Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Two to three weeks, I'd wager. So, soon! And thanks for the vote of confidence!
Unrelated to the Timebender mostly, but Ron, were you at the GameHoleCon a few weeks ago?
I sure was! I played nothing Pathfinder-related, though, because the trip was recommended by my superhero-RPG-loving friend Jake. We played Savaged Lady Blackbird, the old TSR Marvel game, and a superhero RPG called Icons. I had an absolute blast, and I blogged a little about it here.
Were you there? Did we run into each other?
Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.
Sorry to hear you found the balance so off it deserved a one-star review; most of my readers also thought initially that temporal flurry seemed like a broken feature. In play, we've found it's much more limiting than it appears on paper and making it work well is part of the trick of playing the class.
Thanks for the review!
Dropping a comment about the game generally, rather than this scenario specifically:
We also got lucky in fighting Pillbug early to send him running, then killing a henchman at the Waterfront to find that's where Pillbug had run to. Having a location with just the villain makes planning easy.
This setup can happen as early as turn 2 (and we've had it happen a couple of times in turn 3 or 4), and it puts the scenario pretty much on a win condition immediately. This makes it pretty much the opposite of being in the last couple of cards and still frantically searching for the villain for the first time. Part of the randomness of the game, I suppose.
I'll probably try Cult of the Moon Sisters soon, but I've got one question. That +2 to all bane difficulties when Blessing of the Gods is on top: Does that stack with the normal Werewolf power boost?
Yes, it does--be careful fighting werewolves when the moon is full!
We're starting a new group of characters from the beginning, so we'll probably insert this after The Poisoned Pill this time around, to face it when the characters are much less advanced. I expect it will be more of a challenge without all those extra feats and good equipment.
You'll probably find this to be a more appropriate difficulty then. This scenario shoots for a middle ground: it's perhaps not great for starting-deck characters, because many of the damage-dealing potions are in their decks and not in the items pile; the potions in the items pile ramps up once the players have banished theirs in place of better items.
Because this scenario is a bit more difficult than The Poisoned Pill, very advanced characters will have less of a problem unless you apply some of the difficulty increases floating around out there (the simplest of which, I think, is to add one more location than the number of players requires).
Mark Stratton wrote:
I'm glad to see that benefit helping out, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I first thought it was way too easy (most Cache barriers have a DC of 10 to 12 so far), but then I realized the "fight-a-monster" effect is part of its "cost". Still, allies are powerful cards to suddenly get 1d4 of, since you'll likely be able to use them for 1d4 more explorations right away. So I might make it a 10 instead.
I agree that the Traitor is the best thematic monster, but it's hard to summon a particular monster (which is why the existing summon effects summon a specific henchman or a random monster). E.g., what if it's stuck in a deck somewhere? Perhaps make it a random monster, but with the traitor effect:
If undefeated, each character at this location discards a random ally from his hand, then summons and encounters a random monster from the box; banish this card.
Vic Wertz wrote:
We try not to divide up forums until we see clear divisions that are all going to generate regular ongoing traffic. I suspect that we will indeed want such a subforum, but we're not quite there yet.
Is that a challenge to create substantially more fan material? Because I can do that.
Goodness gracious, I love this scenario. It demands cooperation, but is deceptively difficult.
"What can possibly be deceptive about it, Ron?" is the natural response "The villain is a ludicrously difficult Combat 20 then Combat 20!"
Here's the rub: the Sandpoint Devil is a hand-killer that you must prepare yourself to defeat. This means that you must hunt for the minions (to reduce the combat difficulty of the Sandpoint Devil) and you must enlist allies (to further reduce the combat difficulty). You'll be saving Blessings much more so than usual to ensure the Diplomacy 8 checks to gain allies, so you're not exploring as much; further, since you aren't acquiring those allies, you can't use them to explore, either. So the timer is very likely to run down on you with this one.
I also note that the Glassworks, a mandatory location here, is one of the harder locations: you have to discard on every failed check, which is not only checks to acquire or defeat cards, but on everything: failed checks to recharge a spell, for example. So that adds to the difficulty here as well.
Defeating the Sandpoint Devil really requires teamwork; you likely need two people at the location when it's found, in order to share the load of the double Combat checks. Valeros or Amiri might be able to make both checks, but the requirement to have the Magic trait as well means even those combat monsters likely need some arcane or divine assistance. Fight the Sandpoint Devil alone, and you're quite likely to lose, running down the timer further.
We played this scenario twice: the first time was with Kyra and Amiri, and we noted that the setup of the game was against us: neither of us had stellar Charisma, so the Diplomacy checks to enlist allies was hard. Furthermore, neither of us had high Dexterity (Kyra's is abysmal), so the checks on half of the locations was quite difficult for us. We'd encountered the Sandpoint Devil only once (which was enough to wipe Amiri's hand), then lost by running out of time.
