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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing with more than four - A call to arms rss

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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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Poll
Would you like an improved version of Kingdom Death: Monster's +4 player rules?
Yes
No
      113 answers
Poll created by mrroza


A simple question, but hopefully a necessary one.
The 5-6 players variants are a great addition, but definitely not one of the more refined parts of the game.

My gaming group exists of 5 players and with KD's new kickstarter being the success it is, I imagine that a lot of bigger player groups would love to leave their favorite 5-player games (Descent for example) to play KD as well.

Besides the polling question, the other important question is how. How can we improve the 5 and 6 player variants?

Adam Poots asked this question in the kickstarter forum yesterday and I think we should try to give him an answer.

----

@Adam - Hi! my game group is almost always 6+ players, we actually love the 6 player setting but we think it needs balancing, as it is tooooooooo deadly (considering the original campaign as pretty forgiving in comparison) we have houseruled a lot of stuff and it works fine, but maybe we made it too easy, i just wanted to know if there are any plans on changes/ improvements on the alternate campaign settings. Anyway thanks for the answer!

@Axolote Gaming, I'd be interesting to hear what the community thinks about this. The game is balanced around 4. In our play testing we found that if we didn't make the variant really scale up, it became FAR FAR too easy once you hit around lantern year 5. 6 players means that you have up to 12 activations / round (using surge). Which is just plain crazy. I still think the Variant is pretty solid and within the spirit of the game. But, I would be happy to hear some other ideas. Thing is, it can't overcomplicate the game, as playing with 6 people at once already makes it harder.

----

Of course this is not the first discussion of it's kind. A couple of very good houserules already have been brought up here >>
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1446509/experience-5-6-play...

Last note: If you voted yes. Please also let Adam know at the kickstarter. Between sleeping, going slowly insane and being on kickstarter, he probably does not have time to stalk us on bgg as well.
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Christoph M.
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mrroza wrote:
Poll
Would you like an improved version of Kingdom Death: Monster's +4 player rules?
Yes
No
      113 answers
Poll created by mrroza


A simple question, but hopefully a necessary one.
The 5-6 players variants are a great addition, but definitely not one of the more refined parts of the game.


How do the 5player rules acutally work, i.e. what is the key difference in rules apart from just adding another survivor?
 
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Michael Pflug
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Schwäbisch Gmünd
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Monsters get +1 speed, +2 damage, and some extra life points.
 
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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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This often results in a very difficult start of the campaign, but tends to make the later part a bit too easy.

Also 5 players makes the showdown part of the game much longer, resulting in a lot of downtime.

The settlement phase however is a lot of fun with 5 since you can sometimes add a (anonymous) voting mechanic to some if the decision making.
 
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John
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What might be a solution to this 4+ player "issue" is something that has not been mentioned elsewhere yet (as far as my knowledge goes.)

If rebalancing 5 and 6 player showdowns will result in too easy or too difficult encounters, it might be an idea to implement something next to the current hunt and showdown phase. I am thinking about a side event parallel to the hunt and showdown phase where player nr. 5 and nr. 6 are having another adventure. (Ofcourse the 5 or 6 players will rotate these roles as they see fit.) This other adventure might have something to do with resource farming, settlement development, learning new arts with one or two characters (who had to skip the next hunt for example), or just some sort of encounter a la a nemesis showdown.

Disadvantages are:
1. This will extend the length of each lantern year session extensively. (Unless this takes place at the same time as the hunt and showdown phase.)
2. Your game group gets divided into two teams.
3. The upsides and downsides of the result of this so-called adventure will still require a lot of balancing and finetuning without drastically effecting the difficulty of the entire campaign.

This is just food for thought to look further for optional solutions to the 5 and 6 player sessions if no official changes will be made to KDM.
 
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Ric Wagner
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Our variant of the 5- and 6-Player version works fine enough and is playtested since a few months by now.

So far we noticed no Balance issues and Player enjoy it quite fine.

So from my point of view, no adjustment is needed.
 
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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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Relborn wrote:
Our variant of the 5- and 6-Player version works fine enough and is playtested since a few months by now.
So far we noticed no Balance issues and Player enjoy it quite fine.
So from my point of view, no adjustment is needed.


What exactly is your variant? And does it overcomplicate things? Is there a lot of downtime for some players or does everything move along just fine?
 
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In general it seems like you could simply have the monster activate after the first 3-4 characters with a half speed/half move/full damage basic. Then a full activation after the remaining 2 players. This would balance the activations rather than making the monster hit super hard once it hits more often which would allow you to spread the damage a bit if you play smart.
 
