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Dark Souls: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Soulless Grind Variant rss

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Misfiring Chong
Malaysia
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There are already many variants that can make the game easier (Loot Shop, Tiered Loot Deck, Double Souls, etc etc). What if you're one of those that think the game is too easy? What if, as a Solo Gamer, you find your vastly more skilled self just breeze through the game without your allies to hold you back?

Behold the Soulless Grind Variant

This game is designed to be grinded, but don't mistake this with farming. You see, in just about any game (including this one), the more we fight the easier the game becomes. That's not grinding, that's farming. This game is NOT designed to be farmed because the treasure deck is just way too thin, and farming isn't Dark Souls. Grinding is.

This variant ensures that the more you grind, the harder the game becomes.

Here are the rules:

-All rooms start out at Level 1 Encounters (ignore the boss setting).

-Sparks are only used if player dies.

-Luck token is restored after each Encounter.

-Players can reset all encounters after clearing ALL rooms without using a Spark (characters return to the Bonfire tile).

-Souls no longer exists. Each time you cleared an encounter, you'll be able to choose one of the five rewards:

1. Treasure Card. You get one per encounter level, so a Level 3 gives you 3 cards.

2. [Co-op] Treasure Card. You get one per player, regardless of encounter levels.

3. Upgrade one stat on one character to the next Tier, capped by the encounter level. Clearing a Tier 2 allows you to upgrade from Tier 0 to 1, or Tier 1 to 2, but not Tier 2 to 3.

4. [Co-op] Each character choose one of their stat at Tier 0 and upgrade it to Tier 1. Only applicable to stats at Tier 0.

5. Restore your Heroic and Estus tokens (all characters)

-Escalating brutality: Each time player resets the encounters, a single room's encounter (you can choose) gets upgraded to the next level, and the boss gets +1 Soul (explained below). Max at encounter Level 3.

-Raging Boss: Upon heat up, take one heat up card and shuffle as usual, then the boss regains an amount of HP equal to the number of souls it has (up to the maximum hp) and remove all the souls from it. Also from now on, whenever the boss miss an attack completely (straight up miss, does not include dodging), add another heat up card and shuffle all the cards again. When the boss reaches 0 HP, immediately draw and resolve 3 behavior cards, one after another. If the player survives this dying onslaught, the player wins.

-Mountain is steeper the higher one goes: After you've defeated the first boss and proceeds to the next stage, the maximum level for rooms is increased to 6, and all encounters start at level 3. If the room is at Level 3 previously and it gets upgraded once, add a Level 1 in front of it, and players have to fight both encounters back to back (enemies will spawn like they moved into the node, and you do not get to remove your fatigue and wound). If reset again, that Level 1 becomes Level 2.

The next time you defeat a boss and proceed to the next stage (in a campaign or Megaboss), the maximum level for rooms is increased to 9, and all encounters start at level 5.

If cleared a multi card encounter, when you choose to get treasure card you get based on total encounter level (3+2), but for stats you can only upgrade one, no matter how many cards there is in an encounter.
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Alexandre Bouin
France
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Hi Misfiring Chong,

For one time, someone thought above souls rewards calculation.
That a good thing, thanks for this idea.

But I regret the raging boss and encounter level-up variant.
I think game will take longer to finish. Is it your goal ?

I prefer skipping encounter that became too easy.

See you.
Alex.
 
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Drew Olds
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OREM
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I like your change to the rewards system. However, I'm not really on board with the whole thing as it seems like it might make the game longer instead of shorter.

Mostly- I'd like to see a never grind variation where you don't reset enemy encounters instead.

The game's biggest problem right now is that it rewards you for fighting the same dumb fight over and over again- leading to people just skipping the fights and claiming the rewards.

I would much prefer if it let you respect your characters a little when you die, or something like that.
 
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Robert Marney
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The idea that basic encounters get tougher, encouraging you to pay attention instead of just skipping them, is a good one. However, your other mechanics need rethinking.

