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Subject: Second Play: Unbroken (Session Report) rss

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Martin Gonzalvez
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(Note: this session was played using a pre-release, print-and-play version of the game)



I am a Sage. I told my team that it was a bad idea to enter this lair, but as usual, they didn’t listen to me. Sometimes I wonder why they want me on the team. Against my better judgment, we entered the lair, we got ambushed, and now they are all dead. I guess the monsters figured I wasn’t worth the effort to slaughter along with the others. I may not be very strong or very fast, but I still have my wits about me. If it’s the last thing I do, I will make them pay for what they did to me and my team. My will remains...

...Unbroken.

Travel Phase 1

Preparation Step


1. I start with 7 Time, and 13 Effort. I spend to scout what infernal creature stalks me. It turns out to be a Feral Hyena.
2. It has 4 Health, but no Armor (fortunately). However, it will use up too much Effort to beat it to death with my bare hands. I need a weapon. How to find one? I must go exploring.

Exploration - Decision - Preparation - Exploration Steps
1. I draw the top two Encounter cards: Sickly Berries will give me one Food in exchange for one Effort. Or I can Catch A Breath to gain two Effort. Both will cost me one Time. What to do?
2. I’m going to need that Food, so I discard Catching A Breath. I spend one Effort (now I’m down to 11) to pick some Sickly Berries.
3. My Sage Travel Action, once per turn on Level 1, is to have a Dangerous Idea. I roll 1d6, if the result is greater than the current level (1), I earn one Time. I will try that now.
4. I roll a three! Got one Time back (back up to starting Time of 7)
5. I decide to spend four Effort to Focus, and gain one Medium Effort. If I can scrounge some Metal while Exploring, I can combine the Metal and Medium Effort to fashion a Knife. This will greatly increase the odds of my survival against that Feral Hyena that’s on my trail.
6. I also decide to spend one more Effort (now down to six) to Orienteer, which will allow me to draw +2 cards the next time I explore.
7. I’m also going to use my Sage Ability to Memorize — this will allow me to choose +1 Encounter card to interact with, on a later Exploration action.
8. Here we go, exploring. I draw four Encounter cards: Hobgoblin Stockpile, Juicy Bats, Abandoned Hovel and Wrecking is Hungry Work. The first two, I don’t have the Resources to exploit, so I discard those. Now it’s a choice between Abandoned Hovel (spend one Effort to gain one Cunning, at the cost of one Time) and Wrecking is Hungry Work (spend one Food to gain two Wood and two Effort, but at the cost of three Time).
9. I’m choosing to do the latter Encounter card. I spend one food to earn two Wood (I now have two), and two Effort (now up to seven). However, my Time drops to four.
10. I take a chance on Dangerous Idea again, roll 1d6...bad luck, I roll a one! My Time drops to three!
11. I know that by pressing my luck I’m risking an Ambush by the Feral Hyena, but I have no choice, I need to explore more to get at least one more Wood, or a Metal. With three Wood, I will have enough Resources to upgrade my weapon to a Club. With Metal, I can upgrade to a Knife. Let’s hope this works out for me!
12. Because I used my Sage Memorize ability in my last Explore Action, I am committed to using the Encounter card that I didn’t use last time, Abandoned Hovel. I spend one Effort (now down to five) to earn one Cunning (up to 1). My Time drops to two. Two Time, five Effort. Things are not looking good for me.
13. Explore again. I choose Secluded Crevice, spend one Wood to gain four Effort, at the cost of one Time. At this point, my Effort was getting dangerously low. This comes in the nick of time. Speaking of Time, mine has dropped to one! But my Effort is back up to nine. I have one Wood left.

