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Subject: Frosthaven - Summary of PAX presentation rss

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Mad Mullet
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Just for those of you who have more pressing things to do on your Saturday, here are the main points I am picking up on from the 'Gloomhaven II: The Next Chapter' talk held at PAX Unplugged.

If I miss anything of note (and I am sure I will as I am typing and listening at the same time), please post it in the thread.

I am sure the whole stream will be available for viewing after the event for those who don't want to miss a word of it.

Kickstarter: March 2020

Planned Delivery: 'Less than a year - Early 2021'


'Frosthaven' is a sequel that features a whole new campaign with as much content and new stuff as the original Gloomhaven had. 'Frosthaven' is a stand-alone product that you can start with but characters are more complicated than its predecessor. Characters from each product are completely compatible with one another.

'Frosthaven' has a whole new set of items but there is a mechanic for bringing items over from 'Gloomhaven'. However, as it is a remote location, these products get imported and are not there as standard. Resources are much more valuable and you have to build items through a crafting system rather than just buy them.

There are six starting characters....

* Bannerspear (noble tank, mainly melee with 'formation attacks' that have hex diagrams that include hex requirements for allies as well as herself but with a non-loss summon that can assist with those attacks).
* Necromancer (now an Aesther. Functions with summoning non-loss 'undead' summons that she loses health to bring forth).
* Deathwalker (a sort of shaman-class that creates 'shadows' through killing monsters. She then has some kind of control over these shadows)
* Drifter (a 'survivalist' with a lot of persistent abilities with charges that give bonuses and that can be 're-charged')
* Geminate - created by Marcel - (two consciousnesses fighting against one another so it operates with two 'forms' - one melee and one more ranged. There are two separate decks to manipulate and a token to flip when changing from form to form. You can only use the deck that matches the current form.
* Blink Blade (can manipulate time - speed it up and slow it down. He has 'time tokens' that can be used in order to do this. The player decides whether to go 'fast' or 'slow' at the start of the round and this choice affects the ability being played)

+ 10 more characters to be unlocked.

Isaac reports they are 'stepping up their miniature game with more 'dynamic poses'.

There are three new races in the game that start off as main 'threats':
- Algox - Distant cousins of Inox - more primitive and larger. They 'like to punch you so you have to watch out for that'. They have an interesting religion where they have separate 'sects' depending on how they interpret how their God speaks to them.
- Lurkers - Different from those in Gloomhaven with a range of new abilities (not a lot of specifics given).
- Robots - Wandering robots that need investigation (again, not a lot of specifics given).

'Frosthaven' is an outpost in the north (NW of Gloomhaven) located through a pass between the Copper Mountains and Imperial Mountains. 'Frosthaven' is completely cut off in the winter. The story begins with a group of mercenaries hired to protect the town and keep it safe.
The town is very small (and damaged) at the start of the game and it needs to be rebuilt. The players will have a chance to use resources to build buildings that unlock new town mechanics (e.g. craftspeople, alchemists etc.). There is variety in how the player wishes to build the town. You can also build up defences of the town to improve its 'defence-rating'.

The game has a 'calendar system' with two separate seasons (Summer and Winter). The calendar progresses by season and there are city/road events specific to each season.

(Writer's note: This sounds awesome!)

The loot-mechanic has changed. Monsters drop 'tokens' rather than 'coins' and these tokens represent different things which could be money, an item or a herb or a resource or something else entirely.

There is a map of the region, much like the first game, with stickers to be applied but the map also contains unexplored regions that only become revealed as the game progresses. There is also a second map that features the town of 'Frosthaven' specifically.

