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Subject: Trying to Decide Whether to Back and Have Some Concerns rss

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B K
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Looks like a new kickstarter is already here for this game and it’s been solidly on my watchlist. I generally heavily investigate my purchases because I am pretty picky (just want to stick to playing the best games). This is a bit tough to get the level of info I usually get, and I have to admit, I see a number of red flags. If anyone can help me with the specific concerns that I have, it would be much appreciated and hopefully it is valuable to others considering the game. These may (will) come across as blunt, but hopefully it’s not offensive and is taken in the spirit it is meant – I am just going to lay out my concerns and see what people’s views are. I have had a great year with similar-ish games like Gloomhaven, Too Many Bones, Sword and Sorcery and Perdition’s Mouth and would like nothing more for this to be a great game to add to my collection.


I do understand that combat is a much smaller percent of the game, which I am absolutely good with. I also realize the experience is not looking to mimic what those games do, and I am good with that, and not looking for a duplicative experience. I really want this to be a good story in a good game. I just want to make sure the game itself, outside the story, is well designed and properly balanced. For a cooperative game, an unbalanced or poorly designed experience will have no legs for me.


• Is there a good gameplay video that people would point me to that is representative and recent (not pre kickstarter, but final build)?


• A huge concern is that this is being marketed for its story and that is what seems to be getting the positive hype. That is great, and something I want, but definitely in the context of a very good or great game. Ignoring the story as best you can, how strong is the gameplay?


• A big red flag for me was just the feel of the first kickstarter campaign. I have a really negative view on things like a $95 version, a $149 version and a $299 version and a $15 mystery box (which is so exploitative and offensive when you factor in the fact that kickstarter is already one big mystery box as far as game quality goes). When I see these different versions, with tons of extra miniatures, that are just thrown into the experience, history tells me to be concerned about the quality of the game balancing. Every game I mentioned above, at least for the most part, has a primary game, that is very well designed and balanced, with a minimal level of add-ons, other than additional story content. Other games that just throw a bunch of content out there to be integrated haphazardly, at least in my experience, are poorly designed and balanced. With that negativity laid out, how is the fundamental game design and balance? Do these extra miniatures change it meaningfully? Is the challenge reasonable and consistent across player count and through the full campaign? Does it have playtested difficulty modifiers? The new kickstarter seems less exploitative and more reasonable, although there are things like crafting item add-ons that make me wonder about game balance.


• How is the combat? I don’t see a lot of analysis of it. I see occasional comments about things like characters being trapped in a corner before they can move and people saying it doesn’t really scale with player count and that makes me very nervous this is going to be a quality game. Simple is okay as long as it is also short, but if it’s clunky and unbalanced, that likely will be a problem for me.


• The fact they are pushing forward another kickstarter before real feedback is available also makes me a bit nervous about the interest in providing a well-designed game. It would seem like getting feedback and including that in version 2.0 would make sense if the goal is to make the best game possible. Not sure there is much to say about this other than I am curious if there is a reason they are relaunching so soon that I may be missing, because a cynical take would be they are rushing to get peoples’ money locked down.


• All-in-all, I am concerned that the people who like the game, like it for the story and are overlooking any gameplay shortcomings that exist. If the story is really good, I can overlook a little bit, but for me, no way will a good story alone carry a mediocre game.
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Thomas Patrick
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The gameplay is entirely centered on the story. There is a lot of reading from the story journal, interspersed with skill checks, decision points (pick one of two options, usually), some skirmishes (very scaled down and quick combat and does not involve the grid maps), and then a couple of larger battles or adventure moments that do involve the grid maps. There is a lot of bookkeeping because of the amount of abilities and statuses and items that the characters can get. The tactical battles aren't very in depth but serve their purpose.

In short, I'd call the gameplay good. The story brings the game up to great, though.

There are certainly some balance issues and I think with KS2 they are streamlining the game a bit. The first KS had so many random options that people had a lot of trouble just inventorying their games when they arrived. KS2 seems a bit better about that so far, although by the end with stretch goals, it might be back where it was with KS1. A lot of people have issues with the game being too difficult with 2 characters and it certainly gets easier with more.

