-=::) Dante (::=-
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
CrazeeYak wrote:
Considering this variant, I would still recommend breaking out another set of dice with four players and playing two simultaneous games.

Couldn't agree more. At $13 and change online it's well worth picking up another for anyone who anticipates regularly playing with 4. (Decided on 3 sets myself to support 6)

Look forward to hearing how the variant works out for you!
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
Fantastic piece of work, Dante (he says through gritted teeth while waiting for a £31.50 copy to land while GenCon attendees stuff their bags with the game and a free booster pack for $15).

I'm sure tasty have been in touch to shake your hand and offer some free copies as this variant is absolutely top drawer. Just as Tom Vasel's excellent Thunderstone variant improved an average, time-consuming card shuffler into a much more digestable game, I wonder if this might do the same for DR?

I will post some data for you as soon as it lands (November?? December??) while I'm also keen to introduce a variant where 4 players fight for a limited resource (a la Roll Through the Ages' buildings) as this is what will turn it from a solo into multi-success.
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
Thanks for the kind words Will!

Haven't had any direct contact with TMG at all beyond my original KS pledge. I doubt they're aware of the variant yet being that it was posted right in the middle of their GenCon prep. Of course Tom and Richard Launius' enormous profile certainly helped to seed that Thunderstone variant to an infinitely wider audience. I'm just delighted that it's been so well received by those who have discovered it so far.

I'm currently working on an enhancement to the push your luck element similar to what some folks are already exploring here.

My take on it will require more tuning and play testing though as I'm doing my best to maintain the balance between the various characters, so it will be a while yet before I feel it's ready for public scrutiny.

Looking forward to seeing how your idea for the shared resource 4P variant comes together!
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
nbread wrote:
Doesn't rule #3 it very difficult for the Viking when he has to face teh dragon? If the Viking can only revive Champions from the graveyard (since that's all he starts with), the only way he can defeat the dragon is if he draws treasure that fills in for the fighter, mage, or cleric.
Mhh, what about having potions revive either an actual spent member from your party or a random member?
You would have the choice of using the potion on your party, knowing what you get or using the potion on one of those unlucky dead adventurers you find during your delve, but in that case you don't know what you will be getting.
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
Okay, I just played two games using only variant 2 where scrolls reroll themselves in addition to other dice BUT cannot quaff potions.

It seemed to me that variant 2 was internally self-balancing.

The improvement by just using this one variant was ridiculously positive.

It omits the unthematic scrolls quaffing potions and we actually used scrolls as (presumably) intended. Further, since scrolls weren't just a wasted die anymore, you actually had to... wait for it... DECIDE when to use them.

Huge.

NuMystic, you're a hero. No, a champion.

EDIT: Both games were with 7 dungeon dice.
Occultist final score - 30
Dwarf final score - 24

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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
It's funny that I had been experimenting with using scrolls this way (item 2) as well even before I discovered this thread. Now having read the other two changes I will try them too.
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
Agreeing w/ the OP, our delves are very repetitive;
get to level 4 or 5 then make the easy decision to stop
before your last remaining party member faces 6 dice.

NEED more PUSH YOUR LUCK.

Here’s another option called: “DEEPENING DELVES”:
(We thought it might work best w/the OP’s options 2 and 3.)
4. Each player’s subsequent delves start were they left off,
AND with one more party dice.
For example, your first delve, w/FIVE party dice, gets you to level 3.
Then on your second delve, w/SIX party dice, starts at level 4, you stop at 6.
For your last delve, w/all SEVEN party members, you might start at level 7.

Maybe w/ OP’s 2 and 3 making it easier; this needs to be balanced w/OP’s 1.
We found the thematic “RESTORING POTIONS” a bit too strong;
maybe each one brings a party member HALFWAY back; IYKWIM.
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant (3 Play Tested Tweaks to Increase Player Interacton and No. of Decisions per Game)
capt yid wrote:
w/ OP’s 2 and 3 making it easier; this needs to be balanced w/OP’s 1.
We found the thematic “RESTORING POTIONS” a bit too strong;
maybe each one brings a party member HALFWAY back; IYKWIM.