There will be some new monsters as well as some from 'Gloomhaven'. There are now:
'Frozen Corpses' with a new status effect called 'Brittle' where the player gets super-cold and takes 'double-damage' on their next attack sustained.
'Living Dooms' can summon 'Living Spirits' depending on the level of health it has. He has a new status effect called 'Bane'. This is the solution and replacement for the 'Insta-kill mechanic' that was considered over=powered. The 'Bane' condition can be removed by healing but, if it is not removed by the end of the enemy/character's next turn, it does 10 damage.
'Polar Bears' - i.e. worse 'cave bears'

At some point in the game, players gain access to a book (like 'Town Records') that provides a side-story to bring more lore into the game. Progression through the book is by solving puzzles ('like an 'Exit' game). It's a slow progression with clues hidden in the game that will gradually develop over the course of the game and that will unlock things 'in-game'. He has listened to comments about a particular puzzle in 'Gloomhaven' where there was no feedback on how you were getting on with your puzzle so he has tried to rectify that in this game.

Combat mechanics are the same as 'Gloomhaven' and town mechanics are introduced over time so the learning curve in 'Frosthaven', overall, is similar to 'Gloomhaven'.

They are doing the 'sectioned system' introduced in 'Forgotten Circles' but all the information required will be available at the beginning so there are surprises without any lengthy mid-scenario 'set-up'.
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Wayne Walker
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Perfect summary. Thanks!
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michele c
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Thanks for the summary! Really excited about the new one!

I am really curious about the mechanics of the banner guy.

Madmullet wrote:

They are doing the 'sectioned system' introduced in 'Forgotten Circles' but all the information required will be available at the beginning so there are surprises without any lengthy mid-scenario 'set-up'.
I hope you don't have to constantly flip around also to refer to many different special rules, written on different pages.
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al Cann
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"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in".

Said emphatically, with fists clenched.
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Mad Mullet
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In response to selected questions from the floor:

Is Frosthaven' too cold for oozes?
No. Not necessarily. Isaac says he loves oozes......

Coming from Gloomhaven and everything crammed into that, what are you taking away from that to make 'Frosthaven' take the #1 spot on Boardgamegeek from 'Gloomhaven'?
I wanted to focus much more on the town-building element more.

Is trading going to be a thing? Can you give money to other people?
No. You still can't trade items but if you create a potion, you can choose who gets it but when they get it, they keep it.

Is the 'bane' mechanic going to retro-actively placed on 'Gloomhaven' characters?
... Maybe... We're talking about it.

Is element-charging still a key part of the game. Is 'ice' a bigger feature because of the location?
Yes. Elements are a big part of it but we've tried to keep it balanced with elements equally represented rather than focus excessively on 'frost'.

Are there any tweaks to the combat rules such as 'retaliate'?
Other than new status effects, combat mechanics are much the same.

Can we expect a three-damage token in the new game?
Yes.

As the game is tougher, can we get more ability cards or more health?
Err... No. It's the same. The highest at Level 1 will be '10'.

Are there any changes to the PQs, character-development and customization of modifier-decks?
The PQ system is changed so it won't be a big deck to randomly draw from. You will start with a much smaller deck and, as you unlock more things, more cards will be added to that deck. They will be unlocked as they become reasonable. Modifier decks follow the same system that they did in 'Gloomhaven'. There will be new battle-goals that will be more balanced.

Will summons scale better to higher difficulty levels?
The summons can be re-summoned in many cases which makes them more playable.

Is the enhancement system the same?
I think, yes, the enhancement system will stay the same and will be unlocked as you progress through the game.

Where does 'Frosthaven' take place time-wise?
Afterwards. There will be some 'tie-in' things but it doesn't matter too much as they are very much separate stories.

Is this as difficult as its predecessor for a new player to learn the rules and get into it?
It will be about the same difficulty as 'Gloomhaven'. We might introduce a tutorial system but 'Jaws of the Lion' is orientated towards that market.

Can players trade items between each other?
Players can pool resources to make things but then whatever is made will go to one player.

Do you have a plan to provide a 'recharge pack' so you can reset and rebuild 'Frosthaven' in a different way in future playthroughs?
I think so. We'll look into that.

When it comes to the calendar, is it just one year of Winter and Summer and how far does it progress each scenario?
There are multiple years so you can keep playing as much as you want (nicer things happening in Summer, worse things in Winter). Each time you complete a scenario (not including linked) will progress one 'time unit' and there are 15 'time-units' per. season.

