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Gloomhaven» Forums » General

Subject: Rules for parties? rss

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The rulebook blithely assumes there are no more players than the game can handle (4). It also assumes you're OK playing the campaign just once - permanently altering the board and even class ability cards.

I want to know best practices for how more than one party coexist in the same campaign. I'm sure this subject must have come up so often that a consensus on how to do it has developed.

How and where can a character join or leave a particular party? Can you switch h parties? Does a party keep on existing even after all members leave?

We're eight or more players.

How to deal with character choice conflicts? How to decide which of two Brutes, say, that gets to play? Character first created? Highest level? Already in a given party? Or what?

Please don't tell me I can make up my own rules. I'm asking about established best practices.

Regards
 
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al Cann
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https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1729423/campaign-mode-multi...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1886092/solo-multiple-parti...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1726161/confused-how-multip...


For starters.

Honestly, there is so much on this topic already, it is easier for you to reddit, google, or search the forums.


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Josh Kanehen
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Answering specific questions:
- An in-game character is always a member of a single party and cannot switch between multiple parties, but they don't have to play every scenario with that party.
- Someone else may want to verify this, but I think it may still be in the spirit (and letter?) of the rules to retire a character from one party and start your new character in another.
- In a single party situation, you're stuck picking between characters of the same class for a single scenario. In a multi-party situation, each party can have it's own Brute, for example.

Looking at the boards, you may have found that not everyone agrees on the best ways to play particularly in edge cases like this that are outside what the rules are designed for. That said, here are my two cents based on what I've read and my experience playing so far (19 scenarios with 3/4 players)...

For 8+ players you've got three general options (with nuance to each): Multiple Parties, Parallel Campaigns, Single Party.

Multiple Parties:
- For this, you'd have distinct parties (where characters/players can't switch back and forth).
- Each party would work within the same world benefitting or suffering from effects caused by the other party (Prosperity Level, Item unlocks, Events added to decks, Global Achievements, etc.).
- Each party can has a full set of items available to it and can have characters from any unlocked classes (e.g.: you can have a Mindthief in each party).
- Generally, each party won't experience every bit of content in the game, but you'll likely unlock things "faster" since each party will be advancing the world in parallel.
- Logistically, you'll need to either print extra modifier decks or reset them each time you play and you'll have some bleed across parties when it comes to enhancements (once you unlock those and start using them).

Parallel Campaigns:
- For this you'd have entirely separate/parallel worlds for each group.
- There will be a few things you'll need to use 3rd party or external-to-the-game tools to track, but it's all doable.
- You'll also need to deal with the attack modifier deck issue as well as decide how enhancements can be kept separate (e.g.: stickers on sleeves or left/right side of cards, etc. There are other threads on this, let me know if you want links.)
- Each group would experience the "full" game and be able to shape the world based solely on their choices. You get neither the benefits nor disadvantages of another party's actions.
- This is often the recommendation if someone wants to solo play as well as play with a group of people.

Single Party:
- For this you have a single party with 4 (or more) characters in rotation where you only "bring" 4 (or 5) characters to each scenario.
- Options for play would be: teaming up in pairs to play a character, creating a set number of characters but allowing any player to play any character on a given scenario, or doing a character per person and just not allowing duplicate characters on the same scenario.
- Some groups have had success playing with 5 players using the unofficial recommendation (from Isaac) of increasing scenario difficulty by 2 without increasing rewards, others claim it's just not worth it.
- You'll also run into item-limit issues if you have more than 4 simultaneous characters in the same party.

As to what's best for you and your group depends on what your group is looking for:
- If all 8 of you want to be playing every time and experience everything in the game, do Parallel Campaigns (and maybe buy a second copy).
- If you have a rotating group where only 4-6 show up each night, Single Party might be best.
- If you have unique combinations of people that gather on different nights, then Multiple Parties might be best.

So, to get more information to help answer your question:
- Do 8 (or more?) of you gather together for a regular game night? If so, do you all want to be able to play each time?
- What's more important to your group: playing the game/scenarios, experiencing the story elements, growing a character, or shaping the world?
- Are you willing to purchase a second copy for more parallel play (could be useful in all three configurations)?
- Any other information that you think might help us all recommend what might be the best practice for you and your group?
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HenningK
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In addition to the advice above: If you are 8 or more players, get a second copy. Seriously. This is a campaign game, and while it allows players hopping in and out, the game is much more immersive and interesting if you keep it to the same players.
 
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Dwight Sullivan
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Trantor42 wrote:
In addition to the advice above: If you are 8 or more players, get a second copy. Seriously. This is a campaign game, and while it allows players hopping in and out, the game is much more immersive and interesting if you keep it to the same players.

I agree with this. Split into two groups of 4.
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Trantor42 wrote:
In addition to the advice above: If you are 8 or more players, get a second copy. Seriously. This is a campaign game, and while it allows players hopping in and out, the game is much more immersive and interesting if you keep it to the same players.

Sure, except getting even one copy was a 6 month wait, so its kind of funny when people talk as if this was one of those over the counter games with zero hype... :-)
 
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albcann wrote:
Sorry not helpful.

I asked here specifically to bypass the "did not. did too" phase and go directly to the established consensus.

(I did browse all three of your links but gave up.)
 
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jkglife wrote:
Answering specific questions:

Thank you!

Something like this is exactly what I was asking for.

Except - can I ask you to mark what parts are your personal houserules, and what parts are official rules, and what parts are how people in general are running semi-formal games (such as at game clubs)?

I mean, things like "you can't leave a party" - isn't that kind of harsh? What is that based on?

Thanks again :-)
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Nearly everything jkglife wrote is under the rules as written.

