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Subject: Another "Should I get S&S" thread, with a "Where to start?" spin rss

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Eric Jack
United States
Massachusetts
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Hello fellow dungeon crawlers. My wife and I are trying to decide whether or not we should pick up Sword & Sorcery for our game group. We don't have a shortage of games, including several other dungeon crawlers. But we've seen S&S, played a demo at PAX Unplugged, and are wondering if we should take advantage of a late pledge for the most recent Kickstarter. We are veteran gamers and role-players:

- We're in a couple campaigns of D&D 5e
- We have played the core box of Descent 2e, though I was a little let down by the 4v1 nature of that game, which has kept me from investing in all the expansions.
- We're currently in a campaign of Gloomhaven
- We're currently in a campaign of Shadows of Brimstone (2 or 3 full-day sessions per year)
- My wife picked up Myth a few years ago at PAX East, but we never really got into it. I feel the game was incomplete, missing a story/campaign, and now there's some sort of drama going on with the publisher/developer.
- I recently got Mage Knight Ultimate Edition, but have yet to get it to the table
- We have KS'ed Dark Souls, Sine Tempore, Tainted Grail, and Starcadia Quest and are awaiting fulfillment on those games

So at this point in the post, I'm asking for reasons for or against adding yet another dungeon crawler to our collection when we have a difficult time playing everything we already own. On one hand, it's a great-looking game and we enjoyed our short demo. On the other hand, I could easily spend ~$500 on everything S&S between seasons 1 and 2 if I went all-in.

If the reasons are compelling, and we do jump in, where should we start?

The late pledge should be available for a few more days (I was told late March) so we could go in on the season 2 Kickstarter. Even if I did that, what level would be recommended? All-in? Just the core and pick up the rest later in retail?

Season 1 is all available in retail now in-stock or as a pre-order. But to get everything, it would cost roughly $300. Of course, as far as retail goes, we could just get one piece at a time, but my wife is worried about things going out of print or becoming otherwise unavailable.

Looking forward to your feedback. Thank you!
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Skaak
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I'm not really sure what to recommend. Here's my perspective on S&S, though:

It's best played as a campaign. You don't have to do it all in one go, of course. You could easily spend half a year if you only played one quest per month, for instance (that's just the core set). But if you're going to go for it, you should plan to play through the full box, preferably with a somewhat stable group of gamers (subbing heroes in and out isn't a huge deal, but you will get minor power discrepancies between them that you have to iron out before anyone can advance further).

So with that in mind, probably your best bet is to ask yourself: how often are we going to play this? If like my example above you're playing it once a month, then I'd buy the first S&S core box and call it good for a while.

If you're planning to binge it, though, and anticipate loving it enough to invest a little more heavily, then you might want to start considering the second Kickstarter. The benefit of the Kickstarter is that you should get all of the content in a single lump, months or potentially years before some of the later stuff ever hits retail. Additionally, it's going to be a while before it shows up, so that gives you some time to collect even more unplayed games work through your gaming backlog.

I don't know if the first season's stuff is likely to go out of print or what its existing stock is like, so I can't advise you there.

Kickstarter purchasing advice

As far as what you would want from the second Kickstarter, I'd recommend the core set and at least 1x of every hero (you can get the alternate genders if that interests you or is likely to interest someone in your playgroup, but there's very little reason gameplay-wise). Of the Bronze Add-ons, Tristan is a hero and one of the few Kickstarter exclusives (so get that), the metal coins are pretty cool (but completely optional bling), the doors and chests are okay (but even more optional bling), and everything else is useless (for instance, you already get an extra set of dice with your Kickstarter pledge).

Of the Gold Add-ons, you want 1x of every hero as already stated. Ghost forms are a worthless waste of storage space (unless you have small children; I give my kids the ghost forms, and then when they inevitably break them at least they aren't breaking the game pieces I care about!). Familiars are probably worth missing, because they're going to add even more complexity to an already complex game without much upside (these are more for people for whom S&S is old hat; helps shake things up). Myths of the Arena you can take or leave. Personally I left it.

