Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Spirit Island» Forums » Variants

Subject: Yet ANOTHER Event Card-less Scenario rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt P
msg tools
Eric: I agree to the terms for creating Spirit Island game elements set forth in the FAQ.

https://querki.net/u/darker/spirit-island-faq/#!Creating-you...


TL;DR

Start with base game.
Add expansion powers.
Add expansion tokens.
Add expansion spirits.
Add expansion scenarios
Use tokens during setup (blight in land w/ city, beast on lowest land with no icons)
DO NOT add Healthy/Blighted Island cards (or add them to make the game easier)
DO NOT add France (untested; not sure how it would work?)

Each spirit gains innate power "Nature's Call:



Add one of these three "Outbreak" Cards under Fear Lvl 2 and Fear Lvl 3 (so one will not be used): When revealed, trigger ONCE during the Fear phase and then discard (like a fear card). However, trigger them BEFORE revealing other fear effects.



Intent:
This Scenario is designed for play groups that do not like the additional decision making and uncertainty provided by the event deck. Personally, I also wanted to keep the game shorter by preventing any delays provided by stopping play every Invader phase to resolve an event. I believe that these changes conform to the intent of the of the new mechanics without fully breaking the game, and keeping the game at around the same difficulty level.

I also think this lowers the amount of new rules that have to be taught to players that do not play very often.

Theory: After reading a bunch of the designer's comments on BGG, and looking at the distribution of Beast/Disease events in the Events deck, I believe that these changes mimic the frequency with which Blight/Disease effects would have occurred in a game with the event deck. Note that ALL of the powers are taken verbatim from common Event cards.

The beast effect is slow to prevent it being overpowered, and to encourage the player to plan around the delayed effect. The range of 1 with NO BLIGHT restriction means that it should be easy for a player to activate the effect on a healthy board (this also mimics many of the event cards that prevent the beasts from entering blighted land). I require two animal elements to trigger the damage effect to ensure that the player has invested at least one or two card picks to "go beasts" (and that they have planned their turns around playing both elements at the same time).

I added the disease effects to help add synergy with cards that trigger off having tokens (or disease) present. I only use two per game to mimic the disease frequency with the event deck, and randomly pick 2 out of 3 for variety and variability.

I did NOT add the new Healthy/Blighted Island cards because the designer has stated in the FAQ doing so makes the game easier, as many are one-time events as opposed to a constant effect (if the events were in play, they would occasionally provide additional pressure).


Testing: I have only tested in solo play with about 6 games. I felt it was a very nice addition to Fangs, without making him overpowered. For spirits with no starting "animal" elements, it really didn't alter the game too much, but it did make me take a second look at powers with an animal icon. With the right draw, one could definitely do a hybrid "animal style" strat. For spirits with just one animal icon, it's a nice +1 fear every few turns. With one more and the correct timing, one can also trigger the +2 damage ever other turn.

In conclusion, although I consider these changes to be "Version #1", I think they are mild enough that players can enjoy the "meat" of the expansion content without using the Event deck.

For additional discussion, check out these recent threads (which had very similar ideas to mine).

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1945988/call-wild-using-bea...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1905247/uneventful-beasts-b...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kjara
msg tools
This will make the game easier. Heck, just starting with a disease in 2 makes the game a bit easier without any balancing drawbacks from the events. If you want to make this difficulty neutral you need to either also give something to the invaders or some sort of tax on the spirits resources( extra conditions met to win/ not lose or energy costs). That said if you want to keep it simple, it’s probably only one or two levels easier for most spirits (all the extra free beasts probably makes it far easier for fangs).

The disease cards are a nice element and probably difficulty neutral (or at least close) due to the mix of advantage and drawback.

I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

Edit: actually the most problematic part is prob the ability to add beasts. If you remove that you will at least require non fangs spirits to draft a card that places beasts if they want to get much out of the ability which is at least a minor tax. (Plus of course it won’t be nearly as good for fangs.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt P
msg tools
I think your point about the starting disease/beast without events is true. I'm going to stop putting the starting tokens down. I just played a game with Fangs where I could destroy the starting town on Turn #1, and that felt way too strong.

I still like the ability to drop a beast token though, because the way the ability it is written, you can only pick one "beast" action per turn. In other threads, Eric has stated that Fangs is almost certainly at a disadvantage...is there a way to boost it?