The three rules were designed with synergy and self-balancing in mind so any one of them used independently will certainly skew the game difficulty to a significant degree.

They're offered as a single variant with 3 rules, not 3 individual variants to choose from. My apologies if that was less than clear. Of course anyone can take what they like but two things are almost certain consequences when doing so:

- Scoring will no longer stay within the average range of those achieved when playing with the official rules.

- Certain characters will vary wildly in their strengths/deficits when using only part of the variant as some of the details were designed specifically to take these various abilities into account.


For adding more push your luck, you might want to check out and join the already a brisk discussion of this here, here, and here. I'm currently testing my own variation on some of those ideas but the variant will need much more play testing before I feel comfortable offering it to the community
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
I like these rules a lot and will give them a try with my son.

BUT, I agree with some comments, even in just seeing them on paper, that I don't like how much it restricts the party dice to luck of the beginning role.

I think that either or both of the two rules mentioned in this thread should be used--

NuMystic wrote:
If you roll no Scrolls AND no Champions in your first Delve party roll you may re-roll all your party dice again.
and/or

Bewulf wrote:
Potions revive either an actual spent member from your party or a random member [assumed to mean keep the dice as is from the graveyard or reroll it and you must keep the result]
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
BoB3K wrote:
BUT, I agree with some comments, even in just seeing them on paper, that I don't like how much it restricts the party dice to luck of the beginning role.

I think that either or both of the two rules mentioned in this thread should be used--

Glad to hear that you're going to give them a try Bob, but please keep in mind that not one person raised that concern based on actual experience of playing the variant.

Of course you're welcome to use them however you wish, but like any rules/variant I do highly recommend trying them at least a few times as written before tinkering.

All of the play testers along with the rest of those posting here have found that the greatly increased power of the potions and scrolls more than compensates for what you are guessing will be problematic.

Don't hesitate to try anything that makes the game more fun for you, but know that you'll also be throwing off the scoring curve which we worked hard to keep in the same range as those playing with the official rules.

Whatever the case, enjoy!
 
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
I played 3 times again tonight. Two quick notes:

1) dungeon lord is only allowed up to 4 re-rolls per delve.
2) I'm playing with a kickstarter version so I have the extra dungeon dice.

1st game Crusader/Paladin 17pts (horrible first delve)
2nd game again Crusader/Paladin 29 pts (two mediocre delves then I completed level 10 on the last delve)
3rd game Minstrel/Bard 26 pts.

Still loving these variants.
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
Just played this variant.

- 7 Dungeon dice
- Mercenary & Sorceress (2 player)
- Merc: 21, Sorc: 25
- Played variant as written

This was a lot of fun -- it felt dynamic and exciting. I liked this a lot more than my previous 5 or 6 plays with the standard rules. I'll always be using this variant from now on. Thanks!
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Bobby Griggs
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
This variant is great. I have now played ~12 times with it and the scores appear about the same, but the active dungeon lord keeps the immersion going for the DL. Thanks!
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Re: Active Dungeon Lord, Buffed Scrolls & Thematic Potions Variant - A Play Tested Variant to Increase Player Interacton and Number of Decisions per Game
Played the original rules once or twice then switched to this variant. There's no going back now. This one is so much better than the base game.

- 9 Dungeon dice
- Paladin/necromancer/half-goblin/guild leader/alchemist
- range from about 23-36
- played exactly as written.

I'm debating teaching the game like this to new players. But I think I may just teach the base game and play a round or two real quick and then switch to this variant.

Thanks again!
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Seth Jaffee
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NuMystic wrote:
2) Buffed Scrolls

Scrolls can re-roll any active dice as usual but include themselves in the re-roll rather than having to be sent to the graveyard.
Are Scrolls still able to re-roll any number of Dungeon Dice as well?

Many people think Scrolls are weak under the original rules, however unlike any other Party die face in the game, they can - on their own - remove 3 different monster types (!). Of course, they might remove 0 monsters. Of course, any monster they do remove might turn into a Potion or Chest!