Combat is broken into two different categories: skirmish and encounter. Skirmish is pretty fast and involves a single card for the enemy that gets a strength (sometimes random, sometimes the story tells where to set it) and then the enemy attacks all characters at once with a single attack and then each character gets an attack. That continues until one side dies. You could skirmish against multiple enemies at once. The encounters are the tactical battles on a grid map. Those involve the miniatures (or standees in KS2) and works like most tactical miniatures combat games. All enemies do their turns, then characters do theirs (or vice versa). There are quite a few things you can do in battle outside of just move and fight. The fighting is a lot of dice rolling with character stats, abilities, statuses and different gear items affecting the rolls. Ability usage timing is probably the most tactical part of it.

Characters can absolutely get stuck in a corner. There are a lot of character options and if you have a party of 4 and they're all melee, you can easily get boxed in. The solutions is to either have a balanced party or house rule a way to move through enemies. Part of me is frustrated when that happens, part of me thinks its realistic and likes that it makes us work as a team more and try to balance our strengths and weaknesses.

I think the timing was set quite a while ago and not to rush in before feedback was available. There was a lot of demand and they could see a lot of people wanting it who couldn't get it, so part of it is to get money locked down, but the game is good enough to warrant it.

I love this game and you are right that a lot of that is because I enjoy the story. I don't think it's just a mediocre game, though. It isn't as tight as I may like with the gameplay and I think it could use some revisions and better bookkeeping methods (and PLEASE give us cards for craftable items and character specific equipment!). The gameplay is solidly in the "good" range for me.

I honestly can't stop thinking about the game though. Right now as I'm typing this I keep wanting to stop and go play another chapter.
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Peter Schmidt
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Same goes for me stopped playing after five hours and my first thought was when we start playing tomorrow :-)

The game itself is challenging i mean its an unforgiving world and death is omnipresent here. Also lots of dice rolls are included and if the dice dont favour you the story can quickly lead into an even more worse situation than before with no going back. Every decision counts and on encounters there are skill checks that can only be tried once if you fail you will never know what could it have been that you missed here but that's story like in real life.

This is the great moments of gaming everyone is talking about. Sure i mean the game mechanics in itself is also fun. Lots of abilities that can be learned lots of lvl up choices and lots of items companions artifacts and so on and so forth.
But through the story narratives the game becomes awesome. This is what gives your game sessions a purpose beyond simple levelling up your character you become involved in a much bigger frame and that is when making decisions during encounters or simple story moments starts to matter cause you get drawn into the world.

its like old pen and paper where a simple diceroll can be everything and it's just up to you and your imagination what the outcome of such a roll might be. If you have to do a skill check its not just roll a d10 its described in a flav text so you start experiencing a written story.
A simple roll now means if in a bar fight you stumble and get knocked out if failing the skill check or jump onto a table and kick one peasant in the face while turning to knock down a second one before getting back on the ground and start hurling a wooden chair in the back of a third opponent. You start thinking that way in a skirmish too for the lifepoints become
Individual foes and by lowering the counter you diminish the mob and demoralizing the skirmish resulting in lower stat bonuses.

So to make it short yep the game is rock solid without story narrative the mechanics are good but the rules are not always as rock solid as the mechanics ;-)
but it is phenomenal and a absolute well done experience playing the narrative for now you start having goals and a purpose for being in that world. Even little rumors or side quests start to matter since they only deepen the immersion.

This game - if reading story and or reading books is what you like - is a absolute must have in my opinion.

Cheers
Peter


Edit: I also strongly recommend to add cards for all those special items a character can buy as written on the character booklets. I am unsure of why they were not included from the beginning since book keeping would so much easier without having to check if there is a item that i own only by marking it on the booklet. But then its the roots of pen and paper. No matter what its simply much easier to have cards you can equip on your character screen (mouse pad).
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Michael Olsen
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bk375 wrote:
• A huge concern is that this is being marketed for its story and that is what seems to be getting the positive hype. That is great, and something I want, but definitely in the context of a very good or great game. Ignoring the story as best you can, how strong is the gameplay?


The gameplay on the main map is fine. Nothing fancy, but ok. A couple of quirks that should have been fixed. If you are ok with houserules you will be ok.

The combat gameplay is, in my opinion, boring and deadly in a random sort of way.
I think it is ok that the combat is as simple as it is. My problem is that each combat you seem to roll dice between 50 and 100 times, and it seems to be all you are doing. That makes it very repetitive to me.

bk375 wrote:
With that negativity laid out, how is the fundamental game design and balance?


