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Fatal Frame: The Card Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: rules clarification after first game rss

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Byron Campbell
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Hey there, just finished my first game of this and was wondering if anybody could clarify a few things for me. We were playing with four players and it tended to draaaaaaag...a lot of that was that people were seeing the cards for the first time, and so they had a lot to think about on their turn. Also, some of them probably weren't used to playing card games of this complexity. But one point where something seemed majorly off was in the end-game.

Okay, so there got to be a point when each player had at least six album points, and was therefore able to enter Kureha Shrine according to the four-player rules. We had a lot of fun trying to prevent each other from reaching the shrine, but once the first player got there, we had a hard time figuring out what to do next. After reading the "boss combat" section a couple times, we settled on this method:

Turn one: draw 1 card, fight any ghosts, move onto the Kureha Shrine outdoor location, and play any cards as usual.

Turn two: draw one card, enter Kureha Shrine by drawing one interior location, place a random boss ghost on top of it, and play any cards as usual. Do not combat the boss on this turn.

Turn three: draw a card, combat the boss ghost. If failed, and the boss die does not match any of the attack die, either play a card or move out of the shrine (to go fishing for a new boss). If successful, remove 1/3rd of the boss's life bar and then take turn as normal. If the boss die matches the attack die, get kicked out of the shrine.

Turn four: draw a card, combat the boss ghost, rinse and repeat.

The reason this seemed a little fishy is because, after moving your pawn to Kureha Shrine, that meant it would take AT MINIMUM four turns to defeat the boss, and that's if you were successful every time. If you get kicked out on the fourth turn, you have to take another four turns to defeat the new boss. It was taking us 15 minutes to go once around the table, so that meant each time someone got kicked out of the shrine, it was adding another hour to the total length of the game! This seemed excessive, but we didn't see anything in the rules about continuing combat with the ghost immediately on the same turn (which was our first instinct).

Another couple of smaller questions:

1) Is it correct that the majority of the ghosts aren't worth any album points? It seemed weird that we were getting most of our album points from diaries and journals, but maybe that's just an eccentricity of the four-player game. Are these 0-point ghosts just there to slow down your opponents and pad your album in case you "lose" a ghost to a malicious card?

2) I'm not convinced we were playing spirit orbs correctly. The way we were doing it was: when you play a spirit orb, you discard the card immediately and put a spirit orb token on your camera obscura. You can have up to three of these. Any time you are fighting a ghost, after you roll and apply automatic addition and subtraction, you can spend any number of these to increase the value of your chosen die roll by an amount equal to the number of spirit orbs played. You CAN use them to avoid "if you roll odd/even" effects, and you can play spirit orbs to multiple dice if you are doing it this way.

3) Speaking of dice, when special film allows you to roll more than one die, you just choose the best result, correct? You do not add the dice together? But you DO look at dice you didn't choose when looking for odds/evens, etc. Is this correct?

4) Do blue-filament ghosts "attack" automatically at the beginning of your turn? Mechanically, this seems to be the case, but since they tend to be helpful spirits in the video game I wasn't sure. Specifically, we were wondering about playing cards that read "on this ghost's next attack" on them. Felt weird to be repeatedly attacked by a butterfly that other players had buffed up to be unbeatable.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to playing this again with a firmer grasp on all the rule intricacies.
 
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Byron Campbell
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OK, after reading back through the rules last night, I think I answered a few of my questions, but also remembered an important one I failed to ask. The new question is:

***The rules repeatedly state that each camera obscura can hold a maximum of one film upgrade and one function upgrade. However, the camera obscura cards themselves say they can hold up to two function upgrades. Which is correct? We were using the cards as reference, and so used two functions per player.

