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Subject: First Thoughts After Quest 1: To New Roads rss

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Jerrod Warr
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My wife and I got the chance to play "To New Roads" tonight, the first quest in the campaign. Here are some quick thoughts.

Character Creation:
After a quick prologue, you start by creating your character. This portion feels very much like D&D lite, which was perfect for us. Gave us an opportunity to create fun personas that'll hopefully be thematic and helpful throughout the campaign.



After that, the intro book basically tells you to jump right into the first Quest book and it'll explain things along the way.

Gameplay:
Early on in "To New Roads" you'll see that this game is like an advanced "choose your own adventure" book. You go through the story and you're given choices ("turn to X for choice A..."), but the options you can choose vary depending on if you have a particular skill ("agility" for example) or how much time has passed (tracked when the book tells you to do so). Party members can take damage and if they fall low enough, they will lose abilities and choices in the quest.

You can find items (in the form of cards they tell you to take) and narrative choices will become available based on previous choices you made. For example, if you spoke with a particular character about something in their past, later on you might be given the option to direct a conversation in a unique way.

Conclusion:
Both my wife and I had a great time and we're excited to play more. We play very few tabletop RPGs but a lot of board games (I hope this eventually shows up on BGG as this feels like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Dectective, Tales of the Arabian Nights, etc.). I could see this being a gateway into heavier RPGs like D&D; it's so easy to understand and play right out of the box. The fact it's fully co-op and we don't have to have a GM is a huge plus for us. In measuring a gaming experience, it really boils down to "did you have fun?" and for us it's a big "yes!"

As for cons, I don't really have too much to say. We are only one quest in, but I hope our characters somehow play a more specific role in the future. Perhaps something like "if you have a Catfolk in your group" or "if you have a teenage character in the group, then..."

I also hope there are some additional mechanics that pop up down the road, or I could see how it might start to feel repetitive and really like the longest "choose your own adventure" you've ever read. Don't get me wrong - it's a repetitive we'd likely enjoy very much anyway, but we'd welcome some gameplay surprises.

Finally, one small annoyance was sometimes the active player will make a decision based on a skill they personally have ("stealth," for example) but it will unfortunately require the entire group to basically do that skill check. I suppose if you keep that in mind as a possibility when making a choice as the active player, you won't all be blindsided.

But ultimately, those little annoyances don't matter for us. I'd say if what you've read about the game in all the various places around the internet sounds interesting, then you won't be disappointed. There's not a huge amount of depth (yet) but the end result is a very enjoyable and approachable experience, so I'm happy we have it.

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Thanks for the review!
How do you make skill checks? (Since there's no dice or, as far as I know, any other randomizers in the game)
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Chris Leigh
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Thanks for the review! Also your handwriting is epic, I thought that was a font!
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Ben Evans
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Really appreciate the review.
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Jean-Henri Duteau
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jtspecial wrote:
Thanks for the review!
How do you make skill checks? (Since there's no dice or, as far as I know, any other randomizers in the game)


It's purely based on "do you have skill x, then turn to #y". No randomizers anywhere.
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Thanks I thought it would be like that, but I had hoped for something a little more...
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Peter Hulting
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Any comparison to Folklore?

Sounds like the combat and skill check department is pretty simple and focus is purely on picking between different actions that lead to new pages of text. Am I right?
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Alex Bokser
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Thanks for the review! thumbsup
Would really appreciate a follow-up review after you guys complete a few more scenarios!
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Chris
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The main mechanic in the game is your ("your" being defined as "whomever in the party gets to make the decision that paragraph") skills. They determine what choices you're allowed to pick in the paragraphs.
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lorien4 lorien4
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It seems to me that it is a "Tales of the Arabian nights" in fantasy setting.

No, thanks.
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Chris J Davis
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lorien4 wrote:
It seems to me that it is a "Tales of the Arabian nights" in fantasy setting.

No, thanks.


Seems quite different to me. Tales of the Arabian Nights is pretty much completely random. One encounter doesn't really connect with the next. But in Legacy of Dragonholt, the encounters form a cohesive narrative. I would liken it more to Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective than Tales of the Arabian Nights.
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Neil J.
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Can anyone comment on how combat works in this game? Is it like other abilities where it's just static and paragraph based?
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Frank Branham
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Gaius wrote:
Can anyone comment on how combat works in this game? Is it like other abilities where it's just static and paragraph based?


I read the rules, and there is ONE numeric stat mentioned--Stamina. I'm going to guess that it works via: combat description that ends with "lose X Stamina".

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Jerrod Warr
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blunder1983 wrote:
Thanks for the review! Also your handwriting is epic, I thought that was a font!

Thanks!

lorien4 wrote:
It seems to me that it is a "Tales of the Arabian nights" in fantasy setting.

No, thanks.

Tales is basically a random encounter generator that doesn't have a cohesive, overarching story. This is an actual narrative but with branching paths, so much more enjoyable IMO.

jduteau wrote:
jtspecial wrote:
Thanks for the review!
How do you make skill checks? (Since there's no dice or, as far as I know, any other randomizers in the game)


It's purely based on "do you have skill x, then turn to #y". No randomizers anywhere.

So far, this is correct. I'm hoping it'll change in the future but we'll see.

bxrrr wrote:
Thanks for the review! thumbsup
Would really appreciate a follow-up review after you guys complete a few more scenarios!

I will definitely try and get some follow-up thoughts after our next quest!

fbranham wrote:
Gaius wrote:
Can anyone comment on how combat works in this game? Is it like other abilities where it's just static and paragraph based?


I read the rules, and there is ONE numeric stat mentioned--Stamina. I'm going to guess that it works via: combat description that ends with "lose X Stamina".


