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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » Variants

Subject: Destiny Mode rss

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Gerrit G.
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Destiny Mode

The settlement has a destiny to pursue. With time and experience, the survivors learn to influence their own destiny and to craft a brighter future for themselves.

Gaining Destiny
Whenever you check a lantern year on your settlement’s timeline, you gain one destiny. (The checked lantern year box represents that point of destiny.)

Spending Destiny
You may spend one destiny to do one of the following:
- Redraw a settlement event card.
- Reroll the d100 on the hunt event table.
- Reroll the d10 on any table on which you rolled a single d10 during the settlement phase or hunt phase.
(To spend the destiny, mark the checked lantern year box as used, e.g. by encircling it.)

This mode is meant to alleviate the impact that a couple individual bad rolls (or draws) can have on the success of your campaign. It does so while leaving integral parts of the game intact. Namely the showdown phase (which is purposefully excluded from the use of destiny) and the Intimacy event (where you will always roll twice after the very first time, thus making it no longer eligible for a destiny reroll).

Bad stuff can and will still happen and you can run out of destiny if you use it too recklessly, but your campaign becomes less dependent on a few unlucky rolls and draws.

...

Minor Destiny Mode

This variant works exactly like the Destiny Mode, except that only checked lantern year boxes in uneven lantern years represents a point of destiny.


...

This is the variant that we will most likely use once we have finished our current campaign. The game is great, but it is silly how a single low roll can basically halve our entire population. That is the main gripe we have with the game. I was considering the Throwing Rocks at the Gods mode, which is cool and certainly goes in the right direction. I really like the limited pool of rerolls you get over the course of a campaign. However, when I considered making a few changes to it, I just thought I make my own mode.

In the end, if a total of 30 rerolls over the course of a standard campaign turn out to be too many, we may use a modified TRatG mode after all. What do you think?

Edit: Added "Minor Destiny Mode"
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Nick Wirtz
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I'd recommend at most one every other year (or, you can use one whenever, with a year cooldown).

You don't need it in the game, but it's fine if you want to try things a little more forgiving. Personally, I'd just recommend hero mode: it's pretty well-balanced if you read it strictly as written and don't gain death principles.
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Gerrit G.
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The problem is that hero mode breaks the game. Or better: It changes it so much that it is no longer the same game. It changes core principles of the game and even pretty much negates the main loss condition. It might be a cool way to experience the full campaign, but it means that the players are no longer playing the same challenging game.

I only want to alleviate the random unavoidable devastating event BS, while leaving as much as the game as is. Especially the showdown, which I think is great as is and should stay punishing.

Basically, I want a variant that makes the game a little bit easier and deals with its major flaw, while still remaining the same game.

spiralingcadaver wrote:
I'd recommend at most one every other year (or, you can use one whenever, with a year cooldown).

That is a good suggestion. I have added a "Minor Destiny Mode" variant to my opening post. This gives players the option to choose between two levels of an easy mode.
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Sum
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Star Slayer wrote:
The problem is that hero mode breaks the game. Or better: It changes it so much that it is no longer the same game. It changes core principles of the game and even pretty much negates the main loss condition. It might be a cool way to experience the full campaign, but it means that the players are no longer playing the same challenging game.

I only want to alleviate the random unavoidable devastating event BS, while leaving as much as the game as is. Especially the showdown, which I think is great as is and should stay punishing.


I think the only way you could have made the game easier is if you just threw your settlement event deck in the trash. Your variant basically guarantees nothing bad will ever happen (no murder, bad nemesis roll, etc). This game is “bad things happen; settlement endures somehow maybe”.

Don’t get me wrong, if you want to play the game on super easy mode, I say go for it. But your comments suggest you don’t realize this is super easy mode.
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Pietro Pomella
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As a side note, if mitigating the settlement events and the hunt instantly makes the game "super easy mode" that kinda means that the actual showdowns have no real meaning/impact on whether the game is "won" or "lost", which is a bit sad as it means that a huge deal of the choices one makes when playing are actually kind of meaningless.

I understand that more experienced players will make less mistakes and do more "optimised" runs having more successful settlements, thus proving that the game is still overall impacted by our choices. I also know that I'm being slightly hyperbolic in the statement above, but still... I'm definitely in the camp of those who are fairly annoyed by the fact that many things that are completely out of your control cause such huge swings in the overall direction of the campaign.

And sure, I might personally enjoy the thematic poignancy of such utter despair, but after various campaigns that thrill has mostly worn off and has become just something you have to endure and occasionally "game" to get to the actually awesome stuff. Since this is such a clever game with amazing concepts, I wish it were clever in all of its design, and more accessible to people who are not that much into masochism

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Nick Wirtz
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Maybe not as harshly, but I agree with Sum. You usually don't run into more than one terrible thing in a year if you're playing pretty well; that takes out that one bad consequence.

I've played hundreds of sessions, and hero mode is actually very balanced. Pretty much the only thing you gain is not losing your best guys to most deaths, but all of the other ways to lose are intact: you can definitely stall out as much as the core, your favorite guy can suddenly and irreparably not be able to do what you want him to, and a loss can often be worse, since there's no recovery mechanic (death principles).
 
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Nick Wirtz
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First, here was no question, rhetorical or otherwise, that required answering or an example.

Second, why is protecting characters from death, with consequences, more influencing than protecting the settlement from huge losses?

As anecdotal examples, I'd personally call any of the events where you can roll poorly and lose your entire storage or (in one particularly memorable experience) lose a bunch of blacksmith gear) due to a single die roll... that, in this scenario, you can re-roll multiple times to avoid or even get rewards, to be far more influential than, say, losing a nemesis fight and getting to keep 4 newbs instead of using their corpses to fuel your settlement, or having a good survivor get crippled instead of killed.
 
