Seafall Campaign: Games 12-15

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Seafall, and that’s largely to do with the fact that we just haven’t played it ages.

Part of that is because of the holidays at the end of last month and trying to schedule time with people on vacation proved difficult–but it also has to do with the notion that the game had fallen out of favor.

In truth, I’ve also omitted a complete playing session from the write-ups (so I’ll cram that into this post now).

The last time we played (sometime in the middle of December), we had come to grips with the thought that the campaign was rapidly coming to a close.  We had just barely discovered the final “wave” map, and had unlocked a variety of other options that would give us a chance at finding the end of the world, but even then, 30 successes seemed ridiculous.  If we loaded all of the upgrades onto a single player and let them try, we figured we could count on maybe 17 guaranteed successes.  That still meant you’d have enough dice (and successes) to muster 13 more.  Possible, sure, but not great odds.

Yeah, I know that you could potentially use multiple “wave” charts, but how realistic is it to achieve many of those during the course of a game?

So, I brought up the conversation that, given what we knew about the game, we would probably need to come up with a point in time to just end things.  After all, if one person had all of the ideal upgrades and then only had a chance to win the game, what would happen if we were all squabbling over the upgrades?  Surely, nobody would win.  I was fine with playing a few more games if they wanted, but I didn’t care to drag it on forever.  Let’s pick a goal, complete that, and then end the campaign.

Clearly, fatigue had set in with me.

I wasn’t the only one.  I was growing weary of having multiple people single me out as the threat and then assaulting me the entire game.  My thought was that it wasn’t fun for me to host the game, feed my friends, have them come over and just punch me in the face for the afternoon.  I just didn’t enjoy it enough.  I went along with it for a few weeks, and even suggested an alternative that I thought would be amicably accepted in the form of a penalty against me (hint: it wasn’t well received).

But others too were ready to end the campaign.  Sam was frustrated with the various rules we’d gotten wrong over the game, and figured that our misplays wound up giving an unfair advantage to some players.  He’s not wrong, for sure, but playing with different rules to me (as long as they were consistent) made for a fair game–if a different game than the designer intended.

So, we met again in January to wrap things up.  During our last December game, Sean managed to steal some charts from other players, which set him up to be the one to win the final game.  So, when we met at the table in January, I was in position to aid him in doing so.  He went first and bought all of the best upgrades, and I, over the course of the next few turns, managed to stack the adviser deck in his favor so he could get all of the ones he wanted.

Between those things, he managed to get to the point where he needed to only roll four successes on eight dice.  I don’t know how to easily calculate that, but my guess is that’s still about an 11% chance (as there’s about 11% chance of rolling zero successes on two dice).  I’m guessing that’s not remotely accurate, but I’m just underscoring there is a possibility.  It’s not a red endeavor though, and he had enough fortune tokens, so it’s really a moot point.

And that wound up ending the campaign.  Sorry for the anti-climactic ending, but there are too many spoilers to say much more than that.

Keep reading if you’re OK with spoilers.

Continue reading


Dungeon Run 2 – Character Design Ideas

For the Dungeon Run expansion I’ve been working on, I decided that I wanted to do at least four characters, and preferably 8–which would be enough for 1-2 of each class (war, prayer, magic, & talent).  I did, for a while, toy with the idea of making up a fifth class, but that seemed to fly in the face of their “Shiny New Toys” design rule:

Each hero will be able to use roughly 75% of all treasure, which will be especially appreciated when mixed with the treasure cards from Dungeon Run. Now instead of treasures being a rare treat, heroes can spend more time focusing on choosing which horrible new tool they can wield against the others.

Having two new classes might be fun, but it would make creation of items more difficult, and exclude the new class from using most of the items from the previous edition (ie. any item that wasn’t marked as avaible to “Any” class).  So, I stuck with the basic four. Continue reading

Dungeon Run 2 – The Rooms

In continuing my design review of an expansion I’ve been making to Dungeon Run (for personal use, mind you, not intended for resale), we now come to the update on the rooms.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I didn’t write these up in nice sequential orders, but rather brainstormed things and bounced back and forth whenever I came up with an idea.  It’s just easier to push content out in neatly divided sections.  Because of that, I’m stepping through each tab of my spreadsheet in order until I complete them all.

