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Subject: The Unicorn rss

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Patrick Leder
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Despite all the Chaos going on Kyle handed me the wireframe files for the Unicorn. This creates a new way for the solo Knight to play. This is not nearly tested enough yet but I think it is fairly playable.


This the first solo monster Kyle and I have worked on. I was hoping to build it into a scenario for the solo Knight campaign Kyle and I worked on last summer. I would like to make more monsters like this, I enjoy playing the Knight this way very much and it makes testing another Knights easier.

You can find the wire frame of the Unicorns Player Board and cards here. You will also need a figure for the Unicorn, the Dragon's sloth cubes, the Dragon's health cube.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B8xlQYyEm7zMM2Jz...






The Unicorn
A Monster for the Knight to face in solo play.


For the Unicorn facing matters, so use a playing piece where that can be easily determined.


Setup
The Knight takes the Goblin Infestation variant card; you may choose any difficulty setting you wish. The Alone in the Dark variant card is not used.


Place a cube on the 7 space of the Unicorn’s Health track. Draw 3 cards from the Unicorn’s deck and place them on its board as its initial Spirit pile.


The Knight takes her turn first, followed by the Unicorn.


Unicorn Turns
On the Unicorn’s first turn, place it on any space adjacent to the Knight facing away from her.
On the Unicorn's turn resolve resolve each card in its Spirit pile as follows:


Flip over the first card and resolve only the Advancing part of the card. Once the Advancing is resolved, resolve the next card using the Hesitating part of the card. Continue alternating between Advancing and Hesitating with each remaining card in the pile.
Some cards are Charging. The Unicorn will always resolve that part of the card regardless of whether it is in an Advancing or Hesitating step.


When a step shows a number (1-3), the Unicorn moves forward a number of spaces equal to the value shown unless it reaches a wall.
When a step shows a direction (Left or Right), it turns in that direction to the next open edge.


Whenever the Unicorn enters a Dark tile, that tile is immediately revealed. Place tokens as needed.


Whenever the Unicorn reaches a wall, place a marker on that tile (we recommend using the Dragon’s Sloth tokens or Goblin discs), then turn the Unicorn to the right until it faces an open edge. If it returns to a marked tile, it immediately teleports.


Whenever the Unicorn enters a space with the Knight, she loses 1 Health and then the Unicorn teleports. Refer to the Difficulty Variants section for additional details on when the Unicorn might attack the Knight.


At the end of the Unicorn’s turn, it draws cards equal to its Spirit value. The value begins at 3, but increases by 1 for every 3 revealed Crystal tiles on the map. (For example, if 5 Crystal tiles have been revealed, the Unicorn’s Spirit is 4 and will draw 4 cards.) Shuffle the deck only when it runs out.


Teleporting
When the Unicorn enters a space with a previously placed marker, attacks the Knight, or is attacked by the Knight, it teleports. Draw a card. Using the diagram on the bottom of the card, with the Unicorn icon indicating its current position, it moves directly to the marked space. If there are no tiles in that location, you must place a Dark tile in that location, plus (if necessary) enough additional Dark tiles in between to connect that tile to the map. That tile is immediately revealed. When the Unicorn teleports it maintains its current facing if it not facing a wall. If it is facing a wall, it immediately turns right to the first open edge (do not place a marker on the tile).


Note: The Unicorn’s teleporting can expand the map quickly in unpredictable directions, so be prepared to have more table space available than normal.



Once the collapse begins, if the Unicorn would teleport into an open space, you must immediately collapse three tiles. Then, resolve the Advancing or Charging step on the card drawn instead of teleporting.


Attacking the Unicorn
During your turn, you can attack the Unicorn by entering its space only if your Strength is greater than its Armor. The Unicorn’s Armor starts at 1, but increases by 1 for every 3 revealed Crystal tiles on the map. (For example, if 5 Crystal tiles have been revealed, the Unicorn’s Armor is 2.)


Each time you attack the Unicorn, it loses 1 Health and then immediately teleports.


You win if you kill the Unicorn and then escape the Cave by moving to the Entrance tile.
You lose if you are killed by the Unicorn or an Ambush, or if the Cave collapses. Smashing Crystals is not required.

Placing Tiles
At the end of your own turn, place 1 Dark tile on the map only if no tiles were revealed during your turn. Once the collapse has begun, remove 3 tiles at the end of each turn whether tiles are revealed or not. Do not place or remove tiles at the end of the Unicorn’s turn.


Difficulty Adjustments
In addition to the difficulty options provided by the Goblin Infestation card, you can adjust how often the Unicorn will attack the Knight as follows:
Easy: It attacks only when Charging.
Medium: It attacks when Charging or Advancing.
Hard: It attacks in all steps.

