Dain Ironfoot said:
No one here was arguing do something simply b/c it's source accurate …
… and i'll remind you - this is key! - the point of saga expansions are to play the books! in other words, to create a gaming experience that mirrors the story line of the books to allow the players to experience the books for themselves. that is the sole reason for the existence of saga expansions. nothing more, nothing less. it's not to have "hobbit-flavored" quests (i wonder if those are tasty? haha) - it.is.to.play.the.book.!
This genuinelly reads to me like you are saying:
"No one is arguing for something purely because it's source accurate. The point of saga expansions is to be source accurate."
Am I really the only one who sees his response as coming across that way … ?
Yeah, that part is unclear, i apologize. i was trying to make a distinction between regular APs and saga expansions. the point of the sagas it to "play the books" - the point of APs is to create new/unique adventures in Middle Earth. I was attempting to say that not *every* (or even most) design decisions for regular expansions should be driven by the books. That would be potentially very restrictive on design space, even if flavorful.
Here's how FFG describes Saga Expansions:
"The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game broke new ground when it offered players the first fully cooperative Living Card Game. Now, The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill breaks new ground within the game.
The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill recaptures the magic of the first half of the novel that initially introduced us to Hobbits, the Shire, and a certain magic ring…
It’s not just a game, it’s an adventure!
The Saga begins!
While standard expansions imagine new and untold stories in Middle-earth, this Saga Expansion allows players to participate directly in the events from the beloved fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien. Its scenarios can be played individually, or combined into a sweeping campaign, which carries players through the first half of The Hobbit and will continue, later in 2012, with the release of a second Saga Expansion that will conclude Bilbo’s epic journey."
Perhaps it's a fine distinction, but if I were creating a regular, non-book based AP, I wouldn't say "let's sing songs in a quest just b/c Tolkein does it on every page - that'll be fun!" - b/c that will probbably turn out bad, in a general sense.
But if the sole reason for existence of the expansion, a la Sagas, is to recreate the storyline of the book, you aren't given much creative license (beyond translating the theme into game mechanics) in choosing what story to tell - though, you do choose which chapters to recreate in game-terms.
I think the second poster made an excellent point re:The Riddles quest - this isn't a bad quest simply b/c it's recreating the (arguably) most critical chapter of The Hobbit - it's a hum-drum quest b/c, while flavorful, the mechanic doesn't really work all that consistently/well.
But, I could place a pretty safe bet that if Gollum didn't appear in a quest - people would complain. And he was only in the Book to pose riddles and for Bilbo to get the ring. Now, I suppose FFG could have left out the riddles and done something different? But how would that have been different from the other Gollum quests? That's the challenge.
Given that, at the end of the day, I have to at least give them credit for trying to re-create the theme via game mechanics. So, on the one hand, if we didn't separate parties in the 1st quest, it would be just like Passage through Mirkwood, or Return to Mirkwood, all over again. If we split off, like the books, it's like FoS. It's damned if ya do, damned if ya don't.
Part of this game, and I think the appeal to many, many players is the theme/story it tells. Why else would we have two Arwen escorting quests in a row (now *that's* definitely more similar than FoS and Hobbit2). Two Troll? Two Balrog? The list of comparisons could go on, and on.
Sometimes FFG is going to hit a flavor/theme home run. Sometimes they will hit a mechanic home run. Sometimes it will be a combo of the two.
Ultimately, I think different aspects appeal to different players.