Combat Phase 1



Battle Step
1. At the start of the Battle Step, my Time increases to the evil 2 mark of 12. Whew, I needed that!
2. If I had at least one Food, I could trick the Feral Hyena. But I spent that Food to earn Wood earlier, and I parlayed the Wood to earn Effort. So there’s that. But now I have to face a Feral Hyena with my Bare Hands, as I have not been able to find resources to craft a weapon.
3. On the other hand, it’s a good thing I don’t have any Food, because if I did, the Feral Hyena’s Special Ability would kick in — it would gain one extra attack before combat, and would get +1 to all of its combat rolls. I say a silent prayer of thanks for small favors.
4. I confront the Feral Hyena! I spend two Effort, hit! Feral Hyena’s Health drops from four to three!
5. Feral Hyena rolls five on 1d6: Warn Action, I lose two Time, I’m down to 10 Time.
6. My next attack, I expend two Effort, hit! Feral Hyena’s Health drops to two!
7. Feral Hyena rolls four on a d6, hits me! I lose one Effort (down to six)
8. I attack again, spend two Effort to cause one more damage to Feral Hyena, it’s down to one Health point! I have four Effort remaining — I just might survive this battle!
9. Feral Hyena rolls another four on the d6, ouch, hits me! I lose another Effort, I’m down to three!
10. My final attack, I spend two effort to strike the Feral Hyena dead!
11. Feral Hyena goes down, but I expended eight Effort in the battle.

Reward Step
1. I get two Food and four Effort as reward for defeating the Feral Hyena. My Food increases to two, and my Effort increases to five.
2. I also get to draw two Skill cards, and keep one. I get a choice of Outdoorsman (spend Resources to gain more Resources), or Resistant (in combat, instead of gaining a Condition, I gain one Effort, and subtract 1 from the combat Action roll).
3. I choose to keep the Resistant Skill.

Hunger Step
1. I must eat one Food per the current level, which is one. So I eat one Food (down to one). I gain one Effort as a result, now up to six.
2. I’ve made it to Level 2 — just barely. I have six Effort, one Food, one Wood, one Cunning, one Medium Effort, and 10 Time. I still have just my Bare Hands as a weapon. Things could be better.
3. But at least I’m not dead. Yet.

Travel Phase 2

Preparation Step

1. At Level 2, the costs for Scouting to reveal a Monster double, to two Time and two Effort. I’ve got quite a bit of the former, but very little of the latter. I think I’ll hold off on Scouting until I can gain a little more Effort.
2. I will, however, spend that extra one Effort to Orienteer, to nab +2 cards in my next Explore Action. I’m down to five Effort.
3. Here we go, Exploring. I draw 2+2 Encounter cards: Bed of Moss (gain four Effort), Disturbing Fetish (gain one Treasure), Deformed Tree (gain two Wood), and Raw Hunting Trophies (gain two Food).
4. I discard Bed of Moss because I don’t have the right Resources, and Raw Hunting Trophies because I already have one Food. I choose Deformed Tree — I will have to spend two Effort (down to three), but I gain enough Wood to upgrade my weapon to a Club! I spend one Time (down to nine)
5. I spend my three Wood, plus one Effort and one Time, to gain a Club. I’m down to two Effort, though, so I need to Rest, trade in some of my eight Time for some additional Effort
6. I Explore, draw two cards. Both have a Time Value of one, which means by Resting, I gain only one Effort, while losing one Time.
7. I Explore again, drawing two cards. I select Wooden Debris, Time Value of four, it ups my Effort to eight!
8. With my Time down to three, I Explore one more time. I choose Slimy Yet Satisfying, I gain one Food, at the expense of two Time. I am down to just one Time left. No more options: I now have to fight the Level 2 monster that I was not able to Scout in advance.

