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The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Anderas » Friday June 26th, 2015 7:46am

Yes, it's my feeling too.

The randomness takes something away that is quite unique to Hero Quest. I don't play arcane quest as well, just because i know that everything in there is random.


If i know that everything's random, then i know there is nothing to explore. If there is nothing to explore, you remove at least half of what it means to play Hero Quest.

Exploring is fun because the things we see might add to a meaning. You won't find the fireplace and the Throne together with the torture instruments, because they are not fitting together. And if you find them together, then it's because the boss of the dungeon is exceptionally cruel and likes to sit in front of his fire while watching how people are being tortured.

--> These kind of things, together with the quest notes, have a meaning, and while we explore, we discover the meaning. If you generate the rooms at random, the meaning is gone. What is left is noise only.

Ok, while my example is a little bit exaggerated, you do the same to me with random monsters each and every turn. Normally, you open a door, and you are being confronted with a tactical situation. Then, you can resolve the tactical situation by acting on what you see and choosing a proper tactic. In an evening-event, when you sit together, it is here when the players start their discussion about how to, who to and what to do. And when it is solved, the situation is solved. It will not re-emerge. A feeling of "small sub-mission accomplished" is coming your way, rewarding you for what you have done.

While in the PBP Games, the communication is lacking, the rest is still there. However, if the Monsters reappear at random, they are not planned, there are more of them each turn, and nothing you can do solves this situation, then... well, then this part of the game fun is gone.

I gave feedback after your last game: That i didn't like to be killed by randomly diced goblins. Well, the sewers are a little bit worse. The small animals do hardly hurt us - that'll be rare. But we have the choice of fighting them (so each turn we spend all our energy on that, not coming forward at all); or we ignore them with the effect that they stack up and fight each other hopefully, so there is no disadvantage not to kill them. Plus, because they are random, i don't care to kill them. Would i clean this room and then we could peacefully solve the riddle with the doors and the lever, I would go long ways to kill every single one of them. As I know that there are just coming more, i won't kill them until they block my way.

For you as well, imagine you have to do all the long dicing procedure each and every single turn on the real gaming table. Wouldn't you go mad after a while?
Take a look at Zombicide if you really like random monsters. There are loads of random monsters. However, their mechanics is so simplified, that they do not cost time at all. Maybe this would be a good idea if you really want to keep the random monsters.
However, i would not play another quest with the kind of randomness you were introducing this and last quest.
Last edited by Anderas on Friday June 26th, 2015 2:02pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Gold Bearer » Friday June 26th, 2015 1:16pm

Anderas wrote:After that speech it is difficult to continue for me.
I'm trying to handle this in the best way possible. This is something I don't want and really wasn't expecting. The fact that the two of you have offered feedback instead of just saying forget is encouraging.

Anderas wrote:But stop asking me when i take my turn. If I am not there for some days because I have visitors, just accept it. We were not writing pm to you when you were in Amsterdam either.
I'm not sure what this means? The only thing I have a problem with is repeatedly visiting but not bothering to post. That's immensely frustrating and creates the impression that I have players that are actively trying to ruin it.

The Road Warrior wrote:I feel that well written and imaginative events in your quests are being drowned in a sea of randomness that I do not find enjoyable. Before the beginning of this quest we discussed the system of random events that you are using and we all voiced the opinion it is too heavy. It is this system, together with the extra randomness of the sewer monsters that has driven me to voicing my opinion that this is simply not fun. Isn't the point of playing through our custom material here to find out what others think?
The idea of the sewer section is for it to be the most dangerous part of the quest that the heroes try to get through as quickly as possible. That means a constant supply of enemies while you're down there. I could have just made it a set amount of monsters per round but thought a random amount would be much more realistic and interesting.

What's frustrating me the most is that it worked. It seems like the better something works, the more of a problem it causes, as if my players don't want it to work. You've been down in the sewers longer than was intended because of what happened to Dispeller, but you've managed to hold your own despite it being just the two of you. I honestly can't see what's caused all this.