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Jack Spirio
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Man that sounds even better then I expected.
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Bernard
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These are all great improvements and fun new stuff!

I love they decided to keep the combat largely the same and focussed more on the fluff around it.

It would be so cool if you can become an alchemist and sell potions to your teammates or become a smith and sell weapons to them!

Also good they will change the instakill and I hope they will also fix it for Gloomhaven. One solution would be to make them all lost abilities but this seems like a nice alternative.

I wonder if they are able to prevent the power creep that Gloomhaven had when you enhanced many cards. For our group the game became too easy even on extra hard, so I am glad they are not reducing the difficulty. We really liked the stamina potion nerf and immediately implemented that when he announced that.

I am very curious about all these new elements like buildings, crafting but also refreshing the familiar good working elements like new PQ's and Battlegoals. What I understoot they keep the tactical game somewhat competitive which is one of the mechanics that make it shine and keeps it so well balanced.

Obviously in March this will be backed instantly! 😄
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Vladimir Savin
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Jack Spirio wrote:
Man that sounds even better then I expected.
Me too! The amazing expectations!
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Sebastian Grawan
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Love the integration of the 'base building' functionality.
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Go ---
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that kickstarter is going to go through the roof...
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Jo Hohenberger
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Thanks MadMullet for the summary! This game sounds awesome. I will definitely back this. The improved base building sound great and crafting rather than buying is also interesting. However, I fear that it may become somewhat frustrating, if you need one thing that you just cannot get. On the other hand, I trust in Issac to balance it in a way that this frustration can be circumvented (i.e. a trading post or something like that). I am absolutely stoked about this game!
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Tom Soller
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Pretty good summary but missed some things... 1) new Harrower class is called “Germinate” 2) looks like there will only be one map with top half being terrain and bottom half being the town of Frosthaven 3) they are considering creation of two versions, one as stand-alone and one as an upgrade so you can reuse components from the base game
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Robert Stewart
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tdsdiver1 wrote:
Pretty good summary but missed some things... 1) new Harrower class is called “Germinate”
That should be the auto-correct-unfriendly "Geminate" - as in Gemini, the Twins of the Zodiac.
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I have never lost at Ascension nor Shards of Infinity.
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I didn't get a chance to ask it, but I'm hoping the Frosthaven box comes with a set of "fast set-up" inserts. While I can appreciate there is a secondary market for GH inserts, I'd be happy to pay for an official add-on (Game Trayz preferred).
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Winter Soldier
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Gloomhaven has a calendar mechanic too. You start playing it and suddenly realize you've missed two birthdays.
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Thomas Everding
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Did they talk about localization?

I am pretty sure that the german version was a success for Feuerland and they also translated the expansion.

I'd like to back the kickstarter but I would rather wait for the german version if I have to choose.
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Cecil Armitais
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I like a lot of the ideas, but I'm not a huge fan of the conditions. For all intents, they are just variable increases in damage. They don't really do anything particularly new. Bane is literally just "Add +10 to an attack" against anything without a shield, but it can occasionally be rendered completely worthless by RNG healing. Brittle is just "make an attack bigger".

Neither is really something cool and niche. I was hoping for keywords like the ones in my fanxpansion, Silence (prevent non-move/attack actions next turn), Slow (half speed next turn), and Hasten (+50% speed next turn). Or the few others I thought of, like Break (no shield till healed) and Blind (max range of 1 for abilities next turn). These just seem kinda bland; they just increase damage with no other effects, and I'm sure bosses are immune, so they don't even matter against the thing they'd be best against.

Other than that it sounds pretty sweet; I really look forward to the town building elements.

Also for those who haven't seen it - New class and monsters pics:
https://imgur.com/gallery/ZsPjJRX
https://imgur.com/gallery/qe3zow0
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Marcel Cwertetschka
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Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles!
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Bane is a replacement for instant kills.
Brittle might still change.
Regenerate was first conceptualized for Frosthaven, I just borrowed it for Forgotten Circles.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Also there are some more conditions that a monster exclusive
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Cecil Armitais
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Regenerate was a great condition; one of the best parts of FC. Healing really needed a buff, and regenerate was an interesting way to do that.

