And Hell Followed...

This blog will contain all my thoughts and progress on my creation of an Advanced Campaign for DOOM: The Boardgame, modeled after Descent's Advanced Campaigns found in the Road To Legend and Sea Of Blood expansions.

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Invader Upgrade Card: Pressure, too powerful?

Bryce K. Nielsen
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Elk Ridge
Utah
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One of the Any Avatar upgrade cards is Pressure:



This is stripped directly from Descent's campaigns. However, seeing it in play, it seems overpowered. In Descent, you had Threat to manage how often you could use your cards. That mechanic doesn't exist in Doom, so an extra card per turn if very powerful. I'm thinking this kind of card should be increased to 8pts or even 10pts. I'm also starting to think this card should be removed from the game completely.

What do you think, Pressure too overpowered to be in the game? Or is there an XP cost that would make Pressure worth it?

-shnar
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Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:10 pm
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Looking at numbers

Bryce K. Nielsen
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First sector is done in one of our PBFs, and we were looking at the Frag/Commendation/XP totals and wondering if the overall costs of things are off. So, I shall be listing the existing formulas here and deciding on how to tweak them, of course asking for feedback.

Disclaimer: In creating the points for this game, it all went off of 'gut feelings' and had no real methodology. In other words, I felt that Invader Upgrades should be around 5 pts, that sectors should give 9 pts, etc. So I am not married to any of these point values and have no problem shifting things around.

Sector Level Points
Currently, Sector Levels are designed to give an average of 3 Commendations and it's assumed the Invader will get an average of 3 Frags per sector level. So with that in mind, an average Sector will give 9/9 Commendations/Frags. If the campaign total is assumed to be even, then the game will end around 50/50 Frags/Commendations, which means the marines will only be able to clear about 4 or 5 sectors before the End Game.

Question: Is 4 or 5 Sectors too few? Should the overall campaign total be increased to allow further game play in the campaign?

I personally don't want to change the amount of Commendations/Demerits given in a level. It tends to be balanced by the Frags the invader can give out, and so far it's been pretty good. In fact, with the Demerit system, I'm starting to think that levels should give more Commendations, just to counter the occasional fleeing marine. So, the question has to be asked if the campaign is long enough. Is 4-5 sectors long enough? Will marines investigate all 3 levels of a sector (since if they don't, then they would investigate more than 5 sectors)?

Marine's XP List
If the assumption is the marines will probably earn 50 XP, here's what the current cost list is for marines to spend them on:

Item | Cost |
------------------|------|
Marine Card #2 | 5 |
Marine Card #3 | 7 |
Marine Card #4 | 10 |
Marine Card #5 | 12 |
------------------|------|
ATV upgrade | 5 |
Flood Lights upg | 3 |
Shrink upgrade | 3 |
Shrink upgrade | 3 |
High Clearance upg| 7 |
Teleboost upg | 5 |
------------------|------|
Total | 60 |

So, if every single upgrade in the game is purchased, the marines would need 60XP to buy it. Personally, I think that's too close to 50pts and I think I need to tweak the cost structure.

Question: Should the costs be increased, and by how much?

I think they should, and I'm thinking this cost structure:

Item | Cost |
------------------|------|
Marine Card #2 | 5 |
Marine Card #3 | 9 |
Marine Card #4 | 12 |
Marine Card #5 | 15 |
------------------|------|
ATV upgrade | 7 |
Flood Lights upg | 5 |
Shrink upgrade | 3 |
Shrink upgrade | 3 |
High Clearance upg| 12 |
Teleboost upg | 10 |
------------------|------|
Total | 81 |

That feels more right to me. It makes this a bit higher in price and still fits the 50/50 campaign split I was shooting for. If we increase the overall campaign though, we will either need to increase these costs amounts, or add other things to buy with XP (see below).

