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Subject: How do you handle this game in a public game night situation? rss

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Josh Hagood
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To be specific, how do you play Gloomhaven when you mainly play at a game store, with varying attendance? So basically, I'd be the only consistent player in a campaign. What's the approach for this?

Do I just start over on the Black Barrow with generic default characters to demo the game over and over until most of the people I'd likely play with have tried it and learned it?

Once I figure out who actually liked it, should I make people lock in a character so that I can only have (to start) 4 other players plus whoever I play? Should I have multiple campaigns? Should I have multiples of the same character, but just one overarching campaign? What about when people start putting stickers on their cards?

Overall, I'm just very unsure how to proceed with this game, since the campaign system is so unique. It's much harder more of an ask to get people to commit to Gloomhaven VS pandemic legacy which tops out at around 17 or so plays. Gloomhaven is, like, 100. I can't imagine I'd have the same 2 to 3 players the entire time.

And then, how does solo play work? Should I just power level a few characters when I want to play and unlock things on my own? I was hoping to have a multiplayrr campaign, and a 2 player campaign for my wife and I that can double as my solo one. But now that I've gotten my copy, I'm not sure how viable that is any more.
 
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John B
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You can have seperate campaigns, its doable. Many threads on this forum address it. A search should yield results for you to wade thru.

As for public play, don't know....
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Alexander Steinbach
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So are you the shop owner who is demoing the game to customers? If so, then the best way to do it is playing only the first scenario and forgetting about the campaign part of the game. Alternatively, there is the official demo scenario that Isaac used on conventions. The advantage of that scenario is that it takes half the time to play than a normal scenario and that it doesn't spoil anything from the campaign.

If you are just a regular visitor of a game store and want to play the game for your own entertainment than it's a bit different. I advise to look for a group that has the same goal. You really need a somewhat consistent group to be able to enjoy this game. Play the first scenario for about a week while actively recruiting people for the campaign. Start over when you have a group of 3 or 4 players and only then begin to add the campaign and legacy elements.
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Des T.
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How our group handles it might provide some inspiration for you.

Quote:
Our group distinguishes between main, secondary and guest players.

The main players are the ones who try to show up for every game. We usually run main story scenarios, have fixed characters and have life goals.
Secondary players are happy to join the game when a main can't, but can't dedicate themselves fully to the campaign. They have fixed characters, but no life goals.
Guest players aren't expected to show up regulary at all. They don't have life goals and pick up whatever class currently isn't claimed.

Priorities for participation, pick priority for items and classes are all primary>secondary>guest.

That aside we have a common item pool across the whole campaign. It causes a higher build diversity and spares us constant gear juggling. There's also a google document that recaps every scenario and event briefly (but pretty humorously).


I'd suggest you decide on scenarios and set them up beforehand. Setup and teardown can be quick (our group has an average of ten minutes), but only if you have a pretty optimised storage solution and players who know how to help with it. I suspect the latter at least won't be the case for your games.
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Fito R
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GH requires some dedication. Not just for play time, but each person has to learn and master their character AND the very many rules of the game in order to be of any use. Moreover, it's really hard to stay engaged in a campaign game if your first game is, say, scenario 27.

Also, unless you're the store owner or feel okay leaving your ten kilo game at the store, I'm not sure I'd be willing to lug the aforementioned ten kilos back and forth every week.

I can't recommend this "public" type of play, but if that's what you want go for it.
 
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Josh Hagood
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Joou wrote:


Also, unless you're the store owner or feel okay leaving your ten kilo game at the store, I'm not sure I'd be willing to lug the aforementioned ten kilos back and forth every week.

I can't recommend this "public" type of play, but if that's what you want go for it.


It's less about what I want and more about what I get. I'm working on finding at least 2 regular players but response hasn't been as good as I had hoped. The gaming scene up in my relatively small city is pretty scattered and random games at the FLGS are the main way I play, over 95% of the time. I'm definitely going to have to demo the game to maybe 6+ people to see how interested everyone is, before I'll get anyone to commit to such a lengthy campaign. People need to know if they like the game before they sign up to meet weekly for the next year or more...

Im worried that a random scenario would make the game seem pretty boring, since they wouldn't have the character investment, RP elements, and progression. I dunno, maybe the pure combat is enough to sell it but I can't tell, since I haven't been able to play it yet.
 
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Tertius Gaudens
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Definitely introduce them to the game on easy, just to get the game mechanics across. I feel like you can probably get across the excitement of the legacy/campaign elements just by describing them. In my admittedly limited experience, my own enthusiasm for the game has been contagious, to the point that I had to make a difficult choice in who to include in the campaign and who to play side quests with. People seem pretty interested in it once you get them hooked on the idea.
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HenningK
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Vazzaroth wrote:
Im worried that a random scenario would make the game seem pretty boring, since they wouldn't have the character investment, RP elements, and progression. I dunno, maybe the pure combat is enough to sell it but I can't tell, since I haven't been able to play it yet.


I'd put it this way: if the combat isn't enough to sell the game, the person in question is not the correct one to play a full campaign with, as 95% of the time spent playing will be doing combat. The campaign parts are great, but only form a little part of the game.
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Mark Blasco

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I'll also chime in to say that the campaign part, while amazing, is a relatively light dressing on top of the core of the game. Each step in the story is so incremental, if you kept a journal or some written record of what happened, people could come in and out of the campaign with a short recap of what happened. Honestly, if this game had no campaign whatsoever, and just a book of random dungeon setups, it would still be a fantastic game.

The character development part is much more significant to the long term enjoyment, due to the development and ability to customize your character. I think you'll want anyone who plays regularly to have their own character for sure.

This is a fantastic solo game, and if you can do that, along with playing with your wife, you may find that playing it with new people each week will not be very enjoyable. There is so much strategy that you learn and develop as you go, and to go back to the drawing board over and over will be hard.

However, since this is the boat you're in, I'd say concentrate on trying to find a small number of people to learn the game, and make sure they fully understand the mechanics. Make yourself a character for that group. Then, make yourself a different character to play with others who don't know the game well. This allows you to feel out how another character plays, without ending up at level 7 while everyone else is level 1.

It takes a lot of bookkeeping to play this game with multiple groups, but it can be done.
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