Questions I believe I have answered:

2) Yes, we were using spirit orbs incorrectly, but only insofar as we assumed that the 12 glass beads were meant to represent spirit orbs for each player. Looking back through the rules, I don't see anywhere that states that directly, and am pretty certain that the glass beads are used for the boss's life bar. So we should have just kept the spirit orb card on our camera tableau like we were doing with film and functions. Our other uses were correct: you can apply multiple spirit orbs to one roll; you can use them to avoid consequences of rolling odd/even (and even the boss die!), and you can use spirit orbs on multiple dice in the same roll.

3) I am pretty sure this is correct, except in the case of boss fights, where any dice in your roll that would damage the boss remove 1/3rd of its life bar, even if they are in the same roll.

4) I am fairly certain, after re-reading it, that blue-filament ghosts "attack" as do normal ghosts, even though it's really more a case of the player wasting time trying to capture these beneficial ghosts.

Still looking for clarification on boss fights and on the 0-point ghosts.

If it is not already in the official rules, I suggest a variant for boss battles:

After you have completed a combat roll against the boss and determined whether or not you have been kicked out of Kureha Shrine, do the following:

-if any of your rolls was successful (you damaged the boss), you may continue fighting the boss on this turn. You may not play cards or move if you choose this option. You do reserve the option to take your turn as usual, but if you do so you may not continue fighting the boss until the beginning of your next turn.
-if none of your rolls were successful (you did not damage the boss), you can not continue fighting the boss this turn. You must choose either to play a card OR move, following the normal rules for when you fail to defeat a ghost on your turn.

Using these rules, you still have to wait until the turn AFTER you enter the shrine to combat the boss ghost. After entering the shrine and placing a boss there, you take your turn as normal (i.e. play cards). You or another player can play other ghosts or actions on top of the boss ghost.
 
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Byron Campbell
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I should note that these questions are not really a reflection of the quality of the rule book, which is refreshingly clear and thorough when read straight-through. Reading it over last night, I was again impressed by the pains the author took to keep everything clear; for example, at the end of each section of rules, he restates the core concepts in a simple, easily-quotable and non-debatable form. We found several of those when questions came up during our first play, and it was a great relief to be able to read off a sentence or two that address the question directly in terms everyone can understand and leave little room for interpretation. Most of the misunderstandings came from glossing over parts of the rulebook, and the boss fights are the only part I felt were underdeveloped in terms of explication.
 
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Joe Fourhman
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I know this is an old thread, but I am not on BGG much so I thought I should take the opportunity to jump in and clear things up! I'll apologize in advance if I am restating stuff you already figured out. I'm sure I could have explained a bunch of this better in the original rules.

On bosses... from the rules: "When you compare your rolls to the Boss's Ghost Power, you remove a glass bead for every final roll that beats the Power. So if you roll three 6's, you will beat any Boss in one turn!" So, no, it would not take a minimum to of four turns. This is the same, functionally, as a normal ghost fight, except that normal ghosts do not have a "life meter."

If you're rolling enough dice that come up as a win (after applying Spirit Orbs and whatnot), you can do it much faster. It does stink to make headway against the boss and then get kicked out by an opponent!

1. Yes, there's a lot of cheap ghosts that do not help your album score. They are just an annoyance, really.

2. Spirit orbs. Looks like you figured that one out. Yes, the glass beads are for the boss life meter! Orbs are just played to the table and then put to the discard pile when you use them.

3. Attack dice. Yes, for normal ghost fights, ANY SINGLE die result counts for defeating the ghost. As above, in boss fights, since the boss has a meter, you look for multiple successful results in one throw. And yeah, any dice in your roll count for those odd/even triggers.

4. Blue filament ghosts attack you as normal (butterfly notwithstanding, the "good" ghosts could be jerks in the game too!). Aside from indicating that this ghost would be great to catch and keep in your album, the only game effect for blue filament is that they vanish if ever left alone at a location. Also I think all the blues are Bound, so they would not follow you if you escape to an adjacent location.

Camera functions... yeah, the rules are screwed up here. Cameras can have two Functions on them. 1 Film, 2 Functions, 3 Orbs. I guess I changed that while making the final card art, but neglected to fix the rules. I'll do that now!
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