Tom Chick
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I just got the Forest of Shadows expansion, and to my dismay, the card backs look very different from the cards in the base game. The color is much more saturated in Forest of Shadows, and I can immediately tell whether a card is from the base set or the expansion.

Is this the case for anyone else? Or did I just get cards from a bad print run?

-Tom
 
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Tom Chick
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Actually, now that I look more closely, the actual artwork is different. Forest of Shadows has a moss effect on the wood, but the wood on the base set is clean. So either it's intentional that we're supposed to know which set a card is from before we flip it, or the folks at Asmadi are clueless about how to release expansions that are supposed to mix with a core game...

-Tom
 
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Chris Cieslik
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They're intentionally different. We're not idiots, and do indeed know when we're adding moss and green effects all over artwork for a door.
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angelkurisu wrote:
They're intentionally different. We're not idiots, and do indeed know when we're adding moss and green effects all over artwork for a door.


Ouch. But also fair laugh
 
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Warren Smith
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In that case, it's obviously intentional that you can tell which door you are opening when playing a hybrid game, which I find interesting. Not saying that's good or bad; just kind of surprises me. I wonder if that little bit of info actually helps when playing the game. Probably not me anyway. laugh

I had noticed the difference but didn't connect the dots until now.
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Tom Chick
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angelkurisu wrote:
They're intentionally different. We're not idiots, and do indeed know when we're adding moss and green effects all over artwork for a door.


Fair enough. Sorry if I came off as too snarky. But it's a really strange decision, and there's nothing in the rules book about it. One of the things that appeals to me about the hybrid deck is the extra uncertainty when there's only a single copy of each card. I really liked that, but now I'm staring at four doors and I can tell which one comes from which group. That's just odd and I don't think I've ever seen it before in an expansion to a card game. Shouldn't the doors be opened blindly?

Furthermore, it lets me steer around the poison mechanic if I want. Since part of poisoning is having poison cards face up, a hybrid deck not only waters down that mechanic by having fewer poison cards -- which I presume is why the rules are different for removing poison tokens -- but it also telegraphs the cards before they're out. That's not the case when playing the expansion as a standalone.

I'd love to hear more about the rationale behind the decision.

-Tom
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From the Forest of Shadows rulebook (http://asmadigames.com/rules/ODD_Forest_Rules.pdf):

Quote:
Card Backs: You’ll be able to tell which set a card is from by its back. Use this to your advantage for finding leafs or deciding what type of foe to search for.


It's clear that yes, it lets you do that, and yes, that is the intent. I think the goal is to make door choices slightly more strategic when poison is involved, though I can't really speak as much for intent.
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Chris Cieslik
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Logistically, it's pretty tough to get an exact color match on cardbacks from separate print runs. Given that, I chose to design with identifiable cardbacks in mind. Yes, you know that a card is 1 out of 22.

Tactically, you can decide to go toward a dungeon door (which is likely to have more damage) or a forest door (which is likely to have more poison). Opening forest doors is also relevant for finding herbs with which to resist poison. They aren't huge swings for the game, but they are relevant and hopefully an interesting component in decision-making.

Since poison is slightly easier to manage in a hybrid game, the rules for poison change - the back side of the poison reference has rules for poison during a hybrid game. Successfully resisting poison no longer removes a poison counter.
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Andy Allardyce
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I was also a little dismayed when I learned that the card backs for the expansion would be different than the base game, because I also thought it would severely impact strategy.

And Chris's suggestion that I sleeve everything with the same design wasn't the way I wanted to go - no sleeves was one of the reasons why I went with plastic cards in the first place.

But really, it's not that big of a deal.

My first thought was that since it's a game with a lot of dice - I'll just lay out the four dungeon cards in a row and roll a dice to determine which door to open (four doors, four colour of dice - assign a dice to each door and the highest roll gets opened). The idea was thematically consistent (more dice rolls!), and it would prevent preferential treatment being given to cards of a particular set.

But then I just started laying out the four dungeon cards in a row, and opened them in the order in which they were drawn. The ability to "pick" a door doesn't really impact gameplay, and once again, it removes any bias.

Either way works well enough if you don't want the card backing to have undue influence on your decision regarding which door to open.
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Justin Davis
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It's probably similar to Mottainai in that they play tested and realized two different backs really had no effect on gameplay.
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Tom Chick
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Chris, thanks for the response. It still feels weird to me, and it means that the game will play differently for people who sleeve their cards, but I appreciate the explanation.

Ruduen wrote:
From the Forest of Shadows rulebook (http://asmadigames.com/rules/ODD_Forest_Rules.pdf):

Quote:
Card Backs: You’ll be able to tell which set a card is from by its back. Use this to your advantage for finding leafs or deciding what type of foe to search for.


It's clear that yes, it lets you do that, and yes, that is the intent. I think the goal is to make door choices slightly more strategic when poison is involved, though I can't really speak as much for intent.


You linked to an earlier draft of the rules. For some reason, the rules that shipped with the game edited out the section about card backs.

-Tom
 
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Tom Chick
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Hemlockaaa wrote:


But then I just started laying out the four dungeon cards in a row, and opened them in the order in which they were drawn. The ability to "pick" a door doesn't really impact gameplay, and once again, it removes any bias. g to have undue influence on your decision regarding which door to open.


That's a good idea, but I'm not entirely convinced. If you're playing an encounter and you see that there are three impending core set cards, it should affect your decisions differently about which boxes to cover during an encounter. You'd be more willing to risk a poison token if you knew that none of the next three encounters will give you another poison token.

Again, I can't think of any other card game expansion that hasn't tried to match the card backs to their core set. That's one of the points of using cards as a mechanic: you don't have any information about the upcoming card(s). As much as someone might try to downplay the gameplay impaact, it's there and it's an odd design choice.

-Tom
 
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The hybrid deck works great for me. I'm adventuring, I have multiple paths in front of me, some lead to caves and some lead to forests. I can see those paths and I can make a choice.

Randomly finding myself in the caves one second and then in the forests the next if they all had the same card backs and choosing blindly makes less sense to me thematically. My 2 cents.
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For me it is a very interesting design element, since it leads to a more strategic player choice and the player decision which door to open is not that meaningless anymore. I also agree that it is more thematic. I like the different doors.
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daniel balik
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TomChick wrote:
Chris, thanks for the response. It still feels weird to me, and it means that the game will play differently for people who sleeve their cards, but I appreciate the explanation.


Not for those who sleeves with transparent sleeves
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Andrew Watson
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This is IMHO a brilliant decision, for reasons already pointed out:
- card backs from different printing would be very unlikely to match perfectly;
- it's thematic: my character is I hope smart enough to notice that some, but not all, paths feature trees.

It's been described as "an odd design choice". Rather than "odd", I'd describe it as: unusual, but justified by both gameplay and production considerations.
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Matt Asher
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AndAgainMA wrote:
It's been described as "an odd design choice"

One Deck Dungeon design choice!! Odd indeed!
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