As for the random monsters, there's on average one or more (very rarely more) every nine rounds. I don't that's over the top. Actually it is very slightly more than that because of rerolling black shields, but only very slightly more. Above ground it was working fine. It was over the top in the first quest but to tone it down any more would make it practically pointless. Also keep in mind that it's just as likely for you to get a treasure card or guaranteed goody as it is to get a monster, you've just been very unlucky in that respect. The main reason for the random monsters is that without them all the monsters are just sitting there waiting for you to go to them. They should come to you on occasion. The other main reason is to separate quest areas from safe areas where there's free movement, like in the city.

Anderas wrote:If i know that everything's random, then i know there is nothing to explore. If there is nothing to explore, you remove at least half of what it means to play Hero Quest.
I don't understand this statement at all. The exploration portion of the game is in no way affected by this, the random events are just the icing on the cake. I don't want everything to be completely scripted and I'm very surprised to find players that do.


I'm going to draw a line under this now. The warrior and rune warrior died in the sewers. Instead of finishing the quest and then leaving I suggest we move on to the next one and let this die here in the sewers. The next quest is shorter and more like a standard quest. I'll have to make a couple of minor alterations to the beginning because this quest leads into it. If after that quest the four of you agree as a group that there needs to be changes then there will be. It was supposed to be three intro quests and then the main part of the campaign so now it will be just one, like the maze/trail. The warrior and road warrior won't be available but will be replaced the two heroes from the archers group (elf mage and half-elf). The other two are the assassin and rogue that wouldn't work well in pbp.
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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Anderas » Friday June 26th, 2015 2:56pm

Not so fast!

1. I fully agree that the monsters should have a life and should come to you sometimes.

2. I fully disagree to do it via random dice rolls, and especially not one monster per round. As explained, they would suck the actions of two heroes to keep the table reliabliy clean. Meaning, after two heroes are dead, the rest is fully occupied by random monsters and can't fulfill the quest anymore. It has to be less than that. They could even be stronger than your spiders, but less in the amount.

3. I have two ideas for mechanics that provide "living" Monsters without having random monsters with 100 dice rolls per turn, and without increasing the difficulty over time so much that it is unplayable once you've taken the wrong branch by hazard

4. None of the ideas ever includes a double shot bowman on the other side of the table. This has to go away and never to reappear. Same with the double attack ability of nearly everybody. Actually, with it it is worse to attack than to be attacked. Why? If you attack and you fail, the other one can use his double attack ability and that is deadly. If you keep your distance, the other one has to come and you can use your own double attack ability. So this prevents agressive playstile and rewards cowardly playstile. Even if it is quite realistic with some weapons, i would say in favor of fluent game play you should reward people who go forward and take the initiative rather than punish them.



My two ideas for "let the monsters come".

1. Round tokens. Every turn you get a round token, a coin or whatever is visible for the players. You make a list of 5 or 10 or 15 abilities. Then you sort them by the strength they have. Then you attach values 2, 3, 4, 5 to them. You are allowed to use "2" abilities with Heroes who have 2/2. As soon as two or more heroes have 3/3, you can use "3" abilities. As soon as two or more heros have 4/4, you can use "4" abilities, and so on. Mind, this is going the other direction as well: If you killed the strong heroes, it may be you are not allowed to use the strongest abilities anymore. (--> self balancing)
Then you attach some cost to it. For example to put a wandering fimir on the table could appear 2 times in your list. It could be a level 2 ability that cost 5 coins, and a level 4 ability that cost 2 coins. To open a door could cost 3 coins. To place a pit trap could cost 6 coins, a spear trap 4 coins. To give a chaos spell to one of your monsters could cost between 3 and 6 coins depending on the chaos spell. To exchange a close combat weapon of a Monster with a shooting weapon could cost 2 or 3 coins. And so on and so forth. I am sure you can be creative, or you copy something from these great encounter cards - viewtopic.php?f=34&t=2828

No wandering monster ever should appear each turn. So if you (for example) take a token each turn, each and any wandering monster should always cost 2 tokens minimum - except if you introduce multi-attacks that can be used after movement, then you can bring on one Monster per two attacks if you want to make it really super-hard.

