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Subject: Fan made quests? rss

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Robin Reeve
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Hi all,
As I read a number of complaints that MD quests were poorly designed and playtested, I am wondering if some players crafted some "better" ones.

Is there a fan based site where one could find them?

Perhaps my questions come too early?
 
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Doctor Bandage
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Have you played through any of the quests yet? I'd give the basic ones a go before jumping into fan made ones.

If you just want more quests because you've completed all 10 (and a half) in the base game, the Crystal and Lava expansion comes with 6 new official ones.

There are a handful on fan-made quests in the files section. Maybe about 5 or so, I haven't counted recently. Beware though, a few of them require KS exclusives or Zombicide: Black Plague and the crossover kit.

If you're interested in campaign overhauls, you can also check out this thread that keeps a list of them along with other variants and rule 'fixes'.

There's also the excellent map editor if you're interested in creating your own scenarios.
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Robin Reeve
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As said in another thread, I am still waiting to get the game in French version.
I certainly will play the quests that the game offers first - and it seems that many players like them a lot.

I was just wondering if the number of people who virulently crtiticized MD for the precise reason that they found the quests badly designed (while considering the system as interesting nevertheless) did make any effort to craft themselves quests which would measure up with their expectations.

It would be a way for me to discern the precise places where those negative reviewers have had issues.
 
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Robin Reeve
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Oh, and thank you very much for the links provided!
 
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Doctor Bandage
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I'm not sure you're going to find what you're looking for. The bulk of fan-effort for MD is concentrated in fixing the campaign (either by total overhaul or by use of variant rules) or tweaking the game's system for balance, difficulty, randomness, or some other preference. While I can't speak for the critics directly since I'm rather fond of the game, most of them seemed to take issue with parts or the entirety of the game system, not any quests in particular.

If I had to distill all the criticism to a short list, the main complaints seems to be that Heroes are overpowered beyond level 3 (via too many skills and/or over-optimized equipment), the campaign isn't enjoyable because of the previous reason, or that the game is too simple/random/repetitive. If your criticisms fall into the third camp, this game probably just plain isn't for you and there isn't much that be done to change that. The broken campaign is an unfortunate side effect of over-promising during a Kickstarter. If you're not interested in playing MD as a campaign however, then there's still some hope. So, we're onto the main complaint: overpowered heroes.

The quests factor in here by mitigating to different degrees the main complaint. Some quests, namely the ones with a built in timer mechanism (Quests 2,4,5,9, and to a lesser degree quest 10), mitigate hero power by forcing heroes to move quickly through the dungeon. This means heroes must leave valuable treasure behind, attempt to dodge certain enemies that may unduly slow them down (thus losing out on XP and skills), or present non-ideal engagements such as forcing you to fight outside the shadow zones.

I wouldn't say any of the quests are badly designed (again, remembering that I'm a fan) in the sense that they're unplayable but there are certainly quests that are more interesting. Quest 1 isn't a bad quest, it's just very straightforward. Almost like a longer tutorial quest. You're free to take your time, explore every chamber, engage enemies at your leisure or let them pass by unfettered while you traipse toward the exit. Quest 2 on the other hand has you hunt down a powerful spider before it escapes in 10 turns. You've got little time to spare while you're chasing it down, trying to gear up enough to damage it and defend against its very powerful attacks, all while fending off other enemies that pop up in your way. Oh, and you can only use half your skills at best. Quest 2 probably sounds more fun, correct?

The real issue with some of the quests is the lack of impetus for players to finish it expediently. If there's no clock running in the background, there's very little preventing a player from taking their sweet time picking up every piece of treasure, min/maxing equipment, farming kills for XP, or a whole host of other things that tip the scales in the heroes' favor. This leads to the complaints that heroes are too powerful, the game is too easy, too long, too much treasure, etc. It takes a certain mindset, that many players just can't get into, to willfully avoid taking beneficial actions to keep the game challenging and moving along.

