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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: Reroll Level up Upgrade rss

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Tala Mare
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Couldn't find a clear answer with searchfu
Suspect the answer is no, but asking regardless

Are you allowed to reroll your level up upgrade?
 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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No.

Although to be fair none of us will judge you when you fudge that level 7 to level 8 upgrade on a character you have played for 9 months!
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Ben Roberts
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We levelled up to 6 last night and have always used Grit to retool results. You don’t always get something better.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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it is a chart roll and according to the faq, chart rolls cannot be gritted
 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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okiedokie wrote:
it is a chart roll and according to the faq, chart rolls cannot be gritted

Unless it outright kills you (mutation).
 
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Kirk Bloom
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So my group agreed on a house rule for the rolled upgrade and we have all been liking it. So on every even level up you roll like normal, no grit allowed. However on odd levels, you get to choose your rolled upgrade. Our only stipulation is you can't choose the same one more than once. Since you only get to choose 3 times (level 3, 5, and 7) it doesn't get too out of hand and it helps to make your character feel like you are building them and not just getting luck of the draw.
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Tala Mare
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Bearttousai wrote:
So my group agreed on a house rule for the rolled upgrade and we have all been liking it. So on every even level up you roll like normal, no grit allowed. However on odd levels, you get to choose your rolled upgrade. Our only stipulation is you can't choose the same one more than once. Since you only get to choose 3 times (level 3, 5, and 7) it doesn't get too out of hand and it helps to make your character feel like you are building them and not just getting luck of the draw.

I really like this idea, but I thought that the numbers weren't created equal

As in 7 tends to be a more balanced simple bonus while 11-12 tends to be powerful bonus

Wouldn't that just promote the players to just cherry pick those much rarer bonuses?


What if in those level you roll only 1d6, but the 2nd d6 can be whatever number you want?
This would mean that to get a 2 or a 12, you need to roll a 1 or 6
To get a 3 or 11, you need to roll a 2 or 5

It keeps those 4 rarer upgrades still a little rare, but gives you that additional control on your character.
 
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Morgan Vening
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Talamare wrote:
This would mean that to get a 2 or a 12, you need to roll a 1 or 6
To get a 3 or 11, you need to roll a 2 or 5

Not sure about how it fits in balance wise, but the math is wrong here if you can pick the second die, as you can get a 3 on a die roll of 1 or 2, and an 11 on a 5 or 6.
 
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Chris Pulis
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The house rule we have gone with was Roll twice and Choose. That way you don't get a lot of Vendettas if you keep rolling them, or end up with just sanity and health. ETC.
 
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Jee Fu
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Giving yourself any kind of advantage on this Chart, rather that just accepting what you get, will lead to your Heroes being overpowered. The unchecked stacking of favorable stats will break the game; there is a reason that the Free Upgrade Chart is a roll, and that Upgrade Tree is a choice.

If you hate the "2" results (as many do) enough to house rule how this chart works, I suggest implementing a very high cost re-roll. You could do something like "Starting at Level 5*, you may spend [X] Experience Points to re-roll one of your previous rolls on the Free Upgrade Chart, where X is equal to half of what you currently need to level. Re-roll until the result is not the same as it was originally." This gives the player something to work toward, to save up for, and requires a choice with interesting trade-offs: do I work towards a level up, or do I junk this Free Upgrade I hate instead?

It also gives you something to spend XP on at Level 8.

- Jee

*It's important that the Enemies are at least Brutal by the time you start implementing this, for 2 reasons:

1) it's going to allow the Heroes to continue powering up in non-level-based ways which will also eventually break the game because the Enemies won't be keeping up. Starting this problem at level 5 will push the issue far enough "down the road" that it probably won't matter.

2) it needs to cost a lot of XP
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Tala Mare
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Morgan Vening wrote:
Talamare wrote:
This would mean that to get a 2 or a 12, you need to roll a 1 or 6
To get a 3 or 11, you need to roll a 2 or 5

Not sure about how it fits in balance wise, but the math is wrong here if you can pick the second die, as you can get a 3 on a die roll of 1 or 2, and an 11 on a 5 or 6.
Not 'wrong', it was assumed you would figure it out that it meant 2 or lower and 5 or higher...

Inspector Jee wrote:
Giving yourself any kind of advantage on this Chart, rather that just accepting what you get, will lead to your Heroes being overpowered. The unchecked stacking of favorable stats will break the game; there is a reason that the Free Upgrade Chart is a roll, and that Upgrade Tree is a choice.

