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Subject: A most horrifying experience rss

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Konstantinos Koutsoumpas
Greece
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This was my second Hunt for my second settlement - the first settlement fell prey to the Kingsman. Everything started great. Ammonia as the second innovation, no disorders or severe injuries after the first real hunt against a lv1 Lion, and the survivors were well fed from that first hunt. The second hunt also started very well. No weird events, some survivors even started feeling more courageous and optimistic. All was well until the final hunt event before the Antelope. Then terror strikes as a monstrous lion blocks their way, feasting greedily on the antelope that lay dead at its feet.

The equipment the survivors had with them was 2x Lion Katars, 3x Bone Blades, 1x White Lion Helm, 1x Skull Helm and 2x Founding Stones. Oh and 1x Cat Eye Circlet!

The lv 2 Lion started with the usual: +1 Speed, +1 damage.
- Turn 1: The lion attacks pool Clak and almost takes his head off. Miraculously, he survives with only a few cuts and bruises.
- Turn 2: The Circlet Nerida wears shines as Alora prepares for a strong attack with her Katars. 3 hits. The first hit knocks the lion down, the second one misses and the third ... castrates the lion. Oh dear! Only one more hit lands this turn and it's the angry kitten's turn. (Damage is now at +2 for the lion.)
- Turn 3: The Lion is all over Alora hitting 3 times for 3 damage each, before it drags her away by the arm. Then it finishes the job by squashing her head with its large paw. "One down, three more to go", it thinks, I guess.
- Turn 4: The survivors are out of reach and step back to put some distance between them and the lion. Nerida considers their options and formulates a plan. "Aim for its heel", she shouts.
- Turn 5: Not finding an immediate threat the Lion sniffs and waits.
- Turn 6: None of the survivors is willing to step forward, keeping their distance.
- Turn 7: The lion finally makes its move, but not before it becomes enraged. (Damage is now at +4 for the lion.)
- Turn 8: A lucky strike with a founding Stone topples the lion again, but only 2 more hits pierce its thick hide.
- Turn 9: The lion is back up and attacks Clavis, hitting twice for 5 damage. Clavis manages to dodge the paw that was heading for his head, but not the lion's jaws who bite his arm. The shock is too much for Clavis and his light is extinguished after a few more painful moments. Before Clak can pull away, the cunning adversary turns its attention to him, its claws dig deep into his flesh, and he is dragged away from his companion. He dodges the lion's bite, but he finds himself unable to get up as the beast has him pinned to the ground.
- Turn 10: Nerida runs towards the lion in a desperate attempt to help her friend, but the lion is too fast and it stays out of reach.
- Turn 11: The smell of blood in the air drives the lion into a frenzy as it slashes at Clak with its bloody claw. 3 hits for 6 damage each is enough to end another life.
- Turn 12: Nerida is the last one left. All the blood and death has left her shaken. She can't outrun the lion, so the only option is to attack and hope her blade can find its way to the beast's heart or throat. Her attacks can't penetrate the lion's hide and a few minutes later she too lies motionless on the ground.


Soooo, my second attempt will probably end even sooner than the first. There are 6 more survivals back home, but with the rate the death toll rises as the years pass, I doubt they are long for this world. Not a bad thing some may think, considering that this world sucks. I am playing solo at the moment, trying to get a feel for the game before I start a 4 player campaign because having someone know how most rules work should speed up the game considerably.

I am having a blast with the game, but knowing my group I will have to house rule heavily to make this enjoyable for everyone. For example, this "Oh look, a lv2 lion jumps out of nowhere and murders your hunting party" is BS. The probability that you will find this hunt event AND roll 8+ isn't that high, but when it happens, it can be very frustrating for some/most people. The game is hard enough as it is without having to fight certain monsters 5-6 years earlier than I would normally do and lose all your experienced survivors.

What I kept from this experience is that the Cat Eye Circlet is insanely good. With a high crit party it can ruin some monsters and offer a ton more resources (mostly from SA). That said, from my experience in my first attempt, the resources you get from lv2 hunts are very underwhelming. A measly +2 monster resources when you have to go through Overwhelming Darkness and face an enemy who can ruin your day if you get unlucky with the rolls? There is just no incentive. I hope the 1.5 version has some tweaks to balance the game a little because often it's too random and brutal.


