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House rules ideas

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I just checked the regular treasure deck and split up everything into two piles, one with every item with at least one stat requirement over 20 and one without.

I got two fairly even decks out of it. I'll try using those in campaign play and see how it works. First deck will be used for the first mini boss encounter, adding to it the regular treasures for the participating players with stat requirements under 20. The second deck will be used for the second mini boss, adding the remaining treasures.

The deck for the final boss will probably be just the transposed and legendarey treasures, but I'll need to take a look at those again.

 

GIves the players easier access to the different tiers of weapons at different times without drawing (too many) duds.

 

 

EDIT: Alright. If I'm being consequent then that would mean that the knight and herald treasure would be accessable at the second mini boss and the warrior and assassin would haveone treasure during boss 1 and the rest will be added to pile two.

The third deck with the transposed and legendary treasures (at least with four players) has roughly the same size as the first two decks.

 

From just the looks of it, I quite like it.

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@Ragnara I made a spreadsheet on here with level up costs for each class per item, if that'll help you with the splitting of the common loot deck :)

 

 

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Multiply the mini-boss souls reward by a factor of 8.

I am not kidding. I am also of the opinion that this would only make the game slightly easier -- let me explain why:

There are four tiles. Each tile gives 2 souls per player when you clear it. This means that the maximum value of a spark is 8 souls per player. An observation many people have is that the game takes too long and that the game incentivizes pointless farming -- constantly reclearing the same rooms over and over again to get more souls. By increasing the (mini) boss soul reward to 8 souls per player per spark remaining what this does is it cashes out the sparks you had as though you perfectly farmed those sparks. And it has been my observation in the two completed games I've played that if you can kill the mini-boss then you can definitely farm the four encounters leading up to it. This accomplishes four main things:

1. It removes the need for pointless grinding / farming. With this, if you can kill the mini-boss then you should, no reason to hold back and wait until you've got 0-1 sparks left and trivialize the encounter. This also means more nailbiting close fights and fewer "yeah we've got good weapons now let's kill this guy in three hits" fights, and that's a good thing.

2. It gives the mini-bosses a reward that is suitable and thematically appropriate. In the games these monsters grant a large amount of souls, but as basically everyone here and who has played the game with me has noticed in the board game the mini-bosses actually somehow give fewer souls than a normal encounter.

3. It rewards players who beat the mini-boss with less gear and more sparks. By cashing your sparks out it removes the small (but nonzero) risk of failing to farm the floor out, it also cashes in the last spark which you probably would have saved because it's risky to run into the mini-boss with no sparks remaining in case of a bad roll, and finally souls in the second half of the game are worth more than they are in the first half because of all the introduced rare loot. Rewarding players who do well is generally speaking good game design.

4. It doesn't actually inflate the number of souls present in the game. You could have earned this many souls anyways had you played in a more optimal -- but far, far more boring -- manner. One could, I suppose, argue that the game isn't balanced around having this many souls, but if that's actually the case then the game isn't balanced anyways because this many souls could be gathered anyways.

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1 hour ago, Khift said:

Multiply the mini-boss souls reward by a factor of 8.

I get your reasoning here, and I think awarding increased souls later, rather than immediately per encounter like some players have suggested will avoid rushing players past the more basic loot being valuable.

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9 hours ago, Danny said:

@Ragnara I made a spreadsheet on here with level up costs for each class per item, if that'll help you with the splitting of the common loot deck :)

 

 

I don't want to go into too much detail so I don't run the risk of changing the decks depending on the participating characters and thus making the game a teeny tiny bit easier.

I am however going to push the limit to 21. That adds the Scimitar, the Firelink Armour and the Black Armour to the first deck. The Silver Knight Straight Sword however will go into the second deck, since it requires 20 in every stat.

I'm also going to add every unused ember and titanite card to the second deck since these are always quite useful.

 

Thus the Starter Deck will contain: 32 cards + whichever character-specific cards fulfill the requirements

The Advanced Deck will contain: 28 cards + however many ember and titanite cards + the remaining character-specific cards

The Legendary Deck will contain: 10 legendary weapons + however many ember and titanite cards are left + the character-specific transposed cards

 

Maybe add a rule that you cannot buy legendary weapons from André...

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40 minutes ago, Ragnara said:

I don't want to go into too much detail so I don't run the risk of changing the decks depending on the participating characters and thus making the game a teeny tiny bit easier.

