There's no reason Prophecy couldn't be a good solitaire game. However it misses two main things, the biggest of all being some sort of timer (without it, the game is already won, it just depends how much time it will take). The second problem is that all of the adventures and skills are essentially "yours", there's no competition for them.
Therefore I have devised this solo variant. You play by the same rules as the regular game, but with the following changes (btw, these rules are for normal difficulty, if you'd like to have it easier or harder check out the suggested difficulty levels as added on the bottom):
1. You randomly pick a "nemesis", e.g. another character from the stack.
Regardless of which character it is, his starting point is on the opposite side of the map (e.g. if Magic Tower is your starting guild, he starts at the Magic Wilderness). He receives starting health and willpower as a regular character, as well as 3 gold.
2. The chance deck is a timer
When the chance deck is exhausted the 2nd time, this triggers an Apocalypse (count the number of times the Chance deck was exhausted by placing green experience tokens beside it). After each additional chance card is drawn, you have a choice of losing either one health or one willpower. The Apocalypse doesn't affect your Nemesis. If the chance deck gets exhausted the 3rd time, you have lost the game.
3. Nemesis' turn
After your own turn, your nemesis has his turn. First of all, he DOES NOT use the chance deck. He also cannot gain any items or skills.
Each time it's nemesis' turn, you move him with the help of two dice. They work like this:
a) The white die shows how many steps you must move him in a clockwise direction
b) The black die shows whether he engages the place he landed on or not.
- on 1-3, the nemesis ignores the spot.
- on 4-6, your nemesis engages the spot. If it's an "adventure" place, you simply discard the adventures and give your nemesis 1 gold. If it's a "civilization" spot (guilds, city, village), your nemesis spends gold to recuperate, if needed. He simply alternates in spending 1 gold for one health and then one gold for one willpower, as long as he has gold.
(Note: adventures are simply discarded, no benefits are given except the default of 1 gold piece. Actual opportunities on civilization spots are ignored, all the civilization spots are equal and provide healing, as far as your nemesis is concerned. Also, you can use a coin instead of a black die if you feel like it.)
4. Gaining stats
Each time you receive health from the bank, your nemesis receives willpower, and vice versa. Your nemesis cannot have more then 7 total of each stat. Whenever he maxes out in one stat, you start filling the other regardless of the type of stat you are getting.
(Note: if you lost some stats in the process of winning a stat of the other type, this doesn't mean you take the stat away from the nemesis; he never "delevels" as a result of your "deleveling")
5. Charity chance cards and bonuses
Charity chance cards work like the nemesis is another player. Also, as far as the bonuses on the items and skills are concerned, the Nemesis is "another character".
6. Fighting your nemesis
You fight your nemesis whenever you two meet on the same spot.
If you met him on your own turn, you choose the type of battle as per the regular rules (you play the penalty for a willpower battle).
If he challenged you on his turn, he chooses the type of battle based on the stat he is currently better at (counting the cubes on the right side of his character sheet), regardless of your own stats. He also pays the "willpower" penalty. If he has equal stats, he attacks you with Strength.
If you lose the fight, you lose 1 health and 1 willpower, and your nemesis steals from you up to 3 gold. If you win, your nemesis loses 1 health and 1 willpower, you gain 3XP and steal up to 3 gold from him. If your nemesis is killed, you get to keep all his gold. He then respawns in his primary guild with his default health and willpower replenished, and 3 gold.
(Note: if you have met on the "safe" place, no fight is triggered. If the attack was triggered on your nemesis' turn and the black die rolled 4-6 in his initial "throw", he still gets to "engage" the spot he landed on, regardless of the outcome of the battle.).
7. Winning the game
You win by acquiring four artifacts.
Adjusting difficulty levels:
Easy: 3 chance deck exhaustions trigger Apocalypse instead of two. Nemesis levels up only 50% of the time (use a coin or a die).
Normal: As described. 2 chance deck exhaustions, 4 artifacts.
Hard: 2 chance exhaustions, all five artifacts for the win. Also, as soon as you gain two artifacts, Nemesis starts chasing you - he ALWAYS moves towards you by the current shortest path, instead of always clockwise.
There. You can try it out and see what you think.
Edit: I tested this variant a bit, but I will still periodically add tweaks as I find them appropriate. I will also add clarifications and special cases for things I think could be explained better. I would be very thankful for any kind of suggestions and/or corrections, and will happily apply them to the variant if they seem helpful and useful.
Latest edit (v1.0): Added difficulty levels and gold-stealing in the Nemesis fight. I think now the game is balanced enough.
- Last edited Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:16 am (Total Number of Edits: 13)
- Posted Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:28 am
Re: Solo variant
I have played some games with this variant and it works; it is not even too hard, I think it is fairly balanced.
I was wondering if I can translate your variant (with full credit to you of course) in Italian.
Re: Solo variant
Sure you can, no prob.
Although I've made some edits and added difficulty levels, so you might check them out if you have found the game too easy.
I have also added a tweak in the nemesis fight where you both can steal money from each other; this seems to work nicely because you can opt to either avoid him or try to fight him an purpose, to replenish your xp and gold.
I made this account just now to say thank you, Branko K., for your single player rules for Prophecy. I tried it and it was really fun and challenging. :)
It took me some time to improve my character, since I didn't draw any adventure cards with "gain 1 willpower/strength". When the Apocalypse started (the 2nd time the chance deck emptied) I was just getting my first artifact, but then getting the rest of the artifacts got more easier the more artifacts I collected.
I tried this recently and I think that it works very well. Thanks Branko.
Thanks for the idea. This solo variant works nicely.
Josh "Der Spieler" Spillers
I just got the game and I used your solo variant to familiarize myself with the rules. I was the Mystic and my nemesis was the Scout.
The Scout was a formidable opponent. He beat up my poor Mystic and stole my lunch money at least three times, but I wasn't really trying too hard to avoid him. When I was able to defeat him, it wasn't by much. He also wiped out some really good opportunities that I was too slow to reach in time.
The deck timer is a nice touch. I was able to win the game at normal difficulty at about 8 cards into the Apocalypse.
Thanks for the great solo variant. I had a lot of fun with it!
This works great. However I got tired of updating the nemesis so instead I just used it to run circles around the map and destroy everything in it's path. So on it's turn the nemesis moves clockwise 1d6 spaces and discards all cards from the space it lands in. That's it, no fighting, no upgrading, no keeping track of what it does. It's nasty enough that it burns opportunities faster than you can get to them.
If you don't mind I would like to incorporate this in a variant I'm working on every now and then. I would like to create about 10 stories that you can chose or randomly draw at the begining of each game. The stories detail different ways to lose/win the game and various unique effects. For example, using your nemesis mechanic:
Story line: Shadows from the astral planes descent upon the lands searching for the lost key to bind the artifacts toghether forging the ultimate evil reincarnation...or something along those lines.
Setup: Start with 1 nemesis on the board. The nemesis is not a character, it does not need player board, items, skills, cubes and the rest. It is just a mindless undead pawn roaming the lands corrupting everything in its path. It starts in the space directly opposed to the current location of the player and it moves 1d6 spaces every turn, discarding every card from the location it lands in.
Trigger: Chance deck depleted
Effect: Bring a new nemesis in play. It sets up and plays exacty like the first nemesis except it gets a die roll of its own for movement purposes.
Lose condition: The chance deck is depleted and there are 3 nemesis in play
Win condition: Aquire 4 artifacts
Raks Raks Raks
Old thread but I'm wondering if anyone with experience with this variant would recommend it to someone learning the game before introducing it to a group or is it better for experienced players? I don't want to pick up any bad habits either