If you hate the "2" results (as many do) enough to house rule how this chart works, I suggest implementing a very high cost re-roll. You could do something like "Starting at Level 5*, you may spend [X] Experience Points to re-roll one of your previous rolls on the Free Upgrade Chart, where X is equal to half of what you currently need to level. Re-roll until the result is not the same as it was originally." This gives the player something to work toward, to save up for, and requires a choice with interesting trade-offs: do I work towards a level up, or do I junk this Free Upgrade I hate instead?

It also gives you something to spend XP on at Level 8.

- Jee

*It's important that the Enemies are at least Brutal by the time you start implementing this, for 2 reasons:

1) it's going to allow the Heroes to continue powering up in non-level-based ways which will also eventually break the game because the Enemies won't be keeping up. Starting this problem at level 5 will push the issue far enough "down the road" that it probably won't matter.

2) it needs to cost a lot of XP
Plenty of item combinations break the game FAR harder than a slight modification to your level up chart bonus

Looking at Samurai for example (since the adv book is online)
With the exception of the 2 result, we have basic stat bonuses for 3 of the results, advance stat bonuss (max grit, initiative, etc) for 7 of the results, and pure hp/san for 1 of the results...

I suppose an argument could be made along the lines of "it would allow him to cherry pick cunning to exploit surgical tools", but I mean that's because surgical tools are insane. Besides it's perfectly replicatable even without stat bonuses to reach 6 cunning with just items... so it doesn't matter?

So really, for the majority of stat bonus level ups, it likely won't have the effect that you're implying of essentially breaking the game. Items break the game far more easily.
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Njorl
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I've always felt that using grit to reroll a random level up makes sense just by the nature that grit is grit definitively

"courage and resolve; strength of character.
"he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot"
synonyms: courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance"

If those attributes don't affect how well you level up, I don't know what does. I personally define leveling up as determining how much you learn and grow based on your experiences, and only considering leveling up in this two dimensional way, I couldn't argue against using grit.

However, on the flip side you could see leveling up as having to survive multiple injuries, deadly poison, brain maggots, soul sucking parasites, etc. So leveling up could feasibly not benefit you as much as it should. So maybe that deadly poison means you don't level up in strength but you do in cunning.
 
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Jee Fu
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Talamare wrote:

Plenty of item combinations break the game FAR harder than a slight modification to your level up chart bonus
Even if I agreed with this, the existence of one OP mechanic isn't justification for inventing others. Why not just give every Hero +2 starting Sanity for free? There are bigger problems after all.

But let's unpack your claim that powerful item combos represent a far greater threat to the game's stability than control over the Free Upgrade Chart.

First, you can't compare a single Upgrade to a Item Combo. You would, at least, have to compare it to TWO Upgrades (or however many Items exist in the combo).

Second, you have to manage Items. They take up Anvil space, clothing slots, require finding and/or buying, and you can lose them. With a few exceptions Items aren't "free" to get, keep, or use. Contrast this with the bonuses gained from the Free Upgrade Chart. They cost nothing - either up front or continuously - and can give you the benefit OF a top-tier Item, forever. If you want to stack non-HP/SP stats with Items, you have to jump through the some serious hoops. There are what, 4-5 +Strength Items in the entire game IF you have 100% of the content? There are very few ways to increase your Stats via Items that don't weigh anything or take up Clothing Slots. Leveling is one of them. Allowing a Hero to have any control over the Free Upgrade Chart will objectively make it the easiest way to increase your Hero's effectiveness, in the entire game.

For example: a Reload Gunslinger that can dependably stack +Init and +MaxGrit any faster than the rules allow will out-level the game very quickly. To do this with Items requires time, money, luck, anvils, AND clothing slots. In other words it requires you to play the game to min/max the character, rather than just pumping all your level-ups into the most effective stats. This allows the Enemies and challenge to at least pretend to keep pace.

Talamare wrote:

I suppose an argument could be made along the lines of "it would allow him to cherry pick cunning to exploit surgical tools", but I mean that's because surgical tools are insane. Besides it's perfectly replicatable even without stat bonuses to reach 6 cunning with just items... so it doesn't matter?
This is another great example, but your assertion that it doesn't matter because there exist other ways to obtain the same bonuses is missing the point. The problem here isn't high Cunning - the problem is easily attainable high Cunning. Maxing your Cunning with Items requires you to find and carry Items (the Experiment Canister from Targa and the Looking Glass from the Gear deck are both Anvil-less, but I have 10 World Cards and over 150 Gear Cards). Yes it's possible to obtain 6 Cunning and yes the Tools of Science are awesome if you do, but how does the existence of that eventuality justify letting the Hero speed toward it faster than the game allows?