I am however going to push the limit to 21. That adds the Scimitar, the Firelink Armour and the Black Armour to the first deck. The Silver Knight Straight Sword however will go into the second deck, since it requires 20 in every stat.

I'm also going to add every unused ember and titanite card to the second deck since these are always quite useful.

 

Thus the Starter Deck will contain: 32 cards + whichever character-specific cards fulfill the requirements

The Advanced Deck will contain: 28 cards + however many ember and titanite cards + the remaining character-specific cards

The Legendary Deck will contain: 10 legendary weapons + however many ember and titanite cards are left + the character-specific transposed cards

 

Maybe add a rule that you cannot buy legendary weapons from André...

Not a million miles from what I'm using :) you're thinking of adding all legendary cards to a third deck later, though?

 

I'm charging 2 souls for the advanced items deck, and adding the advanced class items and legendaries to it.

 

...I'm also considering moving the east-west shield there, since it requires 28 int, that means investing 12 souls into intelligence for any class, currently. But I'm just betting come November that will be tier 3 for the sorceror and/or pyromancer and so will be an awesome starter item

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16 minutes ago, Danny said:

Not a million miles from what I'm using :) you're thinking of adding all legendary cards to a third deck later, though?

 

I'm charging 2 souls for the advanced items deck, and adding the advanced class items and legendaries to it.

 

...I'm also considering moving the east-west shield there, since it requires 28 int, that means investing 12 souls into intelligence for any class, currently. But I'm just betting come November that will be tier 3 for the sorceror and/or pyromancer and so will be an awesome starter item

My system so far is for campaign play, since that'd be my prefered mode to play. So buying stuff already costs 2 souls. I guess I could increase the costs by 1 when switching decks though, but that might increase the need to grind, which I try to reduce by having the decks be smaller and more even in payoff.

So yeah, legendary deck will be all the legendary cards plus the transposed weapons for the characters in use. That's not a very large deck, but for the last round before the main boss it should suffice. Maybe I'll just increase the costs of buying from that deck by 1 or 2 souls so you can buy some just in case you don't get any chests from the encounters.

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On 5/1/2017 at 9:01 AM, MaverickHunterLuneth said:

@Replect

I know, but for me, weapons and armor aren't the most valuable thing, even in the video games I value souls over all else, because you need souls in order to use any of that new equipment.

I'll figure out how much this house rule may or may not break the difficulty once I actually get my hands on the game, I definitely want the difficulty scaled down a little bit though, mainly because my gaming group is a bit... fragile I guess you could say.

Same here. I can definately understand that.  I tested a solo run allowing myself to rest as often as I wanted at the bonefire (like in DS 1) to grind for souls and it got boring pretty quick.  I understand why they made that rule. It forces you to do more than just the one encounter. Maybe a house rule to allow you to rest for free if you clear all 5 encounters.  Since you heal and rest up after every encounter resting isn't quite as vital as in the video games.

On 5/1/2017 at 2:22 PM, MetacarpiUG said:

My group are shuffling and using new encounters on death/rest rather than repeating the same encounters over

Maybe the difficulty of said encounters increases too, like kindling bonefires in DS2. You can rest alot but it is gonna get harder the more you do.

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Some thoughts on how to (maybe) increase the difficulty further:

- When pushed, models have to move onto the node opposite from where the attacker started moving from. If that is impossible, they have to strafe left or right.

- Add in a dungeon master. A fifth player who has control over the enemies movement, while sticking to limitations of the behaviour cards.

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1 hour ago, Ragnara said:

- Add in a dungeon master. A fifth player who has control over the enemies movement, while sticking to limitations of the behaviour cards.

This would be game breaking. Every magic attack goes for the knight who can't dodge and has low resistance, all silver knights ruin the assassins day every turn etc. Exploiting the AI is kinda the point of the game. The enemies will ruin you other wise.

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1 hour ago, Danny said:

This would be game breaking. Every magic attack goes for the knight who can't dodge and has low resistance, all silver knights ruin the assassins day every turn etc. Exploiting the AI is kinda the point of the game. The enemies will ruin you other wise.

Like I said, he still has to follow the behaviour cards. But within these limitations, he decides where to place the enemies. For example if possible, he may spread out the hollow soldiers so that the warrior can't attack them all at the same time with the heavy axe attack, as long as they still end their turn closer to the closest player.

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18 minutes ago, Ragnara said:

Like I said, he still has to follow the behaviour cards. But within these limitations, he decides where to place the enemies. For example if possible, he may spread out the hollow soldiers so that the warrior can't attack them all at the same time with the heavy axe attack, as long as they still end their turn closer to the closest player.

