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Runebound (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Adventure Gem alternatives . . ? rss

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Rob Lyon
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I don't like the idea of going from one Gem to another to trigger encounters, playing solo. I've been looking through the variants posted for a different mechanic. There must be something . . ?

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Mike Kozlowski
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Why not just go to the gems, but skip the movement dice and just directly move to wherever you want to go?
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Rob Lyon
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Well, I don't really like the gems on the board at all. I'd like more internal/organic triggers to bring them about. I'm not savvy enough yet to suggest anything; I've only played a few times, but I love the wealth of cards and the artwork on them (although NOT AT ALL on the hero cards; they are WAY overdone and FAR from archetypal) and what they represent, and I think there's something more serious and subtle that could happen between the nifty travel dice and the geography of the board and the plethora of expansion ideas via cards, particularly from a solo perspective.

I'd rework the market as well. It seems like the game, as it comes out of the box, is about shopping and fighting, satisfying those twin fixes for gamers. There are SO MANY items and allies and all that I just can't appreciate them.

Right now I'm just looking around to see what people are doing with it.

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This is a little bit old school, but...
I believe I know what he means, and I think I would prefer that sort of thing. You thinking maybe an encounter table? Something that scales to what territory you cross, what level you are, how much time has passed, and other factors?

I think that would be great, actually.

I'm not sure there's anything out there quite yet with that sort of mechanic, at least not that I've seen, but it's well within the realm of possibilities.

One thing I'd ask before I commit to any serious brainstorming, though:

If gems aren't going to be the way for you purposefully hunt for experience and treasure, why travel around the board?

Maybe because territory drastically affects your chances to get the type of encounters you want, it could go like this, where Swamps and Mountains are more likely to give you high level encounters, plains and roads more likely to give you low level. You keep the restrictions in place, where green encounters stop attacking you if you reach a certain level, and so on. Rolling up a green encounter, then, means that they may have been near you, but were scared off because they recognize your abilities and don't want to get stomped.

As you gain in level, you're drawn to the more difficult-to-reach locations, because you know that's where the tough stuff is. When you do get an encounter, you use markers to show that you've already found something in that region. You can't go back to that region until you find a challenge of that level from a different region of that type.

Like Cedric suggested, quests would be another way to make you move from place to place. In that way the gems might be quest locations. They're already color coded according to difficulty, so that's a little less work.

Anyone like these ideas? Anyone have any others?
 
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Mark Chaplin
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For altering the "shopping" experience you could always adopt the nifty mechanism in The Cataclysm expansion:

Trading on the hoof through the sacrificing of movement dice from your dice pool to find traders and caravans in the wilderness.

This could be an addition to the usual markets.


BTW, have you tried the very common 3-deck market variant?



 
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Rob Lyon
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A R, I think you're on the same page. As for why wander the board, a good wilderness map can be an evocative element in a game experience (frankly, I miss it in ThA). I remember how much I liked the Wizard King maps and tried to create a map based, Warhammeresque game with it. Encounters keyed to terrain are key for me (that's organic). The Warhammer Quest files that were posted at a fan site had random encounters keyed to terrain and locale. Rather like the Warbringer25's Cities of Adventure charts, but used to key encounters and outfitting in the field between delves.

FYI, what I came up with in my attempt at hybridizing the WK maps with WQ charts was to bring the heroes into the game searching (for example) for a secret cavern wherein a hostage was rumored to have been abducted and tortured. The heroes had only so many days to find and release the poor wretch before he succumbed to his anguish (solo game ticker). They would search for clues to the abduction at settlements, the bigger the settlement the better chance of a clue. I used percentage dice for this .

The first clue vaguely determined the quadrant of the board where the cavern was located. As the heroes headed that direction, subsequent clues reveled the terrain type and ultimately, the last clue, had them at destiny's doorstep, all the while dealing with randomly encountered brigands, dragons and a gradual attrition . . . for what it's worth, just so you know where I had gone historically with this.

I prefer the idea of the heroe's DEFENDING themselves against attacks while on a quest or mission, not so much looking for bloody noses and monetary aggrandizement. I like the old Magic Realm trick of Hiding. And if treasures and allies could become more valuable (read appreciated) in the course of our heroe's journey, more the better.

Yugblad: I will check out the 3 deck market, thanks.

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Well, when I thought about mentioning encounter tables, it made me instantly think of the old Avalon Hill games, which is why I said old school.

It's not really THAT old school, but...

I completely understand what you mean by wanting to go out into the wilderness, I just meant in terms of gameplay. Quests seem to be what you mean, and I do think it's more rewarding to complete quests than to go on a wilderness rampage, having the players defend themselves from encounters instead of seeking them out.

This game is sort of the result of the popularity of multi-player, online RPGs, with its lack of player death, and focus on killing all the cuddly, undead forest animals (there can be only one!).

I tend to get that in the forums, that whenever a quest comes up, usually through encounter cards, people really dig that, but then it goes away. It's incidental, and not fundamental to the gameplay.

It'd take some work, but a quest generator for towns, plus an encounter table for the wilderness depending upon what places you walk through, might help you feel the game was a bit richer.
 
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Rob Lyon
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You are definitely talking my language here AR. It seems like much of the material is here already via the cards and map boards, only the need for a matrix to tie it together is missing. As much as I think the heroes are wincingly steroidal looking, I do like most of the card graphics and many of the story ideas.