Hopefully this helps shed some light on where the criticism may be coming from and how the quests fit into that.
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Robin Reeve
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Thank you a lot for your in depth explanations.
As I like Z:BP a lot and I am looking for a simple but immersive dungeon crawler like game, I have a rather positive expectation about MD.
I am not looking for a campaign in priority, but for one-shot quests.
But if fan made campaigns are developed, I would perhaps try to solo one.
 
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Ross Hebden
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First off, we like the game. It's a good light dungeon crawler and we play a few of the house rule variants to minimise power creep (mostly less treasure). We like it enough that I played it elsewhere first and then decided to pick up someone's lightbringer pledge on the cheap.

However, the thing that bugs me the most now is that the event/door cards are really uninspired and lacking variety. They wouldn't have taken much to add a bit more shine to the game and if the event cards were done a little better they could've even been a source of impetus to move characters along without min/maxing. (e.g. some could stack to raise the level of the dungeon or critters slowly, and they could have a really bad one or two that kicks things along a bit).

We also only play it as oneshots.
 
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Eric B
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DoctorBandage wrote:
I wouldn't say any of the quests are badly designed (again, remembering that I'm a fan) in the sense that they're unplayable but there are certainly quests that are more interesting.


I wouldn't say any quests are badly designed either, but I would say some are poorly balanced. I chalk this up to Guillotine trying to make each quest playable in both story mode and as one offs. It doesn't really work since the power of heroes will vary so much between each mode.

For instance I haven't played story mode myself, but I have watched videos of others playing it and they make quests 2 and 4 look like a cake walk. Meanwhile I have watched other people play the same quests as one offs and they have failed pretty miserably. One channel was playing some rules wrong and heavily in their favor (were not doing counter-attacks for every hero attacking), yet they didn't make it past the pillars in quest 4 due to some unlucky spawns.

A great example of what I am talking about is quest 9. I love the idea of that quest, and it was a lot of fun, but try playing it with 1-3 players. It's an absolute nightmare. Not only do you have 4 mobs or roaming monsters spawning each round, you have them coming from 4 different directions making it impossible to handle them all. You simply don't have enough actions to move back and forth and kill all the enemies spawning. I would love to know if anyone has beaten that quest playing with 3 or less players, as a one off quest, and actually played all the rules right. I don't think it's possible. I am positive it's not solo.
 
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Doctor Bandage
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Story mode trivializes a lot of quests. It's why Story mode is widely considered 'broken'.

Quest 2 and 4 can be hard, but both are beatable in normal mode. That's part of what makes those quests more interesting to to me, there's more risk of failure.

I've beaten quest 9 with 3 heroes in normal mode. It's difficult, but not impossible. I haven't attempted it solo, but it could probably be done with the right hero/class combo. You'd probably want someone good with ranged attacks, like a Nightshade Ranger so you can focus on damage output rather than running back and forth. Pair that up with someone like Sicarius, Whisper, or Sybil and I'd say you stand a chance.
 
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Eric B
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DoctorBandage wrote:
I've beaten quest 9 with 3 heroes in normal mode. It's difficult, but not impossible. I haven't attempted it solo, but it could probably be done with the right hero/class combo. You'd probably want someone good with ranged attacks, like a Nightshade Ranger so you can focus on damage output rather than running back and forth. Pair that up with someone like Sicarius, Whisper, or Sybil and I'd say you stand a chance.


You can hit tiles 2 and 4 from the middle, but not tiles 3 and 5. For those you need to spend at least one action moving back and forth in the middle to get line of sight on the enemies.

Four mobs or a roaming monster spawn every round so the numbers just don't work out in solo play. The first few rounds you MIGHT be ok as long as the pillars are still up, but after that...? You would need to spend 1 action moving around the board, and that leaves 2 actions to kill 4 separate enemies. Even if you were able to kill everything from the middle, that would require 3 actions to kill 4 mobs every other round. The game is easy after level 3, but that's if you have time to gear up and even then you still need 2-3 actions or so to kill a single roaming monster.

