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Subject: Automatically loot treasure chests at end of scenario...would this work? rss

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Todd F
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Hi, my group is early in the game (just completed Scenario 2) and the one rule we really hate is that when the scenario ends, any loot sitting around undefended magically evaporates.

While we understand the intent of this co-opetitive mechanism, not only do we feel it is extremely unthematic and "gamey", but it would seem to encourage replaying scenarios. I was appalled to hear others in the forum do just that: play once to win the scenario, and once to loot it.

Unfortunately, we simply don't have time to replay previously-won scenarios in what will already be a monumentally long game, and we don't want to miss out on all the additional content that chests seemingly provide. IMHO it just seems silly to abide by the letter of the law for an un-fun, unthematic rule.

So, we are now considering the following house rule:

Any unopened, undefended treasure chests are automatically looted at the end of a successfully completed scenario.

So I want to ask those of you who've made it further into the game: should we anticipate any problems if we follow this house rule? (no spoilers please)

(One thing I've heard is that there are some chests that give items. We thought we could simply resolve the item ownership in the most appropriate/fair way in those cases, since it also seems to be a point of contention with the official rules that characters that loot a chest may receive a useless, class-specific item which they cannot trade.)
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AJ Harris
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Not sure how to answer this without being spoilery, but there also may just be some chests that are not so profitable and need to be opened during a scenario...
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Nicholas
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Looting treasure automatically takes a lot out of the game. As you get more familiar with the game, you will be able to loot more treasure chests, as you tend to play more efficiently.
Auto-Loot makes it a lot! easier, especially in scenarios where the chest is out of your main goal.
Having to go for chests makes the game more interesting. And there are chests which contain bad things, so it's always exciting to see what's in the chest.
Simply said: Not auto-looting chests creates more interesting decisions in the game.
There are no real "class specific" items, except for the ones in the solo scenarios. If you get an item in a chest, which you do not want to use, just sell it.
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Moose Detective
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There is a problem with this that won't work for some scenarios.

If you don't have time to loot the chests and you don't want to replay scenarios just consider them lost. Although there may be at least one item someone "needs" too.

Don't consider the lost loot "evaporated", maybe reinforcements came, maybe a cave-in happened and cut you off, maybe you missed someone who escaped with the loot while you were busy killing stuff, maybe it was fool's gold or worthless gems anyway. There are a zillion ways to rationalize missing out on loot if you absolutely need to do so.


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stevelabny wrote:
Don't consider the lost loot "evaporated", maybe reinforcements came, maybe a cave-in happened and cut you off, maybe you missed someone who escaped with the loot while you were busy killing stuff, maybe it was fool's gold or worthless gems anyway. There are a zillion ways to rationalize missing out on loot if you absolutely need to do so.

The best thematic explanation I've heard for the loot drops being gone was that you're moving too quickly through the dungeon to properly kill off your opponents, so you've just incapacitated them (represented by the coin). If you don't "finish them", they'll slink away, taking whatever treasure they had with them. You ending your turn on top of them is taking the extra time to kill them off, and your loot cards are actually powerful area of effect killing blows
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mike heim
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(1) The current rule about loot is a mechanic that's supposed to make for difficult choices during gameplay.

(2) Some chests only make sense if opened during the scenario (not after).

(3) If you were allowed to loot everything afterwards, you'll be swimming in coin and able to get any enchantment without really breaking the bank.

--------

As a long time D&D player, I too felt that the gold influx was a bit slow at the beginning of the game. But you get used to it and will realize it doesn't need houseruled.
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Paulo Renato
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glax wrote:
Hi, my group is early in the game (just completed Scenario 2) and the one rule we really hate is that when the scenario ends, any loot sitting around undefended magically evaporates.

While we understand the intent of this co-opetitive mechanism, not only do we feel it is extremely unthematic and "gamey", but it would seem to encourage replaying scenarios. I was appalled to hear others in the forum do just that: play once to win the scenario, and once to loot it.

Unfortunately, we simply don't have time to replay previously-won scenarios in what will already be a monumentally long game, and we don't want to miss out on all the additional content that chests seemingly provide. IMHO it just seems silly to abide by the letter of the law for an un-fun, unthematic rule.

So, we are now considering the following house rule:

Any unopened, undefended treasure chests are automatically looted at the end of a successfully completed scenario.

So I want to ask those of you who've made it further into the game: should we anticipate any problems if we follow this house rule? (no spoilers please)

(One thing I've heard is that there are some chests that give items. We thought we could simply resolve the item ownership in the most appropriate/fair way in those cases, since it also seems to be a point of contention with the official rules that characters that loot a chest may receive a useless, class-specific item which they cannot trade.)


