Gloom of Kilforth: Individual Character Missions for extra flavour and purpose.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Individual Character Missions for extra flavour and purpose.

Ever read the text on the back of a character sheet and thought - 'nice, now what does that have to do with the actual game?' This is a feeble attempt to tie that back story into the actual gameplay, these missions should be handed out to the relevant characters before gameplay begins . . .
There is one for each official character published so far, more will follow for Holmes, Batman, G'Yar and co. Yes, there are only three locations for each mission, this is to make them actually achievable. And where the rewards are great, the sacrifices are too. Although, as always feedback is cool.



Poor Ronnie said...

Hey there - just came across your site today and found these missions especially interesting. A 100% awesome concept. However, I definitely think some of these rewards are HUGE compared to what the player has to give up, and I'd be compelled to make either the sacrifice greater or the reward less -- especially on rewards that effect every player in the game. I don't have any of the expansions, which I know make the game more difficult, and so perhaps from your vantage point the scales are more balanced. However, from an "expansionless" point of view, let me run down my thoughts on these, positive and negative:

Dester Drake: Positive. I would really have to think about whether I'd want to lose spells for Drake, who relies on them so heavily, and the reward is abstract but really good.

Bob Jenkins: Negative. He already starts out a pretty wealthy character, and on top of that he's got all those Commons and Uniques at the top of the game. Plus I didn't think it tied into his backstory that well. How about something involving spending clue tokens to make an exorbitant amount of cash? That's really what he's after, and it's a very touchy trade-off, especially if other players are trying to close gates and he just stocks up on money to spend on items.

Mandy Thompson: Positive. I really like this one because it's so conditional -- she only starts with one Unique, and who knows when she's going to get a Tome? But the payoff is awesome.

Michael McGlen: Positive. Love this idea, and it takes a while to get that much toughness to follow through on it. Not valuable against every GOO, but when it is it's huge.

Monterey Jack: Positive. Jack is a weak character, and this trade-off makes a lot of story sense and increases incentive on playing him.

Jenny Barnes: Negative. The story concept is so good, but the actual sacrifice/effect make no sense to me. Plus Jenny gets money so easily, and I think Allies should be a little harder to come by. What if Isabelle was an exclusive Ally Jenny could acquire, has some amazing stats and it cost 3 or 4 gate tokens to get her?

Amanda Sharpe: Positive. At first I thought this payoff was too big, but after some thought I realize that Amanda could use some incentive for playing as her character. This might be it.

Gloria Goldberg: Positive. As long as Gloria still has to roll and pay the price for closing/sealing, I'm okay with this.

Joe Diamond: Negative. I'm torn on this one, only because Joe is already a pretty good character and that's a huge payoff. Joe is pretty reliant on Uniques for fighting magic guys, but he could easily buy one on his first turn and start the game with an unreasonable advantage, AND make his money back.
How about the making it "any Unique item except Magical Weapons, Tomes or Elder Signs"? That would fit in a little better with idea that he's hunting down a statue -- I would have made it "only statues," but there's only 3 or 4 statues in the original Unique deck.

Kate Winthrop: Positive. I like it, very balanced and creative concept.

Carolyn Fern: Neutral - I'm not too sure about giving everyone Maximum Sanity for the whole game when Carolyn will be able to start repairing herself on the next turn. Not much of a sacrifice. I might just give everyone a +1 sanity bonus, but it doesn't replenish once it's gone.

Ashcan Pete: Negative. This is one of the biggest payoffs here, and for a pretty small price. Plus I don't get the concept you're going for, except that "nowhere to hide" is from the back of his character sheet. I'm not sure what his card should be, but I suddenly noticed that Pete's sheet backstory talks about whiskey, but he doesn't get to start with any. That's dumb. Moving on...

Sister Mary: Positive. I initally thought this was too big a bonus for everyone, but then I realized half the players are likely to quickly lose those blessings on a bad roll anyway. Plus I've always thought it was too difficult to get them in the game when you have to keep rolling to keep them.

Darrel Simmons: Positive, mostly because I really like the concept of him losing his retainer and showing his pictures to the other characters, which is what i assume you're going for.

Vincent Lee: Neutral - I might make the Clue cost higher, or equivalent to the number of investigators +1 or something. It's a little low for a pretty decent payoff.

Harvey Walters - Negative. That is a HUGE payoff for a character who's likely loaded down with extra spells anyway. What if he turned in one spell for every doom token he wanted to clear, to a maximum of 3? And I'd assume he only gets to do that once in the game, not just keep shedding extra spells for tokens.

And hey, how about a higher-res version of your stuff? The images are 300 dpi, but they're too small to print out at the correct size.

Anyway, I LOVE your stuff and I'd enjoy hearing back from you.

Ninjadorg said...

Cross-poster from BGG:

Hi Keith, thanks for that really in depth reply, great feedback too!

Before I respond to each one, you said you don't have any expansions so I just wanted to clarify that as per the Missions rules in Dunwich Horror (which can be found here the sacrifice has to be made at each location. So, for example, Jenny Barnes would have to sacrifice a total of $30 to complete her mission. With her special ability this would take 20 turns from start of play - by which point the GOO has usually awoken in our experience - unless she lucked out in encounters or got a bank loan. Using her only resource (cash) to pay people off and track down info on her missing Isabelle was what I was going for. But I definitely agree with you about Isabelle being a separate ally, and with hindsight not making her one was just lazy. Will get round to that when I can, along with cleaning up those spelling errors. Like what the hell's a commone item??

Bob: I kind of thought from his story that he should have to learn that cash isn't everything, so he has to get rid of it. But then, in effect he's basically paying for goods with the mission as it stands so it's a tricky one.

Joe: I think you're right. Maybe I should just take the reward down to getting deputised, no extra cash?

Carolyn: Again, good point. If the bonus is temporary maybe it should be +2 or +3 max sanity to each investigator - there's an encounter in Dunwich that gives you a temporary +3 bonus (above max) to stamina, so it wouldn't be crazily unbalanced?

Pete: Rereading it now, does seem too powerful. Think we can take the Ally reward off there to keep it reasonable.

Lee: Yup, we can up that to 3 clues I think.

Harvey: His Mission affects the Terror Track, not the Doom Track, just to clarify. There's a huge difference! But yeah, maybe 2 spells instead of 1?

FYI we play with all expansions included and the game IS a lot harder this way, but I'd want this variant to work just as well with vanilla AH so your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the continued interest and detailed response!