If you notice any grammar/syntax errors, let me know and I'll fix it; it's 3am here and I am winded (just gained a -1 courage and +2 understandinge)
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Guido Gloor
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Ostermundigen
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Narkon wrote:
For example, this "Oh look, a lv2 lion jumps out of nowhere and murders your hunting party" is BS.

Isn't that what this game is all about?
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Oliver Broom
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I would just keep in mind that it is the survival of your settlement which is the vital thing to be concerned about, rather than individual survivors - unlike other RPGs where we covet our characters, in KDM I think the idea is more to develop the settlement to ensure future generations are born faster/better/harder/stronger, to keep a pool of viable party members for all lantern years.

Don't get too beat up about death, basically. In fact, in KDM, revel in the gruesome ends your 'favourites' finally meet.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
On the level 2 monsters, it is only the lion who gains +2 monster resources over level 1 - the other monsters have more going for them.
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Steve Tyson
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Also you didn't have to fight the lion. If you think it is too risky just don't take the resources and roll on the table instead. It depends whether you think those extra resources are worth the 30% chance of facing a lvl2 lion.
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Konstantinos Koutsoumpas
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tys123 wrote:
Also you didn't have to fight the lion. If you think it is too risky just don't take the resources and roll on the table instead. It depends whether you think those extra resources are worth the 30% chance of facing a lvl2 lion.

Really? I must have misread the card because I thought that you absolutely have to fight the lion. This changes things.
 
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Michael Pflug
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You dont have to fight him in 1.5. The card was updated.
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Konstantinos Koutsoumpas
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Timbar wrote:
I would just keep in mind that it is the survival of your settlement which is the vital thing to be concerned about, rather than individual survivors - unlike other RPGs where we covet our characters, in KDM I think the idea is more to develop the settlement to ensure future generations are born faster/better/harder/stronger, to keep a pool of viable party members for all lantern years.

Don't get too beat up about death, basically. In fact, in KDM, revel in the gruesome ends your 'favourites' finally meet.

From my first run I got the impression that as soon as you start losing the experienced survivors, the guys who can successfully complete hunts, nemesis showdowns (doubtful, but the hope is still there) and deal successfully with some nasty settlement events, it is the beginning of the end. I started with 12 survivors, got up to 15, then to 12, the Armored Strangers dropped me to 7, the King's Man brought me to an all-time low 3, 1 died at the next hunt and at that point I gave up and started my second settlement because I wanted to put to good use what I had learned so far and avoid some mistakes.
That said, I don't doubt that under the right circumstances a settlement can get back to its feet.
 
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Mark Watson
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Narkon wrote:

From my first run I got the impression that as soon as you start losing the experienced survivors, the guys who can successfully complete hunts, nemesis showdowns (doubtful, but the hope is still there) and deal successfully with some nasty settlement events, it is the beginning of the end.

There's many settlement innovations and principles which ensure new survivors are coming in to play with bonuses. You also have the ability to give new survivors experience without going on a hunt from the first settlement phase.
I think the only real failure spiral is if you were TPK'ing regularly and therefore short of endeavours to invest in improving the settlement and survivors (principle cannibalism). Though even then you can always revert to L1 monsters until you can stabilise the situation, the risk is mainly being unprepared for the endgame.

 
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Murray Quarmby
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Level 2 lion on turn 2 - ouch.
Perhaps you could go gentle and, given the 1.5 change to the Antelope card (I hadn't noticed this either), restart the hunt from there? Use the logic of a Phoenix flying over, hence warping time, and dropping a small card with a clear picture of a '1.5' symbol, which you wave at the Lion who backs off having realized the error of his ways.
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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Having just spent the weekend playing this game, I feel the OP's pain. The brutal randomness of this game can kick the S;;t out of you.

I've had more than a few survivors get pulverised due to random brutal combo's. But... that's sort of the point.

 
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I am Abomination
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Embrace the pain, young survivor.

I would have quitted, considered all my survivors killed off, and used the remaining time to set up another hunt.

That's what I did with the Kingsman
 
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Jake Stringfellow
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It looks like on turn 9 you used dodge against grab. You can only dodge hits from attack profiles, so grab can't be dodged.

I think you will find most of the randomness in the game you learn to manage and it's not too bad. The 1.3 antelope hunt card was pretty horrible, so that change is very welcome.
 
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Matt
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Narkon wrote:
That said, I don't doubt that under the right circumstances a settlement can get back to its feet.