First of all, the player scale is completely off. As in crazy off. For each player beneat maximum you reduce the "Vita" (i.e. HP) of the enemy by something like 10%. All other values and abilities stay the same. That is not even close to working.

As I mentioned, the game seems deadly in a random sort of way. We won the first battle but that was only luck. I did not feel there was anything I could have done to improve my game. We were playing a 3 player game but scaled the Vita of the enemy down to the 2 player values. Today we will try to scale it down even further, also to make the boring combat shorter.

I have not tried to play higher higher "level" characters yet, so I can not answer for that.

bk375 wrote:
there are things like crafting item add-ons that make me wonder about game balance.


I agree. The crafting does not seem to work because you do not really have much chance of drawing what you need. See above regarding house rules.

The "Rumour" add-on is nice though. They are essentially side-quest which you can take or ignore. And if you take them, sure you get experience etc., but you also risk getting damage or conditions etc.

bk375 wrote:
Simple is okay as long as it is also short, but if it’s clunky and unbalanced, that likely will be a problem for me.


See above. It is relatively short, but as I say, you get to roll a *lot* of dice.


With all these negatives, plese bear in mind we are playing it again today. I see enough positive that we will try to "fix it" to our liking. That is probably because there is not really any other game to compare it with.
Why is that? Because this is a storytelling game with combat to break it up. Gloomhaven, for instance, seems to be a combat game with a campaign to to provide context for the combats (says the guy who has not played Gloomhaven).

I hope this helps a bit.

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gary gee
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I looked at backing it when it "re-opened"the first ks..and decided against it!..its run massively late and hasn't been run very well from what ive read on here!.

but,you pays ya money you makes ya choice!!
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Gazery Pooh

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I think everyone have covered the basics of the game. I just wanted to elaborate on your concerns over the add-ons that we’re unlocked throughout the campaign. And if these just added more confusion to the game.

Personally I would say that they all added massively to the experience of the game.

The Afflictions that were unlocked all meant we could have minis for nearly all of the Afflictions within the game.
The extra creatures unlocked meant we now have enough of all creatures to cover all stories (plus the unlocked ones) and more variety of creatures to attack.
There were 10 extra stories unlocked, which just added lots of playability to the game.
There were lots of extra tiles unlocked, which adds variety.
There were extra Heroes unlocked, which meant more choice for who to play and more replay ability if you wanted to try different heroes.
There were also extra mechanics unlocked:
Traps and Treasures, which are integrated into certain story lines and use the tokens with different descriptions of what they are on the underneath. So you search a treasure pile or leaf pile or dead body and when you turn it over it could be a trap or treasure or something else. Works well with the system.
Rumours are side quests, which you draw one per character and it gives you a little story and a place to visit. A farmer may complain that he lost his beloveds ring when he was out in the woods. So you need to visit the woods. When you arrive there, you turn the card over and it will tell you what you need to do to complete the quest and what rewards you get for doing so. These are a very neat idea which give your characters a chance to gain more Lore and coins (very important!).
Heirlooms are in the Dark Artefacts add-on, which you draw one for each new character. They give your character a little hook for a back story, if you want to create one, they also give you a minor benefit throughout the game. They are a neat idea which adds a bit more diversity to each character to make each one unique.
World Events (add-on) are universal cards which are drawn once per chapter and gives a world wide effect. This may be beneficial or a hindrance and add a nice little immersion into the world of Folklore.
Crafting cards (add-on) are item cards which are added to the item deck which allow you to craft your own potions and equipment. The idea is great, the way it is implemented could be great. The only downside to it, is that they are item cards that are added to the item deck - the item deck is massive! And so to find a recipe card and the correct crafting materials will take ages or lots of luck! An easy fix is to keep all crafting cards separate and create a new deck, which you can choose either to draw from the crafting deck or the item deck whenever you are asked to draw an item.

So, personally I believe these add-ons add lots of variety and replay ability and immersion into the game. And I love all of them.

But I love everything about this game!

Gazery
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daman whodaman
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I agree with gazery, very rare other games of this type do so well what thisbkne does right.... it has a great story telling and d&d feel and if you love that then this game will rock for you.

I personally give it a thumbs up and I play a lot of board games and so passionate on this one as it has so much potential due to what Gazery elaborated above with the games added features...they also have the dungeon crawling and in time sure all the small concerns be addressed..