Also keep in mind this perfect circumstances. More likely you wouldn't have time to get gear from the side rooms. You also wouldn't be able to kill the mobs early on quick enough before they start piling up each round. It usually takes a full hero activation to even kill a single mob at level 1, but you need to kill 4? And this is of course with only 1 of the possible classes. Magic users would be significantly more difficult with their limited range, and melee would be pretty much out of the question.
 
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Doctor Bandage
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deathleech wrote:
You can hit tiles 2 and 4 from the middle, but not tiles 3 and 5. For those you need to spend at least one action moving back and forth in the middle to get line of sight on the enemies.


Safe Shot removes the need for a movement action. You can also just ignore those two tiles entirely, let them destroy the pillars, and kill them as they move into the choke points.

deathleech wrote:
Four mobs or a roaming monster spawn every round so the numbers just don't work out in solo play. The first few rounds you MIGHT be ok as long as the pillars are still up, but after that...? You would need to spend 1 action moving around the board, and that leaves 2 actions to kill 4 separate enemies. Even if you were able to kill everything from the middle, that would require 3 actions to kill 4 mobs every other round. The game is easy after level 3, but that's if you have time to gear up and even then you still need 2-3 actions or so to kill a single roaming monster.


It's up to four guards every odd round and 1 RM every even round to be specific. You also don't need to (or want to, more on this later) wipe all the enemies out every round. The pillars draw enemies' focus and give you a way to stall enemies until you're ready to deal with them. Each enemy only does one wound to a pillar, independent of how powerful they are.

Also, since enemies start on the level tokens and most enemies are melee, there is usually no damage done to pillars until the second round because the enemies need to move into the pillar's zone to attack it. Eventually the pillars do give out, but you usually have at least 3-4 rounds (more if you're killing enemies at the pillars) before any of them give out entirely. The real trouble is when ranged enemies spawn, as they can attack the pillars from turn one and can reach you for counter attacks.

deathleech wrote:
Also keep in mind this perfect circumstances. More likely you wouldn't have time to get gear from the side rooms. You also wouldn't be able to kill the mobs early on quick enough before they start piling up each round. It usually takes a full hero activation to even kill a single mob at level 1, but you need to kill 4? And this is of course with only 1 of the possible classes. Magic users would be significantly more difficult with their limited range, and melee would be pretty much out of the question.


If you chose Whisper, you can grab 2 rooms of treasure every activation and still get an ranged attack off. While I think you'd have trouble winning if you did this every round, you could grab every single treasure that shows up throughout the quest, solo. Using a different hero and Safe Shot (or Sprint or Shadow Crawler), you can grab the treasure from either room closest to the artifact token and still make 2 ranged attacks.

Also, you WANT mobs to pile up (within reason). It's counter-intuitive, but you want to keep the level 1 guards that you know you can kill quickly alive as long as possible (again, within reason). This increases the chance to draw a guard that's already on the board. Giving an extra activation to a half-killed level 1 mob is much much better than spawning a brand new one with better stats. Coincidentally, this is one of the few quests in the game where adding expansion content makes the quest harder. You usually want to draw multiples from the spawn deck to make the spawns more manageable.

Also keep in mind you don't instantly lose if an enemy reaches the artifact token. Only if that enemy is still there at the start of the enemy phase do you lose. This is an important distinction in the end game as it's really likely that something will reach the artifact once all the pillars are down if you don't have enough heroes to tank both sides of the artifact.
 
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Marc Raps
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deathleech wrote:
A great example of what I am talking about is quest 9. I love the idea of that quest, and it was a lot of fun, but try playing it with 1-3 players. It's an absolute nightmare. Not only do you have 4 mobs or roaming monsters spawning each round, you have them coming from 4 different directions making it impossible to handle them all. You simply don't have enough actions to move back and forth and kill all the enemies spawning. I would love to know if anyone has beaten that quest playing with 3 or less players, as a one off quest, and actually played all the rules right. I don't think it's possible. I am positive it's not solo.


