Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game» Forums » General

Subject: How much combat? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ben Ehlers
msg tools
mbmbmb
I'm really intrigued by this game, and my 5yo daughter seemed pretty keen to play it when I described it to her (and disappointed when I told we it wasn't out yet!), but given our hiusehold's general predilection to diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts, how much "traditional" combat shows up? Does the game make space for swords and sorcery battling or are these aspects toned down/understated?

I am not saying any one implementation is better (different strokes for different folks), but I am not looking forward to possibility that my wife might have to look on in horror as our little angel tries to stab a giant in the face with her dagger
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Williamson
United States
Hoover
Alabama
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
St Vincent wrote:
I'm really intrigued by this game, and my 5yo daughter seemed pretty keen to play it when I described it to her (and disappointed when I told we it wasn't out yet!), but given our hiusehold's general predilection to diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts, how much "traditional" combat shows up? Does the game make space for swords and sorcery battling or are these aspects toned down/understated?

I am not saying any one implementation is better (different strokes for different folks), but I am not looking forward to possibility that my wife might have to look on in horror as our little angel tries to stab a giant in the face with her dagger


In the three chapters I've seen so far, combat/conflict is definitely in every one as there are Bad Guys and these Bad Guys don't mind fighting. However, given the mechanics of the game it's entirely possible to complete each adventure and not engage in direct combat. While the minions are running around trying to harm characters, the Heroes can use magic to hamper them, think of creative uses for Adventure Kit items, etc. In the first chapter, for instance, the most direct combat my group saw was the Stormchaser setting the Bad Guy on fire. This didn't happen in a way to cause horrible wounds, but rather demoralized and weakened the enemy overall (i.e. it lowered the Threat Tracker). The rest of the encounter the players did things to hamper the enemy, make progress toward their ultimate goal, etc.

Now, with all that said it wouldn't prevent a Hero from stabbing an enemy--it's basically up to both the Storyteller and Players to set the mood for how combat goes.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laszlo Stadler
Germany
Munich
flag msg tools
badge
Live long and prosper!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am pro-combat but it is great to hear that there are alternatives. If this is true to other aspects of the game as well, this will really be a great one.

Now back to combat, how many weapons are in the game? Or don't the characters use weapons?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Escapade Crew
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mb
We worked really hard to make sure Story Realms was a game families could enjoy together. While there are enemies in many of the challenges, they are generally trying to accomplish a specific goal, and the players are working to accomplish their own goal. This means that the crux of the action is not defined by fighting, you don't have to "'beat up" the bad guys to win. In fact, if all you do is spend time fighting then you are likely to lose the challenge.

Players do choose to fight sometimes, but I have seen many many playthroughs in which no fighting happens. The danger in the scene is represented by a Threat tracker. As Erian_7 stated above, successfully taking any kind of actions against the enemies will lower the Threat. You can convince them to stop what they are doing, trick them into doing something else, create barriers and shields to protect your group using magic, devise a clever trap, close off their escape, build a catapault and launch the enemies out of the area, really anything you can imagine! Any of these things will lower the Threat and make the scene less dangerous for the players, which makes it easier to get Progress towards their goal, and stops the enemies from achieving their goal.

Although there is nothing that disallows fighting, the system is abstracted enough that its never gruesome. There's no enemy Hit Points and no death, you might lower the Threat enough for a specific enemy to run away or become incapacitated, but you aren't slaying monsters. It's a storybook world, so the fighting is like what you would expect in a fairy tale.

To answer the question about weapons, each hero starts the game with a unique artifact and will gain additional artifacts as adventure rewards. Some of these artifacts are weapons, but not all of them. A hero may or may not start the game with a weapon depending on the choices they make, and that works because there are so many different paths to victory and combat is just one of the ways to interact with challenges.

Also some Adventuring Kits have weapons in them, so if a player doesn't have a weapon artifact, and really wants to have some type of weapon they can choose an Adventuring Kit with one in it. Weapons from kits work in the game just like other items, and generally just grant a bonus when they are the "Right Tool for the Job". For example, a Crowbar grants +1 die to a Might check to pry open a door, and a Silver Dagger grants +1 die to a Might check to attack an enemy. The Kit shown here has a weapon, but also has other items that can be used to solve a challenge without fighting. I've heard that Hobs can be lured away from their task quite easily with Delicious Pie...



Artifacts that are weapons have additional effects that allow special types of attacks and benefits. Here's an example of an artifact that is a weapon:



As you can see, it has a Constant effect that can be used in many non-combat situations, and also a Weapon effect that adds the Freeze status condition to one enemy for every 2 hits rolled.

We tried to make it where the game allows for and rewards approaching problems with different tactics and creative thinking, but also gave the heroes the option to engage in combat when they feel that's the best approach (or the most fun!). I hope that answers your questions, I'd be happy to discuss further!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laszlo Stadler
Germany
Munich
flag msg tools
badge
Live long and prosper!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess these artifacts are all powerful magic items. Apart from them and the adventuring kits, are there no other items (also non-weapon ones)? Maybe an idea for an expansion then

Regarding the starting artifacts. Is there a back story to how the heroes get them? And the later ones, are they all rewards or can the heroes shop for them?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Grainger
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking at the adventuring kits, I think they're great. I don't particularly want a boring, traditional RPG-ish shopping list of items. Instead, these kits really fire my imagination - just like pretty much everything else I've seen about this game, come to think of it. Also, I presume the pockets can carry other items... and certainly it seems that the inventor type character can pull improvised items out of his/her pockets.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laszlo Stadler
Germany
Munich
flag msg tools
badge
Live long and prosper!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grainger wrote:
Also, I presume the pockets can carry other items... and certainly it seems that the inventor type character can pull improvised items out of his/her pockets.