It's a Buy Buy for me because it has everything you want and wish for a good fantasy euro setting of character development + repeatability due to the diverse potential choices that branch off...
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Brian P
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I had the same concerns that "B K" stated. So, to "B K", super appreciate you taking the time to write up this post and essentially speak for me.

Read everything here, which was AMAZINGLY helpful and insightful. Based on what I know about me (which is a lot) and what is said in this thread, I'm leaning toward passing.

I think this game adds a lot of great story elements from what is being said, but the bookkeeping and the add-ons to manage along with the fighting mechanics described, I just am not eager to take part in that.

While having nothing in common I suspect, I have MB: P on the way, and don't see, for me, based on what I read here, a need to necessarily have this in my collection. I am not a D&D, RPG player by nature, so that might have something to do with it. I want an Arcadia Quest or a Mansions of Madness type of experience. That's just me. Maybe even Gloomhaven, once that arrives.

Thank you everyone!
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Heath Satterly
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The question is do you like dungeon crawlers like Descent, and do you like RPGS like pathfinder and DnD?

How about combining the two into something less open, and not requiring a DM as an RPG, and something deeper than Descent.

You have limited power points, which you can compare to abilities in True RPGS, where you get limited amounts until you rest.

You can pick skills that can be used repeatedly. Items can break. You will use lots of consumables. Just like and RPG.

Lots and lots of skill checks, Just like an RPG. Traveling along the road you come across a band of highwaymen. You get a speech check to scare them, which if you pass, you get a boon, a bonus to use. IF you fail you got a skirmish. Or you come across something else and need to roll a save to see if you get spooked, etc. Just like an RPG.

The Rumors are a great addon because they add random fun sidequests you can stop to do on your way doing the main story. They are usually fairly short, so you don't get bogged down.

The combat is a bit more simple than an actually RPG, but deeper than a dungeon crawler. You are working with limited supplies, health, and power points. Which you need to manage well. But as you add items and abilities your stockpile of things to do get quite a bit larger. I would call it streamlined, not simple.

People mentioning getting stuck in a corner. It can happen, just like in an RPG a player with bad save can get removed from the game for multiple turns. But there are abilities you can take, and items you can buy that can counter it. Any gameplay shortcoming are the same as you would find in an Actually RPG. My last Pathfinder character died because he spent 12 rounds paralyzed and his teeth pulled out as they slowly cut me up. Next time we came up against those things, we were ready though, and they didn't gut my new guy.

It also seems like most complaints are basically the first mission. Where you are literally the weakest you will ever be. No many skills, supplies, or a good understanding of the game. All that changes.


Lots of book keeping, lots of dice rolling, lots of adventuring, and lots of choice. Perfect for people who think an actual RPG is complex to be played, or you don't want to have someone DM.

Hope this helps.
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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bk375 wrote:


I do understand that combat is a much smaller percent of the game, which I am absolutely good with. I also realize the experience is not looking to mimic what those games do, and I am good with that, and not looking for a duplicative experience. I really want this to be a good story in a good game. I just want to make sure the game itself, outside the story, is well designed and properly balanced. For a cooperative game, an unbalanced or poorly designed experience will have no legs for me.

• How is the combat? I don’t see a lot of analysis of it. I see occasional comments about things like characters being trapped in a corner before they can move and people saying it doesn’t really scale with player count and that makes me very nervous this is going to be a quality game. Simple is okay as long as it is also short, but if it’s clunky and unbalanced, that likely will be a problem for me.


• All-in-all, I am concerned that the people who like the game, like it for the story and are overlooking any gameplay shortcomings that exist. If the story is really good, I can overlook a little bit, but for me, no way will a good story alone carry a mediocre game.


I'd like to sound a note of caution based on your comments above.

Folklore does not seem to me to be aiming to be that modern tightly balanced board game experience. It feels much more like an RPG in a box, but with that comes a significant portion of randomness. If you have nostalgia for old school RPG's and narrative then there is a lot to like here. Your comments however imply that the mechanics and balance of a game are important and I'd be worried that Folklore might fall really flat for you.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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bk375 wrote:
• All-in-all, I am concerned that the people who like the game, like it for the story and are overlooking any gameplay shortcomings that exist. If the story is really good, I can overlook a little bit, but for me, no way will a good story alone carry a mediocre game.

I decided not to back the 1st KS (pledged for some minis though). I am also very surprised that there's already another release before the game has been received, extensively played and - most importantly - reviewed. It's almost suspicious.

