Phil Tegg
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I am just wondering to what degree this game will succeed in evoking the feeling that you are completing a quest.

Now, I love Call of Cthulhu LCG, but I originally bought it thinking that it possessed some sort of coherent narrative - driven by the completion of, ahem, "story" cards (yes, clearly I read the wrong reviews, but it was my first "proper" game). Will this new game's "quest" decks be more worthy of their description?

Love to hear from people more in the know than myself, which is probably everybody!
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I'm extremely curious about this myself. I've never played an LCG or any card game since Magic back in the mid-ninties. I'm very much hoping this game has some resemblance of playing an episodic RPG. I can select my own Heros, build an inventory of item to give them advantages, and then I can take on evil forces in another deck where I don't know what's coming at me, but there's some kind of story-driven cohesion. Or...should I give up hope and stay with adventure boardgames?
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After reading the rules myself, I am a bit optimistic about this. I also expected Call od Cthulhu LCG to have a bit more story telling than it actually does (close to nonexistent).

But here, there is a Quest deck with different steps in it that you need to be completing to progress. Locations that you can travel to. Even some quests you need to find clues or special items to complete them...everything seems quite close to good old quests.

And the announced expansions decks all add a brand new quest with new Encounters, amongst some new goodies for your heores of course.

Seems everything is going on the right track this time.
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It remains to be seen just well it works out, but an adventure quest-driven experience seems to be the goal. A given adventure consists of a few quest cards that set the scene and objectives. To complete a quest you have to "accumulate enough damage to the quest" by committing characters over time, with possible additional objectives such as exploring a certain location, obtaining certain items, etc.

The encounter deck throws up challenges along the way in the form of creatures, events and locations. Creatures and locations absorb part of your quest progress until you defeat them, either in combat or by committing part of your quest progress to exploring. Creatures also pose the threat of killing off your characters, so you have to balance how much they are hindering your questing versus how dangerous they are.

That's the gist, so far as I understand it. I'm hopeful that it captures a good adventure flavor, but it's hard to tell without knowing more about the cards.
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It certainly looks like it wants to create a sense of progress through an adventure. However, how well it succeeds probably depends a lot on what you expect from it. Strong thematic elements, increasing tension, story-like structures brought by the linear progression through the quest cards? Most likely yes. But a really strong story experience, like reading a book or even playing a video game with an unusually well told story? Probably no. It is a game after all, first and foremost, so despite the attempts to bring in a strong thematic flavor, the cards are by necessity primarily functional, not story-telling.

EDIT: It's worth noting that Tolkien-esque quest stories are probably the story structure that best works in combination with a game structure, so the story-feel could be reasonably strong in this one. For example, Lord of the Rings is probably the most story-like experience I've ever gotten from a boardgame.
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Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
I am just wondering to what degree this game will succeed in evoking the feeling that you are completing a quest.

Now, I love Call of Cthulhu LCG, but I originally bought it thinking that it possessed some sort of coherent narrative - driven by the completion of, ahem, "story" cards (yes, clearly I read the wrong reviews, but it was my first "proper" game). Will this new game's "quest" decks be more worthy of their description?

Love to hear from people more in the know than myself, which is probably everybody! :)


I don't expect any CCG to offer a storytelling experience, better to try something like Arabian Nights.
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I saw Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) give a talk about writing a few weeks ago, and he made a very interesting point about the need to leave "gaps" for the readers' mind to fill. A certain distance or level of abstraction helps create an interesting narrative... and I don't see how this game can possibly achieve this.

Something like Knizia's Lord of the Ring is so thematically abstracted that it's almost easier to create a narrative out of it: I just played my Gimli card so clearly the heroic dwarf carved a route for me through the goblins of Moria. And War of the Ring is sufficiently abstracted in terms of action--high-level movement of troops vs the efforts of the fellowship--that it's also easy to flesh out a exciting story.

But something like the card game? I don't see how it's possible. A few cards might fall just right and cough up a bit of a narrative, but I think most play will confound any but the most agile minds for story-writing.

If you're in the depths of the Mirkwood, maybe with the Enchanted Stream as your current location, and you play the Citadel armour as an attachment--how do you explain that? Did some Gondorian Fedex man storm through the woods to hand it over? Was it in your pack the whole time but just didn't seem fashionable to put on? How does a Lorien Guide pop up when you're in the depth of Dol Goldur? What on Middle-Earth is Denethor doing adventuring when he's meant to be running the White city? And so on....