It says you are a game designer, so you know that things exist in games for a reason... specially in a game like Gloomhaven where there's story Progression and Character Growth...

don't house rule something just because you don't like it... specially after having played two times!!

I have a friend that did the same thing you are suggesting and went even further and said that he didn't like the coins not being picked up when you moved over them, so he just picks the coins when he moves over them and not happy with that at the end of the scenario he picks up half the coins remaining on the board...

It just makes e cringe when people want to change rules of a game without them being broken... just change them because they want an easier time with the game is not cool! Play the game as the designer designed the game to be played.
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Preston Thomas
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I will offer a counterpoint to some of what others are saying. While we do get the chests during the scenario, I do think this is part of playing the scenario and we have yet to fail in opening any of them, we do also halve and split the loot left at the end, though we do try and get as much individually as we can along the way. I do not feel that this is over saturating money into the game, but who knows, and quite frankly, who cares. It's my game and I Willa huserule it how I feel makes it more fun and engaging for my group.

We also only actually play half of the scenarios and "simulate" the rest, but that's a story for another time 😀

It's your game, play how you want 😊
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Ken White
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I love Gloomhaven - I think it is a brilliant piece of art, marrying craft and imagination in a way I have rarely seen.

That being said, the looting is the one mechanic that I think is inconsistent. It is a puzzly bit that is thematically off. I find problems with the justifications for this mechanic - reinforcements come, but I can immediately re-enter the dungeon without a road event? I can hide outside successfully for hours while reinforcements comb the area to find out who murdered their friends, but I can't manage to take another half a turn (or even finish a round) to open the chest I was trying to open? How did I get out of the cave/dungeon without being seen? How did I know that I had to leave RIGHT THEN? The coup-de-grace explanation makes no sense either, because it completely ignores the fact that I've just killed some of these folks by 5 damage and some by 1. Also, why can't I take coup-de-grace/loot turns after I kill (disable??) the last baddie, provided I have some stamina?

The best strategy I've found is not a second dungeon run, but to leave the last guy alive (barely) while others loot. This is thematically dumb - intentional inefficiency as a strategy to overcome a puzzle mechanic? Torture for loot? (Again, I say this as one who thinks Childres is a brilliant designer and that this is a masterful work.)

Looting is the one mechanic that I think pursues puzzle at the cost of theme. That said, it's striking to me that this is the only such issue (and one that I think is easily houseruled). The card mechanic, the leveling, and (especially) the monster mechanics are an amazing marriage of strategy and theme, all in perfect alignment. It just should not be possible to make a game this elegant, where so much of the gameplay is aligned so tightly with the theme and where so much just works.

I've played about 15-20 scenarios solo, in twos, and in fours, so I certainly haven't seen even close to everything the game has to offer. We do try to loot as part of our actions, but if we accidentally kill the last baddie because our initiatives go in a way we didn't expect or we get an unforeseen critical hit, we take the stupid chest if we want it.

It's your game. Feel free to take the stupid chest if you want it.

(Also, I must be doing something wrong, but my main character has never ended a dungeon with more than 15 gold. Loot is still very scarce for us.)
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David Tsang
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As always you can play how you like. With that said I think the loot mechanisms in this game are balanced against character progression rates, and that classes that are built to have an easier/harder time getting loot or chests are built that way with designer intention.

If all loot is split at the end, this is an effective nerf to Scoundrel like classes which gather loot easily. The class is balanced expecting to have more loot and items than the rest of the party. Doing this to chests is a much less drastic change, however, it does break several chests and scenarios in the game.

I recommend playing through using normal rules for at least a few more scenarios. Items (and by extension the usefulness of loot) are very different in this game to most dungeon crawls, where progression to a +X sword is one of the main ways characters advance. The items in GH are typically one offs that add small bonuses or modifications. The main advancements are mostly done through the character cards.
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David Tsang
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Remember that card exhaustion is an important mechanism here. In fact I think the card-based timer is probably the defining design choice in GH. If your party has enough card-stamina to leave the last bad guy hanging in order to loot I think that's fine (Though it's usually more efficient to gather as you go, wastes less movement so doesn't bring you as close to card-exhaustion).

Being able to gather more loot/chests is a gameplay incentive for more efficient/better play. I think houseruling this out changes the game significantly.

