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Spirit Island» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: PBF Play rss

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Kenneth H
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Has anybody given thought to forum play for this excellent game? It seems like it might work well and move pretty quickly. I hesitate for a long time over my growth and power options in a live game. The PBF format would alleviate that a bit and give me time to plan my moves better.
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Brian Blankstein
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It's something I've started to think about a little bit. I find a lot of value in being able to point to things in the game, which might be tougher in a PBF. Eric has been toying with a system of notation that could be useful here: https://greaterthangames.com/comment/172904#comment-172904
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James Dalley
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I'd be interested in giving it a shot. I have no problem being a guinea pig for testing it out.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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There are two tools I can see being needed:

One for dealing from a deck, especially for the power cards. (I suspect it might bog down too much if a moderator has to hand out the power card draws.) Are there automated tools for that?

And I think we would need something to draw the maps. There must be standard software for that? I'm not sure what it should look like: I know from editing the rulebook that there's difficulty in showing a lot of invaders in a land.
 
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Justin S.
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Yeah, it seems like a good candidate. If I had better graphics skills, I'd have brought it up myself. I'm not sure if the simultaneous nature of turns helps or hurts. I'd be willing to guinea pig too, if we've gotten it okayed with the designer.
 
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R. Eric Reuss
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I'm fine with PBF! Check with the publisher before using any of the published game's art assets, though (eg: the terrain textures).

I agree that the simultaneous / interleaved play may be challenging to handle; in face-to-face games it's common to see someone say, "wait, before you do that, could you let me..." I don't know if it might help to have two threads per game - one for discussion (which often includes hypotheticals), one for actual mechanical play/results and summaries of board state?

On the bright side, the Urgency of War sidebar on p.8 works quite well with "Post your Spirit Phase choices by $DATETIME" deadlines. :-)
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Dylan Thurston
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darker wrote:
On the bright side, the Urgency of War sidebar on p.8 works quite well with "Post your Spirit Phase choices by $DATETIME" deadlines. :-)
Oh, that's a good thought!
 
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Justin S.
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darker wrote:
I'm fine with PBF! Check with the publisher before using any of the published game's art assets, though (eg: the terrain textures).


Yeah, I thought you probably would be..but it's always a good idea to check. I
I'd also like to thank you for helping kill my free time. I'm spending way more time than I should thinking about that game.
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Jonathan Zev
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The invader deck could be handled pretty easily by BGG's dice rolling features.

eg:

First Explore 1custom4{W;S;J;M} -> ( M) -> ( M)
Second Explore 1custom3{J;W;S} -> ( J) -> ( J)
1custom2{S;W} -> ( W) -> ( W)
1custom5{J;S;W;M;C} -> ( W) -> ( W)
(skipping ahead to the first Stage 3 roll):
1custom6{J/W;J/M;J/S;W/M;W/S;M/S} -> ( J/W) -> ( J/W)

You could in theory use the same feature for drawing power cards, fear cards, and event cards, but you'd have to list every single one (except for those that have already been drawn), so it would be difficult (and the dice rolling feature may be limited to the number of options it can list)

As far as fitting everything on the map goes, you can save some space on crowded spaces by listing counts (5 explorers, etc) rather than displaying every individual piece. There's still 6 different types of pieces though, plus 4 token types once you add the expansion, and strife must go below specific invaders.
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  • 1123084. Arcanist Lupus
  • 1custom4{W;S;J;M} =
  • ( M) =
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  • 1123087. Arcanist Lupus
  • 1custom2{S;W} =
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  • 1123088. Arcanist Lupus
  • 1custom5{J;S;W;M;C} =
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  • Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:51 am
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  • 1123090. Arcanist Lupus
  • 1custom6{J/W;J/M;J/S;W/M;W/S;M/S} =
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  • Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:52 am
Dylan Thurston
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Arcanist Lupus wrote:
You could in theory use the same feature for drawing power cards, fear cards, and event cards, but you'd have to list every single one (except for those that have already been drawn), so it would be difficult (and the dice rolling feature may be limited to the number of options it can list)
You could count things off by number. But it sounds painful. This must come up in plenty of other PBF games, right?

