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Subject: "Waypoint" variant for continuing after a loss rss

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Walter Gottlieb
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In my most recent game (2-player), my roommate and I went through the first curse (the Voracious Goddess) and died about halfway through. We went back to the beginning, tried again, and died even earlier. This time we decided to use the 777 card and still weren't able to make it to the end of the adventure. Rather than going back to start the whole thing over again and losing another several hours to backtracking, we decided to come up with a set of house rules that would allow us to create a "waypoint" to fall back to should we die later in our game. We tried to make it as balanced as possible so that it doesn't feel as cheaty as infinite 777s or save states but would still allow us to go on without having to go through several hours of backtracking. The idea is that the players set up a temporary camp, which they can later make a mad dash back to (tiring themselves out and damaging their equipment in the process) if they become overwhelmed.

Setting a waypoint:
Players may set a waypoint on any terrain card on which they are all standing on. We think that a fair cost is that, in order to set a waypoint, each player must discard 3 cards from their hand and/or inventory that each have a different keyword. (To clarify, a player can use a card with a keyword that matches another player's card, but the cards used by each player must be different. Cards with multiple keywords may be counted as any one of their keywords for this purpose.) Make a note of which terrain card the waypoint is on (even if it gets removed from the board).

Returning to a waypoint:
If the players lose (by drawing a curse from the discard pile, for example), instead of having to start the game over again, the players take the following actions:
* Return all the cards on the board and in the Past (as if moving to a new area).
* Put into play the card that the waypoint was set on. Each player places their figure on it.
* Shuffle the discard pile and turn it face down to reform the action deck.
* Each player removes 2 durability from all items in their inventory. If the item's durability becomes 0 by this, discard all the cards in it (do not return them to the action deck).
* Each player takes a 101 card (Tired). If any of them have the "discard action cards" icon, apply their effects as normal.
* Players return half their experience points (measured in number of experience points, not number of cards), rounded up.
* Players may continue from there.

Advantages of the waypoint system:
* Players don't have to start all the way over if they lose (most importantly!).
* Players have the freedom to try different strategies if they get stuck at a particular point, without having to worry about backtracking.
* The cost is enough so that players wouldn't want to do it all the time, but not so much that it wipes the players out and makes them lose right away.
* Doesn't allow for easy camping at hunting grounds because of the costs associated.

Please let us know what you think of our variant. We think it's a thematic addition that removes what is (to us) the worst part of the game without breaking it. Any constructive criticism is welcome; if you think there's some flaw in our system, please let us know.
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Andy
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thanks for posting. this approach - or something pretty close to it - is what I've been thinking would seem right too
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Roman Flückiger
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It's a nice idea. I generally like it. I'm trying to think if there are cases where this will leave you stuck in a unwinnable situation. (Apart from the fact, that hunting grounds and fishing location, and the like, won't recover in this process and food will get really scarce. But that might also be a good thing).

I'm currently on the road, so I can't look at the cards. But I think, sometimes "keys" are banished after they are being used, and if you die "behind the door" and rush back to your camp, you might not be able to get back inside afterwards... if you get my meaning. :)

Here an example involving spoilers for the starting island:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
If you use the submarine to leave the starting island, I seem to remember that the respective card 17? 22? is banished.

Let's say you made your safe haven on the starting island (just for the sake of this argument :-)) and you left the starting island by submarine and then died on the main land. Leaving the starting island with the submarine won't be possible afterwards, since the submarine is gone. Of course there are other possibilities in this case to leave the island. But maybe there are cases where this has harsher consequences and makes it impossible to lift a curse?!


I still have to think of one concrete case that actually breaks the system, that I can check for validity. But even if there is such a case... if there's only one, it isn't necessarily a problem for using your house rule. Chances that you run into it might be slim and an easy fix is probably possible by fetching the "missing" card from the banished pile.
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Jyhne
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I like your idea. It would be cool if the designer adopted or made an official recover mechanism, as it's one of the only flaws in this game.
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ah kaiser
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We have house ruled that after death you respawn at the last fire and lose all cards.

If there is no fire, next one created allows you back in.

It has been pretty successful
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Klaus T.
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ahkaiser wrote:
We have house ruled that after death you respawn at the last fire and lose all cards.


