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Subject: Regarding the lack of dice ... rss

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Eric Bridge
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So there are no dice, to avoid swingy/random combat. But there ARE cards like "double-damage" and "total whiff" (no damage). And if I understand correctly, these cards get shuffled back into the modifier deck each time they come up? (I might be wrong on this though.)

If they DO keep getting shuffled in, what's to stop our combats from being just as swingy/random, as we prepare huge attacks (which we have to discard btw) and then we totally miss? Can't the same thing happen again on the next turn? Isn't it just like rolling a 1 on a d20 twice in a row?

If the above IS possible, might there also be an option to "exert" ourselves in some way to maybe draw another modifier card?

Please advise.
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Alex Sundown
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You're right. The chance of missing two or even several times in a row is there, but it's not going to happen very often. I played several games with the print and play version and haven't seen it myself yet. But it's evenly likely to draw two 2x cards in a row so it balances itself out. It's there to still have some uncertainty and excitement left. But if it's too random for you, the rule book even lists the following game variant:
Rule Book wrote:
Game Variant: Reduced Randomness

If players desire to reduce the variance in damage caused by the standard “2x” and the “Null” attack modifier cards in every deck, they can instead treat both of these cards as a +0 modifier. Players should still shuffle the corresponding attack modifier deck at the end of a round after one of these cards is drawn.
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toeknee n
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ebridge wrote:
So there are no dice, to avoid swingy/random combat. But there ARE cards like "double-damage" and "total whiff" (no damage). And if I understand correctly, these cards get shuffled back into the modifier deck each time they come up? (I might be wrong on this though.)

If they DO keep getting shuffled in, what's to stop our combats from being just as swingy/random, as we prepare huge attacks (which we have to discard btw) and then we totally miss? Can't the same thing happen again on the next turn? Isn't it just like rolling a 1 on a d20 twice in a row?

If the above IS possible, might there also be an option to "exert" ourselves in some way to maybe draw another modifier card?

Please advise.


Yes, all discarded modifier cards get reshuffled in once you draw 2x or null. It may get swingy like that, but I find that exciting. You're welcome to remove those cards to reduce the variation though. See pg. 49.

Edit: ninja
Edit2: I should clarify that by "removing those cards" I meant treat them as no effect; that is, as +0 as mentioned above. Removing them completely would mess with the probabilities in the deck, especially once you add perks.
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Greg
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I'm happy to have some swingyness, pure deterministic combat would suck.
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Eric Bridge
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Thanks guys. We may either play with the variant, OR leave them out of the deck once they come up one time. It's nice to know it can be easily house-ruled if desired.

 
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Eric Bridge
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Hahma wrote:
I'm happy to have some swingyness, pure deterministic combat would suck.


I agree. I'm just wondering then what the big difference is between this and dice though (other than being easier and taking up less room).
 
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Isaac Childres
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Just to clarify, the shuffle happens at the end of the round, not immediately.
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toeknee n
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ebridge wrote:
Hahma wrote:
I'm happy to have some swingyness, pure deterministic combat would suck.


I agree. I'm just wondering then what the big difference is between this and dice though (other than being easier and taking up less room).


Your modifier deck can change with perks, blessings, and curses!

Edit: See my clarification above about "removing" the 2x and null cards.
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Chris McLeod
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The biggest difference is that with decks, you can know the state of the deck. If the null card is currently in the discard pile, you're not going to draw it. Dice have the same probabilities every time.
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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also dont forget that the deck of modifier cards is also a legacy element and will be heavily modified by:
character level ups
equipment
scenario effects
status conditions (bless and curse)

so it is faaaaaaaar away from being a d20 as you also can remember what you have drawn and only when no damage or double damage is drawn it will be shuffled. Also the number of cards in the deck is highly flexible depending on the circumstances above.
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Jared
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What makes dice so swingy is that I can roll ten times and get a 1 each time or roll ten times and get a six each time. Every single roll is completely random.

With the deck, even before you draw a single card you know your odds as you know the decks composition. If you drew five cards you know you have X out of Y chance of drawing X. You will also be modifying your deck as you level, ditching some cards and adding others.
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Todd T
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seejay wrote:
The biggest difference is that with decks, you can know the state of the deck. If the null card is currently in the discard pile, you're not going to draw it. Dice have the same probabilities every time.


If you draw either the Null or 2X card, you reshuffle at the end of the round. This effectively resets your odds. Until you reshuffle, though, you get a better sense of the modifiers left in the deck and being able to count these cards would be handy.