Scrolls are very powerful. This variant makes them even more powerful.

Quaffing potions with no cost is also very powerful. Not only have you not rolled a monster you need to spend a die to deal with, but you've also gotten a die back!

It sounds like these variants are well liked, and giving the Dungeon Lord a choice is interesting (though is it a real choice? Or is it an algorithm: Re-roll the following in this order: Potion, Chest, doubleton monster?) - but I would warn against powering p the 2 most powerful die faces in the game!

But in any case, if these variants make the game more fun for you, then more power to them!
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sedjtroll wrote:
NuMystic wrote:
2) Buffed Scrolls

Scrolls can re-roll any active dice as usual but include themselves in the re-roll rather than having to be sent to the graveyard.
Are Scrolls still able to re-roll any number of Dungeon Dice as well?

Many people think Scrolls are weak under the original rules, however unlike any other Party die face in the game, they can - on their own - remove 3 different monster types (!). Of course, they might remove 0 monsters. Of course, any monster they do remove might turn into a Potion or Chest!

Scrolls are very powerful. This variant makes them even more powerful.

Quaffing potions with no cost is also very powerful. Not only have you not rolled a monster you need to spend a die to deal with, but you've also gotten a die back!

It sounds like these variants are well liked, and giving the Dungeon Lord a choice is interesting (though is it a real choice? Or is it an algorithm: Re-roll the following in this order: Potion, Chest, doubleton monster?) - but I would warn against powering p the 2 most powerful die faces in the game!

But in any case, if these variants make the game more fun for you, then more power to them!

Yes, Scrolls are still able to re-roll any number of Dungeon Dice as well Seth.

There's no question that this makes the already powerful Scrolls even more formidable, but this wasn't because of thinking that they were weak in their original form. This power boost was a necessity to counter-balance the now dramatically more difficult and lethal environment created by the Dungeon Lord getting to actively hinder the adventuring party every single turn.

While potions are indeed more potent with free quaffing, they also have a new limitation in only reviving a party member from the graveyard as-is without changing it's face to a Champion. This means far less Champions per game overall which is a major power loss since they are by far the most versatile party member you can roll.

Even though the Dungeon Lord only re-rolls a single die, this is always the die that "hurts" the most. (unless the Dungeon Lord is feeling inexplicably merciful lol)

First to go are almost always Potions so that steals much of their boosted power since they are now much more scarce.

Next are multiples of the same monster so that the Party is forced to spend more dice to get through most encounters.

During testing of the variant and now from all the publicly posted scores you can see that final scoring is in line with those achieved with the official rules. If anything I find scores may be a tiny bit lower on average overall. So all that extra power you're noting is being absorbed by the much tougher environment they're operating within.
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Agreed, my average score tends to be slightly lower.
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sedjtroll wrote:
giving the Dungeon Lord a choice is interesting (though is it a real choice? Or is it an algorithm: Re-roll the following in this order: Potion, Chest, doubleton monster?)

Just noticed I didn't respond to this very astute observation. Well spotted Seth!


At first glance it does seem like it could be another "auto-pilot" choice, but once you've played a few games a fair number of mildly interesting choices eventually emerge depending on circumstances.


- While re-rolling potions is a no-brainer most of the time even that has exceptions. For example, when there are no party members in the graveyard sometimes a chest or doubled monster may be a better choice.

- 2 Dragons in the Lair can make a re-roll of even individual monsters tempting when the adventurers still have lots of dice left but no means of withstanding a Dragon Attack which would force a very early retreat.

- After enough instances (33% of the time) of rolling a doubled monster into a potion or chest, even that "obvious" choice starts to get weighed against the current circumstances.

- Special abilities also shake up what different die faces will mean when weighing the odds and benefits of each re-roll option.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head that have come up in our last few plays.


I've actually been shocked at just how often I'm delving and opponents have decided to make a different choice than I would have as Dungeon Lord.