Other Marine's Buyables
In addition to increasing costs above, perhaps we should make the other items a marine can carry 'buyable' with their XP. This gives them something else to spend their XP on. Currently, all consumables are just auto-refilled when a marines spends time in an outpost. Here's the current list:

Outpost Weapons Depot ratings
===========================
Outpost | Shells | Grenades | Energy Cells | Armor |
----------------------- -------- ---------- -------------- -------
Mars: Mars City: | 2/5 | 1/3 | | |
Mars: Administration | | | 2/4 | max+1 |
Deimos: Outpost Omega | 2/6 | | 1/3 | |
Phobos: Military Base | 3/8 | 2/5 | 3/5 | max+1 |
Io: Systems Control | 1/3 | | 2/5 | |
Io: Military Complex | 3/5 | 2/4 | 1/3 | max+1 |
Titan: Medical R. Ctr | | | 2/6 | |
Titan: Comm Tower | 1/3 | | | |



Outpost Science Lab restocks
===========================
Outpost | Health | Berserk | Adrenaline | Invisibility | Megasphere
----------------------- -------- --------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Mars: Mars City: | X | | X | |
Mars: Administration | | | X | X |
Deimos: Outpost Omega | X | X | | |
Phobos: Military Base | X | X | | |
Io: Systems Control | | | X | X |
Io: Military Complex | X | X | X | |
Titan: Medical R. Ctr | X | X | X | | X
Titan: Comm Tower | | | X | X |


Weapons Depot is 'restocked' to that level at that outpost, while the Science Lab is just given 1 of each item. It's basically a 'free' gift to make the marines a bit more buff before they go treking into the unknown sectors.

The reasoning behind this was two fold: 1) Doom doesn't have a 'money' type currency, and these items in Descent were purchased with money/gold. So rather than introduce a currency, which felt weird, I introduced an auto restocking level. It's limited, you have to spend a whole game-week restocking and you can only restock in one room or the other, but it is 'auto'. 2) it felt a bit more thematic for marines to be restocked than having them 'buy' their ammo. I mean, what kind of soldier is told to buy their gear and isn't just given their gear?

Question: Should these items be purchasable with XP?

Because of the above reasons, I'm hesitant to make these items 'buyable'. However, if we increase the campaign's total (i.e. the 50/50 split), then the marines will need something to spend XP on, and that means either increasing the costs of XP items even more, or adding more purchasable items.

Hm, interesting, I did find this in the rulebook:

Quote:
A marine may not carry more science kits on him than he is able to. Marines start out with the ability to carry two kits, and may increase that with specialized training.


I guess at one time I was considering a Marine Upgrade to be an increase in kits you could carry (as opposed to just allowing 3). I don't remember doing this, though it may have merit.

Invader XP Points
The invader has a bunch of different cards he can use his XP on, as well as the invaders he can start including back into the Invader Deck. Card wise, there are the avatar specific upgrades (which include lieutenants), the 'any' avatar upgrades, and the plot cards.

Here's a breakdown of costs:

Invader Upgrades
Avatar | Invader Type | Cost |
-----------------------|------------------------|------|
Kronos | Demon | 4 |
Kronos | Mancubus | 7 |
Kronos | Hell Knight | 4 |
Kronos | Archville | 7 |
Malwrath | Demon | 5 |
Malwrath | Mancubus | 4 |
Malwrath | Hell Knight | 7 |
Malwrath | Archville | 6 |
Harbinger of Doom | Demon | 3 |
Harbinger of Doom | Mancubus | 6 |
Harbinger of Doom | Hell Knight | 5 |
Harbinger of Doom | Archville | 6 |
Betruger | Demon | 3 |
Betruger | Mancubus | 6 |
Betruger | Hell Knight | 6 |
Betruger | Archville | 6 |

Avatar Specific Upgrades
Avatar | Card Name | Cost |
-----------------------|------------------------|------|
Betruger | Absolution | 8 |
Betruger | Disruption | 4 |
Betruger | Flame Wall | 6 |
Betruger | Hell Fire | 3 |
Betruger | The Damned | 5 |
Betruger | Lt Sabaoth | 6 |
Harbinger Of Doom | Enhanced Optics | 4 |
Harbinger of Doom | Goat Legs | 4 |
Harbinger of Doom | Hell's Armor | 4 |
Harbinger of Doom | Hell's Blessing | 6 |
Harbinger of Doom | Last Act | 5 |
Harbinger of Doom | Lt. Guardian | 12 |
Kronos | Absorption | 6 |
Kronos | Energy Pulse | 10 |
Kronos | Long Legs | 3 |
Kronos | Pulsating | 5 |
Kronos | Thick Skin | 5 |
Kronos | Lt. Baron of Hell | 8 |
Malwrath | Lost Souls | 5 |
Malwrath | Hell Mists | 6 |
Malwrath | Infernal Airs | 3 |
Malrwath | Lacerate | 9 |
Malwrath | Last Breath | 8 |
Malwrath | Lt. Pain Elemental | 5 |

