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Subject: Dragonfire - My Game of GenCon, and First Impressions rss

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Lionel Sy
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I will preface this by stating that I have no experience with D&D, and the Shadowrun world, crossfire, nor the RPG. I am however a big fan of the high fantasy setting and have been a lurker of D&D because the setting just seems amazing.


For those who don't know what Dragonfire is about, its a co-op deckbuilding game set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, where you and up to 5 other friends can go on adventures and complete quests, either in one off scenarios or a full campaign played through multiple play sessions.


I had initially removed it from my buy list, since I was already all in for the Aeon's End: War Eternal kickstarter pick up at the con, which was also a co-op deckbuilder. Since I was unable to snag Ex Libris (another game on my buy list) on the Thursday, I decided to buy Dragonfire along with the character add-on pack as a consolation prize. I am very much glad that series of events happened or else I would not have discovered this amazing game.Since buying it on Thursday, i've played it 3 times while in Indianapolis during after hours of the convention. Once during hotel breakfast as a 2-player game, once as a completely drunken 2-player game, and finally as a 3-player game.


It is not a deckbuilder in the original sense. Cards are not used to directly buy more cards into your deck. Instead, they are used as damaging spells to encounters you and your party will face along your adventures. If you are successful in fully defeating an encounter, it will reward you with gold, which you can use to add new stronger cards directly into your hand. You also do not discard your whole hand at the end of the round. During the replenish phase, if you have 3 of less card in your hand, you can draw 2 new cards from your deck.


I have only had a chance to experience the quick start tutorial scenario, which got your feet wet on the mechanics of combat and the various phases of the game. We had initially played it wrong a couple of times in that we didn’t realize that we only had to survive one round after the encounter deck had been depleted, so we made the scenario much harder than it was trying to kill the 5 monsters that came out in the final round. Once we had realized that mistake, we had 2 games under our belt and handily defeated the tutorial and unlocked a backstory sticker for our characters.


I am completely enamored with this game! I know this is first impressions but wow, this game really impressed me. With the component quality of the laminated character boards so you can write with dry erase, the beautiful artwork from the D&D universe, as well as the unique (well to me at least since I have not played Shadowrun: Crossfire) take on deckbuilding. I’m playing as a martial class character and the martial specific cards make me feel like i am playing a fighter class type charcater, more-so than any other deckbuilder ever has. Grapple allows me to gain the attention of encounters fighting my squishy companions, and Javelin makes me feel like I’m aiding my companion with a quick throw of a spear. I also love how your character evolves with multiple play in an almost legacy style game, where you alter the level and features of your various characters in the game. This game is also no pushover. it is quite challenging and you will have to get creative with how you manage your damage in defeating the encounters.


The game is not perfect, as my friend mentioned that we could pretty much play this game with our hands open due to such open discussion and could lead to quarterbacking. The good thing is that the rulebook does address this issue with communication, and advanced communication rules to limit that from happening. There are times when the card draw can really punish you, especially in a 2 player game when you are slower to diversify the card class types in your hand, and are unable to do that devotion damage required to make that next level damage on an encounter. Hopefully that is just caused by our inexperience instead of the actual mechanics of the game.


I know this is just initial impressions of the game, and I will need much more plays to see if this is going to have staying power, but as of right now, this was my purchase of the con, along with my current game of the year. So much so, that I had decided to repeatedly chose to read the rulebook on the long drive back home from the con in preparation for my next session.

TLDR; Dragonfire is a unique take on deckbuilding that has a great IP behind it, and offers a challenging experience.
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Derek Kupper
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Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?
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Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (and easier!).
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Jack Bennett
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johnweldy wrote:
Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (easier!).


Easier <> Better
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Rob Randolph
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johnweldy wrote:
Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (easier!).


Making Crossfire easier wouldn't make it any better. Including more than 3 scenarios when the game requires you to win multiple times just to improve one thing might make it better. But I doubt it.
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Lionel Sy
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Yes, from what I know about it, it is derived from the base mechanics from shadowrun: crossfire. I cant comment too much on it because I have no experience with it. This first impression is coming from a fresh experience with the system
 
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Magic Erwt
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pusherman42 wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (easier!).


