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The Sorcerer King

Question about the Splig Lieutenant Pack

31 posts in this topic

I've seen one or two old posts about this topic, but none since the pack's actual release- it seems that the "Building" monster trait is misprinted as "Wilderness" on the plot cards.

After weeks of searching and a good number of playtests, I'm convinced that when the cards were getting made, someone incorrectly assumed goblins were wilderness creatures (both goblin archers and witchers have the Building type, though), and the "Feral Instincts" plot card giving a single group the wilderness trait was a half-hearted attempt at correcting the issue by loaning Splig a card from Queen Ariad's plot deck (where spiders and wilderness go along just fine).

I've finally finished the process of stenciling over the wilderness trait with "building" on all the cards, even changing the name of the Feral Instincts card to Mob Mentality (or something like that) to reflect its new function. However it bothers me that this issue wasn't fixed earlier. I can think of no reason, thematically or mechanically, that the Goblin Uprising plot deck would require a clunky workaround to actually funtction with goblins.

Has anyone else thought it odd that the "Goblin Uprising" plot deck (stated in the previews specifically to work on goblins) was printed like this? Or is there something I'm missing here?

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I would just give goblins the Wilderness trait if you are using Splig's plot deck. The cards themselves have an outdoor feel (Feral Instincts, Dive Into Cover, Goblin Ambush, Scavenge, Emergency Rations). So I would say that goblins are more wilderness-esque than the plot deck is building-esque.

 

Frankly, I'm kind of surprised goblins aren't wilderness creatures anyway. They seem much more outdoors types than they do building types. I generally think of them living in caves, if anything.

Edited by mm26

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I would agree that goblins could just have easily been wilderness instead of building based, but goblins are consistently associated with caves and nastiness. I always thought the building trait was more ruins or something anyways based on the image. However, I felt altering the traits of the monsters would alter every quest in the game much more than simply fixing Splig's particular plot deck.

Had I changed the monsters themselves, suddenly goblins can be recruited to all new quests but are cut out from others, plus I can understand the reasoning behind goblins having a building/ruins trait considering their basis in folklore as malevolent, cave-dwelling pixies and their more frequent modern incarnations as green-skinned little psychopaths everyone seems to pick on (including other goblins).

Besides that, kobolds and other small monsters have the building trait rather than wilderness- and most wilderness monsters- like cave spiders, arachyura, manticores, and giants- seem particularly unlikely to put up with being bossed around by some self-proclaimed goblin king (and I doubt Splig and spiders get along too well after that gruesome ending for him if the heroes lose the "Let the Truth be Buried" quest from Labyrinth of Ruin!). :P

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I dunno. I don't know if there was ever a time when I said, "Man, if I could just use goblins this quest, it would be awesome."

 

If you're worried about that, though, then just say by fiat that goblins are wilderness creatures for only purposes of Splig's plot deck. It's less disruptive to house rule what you want to fix (Goblins can't be helped by the Goblin King's plot deck) than it is to do a more sweeping change (Splig's deck now changes building creatures instead of wilderness ones.) As I said, his plot deck has a much more wilderness feel than a building one. And the archers, at least, possess the cave trait so don't need the building one to mesh with what people think of them.

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I dunno. I don't know if there was ever a time when I said, "Man, if I could just use goblins this quest, it would be awesome."

Ok, you got me there. :D

While I'm not convinced Splig's plot deck is neccessarily wilderness focused (rations, ambushes, and meat shields are pretty universal- and feral instincts doesn't really seem to fit him anyway), I see your point. Frankly, I'm not sure why Splig's deck is targeted towards a monster trait instead of, say, small monsters (or just any monsters).

My main reason for the change to building was to alter the target of the cards to creatures I saw as more appropriate (goblin archers, goblin witchers, kobolds, even ogres instead of spiders and beasts) while leaving the function of the cards the same. I just don't feel Splig fits thematically with the current wilderness monsters, but am willing to give it another few tries.

The point is likely moot as I am overlord in my group 90% of the time, and only sometimes use the Splig plot deck, but myself and another player (who for whatever reason loves the green-skinned little blighters) felt that the deck had too obvious of an error to ignore.

If there is a more comprehensive solution, I'd love to hear it, but I'll run the possibilities by the goblin enthusiast and see what they think. Thanks!

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Thematically, note that Splig is a bit more of a self-proclaimed Goblin King (IIRC from the A Fat Goblin replacement quest in the Vault). So the more feral goblins might respect him, but the smarter ones might only do so reluctantly. Mechanically, since Feral Instinct adds Wilderness to a group of your choice, I see it as totally fine and don't really see a problem with it.

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I see one in the fact that both Queen Ariad and Splig plays with wilderness trait, and Splig would have been more logical to havec the "building" trait.

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One main question is whether changing the trait on the plot cards from "wilderness" to "building" will cause any major balance problems or issues? If it does they are not immediately apparent.

 

It does not change the set up or balance for any of the quests, as changing the traits on the monsters would.

 

The number of monsters with the "building" trait is nearly the same as the number of monsters with the "wilderness" trait.

 

The "building" trait does seem more akin to ruins, as distinct from the "civilized" trait, which suggests living in organized towns and cities which would be inappropriate to goblinoids.

