Dec 052016

There are two reasons why I haven’t yet published rules revisions that include all of the lessons learned during playtesting:

  • It will take awhile, and I have not had a lot of spare time in the last couple of weeks
  • I am spinning in circles, mentally, on the best way to implement some of lessons learned

Also, there was a significant change to the way that ranges work in combat and I am having a hard time getting started on how to describe the change. This is not a full-blown reason for procrastination, not really, I suspect that if I just start it will flow and be fairly simple to finish.

So really, not two reasons, but two-and-a-half.

Spare time will be found, or not. Combat changes will be flow, or not. But what to do about the mental circles? The questions involved are straightforward, but the answers are interlaced with each other and involve basic game play concepts. But here are the (deceptively simple) questions:

  1. How many Heroes should players have in their deck and/or start out with in their deploy area?
  2. Should Heroes return from quests Tapped? Or only Tapped if the Heroes lost the quest? Or only Tapped if the Hero died?
  3. How many Heroes and Monsters in the Raid?

I know this is a longish article, but I hope you bear with me; there is a poll at the end and I could really use your input.

How many Heroes?

There are hidden underlying questions, but the biggest one is do I want every player to be involved in every turn versus having one or more sit out because their Heroes are in a used-up state? If I want every player to be in every turn then I need to either (a) ensure they have enough Heroes to always participate, or (b) make Heroes invincible in that they always return from Quests un-Tapped and ready to adventure again.

But (a) or (b) have ramifications – if Heroes are invincible, it will be more efficient for layers to build up one Hero into a super-Hero. Is that more fun than incentivizing players to build multiple Heroes? If instead players have many Heroes, how many? Enough to ensure there is always at least one un-Tapped Hero? Which I think is the same as the number of players? Is is okay to have Heroes in the Loot deck where they may never be drawn? Or do they all have to start out deployed during game setup?

Returning from Quests

The original vision was that all Heroes who Quest are Tapped and cannot Quest again until their player’s turn to be the Party Leader. But we found in playtesting that this meant that most players do not get to go on most quests, and often the Party Leader was the only one with un-Tapped Heroes. Soloing Quests is much harder than attacking them in groups, and much less fun for those left out.

But there should be a penalty for losing quests, shouldn’t there? Other than not getting the Loot that one gets when winning? Or is lack of Loot sufficient? If it is possible for Heroes to return Tapped at all, then I have to assume there will be stretches of bad luck where all of the Heroes are Tapped and we end up back in the state where people sit out quests and the Party Leader is soloing.

I think this means either Heroes cannot return Tapped – or – Players need enough Heroes to always be able to Quest even when they have Tapped Heroes.

Heroes and Monsters in the Raid

Having a fixed number of Quest bosses filling the role of Monsters makes it easy to calculate how many Quests will be available, and therefore, how long the game will last. But it does not scale well with the number of players. Someone playing solo will be overwhelmed, while a large group of players will have to many Heroes as to overwhelm the monsters and make the monster fight portion of the raid a cakewalk.

Having to take on a Quest boss all by yourself, one boss to one Hero, is sort of epic, and exactly the kind of tension that belongs in the raid. Meaning, I think it will be fun to have one Quest Boss per Hero. Meaning, I will need more Quests. And also meaning I need to manage the number of Heroes.

More players will mean more Quests removed from the Quest deck during setup and set aside for the raid. Meaning there will be less Quests. The game will take about the same amount of time to play, as Quests will each take longer with more players. But there will be less Quests and therefore the players will have less Loot on their Heroes.

They are all inter-related. But writing this out helped. I think I do want players to be able to play every turn, either all the time or at least almost all the time. It should be rare or impossible for a player to have zero un-Tapped Heroes.

And I think that limiting the raid to two Heroes per player is still enough Heroes to make for an epic fight. But not so many that I cannot handle the impact on the Quest deck (I will still need to add a few more Quests).

But that still leaves some things undecided.

What do you think?

🙂 😀 🙂

What do you think?

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