You can probably skip the Other Add-ons section. It's mostly stuff for people who collected the first S&S season at retail.

First S&S purchasing advice

If you decide to buy the existing S&S content at retail, then obviously you need the core set. If you anticipate loving it enough to complete a full campaign, you also want the Darkness Falls expansion. Arcane Portal you can probably give a miss; by all reports the quests are heinously long, and it mostly just inflates the crowns and soul points you have available (which is only useful if you are doing really poorly).

Extra heroes at retail are a more difficult question. Obviously if you absolutely love one of them, then pick them up and play them. However, more heroes adds replayability to the game, so if you only end up playing through a single campaign then their value drops precipitously.

Vastaryous' Lair is also probably worth grabbing if you want the full meal deal, because you can't hit the final soul rank without it (at least not according to the core rules). Also the multi-headed dragon "miniature" is awesome.

Good luck!
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al Cann
United States
Warwick
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I am in a fairly similar position as you are ... but I play solo. I binge played S&S Immortal Souls and I thought it was decent. But with Gloomhaven, Folklore: The Affliction, KDM, and I also backed Tainted Grail, I quickly sold off S&S. I also thought the game was a bit easy and the treasure/loot mechanic was broken IMHO in that I found myself shedding both because I didn't know what to do with it.

That said, I did back Ancient Chronicles because I understand the issues I mentioned, and they are not my issues alone as a number of gamers have expressed same, have been addressed. The game system is good enough that it is worth it to me to give it a whirl. I also think that if I don't like Ancient Chronicles, I could easily resell it with minimal loss, if any.

Good luck in your decision!
 
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Crimsonsun God
United Kingdom
Canterbury
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From the games you like you will enjoy Sword and Sorcery, personally I love it but that's neither here nor there.

My advice, is jump in on the 2nd KS prior to mid April and wait for that to deliver before commiting to the more expensive retail version. If you love the game buy season 1 at retail, but its double/triple the cost of the Kickstarter for about the same amount of content. Its not like you're short of games to play while you wait for this to deliver and its not as if you won't be able to buy season 1 when Ancient Chronicles is released.

Personally I'm thinking about jumping on Tainted Grail's late pledge for the all game play content pledge that £150ish, I am trying to convince myself its a terrible idea as I don't need more games (Middara literally turned up yesterday, I've got Ultimate edition of Mage Knight to get to the table, have a lot more Sword and Sorcery to play though having both late pledged and brought all of season 1 at retail since the start of the year, and have more than $1000 of KDM expansions I'm waiting on over the next couple of years) but I'm not doing very well at convincing myself.

If you need more help in making your decision, there are some great lets plays on Youtube, I really like Meet me at the Table, Rolling Solo, and one stop co-op shops play thoughs.
 
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Matthew Taylor
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Jacksonville
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I recently added S&S to my collection, and I’m very happy with it. It’s a great game and a worthy addition to any dungeon crawler collection. The only reason I might warn you off is if you are a completionist. There are a lot of expansions out already, and more on the way.

Where to start?

Get the first Core; Immortal Souls. You’ll get five heroes, (Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard, Ranger.) It has everything to get you started. If you enjoy it move on...

There are 6 hero packs available now, (Barbarian, Pirate, Swashbuckler, Vampire Hunter, Summoner, Druid.) These are good not just for new and interesting play styles, but also Equipment and treasure cards that all your other heroes can use. There are 2 more that will be for sale soon, and a ghost souls pack that adds a new type of talent your heroes can use.

Then there are 2 big box expansions with another on the way. The core set will get you up to level 4, Arcane portal will make sure all your heroes are at level 4, Darkness Falls will get you up to level 6, and the last one will get you to 7. They come with new enemies, story campaigns, equipment and treasures.

So yeah, start with the core, decide how deep you want to dive and go from there.
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