Since the game uses cards instead of dice, you get options to optimize your game experience as your character gets perks over time. This could probably be done with a D20 where each slot represents a modifier, but as long as you sleeve your modifier cards, it's not a lot to shuffle.
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Alex Sundown
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ebridge wrote:
I agree. I'm just wondering then what the big difference is between this and dice though (other than being easier and taking up less room).

The attack modifier deck can be upgraded and customized! Every time you level up you will get one perk. And any time a character successfully completes a battle goal card at the end of a scenario, they receive a number of checkmarks, which are tracked in the specified area of the notes section of their character sheet. For every three checkmarks a character earns, he or she immediately gains an additional perk on their character sheet and applies its effects to their attack modifier deck.

The ever evolving attack modifier deck is one of the main sources of increased character power. Just take a look at the perks of the Scoundrel for example to see what a big difference these perks will haven during late game.


/edit: ninja You guys are all on fire today!
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Eric Bridge
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Is there a perk to ever remove the null though? If there's not, and it goes back in, it seems like a roughly 5% chance each time. I appreciate that about the end of the round though. That helps.

It does seem that in typical dungeon crawls most rolls are all or nothing, so I do like the variable damage to a certain extent. It's just the (admittedly low) possibility of repeatedly missing (and to be fair, repeatedly double-damaging) that I feel could SERIOUSLY determine the outcome of a round.

If this happens on your 2 biggest attacks and/or the most crucial moments of the game, and you get crushed as a result, are you losing because of lack of proper strategy, or because the cards (dice) hated you?
 
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Phil McDonald
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I get buckets o' dice with Descent Road to legend and World of Warcraft the boardgame. I'm really looking forward to a diceless system and this one looks incredibly cool.
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Montgomery Box
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When you are changing your cards with the perks, some of the perks will let you add more cards in, rather than taking cards out. So you might have a battle deck that's 30 cards (reducing the odds of the null). Mind you, you can also take cards out (I think a one class can get down to like a 10 card deck!).
 
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Jeppe Bøttger
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No perks to remove the null (in the base characters at least).

If you dislike it, just play with the game variant that removes Null and Crit.

Sure, you might miss on your biggest attack, but then one of you minor attacks might do double damage and it's all good. The changes of luck seriously screwing you over is really slim. I'd worry more about the enemy action cards.

Personally, I love the card modifiers, but do what best suits your playstyle.

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Johannes Benedikt
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The deck mechanics introduce much needed excitement to an otherwise very formulaic and emtionless deterministic combat.

Each attack could be a miss, do less or more damage, so you can't plan 100% and attacking remains exciting and eventfull.

Differences between this deck and a normal die:
-) The deck is customisable.
-) Probability of repeated misses is very slim (if you know how to shuffle cards... correctly )
-) Once a few cards have been drawn, you can deduce the probability of drawing certain modifiers, yet critical hit and miss always remain, so comabt remains exciting.


To me 100% deterministic combat is very unexciting and mathy hence breaking the immersion of combat-actions. I greatly prefer dice, because rolling these cubes just feels exciting and introduces factors you can't 100% control (which evokes a combat feel nicely). If this game hadn't this great deck mechanic that even capitalizes on its strength by being designed to be highly costumizable (something that can't be done with dice), I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have backed this game.
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Bob Allen
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The cards make for variable probability.

If you have a deck of 16 cards. 1/2 are red, 1/4 are blue, and 1/4 are gold.
Good shuffle
Start with a 50% chance of red, 25% change of blue, and a 25% chance of gold.
draw a card say it was a red one, and resolve and put in a discard pile.
Now you only have 7 red, 4 blue and 4 gold.
7/15 chance for red, 4/15 chance for blue or gold.
Next you draw a blue one.
7/14 change of red, 3/14 chance of blue and 4/14 chance of gold.
back to 50$ chance of red, less than 22% chance for blue, and over a 28% chance of gold.

You cannot get variable probability with dice. Serpent's Tongue uses a draw bag and chips for a similar effect against encounters, Duel of Ages II has multi-purpose challenge cards.

Eventually you will draw the bad card or the amazing card. With dice you could roll 1 over and over again with no guarantee the 20 will ever show up

With dice every roll has the same probability.


 
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Jarad Bond
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bobweekend wrote:
Eventually you will draw the bad card or the amazing card. With dice you could roll 1 over and over again with no guarantee the 20 will ever show up

With dice every roll has the same probability.

