in the latest update. I was writing a letter of concern, but the more I jumped back and forth between the article and this page, the more I thought about how much sense all the changes made. I'm still a little concerned the only difference in tiles is nodes making what's drawn on them pretty pointless, and I get the feeling that will hurt the dungeon crawl feel no matter what, but assuming the combat and character customizing lives up, I think I can take this as a great flat battle game.

My only long standing concern now is equipment. It's the thing I've been banking on to make this game really great and it's the number 1 thing this needs to feel like Dark Souls. That fantastic "heck yeah!" moment when you get an awesome weapon, the stats to use it, and smash an enemy's face in with it for the first time. It's also what really individualizes the players in the game way more than classes. As someone who backed this because I love the series, the sparks are fine, I'm ok with a lot of changes because obviously there must be changes in the transition of media, but big unique bosses and playing around with equipment are the 2 things that are non negotiable.
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The new exploration update helps paint the picture nicely. I'm excited to see more.
 
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Short playtest session report
(from SFG_Alex in the Kickstarter comments)

"So here we go, an example from one of my favourite playtest sessions. It was a 3 player game and I was playing as the Knight.

We'd just downed the Winged Knight and were pressing forward towards Ornstein and Smough. We had an Assassin who was focusing on dodge, and myself and a Warrior who were both heading more towards Block. I REALLY wanted a shield to provide me with some more Magic Resistance, I was currently dual weilding 1-handed swords because I was fortunate to pick up a sword with some Physical block on it that equalled my shield, but Magic damage was becoming a nuisance. As a group we were able to get around this by just focusing down the Grunts that were putting out Magic damage and playing to our strengths by tanking out the Physical damage. The random treasure deck, across all of my playtest games has never left me feeling like 'I can't progress'... You just have to change and adapt to whatever is thrown at you.

While exploring you don't flip over the Encounter cards for the first time until you have walked onto the tile and chosen which entry Nodes you want to be standing on. So everytime we walked into a new room we had the agony of who is 'Kicking the door open' and taking the aggro for the first wave of Grunt attacks.
Crossbow Hollows cause Magic damage (Magic damage is used to represent elemental damage as well as 'actual magic damage'), this represents the Crossbow Hollows with flaming arrows. I was generally 'the best equipped tank'... But these Crossbow Hollows were proving troublesome because of my lack of Magic resistance. So we had to decide when entering a room for the first time, do we hope for no Crossbows in which case I'll kick... Or do we let the Assassin do the kicking because their dodge generally meant they wouldn't get hurt by the Crossbows.
Sounds like an easy decision right? Just let the Assassin do it, less risky. Well it would be, had it not been for the possibility of the Silver Knight Swordsmen, because the Silver Knight Swordsmen's attack have a higher dodge value than the Crossbow Hollows and are extremely scary for our Assassin. So yeah, agony of choice... Obviously once we've seen this Encounter once, we know where everything is and can plan accordingly... But that's all part of the learning process that comes with entering a room for the first time.

Now, the Crossbow Hollows couldn't do enough damage to me to outright kill me and even if they could I still had my Heroic Ability to help me out. But what they were doing was preventing me from going all out with heavy attacks with both of my weapons, because I knew If I spent to much stamina I'd be edging towards the point where they could kill me. And again, this poses more questions to both me as an individual player and my party as a whole. The Crossbow Hollows are an annoyance for me, but the other 2 players were generally ok with having them around. They were more worried about the Silver Knights and Large Hollows, who I was having no real issue with. So each time I activate I have to ask myself the question. What is best for me, and what is best for my group?

Anyway, we push on and get to Ornstein and Smough. This whole fight I've been wary of Magic Attacks, and have spent my Heroic to reduce the damage upon being hit by one. We reach a point where it is my activation, Smough is pretty beat up and I have an opening where I MIGHT be able to take him down. Now, the important part here is that we know the next card coming out of Ornstein is a ranged Magic attack that targets the aggro. If I kill Smough, Ornsteins Heat Up deck comes into play which is shuffled meaning I might take some Lightning to the face... Or I might not. I go for it, heavy attacks with both weapons which cost me a total of 6 stamina. I should probably say at this point we'd discussed the maths and it was unlikely I killed him... But I was petrified of the Lightning attack from Ornstein, I'd already used my Estus and knew I'd be taking damage from it if I got hit by it.

I roll the dice, and come up just short. I then get zapped by Ornstein which I just survived, and finished off by Smough's Bonzai Drop (which was physical, for shame). The smart play was to take my free attacks on Smough, and ride the wave on the Magic damage... But I got obsessed with my pore Magic resistance and it caused me to make a poor decision.

Still my favourite moment from playtesting to this day, did the group of players with hold it against me that I decided to go for the 'yolo' because it felt right? No, because we were all having fun... And that's what playing co-operative games is all about."
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Nicholas Johnson
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I do have to ask, you get a soul from an encounter, and you reset encounters at bonfires. Is there anything in place to eliminate just endless grinding?
 
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powermad wrote:
I do have to ask, you get a soul from an encounter, and you reset encounters at bonfires. Is there anything in place to eliminate just endless grinding?


It costs a spark to rest at the bonfire so you can only grind as many sparks as you are willing to sacrifice.
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Updated with links to all the KS update posts. Unsure whether they're planning to release others during the pledge manager.
 
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