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Fury of Dracula (third edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Thematic reasoning for the Fury of Dracula ability rss

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Chris Merritt
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There have been many complaints regarding Dracula's FoD ability and the whole "Pirate Dracula" strategy, but it started me thinking about why the ability exists thematically. Sure, mechanically it is to prevent the game from dragging on eternally, but thematically what is Dracula doing that allows him to gain influence with every step? How should this change the way the game plays once the ability activates?

My thought is that after three weeks of time, Dracula is no longer being secretive with his actions. His influence is spreading rapidly because he is making vampires at an accelerated rate, not caring who notices. Essentially, he is no longer in hiding. So, by that token, I think once Dracula's FoD ability has triggered and he is in a city, he should be revealed at all times. The exception to this would be if he goes to sea, as it is easy for a ship to lose itself in the expanse of the ocean, but as soon as he lands he would again be revealed.

What would this accomplish? Well, it's not exactly a resolution to the "Pirate Dracula" problem, as the Dracula player could still run out week three at sea. However, he will take damage during that time and upon returning to land he will be revealed for the Hunters, who can then take steps to meet up and attack him. If Dracula has played well, he should only be a few points away from victory at this point anyway, meaning the Hunters likely only have a turn or two to stop him. If not, then the Hunters could have three or even four turns in order to gang up on the vampire and dispatch him.

My theory is that this variant will, if nothing else, lead to a more climactic ending as the Hunters at least have the opportunity for one last battle with the Count before the end of the game, a weakened Count if he's been at sea for the week, rather than having them bumble around for the last two turns with no idea where Dracula is located.

As mentioned in another thread, I've barely been able to play the game at all, despite having owned it for over a year now, so I have not play tested this variant at all. But rather than fiddle with the "Pirate Dracula" issue directly and try to counter it by changing the Influence gained by FoD ability or only triggering it if there are x number of sea zone cards in the trail, I felt just having Dracula reveal himself to the world might be a simpler and more thematic approach.

My apologies if anyone has suggested this before, but I didn't see a thread that looked like the idea existed already.

Thoughts?
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Randal Divinski
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I think this is a new and interesting idea. It has possibilities.

Two variants to your variant:
A. "When the FOD ability triggers, also reveal the leftmost OLDEST unrevealed non-sea location on the trail." OR

B. "When the FOD ability triggers, reveal all sea locations on the trail. If there are no unrevealed sea locations, then reveal the leftmost OLDEST unrevealed location."

My sense is that this might work best as a "catch up" mechanic. If the hunters are already converging on Dracula, who is a few Influence from victory, it might spoil a close game. Perhaps Dracula could forfeit 2 Influence to cancel the reveal of sea locations, or forfeit 1 influence to cancel the reveal of a land location.

EDIT: changed "leftmost" to "oldest" as suggested below to make this clearer. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Chris Merritt
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Yeah, it would take some playtesting to work out the kinks and see if any alteration to the base idea is needed or not.

I do find the idea of forfeiting influence to cancel the reveal appealing. That would lessen the gain from the FoD ability, which would suggest that Dracula is not being so careless with his machinations. Though perhaps limit it to only being able to be used if Dracula is one or two roads away from a Hunter. That would let the Hunters know they are close to the Count without giving away the exact position.

With this cost to prevent the reveal, a Dracula player who has done well all game should still just need only a turn or two to win whereas one who has done poorly could need the FoD ability to trigger 10 times or more if they continue cancelling the reveal.
 
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joekeck
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randiv wrote:
I think this is a new and interesting idea. It has possibilities.

Two variants to your variant:
A. "When the FOD ability triggers, also reveal the leftmost unrevealed non-sea location on the trail." OR

B. "When the FOD ability triggers, reveal all sea locations on the trail. If there are no unrevealed sea locations, then reveal the leftmost unrevealed location."