The only real advice I had when starting up was the designer’s hint at “the Vortex of Souls:”

The new Vortex of Souls tile is a great example of how players are encouraged to stay together. When the Vortex of Souls is revealed, all players place a discarded ability card on the tile. They can remove their card if they move onto the Vortex, but until they do so, they will receive a wound at the beginning of each of their turns. Ouch!

Continue reading

Dungeon Run 2 – The Items

40k has been a tad quiet in my garage as of late.  The group just isn’t feeling it, so we spend more time playing board games and the like.  One of our old standbys is Dungeon Run by Plaid Hat Games.  If you haven’t seen, I’ve been doing a blog series about making an unofficial expansion to the game.  My last post concerned making various encounter cards, and now I’m moving on to item cards.

Unlike encounters, items won’t break up into neat little sections because pretty much all of them are the same.  I suppose I could break them into slots or classes, but I think it will just be cleaner to leave them all as one large table at the end of this post–and I’ll talk about them prior to.  Feel free to bounce back and forth as I reference items throughout.

With items, I was keeping in mind the words of the original game designers:

Each hero will be able to use roughly 75% of all treasure, which will be especially appreciated when mixed with the treasure cards from Dungeon Run. Now instead of treasures being a rare treat, heroes can spend more time focusing on choosing which horrible new tool they can wield against the others.

I took that to mean that most of the treasures should have three classes on them, so I tried to hold to that throughout.  I didn’t bother to compare them against treasures from the first set–rather I just tried to think up of ideas that may not have been fully explored in the base game.  Things like adding to specific stats, adding attack dice using slots other than hand weapons, etc.

Some of these really feel like Artifacts to me, but then I wasn’t sure how to put them into the game.  For instance, the Crown of Demigos and the Dusty Libram likely should be artifacts.  How do I incorporate them though?  Referencing them on a “stranger” card is doable, but it’s been done.  So perhaps I reference them on a specific monster card, or in a room tile?  For now, I’m just shuffling them in, and we might have to tweak them as time goes on.

Keep in mind that all of these items are a first draft.  Some of them didn’t survive in this form when I printed out the first playtest cards because of obvious balancing issues: some cards are just too good, and others make almost no sense in playing.

One thing I realize now that I have them printed out is that I’ve created more items here than were in the original game.  So, shuffling the deck means that you’re more likely to pull out an expansion item than an original.  I’m not sure just how I feel about that, but I suspect I’ll need to cut a few of these.

Below you’ll find a list of my item templates that I came up with.  In a future post, I’ll go over the rooms and character ideas I had.

Item Templates:

Name Slot Class Enchanted? Artifact? Description
The Crown of Demigos Head Any Yes No Roll two additional dice when using your magical rating.
Truncheon of Power Primary Hand and Off Hand Prayer, Talent, War Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking with your brawn rating.

When attacking monsters, apply your damage first.  If your damage is sufficient to kill the monster, ignore all outstanding wounds done by it.

Stalwart Plate Body Prayer, War No No Ignore the first damage taken each combat.

Wearer cannot use more than one MOVE action per turn.

Winged Boots Feet Any Yes No You may move an extra square once per turn.
Helm of Clumsiness Head Any No No If this card is obtained by a search action you must immediately equip it, dropping any item in your head slot to the ground.  You cannot unequip this helm.  As a free action, you may discard any 1 card from your loot pile to discard this helm.
Vekkid Phase Blade Primary Hand Any Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

In addition, players who are attacked by this knife can not benefit from  shields or items worn in the body slot.

Hulking Boots Feet Prayer, Talent, War No No Roll 1 die after a moster or hero attacks you.  Any number less than 4 that could block a hit does so immediately.

You cannot use this die as a hit.

Silken Slippers Feet Magic, Prayer, Talent Yes No When you rally, you may move into an adjacent previously discovered square.
Silken Robe Body Magic, Prayer, Talent Yes No Each time you place a new dungeon tile, you may rally.
Stone of Warding None Any Yes No Add +1 to your Life Rating
Stone of Ferocity None Any Yes No Add +1 to your Brawn rating
Stone of Prowess None Any Yes No Add +1 to your Magic rating
Stone of Agility None Any Yes No Add +1 to your Skill rating
Rod of Striking Primary Hand and Off Hand Magic, Prayer, War Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

You may attack players in adjascent rooms.