I suppose your method may suffer the same issue as OP's, such as:

trulog wrote:
I'm currently on the road, so I can't look at the cards. But I think, sometimes "keys" are banished after they are being used, and if you die "behind the door" and rush back to your camp, you might not be able to get back inside afterwards... if you get my meaning.
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Roman Flückiger
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Klauseren wrote:
I suppose your method may suffer the same issue as OP's, such as:

trulog wrote:
I'm currently on the road, so I can't look at the cards. But I think, sometimes "keys" are banished after they are being used, and if you die "behind the door" and rush back to your camp, you might not be able to get back inside afterwards... if you get my meaning. :)


I'd like to point out that right now this is just something I fear might happen. I don't think it has been proven yet that a "lock out" situation can actually happen. If the phenomenon is limited to issue types I described in the spoiler section above then I think this is thematically actually very nice - although maybe not convenient for the affected adventurers ;)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Well, we tried the submarine - and we died - and now it's gone! Maybe it's time to try another path? :)
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ah kaiser
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Klauseren wrote:
ahkaiser wrote:
We have house ruled that after death you respawn at the last fire and lose all cards.


I suppose your method may suffer the same issue as OP's, such as:

trulog wrote:
I'm currently on the road, so I can't look at the cards. But I think, sometimes "keys" are banished after they are being used, and if you die "behind the door" and rush back to your camp, you might not be able to get back inside afterwards... if you get my meaning.


Hey Klaus
Never had that pop up yet, but thank you for the heads up, that could be an issue
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Andy
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To avoid that potential lock out situation, why not just call every "new area" card a checkpoint? Whenever the game says, "pack everything up, put out card X and place all explorers there" that card X becomes a checkpoint. Note the number and if you die that's where you land, after applying the effects the OP mentioned.

That's pretty much the same as if you saved the game on card X, only with some consequences for dying. Those consequences plus the fact that you may be set back an hour or two seem like good incentives to avoid dying/create tension.

jyhne wrote:
I like your idea. It would be cool if the designer adopted or made an official recover mechanism, as it's one of the only flaws in this game.


Yeah it would be nice. There are good things about the way it is - builds tension and whatnot. But I'm getting too old for permadeath!


Edit: another funny house rule I considered in addition to those consequences above is to say that death ends your session for the day (which may be implicit already!) - you can try again tomorrow, or next week or wherever. so if you die, apply those consequences, pack everything up, you're characters are going to spend the next few days in the afterlife lobby, beetlejuice style, pondering the decisions they made until their number is called!
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Curtiss Cox
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jyhne wrote:
I like your idea. It would be cool if the designer adopted or made an official recover mechanism, as it's one of the only flaws in this game.


Counterpoint: It's not a design flaw. The risk associated with having to start over when you fail creates meaningful tension and makes your choices more important. Removing the risk of failure (or lessening it) devalues your choices.
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Roman Flückiger
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CheddarLimbo wrote:
jyhne wrote:
I like your idea. It would be cool if the designer adopted or made an official recover mechanism, as it's one of the only flaws in this game.


Counterpoint: It's not a design flaw. The risk associated with having to start over when you fail creates meaningful tension and makes your choices more important. Removing the risk of failure (or lessening it) devalues your choices.


Counter-Counterpoint: I agree it's not necessarily a design flaw. However, what I experienced in some of my sessions is the following: The time invested in a single attempt to lift one or more curses becomes so big (10+ hours), that failure becomes essentially a non-option. And - at least with me - there are three options how this can end:

1) I succeed. Hooray!

2) I stick to the rules, die, and put the game back in the shelf where it will probably remain for quite some time - because I honestly don't have time anymore for time-sinks of this magnitude! (Ahhh, the good old times, playing WoW day and night...).

3) I start to cheat my way to the end, which I think is the worst, because it makes my choices completely meaningless and robs me of the tension and ultimately the game experience.

So, introducing a one or two simple rules (or cheats if you will), that I can adhere to, and don't change the essential game experience, is still better than starting to cheat randomly at every corner when times get tough, or not playing the game at all - a game that I actually really like in almost every aspect (except a few).

So, limiting the amount of progress you can lose by dying to an amount that I can stomach (which is essentially what this recover mechanism, or the save game mechanisms discussed in other threads is all about) makes my decisions meaningful again and lets me enjoy the game, while keeping the tension.