With the Protect the Young Principle and Graves combo, a TPK gets you 8 endeavors back, with a 30% chance on each to trigger Intimacy through Augury. So 2-3 or more intimacy events, and a fairly good chance for twins or saviors with the reroll. It is quite easy to maintain or even grow population after a TPK. The loss is really losing 1 turn to generate gear and resources before the mandated nemesis fights, because the timeline is finite in that regard.

Now, if you're doing Survival of the Fittest and cannibalism... you're going to have way more trouble repopulating, lol.
 
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Moonglaive Mogg
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Timbar wrote:
I would just keep in mind that it is the survival of your settlement which is the vital thing to be concerned about, rather than individual survivors - unlike other RPGs where we covet our characters, in KDM I think the idea is more to develop the settlement to ensure future generations are born faster/better/harder/stronger, to keep a pool of viable party members for all lantern years.

Don't get too beat up about death, basically. In fact, in KDM, revel in the gruesome ends your 'favourites' finally meet.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
On the level 2 monsters, it is only the lion who gains +2 monster resources over level 1 - the other monsters have more going for them.


That is the intended focus of the game, however there's a lot of effort and focus that went into each and every single survivor as they develop.
XP, skills, stats, secret moves, tactics, injuries, masteries - those very much put all the focus on individual survivors, not the settlement. The biggest bonuses you can amount is from what these individual survivors can obtain, regardless of gear and settlement.
So yes, the focus is supposed to be on the settlement, but the game fails to make this the most important aspect.

The heaviest focus is that of 4 survivors that are hunting and taking down horrid beasts. The settlement phase feels very much like a clean up step to that. If the settlement were to be the main focus, survivors would be simplified as would the combat and more things would be incorporated to make the settlement phase more prominent.
 
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Moonglaive Mogg
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Nothing like a game that incorporate instant death mechanics, that also has a few broken mechanics you can exploit to your hearts content.

if you look in the back of the book, there's a non-death mode there. Can't remember the name of it, but it prevents your survivors dying from showdowns.

I love and hate this game. It has a great many ideas, but it sometimes is put together in such a really bad way.

Survival Points help you avoid being hit by a monster, but those hunting roll results of instant death; Nope, you can't avoid that.
The concept of running away is pretty natural, but you can't do that until you've innovated memento mori (I think that's the name). XD
I just birthed a child. Well give it a helmet and a sword and it can start hunting tomorrow.
So a survivor with 3 Hunt XP is a child? (reference from Man Hunter expansion book)... so why are my starting survivors at 0 Hunt XP?
Why is my 1 year old being impregnated by a 30 year old?

Yeah...
Amazing game. Really dumb implementation of some ideas.
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Konstantinos Koutsoumpas
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stringthis wrote:
It looks like on turn 9 you used dodge against grab. You can only dodge hits from attack profiles, so grab can't be dodged.

I didn't notice it at the time, but you are correct. I guess I was so overwhelmed that I was trying to find ways to stay alive a few moments longer, even if that meant cheating fate.

Axiem wrote:
Narkon wrote:
That said, I don't doubt that under the right circumstances a settlement can get back to its feet.


With the Protect the Young Principle and Graves combo, a TPK gets you 8 endeavors back, with a 30% chance on each to trigger Intimacy through Augury. So 2-3 or more intimacy events, and a fairly good chance for twins or saviors with the re-roll.

Despite the bumpy ride the first couple of attempts gave me, I still love the game (I am obsessed with it actually).
As for Augury, I have a terrible experience with it more often than not. Getting that first child that will allow you to trigger the life/death principle, which in turn make Intimacy rolls less punishing, can be harder than you expect. If losing an Endeavor for a very low chance at new birth is not bad enough, the resource draining when you roll low (and 30% is not that low) will certainly test your nerves. And even if you get that right, you're not done with the dice rolling. One time I rolled 6 Augury tests. On the 2 successful Intimacy rolls I got I rolled low again which means I lost 2 people who run away and another female survivor died at birth. I think the unfortunate father also got a crippling disorder. At that point I couldn't believe how bad I was rolling and I rage-quitted. 3 hours later I was back in the game!! - did I mention that I love the game? It's just that there are a few things holding it back.