If your main objections are thematic arguments, then there are plenty of perfectly thematic ways to imagine this. For instance: loot/treasure tiles are only potential treasures in a Schrodinger sense. You must do a frisk/search that takes TIME in order for them to actually be there. You could also imagine that the defeated enemies slink away with their purses/treasure if you don't take the time to loot them first.
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Brian M
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pwtrash wrote:

...
That being said, the looting is the one mechanic that I think is inconsistent. It is a puzzly bit that is thematically off. I find problems with the justifications for this mechanic - reinforcements come, but I can immediately re-enter the dungeon without a road event? I can hide outside successfully for hours while reinforcements comb the area to find out who murdered their friends, but I can't manage to take another half a turn (or even finish a round) to open the chest I was trying to open?


Just a quick note here - when you finish the scenario goal, the game doesn't end immediately. You finish out the current round, and THEN it's over.
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Anon Y. Mous
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The thing that's an interesting challenge is completing the scenario and looting the chest in the same run. Unfortunately, the mechanics don't provide any incentive to do that.
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Eric Bridge
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It doesn't "break the game", but it will make it easier, since you are not "diverted" by getting those chests, nor will you ever be hurt by one by surprise. You may want to up the difficulty if you're going to do this. You may also want to designate a certain character as your chest runner. My guess would probably be Spellweaver. She has a move 8 "jump" card that she can get back and then use again. Give her an Invis cloak and her frost armor and some other good movement cards and it really shouldn't take her very long.

Another option, if you find it too hard on Normal to also get the chests, is to drop the difficulty down one notch. There's no shame in doing so, and the XP difference is negligible. Would you be able to loot more and get the chests if the monsters were slightly easier to kill?
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Sean Haugh
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glax wrote:
Hi, my group is early in the game (just completed Scenario 2) and the one rule we really hate is that when the scenario ends, any loot sitting around undefended magically evaporates.

While we understand the intent of this co-opetitive mechanism, not only do we feel it is extremely unthematic and "gamey", but it would seem to encourage replaying scenarios. I was appalled to hear others in the forum do just that: play once to win the scenario, and once to loot it.

Unfortunately, we simply don't have time to replay previously-won scenarios in what will already be a monumentally long game, and we don't want to miss out on all the additional content that chests seemingly provide. IMHO it just seems silly to abide by the letter of the law for an un-fun, unthematic rule.

So, we are now considering the following house rule:

Any unopened, undefended treasure chests are automatically looted at the end of a successfully completed scenario.

So I want to ask those of you who've made it further into the game: should we anticipate any problems if we follow this house rule? (no spoilers please)

(One thing I've heard is that there are some chests that give items. We thought we could simply resolve the item ownership in the most appropriate/fair way in those cases, since it also seems to be a point of contention with the official rules that characters that loot a chest may receive a useless, class-specific item which they cannot trade.)


Play in the way that is most entertaining to you. It is your game to do with as you wish. I personally use the 'half the remaining coin' pickup houserule and it has not lessened my enjoyment of it in any way (despite some people insisting otherwise). Having said that, as some others have mentioned chests are a bit of a different animal in that you're not guaranteed to get something good, and resolving a bad outcome after a scenario's been completed isn't going to work very well. I will say you'll get better at grabbing those chests as you get better at the overall game so perhaps get a few more scenarios/character levels under your belt before implementing this. If you do go ahead with, possibly carrying over the negative consequences to the next scenario might be a way to resolve it, although this might actually be worse for you than opening the chest when you find it!
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Nathan Stiles
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I'd not do this. There's already threads on auto-looting coins for 50% value, and yadda-yadda you can read, but here are some points to consider (some repeats mentioned previously).

1) What if the chest says, "remove one elite from play" or "open door X"-- not only is the effect worthless, but with your rule there is no motivation to ever loot it. (no spoilers, I just made those up and haven't seen them).
2) Chests either add to the city, or give to the looter-- how do you determine who looted them? Seems weird.
3) Chests are part of the puzzle-- there are scenarios that would be very easy if the chests weren't where they are. Making a second run easier, and a victory the first time around much more rewarding.
4) Mechanics-- being able to loot or not loot is a good indication whether you are playing at the right level.

Thematic explanation: the problem with thematic explanations is players generally are looking for them with a mechanical (omniscience) mind set. Thematically, there's nothing to say there wasn't a bandit or monster left to loot them. Or another adventuring party in your wake. You don't think of this, b/c you (as a player, and not your thematic adventurer) have an omniscience view of the scenario and don't see a standee or rules from them.

Cave ins was suggested; and there are literally hundreds of thematic examples if you want them.