Ah I get you now. I think in that case the DM would have a lot of downtime between decisions and very little control, though...

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Just now, Danny said:

Ah I get you now. I think in that case the DM would have a lot of downtime between decisions and very little control, though...

Between encounters sure, but during encounters he'd be the most active player.

And he'd have just enough control to fuck over the players. Just remember all the times you moved an enemy to that one node that was favorable to you, instead of the other more dangerous node? Yeah, that's not gonna happen anymore. A boss moving to the node slightly to the right to bring that weak spot closer to you, instead of going straight ahead? Not gonna happen. Maybe even give him control over his own pushes.

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5 minutes ago, Ragnara said:

Between encounters sure, but during encounters he'd be the most active player.

And he'd have just enough control to fuck over the players. Just remember all the times you moved an enemy to that one node that was favorable to you, instead of the other more dangerous node? Yeah, that's not gonna happen anymore. A boss moving to the node slightly to the right to bring that weak spot closer to you, instead of going straight ahead? Not gonna happen. Maybe even give him control over his own pushes.

In my games so far this has only really been a factor at the first 1 or 2 turns and then only sometimes.

 

For example, in most instances it will not effect silver knights, silver archers or hollow crossbowmen. The DM will get no dice to roll, and once enemies are equidistant he just has to sit back for the most part. The majority of gear doesnt have pushes, also. 

 

Choosing nodes has been pretty situational in my playtgroughs, so far (currently played 8 games) I think there will be many encounters where the DM gets no choices, and later many more where his choices will on the whole not matter. The DM will have a lot of downtime and very little choice in his actions imo

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3 minutes ago, Danny said:

In my games so far this has only really been a factor at the first 1 or 2 turns and then only sometimes.

 

For example, in most instances it will not effect silver knights, silver archers or hollow crossbowmen. The DM will get no dice to roll, and once enemies are equidistant he just has to sit back for the most part. The majority of gear doesnt have pushes, also. 

 

Choosing nodes has been pretty situational in my playtgroughs, so far (currently played 8 games) I think there will be many encounters where the DM gets no choices, and later many more where his choices will on the whole not matter. The DM will have a lot of downtime and very little choice in his actions imo

I haven't played as many games, but had a different experience when it comes to placing the models. Like grouping up hollows to hit them with a heavy axe attack, using a LHS or a sentinel to push a character out of the range of another enemy. As I mentioned, placing the bosses, so that their weak spots are easier to access.

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1 hour ago, Ragnara said:

I haven't played as many games, but had a different experience when it comes to placing the models. Like grouping up hollows to hit them with a heavy axe attack, using a LHS or a sentinel to push a character out of the range of another enemy. As I mentioned, placing the bosses, so that their weak spots are easier to access.

I think its very dependant don't the tile spawns, if there are obstacles or traps, and your classes and loot.

 

That said, my sample size is hardly definitive yet, either

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I wish we knew all the ways the debs tried out souls and loot cards to know why some things weren't done. 

I think my next experiment will be standard soul aquisition rules, but using dodge dice to determine bonus loot drops from mobs. Roll all 4 dice, 2 dodge results drops an item, 4 drops a weapon mod gem/shard. Can still buy extra loot per standard rules too.

Splitting souls earned between stats and loot feels like where the imbalance in my game hinges. Hoping this will fix it.

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30 minutes ago, Visceroth said:

I wish we knew all the ways the debs tried out souls and loot cards to know why some things weren't done. 

I think my next experiment will be standard soul aquisition rules, but using dodge dice to determine bonus loot drops from mobs. Roll all 4 dice, 2 dodge results drops an item, 4 drops a weapon mod gem/shard. Can still buy extra loot per standard rules too.

Splitting souls earned between stats and loot feels like where the imbalance in my game hinges. Hoping this will fix it.

I like that idea.

I mean I get why they switched from thousands of souls to single digits....but both the combined purchase idea and the combined stamina/health bar still baffle me.

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1 hour ago, Visceroth said:

I wish we knew all the ways the debs tried out souls and loot cards to know why some things weren't done. 

I think my next experiment will be standard soul aquisition rules, but using dodge dice to determine bonus loot drops from mobs. Roll all 4 dice, 2 dodge results drops an item, 4 drops a weapon mod gem/shard. Can still buy extra loot per standard rules too.

Splitting souls earned between stats and loot feels like where the imbalance in my game hinges. Hoping this will fix it.