If you want to make it a bit more self balancing, you can take one coin per living Hero and adapt the cost of the abilities accordingly. This is important because one Monster per turn is not much for 4 Heroes, but it is a lot against 2 Heroes. Even if they're fighters like the dwarf and King Conan had been.

2. The second idea is directly stolen from Zombicide. Attach noise to anything Heroes can do - Attacking (especially attacking!). If they are armored, even to movement actions. Each Hero also counts as Noise Marker. Place noise markers where it happened. If a certaini threshold is exceeded, for example 5 Markers in one area or in a single room, doors leading into this area start to open because the monsters want to see what's going on. If it is an even higher threshold, let's say 8 Noise Markers in a room, wandering monsters appear. This is done in the beginning of Morcars turn. After the noise action of Morcar has been done, clean all noise markers. The Heroes will "refill" them the next turn.
This second idea also allows for tactically using les high armor in order to sneak through the dungeon; and it keeps the Heroes away from each other so that they don't clump before each and any door they want to open.

The two ideas are not excluding each other, they can be used both. Want to give it a try?


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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Gold Bearer » Friday June 26th, 2015 4:21pm

Anderas wrote:1. I fully agree that the monsters should have a life and should come to you sometimes.
Good. That's the first thing I wanted to add, this for me is the biggest problem with the standard rules.

Anderas wrote:2. I fully disagree to do it via random dice rolls, and especially not one monster per round. As explained, they would suck the actions of two heroes to keep the table reliabliy clean. Meaning, after two heroes are dead, the rest is fully occupied by random monsters and can't fulfill the quest anymore. It has to be less than that. They could even be stronger than your spiders, but less in the amount.
The idea was for the heroes to get swamped if they stayed in the sewers for too long. It's just that the bowman got some extremely lucky dice rolls and took out Dispeller just before he got to the switch.

Anderas wrote:3. I have two ideas for mechanics that provide "living" Monsters without having random monsters with 100 dice rolls per turn, and without increasing the difficulty over time so much that it is unplayable once you've taken the wrong branch by hazard
You're talking about one small area of a single quest. Normally there's a monster every nearly nine rounds. It's intentionally more (but only slightly) than one per round in the sewers because it's designed to put the heroes under a lot of pressure, and you would have been out a long time ago if it wasn't for the bowman's lucky shooting.

Anderas wrote:4. None of the ideas ever includes a double shot bowman on the other side of the table. This has to go away and never to reappear. Same with the double attack ability of nearly everybody. Actually, with it it is worse to attack than to be attacked. Why? If you attack and you fail, the other one can use his double attack ability and that is deadly. If you keep your distance, the other one has to come and you can use your own double attack ability. So this prevents agressive playstile and rewards cowardly playstile. Even if it is quite realistic with some weapons, i would say in favor of fluent game play you should reward people who go forward and take the initiative rather than punish them.
Why do you keep referring to two attacks? The only thing you'd faced that can attack twice is the bowman and they can't move if they do it. That's a lot less effective than two with one shot each. That's my standard rules for bows. I might add that opening a door stops you from shooting twice as well or you could just let whoever has a bow open every door and get an extra attack at the start of every combat.

The ony problem with the bowman was that he was so far away (you should have thrown your hammers at him). In hindsight it should have been a swordsman, spearman and halberdier instead of random ones so that couldn't happen.