As for the other two I don’t hate them, they just feel a lot less like things you’d expect to see on conditions. Idk though; I’m not the one testing it

I am definitely looking forward to this expansion though (but my god there will be so many monsters to use in custom scenarios!)
 
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Adrian Brooks
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Krazyguy75 wrote:

there will be so many monsters to use in custom scenarios!
Mmmm. The first Gloomhaven Kickstarter called for user submitted scenarios. Are we going to have the same again? If so, can I encourage Isaac (or Morthai) to sign up Arry to work up a version of the wonderful Silent Bridge (BGG announcement link) for Frosthaven in preparation?

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Darren Nakamura
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Thanks for this. I'm sure I'll watch it eventually, but it's nice to get in text form.
 
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Pierre
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Man if I understood correctly, geminate has maximum turns of 58!! I.e. playing optimally with 13 long rests, no losses and playing as many cards in one state as possible before shifting to the other. Might be mechanics I dont fully understand making that smaller but dang pretty interesting class if you ask me!
 
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Robert Stewart
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Phdesj wrote:
Man if I understood correctly, geminate has maximum turns of 58!! I.e. playing optimally with 13 long rests, no losses and playing as many cards in one state as possible before shifting to the other. Might be mechanics I dont fully understand making that smaller but dang pretty interesting class if you ask me!
I make it 48 active turns and 13 turns resting for 61 turns total:

6 turns (3 in each state) before each of the first three rests (7/7, 6/7, 6/6)
Two cycles with 5 active turns (3 and 2) with 6/5 and 6/4 cards
Two 3+1 turn cycles with 6/3 and 6/2 cards
Two 3 turn cycles with 6/1 and 6/0 cards
Cycles with 2, 2, 1 and 1 turns with 5, 4, 3 and 2 cards respectively.

Of course, those turns will be a lot less flexible, but, yeah, a 14 card starting hand makes for impressive stamina (a straight-up 14 card hand would be 62 turns, 49 of which active).
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Jack Spirio
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Phdesj wrote:
Man if I understood correctly, geminate has maximum turns of 58!! I.e. playing optimally with 13 long rests, no losses and playing as many cards in one state as possible before shifting to the other. Might be mechanics I dont fully understand making that smaller but dang pretty interesting class if you ask me!
the new classes all get a high number of cards
 
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Becq
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rmsgrey wrote:
Phdesj wrote:
Man if I understood correctly, geminate has maximum turns of 58!! I.e. playing optimally with 13 long rests, no losses and playing as many cards in one state as possible before shifting to the other. Might be mechanics I dont fully understand making that smaller but dang pretty interesting class if you ask me!
I make it 48 active turns and 13 turns resting for 61 turns total:

6 turns (3 in each state) before each of the first three rests (7/7, 6/7, 6/6)
Two cycles with 5 active turns (3 and 2) with 6/5 and 6/4 cards
Two 3+1 turn cycles with 6/3 and 6/2 cards
Two 3 turn cycles with 6/1 and 6/0 cards
Cycles with 2, 2, 1 and 1 turns with 5, 4, 3 and 2 cards respectively.

Of course, those turns will be a lot less flexible, but, yeah, a 14 card starting hand makes for impressive stamina (a straight-up 14 card hand would be 62 turns, 49 of which active).
Potentially slightly better, I think, since you could swap in X cards to make your starting hand 8/6, if you want. Nope, there is a separate hand size limit of 7 for each form.

It looks like a tough class to play, since you need to manage the transitions well enough to use up your cards efficiently. And short rests seem even more dangerous for this class, since you want to ensure that only one of the two forms has an odd card count -- the random card loss might come from the wrong form, leaving you with an odd count for both forms. Or worse, it might leave you without a transition for your current form, forcing early exhaustion.

Looks fun to try!
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