I've beaten this quest with two players. But I have to add that we used just only core box. That really limited the number of enemies on the board, since we would often draw Guards that were already in play. They would simply get another activation and no new Enemies would be added. We managed to stand our ground and kill all the incoming Enemies.

Before that, we attempted this quest with two players and all the Enemy Boxes and additional Kickstarter Bosses added. We were overwhelmed really quickly and ended up getting slaughtered somewhere around Level 3.
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Eric B
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Rapseflaps wrote:
I've beaten this quest with two players. But I have to add that we used just only core box. That really limited the number of enemies on the board, since we would often draw Guards that were already in play. They would simply get another activation and no new Enemies would be added. We managed to stand our ground and kill all the incoming Enemies.

Before that, we attempted this quest with two players and all the Enemy Boxes and additional Kickstarter Bosses added. We were overwhelmed really quickly and ended up getting slaughtered somewhere around Level 3.


That was my experience as well. Playing with ALL of the expansions and crossover set means you are much less likely to get a duplicate spawn. Then you just keep having wave after wave of enemy show up. I kept getting to round 3 or so and then the pillars would go down and the enemies would come flooding in. I finally beat it when I only played with the core game. That made it much easier with most mob rounds only spawning 2 or 3 guards instead of all 4 almost every time.


DoctorBandage wrote:
...


The problem is how the game starts. You are trying to play catch up the whole time. With 4 mobs up at the very beginning you need to try and deal with them while making your way to the center of the map. Most likely the level 3 and 5 mobs will get to the pillars before you can even attack them while you focus on the 2nd and 4th spawning mobs. Then things just keep going down hill from there. Having no skills besides the hero ones, your free skill, and your signature means you are extremely limited in what you can do. You also have crappy starting level gear.

Without being able to attack the boss before you kill all the minions also means you need to take a minimum of 2 actions to kill every mob. That's 8 actions to kill all 4 starting mobs, and that's IF you don't whiff and can actually wound them every attack. So, just to kill the first 4 mobs that spawn means you need to spend nearly 3 entire game rounds, or 9 activation to handle them all. By the time you kill them all on your 8th action, 4 more mobs and a roaming monster have already spawned. Like I said, that's a big IF you kill the minion and then the boss all on your first try every time. More likely you are looking at 10-12 actions to kill the 4 starting mobs.

Sure you can try to stack the odds in your favor by only playing with the core set, but you could also get a really bad roaming monster or mob in the first few levels. Try killing Dwarf Defenders with a piece of armor or shield, rolling 3 blue dice and re-rolling blanks while you are only rolling 1-2 yellow or 1 red. If you are leaving the boss remaining in hopes that you will get a double spawn and not have a whole new group of mobs when you play solo, you are missing out on the majority of xp. Each minion only gives 1 xp while the bosses give 3 so you are gonna be pretty limited on skills you can buy. The enemies don't stop going up in level so this can be an issue if you get a round where all 4 mobs spawn anew.

Of course doing quest 9 solo, with a Ranger, only playing with the core set, and getting great spawns MIGHT be possible, but I would say it would take the stars aligning to actually beat it. I tried it a couple times and it was insane. You should try it and let me know how it goes...
 
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Doctor Bandage
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I'll give it a go some time later this week and report my findings. It'll be a fun challenge.
 
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Douglas Klipfel
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DoctorBandage wrote:
I'll give it a go some time later this week and report my findings. It'll be a fun challenge.


Looking forward to the results.
 
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Doctor Bandage
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Just an update: I tried out Quest 9 solo and submitted a detailed session report last week, but it's taking ages to pass through moderation. I won't spoil the results here, just wanted to let you know that it's coming.

Edit: Its up!
 
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