As for the two ideas, I'm not keen on the second one but I like the idea of self balancing from the first one. It's just doing it in a way that's simple and that makes sense. I honestly don't see any problem with the random events mechanic, it's much cleaner and simpler than using a token system. Maybe instead of adding monsters to the quest it should activate the closest monster to you. That would mean the overall amount never changes. I thought about that before but it could cause problems in certain situations if I need the monsters to stay put. If I have the option of activated monsters staying where they are then there'd be no reason to use them at all because they'd be better off waiting if there's other monsters with them in the same room rather than giving you the chance to take them on individually.

Maybe whenever a random monster is activated there can't be another one in the next round, or have a set amount of them so that you feel you're making progress by killing them.

I think we should do the next quest as is. Let's give it another chance, in the first quest it was over the top and in this one the sewers mechanic makes it seem over the top when it's actually only restricted to an isolated area. If you (as a group) still think it needs changing then it definitely will be.
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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Gold Bearer » Friday June 26th, 2015 4:59pm

:idea: How about this? On just a white shield followed by a 1 they'll be random monsters, skull = 2 monsters, white shield = 1, black shield = 3. On a white shield followed by a 2 I get one token per hero. That way the random monster event will be in in eighteen turns but there'll tend to be two of them, sometimes one and occasionally three.

I might use your noise idea for skavin and dark elves (good hearing).

I'm going to PM Kitch and Sotiris, they should really be in on this discussion.
:goblin: 1BP, :orc: 2BP, :fimir: 3BP, :skeleton: 1BP, :zombie: 2BP, :mummy: 3BP, :chaoswarrior: 4BP, :gargoyle: 5BP. US :chaoswarrior: 3BP, US :gargoyle: 4BP.

Wanna learn martial arts? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHf7lqNU1J2cCmm4BtZC1XA
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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Kitch1982 » Friday June 26th, 2015 5:21pm

Yes I'm happy to try that.
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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Anderas » Saturday June 27th, 2015 12:53am

The difference between your random proposal and my first proposal is that my proposal is somewhat more controlled, and self-balancing, and can have more results than just always a Monster; so it is more interesting.

The difference between yours and my second proposal is that you generate additional monsters, whereas i would just activate the ones that are already there.

The difference in both cases is, yoiu dice a lot, i get away without dicing.


Just the impression that the monsters will always come flowing in would make me say "no" to another try. I get it now that only the scouts had appeared through this method in the sewers. So there is no guarantee that you don't add another dicing method for something else, like you did for the sewer creatures. I think the scouts alone would just have added to the flavor. It was the mass of dicing and the mass of creatures every turn that really let me turn away.

Plus, the double attack feature of nearly everybody. This should be reserved really for the Boss Monster.


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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Gold Bearer » Saturday June 27th, 2015 10:45am

Anderas wrote:The difference between your random proposal and my first proposal is that my proposal is somewhat more controlled, and self-balancing, and can have more results than just always a Monster; so it is more interesting.
It's not always just monsters.
At the start of each of my turns I'll roll a combat dice.
Skull = Nothing.
White Shield = Random Event.
Black Shield = GM takes a treasure card and can either discard it or return it to the deck. Roll the first dice again.

Random Events:
1 = Monster: Skull = Monster Patrol, White Shield = Sentinel, Black Shield = Sneak Attack. Roll the second dice again (another monster is the same type (patrol/sentinal/sneak attack) as before).
2 = Monster: Skull = Monster Patrol, White Shield = Sentinel, Black Shield = Sneak Attack.
3 = A random hero sets off a poisoned dart trap: Skull = Lose 1BP, White Shield = Unaffected, Black Shield = Lose 1MP.
4 = The GM draws an Evil Wizard card.
5 = A random hero draws a treasure card (wandering monster treated as sentinel and sentry treated as monster patrol).
6 = Random Treasure: Skull = D6x10gp, White Shield = Random potion, Black Shield = Random scroll.

Sneak Attack = Wandering Monster appears and can move and attack this turn.
Sentinel = Wandering Monster appears but can't attack this turn.
Monster Patrol = Wandering Monster appears but can't go this turn.