Ohh, I forgot about those. I guess then they could pull out a sword or bow or something similar out.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Escapade Crew
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mb
Yes, each player can try to pull any item they can think of out of their "pockets" up to twice per adventure! When you have an idea of something you want (including bows, swords, etc) you make a Grab roll. To make a Grab roll, you roll 2 dice and if at least one comes up a hit you get the item you were looking for (you had cleverly packed it along!), if both come up a miss, then the Storyteller tells you a different item that you find instead (makes one up or picks one form the Storyteller's Tome reference board) which could be anything from a fluffy pillow to a pineapple. The pockets make for fun surprises and inspires creativity, and have been a player favorite throughout all of our playtests.

Either way, you get an item to use that turn, and one of your pockets is used up for the adventure. Whizbangers have the Gear Grabber power which lets them always use their pockets to pull out more items (they don't mark them as used).

Artifacts and Adventuring Kits are the only items that players slot onto their hero boards and always have access to, but we have a few other surprises in store Also, as players progress through adventures, they will gain more artifacts and access to new kits. Once a player has more than 2 artifacts available, they will choose 2 to have equipped at any one time. Players will also gain access to new Powers as they progress, which slot in like artifacts but grant different kinds of abilities.


3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Escapade Crew
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mb
stadi wrote:

Regarding the starting artifacts. Is there a back story to how the heroes get them? And the later ones, are they all rewards or can the heroes shop for them?


No, there's no shopping for artifacts. The economy of Storm Hollow is different than most fantasy games, in that gold and gems have no more value than pretty flowers or shiny rocks. What is valuable in Storm Hollow is stories, because stories have real power. A good story can imbue an item with special magical powers, and that's how many artifacts are created.

Every artifact has its own story (shown on the back of the cards), and the players will be given their starting artifacts when their heroic powers are unlocked by the Great Guardian. The rest they will find or be given by certain characters through the course of their adventures. Our pre-made campaign "Pieces of a Broken World" comes with several artifact sets to hand out to the players at various points in the story, and the base set will come with extra artifacts that Storytellers can give as rewards for their own homemade adventures.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Grainger
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Personally, I really like the "no shopping" design. Firstly, it keeps set up simpler for children playing. Secondly, I like the "creativity from limitations" of the pre-defined kits. I actually find that more exciting than being able to buy anything I like - it immediately makes me use my imagination as to how I'm going to use these things to get out of a dangerous situation. As soon as I saw the kits, my imagination was fired up - I'm not sure I'd feel the same if they were items in a shop (although maybe I would).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Escapade Crew
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mb
Glad you like them, that's exactly what we were going for!

The closest thing we have to shopping is that when the players start an adventure from the city of Venture, they will have the option of visiting one of the locations in town to pick up a new kit. There are 6 new kits that will be available in Venture in addition to the Wayfarer's Kits previewed already, and are themed up to the different places in the town. Even in this case though, there is no exchange of goods, the people of Venture simply supply the heroes with what they need for their adventures and wish them well.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Williamson
United States
Hoover
Alabama
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The players in my game have had a good time coming up with things to use from their Kits. One used Magic to turn some goo into a useful substance, for instance. Another used a whistle to call a Giant Eagle, and then asked the eagle about the surroundings!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laszlo Stadler
Germany
Munich
flag msg tools
badge
Live long and prosper!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see that all the decisions are backed up with the story/world design. I like that!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Escapade Crew
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mb
Thanks for noticing! We tried really hard to build a cohesive world and mechanics that support the setting and the story, so it's nice to hear that you see that coming through in our design choices
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Ehlers
msg tools
mbmbmb
First up, thanks for the awesome replies from the developers and play testers. It is obvious that a lot of careful thought is going into this game.

Anyway, I was listening to an old episode of D6G, and one of the hosts was talking about how shocked he was the first time his son unexpectedly roleplayed killing an NPC. When he asked others about their experiences with that kind of situation, one piece of advice he got was "Roleplay the consequences."

One of the reasons I am drawn to this game is that it seems like a very novel way to interact with my children in structured context. I think that regardless of combat mechanics and opportunity for violence, this game will provide a very unique environment to explore those teachable moments that make gaming with kids so rewarding.

I hope I didn't come across as too dark. I know that kids respond to the situations as you present them, and this game is obviously designed for fun.

I'll start worrying properly when you announce the Game of Thrones expansion
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bennett Hobson
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
I can't wait to play this with a couple of different groups. I think some will default to the "combat is the only option" mindset, while others may not even consider it. That's the flexibility that is built into this system. It's so simple, but at the same time it can be as complex as your group of players' imagines it to be.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.