Any Avatar Upgrades
Card Name | Cost |
-----------------------|------|
Evil Influence | 4 |
Hell Rift | 3 |
Toughened | 2 |
Toughened | 2 |
Pressure | 5 |
Interference | 2 |
Darkness | 2 |
Increased Speed | 4 |
Lt. Berserk Hunter | 6 |
Lt. Helltime Hunter | 0 |
Lt. Inulvn. Hunter | 4 |

Plot Cards
Plot | Card Name | Cost |
-----------------------|------------------------|------|
Fiery Inferno | Devil Inside | 0 |
Fiery Inferno | Lost Knowledge | 5 |
Fiery Inferno | Evil Reborn | 12 |
Fiery Inferno | Gremlins | 7 |
Fiery Inferno | Interference | 8 |
Fiery Inferno | Lights Out | 4 |
Fiery Inferno | It is sealed! | 0 |
Fiery Inferno | Victory Is Mine! | 0 |

So, for totals, we have the following:
Kronos Upgrades: 22
Kronos Cards: 37
Malwrath Upgrades: 22
Malwrath Cards: 36
Betruger Upgrades: 21
Betruger Cards: 32
Harbinger of Doom Upgrades: 20
Harbinger of Doom Cards: 35

Any Avatar Upgrades: 34
Plot Cards (Fiery Inferno Only): 36

So the average Invader has a total of 126 points to spend!

Conclusion
The points the Invader has to spend are completely out of whack from the points the Marines have to spend. Some serious rebalancing is needed. I think it's going to be a mixture of both reducing Invader points and increasing Marine points, and increasing the overall Campaign points. I'll be stewing over these points in the next few days, and look forward to any feedback/advice you wish to give

-shnar
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Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:30 pm
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Need marine player replacement in PBF 1

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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In our PBF test campaign, one of our Marine players has gone awol and we need a replacement. The PBF thread is at And Hell Followed... Advanced Campaign PBF with Expansion and if anyone is interested, just respond or GeekMail me (I'm the moderator) and we'll get you in. We're not very far into the campaign (2nd level of the first sector explored) so you haven't missed much. Join in on the fun

-shnar
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Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:42 am
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New Token: Backpack

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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The playtesting has quickly shown some faults with the current level design. The most glaring, lack of sufficient ammo. Each Sector Level has at least one Storage Locker (some have 2). These were designed to be similar to Treasure Chests in Descent's Road To Legend. The Marines would open it and get some nifty items. There aren't that many 'treasures' to be found in Doom, so Ammo is one of the items to be found. However, this meant that even if the marines were fully stocked from an Outpost, at best they would earn one additional ammo per level, while spending much more per level. The difficulty level just ratcheted up a bit for the marines.

To counter this, a new marker has been created, the Backpack:


Each sector level will have at least 2 of these on the level, and when a marine enters its space and spends 1 movement point to open the pack, he rolls 3 blue dice, consulting the following table:
- 1 dmg icon = Energy Cells
- 2 dmg icons = Shells
- 3 dmg icons = Grenades

This ammo is immediately distributed to each marine, 1 token per marine. For example, the Red marine walks onto a backpack and spends a movement point, then rolls 3 blue dice. He gets two 2 Dmg Icon results and one 3 Dmg Icon result. The squad decides that Red gets 1 Shell, Blue gets 1 Shell, and Green gets 1 Grenade. These ammo markers are immediately placed on the Marine trays.

With Backpacks, this means each sector level (somewhat equivalent to an Area in traditional Doom) will have 2 pieces of ammo for each marine. That feels like a good number of ammo distribution, but playtesting will see.