The stuff in the Parallel Campaigns section is house/community rules. Nothing in the rule book supports multiple campaigns on the same copy of the game, but with certain resources made available by the community, it's plausible.
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Josh Kanehen
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jkglife wrote:
Answering specific questions:
- An in-game character is always a member of a single party and cannot switch between multiple parties, but they don't have to play every scenario with that party.
- Someone else may want to verify this, but I think it may still be in the spirit (and letter?) of the rules to retire a character from one party and start your new character in another.
- In a single party situation, you're stuck picking between characters of the same class for a single scenario. In a multi-party situation, each party can have it's own Brute, for example.


Changing Parties is not allowed:
- While not explicitly stated it's highly implied by p. 36 of the rules that talks about: A) Party makeup only changing at retirements and creation of new characters (thus can't by having someone join) and, B) How new parties need new characters (can't make a new party that has existing characters). This also makes sense thematically. If you have a party how have a bad reputation one of them can't just join the party with a good reputation and suddenly people think he's a good guy. If there was a mechanic for an individual character's reputation "following" them (and perhaps party rep was average character rep?), that might work, but that would definitely be a houserule.
- This entirely breaks the reputation benefits system as there's no reason to worry about negative reputation if you could just jump to a "new" party at zero Rep (or join an existing party at +20 Rep).
- Allowing characters to switch parties would also mess up the item-limit rule (p. 43) in a multi-party campaign. E.g.: There are two parties each with two members owning the only Invisibility Cloaks (2/2), two of these "leave" their party and "join" the other, rules broken.

Aside: As I'm typing this, I kinda like the idea of personal reputations following characters and the party reputation being the average of the individual characters'. I'm not sure if it breaks anything... but you'd have interesting situations where you might actually have positive reputation parties that don't want to let a scoundrel (pardon the pun) join them and bring their reputation down.

You can create a new character in any party based on re-reading the rules on p. 36.

For the rest of the post, it should all be backed by the rules or is explicitly called out to be a house-rule or method of playing (as Dexter345 ntoes on Parallel Campaigns) . Let me know if you have any specific questions though.

One note on multiple players playing a single character: Once you start getting retirements, you'll need to track the "lineage" of each character to track how many perks they get on character creation.

p. 48 of rules: Each time an individual player retires a character, that player also gains one extra perk to apply to all future characters they create. This effect is cumulative, so when a player retires their second character, his or her next character would gain two additional perks.
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Thank you.

I hope nobody took offense to me questioning the veracity of these suggestions because none were intended. I just wanted to make sure there was more to it than "one random internet opinion".

Again thanks.
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jkglife wrote:

Multiple Parties:
- For this, you'd have distinct parties (where characters/players can't switch back and forth).

I assume nobody is suggesting a player can't have two characters, one in each party? (You say X/Y can't switch back and forth, but you probably only mean X)

(Even in the same party, in fact, but here we were discussing multiple parties)

Quote:
- Logistically, you'll need to either print extra modifier decks or reset them each time you play and you'll have some bleed across parties when it comes to enhancements (once you unlock those and start using them).

I would have thought "print extra modifier decks or reset them each time" is true for single party as well. One time, combat modifier deck 2 will be used by the level 3 Scoundrel with several perks; the next time that same deck might be used by the brand new Brute...?

Quote:
Single Party:
- For this you have a single party with 4 (or more) characters in rotation where you only "bring" 4 (or 5) characters to each scenario.

Obviously, yep. The party might contain 9 heroes, but the game is only designed for four of them to do battle at any given time.

Quote:
- Options for play would be: teaming up in pairs to play a character, creating a set number of characters but allowing any player to play any character on a given scenario, or doing a character per person and just not allowing duplicate characters on the same scenario.

Thank you for including that last one.

My situation (as the owner of the copy) is that I made a Scoundrel, which I have been using together with five friends so far, so the party contains six heroes, one each of the starting classes.

When I now will invite three new players, let's call them Gail, Han and Igor, I plan to let them create characters freely (picking from all six classes), and creating a new character myself. Maybe they choose Cragheart, Scoundrel and Spellweaver. I might then create a Tinkerer myself (in part because the original Tinkerer player will probably be a relatively infrequent guest, in part because we were all impressed by how that class boosts everybody else).

This brings the total character roster to 10, and the number of total players to 9.

Since I don't expect these last bunch of people to be the most frequent players, and because everybody should experience Black Barrow scenarios 1 & 2 at least once, I'm probably going to decide against creating a new party. What you've said tells me that stuff isn't really central to the experience - unlike table-top roleplaying games where I come from.

When, say, Gail later wants to play with me and some of the "main" players, she might get preference to play her existing Cragheart. Either none of the other 2-3 players have a Cragheart, or one of them is willing to create a second character (much like I will have done already), observing Gloomhaven's prosperity effect on minimum level. Whether I will play my original Scoundrel or my "second in command" Tinkerer is a question for later - I might not want to race ahead in xp and gold just because I'm there for every game (unless somebody buys a second box).

In effect, we'll be ignoring the party rules.

 
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My group ran a megaparty variant that might be useful for your group. (Copypasting from old topic)
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. They play so rarely that it isn’t worth taking notes. They can just set up a new character next time.

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. We also use “personal reputation”, meaning only characters who are present when reputation is modified are affected by it. Effects are checked against the average reputation of the characters present and new characters are also created with a starting reputation equal to the party’s average reputation.

Finally, we maintain a google document that recaps every scenario and event briefly and documents progress made with them.


I'd also suggest, for the sake of your sanity, that you consider having additional attack decks printed. That way, you can have up to eight (if you can abduct the monster deck, nine) players/characters using individual decks. Saves a ton of sorting/setup/teardown.
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