Quote:
As far as fitting everything on the map goes, you can save some space on crowded spaces by listing counts (5 explorers, etc) rather than displaying every individual piece. There's still 6 different types of pieces though, plus 4 token types once you add the expansion, and strife must go below specific invaders.
I was also thinking about using letters rather than images? Or, hey, we have standard icons for everything, which are designed to be legible at standard text sizes. I think everything would fit if done in the style of the initial placements.
 
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Jonathan Zev
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dthurston wrote:
You could count things off by number. But it sounds painful. This must come up in plenty of other PBF games, right?

I think most games use a moderator. In many games card draws are hidden information, so a moderator is necessary.

So far every game I've visited to see how they do it hasn't had an active PBF section. So I have no idea.

Quote:
I was also thinking about using letters rather than images? Or, hey, we have standard icons for everything, which are designed to be legible at standard text sizes. I think everything would fit if done in the style of the initial placements.
Ooh! That's a good idea! The icons should probably be given white background squares though, or they'll be hard to make out against the boards. And the presence should probably just be colored circles.
 
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R. Eric Reuss
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For decks, someone could set up a PBF thread for each deck type - "eg, Shuffled Fear Decks (base game only)" - in which each post was the contents of a shuffled deck (or the max needed cards), under spoiler tags, with each spoiler tag labeled (eg: "Fear Card #4" or "Minor Power Draw #3") and containing one draw. (So 1 card for Fear, 4 cards for Powers).

This would work fine for Fear, Invader Cards, Events, and the first pass through each Power deck, but would be problematic for Powers if you needed to reshuffle.

(Some sort of online deck-tracking app would probably be much better, but I'm not sure what's out there.)
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Dylan Thurston
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darker wrote:
For decks, someone could set up a PBF thread for each deck type - "eg, Shuffled Fear Decks (base game only)" - in which each post was the contents of a shuffled deck (or the max needed cards), under spoiler tags, with each spoiler tag labeled (eg: "Fear Card #4" or "Minor Power Draw #3") and containing one draw. (So 1 card for Fear, 4 cards for Powers).

This would work fine for Fear, Invader Cards, Events, and the first pass through each Power deck, but would be problematic for Powers if you needed to reshuffle.

(Some sort of online deck-tracking app would probably be much better, but I'm not sure what's out there.)
Ooh, that's great! Reshuffling is fine, it happens like once a game or so. You would occasionally have to readjust if someone plays Unlock the Gates of Deepest Power (Branch&Claw Major), so maybe packets of 2 are safer.
 
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Brian Blankstein
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dthurston wrote:
darker wrote:
For decks, someone could set up a PBF thread for each deck type - "eg, Shuffled Fear Decks (base game only)" - in which each post was the contents of a shuffled deck (or the max needed cards), under spoiler tags, with each spoiler tag labeled (eg: "Fear Card #4" or "Minor Power Draw #3") and containing one draw. (So 1 card for Fear, 4 cards for Powers).

This would work fine for Fear, Invader Cards, Events, and the first pass through each Power deck, but would be problematic for Powers if you needed to reshuffle.

(Some sort of online deck-tracking app would probably be much better, but I'm not sure what's out there.)
Ooh, that's great! Reshuffling is fine, it happens like once a game or so. You would occasionally have to readjust if someone plays Unlock the Gates of Deepest Power (Branch&Claw Major), so maybe packets of 2 are safer.


All individual players really need independent access to are the powers, right? Why not just have everyone handle their own power card decks (physical decks or randomized spreadsheet or any other method) and either:
1) Decide that the chance that two people end up drafting the same power is an acceptable risk.

or

2) Have everyone announce the power that they gain when they gain it, and the other players can remove that power from their decks.