With this new marker, the Storage Locker rules are going to be slightly modified. They will force each marine to take one item (no one marine stacking three rewards). They will rarely if ever have any ammo (and the ones that do will have bundles of it). I'm also adding a rule that a marine cannot carry more than one weapon marker type (i.e. Green Marine couldn't carry more than one Plasma Gun).

Discussion
Here's a few questions for those following the progress of this blog:

- Movement points to open the backpack, is that a good thing or should it just be automatic (walk on it and boom, everyone gets ammo)? Is one good or should it be 2MPs, like Descent's Treasure Chests (or Doom's Storage Lockers)?

- Is the Distribution good? I have the most common as Shells, which I think is appropriate, but then the 2nd common as Grenades, and the least common as Energy Cells. Should I swap those last two?

- Immediate Reception of markers. One of the playtesters doesn't like the idea of the ammo magically appearing on each marine when the backpack is open. I'm much more included to have it magically appear, that way there's not all this fiddling around with trades (which is a pain in Doom).

- Forcing 1 per marine? Not sure how gimicy that is, to make each marine be forced to take one. In fact, I might just drop that completely, falling back on the whole "less trading is good" idea.

Please leave your feedback, love hearing from everybody

-shnar
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Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:58 pm
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Squad Upgrades

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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Any time the marines spend a game week training at an outpost, they may decide to spend their XP on squad upgrades, special cards that affect the entire squad, primarily the activity on the planetary map.



There are 6 upgrades (yes, Shrinks can be purchased twice):
- A.T.V.: allows the marines to travel 2 areas on the planetary map, but only on the same planet (i.e. they could not travel from the Monorail Station to Mars City and use the teleporter). When this ability was originally conceived, it was one large map instead of 5 small maps. I might lower the XP cost here since it doesn't seem as useful now.
- Flood Lights: The passage ways between sectors are no longer quite so dim, reducing the chance of having an Encounter while traveling.
- High Clearance: This upgrade allows the marines to travel on the "restricted" pathways (green on the planetary map). Without this clearance, they cannot use those pathways.
- TeleBoost: Some technology has been found and applied to the outpost teleporters. This makes them a bit more safer to use, reducing the chances of Encounters In Hell.
- Shrinks: The game has 2 of them, since they are a use-it-once only card. Putting a card in the Abyss is effectively removing it from the game. This card, after purchased can be discarded to add +1 to the Sanity rating of any Outpost. A second card can be purchased to do the same.

I welcome any and all feedback, particularly if the text on the cards isn't clear, and thoughts on XP costs.

-shnar
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Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:24 am
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Outpost Weapons Depot and Science Lab layouts

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
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Something I forgot to add into the rulebook and on the planetary map are the loadouts for the Weapons Depot and Science Labs.

Weapons Depot ratings
Each Outpost has a Weapons Depot that a marine can visit/train at. When doing so, the marine can refill his ammo with whatever the restock level of that outpost is, and assuming he has weaponry that can use that ammo type (i.e. if he doesn't have access to a Plasma Gun, he can't requisite Energy Cells).

The following displays the city and the individual refill rate, as well as the max team rate. An individual cannot have more than the number listed after the refill, and the team cannot have more in total.

Outpost Weapons Depot ratings
===========================
Outpost | Shells | Grenades | Energy Cells | Armor |
----------------------- -------- ---------- -------------- -------
Mars: Mars City: | 2/5 | 1/3 | | |
Mars: Administration | | | 2/4 | max+1 |
Deimos: Outpost Omega | 2/6 | | 1/3 | |
Phobos: Military Base | 3/8 | 2/5 | 3/5 | max+1 |
Io: Systems Control | 1/3 | | 2/5 | |
Io: Military Complex | 3/5 | 2/4 | 1/3 | max+1 |
Titan: Medical R. Ctr | | | 2/6 | |
Titan: Comm Tower | 1/3 | | | |



Science Lab restocks
Missing from the planetary map are the different Science Lab restock icons. Each Outpost has a Science Lab and if a marine visits/trains at the Science Lab, if he does not have a token of that icon, he earns 1. All these tokens have been modified to act like potions from Descent. A marine can only carry up to 3 total, it takes 1MP to use it, and can only use 1 per turn.

