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Shadows of Malice» Forums » Rules

Subject: Thinking about a pretty major rule change rss

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Jim Felli
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Hey, folks! I'm dabbling in upgrading the SoM rulebook and had a thought...

Currently, an avatar gets 1 MOVEMENT followed by 1 ACTION on their phase, and combat counts as an action. (Thus, the rule that movement must precede their action so that combat can consume the post-movement action if necessary.)

I'm debating changing it to a player's avatar simply getting 2 ACTIONS each phase (actions being Travel, Recover, Use City, Use Mystic) and let combat be free (e.g., you may defend if a Shadow moves over you, you may attack a lair if your travel action puts you there). This would do away with auto recovery (as it would be an action) but also allow an avatar to use a City or Mystic more than once (as they could use 2 actions there). It would also allow avatars to defer actions during a turn -- maybe use one action and then wait to see how things progress before using their second.

I invite your thoughts and comments as I debate this change.
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Todd F
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Hey Jim, I own SoM but haven't played it yet, so just go ahead and ignore what I'm about to say.

Speaking only in generalities, IMHO this sounds less fiddly (it eliminates some rules) and like it provides more decision space for players. So to me, going into a game I haven't played, that sounds like a good change that would streamline learning. "Two actions per turn from this list" is way easier to digest than, say, special rules for auto-recovery that you stated above.

If you haven't already, I suppose one thing to consider is the balance of using Cities or Mystics more than once per turn. I can't speak to that, but as a player, I'd rather the rules state that players get 2 actions per turn with an exception for Cities/Mystics if needed. It's simpler and cleaner.

The last thing that comes to mind is if there are any ordering dependencies on actions within my turn, like do I get to choose move->attack or attack->move, etc.? As long as the list of those exceptions is short (or non-existent), then from the outside the change sounds like an improvement.

That probably didn't help, but it's at least a first impression from an SoM learner. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Jim Felli
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Thanks, Todd!

I'm thinking that the temptation to overuse Cities and Mystics will be balanced by two things: carrying limitations and giving up a turn to the Shadows.
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Mark O'Reilly
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Jim, it's a while since i played (got to get this awesome game to the table again soon). The proposed rule change sounds very intuitive and should have the affect of streamlining....which is mostly always a good thing
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Stan Matz
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Big thumbs up for a rule book upgrade!
The 2 action rule makes a lot of sense for me since I'm always forgetting if I auto-recovered and I house-rule performing all available actions at cities and mystics anyway. It would also be great to have another available move action when you get gimped by the dice. Actually I'm in favor of any rule change that reduces the need for my memory being critical to my strategy.
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Steve Carey
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Jim, along with the rule update any chance on a reprint - the game is not easy to find, and can be a bit expensive on the secondary market (thnx).
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Dave S
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I like the change. I can think of a few times in my last game that it would have prevented me from making a mistake, and would have helped to have the extra mystic action. I don't believe it would be out of balance; although it would probabably make the game a bit easier; although less fiddly.
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Luke
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I think that would smooth out gameplay a bit.

I like it and I'll probably house rule it if you don't
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Carlos Pérez Cantalapiedra
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I like the idea of 2 actions with more freedom.

As you know I worked in a translation of SoM rulebook to Spanish. Now I think I will hold until a new version is released.

However, maybe some of the rearrangements I did (maybe too freely) could be useful for you:

Cover
Intro
Part 1: Goal of the game
Part 2: Game components
Part 3: Setup
- Step 1: choose maps
- Step 2: setup maps
- Step 3: choose avatars tokens
- Step 4: deliver life tokens
- Step 5: draw masteries
- Step 6: deliver soulshards
- Step 7: deliver treasures
(included here the levels from originally in Part 12a)

- Step 8: setup the troves
- Step 9: put the avatar tokens in the map

Part 4: How to play
4a: Factions
4b: Goals
4c: What do players do?
4d: Turns
(included here what are and what are not actions from Faq) and added that using gates does not consume an action.
(included also What is the turn order from Faq)

4e: Recommended approach

Part 5: Notation and game mechanics
5a: Icons
5b: Generating random outcomes
5c: Special rolls
(I would include here or in the last page of the rulebook a little table with the most common LRs: LR=2 for gates, LR=4 for provoke, LR=5 for treasure in non-stocked lair, ... dont remember exactly)
(including here how avatars make PRs according to Faq)

5d: Bands
5e: Activating card effects
masteries explanation moved from Part 3, Step 5
added a paragraph about using potions, books, etc not requiring an action

5f: Using soulshards
moved here from Part 11.

