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The Resistance: Avalon» Forums » Variants

Subject: Random character pool rss

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David Vestal
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My playgroup has played several hundred games of Avalon over the years, and occasionally for variety we have used a random character pool. The method is as follows:

- Shuffle all red character cards together. Deal out the appropriate number for your player count (e.g. 3 for 7 players, 4 for 10 players).
- Shuffle all the blue character cards together. Deal out the appropriate number for your player count (e.g. 4 for 7 players, 6 for 10 players).
- Shuffle the dealt cards together and then deal to players as normal.

The variant simply adds an extra layer of uncertainty. The numbers are the same but you get some interesting situations, such as:
- Percival is in the game, but only sees 1 thumb, and doesn't know if it's Merlin or Morgana
- Morgana is in the game, but here is no Percival, so she may be bluffing for no audience
- There is no Merlin, so the any attempts to deduce Merlin by the red team ends up being for naught
- There might be no assassin, so in a desperation play, Merlin might just declare himself

We still primarily play the standard rules for Avalon, but we continue to bring this out on occasion for variety. It's a little "lighter" in feel, lends itself more frequently to humorous situations, and there's an extra "reveal" at the end as everyone finds out what roles were in the game (and potentially, an explanation as to who things went so sideways!)

Notes:
- You can add or remove characters from the pool as your group prefers. For example, we typically don't use Lancelot, but we do use Galahad.
- We felt that one assassin out of 7 evil cards was too low, so we made the one minion with the sword the "backup assassin" who can attempt to assassinate Merlin if the Assassin character isn't present.
- This game isn't really balanced or "serious" in it's strategy, so go into it with different attitudes and expectations than normal rules Avalon.
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Ian Toltz
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I've thought about doing this, but I don't get to play Resistance anymore.

I'd say that Merlin and the Assassin should always be in every game. Just pick them out first. Then add additional hero and villain characters as necessary.
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John
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Or have a hierarchy of who gets to do the assassination if the assassin isn't in play.
 
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Bharat Ponnaluri
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Asmor wrote:
I've thought about doing this, but I don't get to play Resistance anymore.

I'd say that Merlin and the Assassin should always be in every game. Just pick them out first. Then add additional hero and villain characters as necessary.



Having played this variant over a dozen times, I don’t think having a guaranteed assaination is a good idea. One of the issues with Avalon is that it can be too easy to pick Merlin, especially in smaller games. For example, the evil team has a 33% chance of randomly picking Merlin in a 5 player game, and they will often be able to rule out one or two good characters.

In the spirit of this variant, I think not having a guaranteed assasination or Merlin in a large game makes things less predictable. Besides, it’s entertaining to watch the evil team talk about finding a nonexistent Merlin.


Having a guaranteed Merlin ruins the balance of the game by giving a significant advantage to the good team. If Percival opens his eyes to see one thumb, he immediately knows who Merlin is.
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Rob Rundle
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bponnaluri wrote:
Asmor wrote:
I've thought about doing this, but I don't get to play Resistance anymore.

I'd say that Merlin and the Assassin should always be in every game. Just pick them out first. Then add additional hero and villain characters as necessary.



Having played this variant over a dozen times, I don’t think having a guaranteed assaination is a good idea. One of the issues with Avalon is that it can be too easy to pick Merlin, especially in smaller games. For example, the evil team has a 33% chance of randomly picking Merlin in a 5 player game, and they will often be able to rule out one or two good characters.

In the spirit of this variant, I think not having a guaranteed assasination or Merlin in a large game makes things less predictable. Besides, it’s entertaining to watch the evil team talk about finding a nonexistent Merlin.


Having a guaranteed Merlin ruins the balance of the game by giving a significant advantage to the good team. If Percival opens his eyes to see one thumb, he immediately knows who Merlin is.


I agree. We also use this random character draw play method from time to time - especially when we only have 6 or 7 players - and it's always good fun. But guaranteeing that a particular character is in play would ruin it. In our last game, the good guys won - without either Merlin or Guinevere in play (quite a coup!) - and consequently the bad guys had no-one they could successfully assassinate! In the one before that, (I was Mordred) bad guys won in five missions after a tight struggle, to find that we could have walked it in 3 missions - we had 2 bad guys on every single mission!
 
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