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Subject: Essential Optional Rules? rss

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Robert Fox
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I've been playing on RealmSpeak for a little while and it's rekindled my interest in the game (I do own the boardgame, used to play it a lot a while back).

I'm curious what people who've been playing a lot consider the "essential" optional rules. Basically the combination of optional/advanced rules that, in your opinion, provides the best game.
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Stephan Valkyser
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I think that the Commerce rules are absolutely essential. They improve the game strategy a lot.

All the other rules are more or less a question of personal taste. My regular game consists of the following

- let Realmspeak build the map
- random season and weather
- random character (incl. 43 custom characters found on the web*)
- let Realmspeak randomly set up visitor/mission chits
- Caching
- Ambush
- Serious wounds
- Commerce
- Grudges/Gratitudes
- all the Character optional rules
- Persistent chits
- Knight's adjustment
- Watchful Natives

For the near future I am considering adding random expansion tiles and Pruitt's monsters, but I have only taken small shots at these yet.

* List of custom characters that exist as Realmspeak char-files:
Arquebusier, Barbarian, Bard, Baron, Barrow Wight, Battlemage, Beancounter, Beggar King, Blood Witch, Centaur, Chevalier, Darf Elf, Druid Priestess, Dryad, Elf Outcast, Enchantress, Fairy, Father Christmas, Gargoyle, Giant, Gladiator, Gnome, Goblin, Guide, Gypsy, Halfling, High Priestess, Magus, Ninja, Ogre Hero, Orgre Queen, Peasant, Priestess, Ranger, Red Knight, Rogue Archer, Sage, Satyr, Scavenger, Thief, Vizier, Wise Fool, Wyrm Lancer.
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Matt Becker
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Check out this article by Jay Richardson.

"Introduction to the 3rd Edition Optional Rules"

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/181065
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Ken H.
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Stephan Valkyser wrote:

- let Realmspeak build the map
- random season and weather
- random character (incl. 43 custom characters found on the web*)
- let Realmspeak randomly set up visitor/mission chits
- Caching
- Ambush
- Serious wounds
- Commerce
- Grudges/Gratitudes
- all the Character optional rules
- Persistent chits
- Knight's adjustment
- Watchful Natives


I agree with all this, except I don't use Ambush or Knight's Adjustment. I don't play archers too much though (although I do play White Knight a lot).

I think the "essential" ones are commerce and serious wounds. For experienced players, Watchful Natives is also essential.

I know some people consider the Fumble rules to be essential. I don't. In fact, I've never even used them once.

I have used the development rules a few times. They are fun, and good for a nice change, but not essential.

Quote:
For the near future I am considering adding random expansion tiles and Pruitt's monsters, but I have only taken small shots at these yet.


Yes, same here. I hope Robin will someday add the ability to create custom tiles and monsters from within Realmspeak itself.

Quote:
* List of custom characters that exist as Realmspeak char-files:
Arquebusier, Barbarian, Bard, Baron, Barrow Wight, Battlemage, Beancounter, Beggar King, Blood Witch, Centaur, Chevalier, Darf Elf, Druid Priestess, Dryad, Elf Outcast, Enchantress, Fairy, Father Christmas, Gargoyle, Giant, Gladiator, Gnome, Goblin, Guide, Gypsy, Halfling, High Priestess, Magus, Ninja, Ogre Hero, Orgre Queen, Peasant, Priestess, Ranger, Red Knight, Rogue Archer, Sage, Satyr, Scavenger, Thief, Vizier, Wise Fool, Wyrm Lancer.


I was just wondering the other day why there is no discussion of custom characters. I have yet to see a review or session report that even mentions one. This is an amazing feature of Realmspeak. I recently played several games with Teresa's Gypsy character, and thought it was great. I haven't tried them all, of course, but that's my favorite one so far.

 
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Robert Fox
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Thanks for the replies.

I remember two rules that I hated being the one where you can attack a person independent of their horse and the melee fumble rules. It seemed to take too much away from melee combat and the main benefit for getting a horse to ride.

I read the guides posted here. I'm really impressed with how each character develops a different strategy. For example, I've played with the White Knight a lot, and it never occured to me that I could sell his armor to raise enough money for a warhorse; also, it never occured to me how much could be gained by warring with the natives ... fighting them seems to be a central strategy of some of the characters (black knight, captain).