As for quests, yes, I guess that's it. But quests can end up mercenary too. Maybe each game there is a random, Primary Quest, Mission or Objective, that the heroes buy into. Secondary quests could work if they help fill some condition with the primary one. Maybe it's because I'm a writer that I feel the need that everything that happens, every conscious choice at least, should tie in with the primary plot line.

Quest generator/encounter generator . . . sounds good to me.

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Mattias Frid
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Robbage wrote:
Quest generator/encounter generator . . . sounds good to me.
I'm working on a pretty ambitious Runebound project at the moment, built around quests rather than the adventure gems. Actually, the gems have been done away with completely.

There are three decks of quests for each colour level: Personal, Major and Minor quests. The goal of the game is to complete quests amounting to a Victory Point value of 10. Personal quests are worth 5 VP, and is also the main reason for the character being out adventuring to begin with. Each player draws one before the game starts. Major and Minor are worth 2 resp 1 VP and are drawn during the Market Step in town.

Reasons for doing this vary, but the main reason is to change to scope of the game. Instead of one session encompassing a hero's entire life span you play a part of that life cycle in each session. Your character is "saved" for the next session.

I've playtested it solo and in a two player game and it worked really well. Biggest problems to control is progression to higher tier quests, especially if two hero's have grown apart slightly.

More info to follow. Right now I'm off to bed though. I'll post previews in a few days, with examples of the finished cards.
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Rob Lyon
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Look forward to seeing it Phreedh.

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Mattias Frid
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Robbage wrote:
Look forward to seeing it Phreedh.

Here's a quick sneak peek at four of the cards. Two are "Personal Quests", which you draw at the start of the game. They give 5 victory points and bring you half way to winning the game when completed.


The other two cards are "Minor Quests", which can be drawn during the market step. They yield 1 victory point and come in different flavours with several variations.


These are just examples and very much work in progress, but it might give you an idea of what I'm getting at. There are also "Major Quests", which are slightly more complex than the Minors and often involves tougher battles: "Quest Challenges". It's a separate deck of challenges designed for end-quest show downs. We're currently using yellows as mock-ups, but it's a bit too tough while greens are generally too easy and minion-like.

In addition to the cards, the rules are changed a bit regarding leveling up your character, what items are available and so forth: 10 xp for a stat increase, no ally may cost more than your hero level and we'll most likely do some restrictions on items as well. To not clutter the game up with unusable items, we've separated the market decks into 1-4, 5-8 and 9+ gold items.

Since all adventure counters on the board are removed, we use travel hazards with a twist to gain experience, get some fighting in and to get gold (as there's not as much fighting, all challenges give their reward, regardless of why you're battling them).

Apart from challenges giving you exp, the quests also yield a small exp reward. 1 for minor, 2 for major but 0 for personal (as you get a level up as the reward).

The first release will be in a few weeks, it's just a matter of finishing the green tier cards. Most of it is drafted, but needs to be laid out and play tested some more. After that, we're on to the yellows and blues - I'll try my best to get unique content into each tier while also re-using some mechanics for certain quests.

We've tried to make things as dynamic and variable as possible, without introducing too many fiddly moments. We don't want stats printed on the quest cards, since we don't want each quest to be the same every time you play.

When it's time for some more details, I'll post a separate thread. This is not a full write-up, just some of the stuff off the top of my head. I'm at the office at the moment, so don't have access to all my documents.

Hope you guys will find it usefull, though I'm mainly doing it for fun and personal gain (ie my own Runebound sessions).
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Robbage wrote:
I think there's something more serious and subtle that could happen between the nifty travel dice and the geography of the board and the plethora of expansion ideas via cards, particularly from a solo perspective...

I'd rework the market as well. It seems like the game, as it comes out of the box, is about shopping and fighting, satisfying those twin fixes for gamers. There are SO MANY items and allies and all that I just can't appreciate them.

Right now I'm just looking around to see what people are doing with it.

robbage


This might not be exactly what you have in mind, but it's a really neat "adventure" variant to add in to city visits:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/24306
 
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Interesting ideas, I like the idea of gathering clues.

Does the pilgrimage not permit any sort of damage done? Like if you have that shield which absorbs damages and harms enemies at the same time, would that be off limits?

What interest would someone have in just defending? I would assume running is really the only option if you can't attack without breaking the pilgrimage.
 
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Mattias Frid
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ahoodedfigure wrote:
What interest would someone have in just defending? I would assume running is really the only option if you can't attack without breaking the pilgrimage.
Yup, that's about it - I doubt anyone would have any real interest in staying in a battle. However, if stuck in PvP you have to defend one round before you can flee. Also, being "passive agressive" with damage reflection is allowed. Attacking isn't.

It's turning out nicely. I've got 25 minor quests and roughly 10 major quests done so far. Of the 25 minors, 7 are more or less "unique" with the remaining 18 being variations on the unique 7 (but with totally different fluff). There might be 6 quests technically identical, ie "Go to $terrain, test $attribute(13), put a counter on this card if you succeed" with a difference in the target terrain type and attribute. The biggest difference would actually be the title and flavour text. I'm hoping to be able to over time increase the amount of unique mechanics on each tier as I don't want the quests to be too formulaic and "cookie cutter" - which I think the Legendary quests in Sands was, for instance. They never really conveyed the sense of a story. I'm more concerned about that, than game balance for instance. Not that I'm neglecting balance - but fun is more important than statistics.
 
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