When I've inquired it's often not just them overlooking the seemingly "optimal" choice but rather their weighing a circumstantial factor I hadn't considered or valued differently. (current score disparity, a 1/6th possibility of being able to stop me at level 4 to prevent leveling up, etc)


Honestly though, even when there isn't a tough choice at all it's just infinitely more engaging and satisfying for the other player to roll that extra die and actively particpate in the outcome.

Something which elicits groans, whoops and fist pumps rather than passively spectating is obviously a good thing, and that is exactly what we've seen often during the Active Dungeon Lord rolls.
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NuMystic wrote:
At first glance it does seem like it could be another "auto-pilot" choice, but once you've played a few games a fair number of mildly interesting choices eventually emerge depending on circumstances.
Totally agree. Plus, the whole point of choice is that you don't have to make the 'optimal choice.' If you want to reroll for a 3rd dragon even if there are two treasure chests and a potion out there, then go for it--that's why it's a CHOICE.

Lakoda wrote:
From my limited perspective (a dozen or so normal rules and a dozen or so with the variant) I find normal potions to be useless. It meant one less party member.
This here is my opinion of the scroll (I assume he meant scroll there.) It just never seems worth using in exchange for losing a party member. And if it does, you're probably in a deep hole of bad luck and are pretty much using it as a mulligan.

My other problem with it might just be psychological. It just FEELS like a terrible idea to spend a dice on something that in most die rolling games is a FREE, BASIC part of the game.

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BoB3K wrote:
My other problem with it might just be psychological. It just FEELS like a terrible idea to spend a dice on something that in most die rolling games is a FREE, BASIC part of the game.

I felt the same way at first, and yet, scrolls have saved my life more than once. I have now come to accept them as they are intended: re-rolling 3 different monsters into 2 Chests + 1 Potion (or 1 Dragon, 1 Chest, 1 Potion) can be a game-changer.
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Amiral wrote:
BoB3K wrote:
My other problem with it might just be psychological. It just FEELS like a terrible idea to spend a dice on something that in most die rolling games is a FREE, BASIC part of the game.

I felt the same way at first, and yet, scrolls have saved my life more than once. I have now come to accept them as they are intended: re-rolling 3 different monsters into 2 Chests + 1 Potion (or 1 Dragon, 1 Chest, 1 Potion) can be a game-changer.

But if original scroll rerolls are so great, why can they also quaff potions?
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Under the normal rules, scrolls are nothing more than potion-quaffers to me, or last-ditch attempts to stay alive. I would never be excited about getting 7 scrolls in my party, unless I was playing the Enchantress.

If you do get an amazing re-roll with a scroll, then good for you, you managed to get some use out of it. More often than not, it's useless... less than useless, in fact, because it cost you a party die to get nothing in return.
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NuMystic wrote:


3) Thematic Potions

Potions no longer cost a die to quaff but can only be used to revive actual party members (not scrolls) from the graveyard without changing their die face.


I like your ideas, but I don't see how there would ever be a scroll in the graveyard. If a player can keep rerolling scrolls, why would there ever be a scroll in the graveyard?
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I'll be trying this out the next time I play - but two questions:

1) I see that someone else raised the issue of the Scout - any other thoughts about how to handle that character?

2) Just to confirm: it is required that you re-roll the scroll die along with the other dice you re-roll, right? Because otherwise couldn't you just re-roll everything you didn't like except the scroll, then use the scroll again to re-roll everything that isn't perfect again, until you get everything you want?
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halbower wrote:
NuMystic wrote:


3) Thematic Potions

Potions no longer cost a die to quaff but can only be used to revive actual party members (not scrolls) from the graveyard without changing their die face.


I like your ideas, but I don't see how there would ever be a scroll in the graveyard. If a player can keep rerolling scrolls, why would there ever be a scroll in the graveyard?

Good catch Christopher!

That's a carry-over from when I was testing the Potions element on it's own.

I've left it in since despite my advising that using these rules independently will dramatically impact game balance inevitably some will still choose to do so.

That said, the Thematic Potions are probably are the most inherently self-balancing of the three rules since their power is seriously dampened by losing the ability to change the die face of revived party members.
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