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andrew.b.jones

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  1. phelanward said: The campaign is hard and unforgiving for the heroes, but it's not luck-based. I'm going to have to disagree here - there is a LOT of luck on the hero's side of the table. When you get a chest do you roll a treasure or get gold? If you draw a treasure is it any good for your party? What starting heroes did you draw? What feats do you draw? What starting skills did you draw? Are the dice "being kind" for combat rolls? Conversely on the OL side of the table you randomly choose dungeon levels. You draw from a randomized deck that's been customized as you level up (getting to choose what specific cards to buy rather than randomly choosing) and the same random combat dice. The OL doesn't deal nearly as much with luck as the players. Yes, in a long game things tend to balance out (you'll probably eventually end up with the treasure you want, most of the skills you want, etc) but those random factors can certainly kick your butt early on.
  2. I thought I had posted a reply to this thread - I guess it got lost. During character selection Siver was the ONLY magic hero dealt, making him the best magic option by default. The only other option would have been a pretty crumby melee character and we wouldn't have had any casters. The player who was dealt Red Scorpion was originally going to toss it. Half-jokingly he asked the OL if she could spend multiple fatigue at the start of her turn on her hero ability. After a brief look-over (and realizing what everybody else knows - that Red Scorpion as written is HORRIBLE) he okayed the house rule. Under these rules and with a hero with leadership in the group if the OL doesn't kill her she just keeps coming back. Yes, there are better heroes out there - but with the house rule she really was the best one he drew (and was one of two ranged options). I'm having an ongoing discussion with the OL to see if we can't use a version of her from the character builder - using the point buy system she ends up with 1 more armor and 9 remaining BPs to max out whatever ability. In keeping with what I think her strength is supposed to be (flexibility) I suggested the power that gives her +3 (or +2 and 1 upgrade) dice to either melee, range, or magic. She has to pick this at the start, but it would do a lot to make her a stronger hero. I'll look over some of the blitz threads. What I don't understand about that tactic is that if the OL is even half intelligent about it, he'll start spawning everything possible on top of the chests, glyphs, and coins. In every dungeon we've had thus far this would cut off all easy loot, and would force the players to either leave empty handed or to confront SOMETHING. As for the master troll I got some clarification from the OL - that particular dungeon offered him as one of the minion options. He just got ridiculously lucky with his hand and the dungeon. If we were smart we would have run straight to the boss, taken him down (he was a fairly squishy mob - don't recall exactly what anymore), and left the dungeon with a little loot. The main thing I've taken from this thread is that it's okay to ignore some of the monsters in a dungeon (and in fact, if it's usually best to ignore as many as possible). Yes, the OL could have opened the door to the troll's room, but with only 3 movement we could have easily outpaced him.
  3. I should have also listed the skills and gear for each hero: Laughin Buldar (Knight), Axe, Morning Star, Chain Mail, Ring of Protection Varikas (Leadership), Sword, Crystal Shield Shiver (Boggs the Rat), Sunburst (going to switch to something else very soon), Leather Armor Red Scorpion (Born to the Bow), Ripper, Gauntlets of Power, Chain Mail, Iron Shield We've been playing Red Scorpion's hero ability more powerful than it's listed, allowing him to use any number of fatigue each turn to recover wounds at a rate of 1 fatigue for 1 wound. This seems to make her near unkillable, as a rest action (granted by Varikas) basically amounts to a big healing potion. As for Shiver, he was the only caster drawn during party creation so was definitely the best caster. We could have possibly chosen a ranged hero instead (I don't recall the other options that player had), but then we couldn't take any advantage of any Runes we found. Even if he is the worst caster it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of choice involved - you don't get free pick of all the heroes, you have to choose from the 3 you draw, right?
  4. Corbon said: Their little picture is gathering experience, skills (and trait dice upgrade) and equipment that will together enable them to take on the Avatar and kill it - that is the only way they can win. They have to balance boosting themselves with stopping the OL winning through plots/tamalir raze. It is a tricky job. But if they don't go across the countryside taking care of the trouble spots how do they gain experience and treasure? Encounters don't offer much compensation for the difficulty (If you're lucky you get 2XP and 100gp each), so how other than dungeons can you acquire what you need to defeat the OL? You obviously can't just turtle down - the OL could just walk right around you and raze 5 cities. All in all the picture I'm getting is a game that's can be lost by the players at every turn but can only be won by making the right choice every time. Oh yeah - and also with a considerable amount of luck. If just once early in the game you stay when you should flee the OL gets a lead that I get the impression from the previous two posts is near impossible to catch up with. Honestly, if that description is accurate I'm probably better off just walking away to choose a different game. I can appreciate a challenge, but to face several month's worth of challenges with a chance to lose at every session but only a chance to win at the very end just isn't my cup of tea.
  5. That's certainly different - thanks for the tip. What about the other part of my question? Have we already screwed up so badly we should chalk this up as a win for the OL?
  6. I guess it just seems strange - I've never played a game where part of the balance is not playing. If that's really just the way the game's meant to be played I guess that's something we'll have to deal with. In D&D part of the game (in most cases) is not building any encounters that the party has to run from. In computer games there's always a winning situation. It really seems odd that after 2 very successful dungeon levels a single bit of crappy luck would lose the game for us (and really, that's what it looks like - unless there's some mechanic that can swing things back in our favor that I'm missing?)
  7. I recently started a RtL campaign with 3 other experienced players. We're all very experienced with RPGs and all felt comfortable with the rules. The overlord chose The Spider Queen avatar. Party composition seemed good (Varikas the Dead, Laughin Buldar, Shiver and Red Scorpion) and we started off positively smashing the OL. In the first dungeon we played through the top two levels within 2 hours with only a single party death due to a poor player choice (Shiver ended his turn adjacent to Laughin, OL played a Dark Charm) On the third level the OL got incredibly lucky - he was able to spawn a red troll and (going from memory here) Rage and Aim. In a single attack he was able to kill 3 players - two of which were at almost full health. At the end of the dungeon the overall score was 17 conquest to the party, 25 to the OL. The party was able to loot only 2 pieces of copper treasure but tons of gold (several thousand in all). The OL was able to immediately upgrade beasts to Silver. The following dungeons and encounters all proved to be too difficult for us to even get a little bit of treasure out - in the following 2 encounters and 1 dungeon we haven't found anything even approaching a close fight. Most are beast heavy and it seems as though the OL has a huge power advantage that will only become more extreme the longer we play. What are we as a party doing wrong? Obviously when we saw the troll we should have scattered - let the ranged characters pelt him and fall back, but is there any way we can come back from such a big early-game victory? While we can afford any treasure in the market we want to pick up we only get to see 2 per week. The OL already has his Lieutenant sieging Frostgate and if we stop to train for a week he will almost certainly take it over before we have a chance to pick up Eagle Eye for Red Scorpion (who is pretty mediocre at range without some help). If we can't pick up some treasure between Grayhaven and Frostgate I'm afraid it won't matter - we'll be clobbered by the Lieutenant.
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