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sam newman

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KDM is a hard game to beat. Adding another player will make the game easier for sure. I would recommened giving the Creature 1 additional basic and 1 additional advanced ai card per extra player. essentially giving the monster 2 additional wounds. If you cannot do this then add an addtional ai card from the next tier up.

once you get to lantern year 10 give the monsters an additional speed.
 
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John
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Another idea as variant:

What would fill the gap for extra players besides the four which proceed to the hunt phase is the implementation of optional encounters with promo characters. Remember the numerous beta promo encounters? For those who have a number of promo characters (which of this moment are still not implemented in one of the current campaigns) it might be an idea to have an encounter table on which the 1 or 2 players left behind in the settlement might have a chance to encounter one of these. All of this can be rehashed into some sort of table for which those 1 or 2 players have to roll a lantern die. The result corresponds with a number in a table which triggers an event with a promo character.

Now this results in having events taking place parallel to each other. The hunting party which consists out of a maximum of four players proceeding to the hunt phase and the following showdown phase, while the 1 or 2 players left behind in the settlement have an encounter based on their die roll and proceed to a so-called promo character encounter event.

This would split up the gaming group for that moment, although it makes sense with life going on and events taking place over at the settlement while the hunting party is away. This way there is more taking place which effects the survival of the settlement.

From there the gaming group would need to make a decision which is crucial to the length of a lantern year session. Are these separate events played out one after the other or are they take place simultaneously on two separate showdown boards (which ofcourse, would require two showdown boards and the promo character encounter event would take place elsewhere than the dining/boardgametable on which the hunt and showdown phase takes place due to the footprint of an additional showdown board.)

As a big KDM fan having a lot of promo characters put together already, I would really really like a way to introduce these to the campaign one way or another. However, I want to have them being introduced to the settlement without cancelling out the existent quarry hunt events or the current nemesis encounters. What friends and I would not want to see is a promo character being encountered during the hunt phase resulting in an showdown with the promo character instead of the chosen quarry. So with that in mind, I consider the implementation of promo characters in an optional method like mentioned in the paragraphs above as a feasible idea.

So to sum it all up:
- Depending if you might have 2 showdown boards your gaming group can decide to have all these events take place one after the other or simultaneously at the same time. (You can always make A DIY showdown board easily if you have no two core games at hands.)
- If the events take place one after the other the lantern year session will require (even) more time than regular lantern year sessions. Besides that, there is a lot of downtime for the players not participating in the hunting party. (A promo character encounter event does not necessarly take up a lot of extra time though.)
- The gaming group gets split up when these events take place simultaneously which some gaming groups want to avoid at all cost.
- Player 5 (and 6) needs to have the encounter take place else where than the table the hunt and showdown event take place due to the footprint of these boards (if the events take place simulteously!)
- The current beta promo character encounters will require rework to match the capabilities of either one or two player characters. Although the encounter does not have to be a battle all the time. And so does the reward of encountering the promo character. Will the promo character join the settlement population based on the outcome of a battle with the player character for example.
- The outcome of this promo character encounter event needs to be balanced in line with the difficulty of the campaign. Which will be most likely a difficult process and require changes to other rewards in other events.
- We finally have use for the expensive promo characters in our campaigns! (If not implemented by other means!)
 
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Christoph M.
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honestly? If I play a game with five players, I'ld like to have all player participate in the same game at the same time, i.e. have all five players engage in the encounter.
 
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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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Quote:
I would recommened giving the Creature 1 additional basic and 1 additional advanced ai card per extra player. essentially giving the monster 2 additional wounds.

Interesting idea.
Having extra cards for 5 and 6 players would definitely make the monster tougher and add extra health.
Maybe, to negate the extra actions of the 5th/6th player the HL-deck could have an additional Trap card.

If quantity of actions is the problem than the solution could be in the same realm as the one to weapons with a lot of speed. You think twice before attacking monsters with a lot of speed, if they have a small HL deck.
 
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Ben V
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I honestly never liked the idea of playing the 5 and 6 player variants because of the life points being given to every monster, which I feel would change the pace and feel of the quarry monsters in particular too much.

That said, has anyone tried playing with more players and simply ruling that only 4 get a turn each round? In a 5 player game, you could say that the monster controller sits out (yes, you miss out on the insanity, but that's a minor factor and still pales to having extra bodies on the board). For 6 players, perhaps the controller and the last controller both sit out that round? Players who do not get a regular turn would still be able to do survival actions, but would not get their two free activations like the rest of the players. Maybe the monster still gets a token or two of boost, too?
 