My sense is that this might work best as a "catch up" mechanic. If the hunters are already converging on Dracula, who is a few Influence from victory, it might spoil a close game. Perhaps Dracula could forfeit 2 Influence to cancel the reveal of sea locations, or forfeit 1 influence to cancel the reveal of a land location.

id like to suggest you change 'leftmost' to 'oldest', assuming that's what you meant - it should prevent confusion.
'leftmost' varies depending on where youre sitting, it could mean 'oldest' or 'most recent/current'.
and IIRC 2nd ed rules stated that 'left' and 'right' were from dracula's perspective, making 'leftmost' = current location
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joekeck
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another variant to this variant that springs to my mind is this:

at the end of dracula's turn, if he is in a city, he may reveal his current location to gain influence equal to the amount of despair tokens

this happens anytime during the game, don't have to wait for third despair.
maybe he can even do this at sea
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Chris Merritt
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keckles wrote:
another variant to this variant that springs to my mind is this:

at the end of dracula's turn, if he is in a city, he may reveal his current location to gain influence equal to the amount of despair tokens

this happens anytime during the game, don't have to wait for third despair.
maybe he can even do this at sea


randiv posted this same variant (or close to it) in another thread and my concerns are the same. If Dracula can shake the Hunters adequately, he would be able to gain a good amount of Influence in a short time. Especially in Week 3, where he could likely obtain 4-6 Influence before needing to flee the approaching Hunters, and if he can jump to sea he may be able to do it again upon landing.

I put a spin on that idea by putting forth the idea of allowing the Hunters to do something to remove Influence. Say -1 Influence when a vampire is killed or similar. It would make the game more of a tug of war and give the Hunters even more reasons to track down vampires.

In any case, I fear that such a variant would incredibly favor Dracula, in a game that many people fear is already in his favor with the Rumor tokens, his powers, and the "Pirate Dracula" strategy.
 
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joekeck
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COMaestro wrote:
keckles wrote:
another variant to this variant that springs to my mind is this:

at the end of dracula's turn, if he is in a city, he may reveal his current location to gain influence equal to the amount of despair tokens

this happens anytime during the game, don't have to wait for third despair.
maybe he can even do this at sea


randiv posted this same variant (or close to it) in another thread and my concerns are the same. If Dracula can shake the Hunters adequately, he would be able to gain a good amount of Influence in a short time. Especially in Week 3, where he could likely obtain 4-6 Influence before needing to flee the approaching Hunters, and if he can jump to sea he may be able to do it again upon landing.

I put a spin on that idea by putting forth the idea of allowing the Hunters to do something to remove Influence. Say -1 Influence when a vampire is killed or similar. It would make the game more of a tug of war and give the Hunters even more reasons to track down vampires.

In any case, I fear that such a variant would incredibly favor Dracula, in a game that many people fear is already in his favor with the Rumor tokens, his powers, and the "Pirate Dracula" strategy.



based on my experience (played 8ish times) I was thinking the opposite was more likely - it might help the hunters too much if drac revealed his current location.
theyd probably jump on a train and stomp on him before he can slip away.
He's not likely to use this ability before week 3 (2 despair) because its not worth risking revealing himself unless itll get him at least 2 influence.
I doubt he would be able to use this ability enough until its time for the game to end anyway.

In case I wasn't clear, I meant for this idea to completely replace the fury ability, Not to be used with any version of the fury ability.
But if you think its too strong then you could give him one fewer influence than the number of despair tokens if he reveals his current location at the end of his turn.


Then again, i often get the feeling that I'm playing a completely different game from everyone else.
everyone says drac is OP, but ive never seen him win (& always used advanced rules). He got close to winning only twice.

Though I do think rumor tokens should probably only get +2 influence, or don't use them at all
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Chris Merritt
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Ah, as a complete replacement to the FoD ability, that could work. I feel it would make Dracula too overpowered as an additional ability, but as a replacement it would give Dracula a method of increasing Influence, but at a great sacrifice to himself.
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