Listed here are all the outposts and the different icons they will have:

Outpost Science Lab restocks
===========================
Outpost | Health | Berserk | Adrenaline | Invisibility | Megasphere
----------------------- -------- --------- ------------ -------------- ------------
Mars: Mars City: | X | | X | |
Mars: Administration | | | X | X |
Deimos: Outpost Omega | X | X | | |
Phobos: Military Base | X | X | | |
Io: Systems Control | | | X | X |
Io: Military Complex | X | X | X | |
Titan: Medical R. Ctr | X | X | X | | X
Titan: Comm Tower | | | X | X |


So, there completes one missing aspect of the campaign. It's a little in flux though, the current two PBFs will help solidify these numbers.

-shnar
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Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:23 pm
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And now for something completely different

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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Just an aside, ever want to see a Hell Knight and two Imps dancing Gangam Style?



It's worth a chuckle: http://apps.playcanvas.com/will/doom3/gangnamstyle

-shnar
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Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:54 pm
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Who wants to playtest with me in a PBF?

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
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So, I've been thinking more and more that the only way I'll truly finish this will be if I just sit down and play. However, RL won't allow me to play any games (let alone a game of this size). But commenting on forums comes with computer jobs, so I'm thinking if I started up a PBF game of this Advanced Campaign, it'd let me A) playtest a lot of the different components and B) force my hand to finish things that aren't yet finished (mainly maps).

So, who wants to playtest this with me? I'll be moderator, so I'll need 3 marine players and 1 invader player. We'll be using the Expansion Invader Deck and figures. Through out the game, I will be posting "playtester questions", questions asking about balance, experience, enjoyment, etc. So be prepared to participate a bit more than just playing.

The game will start in the PBF forums of Doom (I'll update this post with a link once we start it), and we'll use this post just to recruit the necessary 4 players.

Game 1 (with Expansion)
And Hell Followed... Advanced Campaign PBF with Expansion
Red Marine Gnipp
Blue Marine: parduz
Green Marine: Daniel666
Invader: Gorgoneion

Game 2 (Base Game only)
And Hell Followed... Advanced Campaign PBF with Base Set
Red Marine Gawain
Blue Marine: Mr Skeletor
Green Marine: Luksa
Invader: Khula

-shnar
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Tue Feb 5, 2013 9:24 pm
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Rulebook (Beta)

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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The Rulebook for Doom: And Hell Followed... is in its first stage of completeness. All examples, images, and text that is necessary to play. Here are a few sample pages:



I need some proof-readers. Anyone who is willing and has some time to read the document, please GeekMail me an email address and I'll forward along a PDF of the document. The rulebook does not have any of the quests, just the core rules. I'm piecing the quests and Print-n-play pages in a different document. What I'm looking for is spelling and grammar errors, plus anything that may be confusing rules-wise.

-shnar
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Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:34 am
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Plot Cards - Fiery Inferno

Bryce K. Nielsen
United States
Elk Ridge
Utah
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In the Advanced Campaign, the invader player chooses a plot to pursue during the campaign. The game will come with three plots, and we will highlight one here, Fiery Inferno:



The 0 Cost Card named "Devil Inside" is put into play at the beginning of the game. During the rest of the game, the invader player can purchase these cards as his one upgrade for the game-week, with the cost in the left corner in XP.

The last two 0 cost cards are for the end of the game. If the invader wins, the "Victory Is Mine!" is read. If the marines win, the "It's Sealed!" card is read.

The other two plots are tentatively called "Hell's Bells" and "The Soul Cube". The former is designed to make it easier to corrupt outposts, the latter involves the Soul Cube artifact, presenting a new winning condition for the avatar. For the beta of the campaign though, only the Fiery Inferno will be available.

-shnar

P.S. I should add that there is only one more type of card left to create, the Marine Squad Upgrade cards. After that, I need to create some larger levels (sectors and end-game levels), finalize the rulebook (I've been doing that all week, and it's very close to being done), and create the Print part of the game (i.e. sheets to print onto labels to affix to chipboard). It's getting ooooh so close!
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Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:22 am
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