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Subject: Finally got to play our first full game today... rss

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Bill Hartman
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We tried chapter 1 while on vacation this past week, but (IMO) a lot of fiddly and awkward rules in the beginning made it a drag. Too much stopping to check the rule book for movement and combat in the sewers.

Finally viewed some more "Watch it Played" and saw how they searched for the hook and thread, and just moved right out of the water with ease.

Set the game up today, playing with wife and daughter, and we got SLAMMED in the sewers. My daughter, playing as Tilda, couldn't move onto land because of roaches and rats (end space had 4 figures), and we got two surges alone in the sewer. She got captured, which also advanced the hourglass. By the time we exited the sewers, we were on page 4 and had a centipede and roaches on us, with another surge that brought out a spider. We didn't survive the room, as Fez got captured ending the game. Not even a thought of going to the kitchen to save Mizz Maggie.

This kind of bothered me, as it is one of the top things that kept me from liking the D&D games - heavy randomness/bad luck ending a game, and tactics/planning early on made little difference when cheese after cheese was being rolled on minion defense and attacks.

However, we did enjoy the game I guess, for the most part (except water movement and cheese wheel craziness). I'm still not a believer that it was with the cost, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The bad luck with the cheese, though, made it obvious that a LOT is going to depend on luck of the dice, especially early in the campaign.

I am hoping that Descent and Claustrophobia don't play like that, because those are the games I am looking forward to the most (and feel were a better value as far as scenarios and components goes). Mice and Mystics was to be a primer mostly, to get wife and daughter more into a more heavily campaign/story based game. I prefer more tactics over randomness/luck though. While I appreciate the story to Mice and Mystics, to ME it's not a game seller. For me, it comes completely,down to the gameplay. So far, wife was "meh", kid enjoyed it, and I was on the fence. Being able to tell in the sewer that we had pretty much already lost, made carrying on through the end kind of a chore. Of course, my kid couldn't see that, and wanted to believe by some magical miracle we would win. So that allowed her to still enjoy it.

I dunno, though... I'm really hoping there is more to mitigate the luck. Maginnos couldn't use his mystic bolt (wasting 5 cheese) because he either never rolled range, or had it blocked every time. We really hit a bum patch of bad luck in those sewers and the following room, where almost no attacks landed, and,cheese was popping up like crazy.

Anyone else feel the same way? I'll play it through to the end, to see if tactics/gameplay improves, plus we want to "read" the story, but I've a feeling once we play through this one completely, it'll end up on the trade list...
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Bradford Lounsberry
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Dice games can certainly be cruel. With the first chapter you don't have any good equipment and only one ability so I certainly don't enjoy it very much.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do about bad luck. When it hits, it hits hard. If you had better luck with the dice you would have probably enjoyed the game more. That is way more surging then normal, I've never had that many surges.

Did you have Filch with you? His cheese management ability is a life saver. Surging becomes less a problem once you harness the power of the Filch. Plus he talks like a cowboy and that makes my daughter giggle.

I wouldn't give up on the game yet. It is really quite fun even with the simple rules. Try again with a different mix of mice and maybe different starting abilities.
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Bill Hartman
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I had Filch, and he was able to remove cheese 3 times, before even he started missing or being blocked like crazy. It really was a horrid string of bad luck after dropping into the sewer, and I could certainly see how easily it could have swung the other way. For wife and I though, those heavy "swings" can really sometimes ruin ( in this case ALMOST, but not quite as everyone is willing to give a few more chapters to see) a game for us.

Wife had Collin, and she was putting ability to attack again after defeating a minion to good use. She did the best out of all of us.

I did read to my wife about the fork being used to catapult mice, and grapes being used to lure roaches. We both love those kinds of ideas and interactive (and creative!) elements. Just a darn shame the luck element nearly ruined it on our FIRST go...

And without these forums and videos, honestly the water movement and fishhook and thread were a bit confusing on what was allowed.