Maybe the tension is a bit higher without that mechanism. But the general feel of the game is the same, you don't lose anything. But maybe more people are able to enjoy the game without impacting the experience for the hardcore audience ;) So I think it would have been or would be a nice addition. :)
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Liran Bromberg
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Pjandy wrote:
To avoid that potential lock out situation, why not just call every "new area" card a checkpoint? Whenever the game says, "pack everything up, put out card X and place all explorers there" that card X becomes a checkpoint. Note the number and if you die that's where you land, after applying the effects the OP mentioned.

Hi all, I'm OP's aforementioned roommate who coauthored this rule. I really like this idea because it's more likely to avoid the potential for a lockout as the game sort of soft-resets anyways but I still think there should be a cost associated with setting the waypoint and as such, there should be more options for when to do so (there aren't that many "new area" cards).
How about you have the option of setting a waypoint at any "new area" card OR "transition" card (the ones you can't land on, only move through). That way it's still the players' choice when/if to set a waypoint but it happens in places that are less likely to cause a lockout.
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Colin Gillespie
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According to their design notes during the campaign, they were planning on having checkpoints in the game:

Quote:
WIN... OR DIE TRYING!

Now as you progress, bad things can happen. The 7th Continent isn’t exactly a charming holiday getaway. Most of the time the island, or it’s inhabitants, will be trying to eat your face.

Now there’s two ways to shuffle off the mortal coil in this game:

- By drawing a curse card from the discard pile after having ran out of cards in your Action Deck.
- By drawing a game card that reads “your adventure ends here…”, this is a rare occurrence mind you and when it does happen, don’t say the game didn’t warn you!

When this happens you discard any Idea cards from your hand as well as objects from your inventory. Sadly, for you, the adventure is over...

Or is it?

We wouldn’t have you play through hours or gameplay just to have it all spoiled because of a small mistake like falling off a cliff or poking a sleeping bear now would we?

The game features "checkpoints". If you can find them, these are cards you can carry in your "shoulder bag". In the case of your untimely demise; you can "respawn" on these points however you will lose all your cards in the process, almost starting again from scratch so it really is a last resort!


https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1426253/adventurers-guide-c...

So it seems like it was a feature that was cut from the development at some point. I'd be interested to see why they chose to do it, possibly because of game breaking situations like what was described above. Perhaps it was just replaced by the 777 card? Personally, I think that if they had it in at one point and it seemed to work, it would be a minor variant to put it back in:

Instead of using the 777 card, at any spot where you enter a new zone (because that seems like the least likely place to be stuck) the players can add a note to the shoulder bag, designating that point as a checkpoint. In the event of a game loss, the players may respawn at that point, losing all items, cards in hand (including ideas, bonuses, and states), putting any cards in the past back into their respective spots in the box, reshuffling the discard pile and resetting the action deck. You start again with nothing, apart from any experience you might have gained and any notes in your bag, but you are not cast back upon the rocky shores of the starting island.
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Jack Liu
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coligill wrote:

Instead of using the 777 card, at any spot where you enter a new zone (because that seems like the least likely place to be stuck) the players can add a note to the shoulder bag, designating that point as a checkpoint. In the event of a game loss, the players may respawn at that point, losing all items, cards in hand (including ideas, bonuses, and states), putting any cards in the past back into their respective spots in the box, reshuffling the discard pile and resetting the action deck. You start again with nothing, apart from any experience you might have gained and any notes in your bag, but you are not cast back upon the rocky shores of the starting island.


I like this idea. It's simple and does the job

From the above article
Quote:
We wouldn’t have you play through hours or gameplay just to have it all spoiled because of a small mistake like falling off a cliff or poking a sleeping bear now would we?

The game features "checkpoints". If you can find them, these are cards you can carry in your "shoulder bag". In the case of your untimely demise; you can "respawn" on these points however you will lose all your cards in the process, almost starting again from scratch so it really is a last resort!


I really wonder why they did away with it
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Zachary Homrighaus
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frotes wrote:
I really wonder why they did away with it


No inside info here, but my guess is that it was too easy or too easily abused. I know for video games, if there is a save point not far behind me, I can just go crazy and try stuff knowing I have a good starting point to return to. I think if you just discovered a Checkpoint when your inventory is full and you have a nice hand, you don't want to die... but once you die that first time and return to the checkpoint empty handed, you could just pass every check and draw cards willy nilly assuming you will either find another checkpoint or die trying and just try it again.