The second time, I swapped Seoni in for Amiri. We got lucky in that we didn't encounter the Sandpoint Devil the first time until we had an ally and a henchmen to help out and we could share the Combat checks: we only barely beat the Combat 18 checks, and fortunately Seoni's attack had the Magic trait. By the time we ran into the Sandpoint Devil again, we'd collected all 3 henchmen and a total of two allies. The Sandpoint Devil was alone at the Glassworks, the last open location, and we ganged up on him and took him out on the second-to-last card.
I'm definitely including this in our future games, particularly whenever someone comments that the game seems a bit easy or doesn't seem to require much teamwork.
Great design, cartmanbeck!
Reposting cartmanbeck's scenario in order to add my analysis:
The Devil Hunt
The citizens of Sandpoint have been disappearing at an alarming rate, and the mayor thinks that the Sandpoint Devil is behind the disappearances. She has asked you to hunt down the devil and destroy it if at all possible. Several townsfolk have offered to help, and some of them even have valuable clues as to the best places to ambush the devil. Take out the Sandpoint Devil before it kills again!
Setup: Remove Ilosari Gandethus from the Allies deck. If that card is in one of the players’ decks, simply ignore the sentence about rolling to randomly summon the Sandpoint Devil.
Villain: The Sandpoint Devil
During the Scenario:
When you encounter an Ally card, instead of attempting to acquire it, you may attempt a Charisma/Diplomacy 8 check. If you succeed, place that Ally card in the pile of Henchmen next to the scenario card, and add a random blessing from the box to the top of the Blessings deck.
When you encounter the Sandpoint Devil, if either of your combat checks to defeat it do not have the Magic trait, the Sandpoint Devil is undefeated.
Ignore the first power listed on the Sandpoint Devil card (instead treat it as any other villain).
Award: Each character chooses a type of boon. That character gains one random card of that type from the box. In addition, each character may choose to banish any one card from their deck when rebuilding it at the end of this scenario.
It stands up to my real world, as I'm not sleeving my cards. :)
Cognitive bias tangent: I'd be interested to know whether more purchasers do or don't sleeve cards for this game. I'm fairly certain there is a false-consensus bias in this forum on this issue: I assume that only a few people actually sleeve cards, because I *don't* sleeve my cards. I've seen posters here insist that *most* people sleeve cards when they themselves do. I guess I'd be interested to hear actual figures on this, to the extent there are any.
I don't know how Paizo does things, but if their current "print run" of this game completely sells out, and they have to produce another, would the second printing have corrected cards? Don't they include fixes in re-printings of their books?
If that's the case, I'd like to know when that happens, as I'll happily buy another base set (mine will be worn down by then, anyway!).
Looks right to me. I would add:
* Put your character card in front of you, with the side regarding your Strength/Dexterity/etc. face up. You can ignore anything with a checkbox next to it; those are advances that become available after a few games.
* Look over your character card, in order to get a sense of the dice you roll for certain abilities and bonus skills you have (like Valeros' melee skill) for certain checks. Also review your powers, as those provide effects that you'll use very often in the game.
Mike Selinker wrote:
Oh, no! That villainous Pillbug has gotten to the Holy Water, too! :)
Better even to take out "and Alchemical" entirely then; otherwise, he's tainted the Blast Stones as well!
My initial sense is that this variant would make the game a LOT easier, even though it restricts some players' explorations. Characters that provide advantages for being apart (like Harsk) lose that a little bit with this variant, but seem to gain a lot more in predictability.
I'd like to hear how your win/loss ratio changes under this variant.
The Pillbug's Revenge scenario is intended for characters who have completed The Poisoned Pill (and may have completed all of the Perils of the Lost Coast and even some or all of Burnt Offerings). Plentiful poison damage makes this scenario challenging.
Freshly escaped from prison, the notorious poison-merchant Aliver "Pillbug" Podiker has vowed revenge upon Sandpoint! Pillbug Podiker has equipped a cadre of ne'er-do-wells with powerful poisons. Furthermore, he has tainted potions all over town with his vile toxins. Someone must bring Pillbug Podiker to justice--again!
Villain: Pillbug Podiker
During This Scenario: If you encounter a boon with the Alchemical and Liquid traits, you take 1 point of poison damage. (You then encounter the boon normally.)
All damage dealt by Bandit henchmen is poison damage that may not be reduced.
Reward: Each character gains a random ally from the box.
Comments are welcome! Also, my previous fan scenario is here.
Or at the beginning of a scenario. Bottom of page 4 under Setup.
Or even during a scenario, by giving one card at a time to each other during the appropriate spot in the turn order. That's the slowest way, but sometimes very necessary!
We gave this one a try over the weekend. It was fun but we actually failed to defeat it in two plays both times due to the blessings deck running out.
Thanks! "Fun but kind of hard" is my design philosophy for everything! :)
In fact, you often *have* to explore multiple times on a turn (with blessings or certain allies, usually) to "beat the timer" and win the game.
First off it looks great.
That being said... are there enough Werewolves and cultists for a full 8 location? Also what happens if you randomly get MORE cultists or werewolves as some of your random monsters? (I did not do a monster count of the box... just curious.)