I'm thinking, make the "Add 1 Beast" require 2 elements, so 2 elements would read:

Instead, Add one Beast OR do 2 damage...etc


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kjara
msg tools
Hmm, perhaps.

Another possibility is to make it some combination of 2 elements and/or "add a beast only if that board doesn't already have a beast" (which also mirrors the more common event action). Makes it a bit harder for fangs or any spirit that gets one of the strong beast major powers to abuse, but makes it so you can afford to occasionally throw a beast away to kill a town. Actually, if it has that stipulation, leaving it at 1 element might be fine (esp if the board doesn't start with any tokens).

(if its just 2 beasts, fang is probably still going to have that every round, and be happy to place a beast for at least each of the first 4 or so rounds.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
This Scenario is designed for play groups that do not like the additional decision making and uncertainty provided by the event deck.

You should play with events. The game is too easy without them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
United States
Redmond
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dormammu wrote:

You should play with events. The game is too easy without them.


For us mortals we need a little help. haha
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R. Eric Reuss
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Quote:
Eric: I agree to the terms for creating Spirit Island game elements set forth in the FAQ.

https://querki.net/u/darker/spirit-island-faq/#!Creating-you...

Hooray!

Quote:
(innate ideas)

Neat exploration of possibilities! If you're looking to both (a) keep game difficulty constant and (b) have Beasts do damage / Fear in a non-uncertain fashion, though, I suspect that an innate power is not the best path?

There are a number of reasons for this:

1. The utility of adding Beasts to the board will vary directly with how reliably a Spirit can activate the innate, and that's likely to vary substantially per Spirit unless the thresholds are so low that you can activate them a lot (which makes them more powerful).

2. Even if you could exactly replicate the frequency of various Beast effects from the Event deck, the fact that you're choosing when they happen makes them more powerful - especially in the case of Damage.

3. Having more Beasts on the board usually means that Beast events do more and more. (When Sharp Fangs blankets the island with Beasts, you nearly always get a turn where a great many Explorers are eaten, or a bunch of Towns get taken out.)

(Innates also have very different dynamics than Events: they ramp up in usability as the game progresses. But that's a plausibly desirable - though not required - change given greater control over timing.)

I can't remember the exact average % of each Beast event in the deck off the top of my head, but IIRC during an average-length game you'll tend to see something like 1.5 Prey on the Unwary (Destroy an Explorer), 1 Beasts Attack (2 Damage; remove if it destroys a Town/City), and 1 Beasts Prowl (1 Fear if Invaders are present; else move to adjacent land)

So, per #2, you'd want to be shooting for "beasts do something notable on each board 3 times or fewer per game" (unless there's a cost associated with it).

I'd probably look in directions like the following:
* (3x? 2x?)/game at the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. ("Activate" = "Choose one: Each Beasts does 1 Damage, or each Beasts does 1 Fear if Invaders are present. Beasts in lands without Invaders move to an adjacent land.")
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate Beasts on any number of Boards. Each board can only be activated 2x/game. (More versatile, but also much more fiddly to track.)
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. The first time you do this is free. Subsequent activations cost (N, 2N, 3N...) Energy where N = # of players. (Spent jointly.) (The problem with this one is that some Spirits are more Energy-rich than others, so it'd be nice to be able to spend an alternate currency - Power Cards or Plays? - to do so as well, but that may push the rule over into "too complex".)

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aubrey
msg tools
I'll have to give this rule a shot. I've been using the Call of the Wild https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1945988/call-wild-using-bea... rule that I created recently, and its been working great.

This one seems to accomplish a similar goal, but is a little more versatile. Beasts are good at causing fear and destroying explorers, and can occasionally be spurred to destroy towns (which my rule doesn't allow). The minor problem I've noticed with my rule is that it means that every character now wants animal as an element, which is a little strange. Not a big problem, but something worth considering.

I'm less of a fan of the outbreaks rule, simply because I don't think its a problem. Frankly, plenty of games that we've played without events have still ended up very diseased. Cards that rely on disease are still very potent. I don't think there is any need to have an automatic way to add even more. I'll give it a shot, but my gut is that its not really a needed fix.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt P
msg tools
Hey Eric, LOVE the game!

darker wrote:


Neat exploration of possibilities! If you're looking to both (a) keep game difficulty constant and (b) have Beasts do damage / Fear in a non-uncertain fashion, though, I suspect that an innate power is not the best path?



