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Subject: 4 players and a substitute? rss

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chris saman
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Looking to jump in. Our group for coops is typically 5, but sometimes it's four (3 dedicated and 2 that alternate). I've read that 5 player variant isn't recommended, but can 2 players alternate the same character or can they each play their own character?
 
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Kevin Allenberg
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csaman wrote:
Looking to jump in. Our group for coops is typically 5, but sometimes it's four (3 dedicated and 2 that alternate). I've read that 5 player variant isn't recommended, but can 2 players alternate the same character or can they each play their own character?
It’s probably better if they each play their own character, even if it’s the same class. If they were the same character they’d probably want to coordinate on purchasing items, selecting perks and ability cards, and selecting a new class on retirement.

Playing their own characters avoids all of that. The only thing they would share is enhancements on the class cards (if they’re playing the same class), and that may take a while to become relevant.
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chris saman
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Sorry, haven't read rules...does that mean that each 'alternate' player has a different character, but if it's the same class they share the same deck? Also, what would happen with card enhancements?
 
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Kevin Allenberg
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Each class has its own deck of ability cards. Players choose a class and create a character (really, at level 1, “creating a character” means you’re just naming it and buying items).

As the character levels up you’ll choose new class cards to add to the characters pool of ability cards. Two new cards become available at each level to choose from.

Also as you level up you gain perks, most of which change your character’s modifier deck. Everyone starts with the same standard 20 card deck, and each class has a deck in its box that is used to modify the standard deck. Which deck to use is actually a common question that comes up, so make sure everyone’s modifier deck has a number 1-4 in the bottom corner (the monsters deck will have an M).

So if Player 1’s and Player A’s characters are the same class they can have different items, ability cards, and perks based on the players choices. They would be using the same physical components where they do not differ.

As for enhancements, they’re far enough into the campaign that I would have called them a spoiler except that they take up two or three pages of the rule book. Basically they’re stickers that go on the ability cards that are permanent and improve the actions of all current and future characters of that class. When you retire a character you can choose from any unlocked character, it doesn’t have to be the one you unlocked. The character, however is gone.
 
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Jay Johnson
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I'd advise against having the "alternate" players sharing the same class.
Have them each create their own characters of different classes. That way if it happens that both alternate players happen to be available for a particular session (and one of the other players is gone, or is okay with sitting out), then both the alternates can play. where as if they shared the same character or class, they couldn't both play at the same time
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Alexander Steinbach
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Playing with 5 players works fine in my opinion. It just takes a bit longer. When playing with 5 players, use the monster setup of 4 players and increase monster level by 2. That's it. You can now pay normally.

When choosing instead to alternate, I think it's best to have each player pick a different class. There are 6 starting classes, so this shouldnt be a problem.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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For a while I was running this campaign with six people (two have since stopped playing because one moved away) and the best way to do it is just to have each player have his or her own character (all of different classes), and whoever signs up to play during a given session gets a spot at the table of four. It has the additional effect of keeping things interesting, because you're working with a shifting subset of available classes, so you're not running the same party every game until somebody retires.
 
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Jay Johnson
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Dexter345 wrote:
It has the additional effect of keeping things interesting, because you're working with a shifting subset of available classes, so you're not running the same party every game until somebody retires.
that gives me an idea for a solo campaign:
- Start out by creating a character from each of the 6 starting classes.
- Then take one of each class's character tokens and put them in a paper bag/box/cup/hat/whatever.
- Prior to each scenario (and corresponding City Event/Road Event), randomly draw 2-4 (depending on how many characters you want to handle) of those 6 tokens to determine which characters will be participating in the next scenario.

This would, as you say, keep things interesting by having a dynamic party and allow you to experience the variety of all the starting characters, and explore their different interactions with each other.

Though if I did this, I might occasionally make an exception to the randomness when certain scenarios meshed with a certain character's personal quest (i.e. if the Brute had a PQ that required doing scenarios in the Dagger Forest, and we were about to do a Dagger Forest scenario, then the Brute would automatically be one of the characters doing that scenario, with the rest being randomized as normal)
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David Smullens
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JayJ79 wrote:
Dexter345 wrote:
It has the additional effect of keeping things interesting, because you're working with a shifting subset of available classes, so you're not running the same party every game until somebody retires.
that gives me an idea for a solo campaign:
- Start out by creating a character from each of the 6 starting classes.
- Then take one of each class's character tokens and put them in a paper bag/box/cup/hat/whatever.
- Prior to each scenario (and corresponding City Event/Road Event), randomly draw 2-4 (depending on how many characters you want to handle) of those 6 tokens to determine which characters will be participating in the next scenario.
Not to stray too off-topic, but I'd do it a little differently: I'd pick a single class to be your 'main character' and have the random draws be who joins you on the next adventure. You maintain the dynamic party but also get to keep a sense of progression which you'd be missing by changing out every character every time, since it would happen a lot more slowly. (you have retirement goals and progression for your secondary characters, so when you do retire you have some veterens to keep you up to speed and you can optionally choose to bring relevant secondary characters if their retirement goal is to fight whatever you are fighting)
 
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Jay Johnson
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Narninian wrote:
Not to stray too off-topic, but I'd do it a little differently: I'd pick a single class to be your 'main character' and have the random draws be who joins you on the next adventure. You maintain the dynamic party but also get to keep a sense of progression which you'd be missing by changing out every character every time. (you could even have retirement goals and progression for your secondary characters, so when you do retire you have some veterens to keep you up to speed and you can optionally choose to bring relevant secondary characters if their goal is to fight whatever you are fighting)
Meh, there would still be "sense of progression" with the random approach, it would just be all 6 characters progressing.
If you really wanted more direct progression, then you should probably just stick with the same group of characters for every scenario (other the natural changes due to retirement, which is part of your "progression" anyway)
 
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Warren Smith
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JayJ79 wrote:
that gives me an idea for a solo campaign:
- Start out by creating a character from each of the 6 starting classes.
- Then take one of each class's character tokens and put them in a paper bag/box/cup/hat/whatever.
- Prior to each scenario (and corresponding City Event/Road Event), randomly draw 2-4 (depending on how many characters you want to handle) of those 6 tokens to determine which characters will be participating in the next scenario.
That sounds like a really cool idea. I may very well do this. Just started a solo campaign with 3 characters and completed the first 2 scenarios.

Given Scenario 2 is directly linked to Scenario 1, it would make sense that the same characters would attempt it. So, I think I would add that each time you go back to Gloomhaven, you then randomly choose the party.

Only "problem" with this approach is that then you have to customize the attack modifier decks each time instead of just keeping the decks with the characters until they retire. Probably a minor issue in order to experience more of the game.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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csaman wrote:
Looking to jump in. Our group for coops is typically 5, but sometimes it's four (3 dedicated and 2 that alternate). I've read that 5 player variant isn't recommended, but can 2 players alternate the same character or can they each play their own character?
Either works. If it were me, I would decide based on how often they will alternate.

If it's going to be pretty even, then letting them each start their own character makes more sense (there are six available from the get-go). However, if one is going to be playing significantly more than the other, I think sharing a character makes more sense.

This is because while the game does a great job balancing difficulty for different level characters, it does not balance rewards the same way. Campaign scenario rewards, which provide a fair bit of character-improving resources, can only be obtained once, so if someone is missing those missions often, they are missing those rewards permanently. There are very few "catch-up" mechanics for characters that do not play often, so you can end up being far behind your friends in terms of abilities, enhancements, items, and personal goal advancement.

But if they prefer separate characters even if that's the case, that will work just fine as well - the one character will just be behind in progression (but will still be able to contribute when he plays).

 
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