My problem with Intimacy is that it often feels too random. Darkest Dungeon is another game I love and characters there also die quite often, but there I never feel out of options and completely helpless against the dice rolls. Disorder removal is very similar to Intimacy. You get the options to do it, but it's so unreliable that it rarely feels worth doing it. The first time I could choose between Bloodletting and Drums, I went with Bloodletting because it triggers on a 8+, but I found it is another resource black hole that almost never produces anything useful. In all runs that followed I am always going for Drums, completely ignoring Bloodletting. At least with Drum you can spend a few spare Endeavor points without additional cost.

Moonglaive wrote:

Survival Points help you avoid being hit by a monster, but those hunting roll results of instant death; Nope, you can't avoid that.
The concept of running away is pretty natural, but you can't do that until you've innovated memento mori (I think that's the name). XD
I just birthed a child. Well give it a helmet and a sword and it can start hunting tomorrow.
So a survivor with 3 Hunt XP is a child? (reference from Man Hunter expansion book)... so why are my starting survivors at 0 Hunt XP?
Why is my 1 year old being impregnated by a 30 year old?

Yeah...
Amazing game. Really dumb implementation of some ideas.

True. Some ideas need fine tuning or even a different way to implement them in the game. I don't know much about the changes to 1.5 because at the time of the KS campaign I was dealing with other, more important things, so if some of these things are improved in 1.5, it will be amazing. The inability to use Survival points to avoid injuries is one of those things that annoy me a lot. Losing a badass survivor with 4-5 survival points available because you rolled terrible when 1 damage got though feels terrible. At least give the option to spend 2 Survival points to re-roll a bad roll on the Severe Injury table. This can be easily added as a house rule, but it is something all players agree when you start a campaign. Just hope you don't have one of those hardcore rule followers who feel see house rules as cheating.
 
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Thorsten Schröder
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I am about to face the butcher (first time player)... and I think I don't have a chance.
And I am looking forward to it.
I think a lot depends on the attitude towards the game and I kinda think of it as a very grim soap opera (or maybe like the walking dead).
I had some luck with my settlement rolling the highest number of survivors during the first story. The intamcy-rolls were also good (no savior so far but some twins an never a loss of life).
But after the last shodown I got the murder event. And Mary (one of the original 4 survivors) with 12 insanity killed Ella (another of the first 4). She was banished (collective toil principle) and now something will happen in three years. Will she return and kill someone else (no spoilers please)? I am thrilled how this turns out.
So two of my regular hunters are out and a third has retired due to a fear of darkness...
The fourth hunter is 2 points of understanding away from the highest score and I am eager to find out what then happens so I won't risk him.
And now the butcher turns up and I have to face him with four rookies.
It's going to be a slaughter-fest.

BTW: I have not figured out how Nemesisencounter work in a lantern year. The happen in the middle of the settlement-phase so you don't advance in lantern years? And since you do not depart... how is equipment and survival updated?
 
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Cuthailion wrote:
I am about to face the butcher (first time player)... and I think I don't have a chance.
And I am looking forward to it.
I think a lot depends on the attitude towards the game and I kinda think of it as a very grim soap opera (or maybe like the walking dead).
I had some luck with my settlement rolling the highest number of survivors during the first story. The intamcy-rolls were also good (no savior so far but some twins an never a loss of life).
But after the last shodown I got the murder event. And Mary (one of the original 4 survivors) with 12 insanity killed Ella (another of the first 4). She was banished (collective toil principle) and now something will happen in three years. Will she return and kill someone else (no spoilers please)? I am thrilled how this turns out.
So two of my regular hunters are out and a third has retired due to a fear of darkness...
The fourth hunter is 2 points of understanding away from the highest score and I am eager to find out what then happens so I won't risk him.
And now the butcher turns up and I have to face him with four rookies.
It's going to be a slaughter-fest.

BTW: I have not figured out how Nemesisencounter work in a lantern year. The happen in the middle of the settlement-phase so you don't advance in lantern years? And since you do not depart... how is equipment and survival updated?


Nope- regular nemesis do not qualify as Special Showdowns (these, when they happen, are clearly stated as such). For normal nemesis like the LY4 butcher, you simply depart from the settlement at the end of the settlement phase. The big difference is that the monster will be waiting for you at the settlement's gates, so you just skip the hunt phase and go directly to the showdown (also, vs nemesis, survivors normally start the showdown i.e. you skip the first monter's turn -check the specific setup rules). Once the showdown ends (regardless of the outcome), you will initiate the next settlement year, normally.

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Thorsten Schröder
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Thanks. Yeah I have confused that with a special showdown.
 
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