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Thunderstone» Forums » Variants

Subject: Single player campaign mode rss

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Damien Browne
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I was playing the single player version found in the Wrath of the Elements but it didn't quite pack the punch that I wanted. After I was able to win on the hardest level, I have devised this upgrade variant.

- The game is single player
- Based strongly off "Facing The Darkness Alone, Nightmare"

Setup the initial game as follows:
4 random hero choices, but use half the available hero cards for each deck. (round up if that is applicable.)
3 monster choices, and any dungeon features as applicable.
You may separate these into victory point categories if you wish, but the "easy" path is not for me

Add two (randomly chosen) Thunderstones by shuffling them into the bottom 10 cards of the deck. Guardians, as per normal, are one guardian for each 10 cards above that.

Do not fill the dungeon before the game begins, leave each rank empty.

If you only use one or two expansions, take 8 villager cards and use the startup cards as the remaining four village decks. If you use more than two expansions, remove these start item decks and draw 12 villager cards randomly.

Note: All cards that move Monsters in the dungeon ranks, such as Banish, Elf Sorcerer, and Magi Staff are not allowed.
Unfortunately this also includes Claymore and Blessed Hammer. *

A quick outline of the rules here, you can skip this if you know it already.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
After your first turn, flip over the top Monster card and place it in Rank 3 of the dungeon.
At the end of each turn, flip over another monster and place it in the deepest rank of the dungeon (usually 3), pushing forward any other monsters currently occupying that rank.
If the dungeon hall is full, the monster in rank 1 is pushed out of the dungeon. This monster has attacked the village (bad you!!) and so it goes into the "Monster score pile".
At the end of the game, your score has to exceed the score of the Monster score pile.

Battles alter the advancement.
Winning a battle: You take the monster, the spoils, the XP, and so forth, as normal. Fill the dungeon hall normally. Do not advance the dungeon after you have refilled the hall.

Losing a battle: The monster goes straight into the Monster Score Pile. Refill the dungeon hall as normal. Do not advance the dungeon further.

The game ends when a Thunderstone reaches rank 1, as usual. If you defeat the monster in front of the thunderstone, collect the monster and the stone.


After you win the first game, this is where my variant comes to life.

Firstly, any monsters in the Monster score pile are set aside. These will be included in the dungeon deck along with the three new monsters when you set up again. Any monsters that are in your deck, or still in the dungeon deck are removed from the game until such time they are randomly selected again.

Count all remaining XP that you have. This is your currency that you will use to upgrade your start deck.
You may only upgrade using cards that are in your final deck. If they are only in the village, or were destroyed during the game, you cannot upgrade with it.
You may upgrade a militia into any Hero.
You may upgrade an Iron Rations to any food.
You may upgrade a dagger to any Weapon (Edged).
You may upgrade a torch to any Item : Light
You may upgrade any card you previously upgraded.

You pay the cost of the new card with leftover XP. For example, if I want to replace a militia with a Chalice Paladin, it will cost 12 xp.
You can upgrade as many cards as you can afford with your remaining XP, but any unspent XP is lost.

You keep every Thunderstone that you collect along the way.

You will always begin with 6 heroes, 2 weapons (edged), 2 food, 2 (item:light) and any number of thunderstones.

Upgraded cards remain in your deck at no further cost for future games. However, if the card gets destroyed during a game, it stays destroyed and is replaced next game by a basic militia, dagger, torch or iron ration.
Also, if the hero or item returns to the village, you will have to buy it back again if you intend to keep it.
Note: If a hero deck is selected and you have one such hero, do not shortstack the hero deck further, the hero deck begins with 6 cards whenever possible. It means you might be able to have both level 3 hero cards in your deck, or even in the same hand!

The goal is to have, at game end, every Thunderstone. However, you will only collect one per game (unless a setting card changes that rule).

If you do not have every Thunderstone, back into the dungeon for you!!
Set up a new dungeon deck using three random monsters (plus dungeon features, if any) but also include the previous monster score pile. This means tough monsters you could not defeat will return to haunt you time and time again.

Use two random thunderstones that you have not yet collected.

Set up a new village every game.
When the game ends, it's time to see how well you went.

For every upgraded card you had in your start deck, your win condition scales. If these cards were destroyed during the game, they still affect your score.

With zero upgrades, your score must beat 100% of the monster pile score.
For every upgrade, add 50%
If you have four upgrades, your score must exceed triple the monster pile score.
It is possible to upgrade every card in your start deck before you have all the thunderstones.
In this case, every monster in the monster score pile is worth x7!!

If you win, you are so awesome. Post your final start deck in this thread so we (I) can be amazed and share your joy (and talent).
If you lose... no hard feelings. Start again!!


Some final notes:
Traps - traps will always affect you. Traps: Death is tough to beat!
Treasures - do not collect the treasure the moment it is revealed. Place it in the hall as if it was a monster. If you slay any monster that is adjacent to a treasure, you collect that treasure. If the treasure leaves the hall, it goes to the monster score pile (and returns to the dungeon next game).
Guardians - they act as normal, reaching rank 0, and they cannot be removed unless you win in battle against them. Rank 1 monsters will still attack the town.
Abyss-Darkspawn - these monsters will not leave the hall unless you defeat them. It creates a glitch that you can enter the dungeon, fight them, lose and the dungeon does not advance. I consider this a feature. Use it wisely. (It can, and HAS, cost me the game to do this, sometimes. Be warned.)
XP cards - these are not a finite resource. If I need more, I put disease cards into my XP pile.

One last thing, I consider "opponent's draw pile" to be the dungeon deck. I do not consider the opponent to have a discard pile. The dungeon cannot "discard his top card", for example.

This is my first attempt at writing up these rules. I hope they're clear and concise. Glad to tidy it up if you see how/where I should do so.


* Sometimes I houserule the text away that moves the monster ranks, because I've already drawn the deck out before I remember. If the card still has no function (magi staff, as an example), I always replace it.
Also, I allow cards that allow you to steal cards from the deck or dungeon into your discard. Your mileage may vary here.
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Damien Browne
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Quick place holder post here.
I intend to list each card that I house rule.

For example, I house rule to exclude Magi Staff from the random draw.
I'll list every card I exclude.
Or if a quirky rule comes up, I'll explain how I resolve it.

For example, I had Ulbrick's armour.
I had a bad draw. Six cards, one of them a hero.
There was a disease, some low vp monsters with low gold value, maybe an iron ration.
However, one card was a Thunderstone.

I was desperate to kill the monster that would leave the hall this turn.
If I let it go, I would lose. If I killed it, I might win. My deck held all but one Thunderstone. Getting the last one would win the game!!
So I used the armour and I ruled that the Thunderstone is non-hero and got destroyed. (But I drew 12 cards!!)

I had it return to my unused Thunderstone pile, available for next game...
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Pelein de Cratia
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Nice idea!
 
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