Obviously I never tested the mechanics, but the full restart with only the penalty of losing your cards doesn't seem that bad and would minimize the importance of your decisions.

Just a guess.
 
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Overall, I like this... Like some others here, I'm loathe to start over again after 10 or 15 hrs of play... but I also like the idea of making a waypoint really expensive.

The point about the former "checkpoints" mentioned a few posts above made me think about another rule to consider for your waypoint...

Each waypoint is a one time use.

That way, you don't run into the issue where you can just go kamikaze after reseting at the waypoint and explore in every direction knowing you'll die and respawn at the waypoint again... you have to invest that cost again if you want to respawn a 2nd time.

Thoughts?
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Jack Liu
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
frotes wrote:
I really wonder why they did away with it


No inside info here, but my guess is that it was too easy or too easily abused. I know for video games, if there is a save point not far behind me, I can just go crazy and try stuff knowing I have a good starting point to return to. I think if you just discovered a Checkpoint when your inventory is full and you have a nice hand, you don't want to die... but once you die that first time and return to the checkpoint empty handed, you could just pass every check and draw cards willy nilly assuming you will either find another checkpoint or die trying and just try it again.

Obviously I never tested the mechanics, but the full restart with only the penalty of losing your cards doesn't seem that bad and would minimize the importance of your decisions.


I understand what you mean but this places extra pressure and consequences on the group. It's up to the group not to abuse waypoint/checkpoint mechanics. Just like any video game with a save. Also you restart with nothing so that makes getting out of that checkpoint much harder

I guess I think they should have left in checkpoints as the default and let people play on hardcore mode if they want that experience. Or have hardcore be the default and give players the option of using checkpoint cards

I think most people would have guessed that many people would be against a full reset when they play a curse for 10+ hours and die to random event
 
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Jack Liu
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zjhomrighaus wrote:

Each waypoint is a one time use.

That way, you don't run into the issue where you can just go kamikaze after reseting at the waypoint and explore in every direction knowing you'll die and respawn at the waypoint again... you have to invest that cost again if you want to respawn a 2nd time.

Thoughts?


That works but then you have to keep track of every waypoint instead of just the last one. Or you could implement a life system, +1 respawn per checkpoint you encounter and -1 when you die and need to respawn. That way you can still respawn at the most recent without a need to keep track of all of them (just life points)

I've seen other people mention a stacking debuff too, -X total action cards (none curse) every time. You'll die eventually but you could use exp to up the pool slightly (also at a certain point, I'm not sure it's feasible to go around with a 10-20 card action deck with all curses in it)
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Liran Bromberg
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zjhomrighaus wrote:
frotes wrote:
I really wonder why they did away with it


No inside info here, but my guess is that it was too easy or too easily abused. I know for video games, if there is a save point not far behind me, I can just go crazy and try stuff knowing I have a good starting point to return to. I think if you just discovered a Checkpoint when your inventory is full and you have a nice hand, you don't want to die... but once you die that first time and return to the checkpoint empty handed, you could just pass every check and draw cards willy nilly assuming you will either find another checkpoint or die trying and just try it again.

Obviously I never tested the mechanics, but the full restart with only the penalty of losing your cards doesn't seem that bad and would minimize the importance of your decisions.

Just a guess.


This is why there would be a cost associated with both setting a waypoint and activating one. Your items take a big hit and you also keep all of your injury-type cards and loose half your experience. The idea is that it allows you to keep going in your adventure but it still feels like you took a hit for "losing". When we came up with this rule, we tried to find the right balance between the frustration of hours of backtracking and feeling like there are no consequences for losing. The core concept is that each time you reset, it becomes a bit harder to finish but that is balanced by the fact that you are closer to your goal.
As an addendum to this idea, what if each time you use up a waypoint, you have to shuffle an extra curse card into your action deck if there are any. You wouldn't have to complete that curse's objectives, but it would slightly tip the balance of your action deck.
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Andy
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I understand the point of having a high cost to establish a checkpoint, but one thing to think about is that then every time you enter a new area you're going to be discarding cards/degrading items to establish the checkpoint, which does seem like it would change the experience somewhat from the designers intent. From "ooh what is this new area going to reveal?" To half "oh man I lost lost 3 items but I need this checkpoint" which might have the effect of pulling you out of the game world a little too much.