Adroit Handbow Off Hand Talent, War No No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

You may only use this weapon once per round.

Curious Imp Companion Magic, Talent, War No No You may look at face down treasures in your tile and adjacent tiles.

Familiar: You may discard this card to absorb one damage during combat.

Faithful Hound Companion Any No No Familiar: You may discard this card to absorb all damage from one attack during a single round of combat.
Pesky Sprite Companion Any No No If this card is obtained by a search action you must immediately equip it; a character of your choice sharing a square with you may take any one item from your loot pile.

Familiar: You may discard this card to absorb one damage during combat.

Trained Homunculus Companion Any No No You may use one extra “Primary Hand” item.

Familiar: You may discard this card to absorb one damage during combat.

Waeling Blade Primary Hand Talent, War Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking with your brawn rating.

Each hit that is not blocked causes 2 wound markers to be placed instead of 1.

Demon Fang Primary or Off Hand Any Yes No You may not attack with more than 2 dice.

Each attack you make with this weapon counts as a free attack.  If you end your turn on a tile with a monster and have not attacked without this weapon, the monster receives a free attack on you.

Iron Footlocker None Any No No Items can not be taken from your loot pile.
Cat-o-Nine-Tails Primary Hand Magic, Talent Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

Each time you attack, you may also pick up one item from the tile and add it to your loot pile.  This does not count as an equip action.

Maeltrap Leg Club Primary or Off Hand Talent, War No No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

You must sabotage players sharing a tile with you.

Divine Cudgel Primary or Off Hand Magic, Prayer Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking.

You must assist players sharing a tile with you.

Robe of Shifting Realities Body Magic, Prayer, Talent Yes No Add +1 to all escape attempt rolls.

If you are the subject of a free attack, you may discard this item before any dice are rolled to ignore the attack.

Bag of Bounty None Any No No When drawing this card from the treasure deck, immediately discard it and draw two additional treasures.
Tiara of True Sight Head Magic, Prayer Yes No The first time you draw an encounter card each turn, you may choose to discard it.  If you do so, draw the next encounter card instead.
Talisman of Blackened Ire None Magic, Talent, War Yes No You may sabotage players from adjacent rooms.
Talisman of Heightened Purity None Magic, Prayer, War Yes No You may assist players from adjacent rooms.
Phylacterial Remains Off Hand Magic, Prayer Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking Undead or Demon monsters.

Discard this weapon to automatically defeat a non-boss Undead monster.

Dusty Libram None Any No Yes You may look at the dungeon boss card at any time.

Discard this card to replace the current dungeon boss with another random boss.  Use only if the boss lair has not yet been placed.

Cloudy Potion None Any Yes No Roll a die for each wound on your hero card.  Each roll of 4+ regains 1 lost wound.  Discard cloudy potion if any doubles are rolled.  May only be used when you have three or more wounds.
Truthseeker’s Mattock Primary Hand and Off Hand Prayer, Talent, War Yes No Roll 1 extra die when attacking with your brawn rating.

As a special action, you may discard this card.  Shuffle the current tile back into the deck and replace it with another available tile.  Encounter that tile as if it were just explored.  You may not use this effect in a tile where an encounter is already present.

Elixir of Speed None Any Yes No As free action, consume this potion.  For the rest of the turn, you may move an additional tile each move action.  You must still stop when you explore a new tile or enter a square with a monster.

Discard after use.

Waelish Mead None Magic, Talent, War No No At any time you may drink this item.  For your next attack, roll three extra attack dice.  You cannot block attacks that combat round.

Discard after use.

Jester’s Shoes Feet Magic, Prayer, War Yes No You may re-roll unsuccessful escape attempts.
Ring of Duplication None Any Yes No You may ignore “assist only” when printed on boss cards or dungeon tiles.
Drums of Deftness Off Hand Any Yes No Roll two additional dice when performing skill tests or attacking with your skill rating.
Lucky Goblin’s Foot None Any Yes No Discard this card to re-roll all of your dice in a single attack roll, escape attempt or skill test.

