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Folklore: The Affliction» Forums » General

Subject: Folklore Short review and comparison to Gloomhaven rss

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Jade W
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So, I managed to get hold of a Gencon copy of Folklore and Dark Tales. I've played through the first story (played solo to get a feel for the game when my group starts playing) and wanted to give my impressions.

I also own Gloomhaven. I know a lot of people ask how they compare, so I'll give some opinions based loosely on fact .

One more disclaimer before I start: I love stories, and feeling drawn into something.

Rules
I love the way the rules for both of these games are setup. Both are fairly quick to pickup once you start playing, but I feel that the way Folklore is presented lends itself more to this. This first story works as a tutorial while not feeling like a tutorial, which was a very welcome experience. It was still difficult, but felt about right.

Gloomhaven on the other hand kicked my groups ass the first two times we played until we got the hang of it. That first scenario dumps you in and shows no mercy, haha.

Overall, I feel like the rules for Folklore will be easier for someone to pick up quickly. More so if you've ever played a pen and paper RPG.

Both are excellent, but I felt with the tutorial I was playing and doing well in Folklore faster.

Setup Time

So far, I think that setup in Folklore is a bit quicker than Gloomhaven. Part of this is you don't have to clip in standees, put cards in sleeves (which I love this concept for tracking), setup tiles on the board, etc.


Overall, Folklore can switch between World map and Adventure Maps very quickly by design, which is really cool.

Gameplay

Here's where we get into the real meat. Both of these games I feel have awesome mechanics.

Gloomhaven is just really cool to play. It feels very tactical, has cool objectives, and the classes are really unique. It has a good story that is fun to go through and provides flavor to the scenarios. I also really like the unlockable/legacy aspects of Gloomhaven.

Folklore is just dripping with style and flavor. You play through stories with multiple choices that affect the flow. There are skills checks that also affect what happens, etc. It really does feel like a Pen and Paper RPG a lot. The dice mechanic is very easy and works well, providing that thrill of the unknown whenever you throw them. I very much like the Skirmish and Encounter aspects, as they work very well.

For my taste, I think I will enjoy Folklore's story based gameplay more than I enjoy Gloomhaven. I would give the tactical aspect to Gloomhaven as you have more choice in what you do every round, but Folklore isn't a slouch here either with the abilities and such.

One thing I did run into was something someone else had mentioned here, with an affliction going before my characters and boxing them into a corner where they couldn't move. Luckily I had the Telepath who could use push on him and they got out, but I also think you could very easily use a house rule for this like a Trickery roll of 6+ to move through enemies (Of course allowing enemies to do this as well).

Replay Value
For what comes in the box, you really can't beat Gloomhaven for this. It's a massive game with tons on offer, and worth every penny.

Folklore's retail box has 6 stories, each taking roughly 2-4 hours to play(Dark Tales adds another 9 stories and there are 2 more you can download if you have demons and dark artifacts and the adventure creation kit). There are branching choices and such that give some replay value, but nothing like what is in the main Gloomhaven box.

However, with the exceptional Adventure Creation Toolkit you can use for Folklore, this game could have endless replay value if you want to put in the time, or wait for people to publish adventures.

Conclusion
I've only played Folklore once, but it was a fantastic experience. It brought back that feeling I had when I first played Warhammer Quest as a teen, or the first time I played D&D. Considering I was playing solo, which I don't enjoy as much, and still enjoyed it; I think we have a winner here.

It does have flaws. The health and power point tracking is fiddly. The rulebook has quite a few grammar mistakes, and I caught a few on cards as well, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment.

I think I have many fun nights of Gothic Horror storytelling ahead of me with this game, and I couldn't be happier about that.
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chang chang

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omg!! like I was not hyped enough, now you are telling me that is as good as gloomhaven.

you seem to like it more, but to me that is a matter of taste. And you specify that gloomhaven is more tactics, folkore is more story driven, so is perfect!.

I worry a bit regarding some tactics in folklore and the pitch in the corner with initiation roll; but it sounds that except for maybe needing a small tweak this game is ready to roll and very well done

as a DnD lover, a boardgame lover and a VG lover: I CANT WAIT

when gloomhaven came out I was thrilled (Still my number #1 in my collection), happy to know that this have the potential to be right next to it
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I wonder how do many typos get into games that have been in development for years? It's really strange. Quite often I read a rulebook for the first time and easily spot errors and find myself asking why didn't they fix it?
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Jade W
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chang_1910 wrote:
omg!! like I was not hyped enough, now you are telling me that is as good as gloomhaven.

you seem to like it more, but to me that is a matter of taste. And you specify that gloomhaven is more tactics, folkore is more story driven, so is perfect!.

I worry a bit regarding some tactics in folklore and the pitch in the corner with initiation roll; but it sounds that except for maybe needing a small tweak this game is ready to roll and very well done

as a DnD lover, a boardgame lover and a VG lover: I CANT WAIT

when gloomhaven came out I was thrilled (Still my number #1 in my collection), happy to know that this have the potential to be right next to it


I would say I had as much fun as I've had with Gloomhaven, yes. That's impressive considering my gaming group has been playing Gloomhaven 2-4 times a month since it came out. Shows you how much we enjoy it .

It's different though. It's not quite apples to apples. Gloomhaven is much more tactical each turn with card planning, etc. Folklore is still tactical enough to be fun and engaging though. I'll have to see how the round time works out when I play with my group. I'm thinking Folklore might be faster rounds.