Maybe on subsequent printings/versions they could soften it up a bit in the beginning somehow, to lessen the chance for a horrid bad luck streak killing a game before its even halfway through...
 
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Jakub Z
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
We tried chapter 1 while on vacation this past week, but (IMO) a lot of fiddly and awkward rules in the beginning made it a drag. Too much stopping to check the rule book for movement and combat in the sewers.

Finally viewed some more "Watch it Played" and saw how they searched for the hook and thread, and just moved right out of the water with ease.

Set the game up today, playing with wife and daughter, and we got SLAMMED in the sewers. My daughter, playing as Tilda, couldn't move onto land because of roaches and rats (end space had 4 figures), and we got two surges alone in the sewer. She got captured, which also advanced the hourglass. By the time we exited the sewers, we were on page 4 and had a centipede and roaches on us, with another surge that brought out a spider. We didn't survive the room, as Fez got captured ending the game. Not even a thought of going to the kitchen to save Mizz Maggie.

This kind of bothered me, as it is one of the top things that kept me from liking the D&D games - heavy randomness/bad luck ending a game, and tactics/planning early on made little difference when cheese after cheese was being rolled on minion defense and attacks.

However, we did enjoy the game I guess, for the most part (except water movement and cheese wheel craziness). I'm still not a believer that it was with the cost, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The bad luck with the cheese, though, made it obvious that a LOT is going to depend on luck of the dice, especially early in the campaign.

I am hoping that Descent and Claustrophobia don't play like that, because those are the games I am looking forward to the most (and feel were a better value as far as scenarios and components goes). Mice and Mystics was to be a primer mostly, to get wife and daughter more into a more heavily campaign/story based game. I prefer more tactics over randomness/luck though. While I appreciate the story to Mice and Mystics, to ME it's not a game seller. For me, it comes completely,down to the gameplay. So far, wife was "meh", kid enjoyed it, and I was on the fence. Being able to tell in the sewer that we had pretty much already lost, made carrying on through the end kind of a chore. Of course, my kid couldn't see that, and wanted to believe by some magical miracle we would win. So that allowed her to still enjoy it.

I dunno, though... I'm really hoping there is more to mitigate the luck. Maginnos couldn't use his mystic bolt (wasting 5 cheese) because he either never rolled range, or had it blocked every time. We really hit a bum patch of bad luck in those sewers and the following room, where almost no attacks landed, and,cheese was popping up like crazy.

Anyone else feel the same way? I'll play it through to the end, to see if tactics/gameplay improves, plus we want to "read" the story, but I've a feeling once we play through this one completely, it'll end up on the trade list...


You shouldn't have more than one surge (in terms of enemies) on the single tile. Only first surge brings new minions, next ones only advance hourglass. That is one of the mechanics to balance bad luck.
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Bill Hartman
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Well, that would have saved us a few moves, but I actually disposed of the second surge in the sewer quickly so doubt it would have made a huge difference. With the hourglass still moving, we would have been around the same point, maybe an extra turn/round is all.

Still...thanks for that clarification. I'll remember that next time we play, that only first surge brings out new minions.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Sounds like a few problems cropped up that combined added to the trouble.

First off. Should have read the rules first before playing the game to get familliar with the basics. And the gameplay is at its core pretty darn straightforward. The first chapter is meant as a sort of tutorial, showing you many different types of gameplay right off.

Keep an eye on how cheese and surges work. It is one thing that can trip up while getting the hang of how it all works. Propper use of characters and some strategy also helps. There is alot less random in the game than many assume as the surges tend to play along defined patterns.

Keep at it. Its alot better than Descent.
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Joe Caldwell
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Watching the Watch it Played videos of both M&M and Descent, I definitely thought M&M loomed like the better game in most ways. Plus M&M is set up for solo play.
 
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Bill Hartman
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Omega2064 wrote:
Sounds like a few problems cropped up that combined added to the trouble.

First off. Should have read the rules first before playing the game to get familliar with the basics. And the gameplay is at its core pretty darn straightforward. The first chapter is meant as a sort of tutorial, showing you many different types of gameplay right off.