Combat Phase 2



Battle Step
1. I roll 1d6 to find out my Level 2 adversary: I roll a one, it’s an Abomination! No Armor, but six Health! I do have the Resources to trick it, but doing so would earn me no reward. I’m going to fight!
2. I attack first, and I expend one Medium Effort, plus one small Effort, to bash the Abomination’s head in for three Health damage! It’s down to three Health points. I’m starting to feel like I have a chance.
3. Abomination’s turn to attack, rolls 1d6, gets a six: Curse! I gain a Cursed Condition for the next Level. However, I get to play my Resistant Skill, so I ignore the Cursed Condition. I gain one Effort, and subtract 1 from the Abomination’s combat roll. Instead of a six, it rolls a five: Rend! I gain a Weakened Condition for the next level. Unfortunately, I can only use my Resistant Skill once per monster turn, so I have to accept this Weakened Condition.
4. My turn, I spend one Effort, cause one damage! Abomination down to two Health.
5. Abomination’s turn, rolls a five! I get another Weakened Condition , which has no effect since I already gained that condition earlier.
6. I swing my Club, one more damage to the monster, it’s down to one Health!
7. The monster rolls a three, I lose one Effort, I’m down to four.
8. One last swing of my Club, thud! The Monster dies!

Reward Step
1. I get one Medium Effort, two Effort, one Treasure, and one Wood as Reward for defeating the Abomination.
2. I draw two more Skill Cards: Stoic (reduce food requirement by 1, but no longer gain Effort), or Tinker (use Wood and Metal interchangeably). Stoic is very attractive as it will allow me to conserve Food. I decide to take Stoic.
3. Status Update: I have 16 Time, one Cunning, one Wood, Two Food, one Treasure, seven Effort, and one Medium Effort.

Hunger Step
1. I now have to spend two Food, since this is Level 2.
2. However, my Stoic Skill reduces my Food requirement from two to only one.
3. I spend the one Food, now down to one.

Travel Phase 3

Preparation Step

1. It will now cost me one Cunning and one Time to Scout and spy the Level 3 Monster. Fortunately, I have these Resources, so I spend them (Cunning drops to zero, Time drops to 15)
2. Roll 1d6, get a four: Hobgoblin. Yikes, this will be a real challenge. The Hobgoblin has three Armor, which I will need to pierce before I can start doing damage to his four Health. In addition, the Hobgoblin is immune to my Resistant Skill. I have got my work cut out for me.
3. I need to either upgrade my Club, or acquire some Medium Effort (currently I have just one) to have any hope of piercing the Hobgoblin’s Armor.
4. Much as I don’t like the idea, I need to seriously consider using trickery against the Hobgoblin. It would cost one Cunning, which I currently don’t have, and I would need to downgrade my weapon.
5. My Sage General Action is Tome Knowledge: spend two Effort to gain one Cunning. I decide to do it...as a backup plan, in case my Explorations yield no Wood or Metal to upgrade my Club.
6. I spend two Effort, I gain one Cunning.
7. I spend one extra Effort to Orienteer (+2 Encounter cards)
8. I explore, drawing four Encounter cards: Blind Trader (spend one Treasure to earn two Wood + two Effort), Step Ledge (spend two Effort for two Cunning), Makeshift Shelter (spend one Wood, gain one Large Effort), and Slimy Yet Satisfying (one Food).
9. I keep the first Encounter card, Blind Trader, and discard the next three. I spend my one Treasure (down to zero), to gain two Wood (up to three) and two Effort (up to seven). It takes two Time (down to 13).
10. I now have enough Resources to upgrade my Club to a Maul, so I spend three Wood, two Effort and two Time to do so!
11. Now I need to Rest as much as I can to build up my Effort enough to stand a chance of defeating the Hobgoblin.
12. Explore, draw two cards: Trapped Shrine (two Rest Value), and Valuable Information (one Rest Value). I’ll rest in the Trapped Shrine, losing two Time but gaining two Effort.
13. I’ll Explore again: both Encounter cards are worth two Rest. I gain two more Effort, Time drops to seven.
14. I can still afford to Explore and Rest: Effort rises to 11, Time drops to five.
15. One more Explore: I choose Catching a Breath, Trade one Time for two Effort. Sweet. I now have 13 Effort.