 

It would make the "Goblin Uprising" deck more thematically consistent and more distinct from the "Tangled Web" deck.

 

Even if Splig is a "self-proclaimed" goblin king, in the official quests he does have goblin followers, which suggests that he is meant to have goblinoids (including kobolds, ogres, and potentially orcs, hobgoblins, etc.) as his army. And that does not mean that all goblins are his followers, but only potentially those that appear when his plot cards are in play.

 

It seems that this adds up to no mechanical or thematic reason not to house rule the change in the "Goblin Uprising" plot deck from "wilderness" trait focused to "building" trait focused.

 

Is there a strong counter-argument to this, that I am not seeing?

Edited by Madmartigan

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Was thinking the same way, but FFG answered me that it was not a misprint, so I was confuse

 

Rugal, could you post both your question and FFG's reply here? Might give some more insight as to why this decision was made.

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here is the answer of Nathan Hajek

 

Splig’s Plot deck is intended to work with wilderness monsters, not necessarily goblins. The title of the pack may sound like it’s supposed to be "the goblin pack", but that was not its design intent. The wording and mechanics of that deck are correct and function as they were intended.

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Thanks Rugal.

I agree that its really wierd, but it was clearly their intent so I will play it the way it is.

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I've got an idea, let's cut a deal : don't change the "wilderness trait" but add next to it "or monster group with goblin in its name".

 

This way, no breaking balance a lot, and add a little logic to his deck. What do you think ?

Edited by rugal

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I've got an idea, let's cut a deal : don't change the "wilderness trait" but add next to it "or monster group with goblin in its name".

 

This way, no breaking balance a lot, and add a little logic to his deck. What do you think ?

The difference is if done that way you are adding monster possibilities, whereas if you change the trait to building, depending on which monsters you own, you are keeping the number of possibilities roughly the same.

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I'm looked already, it really doesn't change.

 

From now on, CK included, there's almost the same monsters from wilderness and building traits.

The only difference is the group disponibles. So, adding 2 goblins groups possibiliies won't change the balance

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I dunno- If ffg says that wilderness was their intent, I respect that- it just seems illogical to me. Wilderness monsters are more animalistic, bestial things- while most of the building trait monsters are what you'd see working for a cowardly, self-styled goblin king.

My group has house ruled to change wilderness to building, but I'll freely admit this is a personal choice for our group, and a good case can be made in other directions. Just adding creature with goblin in their name to be list is a clever compromise, rugal, and we may have done that had we tested that more in the playthroughs.

Our own group's self-styled goblin queen, however, thought the goblin uprising deck worked much better and flavourfully with building trait monsters, and there was no real imbalance caused by the change. So we decided to go in that direction. We realized the change was for the better when the cowardly tactics of Spig's Plot deck supported building trait monsters so much more than wilderness trait ones- both thematically and mechanically.

Here's hoping that the game designers take another look at Splig's pack and see if they agree, or at least if, in the future, they limit the use of monster traits on plot cards- unless there is an obvious connection (like vampires and darkness or demons and fire), it can feel out of place to have a goblin king (who has goblin minions in nearly all his quests) that works better with merriods and spiders.

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I haven't played with Splig's lieutenant pack before, but after reading through the thread(s), I like your reasoning. In spite of what FFG intends, Building makes far more sense thematically and functionally than Wilderness for Splig. Queen Ariad already covers the Wilderness trait anyway. I also don't see any play balancing issues either.

Edited by Charmy

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The main argument is that the deck is called "Goblin Uprising," but doesn't really affect goblins. To me, that's a weak argument- did anyone consider that the "goblin" being referred to is Splig? What does it matter what monsters his cards affect?

Edited by Zaltyre

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I don't think its a weak argument.
The Splig's Revenge card places Splig in a group with goblins.
Most of the quests that feature Splig also feature Goblins as a monster group.

In A Fat Goblin, the Goblins are fetching crops for him to fatten him up, not barghests and harpies. The Goblins are bringing prisoners to him, not razorwings and giants.

Splig is the King of All Goblins, self-styled or not.

 

The fact that his deck doesn't work with those he commands most often, and is himself a part of, yet it supports spiders and manticores is just silly to me.

 

But this is a house rule, so hardly needs to be adopted by everyone. I simply agree with the OP and don't think it make much of a difference play-balance wise.

Edited by Charmy

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I suspect Building was rejected at some stage in playtesting as it has two issues when used with just the base set. First, there are only two Building monsters compared to three Wilderness ones in the base set. Second, one of the two Building monsters is zombies and the set is not at all zombie-like. I don't have the conversion kit and it actually makes more sense as Wilderness with the base set as you can imagine Splig ruling spiders and barghests but not zombies. Plus with Trollfens it makes harpies awesome, which is nice. Personally, I am happy to spend 1 threat on goblin archers to make them Wilderness-they are already great and this deck makes them even better.

I do have one problem with naming in the deck: Spirited Retreat actually functions as a charge not a retreat. I think the movement rules should be swapped to make it a retreat. Plus, that card was billed as working on barghests in the original article about the deck on the FFG site but actually doesn't.

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