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Let's Talk About House Rules


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#1 Carbini

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:39 PM

So in many threads there is always talk of "I might house rule this" or "we house rule this because..." I was thinking lets get a thread going for our personal house rules but don't just list yours, but to also give the reasons on why you personally house rule them or felt you needed to house rule them so other people can see them and maybe give feedback on what they do, or maybe even give a reason you might not have realized that  makes it so your house rule alters the games design too heavily, or perhaps creates some loophole.

I've seen a lot of them, from movement point system changes to "thematic" changes and I thoguht it would be fun to get a big pile of them and look at what similarities and differences we have in our gaming groups.
 

Away we go!

 

Defense dice are rolled after the attacker spend surges.
OK so this one right off the bat. I mentioned in another thread how our group was actually making a mistake originaly playing like this. We changed to the true way for a bit and it was just so stale compared to the risk options the attacker had to take previously. Should I add poison to this attack? It's only doing 2 damage... I could instead just make it do 3 damage... hmm...
We haven't run into any game breaking loopholes just yet regarding this one and it just feels more intense when rolling defense dice. The con of this method is that you can set up an attack to overkill the enemy, meaning they have no reason to roll defense dice at all, and so they don't. Taking away dice rolling in a game is never a great idea, but we feel it's worth it when compared to the risk factor of adding stamina form surges and adding additional effects like poison.

 

Line of sight is not granted against a figure behind a thin wall to the corner of that thin wall if the line drawn creates an acute or perpendicular angle with the wall in between the attacking figure and the wall.
Holy crap right? OK the wording on this is out of control specific, but basically we are just eliminating the very odd line of sight case where you can essentially attack a figure behind a thin wall if you are on the other side AND further back behind the same wall in question. This rule arose from a moment in which I shot a barghest essentially "around a corner" directly on the other side of the wall and 3 spaces away. Looking at the board it was absolutely insane that I technically had line of sight, and all 5 players were collectively unhappy about the moment, so we cut that specific case out.

 

 

Mapstone and Archaic Scroll taken out of the act 1 deck, but allowed to be bought after interlude.

Hehe ok so I'm sure a lot more people than me do this, but the mapstone is so annoying to draw early and the archaic scroll is 100 percent useless if drawn in the very first shopping step of the game. We take them out but still allow them to be bought at interlude, because the scroll can come in handy there. We were thinking of removing the lamp as well, but the lamp is an interesting risk option if someone is willing to go for it, so we leave it in.


Break the rune doesn't hit the runemaster using it.
Thematic reasons, we just thought he would be able to duck and crack the rune above his head or something. :) It still hits friendlies though...


I'll cut ti for now, I know there's a ton out there and I'm interested to see how everyone tweaks the game ever so slightly in the interest of "living room game design." ;)

 

 

Edit: Quick edit. I know technically that removing mapstone is allowed, since you are allowed to add whatever expansion pieces you want. But I think SPECIFICALLY removing key pieces of an expansion is kind of blurry on that rule.


Edited by Carbini, 14 August 2014 - 02:43 PM.


#2 Zaltyre

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:58 PM

Thin Walls

We have also ruled the thin wall case. If there isn't adjacency or LOS between the two spaces immediately on either side of one of those thin walls, we see absolutely no reason why you should get LOS just by stepping back a space on either side. Since we agree with the lack of adjacency in the one case, the corner of that wall is treated as a "really short edge" and we just follow the normal rules for going along an edge blocking LOS.

 

Spending XP

We have generally house-ruled the order of the campaign phase. Specifically, the "spend XP" step (for both sides) extends from the end of one quest to before setup of the next. This allows XP to be spent after the shopping step. This arose mainly as a matter of preference and convenience. The heroes liked shopping right after a quest, and what to buy doesn't usually require too much planning. However, people like to think about what upgrades they are or are not making between sessions.