So far, this is also the case. And in true "choose your own adventure" fashion, the outcome is somewhat random after you make your selection so you're kind of crossing your fingers. Although...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
It generally seems so far that if you have a choice where it's skill dependent, you're better off picking that instead of a generic option.
Does that increase strategy? Not really. But again, you're in this game to enjoy the ride; not to have a satisfying Euro experience.




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Antonio Tang
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Gonna chime in with my thoughts: Just finished the first quest, "To New Roads," with my spouse. The experience took about 1-1.5 hours. You get to choose what you'd like to do at regular intervals, e.g., "Chat about X" or "Chat about Y," and since your choices mark off specific story points (e.g., H7), perhaps they have a bearing on later quests. Of course, it seems like the better choices align with skills that you hopefully picked at character creation (5-8 skills).

All in all, we had fun, but it mostly resembled a corporate storytelling session. (The wife indicated an interest in playing the next quest tonight.) It's very much like Tales of the Arabian Nights with a more cohesive and coherent story. It is less akin to Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases as there's really little to discuss/debate. Since there are a limited number of quest books in the box, I do not think you can get more than 6-7 hours of game play if you do not replay quests with new characters. For myself, I probably would not replay "To New Roads" even with a new character because it feels like I've already read 90% of the entries in the booklet. The experience itself felt very much "on rails" despite the smattering of decision-making.

Edited: Having moved onto Day 1 of "Dragonholt Village," I'm going to take back what I said about the experience being "on rails." The world of Dragonholt seems be much more open, like London in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases. Players can go anywhere they choose, and the "time passes" mechanism keeps things changing. That is, buildings might be open or closed and people might or might not be present depending on how much time has lapsed, which is recorded as Xs in a grid. A prolonged conversation at a tavern, for example, might require you to mark off several boxes, and you might find the smithy closed because you have too many Xs already for that day: "If you have four or more Xs for today, the building is closed. / The encounter is complete." Now, the individual quest booklets might still very much funnel player choices, but the village booklet seems less linear.
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Jonathan Franklin
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In terms of analogy, this sounds most like a text-based 7th Continent. Is that the case?
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lorien4 wrote:
It seems to me that it is a "Tales of the Arabian nights" in fantasy setting.


Tale's isn't CYOA.
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Antonio Tang
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grandslam wrote:
In terms of analogy, this sounds most like a text-based 7th Continent. Is that the case?

There's more game in 7th Continent, I think -- what with managing your inventory and cards in hand and number of stars in the draw pile... There's also the need to economize your movement in that game. In LoD, there's none of that. Sure, you read text that brings you to more text, but like I said, it's a very much "on rails" experience. At the village, though, you do get to decide what buildings to explore, and time passes in the meantime, so maybe in that sense, there's meaningful player choice.

Edited: The world opens up with Dragonholt Village. (See post above.)
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John B
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Thanks for the peek inside. I want to like this but I'm skeptical. Besides the price, I'm concerned about the backseat nature of the experience. I prefer being a more active participant or allow chance to creep in as a form of "The Fates". To that end, I was wondering if I play this solo with 6 attributes, I could assign each to a die roll. That way for unclear choices, I'll let Fate decide. For those that have played, would something like that work?
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mathew rynich
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A large chunk of 7th Continent's gameplay is the survival aspect of the game. You need to be very economical with your choices and always look for ways to efficiently replenish your deck.

Legacy Of Dragonholt has stamina as a deplete-able resource, but from the accounts I've read so far (my copy is in the mail) it doesn't seem like it's forcing you into the same sort of economic considerations as 7th Continent. How does stamina recharge?

mercopparis wrote:


Finally, one small annoyance was sometimes the active player will make a decision based on a skill they personally have ("stealth," for example) but it will unfortunately require the entire group to basically do that skill check. I suppose if you keep that in mind as a possibility when making a choice as the active player, you won't all be blindsided.


Can you elaborate on this point? Was there no indication that the choice was forcing that skill check on the entire party? Did it make thematic sense?
 
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Ryan Caputo
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phillosmaster wrote:
mercopparis wrote:


Finally, one small annoyance was sometimes the active player will make a decision based on a skill they personally have ("stealth," for example) but it will unfortunately require the entire group to basically do that skill check. I suppose if you keep that in mind as a possibility when making a choice as the active player, you won't all be blindsided.


Can you elaborate on this point? Was there no indication that the choice was forcing that skill check on the entire party? Did it make thematic sense?


I don't believe this is correct in most cases, each decision made is that character doing the action unless it notes differently in the passage.
 
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Chris J Davis
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The rulebook makes a distinction between "you" and "you each".
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Theo Peters
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blunder1983 wrote:
Thanks for the review! Also your handwriting is epic, I thought that was a font!


+1 this
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Kyle Cope
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I just finished "To New Roads". There are something like 122 entries in the quest and I used
Spoiler (click to reveal)
39 of them.


I took some focused time creating my character which really is critical for making decisions as your character would.

At the decision points, there are generic responses, and then responses based on if you have a skill or not. You could certainly use a randomizer to determine if you are "feeling confident" in that skill use or not.
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Ed Sherman
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bleached_lizard wrote:
lorien4 wrote:
It seems to me that it is a "Tales of the Arabian nights" in fantasy setting.

No, thanks.


Seems quite different to me. Tales of the Arabian Nights is pretty much completely random. One encounter doesn't really connect with the next. But in Legacy of Dragonholt, the encounters form a cohesive narrative. I would liken it more to Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective than Tales of the Arabian Nights.


I have personally referred to it as "CYOA meets TotAN" myself, but literally the only way it resembles Tales is in the skill checks. Having the skill means you get extra options to choose from.
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