Anderas wrote:The difference between yours and my second proposal is that you generate additional monsters, whereas i would just activate the ones that are already there.
Yea but that has its own problems. Most of the time I'd be better off not doing it. If I have to do it then it could easily mess up certain parts of quests.

Anderas wrote:The difference in both cases is, yoiu dice a lot, i get away without dicing.
I don't mind.

Anderas wrote:Just the impression that the monsters will always come flowing in would make me say "no" to another try. I get it now that only the scouts had appeared through this method in the sewers. So there is no guarantee that you don't add another dicing method for something else, like you did for the sewer creatures. I think the scouts alone would just have added to the flavor. It was the mass of dicing and the mass of creatures every turn that really let me turn away.
I don't understand that. I was the one rolling all the dice. I added it to the sewer so you'd get swamped if you stayed down there too long. You were down there for ages so I actually under did that one. It was supposed to be by far the most dangerous area.

Anderas wrote:Plus, the double attack feature of nearly everybody. This should be reserved really for the Boss Monster.
:?
Gold Bearer wrote:
Anderas wrote:Three against one is just too much, especially if they have double attacks each.
Apart from you who gets two attacks?
Gold Bearer wrote:
Anderas wrote:4. None of the ideas ever includes a double shot bowman on the other side of the table. This has to go away and never to reappear. Same with the double attack ability of nearly everybody. Actually, with it it is worse to attack than to be attacked. Why? If you attack and you fail, the other one can use his double attack ability and that is deadly. If you keep your distance, the other one has to come and you can use your own double attack ability. So this prevents agressive playstile and rewards cowardly playstile. Even if it is quite realistic with some weapons, i would say in favor of fluent game play you should reward people who go forward and take the initiative rather than punish them.
Why do you keep referring to two attacks? The only thing you'd faced that can attack twice is the bowman and they can't move if they do it. That's a lot less effective than two with one shot each. That's my standard rules for bows. I might add that opening a door stops you from shooting twice as well or you could just let whoever has a bow open every door and get an extra attack at the start of every combat.
:goblin: 1BP, :orc: 2BP, :fimir: 3BP, :skeleton: 1BP, :zombie: 2BP, :mummy: 3BP, :chaoswarrior: 4BP, :gargoyle: 5BP. US :chaoswarrior: 3BP, US :gargoyle: 4BP.

Wanna learn martial arts? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHf7lqNU1J2cCmm4BtZC1XA
Tutorials coming soon.

Why drugs are illegal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH1B2HaInDg
Why they shouldn't be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpOADDXIZpo&t=1s
DMT The Spirit Molecule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtT6Xkk-kzk


Rewards:
Grin's Stone Map Hosted a Play-by-Post game. Played a turn in five (5) Play-by-Post games. Created a Hot Topic. Slain a measly Goblin! Slaughtered an Orc! Killed a mighty Fimir! Destroyed a Zombie! Shattered a Skeleton! Unravelled a Mummy! Crushed a powerful Chaos Warrior! Encountered a menacing Chaos Warlock!
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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Anderas » Saturday June 27th, 2015 12:31pm

I reckon this is a playtest so you maybe did understimate things.
We entered the sewers with three party members, and, let's say, averagely hurt.

I added it to the sewer so you'd get swamped if you stayed down there too long. You were down there for ages so I actually under did that one. It was supposed to be by far the most dangerous area.


There are only ever three fighting party members. The Wizards don't fight normally, and we already cleared a full sized Hero Quest Board. This Quest was LONG! So even if the Wizard would be alive, he likely would already have spent all his distance combat spells. So we were there more or less at full strength when we entered - we were even better than you expected, as you were frequently pointing out, and i must admit that i have the same opinion. It was more than the full strength you could expect on this point of the quest.

You put a double shot bowman on the left side and the lever on the right side. We had exactly two choices if you think tactically:

One: send everybody we have to the lever.
Two: send someones to the danger zone and someone to the lever; or send everybody to the danger zone and solve the riddle later, with the same outcome.