#3 Steve-O

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:06 PM

Thin Walls
We have also ruled the thin wall case. If there isn't adjacency or LOS between the two spaces immediately on either side of one of those thin walls, we see absolutely no reason why you should get LOS just by stepping back a space on either side. Since we agree with the lack of adjacency in the one case, the corner of that wall is treated as a "really short edge" and we just follow the normal rules for going along an edge blocking LOS.


Yeah, we actually use that house rule, too. We don't have a formal definition for it, but we were basically looking at that "official LoS examples" image that's been circulating in the Unofficial FAQ discussions (the long-time residents know the one I mean, I'm sure) and we said to ourselves "this, this and this don't make sense." So we house-ruled those cases.

We've agreed that if we come across a corner case where we can't agree, we'll roll a die to figure it out, although we haven't actually come across such a corner case as yet.

--

Also, as alluded to above, here's our group's house rules for movement. Cut/pasted from the other recent thread, since I'm feeling lazy today:
1) A Move Action is now an instant effect that grants MP equal to Speed, over as soon as it is declared, and the figure may then spend those MPs throughout his turn as he sees fit. The rules for interrupting a Move Action are no longer required.

2) Any other ability that allows a figure to "move" likewise grants an appropriate number of MPs which may then be spent to move. In general, these MPs go into the same pool as "Move Action" or "Fatigue" MPs and become indistinguishable from those.

2a) If a special ability grants "movement with benefits" (ie: Silhouette) or "movement during another player's turn" (ie: Syndrael) then the MPs gained by those abilities must be spent immediately, in the course of resolving the ability itself. These MPs cannot be "saved for later" or mixed in with "normal MPs" - ie: everything else. Likewise, any ability that specifies the timing of the movement (ie: "immediately move X and then attack.")

3) Any effect that triggers "during a Move Action" is now considered to trigger when the figure "enters a space" via spending MP. Doesn't matter where the MP came from.

4) Any effect that causes a Move Action to "immediately end" is now considered to drain the figure's unspent MP pool to zero. The figure can acquire new MPs to continue moving, if possible. Used in the middle of a "movement with benefits" ability, such as Silhouette's, this drains all MP; those granted by the special ability as well as any unspent MPs from fatigue, etc.

5) Immobilize prevents the expenditure of MP. Figures can still gain MPs from various abilities if they want, but they can't spend them, and thus cannot move. Immobilize still reduces the figure's current MP pool to zero when played, per the FAQ.

6) Large figures still shrink and expand as usual. After a figure has shrunk, expanding again will zero out the figure's MP pool. Alternatively, a large figure may "interrupt" its movement to perform another action. Interrupting requires the figure to expand, but does not zero the MP pool. Akin to official rulings, the large figure must be able to perform the desired secondary action from the single space it occupies before it can interrupt its movement like this.

(Rule #6 is basically reconstructing the interrupt rules for large figures, since rule #1 removes the concept of interrupting move actions in general. This may seem like a lot of busy work to the outside observer, but our purpose was to negate the difference between "move action" movement and other types of movement by making all movement just be "spending MPs." That said, the dynamics of large monster movement really require the interruption mechanic to keep a lid on "zero-move shrink/expand" shenanigans. We don't find it too hard to follow these house rules, but we also know what we meant when we wrote them. =P)

#4 Carbini

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:36 PM

Spending XP

We have generally house-ruled the order of the campaign phase. Specifically, the "spend XP" step (for both sides) extends from the end of one quest to before setup of the next. This allows XP to be spent after the shopping step. This arose mainly as a matter of preference and convenience. The heroes liked shopping right after a quest, and what to buy doesn't usually require too much planning. However, people like to think about what upgrades they are or are not making between sessions.

We do the same thing, and it happened out of laziness and essentially "mixing" them into the same phase. It can be especially important since the item drop can effect what skills you want in the very early Act 1 quests when you are deciding on a build path. We choose quest last.