One recurring thing (already discussed during the 1st KS) is the encounter part of the game. The simple d100 dice rolls really seem rather subpar compared to other games with fighting. A few bad rolls - and your party dies. Especially when you play with less characters wher numbers don't always make up for bad rolls.

In spite of the great campaign I decided not to back this one either. There's too many doubts.
As there's hardly any KS invokved I'd rather await the reviews and THEN decide.
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Thomas Patrick
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Teowulff wrote:
One recurring thing (already discussed during the 1st KS) is the encounter part of the game. The simple d100 dice rolls really seem rather subpar compared to other games with fighting. A few bad rolls - and your party dies. Especially when you play with less characters wher numbers don't always make up for bad rolls.


How is this different from any other game with dice based combat? There are plenty of ways to mitigate the dice rolls in this game and the death mechanic in this game is more forgiving than most in that you continue to play as a ghost.
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Heath Satterly
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That is an RPG for you.

A couple bad rolls, and a couple failed saves and you are done for.

Having said that. There are plenty of ways to lean things your way. Consumables can increase your might, giving you a higher chance of hitting. or them missing. Many abilities and consumables are also auto hit. So when you have those must hit times where everything depends on it. Use one of those. Or use both, if you miss with your attack, you can follow it up with a consumable or ability.

Buy yourself a couple of shields. Sure only the one equipped gives you +4 defense, but It can be exhausted to completely block an attack and take no damage. The you pull out a new one on your turn. Fix your shields when you go back to town. Then investment will pay off in the long run.

But yes, the game is much more deadly than the average dungeon crawler game people are used to. Much more RPG like in that manner.

Take all that as good or bad. Depending on your tastes.
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Scott Sexton
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There are a lot of solid comments in this thread and I think I agree with most.

If you haven't done so, try listening to The Secret Cabal Reivew and Charlie Theel's review (either on Geek & Sundry or on Charlie's podcast, Ding & Dent).

Figuring out if this game for you isn't rocket science and you shouldn't try overthinking it.

Are you an Ameritrash Fan? If you hate Ameritrash games like Arkham Horror, A Touch of Evil, or Eldritch Horror, this isn't a game for you.

Do you hate RPGs (computer or tabletop) because of their randomness?

How would you feel about games that mashes up RPGs and adventure games, like what Mansions of Madness 2.0 does?

If that kind of stuff sounds awful to you, Folklore isn't for you.

The BEST comparison to any game on the market I can think of is Mansions of Madness 2.0. If you like MOM 2.0, you will probably like Folklore. If you hate MOM 2.0, you will probably hate Folklore.
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B K
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Dread_moose wrote:
The question is do you like dungeon crawlers like Descent, and do you like RPGS like pathfinder and DnD?



I like most good dungeoncrawlers. Descent, Gloomhaven, Sword and Sorcery, Perdition's Mouth, I like the D&D and pathfinder board games fine. A number of others I have played are okay. It's been a long time since I have played pen and paper RPGs. I liked them and like the concept. The actual experience always varied a lot depending on the quality of the DM

Dread_moose wrote:


How about combining the two into something less open, and not requiring a DM as an RPG, and something deeper than Descent.

You have limited power points, which you can compare to abilities in True RPGS, where you get limited amounts until you rest.

You can pick skills that can be used repeatedly. Items can break. You will use lots of consumables. Just like and RPG.

Lots and lots of skill checks, Just like an RPG. Traveling along the road you come across a band of highwaymen. You get a speech check to scare them, which if you pass, you get a boon, a bonus to use. IF you fail you got a skirmish. Or you come across something else and need to roll a save to see if you get spooked, etc. Just like an RPG.

The Rumors are a great addon because they add random fun sidequests you can stop to do on your way doing the main story. They are usually fairly short, so you don't get bogged down.

The combat is a bit more simple than an actually RPG, but deeper than a dungeon crawler. You are working with limited supplies, health, and power points. Which you need to manage well. But as you add items and abilities your stockpile of things to do get quite a bit larger. I would call it streamlined, not simple.

People mentioning getting stuck in a corner. It can happen, just like in an RPG a player with bad save can get removed from the game for multiple turns. But there are abilities you can take, and items you can buy that can counter it. Any gameplay shortcoming are the same as you would find in an Actually RPG. My last Pathfinder character died because he spent 12 rounds paralyzed and his teeth pulled out as they slowly cut me up. Next time we came up against those things, we were ready though, and they didn't gut my new guy.

