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Subject: Variant healing & Cleric rules rss

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Greg Forster
United States
Pleasant Prairie
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"When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning" - Dr. Reiner Knizia
Pretty much the only problem I was finding with this game was the cleric. Normally you have no interest in using straights in combat, reducing the strategic variety of the game. But when you do need them, you really need them. So you keep one monster alive on purpose and sit there rolling until you get the straight you need. And thematically it doesn't make sense that the cleric can't heal outside combat.

Last night I tried out these variant rules for healing and the cleric. They worked pretty well. Comments are very welcome!

I should add that so far I have only played the "original" game. I'm having too much fun with this one to bother trying any of the others yet! So I don't know how well this applies in the other scenarios.

1) After each battle, if the cleric is alive you may heal one wound on any living character for free. You may also choose to heal one additional wound, but if you do so, you may not use straights for any purpose in the next battle, and the Holy Symbol (if you have it) has no effect. The cleric may still take wounds in the next battle. There is no limit on the number of times you may use this extra healing during the game.

2) A straight of 4 no longer has any healing effect. Instead, the cleric may use a straight of 4 to cancel all monster special abilities for the current round. Specifically:

-Spiders do not stun on 1s rolled this round. If the spiders don't roll any 1s, you may instead use the cleric's ability to "un-stun" one previously stunned character.
-The giant does not hit on 4s rolled this round.
-Skeletons are killed by one hit each this round. So if you roll a straight of 4 and your other two dice are either a 1 and a 6 or two 6s, you can kill two skeletons instead of one.
-The dragon rolls a number of dice equal to his remaining hits this round. (Obviously you only use this if he has fewer than six hits remaining!)

3) As in the original game, a straight of 5 may be used to heal a number of wounds equal to the number on the extra die (or all wounds if that die is a 1). Alternatively, if you roll a straight of 5 when fighting the dragon, the dragon only hits on 6s this round. There is no limit to the number of times you may use either function during the game.

4) A straight of 6 functions as in the original game, restoring dead characters to life and healing all wounds. There is no limit to the number of times you may use this function during the game.

At first I had the cleric's special ability between rounds healing two wounds, but that made the game too easy, so I turned it down to one.

With these rules, you can still keep one monster alive going for a straight to heal, and sometimes I did that - but since you need a straight of 5 it may take you a while to get it, and that one monster you left alive gets to take a crack at you every round...

I tried to come up with a good alternative use for a straight of 5 but I really couldn't; suggestions are especially welcome there.
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