Even cooler is the ability for items and talents to modify the modifier deck. I don't know what's in the game now, but you could potentially find magical items that remove the critical hit or fumble cards and reduce the risk, or some that might add more in. More opportunity for tradeoffs too.

Sure, I'll strap on this dagger dripping with poison. It grants an extra critical and a couple +2 modifier cards, but also an extra fumble. What fun!
 
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Jo Bartok
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I see these cards as dice.
*shrug*
 
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Vince R.
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ionas wrote:
I see these cards as dice.
*shrug*


That's fine, see 'em how you want...but mathematically you are objectively incorrect.
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Eric Bridge
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bobweekend wrote:
The cards make for variable probability.

If you have a deck of 16 cards. 1/2 are red, 1/4 are blue, and 1/4 are gold.
Good shuffle
Start with a 50% chance of red, 25% change of blue, and a 25% chance of gold.
draw a card say it was a red one, and resolve and put in a discard pile.
Now you only have 7 red, 4 blue and 4 gold.
7/15 chance for red, 4/15 chance for blue or gold.
Next you draw a blue one.
7/14 change of red, 3/14 chance of blue and 4/14 chance of gold.
back to 50$ chance of red, less than 22% chance for blue, and over a 28% chance of gold.

You cannot get variable probability with dice. Serpent's Tongue uses a draw bag and chips for a similar effect against encounters, Duel of Ages II has multi-purpose challenge cards.

Eventually you will draw the bad card or the amazing card. With dice you could roll 1 over and over again with no guarantee the 20 will ever show up

With dice every roll has the same probability.



Edited. I was wrong about what exactly gets shuffled back in.
 
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toeknee n
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ebridge wrote:
bobweekend wrote:
The cards make for variable probability.

If you have a deck of 16 cards. 1/2 are red, 1/4 are blue, and 1/4 are gold.
Good shuffle
Start with a 50% chance of red, 25% change of blue, and a 25% chance of gold.
draw a card say it was a red one, and resolve and put in a discard pile.
Now you only have 7 red, 4 blue and 4 gold.
7/15 chance for red, 4/15 chance for blue or gold.
Next you draw a blue one.
7/14 change of red, 3/14 chance of blue and 4/14 chance of gold.
back to 50$ chance of red, less than 22% chance for blue, and over a 28% chance of gold.

You cannot get variable probability with dice. Serpent's Tongue uses a draw bag and chips for a similar effect against encounters, Duel of Ages II has multi-purpose challenge cards.

Eventually you will draw the bad card or the amazing card. With dice you could roll 1 over and over again with no guarantee the 20 will ever show up

With dice every roll has the same probability.



With this game you still have little to no guarantee that the X2 will ever show up, because of forced shuffling. Sorry, but it seems to me that since these 2 cards are shuffled back in, but the others are not, you have increased odds of drawing them again.


The whole discard gets shuffled in again, not just the 2x or null.

Edit: pg. 11 "At the end of the round in which a “Null” or “2x” card is drawn from a deck, players will shuffle all the played modifier cards back into that particular draw deck. This shuffling also happens if a modifier card must be drawn and there are none left in the draw pile."
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Vince R.
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ebridge wrote:

With this game you still have little to no guarantee that the X2 will ever show up, because of forced shuffling. Sorry, but it seems to me that since these 2 cards are shuffled back in, but the others are not, you have increased odds of drawing them again. When you're comparing it to the odds of repeated die rolls, these are ever increasing worse odds, not better.

Say I choose perks that remove the -1 cards (We've been told there is no perk to remove the null). That's awesome, but I'm also INCREASING the odds that I'll draw the null card (and, in fairness, also the x2 card). When I finally draw the null card, it goes back in at the end of the round, but the other cards do not. So if it was 1 in 18 chance at start of scenario to get the null, now it might be 1 in 12, then 1 in 8, etc. However we've been told that the odds of seeing the null repeatedly in the same game is very slim. I just hope that this is truly the case. Like I said though, if it becomes a problem there are easy ways to adjust the game around this.


ALL played modifier cards get shuffled back in if a reshuffle card comes out, not just the reshuffled card:

pg. 11
"At the end of the round in which a “Null” or “2x” card is drawn from a deck, players will shuffle all the played modifier cards back into that particular draw deck. This shuffling also happens if a modifier card must be drawn and there are none left in the draw pile."

Edit: Jinx, DoctaWho
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