Easier <> Better


+1
The one game that provide me a great feeling when beaten up. And is sooooooooo rewarding when complete the job succefully.... Now has a, I admit, a cool fantasy team, but unfortunately a much easier variant.
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Eddie
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Speaking of dry-erase... you've tried it? I'm scared to - I'm not convinced it is fully eraseable (why didn't they tell us they are?). And have you (or someone) seen if the stickers can come off?
 
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magic_erwt wrote:
pusherman42 wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (easier!).


Easier <> Better


+1
The one game that provide me a great feeling when beaten up. And is sooooooooo rewarding when complete the job succefully.... Now has a, I admit, a cool fantasy team, but unfortunately a much easier variant.


What empirical evidence can you provide that Dragonfire is "much easier"?

Have you completed the campaign?
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Hoopder
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From what I've seen and read and all that I would say that the game is not necessarily easier than Shadowrun: Crossfire at any particular point, but it is more forgiving overall.

From what I understand, you will get experience more readily and more predictably in Dragonfire than in Shadowrun so the game lets you progress more easily, even if you're getting torn up pretty decently during your actual game sessions. Someone with more experience in both games will have to determine if each "scene" or session is easier in one than the other, but I think it is pretty clear that in Dragonfire you will progress more easily regardless of how hard the game itself is, if that makes sense.
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Barry
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pusherman42 wrote:
Easier <> Better


In this case it is highly applicable. One of Shadowrun Crossfire's biggest criticisms was that it was punishingly difficult.

From everything I've seen and heard from the developers it makes the appropriate change between the Shadowrun universe and the D&D universe for difficulty changes. I'm excited to get a few games under my belt to determine the difficulty change.
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Nachofan wrote:
In this case it is highly applicable. One of Shadowrun Crossfire's biggest criticisms was that it was punishingly difficult.


But also one of its biggest praises.

Some people want easier, and some people want harder, but that's really orthogonal to what makes a game good.
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Michael Kindt Dalzen
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My early play throughs have me convinced that DF is slightly less random and chaotic than XF, but still a very tense and challenging affair. The Stunned/Unconscious mechanic is easier in some ways, but more difficult to exploit than XF's Staggered/Critical mechanic.
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Steven Desmond
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I enjoy the challenge of Shadowrun Crossfire, so wondering if I'll find Dragonfire particularly less challenging. It'd be interesting to hear from people who've played both about their viewpoint on difficulty level differences.

I'm still really looking forward to Dragonfire though.
 
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I thought Randall Quantified it but when I went back to find it, it looks like a Qualitative measurement only of how much easier people will find it. It's worth a quick watch to anyone who is interested in the design decision between difficulty between a Shadowrun themed game vs D&D themed game.

https://youtu.be/0XWAKc0Ts88?t=17m39s

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Steven LaGorce
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IIRC

Dragonfire: You get 1 xp/scene(completed?) and a bonus 2 xp if you beat the scenario. I imagine there will be exceptions for different scenarios or higher levels. You also get magic items only if you beat the scenario.

Shadowrun: You get 1 xp for attempting a scenario and a bonus of 1-2 xp based on how hard you set the difficulty for beating it.

Randall mentioned that they toned down the difficulty of Dragonfire a little. If the game is too easy for you, just add an extra level 1 monster or make the first monster level 2. Give yourself an extra xp for this if you feel like it. It is your game, play it however you want.



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byronczimmer wrote:
magic_erwt wrote:
pusherman42 wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Ergonomic Cat wrote:
Does it use Shadowrun: Crossfire mechanics?


Yes, almost exactly the same game. Though there are some tweaks that make it better (easier!).


Easier <> Better


+1
The one game that provide me a great feeling when beaten up. And is sooooooooo rewarding when complete the job succefully.... Now has a, I admit, a cool fantasy team, but unfortunately a much easier variant.


What empirical evidence can you provide that Dragonfire is "much easier"?

Have you completed the campaign?



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.
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David desJardins
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:
I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


Of course, a 15% win rate means that 10% of the people have a 50% win rate and 40% of the people have a 20% win rate and 50% of the people can't win their way out of a paper bag. Whether you want it easier or harder depends which group you're in.

Mostly it's important that games have easy ways to increase or decrease the difficulty, because there's no possible way to come up with one level that's right for everyone.
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


This. Exactly this. Difficult is one thing. Banging your head against a brick wall with no chance is another.