Keep an eye on how cheese and surges work. It is one thing that can trip up while getting the hang of how it all works. Propper use of characters and some strategy also helps. There is alot less random in the game than many assume as the surges tend to play along defined patterns.

Keep at it. Its alot better than Descent.


You seem to have misread or missed a few points of my original post. I specified that the rules WERE read prior, and that the issues of rules more popped up earlier while having a learning/test run of the game while I was on vacation earlier in the week. That had nothing to do with today's session.

As stated, today's session had more to do with a huge bad luck swing that cost us the game pretty much by the time we left the sewers, which for me and my wife, killed some desire to keep playing (my daughter wanted to see it through regardless, so we did). The only issue I stated with the rules in today's session was with water movement and usage of the fishhook and thread primarily. And somehow I missed where extra minions only come out on the first surge of a tile, although again as I stated because we lost due to the massive amounts of cheese rolling for minion attacks/defense it really didn't affect it that much as that missed rule only occurred once and the extra 2 rats were easily dispatched that time.

Minions rolled shields and cheese it seemed like every turn during sewers and first tunnel. Maginos failed to hit with his mystic bolt four times I think out of five, due to either not rolling a single ranged hit or being blocked. Felch was blocked repeatedly taking away his ability to remove cheese from the wheel. It was bad.

Don't get me wrong though, as I said a few times, it didn't completely ruin the experience for us, and everyone DID agree to come back another day to try again (and we want to see it through to the end anyhow, to get the full story/experience). It is just the first play for us, of the first chapter, didn't go well enough to jump out at us and scream, "this game is a classic". We were more left feeling that some things looked promising, some things were interesting, but also felt it was a bit of a letdown to have a huge turn of bad luck end the game fairly abruptly. We are looking forward, though, to what is coming and hoping that playing campaign rules will allow the characters to build up enough as to avoid/negate that randomness even more.
 
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Jakub Z
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I understand that bad luck can happen. It happened to me also. You can't prevent it, but you can try to mitigate it. For example I discovered that when minion wheel is almost full or one of your characters is wounded badly, don't rush to next tile. Use Tilda's healing ability (I hope you have it, I believe it is crucial) to get rid of wounds. And sometimes it's better to wait one turn on previous tile to force surge there and deal easily with new minions and then move on. That way you are not forced to deal with "encounter" minions plus "surge" minions on new tile.

Good luck next time.
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MC Crispy
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
I am hoping that Descent and Claustrophobia don't play like that, because those are the games I am looking forward to the most (and feel were a better value as far as scenarios and components goes)...

I dunno, though... I'm really hoping there is more to mitigate the luck.

Anyone else feel the same way? I'll play it through to the end, to see if tactics/gameplay improves, plus we want to "read" the story, but I've a feeling once we play through this one completely, it'll end up on the trade list...
Funny thing: this is exactly the way I feel about the Descent Campaign that we recently finished. Very reliant on the dice and little mitigation of the dice. The campaign wasn't tied together into a cohesive story as I hope it is in M&M. Frankly, given the criticisms you have of M&M, I doubt that you'll find Descent to be a revelation. Mine is going in the next UK Math Trade.

I can't speak for Claustrophobia.
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Ken Marley
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Sounds like bad luck. The first chapter is difficult.

A couple of tactical/strategic suggestions for chapter 1

1) do not go into the kitchen.

2) use the tinker's tools to get an offensive upgrade, some good choices are Lucky Skullcap for Maginos or Hammer Nandon for Tilda.

3) Stay together. Spreading out means that someone can get ganged up on.

4) stay back and let the minions come to you. This sometimes lets Maginos get a few shots in.

I am not surprised your daughter likes the game. Try playing with just you two?
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Bill Hartman
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youperguy wrote:
Sounds like bad luck. The first chapter is difficult.

A couple of tactical/strategic suggestions for chapter 1

1) do not go into the kitchen.