Perhaps it was because I was never very comfortable with the native rules. I found the magic and "adventuring" rules quite easy to figure out, but hiring/fighting with/against natives never became clear for me.
 
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Phil
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FuManchu wrote:
Thanks for the replies.

I remember two rules that I hated being the one where you can attack a person independent of their horse and the melee fumble rules. It seemed to take too much away from melee combat and the main benefit for getting a horse to ride.

I read the guides posted here. I'm really impressed with how each character develops a different strategy. For example, I've played with the White Knight a lot, and it never occured to me that I could sell his armor to raise enough money for a warhorse; also, it never occured to me how much could be gained by warring with the natives ... fighting them seems to be a central strategy of some of the characters (black knight, captain).

Perhaps it was because I was never very comfortable with the native rules. I found the magic and "adventuring" rules quite easy to figure out, but hiring/fighting with/against natives never became clear for me.

I think Watchful Natives is basically essential. Otherwise, it seems like natives are just there to be slaughtered. Watchful Natives doesn't completely stop this (nor should it), but it is tempered in some circumstances.

Interesting to see that Commerce is so highly regarded. Haven't added that one into my games yet. But it looked like a good rule to add.
 
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BrentS
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In the end it's a matter of taste.

I think beginning players are best advised to play without any optional rules. The basic game is so full, rich and complex that I think it's difficult to appreciate how these optional rules enhance the game until you've become familiar with the basics of play.

Once familiar with the game, the optional rules I see as core rules are Watchful Natives and Knights Adjustment because they bring balance to areas of the game that are too easy for experienced players to exploit and make for a much more enjoyable challenge.

Ambush is a tricky one. For theme and story I think it's great but the two characters most likely to benefit from it (the Elf and Woods Girl) don't really need it.....their speed and ability to shoot second round from hiding with a single die roll on the Missile Table (on which they can potentially take out any denizen in the game) already gives them a strong ambushing tactic. I don't use it because I think it's too strong but it is nice for story.....once again a matter of personal taste.

The one thing I've never been tempted to try is the Optional Combat rules. They seem to change the game fundamentals more than any other rule and I like the element of predetermination in the basic combat rules....they are an elegant system that really allows for both strategic and tactical planning in play and sit very comfortably with me. The increased random element in the Optional Combat rules seems to be more in line with what you might expect from a classic pen and paper roleplaying game. Once again this would be a matter of personal taste. I know some players really like the Optional Combat rules and maybe somebody more experienced with them might have some insight into their advantages.

Optional Commerce is the one rule I'll admit I haven't explored fully that gets a big thumbs up from players for enhancing the MR experience.

Brent.
 
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Steve McKnight
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cloudboy wrote:

I think Watchful Natives is basically essential. Otherwise, it seems like natives are just there to be slaughtered. Watchful Natives doesn't completely stop this (nor should it), but it is tempered in some circumstances.



I absolutely agree with this. I realized that the game was broken when players developed enough savvy to use the Witch King with "Fiery Blast" and "World Fades" with a "Broomstick" backup to get multiple Fiery Blasts from hiding on a native group in one combat. Try it on the Rogues on Day 21 for a real scorched earth result! And it still works vs. Goblins....

That's when we started the conversation with Richard Hamblen and realized that he thought that he'd gotten the Watchful Natives rule into the Second Edition rulebook.

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Jorge Montero
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Watchful natives isn't really optional in any situation. The game is completely different without, and not for the better. Who wants the elf to spend the entire month hiding around natives, killing their HQ, then running away, returning the next day just to loot?

The knight's adjustment is necessary. Without it, the white knight trades the armor for a horse and a morning star, and becomes a killing machine that doesn't even fear bats.

The black knight's adjustment is less important with one player, but still essential for more: With 3 or 4 players, it's common to start with a rogue slaughtering on the first day, and a couple of days of looting, which gives the black knight a great chance of getting the company in the first week, without having to waste a few days just sitting there and waiting with nothing to do.
 
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Matt Becker
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goshublue wrote:
I know some players really like the Optional Combat rules and maybe somebody more experienced with them might have some insight into their advantages.

Check out this article by Jay Richardson.

"Using the Optional Combat Rules"

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/183032

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Robert Fox
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Thanks for the article link ... I missed that looking over the site and it's excellent!
 
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