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Nick Wirtz
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Awesome retort, my fellow! Clever and topical! I was righteously shown my place and shall never again attempt such crass attempts at reasoning nor at debate!
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Gerrit G.
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sumanye wrote:
Star Slayer wrote:
The problem is that hero mode breaks the game. Or better: It changes it so much that it is no longer the same game. It changes core principles of the game and even pretty much negates the main loss condition. It might be a cool way to experience the full campaign, but it means that the players are no longer playing the same challenging game.

I only want to alleviate the random unavoidable devastating event BS, while leaving as much as the game as is. Especially the showdown, which I think is great as is and should stay punishing.


I think the only way you could have made the game easier is if you just threw your settlement event deck in the trash. Your variant basically guarantees nothing bad will ever happen (no murder, bad nemesis roll, etc). This game is “bad things happen; settlement endures somehow maybe”.

There are a bunch of settlement events that are fine and thematic and that only do a little bit of damage, so keeping those is a definite plus. Even some of the devastating ones are ok as long as they don't show up too often. Getting Murder or Plague every third year is just super annoying. Also, bad stuff will still happen, because the number of rerolls/redraws is limited. And blowing all destiny points on mildly bad stuff can mean that you won't have any left when something really terrible happens a bit later.

Your post made me think that allowing to redraw settlement events is maybe too much though. I put it mostly in there to mirror the hunt event table reroll and because getting Murder every third year was super annoying. (We have currently no survivor with 4+ hunt exp left... and only one of those died in a showdown.) Spending Destiny to reroll a single d10 might already be enough to alleviate the pain of the really terrible settlement events. You would still get your guy murdered, but by using a reroll, you can reduce the chance of having the murderer return.

Independently of your post, I was taking another look at the Throwing Rocks at the Gods variant and noticed that it allows you to get specific innovations (those that grant survival actions) under certain conditions. While we were unlucky in some parts of the game, at least we got Dash in year 4 and Surge in year 8. Can’t imagine how our game would have went if we had gotten neither at this point, which would have been unlikely, but statistically possible. So I was thinking to change the Destiny Mode by changing the first option for spending destiny:

Remove: “Redraw a settlement event card.”
Add: “While innovating, draw two additional innovation cards to choose from.”

That would increase the chance of getting important innovations early, but at a price. You still won’t get to flat out choose what to innovate from your innovation deck that year, but it would greatly increase the chance to get a good one. This change would also mean that you can’t evade harsh settlement event completely, but you could still use destiny to reroll a d10 if a low roll would bring a devastating result.

What do you think of this change?

Quote:
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to play the game on super easy mode, I say go for it. But your comments suggest you don’t realize this is super easy mode.

I've realized that giving one destiny every single year might actually be super easy mode. Which is why I updated the first post with the Minor Destiny Mode that only gives one destiny on uneven years, thus granting half as much as the original variant. That surely makes the game easier, but it won't be super easy. I think we will try Minor Destiny for our next campaign.


@Pietro Pomella: I totally agree with your post!
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Nick Wirtz
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Re: guaranteed innovations, I've held the belief that paint should have just been automatically aquireable, either by a red fist-style event or a smelting-style inflated expense.

I don't think you can probably beat the Watcher without it even if you can limp to it, and the postgame would probably be horrible without it. I've been toying with a homebrewed event towards one or the other for a long time. I think probably around year 10-12 would be the right point for that.

Beating the game without Surge is probably possible but rough.
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Gerrit G.
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So, do you think the suggested change to the destiny ability

Remove: “Redraw a settlement event card.”
Add: “While innovating, draw two additional innovation cards to choose from.”

would be a good idea?

You could spend destiny points until you revealed the dash or surge innovation (or any other innovation that you really wanted), once you accumulated a few points. It could be costly, depending how late you revealed what you were looking for, but once you had 3-5 points of destiny ready and were willing to spend all of them if necessary, you would get the important innovation. In Minor Destiny Mode, that would be between lantern years 5-9, which would approach your idea.
 
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Nick Wirtz
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It's a little awkward, since it does what Symposium(?) already does, but is probably fine compared to the the impact of the others. To keep in the same system, I'd recommend re-drawing rather than additional (so it's a gamble rather than a straight buff).

I think that if you add that system, you don't really need the option to have an additional means of guaranteeing specific ones.
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Gerrit G.
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
It's a little awkward, since it does what Symposium(?) already does, but is probably fine compared to the the impact of the others. To keep in the same system, I'd recommend re-drawing rather than additional (so it's a gamble rather than a straight buff).

I think that if you add that system, you don't really need the option to have an additional means of guaranteeing specific ones.

I thought about making it a redraw (I would like that symmetry to the other effects), but that wouldn't guarantee getting dash and/or surge by the midgame. As you say, the option to invest a couple valuable destiny points to get the essential innovations for sure means I wouldn't need another house rule to deal with that headache.

My goal is to smooth out the major gameplay nuisances with as few and as short house rules as possible. Since my main gripe are the occasional truly devastating random events, a limited pool of rerolls seems like a quick and easy solution. If that same solution also deals with another problem (that is also caused by randomness) by adding a single line of text, great.

In the end, I want a less frustrating experience by adding just a single mod / variant / house rule - e.g. this (Minor) Destiny Mode - to the core game. (And sorry, the Hero Mode just doesn't appeal to me.)
 
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Ingo Claro
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What if you remove the event card after it appears 2 times? Maybe spend 2 destinies to remove the event, but after it is resolved.
 
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