Alternative: I believe in offering alternatives. Even though I wouldn't play this way, if it bothers you to leave them behind, try this. Why not auto-loot chests, but only by characters that are in the same room as a chest, and within range 4 at the end of the scenario. You could say that thematically he/she is close enough to save them on the way out. It also forces you to try to some degree, and not just cheese through the dungeon.
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Nathan Ehlers
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Seems to be another one of those "I don't like the game as designed, so I'm going to play a different game" threads. The answer, as always, is you do you. Whatever it takes to have fun, it's just a game. There are certainly mechanical reasons the designer made the choices he did. And certainly, when you start pulling out those thread the game starts to crack and break. But playing by the rules is probably secondary to your group having fun. So again, you do you.

To the explicit question (without spoilers), yes, your house rule makes the treasure aspect of the game problematic both in terms of making it easier on you by just taking buffs and loot for free and in terms of up ending certain scenario designs. You'll be able to make up some on the spot decision/justification for how to paste over the cracks.
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Manderson
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The whole point of the mechanic is to make give a cost to getting chests and coins, and encourages you to play less recklessly, keeping stamina for looting.

One fair houserule, imo, is if you have lots of stamina (cards) left, you get 1 coin. Otherwise, you should be running to chests/etc while the last monster is alive in order to get it.

If you miss a chest, there's nothing stopping you from doing the scenario in casual mode.
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Richard Ham
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pwtrash wrote:
The best strategy I've found is not a second dungeon run, but to leave the last guy alive (barely) while others loot.

Sounds like it's time for you to bump up to the next difficulty level
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SaintHax wrote:
Thematic explanation: the problem with thematic explanations is players generally are looking for them with a mechanical (omniscience) mind set. Thematically, there's nothing to say there wasn't a bandit or monster left to loot them.


Those darned oozes! goo


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that Matt
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glax wrote:
So, we are now considering the following house rule:

https://boardgamegeek.com/forum/1610972/gloomhaven/variants
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David Latimore
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Why ever loot a chest then if you know you're going to get it automatically?

Seems unfun to me.

If you really really want to house rule it, you should add some heavy penalty to go with it. Like, everyone has to lose a perk, permanently. You have to increase the difficulty of the next scenario to Very Hard.

Or, provide a cost depending on what is in the chest. Examples:

Gold/XP/Checkmarks - No one gets it.

Item - Goes to the shop and costs double the first time it is purchased (doesn't count if purchased by a retiring character).

Item Design - only 1 copy goes to the shop, and costs double the first time is purchased.

Side scenario - Lose 50 collective gold to unlock the scenario.

Some negative effect - automatically apply this effect to all characters at the beginning of the next scenario.

Doing something like this will provide heavy incentive to get the chests without having to replay scenarios.
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Scott Seifert
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If you miss a treasure chest, it's easy enough to just replay the scenario, make a beeline for the chest, and then quit. And because this is so easy, I wouldn't fault you for not going through the motions and just taking the loot.

House rules can't fix that, so show some self-restraint. Play as if you only had one chance at the chest; only loot missed chests if you think you deserve it.
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Jared
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The chests add a to the agony of choices that make strategy games so fun. At some point you will have to choose between taking the loot or taking a 'normal' turn. If you are not efficient in your strategy the cost is severe but if you're efficient, it works out well.

Stripping it out would be like taking out the combat modifiers because it's easier. you can, but why ungame the game?

Keep in mind "Loot X" loots in all hexes, X away from the character. That's a pretty good range. Also, if you end your turn in the space, auto-loot at the end of your turn. With this in mind, if you can't sacrifice some Move to land on the same space, get close and only forfeit half your actions next round by using a Loot action.
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Bart Keys
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While this game is cooperative the looting is definitely competitive.

My MT was the bane of the party, he would often run off and loot a chest rather than fight the enemy. This affected the way the game progressed, and it was fun too boot. Now I'm on the other side, I find my new character has a hard time getting loot, I've resigned myself to very little loot, I think it's going to be more interesting/fun having to scrape for each bit of loot I can find. (true so far.)

I'm left wondering how an auto loot system would work out:
1. Division of loot items/coins etc..
2. How would you do the bad chests effects, these can make a big difference to the game, they can change the balance entirely.
3. What are you leaving other parties to find new stuff if your first run through involves auto collects all the loot possible?

Finally I'd guess that most of the stuff you get from chests you can probably get though other methods anyway. Emphasis on the "Guess" My advice would be if you want all the loot take a class that is good at getting loot, the MT or the rogue.
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