I know it will be right next to my copy of Gloomhaven when I'm reaching for a game to play. It will come down to what the group wants. Deep story RPG experience with good combat, or Lighter story more focused great combat.
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Thank you for the honest comparison. I toyed with which to get and ultimately went with Folklore. However, cause I am a dungeon crawling nut, I will probably get gloomhaven as well as sword & sorcery.

I too, love story. Sadly, will end up playing all of these solo.

Regardless, I appreciate this quick comparison!
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Rob Defense
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It's a budget thing. No matter how good a writer/editor you are, you need fresh eyes for copy editing. Someone who's never seen it before can catch 10 times as many mistakes.

But you have to pay those people.

Slashdoctor wrote:
I wonder how do many typos get into games that have been in development for years? It's really strange. Quite often I read a rulebook for the first time and easily spot errors and find myself asking why didn't they fix it?
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Jade W
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robbydee wrote:
It's a budget thing. No matter how good a writer/editor you are, you need fresh eyes for copy editing. Someone who's never seen it before can catch 10 times as many mistakes.

But you have to pay those people.

Slashdoctor wrote:
I wonder how do many typos get into games that have been in development for years? It's really strange. Quite often I read a rulebook for the first time and easily spot errors and find myself asking why didn't they fix it?


This is 100% true. I've been a copy editor and written a lot in my day. You see it in your head a certain way and it's hard to get past that.
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Brian Torrens
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Niteskie wrote:
robbydee wrote:
It's a budget thing. No matter how good a writer/editor you are, you need fresh eyes for copy editing. Someone who's never seen it before can catch 10 times as many mistakes.

But you have to pay those people.

Slashdoctor wrote:
I wonder how do many typos get into games that have been in development for years? It's really strange. Quite often I read a rulebook for the first time and easily spot errors and find myself asking why didn't they fix it?


This is 100% true. I've been a copy editor and written a lot in my day. You see it in your head a certain way and it's hard to get past that.


I have often said that almost all of the Kickstarter projects I have backed could have really used a proper copy editor and sometimes even a proper technical writer. The games I have backed are fun to play and I don't really have any major issues with the rulebooks however, many times the way the rules are laid out can be confusing and requires multiple read throughs to understand. Then you can add in the occasional typo. They should actually have that as a stretch goal. I know that "Hire a copy editor", "Hire a proofreader" or "Hire a technical writer" are not very exciting stretch goals, but it would certainly be a nice touch.

One company that seems to create incredibly well written rulebooks is Academy Games. I have a copy of Conflict of Heroes, Awakening the Bear and the Solo expansion. That rulebook was a treat to read! New game companies should have a look at their work to see how it should be done!
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Jade W
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Brian T wrote:
Niteskie wrote:
robbydee wrote:
It's a budget thing. No matter how good a writer/editor you are, you need fresh eyes for copy editing. Someone who's never seen it before can catch 10 times as many mistakes.

But you have to pay those people.

Slashdoctor wrote:
I wonder how do many typos get into games that have been in development for years? It's really strange. Quite often I read a rulebook for the first time and easily spot errors and find myself asking why didn't they fix it?


This is 100% true. I've been a copy editor and written a lot in my day. You see it in your head a certain way and it's hard to get past that.


I have often said that almost all of the Kickstarter projects I have backed could have really used a proper copy editor and sometimes even a proper technical writer. The games I have backed are fun to play and I don't really have any major issues with the rulebooks however, many times the way the rules are laid out can be confusing and requires multiple read throughs to understand. Then you can add in the occasional typo. They should actually have that as a stretch goal. I know that "Hire a copy editor", "Hire a proofreader" or "Hire a technical writer" are not very exciting stretch goals, but it would certainly be a nice touch.

One company that seems to create incredibly well written rulebooks is Academy Games. I have a copy of Conflict of Heroes, Awakening the Bear and the Solo expansion. That rulebook was a treat to read! New game companies should have a look at their work to see how it should be done!


To be fair to Greenbriar, I really like the way they laid out the Rulebook and the story book. They get you into the action very quickly. But yes, a good copy editor would have gone a ways to fixing a lot of the typos I've found .

They by no means make the game less enjoyable so far, just a niggling thing.
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Brian Torrens
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I completely agree with you there. Having downloaded and read the rulebook, the layout is handled nicely. It has an Index (which every rulebook should have) and a good table of contents and full components list! Kudos to Greenbrier!

Of course, in a game this complex, I'm sure there will all sorts of rules questions once the game is in our hands. I'm certain there will be a number of rules that will be overlooked on my first play through. Most likely, I may attempt a two hero, solo game on my own first, just to familiarize myself with the rules before introducing it to my game group
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Jason B
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Great stuff- and thanks for the review.

I own both- still waiting for Folklore, but have not anticipated a game as much as this. I love Gloomhaven, but I think this game is different, and you can own both.

It blows my mind that it is not getting any buzz, and is not on the Hotness list. Considering the boring shit that makes the list, it's strange.

Hopefully, as backers get their copies, word of mouth will get this game the attention it deserves.
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Brian Torrens
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I also believe that there is room in my collection for both Folklore and Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven seems to focus more on the battles and Folklore seems to focus more on the adventure aspects of the genre.
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