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Brandon
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This is a strange question to ask. I don't know of anyone that would not want a game improvement.
 
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Shoitaan
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dunadin777 wrote:

That said, has anyone tried playing with more players and simply ruling that only 4 get a turn each round? In a 5 player game, you could say that the monster controller sits out (yes, you miss out on the insanity, but that's a minor factor and still pales to having extra bodies on the board). For 6 players, perhaps the controller and the last controller both sit out that round? Players who do not get a regular turn would still be able to do survival actions, but would not get their two free activations like the rest of the players. Maybe the monster still gets a token or two of boost, too?


But then, assuming we're handling the sit-out fairly via a round-robin system:

The person that's sitting out could be shit out of luck if they're in an unfavourable position and/or survival strained as they come into the cross-hairs of the monsters. At least if you get a turn, you can use your movement to cheese it behind some terrain or in the monsters blindspot or something.

I really want rules for 4+ players but I understand that for it to work in KD, it needs a bit of work. That's why I'd love Poots to spend a small amount of time coming up with something that's more than just some stat buffs for the mobs. As most of what he's pitching on the KS is developed anyway, I don't feel this would take away from the developmental time/effort from the rest of the project that much so I really feel this should be done. Opens up the game to more gaming groups as well I feel.
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Tim Roza
Netherlands
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beigemore wrote:
This is a strange question to ask. I don't know of anyone that would not want a game improvement.

Apparently almost 28% of the voters right now don't. Probably because they feel (and I'm speculating) that Poots' time and resources are better spend elsewhere.
Luckily the popular vote seems to lean towards the opposite.

dunadin777 wrote:

That said, has anyone tried playing with more players and simply ruling that only 4 get a turn each round?

Continuing this train of thought. With 4 players you have 8 activations (4 movement and 4 actions). Using survival you could add 8 extra actions per round.
What if those actions/ activations were divided over the extra players?
 
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François Mahieu
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We always played the game with 5 players. Simply because everyone wanted to play the game in our group. With 5 players, the game is a nightmare. I mean this is SO hard. We had to houserule the game several times, otherwise it was so hardcore we hadn't fun anymore. Our best survivors were destroyed in a few turns by a level 1 phoenix using the official 5-player variant. So you basically keep hunting the lion, again and again, trying to survive the nemesis. Our tribe slowly died from year to year. The 5-player rules simply don't work as such.
 
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Sjel
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mrroza wrote:
What exactly is your variant?

And does it overcomplicate things? Is there a lot of downtime for some players or does everything move along just fine?


Click this link to see.

This variant indeed does sound better than the Poots method in my opinion.
Have you made any alterations/improvements since that thread?
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Ric Wagner
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Thanks for sharing the link.

As said we already playtested that Version for a while and like it quite fine.

I can understand, if it is not your taste if some Players have to sit out a turn, but we play rather quickly so there is no big waiting time for anybody. (At least it does not feel cumbersome).

With surge & dash your survivor also has the chance to act, even when he has a sit out turn. I know, that this is leading to more possible survival Actions per turn, but we didn't want to overcomplicate the variant by counting/limiting the survival uses.

I am not saying, my version is the best or has no set backs, but compared to the other solutions my player group and me prefer it so far.

Of course an official Version by Adam would be very nice, but honestly I do not see that happen anytime soon. But we will see ... maybe I am wrong
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Phoenix Butthole Hands
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I mean, I think a variation would be great but the game was designed for 4 survivors at a time. Like, tightly designed across the core and expansions. It's not impossible to rebalance the game but, in general, a lot of games just won't work with players outside the original design. Even with games that have +player expansions sometimes these are really shoehorned in. It might work with official support but it might not, and if it doesn't people will be unhappy and probably some will get upset. The communit can probably come up with a better solution.
 
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Panwuan Panwuan
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I saw a house rule for the 5/6 variant. Tested it myself for 5-6 LY and lvl 1 and 2 monsters , and seems balanced without getting easy, about as same difficulty.
The idea is that the Official rules were meant for L2 fights and 6 players. lower player count / lower level fights gets a bit less buffs, but lvl 3 are harder than the official rules to balance out.