I think it's going to be a very fun game (as fun as a cooperative/solo game gets, anyway) but looking for a clear narrative from it is certain to disappoint.

Well, my two pence anyway, for what it's worth.

-Mike
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Anjohl wrote:
Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
I am just wondering to what degree this game will succeed in evoking the feeling that you are completing a quest.

Now, I love Call of Cthulhu LCG, but I originally bought it thinking that it possessed some sort of coherent narrative - driven by the completion of, ahem, "story" cards (yes, clearly I read the wrong reviews, but it was my first "proper" game). Will this new game's "quest" decks be more worthy of their description?

Love to hear from people more in the know than myself, which is probably everybody!


I don't expect any CCG to offer a storytelling experience, better to try something like Arabian Nights.


Then you would be pleasantly surprised to find that Legend of the Burning Sands, Deadlands: Doomtown and Legend of the Five Rings have a lot to offer in terms of telling a story, besides being very good CCGs - maybe it's because in all of these each player chooses a particular faction that has its own flavor...and the characters change over time with expansions. No surprise that AEG produced all three games; such was their intent to integrate story/flavor and game. To me, all three succeed.

Back on topic: I playtested the LotR LCG; while a fine game in its own right (and a heck of a lot of fun) consisting of lots of flavor from Tolkien's Middle Earth, it doesn't evoke the feel of telling a story - at least, it didn't to me.
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Weloi Avala wrote:
If you're in the depths of the Mirkwood, maybe with the Enchanted Stream as your current location, and you play the Citadel armour as an attachment--how do you explain that?


You ran into a lost band of Gondorians who were chased into Mirkwood and murdered by orcs. Amongst the bodies you found patchwork armour of such excellent quality you needed to take it with you.

Weloi Avala wrote:
How does a Lorien Guide pop up when you're in the depth of Dol Goldur?


Despatched to track you down with vital information the only person able to follow you and survive the perils of Dol Goldur was the Lorien Guide.

Weloi Avala wrote:
What on Middle-Earth is Denethor doing adventuring when he's meant to be running the White city?


On a diplomatic expedition to Rohan Denethor’s retinue is attacked. Your heroes rescue Denethor and he is honour-bound (or forced) to accompany you in gratitude (or for convenience).

I totally get your point but it definitely depends on the group you play with. I know guys who’ll play this as mechanical as hell just to get through and survive it. Whilst other mates I’ll play with will be turning it into some mad variation of Tolkien’s tales with dubious subplots and suspect back stories.

My alternative tuppence.
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Weloi Avala wrote:
I saw Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) give a talk about writing a few weeks ago, and he made a very interesting point about the need to leave "gaps" for the readers' mind to fill. A certain distance or level of abstraction helps create an interesting narrative... and I don't see how this game can possibly achieve this.

Something like Knizia's Lord of the Ring is so thematically abstracted that it's almost easier to create a narrative out of it: I just played my Gimli card so clearly the heroic dwarf carved a route for me through the goblins of Moria. And War of the Ring is sufficiently abstracted in terms of action--high-level movement of troops vs the efforts of the fellowship--that it's also easy to flesh out a exciting story.

But something like the card game? I don't see how it's possible. A few cards might fall just right and cough up a bit of a narrative, but I think most play will confound any but the most agile minds for story-writing.

If you're in the depths of the Mirkwood, maybe with the Enchanted Stream as your current location, and you play the Citadel armour as an attachment--how do you explain that? Did some Gondorian Fedex man storm through the woods to hand it over? Was it in your pack the whole time but just didn't seem fashionable to put on? How does a Lorien Guide pop up when you're in the depth of Dol Goldur? What on Middle-Earth is Denethor doing adventuring when he's meant to be running the White city? And so on....

I think it's going to be a very fun game (as fun as a cooperative/solo game gets, anyway) but looking for a clear narrative from it is certain to disappoint.

Well, my two pence anyway, for what it's worth.

-Mike


Top book! I agree with what Mark Haddon said. However, that's for books. There is never going to be a problem with a board game leaving nothing to the imagaination - how is a board game going to overdescribe a world? Unless you actually had to read an accompanying book to play it.

Lord of The Rings is so thematically abstracted that it would be easier to re-theme than Monopoly is! Good game though.

I'm not asking for the moon on a stick here, I just don't see why you can't have multiple paths through a tree of quest cards of some sort. Or you could the quest cards randomly drawn, but depending upon which draw number they are they could have different effects. That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are other people with much better ideas.

I actually find Death Angel quite satisfying, narrative-wise. It may be the same story over and over again but at least the cards do seem to be telling it.