It also seems like most complaints are basically the first mission. Where you are literally the weakest you will ever be. No many skills, supplies, or a good understanding of the game. All that changes.


Lots of book keeping, lots of dice rolling, lots of adventuring, and lots of choice. Perfect for people who think an actual RPG is complex to be played, or you don't want to have someone DM.

Hope this helps.


It helped a lot. Thanks
 
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B K
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scottatlaw wrote:
There are a lot of solid comments in this thread and I think I agree with most.

If you haven't done so, try listening to The Secret Cabal Reivew and Charlie Theel's review (either on Geek & Sundry or on Charlie's podcast, Ding & Dent).

Figuring out if this game for you isn't rocket science and you shouldn't try overthinking it.

Are you an Ameritrash Fan? If you hate Ameritrash games like Arkham Horror, A Touch of Evil, or Eldritch Horror, this isn't a game for you.

Do you hate RPGs (computer or tabletop) because of their randomness?

How would you feel about games that mashes up RPGs and adventure games, like what Mansions of Madness 2.0 does?

If that kind of stuff sounds awful to you, Folklore isn't for you.

The BEST comparison to any game on the market I can think of is Mansions of Madness 2.0. If you like MOM 2.0, you will probably like Folklore. If you hate MOM 2.0, you will probably hate Folklore.


That's funny because MOM is also on my maybe list. I like the idea of and adventure as part of a game as long as the game execution portion is solid. As far as games that might be classified as RPGs and adventure games mashed together, I like Andor and Two Many Bones, but don't see these as comparable.
 
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B K
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I very much appreciate all of the input and it is very thoughtful and really helpful. I am usually pretty decisive after doing my research, and this game and 7th Continent (which I ultimately backed) have been some of the most difficult. That game ended up having a more robust number of written reviews to reference prior to the 2nd kickstarter.

I think I have a good feel for the game from peoples comments, and have two big picture concerns/question that hover over the game still for me. Is the game hard or is it random with a design towards failing? If you fail, how much of it is going to be luck or skill (and skill to me can include smart item purchases, character builds, smart use of luck mitigation, etc.)? Is it just a bunch of skill checks with little ability to influence and the math behind the game dictates you will fail most of the time? Or is it reasonably influenced by decisions? I know people have commented that its like their RPG experiences, and I commented earlier mine are dated, but some were good and some were very bad. I guess what I am trying to determine how much of the experience is as a passive passenger there to read the story and to roll dice periodically and how much is an active participant making decisions that ultimately influence the outcome of the game.

The second concern to me is some posts around player count not scaling and the implication it is very far off. To use an analogy, I see player count scaling as a "canary in the coal mine", meaning when designers botch this, it usually means a lot of other less obvious stuff will be wrong as well. If a game is a cake walk with 4 characters and very difficult with 2 characters, sure we can play with 3 (although that means one person has two and the other has one), but my experience is that is the tip of the iceberg. At least for me, in a cooperative experience, if the game balance is wildly inconsistent or generally out-of-balance, it severely distracts from the experience. I have no conceptual issue with dice rolling or random events, but others have mentioned house ruling to fix, and in my experience this is super difficult in a game that has a lot of random elements because you need a lot of data and anecdotal is of limited value.

I do appreciate the awesome responses. Very helpful and much appreciated.

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bk375 wrote:
I very much appreciate all of the input and it is very thoughtful and really helpful. I am usually pretty decisive after doing my research, and this game and 7th Continent (which I ultimately backed) have been some of the most difficult. That game ended up having a more robust number of written reviews to reference prior to the 2nd kickstarter.

I think I have a good feel for the game from peoples comments, and have two big picture concerns/question that hover over the game still for me. Is the game hard or is it random with a design towards failing? If you fail, how much of it is going to be luck or skill (and skill to me can include smart item purchases, character builds, smart use of luck mitigation, etc.)? Is it just a bunch of skill checks with little ability to influence and the math behind the game dictates you will fail most of the time? Or is it reasonably influenced by decisions? I know people have commented that its like their RPG experiences, and I commented earlier mine are dated, but some were good and some were very bad. I guess what I am trying to determine how much of the experience is as a passive passenger there to read the story and to roll dice periodically and how much is an active participant making decisions that ultimately influence the outcome of the game.

