I gess there is another topic fot this but I cannot find it (sorry). If this has already been discussed, pleas link me to the corresponding topic.
We have been playing the core game for quite a long now, and last 3 times we decided to use the dark glyphs. Now here is the problem: they are unbalanced. No, I don't mean that they are too powerful (they are, but that's not what I wanted to focus on). What I mean is that they are umbalanced among them.
All of them have the same treachery cost: 2 treachery (of the corresponding color). Treachery cannot be changed form a color to other, but at the end any remaining treachery is put together to get extra cards so we should assume that a red treachery point has the same value as a blue treachery point. (Am I wrong to think this? Is a treachery color more powerful that other just by its color?) However the effect of each glyph are very different.
After a couple of games I can tell that spending 2 treachery points in a blue glyph is a waste. They basically do nothing at all. I at least the OL could keep both cards that would be something, but he has to discard one of them. He can't even draw 2 cards mix them into his hand and discard 2 other cards, oh no, he has to discard one of the received cards. OK, at leas he gets something: his deck is running and he is getting good cards.
The red gplyph on the other hand is really powerful. It's probably more powerful thatn it appears at first glance. Any hero (usually a runner) who usually tries to get the treasure, activate the gplyph and escape will get the party in trouble if that glpyh is red. He will find 2 extra enemies when he activates the glyph and 2 more when escapes trhough it (if he does). Not escaping means his death, but doing so means his party's death at the hands of 4 sorceres. Let's face it, the OL will always choose sorceres when possible (why is the spider even an option)? Once all the sorceres are in play, the OL may decide that beastmen or skeletons are possible. He won't give beast any thought. Oddly enough there is no option to choose ferrox, apes or priests (probably to prevent the OL to spawn too many powerful monsters).
Finally the green glyph. Where do I begin with this one? 2 conquest out just by choosing it makes a better option than any green treachery card. OK, the binding spell on a map full of boulders may be better but you get the idea: There will always be 1 (sometimes 2) green glyphs on the map because they are just too good. But wait! that's not all they can do, they also don't work at all. With the other gplyphs the heroes could at least choose if they will take the risk, but here that's not an option. Not been able to use a glyph is worse than having a problem every time you use it, and 2 extra sorceres are not going to take 2 conquest tokens from the heroes without some effort. So even if the heroes chosed not to use a red glyph at all, it would not annoy them so much as a green one. Not to mention those maps where heroes need to return to the town at the end (buried alive for example) where a correctly placed green glyph means game over.
So the green glyph will always be more powerfull than the red glyph, which will always be more powerful than the blue gyph. With some irony the game designers called the least powerfull glyph "power glyph". And they all cost the same. If there was some random involved I would understand that (the OL could be luck enough to get a green one or unluck enough to get a blue one), but he is choosing them at will at the beggining of the game. "Hmmm, today I'm feeling pretty evil, let's add a green glyph wahahahaha".
Has anyone tried to fix this with some house rules. This is what I would do:
-Red: have the OL roll 3 (or 4, we'll have to playtest this) 12-sided dices. Each side is a kind of monster: 1for kobold, 2 for beastman, 3 for skeleton, 4 for spider, 5 for razorwing, 6 for shade, 7 for hellhound, 8 for beetle, 9 for sorcerer, 10 for priest, 11 for ferrox and 12 for ape. He chooses 2 of them and spawns them. This arrangement makes the glyph a bit less powerfull and allows for more different mosnters to be added. The OL must face some random (as so will the heroes who want to risk using the glyph). Another option would be to force to OL to pay some threat to spawn the monsters or to just let him play a spawn card (instead of just letting him spawn for free).
-Blue: A possibility is not to force the OL to discard one of the cards. Another is to allow him to discard a different card. Another possibility is to have him draw 3 cards, discard one, keep another and put the third on the top of his deck (so that it will be the next card he gets). The idea is to make this glyph a bit more powerful, so that it can be about the level of the red one.
-Green: (Uhg) The first idea is to let he heroes get the 3 conquest tokens and leave the rest as is. Another idea is to le the heroes use it by discarding (without effect) a feat card, this would be consistend with the original design, as there were no feat cards when AoD was released. Yet another possibility is to make it worth 3 treachery points instead of 2 (come on, it is too powerful for just 2).
Do you have any other ideas? The dark gkyphs are not the only unbalanced issues from AoD. The lone troll is another problem (compared to the lone oger and the lone golem) but let's go one step at a time.