5g: Items (treasures and beyond)
item types, item card parts, item limitations, potion uses and draining

5h: Trading items and soulshards
5i: Recovering damage (this maybe is better after Part 9 Combat and before Part 10 Living and dying)
5j: Cities and Mystics

Part 6: Movement

6a: Terrain
(included here the Can avatars move on half hexes from Faq)

6b: Movement points
Added a tiny part from Part 7 (determining fate) here, just saying that the first step is to roll 2 dices and that if both are the same, the player must draw a fate card. Then, MP calculation

6c: Movement in a terrain
6d: Movement in water
6e: Movement through gates
6f: Movement as a band
including fragments from Part 6b, Faq, BGG forum, 6d, 6e

Part 7: Fate
7a: Determining fate.
7b: Fate cards

Part 8: Creatures and encounters
8a: Creatures
8b: Creatures abilities
8c: Encounters
merges 8d, 8e and beginning of 8f, together with encounters at strongholds and with Shadows

1st paragraph: what is an encounter
2p: provoking an encounter
3p: lair
4p: guardians
5p: shadows
including from Faq and bgg forums how a shadow would acquire physical form when randomly attacked by a creature or guardian

6p: xulthul

8d: Generation of creatures, Guardians, Shadows and Xulthul features

1st paragraph: generation of creatures
2p: generation of guardians
3p: generation of shadows
4p: generation of xulthul

Part 9: Combat
9a: types of combat and futile combat
9b: Combat phases

1st paragraph: After encounter and geneneration: pre-combat phase
2p: combat phase
3p: enemy chooses target, reactions
4p: creature activates abilities
5p: CRs, CR in joint combat, CR defending
6p: determining hits
7p: determining damage
8p: end of combat

9c: inflicting wounds and drains
9d: "Soulfire" (BGG forums)
9e: Withdrawing
9f: Immunity
(including types of immunity from the BGG forums)

Part 10: Living and dying
10a: Destruction of creatures, Guardians, Shadows and Xulthul

1st paragraph: no life tokens --> die
2nd: creature destruction and rewards
3p: guardian destruction and rewards
4p: shadows destruction and rewards
5p: xulthul destruction and rewards

10b: Destruction and reencarnation of avatars

Part 11: Wells and radiance
13a: Wells of the Ancients
13b: Radiance tokens
13c: Radiance pool
13d: attuning masteries
13e: attuning soulshards

Part 14: Shadows
Part 15: Xulthul
Part 16: Examples
Part 17: credits

I maybe would include also some solo variant, maybe the one in the bgg forum, I have not tried with a single avatar yet. (I would include also some non-cooperative variant ) but likely that is just me) xD

Of course you can just ignore all this, I just found this arrangement more natural to me, and easier to later check rules (for me also), but it could be just completely non-sense for other players. Just in case that it could be of help for you.

Best,
Carlos
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So Jim, what have you decided? Has this change become official? If so I'd like to print it off, maybe in PDF file even, and add it to my SoM game resource folder.
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Jim Felli
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Sorry — i’m still working on things. The release of the new game Dȗhr: The Lesser Houses and demands for Origins and Gen Con have taken most of my time. I am working on a revised rule set, but it will take longer than I had originally hoped. In the meantime, please do what I encourage everyone to do: play with whatever house rules you find useful and report back on how they worked out for you.
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Jonathan Arnold
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I'm going to try this house rule in my next game, but a question about lairs - so this means that you don't get attacked immediately when you go onto a lair? You can move there and then decide (and/or wait - like until a buddy comes along to help)?
 
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Jim Felli
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I think I’m confused by what you’re asking. However, you are attacked immediately whenever you enter a lair. So if you want to enter as a band, form the band before you enter the lair.
 
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Jonathan Arnold
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Maybe my interpretation is wrong. I guess when I read "enter a lair" I thought it meant "enter a lair hex". So if I just move to a hex with a lair, I am not immediately attacked?

Good to know laugh
 
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Jim Felli
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Yeah... entering a lair = entering a lair hex.
 
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