It seems like a way to avoid that issue is to pay the whole cost when using the checkpoint, instead of when establishing.

Time lost is a cost to consider too. It's not only lost hand/items that provide a disincentive. You can spend a couple hours in an area, which will amount to nothing if you die. That's also a disincentive to run amok right after reaching a checkpoint - you still have to survive to the next one to make it count, and you Don't necessarily know how far off that will be.

This is esseitnaily the same mechanism that the game uses now, that provides andisincentive from going crazy on the starting island. You don't think "oh well if I die I only have to do back to 010, nothing to lose!" You still want to get to the next section with as much life.

I could see an issue where you deliberately die at a new location - use a "0+" pathfinder action to draw 20 cards and get s curse so you can get all your action cards back. Maybe dying could involve losing any advanced action cards you've acquired as well ...you can get hand and items back but those are even more valuable and may be gone for good

I agree that permadeath provides max tension, but I kind of feel like you could graph that on a utility curve. Where the incremental increase in tension when you go from checkpoint system to permadeath is not great compared to what it is between checkpoint and something like infinite 777. In other words, I think you can create enough tension to make decisions meaningful and provide a disincentive for dying with a checkpoint system. And any additional benefit you get from permadeath is offset by the annoyance of having to go back to square 010 (see what I did there?)

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Liran Bromberg
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trulog wrote:
It's a nice idea. I generally like it. I'm trying to think if there are cases where this will leave you stuck in a unwinnable situation. (Apart from the fact, that hunting grounds and fishing location, and the like, won't recover in this process and food will get really scarce. But that might also be a good thing).

I'm currently on the road, so I can't look at the cards. But I think, sometimes "keys" are banished after they are being used, and if you die "behind the door" and rush back to your camp, you might not be able to get back inside afterwards... if you get my meaning.

Here an example involving spoilers for the starting island:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
If you use the submarine to leave the starting island, I seem to remember that the respective card 17? 22? is banished.

Let's say you made your safe haven on the starting island (just for the sake of this argument :-)) and you left the starting island by submarine and then died on the main land. Leaving the starting island with the submarine won't be possible afterwards, since the submarine is gone. Of course there are other possibilities in this case to leave the island. But maybe there are cases where this has harsher consequences and makes it impossible to lift a curse?!


I still have to think of one concrete case that actually breaks the system, that I can check for validity. But even if there is such a case... if there's only one, it isn't necessarily a problem for using your house rule. Chances that you run into it might be slim and an easy fix is probably possible by fetching the "missing" card from the banished pile.


A potential solution to this lockout problem:
When you set a waypoint, put some sort of tab or bookmark in the banished cards section (this could just be like a slip of paper or something). Upon using a waypoint, take all of the banished cards in front of your bookmark and return them to the box. Keep the bookmark where it is and resume play as normal. You could even write down the number of the card you on which you set your waypoint on the bookmark as a reminder.

This also works if you want to play, as some have suggested, where each waypoint only counts once. Let's say you have set 2 waypoints on your adventure. If you were to die, reset the banished cards in front of your most recent bookmark and discard the bookmark. Then if you die again without setting a new point, go back to your first waypoint bookmark and reset the banished cards from there.

This might create some narrative impossibilities like items showing up again that you already broke or something, but I think it's a fair tradeoff for removing the possibility of locking out.
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Liran Bromberg
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Pjandy wrote:
It seems like a way to avoid that issue is to pay the whole cost when using the checkpoint, instead of when establishing.


Hmm, I agree that losing so many cards may be a steep price for setting a waypoint and might impact gameplay away from designer intention. But I feel there needs to be some sort of cost to it to prevent players from setting a new point on every new card (or if you're playing with the restrictions mentioned earlier, on every transition card).