The Unicorn will attack only if the Knight is visible. It ignores facing and distance, and will automatically turn to face the Knight and will move as many spaces as necessary to attack.
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Ethan Furman
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The mechanics look interesting, but why a unicorn? To the best of my knowledge unicorns have been represented as creatures of good.
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Kyle
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stoneleaf wrote:
The mechanics look interesting, but why a unicorn? To the best of my knowledge unicorns have been represented as creatures of good.
That's just what they want you to think.
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Patrick Leder
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The Unicorn teleports and charges so it had what I wanted mechanically.

I first thought of the character while watching Twilight Sparkle teleport through the palace during on of the My Little Pony movies I was watching with my daughter.

Maybe the Knight is evil?

If someone wants to think of something to replace it I'm open to suggestions.
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Patrick Leder
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Woelf wrote:
stoneleaf wrote:
The mechanics look interesting, but why a unicorn? To the best of my knowledge unicorns have been represented as creatures of good.
That's just what they want you to think.


Unicorn propaganda is pretty efficient.
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James Berry
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For ages the Unicorn has had stronger lobbyists than the Dragon.
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Michelle
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The charging mechanic w/ facing being important, makes me think more of a bulky, enraged, rhinoceros-looking monster. Like the Dodongo in Zelda, or a land shark/bulette in DnD. If it were a land shark, the teleportation could be presented as burrowing into the ground and popping up at a new location.

That said, I do think the nightmare unicorn thing could be fun and unique for this game. Subverts the whole unicorn/"fair maiden" story we've always heard.
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Dave Mendiola
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Minotaur seems more thematically appropriate.
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C&H Schmidt
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GreenM wrote:
The Unicorn teleports and charges so it had what I wanted mechanically.

I first thought of the character while watching Twilight Sparkle teleport through the palace during on of the My Little Pony movies I was watching with my daughter.

Maybe the Knight is evil?

If someone wants to think of something to replace it I'm open to suggestions.
I think it's an interesting choice!
This game is already breaking with stereotypes in several instances, so I don't see why there shouldn't be a unicorn in the cave that the knight is chasing for similar reasons as the dragon. I think you should keep it!

In general: Great that you are designing more solo options and this looks fun! My game is currently not with me (I had to move abroad with just a suitcase for a few months for work), but when I have it in my hands again, I am going to try this out.
 
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Kyle
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Small update to the rules:

You can play this solo variant with Goblins too!
The only rule change (so far) is that the Unicorn gets +1 to its armor. (Goblins get no variant cards.)



It's hard to say for sure how the difficulty level compares to the Knight, but in the test game I just ran the collapse had already begun when I finally killed it. It appears heavily slanted in the Goblins' favor initially, but once the Unicorn starts moving and teleporting around, you end up with a lot of Lit tiles to run through and sometime disconnected pockets of tiles that are hard to reach. It's trickier than it looks.
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Patrick Leder
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The Unicorn's rules are a subset of rules for a monster called the Behemoth. The Behemoth will be fought by multiple Knights cooperatively. Instead of teleporting it will walk through walls destroying them. When enough walls are damaged the Cave comes down.
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Marco Teti
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GreenM wrote:
The Unicorn's rules are a subset of rules for a monster called the Behemoth. The Behemoth will be fought by multiple Knights cooperatively. Instead of teleporting it will walk through walls destroying them. When enough walls are damaged the Cave comes down.


At the end of your campaign you mentioned Vast: Frozen Fear or Vast: The Mysterious Manor is brought to Kickstarter Boy am I anxious to see what you have in store for that. Perhaps this Behemoth is part of these 'expansions' or part of some variant that has been posted her that I missed?
 
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Patrick Leder
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The Behemoth will be in The Frozen Fear if I get it done in time.
 
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GreenM wrote:
If someone wants to think of something to replace it I'm open to suggestions.


The Nightmare Unicorn is perfect. Thanks!
 
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stoneleaf wrote:
GreenM wrote:
If someone wants to think of something to replace it I'm open to suggestions.


The Nightmare Unicorn is perfect. Thanks!

Perhaps it is cursed with nightmares. And defeating it is woven into lifting the curse.
 
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GreenM wrote:
If someone wants to think of something to replace it I'm open to suggestions.

Call it a "Monokerōs" (Greek instead of the Latin Unicornis) and stick a horn on the forehead of something else, like a massive hoary tusked wild boar (picture its hide bristling with the broken spears and blades of other hapless knights)?
Or stick with "Nightmare Unicorn" or the traditional "Unicorn" (with its magical and benign associations), and have fun with the perception gap by turning it into some sort of lich steed or one horned burrowing insect?
Or just do what you were going to do. I think there is a lot of opportunity for you guys to have a lot of fun with this. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with and the direction you with for the art!
 
