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Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant: Encounter Table rss

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Mike N
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Montreal
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Played this for the second time with the same group of people last night and once again, despite playing to the very wee hours of the morning, we didn't finish. We didn't need to refer to the rules as often but it still dragged as other players on here have so aptly mentioned, and even became somewhat monotonous with room after room of "enter, fight monster(s), repeat"

Still, we think it's a great game, and now that we're a bit more familiar with it, I started thinking of my own ways to speed up play and create more diversity. After looking on here, I was surprised that no one had an idea like mine posted yet...possibly a bad sign but here goes. Why fight monsters in just about every room?

Being a D&Der for many years now, and comparing OTRS to your typical RPG dungeon crawl for a minute, yes, combat is a big part of the game, sure, but there are often rooms with only traps in them, or just empty rooms, or rooms with hidden treasures but no monsters, etc. Sure, there are already a few rooms like that in the game, but not many.

So, here's what I'm going to propose we try next game:

Each time you end your movement in an empty room, instead of automatically meeting baddies, a d12 is rolled and you consult the:

Encounter Table

1 Trap!
2-4 Empty Room
5-9 Monster(s)
10 Battle Card
11 Loot!
12 New Shtick!


Details:

For Trap results, randomly draw one trap from the discarded trap stack (if any) and apply its effects immediately.

An Empty Room is just that, still empty (apply room text as normal) Whew! Resting anyone?

On a 5-9, normal encounter/combat rules apply (so almost half the time which is still a good chunk).

On a 10-12, draw one free card from the top of the designated deck. Battle cards go into your hand to use later (unless its a Screw This with text allowing you to play it right away), Loot can be equipped or put in your Stash, and Shticks get played right away as normal. To justify these freebies - hey, sometimes treasure just gets left lying around unguarded...and if you need a logical reason to get a free Shtick, perhaps the room contained a book/pool/oracle/whatever which gave you a new power as you explored it.


Since we're making it a bit easier on the characters as they explore, I think I would also rule that a room and a roll cannot give the same result. If a room's text gives a free Shtick to the first person entering it, and you roll a 12, you don't get 2 free Shticks - roll again. However, bad stuff can stack. What better place to put a trap than in the Room of Very Toxic Sulfur Fumes? In case of any disputes, the text on the card should overrule rolling the die and checking the encounter table (i.e. so no monsters in the Mostly Empty Room on the first floor)

Of course, the table can be adjusted to suit your own style of play and we might adjust it as we try it. Not getting enough monsters? Make it 6 or even 7 times out of 12. Don't want to hand out free Shticks like that? Make 11-12 Loot instead, etc. Feel free to tinker with my idea if it's at all to your liking - it's nice to play a game where the rulebook itself suggests you make variants for it.

Fights, especially complex ones with lots of monsters (Horde and Leader types in particular) are what bogs down any RPG style game, no matter how crazy and fun they get! Ultimately, with fewer battles, I suspect that turns will go quicker and Loot/Shticks will flow faster, giving those who aren't that combat-oriented perhaps (such as Durkon and Elan at first) more of a chance and not always a brutal battle if they choose to go off exploring on their own...

Now when entering a new room, you never know what could happen! Your first room might be a trap, room 2 have a big fight, room 3 a nice easy free loot card, etc. And with Loot/Shticks more readily attainable, you can go take on Xykon before the sun comes up...hopefully!

Speaking of which, as a final note, once you enter Xykon's lair, it's business as usual - no more using the encounter die. Revel in the carnage!

Thoughts? cool
 
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Avri Balofsky
Israel
Tel Mond
HaSharon
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I like this idea. I've been reluctant to pull this off the shelf and subject anybody to it again, but in the event I do I'll probably try this out.

Thanks.
 
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Thomas Tompkins
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Pointe-Claire
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Great ideas. This will overcome many of the issues with the current game.

T
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