Zambo wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
I am just wondering to what degree this game will succeed in evoking the feeling that you are completing a quest.

Now, I love Call of Cthulhu LCG, but I originally bought it thinking that it possessed some sort of coherent narrative - driven by the completion of, ahem, "story" cards (yes, clearly I read the wrong reviews, but it was my first "proper" game). Will this new game's "quest" decks be more worthy of their description?

Love to hear from people more in the know than myself, which is probably everybody!


I don't expect any CCG to offer a storytelling experience, better to try something like Arabian Nights.


Then you would be pleasantly surprised to find that Legend of the Burning Sands, Deadlands: Doomtown and Legend of the Five Rings have a lot to offer in terms of telling a story, besides being very good CCGs - maybe it's because in all of these each player chooses a particular faction that has its own flavor...and the characters change over time with expansions. No surprise that AEG produced all three games; such was their intent to integrate story/flavor and game. To me, all three succeed.

Back on topic: I playtested the LotR LCG; while a fine game in its own right (and a heck of a lot of fun) consisting of lots of flavor from Tolkien's Middle Earth, it doesn't evoke the feel of telling a story - at least, it didn't to me.


Thanks, I'll look into the games you suggested! Glad to hear that it is a good game, which is the main thing!

I've looked into Arabian nights and while it does look like it might be fun, it does seem to be entirely random! Was thinking about something with a consistent-ish narrative.
 
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Agent of Cthulhu wrote:


I've looked into Arabian nights and while it does look like it might be fun, it does seem to be entirely random! Was thinking about something with a consistent-ish narrative.


Yeah, we were playing and whilst stood in the middle of a desert, Ali Baba,decided he was going to try and mug a blind beggar. This resulted in him meeting some Mermen who got very annoyed and threw him overboard and he washed up on the other side of the world.

Please can someone explain how he was sailing a boat in the desert, able to attack a blind beggar and why there were sea dwelling creatures sunbathing.
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Mmzomba wrote:
Agent of Cthulhu wrote:


I've looked into Arabian nights and while it does look like it might be fun, it does seem to be entirely random! Was thinking about something with a consistent-ish narrative.


Yeah, we were playing and whilst stood in the middle of a desert, Ali Baba,decided he was going to try and mug a blind beggar. This resulted in him meeting some Mermen who got very annoyed and threw him overboard and he washed up on the other side of the world.

Please can someone explain how he was sailing a boat in the desert, able to attack a blind beggar and why there were sea dwelling creatures sunbathing.


Like I said at the time, whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it.
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Ya know, the original Cthulu card game Mythos CCG has the explcit objective of completing stories.
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ninjadorg wrote:
Weloi Avala wrote:
If you're in the depths of the Mirkwood, maybe with the Enchanted Stream as your current location, and you play the Citadel armour as an attachment--how do you explain that?


You ran into a lost band of Gondorians who were chased into Mirkwood and murdered by orcs. Amongst the bodies you found patchwork armour of such excellent quality you needed to take it with you.

Weloi Avala wrote:
How does a Lorien Guide pop up when you're in the depth of Dol Goldur?


Despatched to track you down with vital information the only person able to follow you and survive the perils of Dol Goldur was the Lorien Guide.

Weloi Avala wrote:
What on Middle-Earth is Denethor doing adventuring when he's meant to be running the White city?


On a diplomatic expedition to Rohan Denethor’s retinue is attacked. Your heroes rescue Denethor and he is honour-bound (or forced) to accompany you in gratitude (or for convenience).

I totally get your point but it definitely depends on the group you play with. I know guys who’ll play this as mechanical as hell just to get through and survive it. Whilst other mates I’ll play with will be turning it into some mad variation of Tolkien’s tales with dubious subplots and suspect back stories.

My alternative tuppence.


I accept that it's possible to find narrative excuses for how the cards drop--and at times, that the creativity involved can make for a damn fine bit of storytelling... but card after card, eventually the narrative loops you'll have to leap through to hold the story together will eventually strain even the most drunken teller's ability and credibility.

Which is fine, of course! But I don't think Lord of the Rings: The LCG is the game to play for a fine story. (Without, of course, having actually played it....)

Something like Death Angel (or it's bigger, angry brother Space Hulk 3ed) provides a better story simply because it's a simpler game. The Events are simple (your gun jams, more genestealers spawn, you're surrounded) and the action described is straightforward. (It's more an action scene than a proper story.)