2) use the tinker's tools to get an offensive upgrade, some good choices are Lucky Skullcap for Maginos or Hammer Nandon for Tilda.

3) Stay together. Spreading out means that someone can get ganged up on.

4) stay back and let the minions come to you. This sometimes lets Maginos get a few shots in.

I am not surprised your daughter likes the game. Try playing with just you two?


Thanks for the tips. We were playing Felch instead of Nez, so Tinkerer's Tools wouldn't have worked for us in that game. Maybe I will swap Nez for Felch next time.

As the game was purchased for our family game time, I'm sure my wife will be involved most of the time, and I felt the same as her in regards to the bad luck swing, but we are going to give it another go. She just feels that if the game takes longer than 30 minutes, and can go completely downhill due to bad luck, it's a waste of time. I SOMEWHAT agree with her, but not entirely. It would depend on how many times we had to play a certain chapter before moving on.

We also tried to stay together, but as we were crossing the thread/fishhook, minions moved in and filled the space with 3 of our characters, blocking my daughter from being able to move in that turn, and then we all got surrounded. Again, just bad luck the way it happened, but short of jumping back in the water to help her, there wasn't much I saw that could be done as we all were targeting minions. The surge on top of it really made that part bad for us, and is what caused my daughter to be pushed off the board due to the current, therefore pushing the hourglass again. One thing in retrospect that should have been done, is wife and I should have moved our characters away from the end of the fishhook, and drawn the minions we were engaged with away as well, allowing my daughter to cross. That would have helped a bit, and with the rules error (we surged twice in that room, both times adding rat warriors) might have at least allowed us to make it closer to the end.

IMO, the way they drop you halfway down the sewer/water already on that tile, there is only one way to do it - get the fishhook with the first character, and move out immediately (which is what we did, until a minion got a turn before Tilda, my daughter's character, and blocked her from moving onto land with us). Any other "tactic" will just result in more chances for people being captured it seems. But with the surge occuring right then as well, it was just bad timing and bad luck all around at that point, and my daughter got swept off the board before we could get to her.
 
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Bubba P
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Also, if the only reason your daughter couldn't get out was because the destination space was blocked, she could have either adjusted the fishhook and thread (picking it up counts as an action but placing it doesn't) to a different destination square or just picked up the fishhook and drifted one space downstream with it and used it there to get out.
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
Thanks for the tips. We were playing Felch instead of Nez, so Tinkerer's Tools wouldn't have worked for us in that game. Maybe I will swap Nez for Felch next time.

As the game was purchased for our family game time, I'm sure my wife will be involved most of the time, and I felt the same as her in regards to the bad luck swing, but we are going to give it another go. She just feels that if the game takes longer than 30 minutes, and can go completely downhill due to bad luck, it's a waste of time. I SOMEWHAT agree with her, but not entirely. It would depend on how many times we had to play a certain chapter before moving on.




It's Filch btw blush whistle
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You mention playing Descent as a campaign game. I don't know anything about the new edition, but I tried both Road to Legend and Sea of Blood, and both campaigns were entirely destroyed by luck. It wasn't just bad luck on dice rolls, it was permutations that resulted in impossible situations. There were some encounters that could have been beaten, but only if you knew about them well ahead of time and spent the entire campaign outfitting your heroes for them (and you may never have drawn those encounters to pay off for your preparation).

It was so horrid an experience that it could have turned people who weren't hardcore gamers off of gaming in general. It is the only time I sold a game in anger.

Claustrophobia is a brilliant, amazing game. You're not just rolling the dice to see what happens: managing the dice is an integral part of the game that adds to the experience. When you have bad luck, you can mitigate it for a while. As the bad luck accrues, it feels organic. Unless there's a variant in the expansion(s), it's not true campaign play, though. As far as I've played, it's a set of solid scenarios which introduce you to more complexity and challenge.

Downside of Claustrophobia for your gaming situation is that Claustrophobia is a two player game (as far as I've seen).