In similarity to this same rule, we also ruled that at the beginning of the game the heroes players choose their heroes first, and THEN the OL chooses his lieutenant/Basic OL Deck. We do this to specifically give the overlord some counter-play to the heroes selection. The rules say pick your lieutenant "At the start of the campaign" so we just took a more official stance and moved it to after the heroes pick their picks.



#5 Zaltyre

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

Hero Pow-Wow

The heroes wanted to be able to strategize secretly, whilst I insisted that the OL's minions had very sharp hearing, so at the table things had to be discussed out loud (no hidden notebooks, etc.) The compromise we reached was at the beginning of each quest, the OL steps out of the room for a few minutes and the heroes are free to discuss strategy in private. After that point, however, discussion is aloud at the table. This gives them their strategy time, and the OL an excuse for not reminding the heroes about special quest rules they forgot to read. 



#6 ProtoPersona

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:05 AM

6) Large figures still shrink and expand as usual. After a figure has shrunk, expanding again will zero out the figure's MP pool. Alternatively, a large figure may "interrupt" its movement to perform another action. Interrupting requires the figure to expand, but does not zero the MP pool. Akin to official rulings, the large figure must be able to perform the desired secondary action from the single space it occupies before it can interrupt its movement like this.


(Rule #6 is basically reconstructing the interrupt rules for large figures, since rule #1 removes the concept of interrupting move actions in general. This may seem like a lot of busy work to the outside observer, but our purpose was to negate the difference between "move action" movement and other types of movement by making all movement just be "spending MPs." That said, the dynamics of large monster movement really require the interruption mechanic to keep a lid on "zero-move shrink/expand" shenanigans. We don't find it too hard to follow these house rules, but we also know what we meant when we wrote them. =P)

 

I've given this one a little thought. Is there any real reason to zero out the MP pool? The condition that the action must be legal before expanding already covered all the zero-move loopholes in the official rules. Since you have that condition in your rules too, are there really any examples where you can still exploit the figure expansions that you can't do in the official rules anyways?

 

Edit: Thought of another question. How is trading handled? In the default rules you have be in a move action to trade. Can you just trade anytime you're adjacent, not in a special action, and have mp?


Edited by ProtoPersona, 15 August 2014 - 03:29 AM.


#7 rugal

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:32 AM

My house rules

 

Universals cards really universals
When the overlord buy an universal card, this card counts toward the possibility to buy any cards from an overlord class, each universal card (whatever xp cost) can replace a 1xp in a class, but a same card cannot count anymore for another class. Note it on the campaign sheet. Works too for epic play

For example, an OL can uses placebo and 2 web trap to buy uthuk demon trap, but now placebo counts only when buying cards for the saboteur's class.

 

Mini-campaign's plot deck rule
When starting a mini campaign with a plot deck, the overlord receives 4 threat token + 1 per hero in game.

 

Splig's deck : goblin uprising

I replace wilderness trait with building one



#8 any2cards

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:59 AM

@Carbini & @ Steve-O:

 

Is this the Unofficial FFG Sez LOS FAQ image you are discussing for your home rules: 

 

rjm9ft.png

 

If this is the correct image, please tell me what numbers you have issues with, and are subsequently home-ruling?  I want to make sure I understand your own rulings before I comment.  Thanks.



#9 ProtoPersona

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:27 AM

If this is the correct image, please tell me what numbers you have issues with, and are subsequently home-ruling?  I want to make sure I understand your own rulings before I comment.  Thanks.

 

I'd wager it's 7,8 & 9 that don't look right to them. They give me problems too since stepping back magically makes the wall disappear.

 

The topic of justifications for those examples and the official rules legality of them has been discussed to death in other threads. Can we start a new thread or resurrect one of the old threads to argue about it? I'd prefer if LOS arguments didn't derail a rather interesting thread.


Edited by ProtoPersona, 15 August 2014 - 06:27 AM.


#10 Zaltyre

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:52 AM

 

If this is the correct image, please tell me what numbers you have issues with, and are subsequently home-ruling?  I want to make sure I understand your own rulings before I comment.  Thanks.

