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Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System Board Games» Forums » General

Subject: [Variant] Ready Actions rss

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Ryan Chambers
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Looking for any significant problems with this idea:

Instead of using your Attack Action during your Hero Phase, you can choose to Ready Action. Take any At-Will, Utility or Daily Power and set it aside. During your Villain Phase, you may use the readied action at any time as long as you can fulfill the requirements of the card.

I want to present an opportunity to mix up the monster-always-goes-first mechanic while also presenting a choice: the player is gambling their attack action against the chance to interrupt during their Villain Phase.

Thoughts?
 
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Chad Miller
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What's the gamble? This seems almost strictly better than attacking. Why wouldn't I just do this every time and see the results of the exploration phase before attacking?
 
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Ryan Chambers
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If you have other monsters on the board, you're giving up a chance to hit and/or kill them to save your action for who-knows-what on the new tile. This becomes especially costly should you not be able to finish off the new monster with your readied attack (e.g. your ready is a melee and the monster is ranged, the monster has a higher AC and/or HP is higher than an existing monster that you could have finished off instead, you suffer an Encounter from a black arrow that makes it impossible for you to execute your readied action, etc.). So, you may pass up running a different direction to take out a wounded monster or moving two times for exploring and hoping you can take out whatever pops up on the new tile with your readied action. It definitely would NOT always be better to ready an action.

Also, if you're playing with monster tokens, it gets even more interesting. What if you ready and flip up the 0 token? Doh! But if you ready and flip a 3, it helps mitigate the pain without being OP.
 
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Dave C
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I think you need to give up more... like not make an attack on any monster already on the board...

We've played that you can get a +2AC for not attacking.
 
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Vayda
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"Anytime" during the villain phase does not work. It would have to be at the start of the villain phase to be mechanically smoother as well as less game breaking.
Of course this has new issues as there are multiple effects that all trigger at the start of the phase- how do you order them?

In my opinion- the phases are set, don't mess with it. Variants should add options, not change mechanics. It's gets messy. Try actual D&D if you want a more varies and "realistic" experience.
 
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Ryan Chambers
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How about after the Encounter resolves, and if the Encounter forces the Hero to move or attack against their will (e.g. Strahd's Whispers, Teleport Glyph, the Illusion one that has you swap places with a monster), the ready is cancelled.

On being game-breaking, how so? Any specific examples?

As for the complexity, to each his own.

I played a trial game last night. No serious problems. Only got to try readying about 3 or 4 times before the board got busy enough that readying was just not an attractive enough option. Of those 3 or 4 times, twice the ready did not go off.
 
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Dave C
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I'm not sure why you wouldn't use it every turn... pick the card you'd use but wait until the result of the Exploration is known and then use what's most advantageous.. even if that's the monster that was the likely attack before the "ready" maneuver. ... and that's what is "game-breaking" ... which simply means it throws the balance off. I think it's a neat house rule that anyone is certainly welcome to try. It's your game. Enjoy it however you want.

What we did with the +2AC for not using your attack was to assume it meant we were ready.. but that "ready" made it harder for the monster to hit us... in other words.. the monsters didn't get the jump on us.. but they did get to attack first.. but the Hero had a better chance to be missed.

We made +2 AC tokens to take when you don't attack. This +2 lasted until the start of your next turn. If you don't have an attack to give up then you can't get the +2.
 
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Ryan Chambers
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I like your +2 AC idea. That's a good one too.

You don't end up using the Ready Action every time for the simple reason that the board begins to fill with targets even if you start out using Ready Action every time. Encounters, Sentries, simply missing with your readied action, 2+ HP monsters, using Monster Tokens instead of single Monster Card draws, etc. are all ways in which the game quickly puts the pressure on to use a regular Attack rather than a Ready Action to deal with current threats.

I'll play-test it some more...
 
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Chad Miller
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I'm still not seeing it.

I would normally attack a monster with [X attack]. Instead I ready that same attack, flip a new tile, see what the monster is, then either use the attack or wait and use it on something else depending on what I saw. What's the downside here?

EDIT: I mean, I realize sometimes you attack-then-move and in those situations you would still attack, but in all other situations readying seems almost strictly superior.
 
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Brent Lloyd
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I think the game is balanced for the Monsters to get in the first hit.

When I first started playing the game this bothered me, much like it appears to bother a lot of folks. However, after many plays, it doesn't bother me at all.

Peace
 
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Ryan Chambers
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I think the difference is, at least in my experience, I often have to move-attack or attack-move to take care of a threat already on the board and position the character where the party needs them to be for the upcoming rounds. In my experience, it's much more likely that I am choosing to leave a threat on the board because of range and/or getting out of sync with the rest of the party in exchange for sitting tight with a ready action than it is to have an equal choice between targets after readying. Again, I need to play-test this some more, but in my first play-test, once the game was a few rounds in, it almost always was the obvious choice to move-attack or attack-move over sitting tight at an unexplored edge with a Ready Action.

On the monsters always move first, it's not so much that it bothers me as it gets a bit stale. I like variety. However I also like how WotC have designed this game to be clean and quick. I'm hoping this Ready Action idea will add just a bit more spice to the Explore and Villain phases without upsetting the balance. I can say the first time through, it was cool to gamble on the Ready a couple of times and see it both pay off and not pay off. Made the whole Explore to Villain phase transition a bit more fun/engaging and less mechanical.

On the balance topic, agree that Ready Action might be too much if playing vanilla and with a large party. If it works out, though, I'm planning on adding it to other Variants that make the game more challenging, like Monster Tiles instead of single card draws, the spend 2 speed to explore and draw two tiles mechanic from the Castlevania Variant, my Secret Crypt Variant, and the inherent difficulty boost in Campaign mode that comes from the reduction in treasure.
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