A Free Copy of Space Freaks: the Board Game

I listen to entirely too many podcasts.  Oddly enough, despite this being a largely 40k inspired blog, I listen to exactly zero 40k related podcasts.  That wasn’t always the case, mind you.  I used to listen to the Independent Characters and some others, I’m sure (though I have since forgotten even their names).

This isn’t because there isn’t good content available.  I’ve actually heard great things about Mob Rules and Glacial Geek (both of which are “local” to me)–I just can’t find the time to work them into my lineup.

In fact, most of the podcasts I listen to routinely aren’t gaming related at all.  Somewhere in my travels I turned into an adult and started listening to talk radio, so I feel like my podcast choices reflect that.  To give you an idea of what’s in my playlist, you’ll find:

  • RadioLab
  • More Perfect (is this going to start up again ever?)
  • Stay Tuned with Preet
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • This Week in Tech
  • Rough Translation
  • Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me
  • Houston: We Have a Podcast
  • You are Not So Smart
  • PM Podcast
  • Security Now
  • Drive to Work
  • the D6Generation

All of them have value, of course, or I wouldn’t listen to them.  Some of them exist there solely so I can stay up with the industry that I work in; others exist for continuing education credits required to maintain my certifications; and most are general knowledge/trivia kind of things because I just enjoy them.  If you look closely, you’ll see that I listen to two gaming specific podcasts: Drive to Work (which is a podcast by Magic’s lead designer), and the D6 Generation.

That’s a podcast I’ve listened to for years now.  I’ve gotten a lot of great advice about games to purchase, and taken great information from them.  They’re also “not too horrible,” as a form of entertainment, though the cast gets a tad long winded at times.  They’ve held a few contests over the years, and I’ve entered a few, but never won.  This blog post is about the latest such contest.

Latest is a loose term, because the contest was actually announced in October of 2017–19 episodes ago.  The requirements were that you had to come up with a radio ad for a new game from Stronghold Games.  I don’t think the game had been released at the time though, so it wasn’t clear what it was about or how it all worked.  All I really had to go on was a bit of a teaser from them, along with the name of the game: Space Freaks.

Normally, it wouldn’t have been the sort of contest that I’d jump out of my chair for.  Sure, I like board games as much as the next guy, and Stronghold has come up with some real winners (I’m a big fan of Space Cadets, and I’ve also heard good things about Terraforming Mars).  What I did find intriguing though was a combination of two factors:  This was an audio based contest, and Stronghold had agreed to pony up copies of the game for the best three entries.

Having been a listener to theD6g for years, I know that audio entries habitually have really low turnout.  I wasn’t sure exactly how many entries to expect, but I knew it would be low.  So low, in fact, that if I put any modicum of effort into it, I should be essentially guaranteed a copy of the game.  So, why not?

I made a note to work on a script of sorts, and then set a calendar reminder and promptly forgot it.  When the calendar reminder showed up, I sat down with a friend of mine and we recorded our lines, then I downloaded a copy of Audacity, plus a bunch of various sounds I pulled off the internet, created my entry and submitted it.

Months past by, and I sent occasional emails to the podcast to figure out what happened.  They apparently had recorded a session, then lost part of it, and then their hearts fell out of podcasting (which has resulted in them cancelling–or rather, morphing the show into some–yet to be determined–form).  Well, the last time I emailed them was about a month or two ago, and they let me know that they were scheduled to have Stephen Buonocore from Stronghold on again in their penultimate episode, which was finally released last week.

At minute 12:27 of the podcast, they started to talk about the content, and largely recap what I went over above.  It turns out that they only had five total entries, and rather than competing against them all, Stephen decided to give away a game to everyone who entered (which was quite generous).  I have to say though, my entry was good enough that it should’ve easily won one of the original three prizes–though I would be doubtful if mine would be considered the best (feel free to listen to them if you’d like–you can find it on Stitcher, or whatever your preferred podcast player is).

So, maybe I’ll go through the motions of reviewing that game.  I don’t do a lot of board game reviews, but then again, I don’t win many of them either.  I also owe a big thank you to Sam for helping out with the recording, and modifying the script to make it funnier.  Thanks a bunches, Sam–let’s get together and play this game when it comes in.

Image Credit: Thed6Generation logo is copyright them.  Space Freaks is the property of Stronghold games.