 

I'd wager it's 7,8 & 9 that don't look right to them. They give me problems too since stepping back magically makes the wall disappear.

 

The topic of justifications for those examples and the official rules legality of them has been discussed to death in other threads. Can we start a new thread or resurrect one of the old threads to argue about it? I'd prefer if LOS arguments didn't derail a rather interesting thread.

 

Agreed, but just to comment, yes. 7 and 8 are logically inconsistent. 

 

If 6 and 5 are true, then how is 8 true?

If 6 and 4 are true, the how is 7 true?

 

9 is tricky, because if we're treating the end of that black wall like a short  "blocked edge," 9 could be argued that is across a corner of said edge, not along it, and is therefore valid.  We have house ruled that as no LOS because the space the diagonal line is traced through has previously been ruled non-adjacent. Additionally, even if 9 had LOS, I'd argue that the range to space D from A is 3, not 2, since A and the space on the other side of the wall (where the target line is) are nonadjacent- you've got count around the wall.

 

Also, another minor house rule:

 

Pseudo Chess Rules

Unless someone is feeling particularly vindictive, you can reverse an action until something else has taken place or until a roll has been made. For example, Ok, I'm taking a move action and going here, here, oh wait, nevermind, go back one space. While here, first I use my horn of valor to give Jain a valor, then I move here..." However, had the OL sprung a Pit Trap, you wouldn't be able to go back. Likewise, Grisban is going to attack the shadow dragon... no wait, I mean he's going to attack the bane spider. Allowed, unless a roll had been made.


Edited by Zaltyre, 15 August 2014 - 06:59 AM.


#11 Carbini

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

@Carbini & @ Steve-O:

 

Is this the Unofficial FFG Sez LOS FAQ image you are discussing for your home rules: 

 

rjm9ft.png

 

If this is the correct image, please tell me what numbers you have issues with, and are subsequently home-ruling?  I want to make sure I understand your own rulings before I comment.  Thanks.

Yea, see 7 and 8 I might be ok with, barely, due to number 6 being a strange case. But number 9... Imagine the "B" was 3 more spaces north. Still has line of sight and thats super unsatisfying for my group, no matter if its heroes OR overlord. And as zaltyre pointed out, the range on number 9 being 3 instead of 2 shows at least an element of "weirdness."

Thing is, I totally get why this has to be allowed in the greater scheme of things. It's way too specific to cut this edge case out without changing the decently simple LoS rules. I mean honestly "corner to corner/cant run along a wall or blocked space" is 95 percent solid, and I think the decision to leave this freaky edge case valid for the simplicity of the rules was a good design decision.

But, I'm a programmer by trade, and this kind of thing just gives me the wooblies, so I cut it out. :)

 

Edit: Just for total clarity, I totally respect that picture as the ruling and understand it, and I'm definitely not trying to start a debate about LoS in this thread, I'm just straight up saying that that edge case is un-fun for my group, so we remove it.


Edited by Carbini, 15 August 2014 - 12:08 PM.


#12 Steve-O

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 07:30 PM

I've given this one a little thought. Is there any real reason to zero out the MP pool?


Saying that the MP pools zeroes when the figure expands is really our way of emphasizing that the figure only expands when it's finished moving. Barring "interrupts" which are more of a side note. If the figure is expanding because it finished moving, it doesn't really matter if the MP pool is zeroed or not, you're quite right.

It's just one of those "we know what we meant when we wrote it" things. =)


Edit: Thought of another question. How is trading handled? In the default rules you have be in a move action to trade. Can you just trade anytime you're adjacent, not in a special action, and have mp?


Yeah, pretty much. You can just trade whenever you're adjacent.

We still play that you need to have declared a Move Action in order to trade (the required consumption of an action is an important part of the economy of the game), but you don't need to have unspent MPs left for the turn - we allow trading after the last MP has been spent.




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