Talamare wrote:
So really, for the majority of stat bonus level ups, it likely won't have the effect that you're implying of essentially breaking the game. Items break the game far more easily.
Unchecked Hero power growth vs. the challenge scaling is what breaks the game. Items can do that, yes. But why? Because they have awesome stats and abilities. The Free Upgrade Chart skips the middleman and just gives you the stats and abilities. Its only saving-grace is that you can't choose which one you get. Here's another reason why Items that bestow great power are less of an overall issue than permanent stat bonuses: Items can be easily errata'ed. You can't like, nerf Agility in general, without causing more problems than it solves. I'm not saying that Items can't break the game, but I am saying that giving players control over the Free Upgrade Chart rolls is far more likely to introduce balance issues than Items are, for any given posse.

I can't stress this enough: if you want to keep your Heroes from out-leveling the game as much as you possibly can (even if it is a losing battle), the absolute best thing you can do is let random things stay random - especially if those things give you permanent bonuses. There is a reason the Official FAQ goes out of its way to ban the obtaining of permanent upgrades via chart rolls that have been tampered with - even legally so.

Lemme put this another way: if you were allowed to either re-roll any/all of your Free Upgrades OR re-draw any/all of your Items, which would you chose?

- Jee


EDIT: This post assumes a campaign-style play. If you're playing one-shots, and rarely leveling past 1 then none of this applies. There is no reason to be concerned with long-term balance in these cases.
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Njorl
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Thematically I see no reason not to reroll since grit mean determination. I did that for a campaign and as long as you don't get to choose the better of the two the benefit is mitigated. For me items and chosen upgrades have overpowered my heroes way more than the random upgrades. The Outlaw Belt, the lawman with the two upgrades to lower init, gain defense, and increase damage, certain ranged weapons in the hands of the Rancher, Outlaw with the amulet of Balorn and 4th level in the guns blazing tree. If I could burn through the item deck twice as fast that would be the best for me. Most of the random upgrades are pretty good even if not perfect(as in +1 cunning or lore still helps out even if you're a bandido), but gaining an item you'll never use is completely useless.
 
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Tala Mare
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I know you highlighted 'Free', especially since it's called that, but it still has the cost of XP which is playing time. Time is by far the most valuable thing. I double down on the assertion that it doesn't really matter. We are all dedicating a great deal of time to play this game. It feels horrible to be at the mercy of random to determine if your extremely limited, unchangeable, random upgrade will be something AMAZING, OK, or since you know how BS luck can be... constantly COMPLETELY USELESS.

Level ups generally come slower than Items, you will get maybe 1 level per mission, and that is going to slow down a bit at higher levels. While you're capable of finding half a dozen items per person per mission. Which also allows for Combos to come at a faster rate.

Don't try to use the FAQ on the Permanent Bonus thing to push this argument in your favor. The reason the FAQ on that exist has ONLY to do with the Gold Ring and NOTHING else. Gold Ring took the chance of rolling 12s on the chart from 2% to 30%. The permanent, nearly infinitely repeatable, powerful town chart bonuses is what broke the game here.

False Equivalent
Items are extremely easy to acquire and there is no limit to how many you would acquire
Level Up bonuses are extremely limited

If your point is arguing full control over the Level Up Upgrade vs Full Control of what items you draw? I would easily choose Items. Since they are vastly more powerful and game changing.

I also never advocated full control, just allowed additional control.
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Ben Turner
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Grumsh wrote:
okiedokie wrote:
it is a chart roll and according to the faq, chart rolls cannot be gritted

Unless it outright kills you (mutation).

^^^ given the game only thrives if there is real risk / reward, I always found even THIS too forgiving.

Plenty of way of mitigating injury / madness / mutations - such as not getting KO'd in the first place (through rerolls / Grit / blind luck whatever).

Once you get to the point you are rolling on a chart, you had your chance, so I say live with the consequences! And if you roll snake-eyes; your dead (otherwise the only risk of death for your first injury is double snake-eyes, which would be an abysmal role)

Plus the game has resurrection added into it, so high-level characters can always come back.
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