Actually, my goal was to make Beasts to be controllable, and NOT act uncertainly, while keeping the difficulty about constant. I realize this wasn't your original intent, so I'd say this is more in line of a "scenario" than a "fix." :-)

aclarkbr90 wrote:

I'm less of a fan of the outbreaks rule, simply because I don't think its a problem. Frankly, plenty of games that we've played without events have still ended up very diseased. Cards that rely on disease are still very potent. I don't think there is any need to have an automatic way to add even more. I'll give it a shot, but my gut is that its not really a needed fix.


I think this is a good point (I just wanted to try and work in a way to use disease more often. Then again, Disease/Strife/Wilds don't get used everygame.)

Kjara wrote:
Hmm, perhaps.

Another possibility is to make it some combination of 2 elements and/or "add a beast only if that board doesn't already have a beast" (which also mirrors the more common event action). Makes it a bit harder for fangs or any spirit that gets one of the strong beast major powers to abuse, but makes it so you can afford to occasionally throw a beast away to kill a town. Actually, if it has that stipulation, leaving it at 1 element might be fine (esp if the board doesn't start with any tokens).

(if its just 2 beasts, fang is probably still going to have that every round, and be happy to place a beast for at least each of the first 4 or so rounds.)


I think the solution here is to just bump all the powers up to 2 elements, as well as your suggestion of "only add if it doesn't already have one."

This means that spirits REALLY want 2 animal elements available if they want to trigger this, so it removes the need for "everyone needs to grab an animal element card!"

Rolling all of this together for "Version #2"

Start with base game.
Add expansion powers.
Add expansion tokens.
Add expansion spirits.
Add expansion scenarios
Use tokens during setup (blight in land w/ city, beast on lowest land with no icons)
DO NOT add Healthy/Blighted Island cards (or add them to make the game easier)
DO NOT add France (untested; not sure how it would work?)

Each spirit gains innate power "Nature's Call:




Add one of these three "Outbreak" Cards under Fear Lvl 2 and Fear Lvl 3 (so one will not be used): When revealed, trigger ONCE during the Fear phase and then discard (like a fear card). However, trigger them BEFORE revealing other fear effects.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aubrey
msg tools
spunky10 wrote:


aclarkbr90 wrote:

I'm less of a fan of the outbreaks rule, simply because I don't think its a problem. Frankly, plenty of games that we've played without events have still ended up very diseased. Cards that rely on disease are still very potent. I don't think there is any need to have an automatic way to add even more. I'll give it a shot, but my gut is that its not really a needed fix.


I think this is a good point (I just wanted to try and work in a way to use disease more often. Then again, Disease/Strife/Wilds don't get used everygame.)


No need to scratch the rule. Just treat it as a -1 difficulty or so. I find it fine that in any particular game certain tokens aren't prevalent, as long as on average they all get used and cards related to them don't feel underpowered. This would be a mild boost since all three outbreaks are slightly positive, but not a huge one.

I also think there is no reason to couple it with nature's call. I think it should just be an additional option.

spunky10 wrote:

DO NOT add France (untested; not sure how it would work?)


France actually works totally fine without the regular event cards. Just take the slave rebellion card and ensure that it gets played every three turns. If its easier to remember, just use the event deck but ignore all effects other than slave rebellion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Bredon
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
darker wrote:
Quote:
Eric: I agree to the terms for creating Spirit Island game elements set forth in the FAQ.

https://querki.net/u/darker/spirit-island-faq/#!Creating-you...

Hooray!

Quote:
(innate ideas)

Neat exploration of possibilities! If you're looking to both (a) keep game difficulty constant and (b) have Beasts do damage / Fear in a non-uncertain fashion, though, I suspect that an innate power is not the best path?

There are a number of reasons for this:

1. The utility of adding Beasts to the board will vary directly with how reliably a Spirit can activate the innate, and that's likely to vary substantially per Spirit unless the thresholds are so low that you can activate them a lot (which makes them more powerful).

2. Even if you could exactly replicate the frequency of various Beast effects from the Event deck, the fact that you're choosing when they happen makes them more powerful - especially in the case of Damage.