Battle Phase 3



Combat Step
1. At the start of the Combat Step, my Time rises to 19.
2. I believe that I am as ready as I will ever be to face the Hobgoblin. I turn to confront the brute.
3. I strike first with my Maul, spending two Effort to do two damage to its Armor; his Armor is down to one point!
4. Hobgoblin rolls a four, Warn — I lose one Time (down to 18)
5. I swing my Maul, spend one Effort to bash through the Hobgoblin’s Armor, and I punch through! My next attack will cause Health damage!
6. Hobgoblin attacks, rolls a six, crap! He downgrades my Maul to Bare Hands for two turns! This is not good!
7. My 1st attack turn with Bare Hands, I spend two Effort, deal one damage, Hobgoblin is down to three Health!
8. Hobgoblin’s attack, rolls a five, double crap! Hobgoblin ignores my next attack!
9. My second attack with base hands, I spend two Effort (down to seven), I would have done one Health damage but the Hobgoblin ignores my attack.
10. Hobgoblin strikes, rolls another six! I still have to use Bare Hands for two more combat turns! Triple crap!
11. My third attack with Bare Hands, spend two Effort, deal one damage — Hobgoblin is down to two Health!
12. Hobgoblin attacks, rolls a five — this is really unbelievable. It get to ignore my next attack once again!
13. My fourth attack with Bare Hands, spend two Effort, Hobgoblin ignores it. I am down to three Effort.
14. Hobgoblin attacks, rolls a four, finally I catch a break, I only lose one Time, down to 17.
15. Finally, I can strike with my Maul once again, I spend one Medium Effort and two Effort (down to one!) to do four Health Damage. However, my Weakened Condition kicks in to reduce my damage by one so down to three damage to the monster. It has just two Health remaining, so I kill it!
16. Whack! The Hobgoblin crumbles to the ground!

Reward Step
1. The battle against the Hobgoblin has cost me dearly. My Effort has dropped to one.
2. Some small good news, I may now discard the Weakened Condition.
3. My rewards for slaying the Hobgoblin: two Metal, two Effort (up to three), three Time (up to 20). I gain an Armored Condition, which will allow me to ignore the next two Wound Conditions I would suffer. Nice!
4. I now draw two Skill Cards and select Wrecker (ignore Defend effects in combat, if I break Armor I gain an extra attack).

Hunger Step
1. Level 3, I need to spend three minus one Food (due to my Stoic Skill). I only have one Food, so I eat that one, and spend one small Effort for the one Food I didn’t get to eat. I’m down to two Effort.
2. Status Update after three Levels: 20 Time, one Cunning, two Metal, and two Effort. Plus Armored Condition, and Wrecker, Stoic and Resistant Skills.

Travel Phase 4

Preparation Step

1. I have some extra Time, and I am critically low on Effort, as that battle with the Hobgoblin nearly finished me off, as well. So as I Explore Level 4, I’ll be focused on Resting and doing Encounters that raise my Effort level.
2. I Explore — find a Hunger Pangs Card (two Rest Value), gain two Effort.
3. Explore again — find a Rusted Cage card (four Rest Value), gain four Effort.
4. Explore again — find A Safe Place (three Rest Value), gain three Effort.
5. Explore again — find Hobgoblin Stockpile (two Rest Value), gain two Effort.
6. Explore again — find Misguided Dreams (five Rest Value), gain five Effort. I’m down to four Time.
7. One more Explore — find Humbling Kobold (two Rest Value), gain two Effort. Down to two Time, up to 20 effort.
8. Final General Action: I spend four Effort (down to 16) to acquire one Medium Effort. This will allow me to make a more powerful attack in the upcoming combat.