Fear, Events, and Invader Cards can all be run by one of the players; that person should be making sure that everyone is done with their actions in a particular phase before advancing to the next one anyway.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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You have good points, grysqrl. My one hesitation there is that I personally wouldn't want to devote my Spirit Island set to the PBF for the duration of the game. But then, I often do that kind of randomisation by computer anyway, using Emacs and keyboard macros.
 
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Justin S.
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Yeah, I know I'm playing often enough to not want to tie up my cards. When I'm modding, I create a spreadsheet..which won't work if I can't know the cards ahead of time.

That said, I'd be willing to try modding the first one, but I don't have the skill to update any images we'd need.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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SnarksandBoojums wrote:
Yeah, I know I'm playing often enough to not want to tie up my cards. When I'm modding, I create a spreadsheet..which won't work if I can't know the cards ahead of time.
Pro tip: if you keep a list of cards in the deck and randomize it each time before drawing from it, then you can both play and mod.
Quote:
That said, I'd be willing to try modding the first one, but I don't have the skill to update any images we'd need.
I do have the skill to write a program to create the images, but won't have a chance to do it until sometime next week at the earliest.
 
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Justin S.
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dthurston wrote:
SnarksandBoojums wrote:
Yeah, I know I'm playing often enough to not want to tie up my cards. When I'm modding, I create a spreadsheet..which won't work if I can't know the cards ahead of time.
Pro tip: if you keep a list of cards in the deck and randomize it each time before drawing from it, then you can both play and mod.


Yeah, I tried that modding SoTM..couldn't get the randomization to work. What program do you use?
 
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Dylan Thurston
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SnarksandBoojums wrote:
Yeah, I tried that modding SoTM..couldn't get the randomization to work. What program do you use?
This is not helpful to you, but I use emacs and pipe things to the Linux utility 'shuf'. But I'm sure there's a way to do it with any spreadsheet. This StackOverflow answer looks likely to be more useful for you: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11477546/how-to-randomiz...
(In practice, you'd want to create a macro or something, I suppose.)
 
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Chaosmancer mc
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So, I've never played a "play by post" style game before, and other than devoting a deck to that format or finding a program that can randomize blocks of text and figuring that out I have no idea how to counter-act the problem of the various decks of cards.

And, actually, for Fear cards you'll also have to figure out Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares revealing Fear cards but leaving them in the deck.



So, my only contribution to this discussion is to say I'd love Spirit Island to be my first "play by post" board game and am fully willing to be a guinea pig for when someone has a plan they'd like to try out
 
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Jack Liu
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I'd be down to play

I've played/hosted several PBF games of SWIA and read over others such as Mage Knight, EH, Cthulhu wars

A list of cards posted in the OP with a number associated is the easiest for card draw/discard. Just reroll duplicates. Hidden cards can be listed the same way in a spoiler (Honor system, roll when it's time to resolve fear)

custom rolls handle invader deck and everything else is public information
 
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Jack Liu
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Actually the best would probably be having a mod or comod that handles the events & fear cards. Many PBF have a player help mod a game while playing in another modded by a player in the first game for games that are simple to mod.

Ex. Player A mods game 1, plays in game 2. Player B mods game 2, plays in game 1. Win Win for everyone


Honestly I wouldn't mind starting one, I just need to get files for the map & icons, overlay them on gimp or something
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Justin S.
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My offer to mod still hold. The style of maps that the Got PBFs use would probably work well, but it's not something I have the skill to create.

I've included a copy of the map from the last game I was in as an example. http://tinyurl.com/yT5OmZi5cGqJ8LcAKZJR
 
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Chaosmancer mc
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I'm still very interested in playing. I just don't have the experience or skill with any PBP format to set such a thing up.

Once it is up though, I think I'd be a fairly active player and may eventually take over modding something once I understand how.
 
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Jack Liu
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Thinking more, the mod could actually play the game

Random events, fear & card draw can all be done at the time of them occurring through dice roll and consulting a chart. Before that, you would just know which fear/event/discards have happened and everything else is already public information per say
 
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