I got Mice & Mystics for Fathers' Day and have yet to play it, but I'll take the scripted approach over the toolbox approach any day. Claustrophobia and Mice & Mystics can be play-tested in a way that the Descent campaigns can't. Especially since they take the approach of playing each scenario with mostly basic characters and with improving inventories.
 
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Bradford Lounsberry
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youperguy wrote:
Sounds like bad luck. The first chapter is difficult.

A couple of tactical/strategic suggestions for chapter 1

1) do not go into the kitchen.

2) use the tinker's tools to get an offensive upgrade, some good choices are Lucky Skullcap for Maginos or Hammer Nandon for Tilda.

3) Stay together. Spreading out means that someone can get ganged up on.

4) stay back and let the minions come to you. This sometimes lets Maginos get a few shots in.

I am not surprised your daughter likes the game. Try playing with just you two?


1) I wouldn't suggest this. The Kitchen can be a deathtrap for sure, but it can also be of great benefit. You can move the chapter end tile back 2 spaces if you get the story achievement and defeat Brodie (Cat Tamer achievement). And 1 additional space if you pull off Roachmaster as well. We tend to come out better than when we went in. Usually....

2) I tend to go with Fishscale Armor for Nez. He is already my offensive battlesqueaking powerhouse, he just needs a bit more defense.

3 & 4) Probably the best advice for any tile that doesn't have Brodie loose on it. I like to have at least 2 mice with ranged attacks in any party. Let's you attack before the minions are in melee ranged and conduct searches or heal if needed with the other 2. Even better when you can use Colin's ability to switch places with one of the ranged mice above him to give them another attack. Or use Give Order.

EDIT: One thing to add is that it seems that players who take a themematic or role-playing approach to the game enjoy it more. The rules provide the framework, but you are always better off making a decision on anything confusing that comes up over trying to figure it out. Just make the call that makes sense and keep the game moving. Especially important when playing with kids. When it comes down to fun storytelling adventure vs. rules, the rules lose every time.
 
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Bill Hartman
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OOps on the Filch messup...lmao.

I have the new Descent 2.0, but have yet to play it. My daughter is just getting used to playing multiple characters, but she loves games where I am the "bad guy" and she gets to play the heroes. She also likes to switch roles and be the "Bad guy" herself (She loves playing the zombies in Last Night on Earth).

I also have a group of gamers that are looking for an overlord to run a Descent 2.0 campaign at a store up the road, but I haven't decided on it yet as the store is about an hour away and I don't get up there but twice a month.

--------

I am DYING to play Claustrophobia. I am aware of the dice being rolled and chosen for stats and whatnot, and that really drew me to the game. Seems to be a lot of tactical choice in Claustrophobia, and I am really wanting to get that one to the table soon. My main gaming buddy here locally and I just finished a few sessions/weeks of Seasons, and I think Claustrophobia is up next. Hopefully we will get to play it this coming week!

---------

As far as campaign and story games go, I don't mind that the story isn't entirely laid out in book form. To some extent, I feel that if it's a full blown story being told to me (if the story is that locked and rigid), I will just read a book. I want to play and MAKE the story as I go, with a few guidelines or flavor bits to set the action up. In that case, Toolbox games work best for me to that extent. It also appears that Descent doesn't just "end" if the characters lose, it just means the overlord gets an item instead of the heroes, so that keeps the campaign going from what I understand.

I also HATED the last "Story game" we had, Tales of the Arabian Nights. That was an absolute chore and most stories were just nonsense. None of us found the game fun at all. It was like rolling dice and looking up a spreadsheet to find a chapter in a book and read them out of order.

With Mice and Mystics, we feel like we will NOT move forward until we beat a chapter, as there is no other option really except "cheating" and just skipping ahead even if we lost. That doesn't follow the campaign rules, however, so we are not going to do that.