Personally, I'm looking forward to giving this game a try, but I think I'd be disappointed (as I've been with D&D's Castle Ravenloft) if I played it with the hope of some kind of Tolkien-esque fable unfolding before me as I play....

Just my 1p. (The budget's cut my ability to offer up the full tupence.)

-M.
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Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
Zambo wrote:
Anjohl wrote:
Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
I am just wondering to what degree this game will succeed in evoking the feeling that you are completing a quest.

Now, I love Call of Cthulhu LCG, but I originally bought it thinking that it possessed some sort of coherent narrative - driven by the completion of, ahem, "story" cards (yes, clearly I read the wrong reviews, but it was my first "proper" game). Will this new game's "quest" decks be more worthy of their description?

Love to hear from people more in the know than myself, which is probably everybody!


I don't expect any CCG to offer a storytelling experience, better to try something like Arabian Nights.


Then you would be pleasantly surprised to find that Legend of the Burning Sands, Deadlands: Doomtown and Legend of the Five Rings have a lot to offer in terms of telling a story, besides being very good CCGs - maybe it's because in all of these each player chooses a particular faction that has its own flavor...and the characters change over time with expansions. No surprise that AEG produced all three games; such was their intent to integrate story/flavor and game. To me, all three succeed.

Back on topic: I playtested the LotR LCG; while a fine game in its own right (and a heck of a lot of fun) consisting of lots of flavor from Tolkien's Middle Earth, it doesn't evoke the feel of telling a story - at least, it didn't to me.


Thanks, I'll look into the games you suggested! Glad to hear that it is a good game, which is the main thing!

I've looked into Arabian nights and while it does look like it might be fun, it does seem to be entirely random! Was thinking about something with a consistent-ish narrative.


Just be aware that both Legends of the Burning Sands and Doomtown are no longer actively supported.

 
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I am surprised no one has mentioned the LOTR Trading CG that was out when the movies were released. It did a pretty good job of creating a narrative. The goal was to survive through 9 sites, and the route would be different depending on how the players constructed their decks (meaning there were a few different Site 1's to choose from, a few different Site 2's ...). Each site had bonuses for either the good or the bad guys. This helped to regulate which enemies came out when, like the Balrog could only be underground, and Uruk-Hai got bonuses and were therefore more desirable to play at later sites. I thought this kept the storyline fairly coherent while allowing for the occasional surprise under the right circumstances, like a Cave Troll wandering far afield from Moria.

Of course, you also had companions coming and going (i.e., dying), along with weapons and passive allies being picked up along the way. This was enough story for me, and I would be pleased if the new game does something similar.
 
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luckytango wrote:
I am surprised no one has mentioned the LOTR Trading CG that was out when the movies were released. It did a pretty good job of creating a narrative. The goal was to survive through 9 sites, and the route would be different depending on how the players constructed their decks (meaning there were a few different Site 1's to choose from, a few different Site 2's ...). Each site had bonuses for either the good or the bad guys. This helped to regulate which enemies came out when, like the Balrog could only be underground, and Uruk-Hai got bonuses and were therefore more desirable to play at later sites. I thought this kept the storyline fairly coherent while allowing for the occasional surprise under the right circumstances, like a Cave Troll wandering far afield from Moria.

Of course, you also had companions coming and going (i.e., dying), along with weapons and passive allies being picked up along the way. This was enough story for me, and I would be pleased if the new game does something similar.


I think it was mentioned above:

D6Frog wrote:
MECCG told stories and I expect this to as well.

You have a party up to 3 adventurers.
They recruit allies.
They can equip attachments (weapons, armor, artifacts)
They face multi-stage quests. (sorta like Death Angel)
Within the multi-stage quests they can explore locations.
They will face encounters (enemies and hazards)

This game, like MECCG will most definitely tell stories. You can also link the stories (quests/regions) together over a long period of time to have an epic RPG like experience.

Think of the game and all its expansions as one huge epic campaign.

 
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That's actually a different game, which unfortunately I have never played but seems to be more revered. Middle-earth Collectible Card Game was out in the mid-90s, and LOTR Trading Card Game came out in conjunction with the movies.

In any case, that too sounds like the type of experience I'm hoping for.
 
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luckytango wrote:
That's actually a different game, which unfortunately I have never played but seems to be more revered. Middle-earth Collectible Card Game was out in the mid-90s, and LOTR Trading Card Game came out in conjunction with the movies.

In any case, that too sounds like the type of experience I'm hoping for.


ahhh so many to keep track of!
 
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