5 Player
Level 1 Fights : 1 speed , 1 Life trait ("monster lvl")
Level 2 Fights : 1speed, 1 dmg ,2 Life trait ( "monster lvl")
Level 3+ Fights : 1speed, 2 dmg , 3 Life trait ( "monster lvl")
NO EXTRA RESOURCES

6player
Level 1 Fights : 1speed, 1 dmg, 3 Life trait (2 + "monster lvl")
Level 2 Fights : As official, 1 speed, 2 dmg, 4 Life trait (2 + "monster lvl")
Level 3+ Fights : 1 speed, 3 dmg, 5 Life trait (2 + "monster lvl")
NO EXTRA RESOURCES
 
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Raising Spirit
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Balance is quite a problem doing this but I think there is a way.

things to take in consideration.

You want resources for all the characters to have some gear, si no increasing the amount of resources would be bad in my opinion.

Having a game with 5 or 6 players i think you can simply have 6 survivors and balance the game in that spot.

Having more survivors and more resources will impact in:

1) amount of survivors you need for a showdown;
2) number of endeivours per settlement fase;
3) amount of dmg the party can stands;
4) amount of actions and damage the party can do;
5) amount of gear need to equip all the party;

settlement fase:

the population can grow much faster du to the extra endeivour, thats not desirable.
should we add a limit?

Innovation should cost 4 resources(the 4th could be your choice), and 2 endeivours.


hunt fase:

the hunt fase maybe longer? like one extra hunt event per monster level


showdown fase:

the hardest and more important fase to balance.

there are so many ways of breaking the small balances in the game,
adding speed will lesen the efect of -1 speed tokens( from skullcap or crits),
adding dmg will distorsion the effect of armor a lot ( in the end is the number of atacks that you can stand in any given location is the only thing that matters),

So how can we do it?

The letality of a monster comes from it IA and Hit locations, so making the monster draw extra IA wont make it +100% deadlier, but it will move further and hit harder, this and adding more IA cards and life trait can do the trick (+50% HP on total I preffer not adding advanced cards only basic so the remaining wounds should come in the form of life trait and only the first wound per turn remove a wound for the trait onles there are no more IA to remove so you can still play to remove especific IA from the monster deck)

I'd like to call this the Outnumbered trait(+1 IA card per turn +50% more HP).

To lessen the frenzy a monster can unleash over a single survivor I think we can add a survival action to hit the ground when you are hit by the monster, like encourage, it can come from any other survivor.
 
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Raising Spirit
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My sugestion is to keep balance for experienced players that know how to handle agro and minimice IA strengths, It may be harder in the mid game than the version sugested in the core game.( but easier at the lion lvl 1 so it may be good enought and leave time to learn)
 
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Sam E-R
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I have a total group of 7 who play together based on who's available (we've had 4-6 except during the tutorial). We've only played a few sessions, but so far the 5-6 player rule has proved absolutely devastating compared to the 4 player game, to the point where we're discussing house rules to modify it.

At the moment, having extra players gives the party proportionally more experience, hits to soak up, survival, and actions. i.e. we gain 25-50% more, but no extra resources. With worse gear, more hits often results in more failed wounds, actually giving the monster more attacks.

The monsters gain things differently. Disregarding the extra life, the lion goes from a baseline of 2 damage a round to 9. The butcher from 6 to 20 (split across 2 AI cards). The problem with this isn't necessarily the level of scaling (although that's probably part of it), but also how devastating a single monster action becomes, to the point that our decisions regarding strategy and gear allocation is less meaningful. We've been doing okay against the level 1 lions, only losing about a third of us per hunt, but we just realised that we've been cheating a whole lot by using dodge more than once per round.

I'm aware that the difficulty may change significantly as we get more gear and face scarier opponents. We're still early in our campaign, but against our opponents, the correct strategic move seems to be, quite clearly, to only take 4 hunters. This is why we're looking at house rules.

I've seen some players mention allowing only 4 players to act each round. I don't like this, as it adds options and health pools without giving the monster a way to cut them down. Other suggestions include scaling the stats with the number of players.

What we're likely to try next is giving the monster an extra AI card per round, and possibly having that card come out during the round after 3 players have acted. This roughly doubles the monster power (with a slight weakness if it doesn't stand up on the extra card when knocked down), or adds half again for the butcher. We'll give it a go and tweak it as necessary.
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Nick Wirtz
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My group just kept everything but the damage tokens for a few scenarios-- definitely rougher than the core, but at least it wasn't heinous damage output like you pointed out.

I might try every monster gets an extra basic action, to see how that worked?
 
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