I wonder if originally your starting gear could be upgraded, but then they went back on that for various possible reasons (it could dissuade you to change to a better non-upgraded item, or perhaps everyone using all upgrades before they get the best weapons, or something else I haven't considered)

 

In my tiered deck it is MOSTLY upgrades, and upgrades don't tend to have high requirements beyond needing non-starting gear to use them.

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1 hour ago, stargorger said:

 the combined stamina/health bar still baffle me.

The stamina health bar is a pretty cool mechanic IMO, it really makes stamina management as important as it does in dark souls, since the way turn order goes there is no stunlock.

 

I also havent encountered another board game that has it, which alongside the combat makes it feel like a USP of the game

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30 minutes ago, Danny said:

The stamina health bar is a pretty cool mechanic IMO, it really makes stamina management as important as it does in dark souls, since the way turn order goes there is no stunlock.

 

I also havent encountered another board game that has it, which alongside the combat makes it feel like a USP of the game

I don't mind the mechanic in a gameplay sense, I'm just not sure I feel like it reflects how stamina works in the videogames (which, obviously...this is trying to mimic). Your point about turn order makes sense though, I can see why they chose to do it that way.

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16 minutes ago, Ashraam said:

I feel like it mimics the spirit of the stamina mechanic though, in that if you overextend yourself you're usually going to suffer for it.

Definitely.

I'd imagine if they were separated, our attacks would cost a lot more stamina or the bar would be reduced resulting in the same overall action economy we have now.

Yet with 10 points on the bar now you can go 9 stamina deep if you're feeling lucky. I like the decisions it constantly forces.

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Started a campaign game saturday night with two friends. It might have gone over better if they didn't insist on watching the ESC at the same time, but oh well.

One big problem was again loot and souls. I did implement my tiered loot house rule, but thanks to encouters with no treasure chests, we had to buy many a card off of André which led to having less souls to level up, which led to grinding the same encounters again. When I explained the reason for the grind I got some raised eyebrows, since especially the level 1 encounters where easy enough to be basically wasted time, so we ended up just playing the level 2 encounter.

And I also included the 'more souls from higher level encounters' house rule. But it still ended up with them getting some new gear and me not getting anything, since I wasn't able to level up any stats.

 

So last night I sat down again and thought on how to streamline it some more, without making it too easy or boring. My solution was, in addition to the tiered decks and tiered soul rewards, was drawing new encounter cards for every defeated encounter whenever I rested at a bonfire.

That way, grinding didn't feel as tedious and I had a higher chance at grabbing a treasure chest, which in turn lowered the need to buy stuff from André which inturn meant more souls left to level up.

 

 

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So my solutions for the loot system and grinding:

First, For the first miniboss run, the only treasure included in the deck is the lvl 1 and 2 treasures: that is, only stuff that can be used at lvl 1 or 2. In the games, treasure is not random: you know which enemies carry which items if you want to farm for a drop and you know what the chests contain if you have played before or are using a guide. In addition, every ge has a point about halfway through where you can respec your character, AND the stat values are not static. We choose at eavh level how many points to put into each stat and can sometimes further alter stuff with items like the Knight Ring or Simpletons Spice. Taken together, this means that the player can always plan for and gain the weapons and items they want. 

In the boardgame this really isnt an option since the stat choices are static and the treasures are completely random, which I hate and is probably the one aspect of the boardgame that I feel does not represent the feel of the videogames at all. 

So, as a compromise I split the treasure deck into items usable on the first and second stat lines, and items only usable on the third or fourth levels. This makes it so that during the first runs to the miniboss only give items that are immediately usable. Yes, in the games sometimes you get items you cannot use immediately or which are not for your character spec, but I feel this similarity is irrelevent considering there is no real way in the board game to "build into" or respec for some of these items.

The second change(s) are that we set the tiles randomly and discover them as we go instead of laying them all out to begin with. Then when we place the tile, we draw the encounter card and leave it face up on the tile, so we always know what the layout of the room is.

And lastly, since we always know the room layouts once explored, we do not respawn treasure chests. Instead we have the blacksmith shop idea, where there are some common items for sale that cycle, and one of these is always an ember and one is always a titanite shard. Players can sell unused items to Andre for 1 soul each, and these items go back into the store where they can be repurchased for 3 souls...but Andre can only ever have 6 items for sale. 2 are tge ember and shard, and three are drawn randomly from the common deck at the start. The items do not, however, refrsh once purchased.

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