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Dylan Thurston
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stoneleaf wrote:
The mechanics look interesting, but why a unicorn? To the best of my knowledge unicorns have been represented as creatures of good.
Just going to leave this here.
http://www.tor.com/2013/09/24/equoid/

Reading through, it seemed like there might be room to allow for the Unicorn at other player combinations.
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Raithyn
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A couple questions from my first attempt to take down this devious beast:

1. Can the axe do an extra damage to the unicorn the same as it does the dragon? And while I assume not, doors the bow on her board have any effect? What about the ancient bow, does it remove spirit cards from the next unicorn turn?

2. Does the knight get to attack the unicorn also when the unicorn enters the knight's tile?

3. Does the unicorn enter and light dark tiles or treat them as walls?
 
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Patrick Leder
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1. I have never had the Axe in a game with the Unicorn. I would like it to work that way lets try it. I think the bow should get rid of cards, but I haven't tested that in play myself. That might slow the Unicorn down too much.

2. No.

3. Yes it lits up dark tiles when moving normally. A teleporting unicorn skips the intervening spaces.

Looks like Kyle and I bumped there.

Further thinking the Bow might just remove one card and the magical bow 2. You need to have enough strength when you use it to hurt the Unicorn if you were attacking.

I'll try the axe both ways.
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Kyle
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An updated file for the Nightmare Unicorn is in the folder linked above. There are no significant changes to the rules, but the layout is cleaned up and rearranged quite a lot, and it has the new artwork.



I think being able to use the bow(s) or the double-damage from the axe would make it too easy, especially late-game when you've got a lot more Hero cubes to work with, but give it a try and see what happens.
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Thank you both. The update makes the rules much clearer. I'll give it another go this weekend.
 
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I just caught the blasphemous creature. Overall I like it. The cave grows in pretty strange ways at first. That slowed down about halfway through and I was still four tiles from the collapse at the end.

I'll have to play a few more games to see if this is normal, but the cave walls and hesitate actions ended up keeping the unicorn somewhat contained and helped me out quite a bit. The walls also meant I only got attacked by it once.

One more question and a comment for the rules:

4. Does the unicorn keep moving after it teleports? I played that it did.

5. The PDF doesn't contain the unicorn's starting placement. I assume what's in the first post here is still correct.



EDIT: 6. If I collapse a dark tile and it's a crystal, does that count toward the unicorn's stat boost?
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Kyle
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raithyn wrote:
4. Does the unicorn keep moving after it teleports? I played that it did.
I've been playing that it stops when it teleports.

Are you marking tiles only when it runs into a wall with movement remaining, or any time it enters a tile with a wall in front of it (even if it would stop there)?


Quote:
5. The PDF doesn't contain the unicorn's starting placement. I assume what's in the first post here is still correct.
That's correct. I left if off the player board just for space reasons, but the next time a revision gets made I can try to squeeze it in somewhere.

Quote:
EDIT: 6. If I collapse a dark tile and it's a crystal, does that count toward the unicorn's stat boost?
Yes. Because the crystals have to be set aside to keep track of how many have collapsed, I always treat them as revealed. (The same applies to Alone in the Dark when playing standard solo.)


Which of the three difficulty settings did you use?
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Raithyn
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Woelf wrote:
...Are you marking tiles only when it runs into a wall with movement remaining, or any time it enters a tile with a wall in front of it (even if it would stop there)?

...Yes. Because the crystals have to be set aside to keep track of how many have collapsed, I always treat them as revealed. (The same applies to Alone in the Dark when playing standard solo.)


Which of the three difficulty settings did you use?

I marked tiles and turned it anytime it reached a wall. Should that only happen when it tries to walk into one?

I got the crystal count right in my second game then. That one was much tougher. The unicorn kept creating straight corridors away from the big section. Once the collapse began it kept trying to teleport out of them and I ended up with four collapsed crystal tiles almost immediately. I won, but barely.

For both games I used medium difficulty and drew a monster each time I was ambushed. I didn't use either bow or the axe's special ability. It attacked me four times in game two.

I'll post a couple more games as written, but then might try having the unicorn ignore walls when charging (only to move, not to attack). I suspect that'll make it significantly harder to catch or contain. I might also try having it advance one after turning when charging so there aren't any turns where it just spins. Probably won't try both at once.
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Kyle
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raithyn wrote:
I marked tiles and turned it anytime it reached a wall. Should that only happen when it tries to walk into one?
You played it correctly - mark it every time, even if stops on the tile. Based on some of your details above I wasn't sure if that's the way you were doing it or not. When we go back through the written rules for another pass, we'll make that more clear. The same with revealed/collapsed crystal tiles counting toward its boosts.
 
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