The second concern to me is some posts around player count not scaling and the implication it is very far off. To use an analogy, I see player count scaling as a "canary in the coal mine", meaning when designers botch this, it usually means a lot of other less obvious stuff will be wrong as well. If a game is a cake walk with 4 characters and very difficult with 2 characters, sure we can play with 3 (although that means one person has two and the other has one), but my experience is that is the tip of the iceberg. At least for me, in a cooperative experience, if the game balance is wildly inconsistent or generally out-of-balance, it severely distracts from the experience. I have no conceptual issue with dice rolling or random events, but others have mentioned house ruling to fix, and in my experience this is super difficult in a game that has a lot of random elements because you need a lot of data and anecdotal is of limited value.

I do appreciate the awesome responses. Very helpful and much appreciated.



I think there is a fair amount of decisions to make in the game. There are enough moving pieces (abilities, items, companions etc) that you can decide to acquire and use. Yes, there is a lot of rolling of the dice, but paying close attention to resource management, interplay of characters, character progression choices will ultimately pay off in my experience. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was a game that I initially disliked because of the amount of dice rolling but ultimately came to admire after playing through an entire campaign. Smart resource management and calculated risks really paid off for a winning strategy in my experience with that game. I think Folklore is about at the same level of playing smart which will ultimately will get you out on top (most of the time...).

As you progress and become more powerful, options open up. There are a few combat rules (the defend action for instance) that give some decision in combat. I likely will house rule some more options (flanking etc.). The game lends itself well to house ruling since the rules seem pretty hard to break if adding minor tweaks.
 
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When you get to a certain point I think some of the randomness can be mitigated.
When you start out it is brutal in my experience. You have no money and poor equipment and you just have to hope to get through the first story. To me there is very little skill involved until you progress a bit.
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Dread_moose wrote:
That is an RPG for you.

A couple bad rolls, and a couple failed saves and you are done for.

But yes, the game is much more deadly than the average dungeon crawler game people are used to. Much more RPG like in that manner.

Take all that as good or bad. Depending on your tastes.


All this talk about RPGs is killing me.

There are thousands of tabletop RPGs. Most are not as crazy random as these posts suggest. Most are played for the story, not the rules and in the hands of a good game master, it's not just a collection of bad rolls
and character death. A good GM uses those rolls to turn it into a narrative.

Tabletop RPGs are about freedom of choice. Boardgames (and computer games) are only capable of giving the players a limited number of choices. Folklore is no different. I'm sure it gives more choices than another game, but it is not going to even scratch the surface of what a tabletop RPG can offer a group of players.

Anyway, please return to your regularly scheduled conversation.



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Sarimrune wrote:
All this talk about RPGs is killing me.


Me too. I wondered if I wanted to say anything. Turns out I do : - )

I would like to add that RPG does not automatically mean "lots of dice rolls". There are RPGs that do not even use dice.
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DyingTickles wrote:
Teowulff wrote:
One recurring thing (already discussed during the 1st KS) is the encounter part of the game. The simple d100 dice rolls really seem rather subpar compared to other games with fighting. A few bad rolls - and your party dies. Especially when you play with less characters wher numbers don't always make up for bad rolls.


How is this different from any other game with dice based combat? There are plenty of ways to mitigate the dice rolls in this game and the death mechanic in this game is more forgiving than most in that you continue to play as a ghost.

The thing is that combat with rolling 1 dice is totally random compared to rolling multiple dice. The chance of 1 or 6 is the same with 1 dice.
While the average of 7 happens a lot more often with a roll of 2 dice than a 2 or 12.

What counts for a d6 also counts for a d100. Extreme rolls are just as likely to happen as average rolls - so it's all highly unpredictable.
Especially with a low number of players/low number of rolls the chance of some really bad rolls increases.
So it's getting more likely your part will be wiped out during encounters.

Yes, you progress through 30+ to 33+ when upgrading, for example. But it's still one single die you roll.
With a system of more dice the effect of increasing stats is more subtle but also more reliable.
Really, I think the combat system is one of the weakest points of Folklore.
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I think most people mean, when they compare this Game to an RPG, the Story driven part.
I play a lot of Dungeon Crawlers and I must say this one is the most Story Driven I played so far.

Thats the main reason I will keep it.
 