Call me a wuss if you like, but I'm using the new hand refresh rule the next time I play Crossfire.
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johnweldy wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


This. Exactly this. Difficult is one thing. Banging your head against a brick wall with no chance is another.

Call me a wuss if you like, but I'm using the new hand refresh rule the next time I play Crossfire.


I'm in the same camp. I'd be quite content if the game ramped up in difficulty from easy to challenging (with a brutal variant of some sort to reward those who rise to behemoth challenges).

Btw, what's the 'new hand refresh rule'? I searched up the thread but didn't see (or else utterly missed) what that rule was?
 
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Auzette wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


This. Exactly this. Difficult is one thing. Banging your head against a brick wall with no chance is another.

Call me a wuss if you like, but I'm using the new hand refresh rule the next time I play Crossfire.


I'm in the same camp. I'd be quite content if the game ramped up in difficulty from easy to challenging (with a brutal variant of some sort to reward those who rise to behemoth challenges).

Btw, what's the 'new hand refresh rule'? I searched up the thread but didn't see (or else utterly missed) what that rule was?


IIRC, the rule in Crossfire is draw two. Period.

In Dragonfire, draw two. If you're at 3 or less Cards, draw two more.
 
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johnweldy wrote:
Auzette wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


This. Exactly this. Difficult is one thing. Banging your head against a brick wall with no chance is another.

Call me a wuss if you like, but I'm using the new hand refresh rule the next time I play Crossfire.


I'm in the same camp. I'd be quite content if the game ramped up in difficulty from easy to challenging (with a brutal variant of some sort to reward those who rise to behemoth challenges).

Btw, what's the 'new hand refresh rule'? I searched up the thread but didn't see (or else utterly missed) what that rule was?


IIRC, the rule in Crossfire is draw two. Period.

In Dragonfire, draw two. If you're at 3 or less Cards, draw two more.


Oooh, I like that change. So you'll always have at least 4 cards. Seems like it would incentivize using more cards during your turn knowing that you'll get a fuller hand.

Thanks.
 
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johnweldy wrote:
In Dragonfire, draw two. If you're at 3 or less Cards, draw two more.


Do you have a source for that? Everything I've read in the rules (and learned at the demo) is just the second part:

During the Replenish phase, if you have three or fewer cards in hand, draw two cards. If you have four or more, you do not draw cards. There is no maximum hand size.
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waitingforgo wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
In Dragonfire, draw two. If you're at 3 or less Cards, draw two more.


Do you have a source for that? Everything I've read in the rules (and learned at the demo) is just the second part:

During the Replenish phase, if you have three or fewer cards in hand, draw two cards. If you have four or more, you do not draw cards. There is no maximum hand size.


That's how I was taught by multiple demo team people. First one said she learned the game that morning, so wouldn't surprise me if she got it wrong. But the second was a Catalyst junkie, and we talked in depth about the differences between this and Crossfire. He confirmed this rule is IN Dragonfire, and NOT Crossfire.
 
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Lionel Sy
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johnweldy wrote:
Auzette wrote:
johnweldy wrote:
Cardboardjunkie wrote:



I think one of the dev blogs said Shadowrun was getting a 12-15% win rate in playtesting and Dragonfire was getting around 40%. So, yeah, I'd describe that as "much easier". It's also an acceptable win rate for me. I don't mind losing a coop occasionally, but 7 out of 8 times was just too much. 3 out of 5 is decent considering how often I'll likely play it.


This. Exactly this. Difficult is one thing. Banging your head against a brick wall with no chance is another.

Call me a wuss if you like, but I'm using the new hand refresh rule the next time I play Crossfire.


I'm in the same camp. I'd be quite content if the game ramped up in difficulty from easy to challenging (with a brutal variant of some sort to reward those who rise to behemoth challenges).

Btw, what's the 'new hand refresh rule'? I searched up the thread but didn't see (or else utterly missed) what that rule was?


IIRC, the rule in Crossfire is draw two. Period.

In Dragonfire, draw two. If you're at 3 or less Cards, draw two more.


That is incorrect. Its simply
Quote:
p. 22 Rulebook: During the Replenish phase, if you have three or fewer cards in hand, draw two cards. If you have four or more, do not draw cards. There is no maximum hand size


Unless they are changing it? I got my copy from gencon but im assuming thats final production copy
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