Battle Phase 4



Combat Step
1. Now that I’m at the Level 4 Battle, I remove the cube from the Time Tracker.
2. Roll 1d6 to find out my Level 4 opponent: a Basilisk! 1 Armor, but 12 Health. Also, it causes me to immediately gain the Paralyzed Condition.
3. The Paralysis Condition directs me to place one token on it. I must now roll 1d6 — if the result is less than or equal to the number of tokens on the card, I become paralyzed and skip my turn. I roll 1d6, get a six! I’m not paralyzed for this turn.
4. My first attack, I spend one Effort to bash through the Basilisk’s one Armor, and I punch through! Subsequent attacks will cause Health damage.
5. Because I broke Armor in my last attack, my Wrecker Skill allows me to immediately attack again. Paralysis check, I roll a three — not Paralyzed this turn! I spend one Medium Effort and two Effort to cause 4 Wounds to the Basilisk, Health down to eight!
6. Basilisk attacks, rolls a 1, I would gain one wound, except my Armor causes the attack to glance off me! I remove a Token from my Armored Condition card.
7. My next attack, first Paralysis check: I roll a one, crap! I’m paralyzed this turn!
8. Basilisk attacks, rolls a five, which is a Steal, lose one Food, or three Effort if no Food (which I don’t have any). I lose three Effort! Down to 11 Effort.
9. My next attack, first Paralysis check: I roll a two, not Paralyzed! I spend three Effort, cause three damage! Basilisk is down to five Health.
10. Basilisk attacks, rolls a 1, the Wound glances off my Armor again! My Armor is exhausted, but it has served its purpose!
11. My next attack, Paralysis check: I roll a four, not Paralyzed! I spend three Effort to do three damage, Basilisk is down to two Health! I’m down to five Effort! This is coming down to the wire.
12. Basilisk attacks, rolls a six, Wound! Lose three Effort, plus one Paralysis cube! I’m down to two Effort!
13. My attack, Paralysis check: I need to roll three or better to avoid Paralysis! I roll a three! I spend one Effort, I do one damage. Basilisk is down to 1 Health, but I am down to one Effort!
14. Basilisk attacks: rolls a 2: +1 Paralysis, now three tokens on the Paralysis card.
15. My attack, Paralysis Check: I roll a four, I’m not Paralyzed. But I expend my last Effort to do one damage to the Basilisk...I kill the infernal beast!
16. At the same moment, my Effort hits zero, and I expire.



As I crumple to the ground, breathing my last breath, I die with the satisfaction that I was able to kill a Basilisk! I may not have escaped the Catacombs with my life, but I go to my death feeling that I was able to exact vengeance for my fallen comrades. Even in death, my defiant spirit remains...

...Unbroken.
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Mr Suitcase
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Good session. I've also been worked over by the basilisk. I know how it feels. You did great, but you don't die when you hit zero effort. Instead you'll die when you have to eat food before you leave the dungeon for good (and you don't appear to have any). :-)
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Crazed Survivor
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The Orzhov welcome you. Please leave your belongings with the Obzedat. They are not yours anymore.
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Yup, if you had 4 food in your inventory, you won. If you had not, you died of starvation.

Congrats on slaying the basilisk!
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Martin Gonzalvez
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mrsuitcase wrote:
Good session. I've also been worked over by the basilisk. I know how it feels. You did great, but you don't die when you hit zero effort. Instead you'll die when you have to eat food before you leave the dungeon for good (and you don't appear to have any). :-)


Thanks, the designer, Artem Safarov, just clarified this for me on my blog. Also, I consider it quite an honor that the game designer himself gave me a rules clarification!
 
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Martin Gonzalvez
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Razoupaf wrote:
Yup, if you had 4 food in your inventory, you won. If you had not, you died of starvation.

Congrats on slaying the basilisk!


Thank you! <insert happy dance GIF here>
 
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Tim
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Great write up Martin.

If I understand the rules correctly, you can only perform a number of character abilities per level equal to the current level number, ie: 1 ability for level 1, 2 for level 2 etc. However, you used 3 sage abilities in level 1.

Unfortunately this rule is only in the appendix and easily missed - would be great if it could be moved up into the main part of the rulebook.
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Martin Gonzalvez
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tds_gaming wrote:
Great write up Martin.
Thanks!

tds_gaming wrote:
If I understand the rules correctly, you can only perform a number of character abilities per level equal to the current level number, ie: 1 ability for level 1, 2 for level 2 etc. However, you used 3 sage abilities in level 1.


Yes, Artem Safarov himself clarified this in my blog.

In brief, I was confused between "use once per level" and "use once per Explore step". I will not make this mistake when I play the Brawler, in my next playthrough.

Thanks for reading!
 
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