Removing the 16 starting souls for a single-player game, and doubling the cost of treasures at game start, makes a solo Assassin unplayable. 28% of the treasure deck is a weapon that the assassin can equip, and most of those will require you to beat another round of encounters to pay for level ups. Statistically, the Assassin with 2 dodge dice has a 12.5% chance to fail two dodges in a row and get killed before he activates, much higher if there is a Silver Knight present. Odds are good that I'll run out of sparks before I can afford to get 3 dodge and a better weapon.

Removing the ability to predict the boss's moves not only removes the memorization challenge, but also tactical positioning. Why bother moving anywhere except to the boss's weak spot or directly away from it?

Did your play testing reveal that dodging was too good, so you had to nerf it by making it heat up the boss? I've seen just the opposite: dodge-reliant characters are worse than block-reliant characters, because they can never take zero damage, and always have the risk of immediate death.

Having the boss do a furious rush of post-death attacks can be fun, but it only further encourages me to use the existing best strategies (ranged weapons, miracles and heavy armor) instead of pushing my luck with a heavy weapon, dual weapons, dodging, etc. The only thing worse than losing to the boss is having to quit a boss halfway through because it is physically impossible for you to beat them, because you took a bit of damage and can't dodge 4 attacks in a row without dying.

Finally, this actually makes the end game easier for solo players. With a well-geared character, I'm in no danger from most level 3 encounters, so I'd happily do two of them in exchange for 6 treasure cards.
 
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Misfiring Chong
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odinsgrandson wrote:
I like your change to the rewards system. However, I'm not really on board with the whole thing as it seems like it might make the game longer instead of shorter.

Mostly- I'd like to see a never grind variation where you don't reset enemy encounters instead.

The game's biggest problem right now is that it rewards you for fighting the same dumb fight over and over again- leading to people just skipping the fights and claiming the rewards.

I would much prefer if it let you respect your characters a little when you die, or something like that.


This is what you're looking for: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1784659/grindless-variant
 
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Misfiring Chong
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Robyrt wrote:
The idea that basic encounters get tougher, encouraging you to pay attention instead of just skipping them, is a good one. However, your other mechanics need rethinking.

Removing the 16 starting souls for a single-player game, and doubling the cost of treasures at game start, makes a solo Assassin unplayable. 28% of the treasure deck is a weapon that the assassin can equip, and most of those will require you to beat another round of encounters to pay for level ups. Statistically, the Assassin with 2 dodge dice has a 12.5% chance to fail two dodges in a row and get killed before he activates, much higher if there is a Silver Knight present. Odds are good that I'll run out of sparks before I can afford to get 3 dodge and a better weapon.

Removing the ability to predict the boss's moves not only removes the memorization challenge, but also tactical positioning. Why bother moving anywhere except to the boss's weak spot or directly away from it?

Did your play testing reveal that dodging was too good, so you had to nerf it by making it heat up the boss? I've seen just the opposite: dodge-reliant characters are worse than block-reliant characters, because they can never take zero damage, and always have the risk of immediate death.

Having the boss do a furious rush of post-death attacks can be fun, but it only further encourages me to use the existing best strategies (ranged weapons, miracles and heavy armor) instead of pushing my luck with a heavy weapon, dual weapons, dodging, etc. The only thing worse than losing to the boss is having to quit a boss halfway through because it is physically impossible for you to beat them, because you took a bit of damage and can't dodge 4 attacks in a row without dying.

Finally, this actually makes the end game easier for solo players. With a well-geared character, I'm in no danger from most level 3 encounters, so I'd happily do two of them in exchange for 6 treasure cards.


Did some fine tuning after considering your feedback, and also to make this variant work better for cooperative play.

-All encounters now start at level 1, ignoring the setting on the boss card. After defeating the mini boss, all encounters will start at level 2.

-Luck token can now be used once per encounter.

-Added two more reward options for cooperative play, basically smooths out the early game.

-Dying onslaught is now fixed at 3 behavior cards. Souls gathered by boss is now used to restore HP upon heat up.

-Heat up upon boss missing an attack now only occurs for if boss totally miss everyone, not when characters dodged an attack.

 
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