I don't want people to misunderstand, though. Mice and Mystics is a big improvement for me over the D&D ADventure game series (We have Ashardalon and have played Drizzt a few times). It just seemed to me that no matter how good your tactics were, there was a certain way to do things, and not much flexibility in how it's played unless you want mad swings of luck affecting the outcome, and even then a bad turn of luck could swing the game wildly out of your favor. That just turns me off a tad, for games like this. If it was something that was JUST a dice game, like King of Tokyo or Quarriors, for instance, I would expect it and not be as affected by it.

In Drizzt the events weren't so bad, but the die rolls could really hamper the game (and I seem to have constant bad luck with dice - Dice Hate Me, apparently...lol). Same thing happened to me when I played Pathfinder with a group locally for a short time. My die rolls always sucked, to the point where the DM kept asking me if I'd like to switch out dice. I think I used 3 different sets of dice, like that would matter...lol. Outcome was always the same. I rolled misses and all kinds of nonsense more often than not.

Ashardalon I hate because it's just enter room, bad event happens, multiple minions spawn and jump you. Right from the start. It just seemed like more of a chore than fun, to be honest. My daughter likes the figures, though, and the idea of dungeon crawls, so we house rule the hell out of that game to make it "playable" for us. We put a 6 sided die in the box, and roll that on Event tiles to see if an event happens or not. That helped make it a bit more bearable. Drizzt you could remove the more nasty event part of the deck and play without it (They were labled), but I still didn't like the 20 sided die determining everything. The lack of leveling up much and the 20 sided die just didn't do it for me at all. Plus Drizzt was the only one that really felt cohesive as a campaign, but really only to those would have been familiar with the books.
 
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Bradford Lounsberry
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For sure you don't want to move to the next chapter before defeating the current one. The game gets harder as you progress and you'll want the equipment and abilities you gained to carry through to the next chapter. Equipment is less important, but abilities are vital. The more versatile your mice are the more capable you are at handling situations.
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Ken Marley
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Because of Nez's offensive punch and the Tinker's Tools I think he is very nice to have along.



Edit: don't get discouraged, we lost the first time as well.

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Ray Greenley
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ralsar wrote:
You can move the chapter end tile back 2 spaces if you get the story achievement and defeat Brodie (Cat Tamer achievement).

Just a note here: Cat Tamer achievement does not move the chapter end marker back. Only Cheesemaster, Roachmaster, and Scaper achievements move the chapter end marker back.
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:

In Drizzt the events weren't so bad, but the die rolls could really hamper the game (and I seem to have constant bad luck with dice - Dice Hate Me, apparently...lol). Same thing happened to me when I played Pathfinder with a group locally for a short time. My die rolls always sucked, to the point where the DM kept asking me if I'd like to switch out dice. I think I used 3 different sets of dice, like that would matter...lol. Outcome was always the same. I rolled misses and all kinds of nonsense more often than not.


I find that when I am rolling dice badly, it is usually due to bad technique on my part. Try shaking the dice 1 or 3 seconds longer before you throw them. Also, blowing on the dice and saying something like "Big Money!" or "Come to Daddy!" helps tremendously.
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Håvard Sommerseth
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RHPDaddy wrote:

I find that when I am rolling dice badly, it is usually due to bad technique on my part. Try shaking the dice 1 or 3 seconds longer before you throw them. Also, blowing on the dice and saying something like "Big Money!" or "Come to Daddy!" helps tremendously.


Come to RHPDaddy?
 
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Bubba P
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hasoere wrote:
RHPDaddy wrote:

I find that when I am rolling dice badly, it is usually due to bad technique on my part. Try shaking the dice 1 or 3 seconds longer before you throw them. Also, blowing on the dice and saying something like "Big Money!" or "Come to Daddy!" helps tremendously.


Come to RHPDaddy?

Yes, that works best. I just didn't want give away all my secrets! What if I have to play against you someday?
 
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Bill Hartman
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LOL! My wife is convinced she has "Good dice technique". she says it's not luck, it's "Skill". Then again, she DOES tend to roll well, unless we are playing Mice and Mystics! LOL!
 
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Bubba P
United States
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I don't understand. What's so funny?
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