3. Having more Beasts on the board usually means that Beast events do more and more. (When Sharp Fangs blankets the island with Beasts, you nearly always get a turn where a great many Explorers are eaten, or a bunch of Towns get taken out.)

(Innates also have very different dynamics than Events: they ramp up in usability as the game progresses. But that's a plausibly desirable - though not required - change given greater control over timing.)

I can't remember the exact average % of each Beast event in the deck off the top of my head, but IIRC during an average-length game you'll tend to see something like 1.5 Prey on the Unwary (Destroy an Explorer), 1 Beasts Attack (2 Damage; remove if it destroys a Town/City), and 1 Beasts Prowl (1 Fear if Invaders are present; else move to adjacent land)

So, per #2, you'd want to be shooting for "beasts do something notable on each board 3 times or fewer per game" (unless there's a cost associated with it).

I'd probably look in directions like the following:
* (3x? 2x?)/game at the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. ("Activate" = "Choose one: Each Beasts does 1 Damage, or each Beasts does 1 Fear if Invaders are present. Beasts in lands without Invaders move to an adjacent land.")
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate Beasts on any number of Boards. Each board can only be activated 2x/game. (More versatile, but also much more fiddly to track.)
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. The first time you do this is free. Subsequent activations cost (N, 2N, 3N...) Energy where N = # of players. (Spent jointly.) (The problem with this one is that some Spirits are more Energy-rich than others, so it'd be nice to be able to spend an alternate currency - Power Cards or Plays? - to do so as well, but that may push the rule over into "too complex".)



How about as a cost: forget a power card to activate beasts. You could place the forgotten power cards aside and that will track how many times the ability was used.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt P
msg tools
abredon wrote:
darker wrote:
Quote:
Eric: I agree to the terms for creating Spirit Island game elements set forth in the FAQ.

https://querki.net/u/darker/spirit-island-faq/#!Creating-you...

Hooray!

Quote:
(innate ideas)

Neat exploration of possibilities! If you're looking to both (a) keep game difficulty constant and (b) have Beasts do damage / Fear in a non-uncertain fashion, though, I suspect that an innate power is not the best path?

There are a number of reasons for this:

1. The utility of adding Beasts to the board will vary directly with how reliably a Spirit can activate the innate, and that's likely to vary substantially per Spirit unless the thresholds are so low that you can activate them a lot (which makes them more powerful).

2. Even if you could exactly replicate the frequency of various Beast effects from the Event deck, the fact that you're choosing when they happen makes them more powerful - especially in the case of Damage.

3. Having more Beasts on the board usually means that Beast events do more and more. (When Sharp Fangs blankets the island with Beasts, you nearly always get a turn where a great many Explorers are eaten, or a bunch of Towns get taken out.)

(Innates also have very different dynamics than Events: they ramp up in usability as the game progresses. But that's a plausibly desirable - though not required - change given greater control over timing.)

I can't remember the exact average % of each Beast event in the deck off the top of my head, but IIRC during an average-length game you'll tend to see something like 1.5 Prey on the Unwary (Destroy an Explorer), 1 Beasts Attack (2 Damage; remove if it destroys a Town/City), and 1 Beasts Prowl (1 Fear if Invaders are present; else move to adjacent land)

So, per #2, you'd want to be shooting for "beasts do something notable on each board 3 times or fewer per game" (unless there's a cost associated with it).

I'd probably look in directions like the following:
* (3x? 2x?)/game at the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. ("Activate" = "Choose one: Each Beasts does 1 Damage, or each Beasts does 1 Fear if Invaders are present. Beasts in lands without Invaders move to an adjacent land.")
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate Beasts on any number of Boards. Each board can only be activated 2x/game. (More versatile, but also much more fiddly to track.)
* At the start of the Invader Phase, you may activate all Beasts on the island. The first time you do this is free. Subsequent activations cost (N, 2N, 3N...) Energy where N = # of players. (Spent jointly.) (The problem with this one is that some Spirits are more Energy-rich than others, so it'd be nice to be able to spend an alternate currency - Power Cards or Plays? - to do so as well, but that may push the rule over into "too complex".)



How about as a cost: forget a power card to activate beasts. You could place the forgotten power cards aside and that will track how many times the ability was used.


I like this idea. For a stronger version, how about forgetting a power to "learn" the innate beast power? Or when drawing power cards, a person can choose to learn the innate power instead of drawing cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.