One: Well, we don't know what the lever does. So it could have been that it is just the first of three or four necessary steps. Two of us would have gone down just on the way to the lever and back if we didn't care for the Bowman. So one is no option. And, mind you AGAIN: The bowman counts for two with his double shot option, so he is an instant kill for any Hero that is hurt a little bit. Exactly as it was presented by you.

Two. Send someones to the danger zone and one cares for the lever, or send everybody to the danger zone. You instakilled with your double shot option our lever man. It would have happened to most of us in fact. So the only option was to go there, kill the danger, go back, pull the lever. We were as fast as possible under the circumstances. You planned we'd be there much shorter, really? It is maybe a planning failure - you should rethink the quest before you play it on the table top.

You think we could have been faster? Tell me how.


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Re: The Altdorf Chronicles - Chapter One: A New Beginning

Postby Gold Bearer » Saturday June 27th, 2015 2:07pm

Anderas wrote:And, mind you AGAIN: The bowman counts for two with his double shot option, so he is an instant kill for any Hero that is hurt a little bit. Exactly as it was presented by you.
You keep greatly overstating the effectiveness of two attacks (and it really was just the bowmen, honest). Two attacks with two dice is much less effective than one attack with four dice, because you get two defence rolls. The bowmen can do it at range but that's offset by the fact that they can't move during the same turn that they shoot twice.

In this instance I should have used a swordsman, spearman and halberdier as I said. I did think about this and that's why you got a hammer just before going down to the sewer, but if I'd diced three bowman that would have been six shots per round which would have been far too much. Exremely unlikely (1 in 216 and 1 in 36 for two bowman) but possible. You really should have thrown your hammers. You would have attacked with two and the rune warrior with three.

Anderas wrote:You planned we'd be there much shorter, really? It is maybe a planning failure - you should rethink the quest before you play it on the table top.
I don't play it on the tabletop anymore, not for a long time. Yes I thought you wouldn't be down there nearly as long. If Dispeller had reached the switch you wouldn't have been.

Anderas wrote:You think we could have been faster? Tell me how.
You could have just gone straight down and opened the stone door. :lol:

You didn't need to worry about the switch, that was a red herring. I knew you'd fall for it, that's why I put the bit in about the elves, bait. The switch opened up the door to the left of it by the exit stairs and the two top doors to let out plague zombies (the towns plague victims). They're slow and couldn't leave the sewers. The only way they would have been a threat is if there happened to be anyone at the top when the switch was pulled. They attack randomly as well and would have turned anyone they kill into plague zombies. That would have been cool if they'd got a scout or two. There's two switches in the 2x2 stairs room at the bottom to close the top doors again. The three doors on the west side are one-way and just for the militia to come out. I rolled a combat dice for each door on my turn, skull = nothing, white shield = that door's done, black shield = random militia. I rolled a white shield for each door before getting a black one so no more came out.

There's a switch above that lets the elves in and one that lets the fimirs out. You didn't see the fimirs, they were being held captive in the building half way up on the west side, the one right by where you came in.
:goblin: 1BP, :orc: 2BP, :fimir: 3BP, :skeleton: 1BP, :zombie: 2BP, :mummy: 3BP, :chaoswarrior: 4BP, :gargoyle: 5BP. US :chaoswarrior: 3BP, US :gargoyle: 4BP.

Wanna learn martial arts? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHf7lqNU1J2cCmm4BtZC1XA
Tutorials coming soon.

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Why they shouldn't be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpOADDXIZpo&t=1s
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Rewards:
Grin's Stone Map Hosted a Play-by-Post game. Played a turn in five (5) Play-by-Post games. Created a Hot Topic. Slain a measly Goblin! Slaughtered an Orc! Killed a mighty Fimir! Destroyed a Zombie! Shattered a Skeleton! Unravelled a Mummy! Crushed a powerful Chaos Warrior! Encountered a menacing Chaos Warlock!
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