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Teowulff wrote:
DyingTickles wrote:
Teowulff wrote:
One recurring thing (already discussed during the 1st KS) is the encounter part of the game. The simple d100 dice rolls really seem rather subpar compared to other games with fighting. A few bad rolls - and your party dies. Especially when you play with less characters wher numbers don't always make up for bad rolls.


How is this different from any other game with dice based combat? There are plenty of ways to mitigate the dice rolls in this game and the death mechanic in this game is more forgiving than most in that you continue to play as a ghost.

The thing is that combat with rolling 1 dice is totally random compared to rolling multiple dice. The chance of 1 or 6 is the same with 1 dice.
While the average of 7 happens a lot more often with a roll of 2 dice than a 2 or 12.

What counts for a d6 also counts for a d100. Extreme rolls are just as likely to happen as average rolls - so it's all highly unpredictable.
Especially with a low number of players/low number of rolls the chance of some really bad rolls increases.
So it's getting more likely your part will be wiped out during encounters.

Yes, you progress through 30+ to 33+ when upgrading, for example. But it's still one single die you roll.
With a system of more dice the effect of increasing stats is more subtle but also more reliable.
Really, I think the combat system is one of the weakest points of Folklore.


I've finally received my copy and will be trying it out soon.

What I'm finding very odd about this system is the high and low number of variables. Ignoring card draws for now, I will focus on the die rolls.

So the system is either mostly a d10 + number or a d100 + number.

On the d10 you are trying to meet or beat a difficulty. Let's take Looting a monster for example. It's a 10+! That means only 10% of your looting will be successful. So receiving a + on that increases your odds dramatically (essentially each +1 is a +10% bonus). All good. That said, it's still a fairly random system.

Now the percentile side. There are a lot of really small and nearly pointless bonuses. You're dealing with target numbers that average of 40%+ and you're getting +3 here and +1 there. I guess when all your bonuses are small, every bonus is important. But still, it feels like it could have been taken in another direction.

Mitigation (so far) appears to be rerolls. It's a mediocre mitigation mechanic at best.

Without trying it, I'm not saying that the system is bad. It's just pretty basic and not terribly interesting. But, as has been pointed out in reviews, this game is not trying to be innovative.
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bk375 wrote:



I think I have a good feel for the game from peoples comments, and have two big picture concerns/question that hover over the game still for me. Is the game hard or is it random with a design towards failing? If you fail, how much of it is going to be luck or skill (and skill to me can include smart item purchases, character builds, smart use of luck mitigation, etc.)? Is it just a bunch of skill checks with little ability to influence and the math behind the game dictates you will fail most of the time? Or is it reasonably influenced by decisions? I know people have commented that its like their RPG experiences, and I commented earlier mine are dated, but some were good and some were very bad. I guess what I am trying to determine how much of the experience is as a passive passenger there to read the story and to roll dice periodically and how much is an active participant making decisions that ultimately influence the outcome of the game.


For my party and I, our experience has been that the game has been at times challenging, but never truly HARD. Dice thresholds tend to favor the players in most situations, especially when you have a balanced party with 4 PCs.

Many of these "criticisms" I get the feeling are coming from people who haven't started story 2 or who haven't started leveling up their characters. The game is less forgiving early on when you are strapped for cash, and the game even warns you not to do certain things until you've gained levels and started gaining gear. The game does punish stupid mistakes quite harshly. Honestly, some stories are more passive experiences then others, but this is a reflection of the quality of work for each of the scenario designers. On a whole though, I think Folklore is a mixed bag of sections where you have a satisfying amount of player agency and other sections where you are pretty much along for the ride. If you can get through the first story, the game really does open up considerably. This isn't just a matter of having more ways to mitigate dice, but it is also in the available things your character can do and the resources you must manage.

bk375 wrote:

The second concern to me is some posts around player count not scaling and the implication it is very far off.



Here is the simple answer. Folklore shines best when you have 4 PCs. I wouldn't do more and and wouldn't do less. So much of the game feels like it is balanced for 4 PCs PLUS you get the best combo potential with 4 PCs when in combat. THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING THAT HAPPENS IN GLOOMHAVEN BTW! Many of the people you hear complaining about the lack of combat depth aren't running 4 PC parties and aren't playing characters who have started leveling up. 4 PC parties that start leveling up really start to spice up combat quite a bit. ALSO, the encounter designs start to become much more interesting starting at the end of Story 1 and into the next few stories. Once you hit the expansion adventures, things really do take off.
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