I think it makes sense thematically that the players should have to loose something in order to set up this camp but agree that 3 items each may be too much. Perhaps the loss of half your experience happens when you set a point as opposed to when you use one? I'm open to suggestions
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Andy
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yeah, I was thinking if the cost to "activate" a waypoint could actually be time. So, say a transition tile can be used as a waypoint, but not until at least 7 (because theme!) territory tiles have been revealed in that area. By that point, players are invested in the area in terms of time spent exploring, etc. ...

so at that point I can't see the team saying "ok great, we just revealed the 7th tile, so let's deliberately draw a curse from the discard and start this area over!" because that would be dumb. you could. But there are things you could do within the current rules that would be just as silly. There's nothing stopping you from hunting and saving and reloading repeatedly to get extra food, except that it would be annoying.

that starts to feel a bit gamey, but the advantage would be to preserve the "meaning" of the hand/items/experience (in other words, they don't acquire this unintended secondary value as "waypoint currency")

also, what happens if you die before revealing 7 tiles? no waypoint = permadeath? maybe keep the 777 card on hand for that eventuality. Going all the way back to the start of the previous area (ie previous waypoint) may not work because of the "locked out" issue mentioned, maybe.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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frotes wrote:
zjhomrighaus wrote:

Each waypoint is a one time use.

That way, you don't run into the issue where you can just go kamikaze after reseting at the waypoint and explore in every direction knowing you'll die and respawn at the waypoint again... you have to invest that cost again if you want to respawn a 2nd time.

Thoughts?


That works but then you have to keep track of every waypoint instead of just the last one. Or you could implement a life system, +1 respawn per checkpoint you encounter and -1 when you die and need to respawn. That way you can still respawn at the most recent without a need to keep track of all of them (just life points)

I've seen other people mention a stacking debuff too, -X total action cards (none curse) every time. You'll die eventually but you could use exp to up the pool slightly (also at a certain point, I'm not sure it's feasible to go around with a 10-20 card action deck with all curses in it)


I guess I would suggest that you can only ever have one Waypoint at a time (a new one replaces an old one, so there only one card number you need to track) and once you use that waypoint, it is gone and you must establish a new one if you want the protection of a waypoint in the future.

The problem I perceive with the proposed Waypoint is not the cost of establishing the first one or the cost of using it... it's the 2nd or 3rd time use that I think can be abused. You can just go guns blazin' after you die the first time knowing you can just reset to the waypoint. Sure, you lose your inventory, but you are one mediocre hunt away from getting your whole deck back and you can just explore around to get your inventory up to snuff again. I think the cost in establishing the waypoint is good, but I wouldn't want "manipulating the waypoint" to become part of strategy.

Anyway, it's everyone's own decision on how cheaty they want to get, so it's just a suggestion to keep as much of the permadeath tension as possible while allowing you to extend your play and not shove the box high on your shelf because you're pissed to have to replay 15 hrs of game.
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Liran Bromberg
United States
Massachusetts
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Pjandy wrote:
yeah, I was thinking if the cost to "activate" a waypoint could actually be time. So, say a transition tile can be used as a waypoint, but not until at least 7 (because theme!) territory tiles have been revealed in that area. By that point, players are invested in the area in terms of time spent exploring, etc. ...

so at that point I can't see the team saying "ok great, we just revealed the 7th tile, so let's deliberately draw a curse from the discard and start this area over!" because that would be dumb. you could. But there are things you could do within the current rules that would be just as silly. There's nothing stopping you from hunting and saving and reloading repeatedly to get extra food, except that it would be annoying.

that starts to feel a bit gamey, but the advantage would be to preserve the "meaning" of the hand/items/experience (in other words, they don't acquire this unintended secondary value as "waypoint currency")

also, what happens if you die before revealing 7 tiles? no waypoint = permadeath? maybe keep the 777 card on hand for that eventuality. Going all the way back to the start of the previous area (ie previous waypoint) may not work because of the "locked out" issue mentioned, maybe.


Wow, I love this solution! It prevents abuse of the system because you have to put in the time to explore, which is what the game wants you to do anyways. In regards to your death before revealing 7 tiles issue, I only see that being a problem if you already know exactly where to go and speed strait to the transition points. Even if any one area doesn't get to 7, chances are the area before that did, so you can just reset there.

By the way, just for clarity's sake, I want to differentiate between:
Transition Tile - a tile that you can pass over but not land on such as crossing over a river/gorge. The map does not reset when you go over these cards.
Travel Tile - a tile that, when activated, resets the map in a new location such as moving to a different landmass, or going inside a dungeon.

You may set a waypoint at any transition OR travel tile so long as 7 map tiles have been revealed in the area containing your characters bounded by transition and travel tiles.

Does this sound fair?
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