I believe there are two Werewolves (both of which you'd pull out for this scenario) and either three or four Cultists; that's why you'd have to proxy the others. Alternatively, you could just assume that the werewolf twins have some hired muscle, and use Bandit henchmen fill out any remaining henchmen you need.
Nice scenario. I like where you thought outside the box some by changing up the villains and henchmen. I think the the Blessing mechanic could be better handled by just upping the required rolls for the Werewolf and Cultists. I think that makes defeating some of the other Banes a little too much.
In one of the tests we did, it was +1 to banes across the board (including werewolves and cultists), and it still came out a bit on the easy side. We're still playing with the +2 across the board. I'd actually prefer something like +1 to all banes, but +2 to cultists, and using the "built-in" +3 to werewolves, but I'm concerned with it being too wordy.
Right now, my biggest concern is that you'd *better* fight a werewolf when there isn't a BotG up, because their Combat check jumps from 13 to 18, which seems pretty high for a low-level scenario and can wipe your whole hand if you aren't ready--but perhaps, from a design perspective, that's not bad.
Anyway, I wanted to get this out there for comment while we're still testing.
immortal squish wrote:
Are you planning to do a full adventure?
That's not a bad idea, but it's a lot of work to get each scenario working well independently as well as together in a cohesive way. I'll probably first see whether I can get a few independent scenarios together that work well, and see about tying them together.
The Cult of the Moon Sisters scenario is intended for characters who have completed Perils of the Lost Coast, and perhaps even Burnt Offerings. The presence of two villains—each of whom becomes very powerful when the moon is right—makes this scenario challenging. It only requires cards from Sets B and C (but it doesn’t matter if Set 1 cards are already included, too).
Two powerful werewolves—twin sisters steeped in astronomical lore—have arrived in the Sandpoint region in advance of certain eldritch cosmological conjunctions. These two demagogues are attended by a coterie of cultists and monsters, whose powers fluctuate as the moon waxes and wanes. These two sisters and their vile cult must be stopped!
Setup: Remove the two Werewolf cards and all the Cultist cards from the monsters and set them aside; the two Werewolves are the villains of this scenario and the Cultists are the henchmen (and can be used to close locations, just like any henchmen). If you need more henchmen than this, use any card you can remember is intended to represent a Cultist (like unused Loot cards).
Villain: Werewolves (2)
During This Scenario:You must defeat both villains to defeat this scenario. When you corner and defeat the first werewolf, set it aside. You win when you corner and defeat the second werewolf.
If the top card of the Blessings discard pile is a Blessing of the Gods, the difficulty to defeat any bane is increased by 2.
Reward: Each character chooses a random blessing from the box.
Eric W wrote:
We feel free to play any card at any time, and it's much less chaotic than you think. It's downright cooperative, really. Example:
Player 1: "...and that's all I've got, so I'll reset my hand and be done." (draws cards) "Oh, hey, a Spyglass!"
Player 2: "I'll start" (flips a blessing from the Blessings Deck) "I'm planning to stay here at the Woods, what do you guys think?"
Player 1: "Wait a second, let me see what's coming up with the Town Square, you might want to come over here." (uses Spyglass on Town Square)
Player 3: "I don't care what's over there when I have only three cards in my deck, so I'm going to Cure right now, before it gets to my turn." (casts Cure, rolls the d4, shuffles cards, rolls to recharge, etc., all while Player 1 is looking at the Town Square cards with the Spyglass).
Player 1: "I've got a Bugbear, and Father Zantus over here in the Town Square. Like they're just having a drink together in the pub, I suppose."
Player 2: "Neat! I've got detect evil, so put the Bugbear on top, please. Then I can encounter it for free, and still take my explore to try to pick up Zantus Bugbear-Friend." (moves token over to Town Square)
...and so on, and so on...
I've been playing Lini for a couple of games, and I'm just starting to realize that having an animal ally is critical. I just have one spot in my hand with an ally in place and leave it there as long as possible. With that animal ally, Lini gets an extra d4 on just about everything--including things I didn't initially realize, like checks to recharge spells, close locations, and so on.
Unlike the melee monsters like Valeros and Seelah, Lini shouldn't be looking for creatures to fight, and should hang at locations with few monsters rather than several monsters.
The only puzzling thing I find about Lini is her +3 to Knowledge--why is that? Why is she so Knowledge focused, instead of focused on Fortitude, Craft, or any number of other things that seem more sensible (and, frankly, more useful) than Knowledge?
This looks exceedingly awesome. One technical point: how much play-time is this expected to encompass? Is this something that will fill one four-hour session? Ten four-hour sessions? Something in between?
If I can sell my group on this, I want to let them know whether we'd be taking a one-night break from our usual game night, or a six-month break from our usual game night.
Andrew Torgerud wrote:
Author should have just left it off and said "Plot Device - no one sees this coming"
But then people would have been saying, "We should've gotten a check for this--even at a high DC, you should've given us a check!" And I agree with that sentiment, so there is a check that's possible, but intentionally quite difficult. (As Torch has been masquerading his intentions from the Decemvirate for years, it's reasonable that he's very, very good at bluffing.)