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This is a draft scenario of one of the final battles in the Community Campaign. Download and beta test today!

 

Link: 5 - The Streets of Khemi.pdf

 

image.thumb.png.42c02f9ff4971e6414967327da1a8c37.png

 

To learn more about the campaign, click here:

 

Edited by Ken
Updated PDF 9-13-18
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"The Overlord takes control of a character who is not wearing Xuthal’s Crown. The Overlord may move up to four gems from their reserve zone to their fatigue zone. For each gem moved in this manner, the Overlord may move one gem from the possessed character's reserve to any of the character's action spaces, but may place a maximum of 2 in any one action space. This must follow exertion limits. The Overlord may not use the character's free movement points, may not instruct the character to inflict self-harm, or use community gems. Once the Overlord chooses to stop using gems to activate the character, Mind Possession ends. The Overlord then gains 8 reinforcement points."

 

Firstly, I would suggest a tweak of "The Overlord may move up to four gems from their own Reserve Zone to their own Fatigue Zone." I mention that because the previous sentence could be read in combination to suggest that the Overlord moves the gems according to the character (N.B. should probably read "hero") that they chose.

 

My question is, what else would you do other than move someone? You say they can't self-harm (do you mean they can't hurt another hero? If so, you should specifically say that because another hero isn't the self) so what would they do? Attack a minion? That's not helpful. Reroll or use a Manipulation? I'm not sure what else one would do other than move a hero. Please explain what I'm missing.

 

Also, are we doing community gems?

 

N.B. In the rules for Mind Possession, you've got a typo of 3 S's and then 1S, instead of 2 and 2 in "possession."

 

Exciting-looking scenario. Looking forward to testing it tomorrow evening.

 

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21 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

Firstly, I would suggest a tweak of "The Overlord may move up to four gems from their own Reserve Zone to their own Fatigue Zone." I mention that because the previous sentence could be read in combination to suggest that the Overlord moves the gems according to the character (N.B. should probably read "hero") that they chose.

 

Good idea. I will clarify the rule with this revised text.

 

21 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

My question is, what else would you do other than move someone? You say they can't self-harm (do you mean they can't hurt another hero? If so, you should specifically say that because another hero isn't the self) so what would they do? Attack a minion? That's not helpful. Reroll or use a Manipulation? I'm not sure what else one would do other than move a hero. Please explain what I'm missing.

 

They can melee attack another hero, range attack another hero, move, and drop gear.

 

21 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

Also, are we doing community gems?

 

Yes, I think we are.

 

21 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

N.B. In the rules for Mind Possession, you've got a typo of 3 S's and then 1S, instead of 2 and 2 in "possession."

 

Good catch! Thanks.

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Just spent a couple of hours playtesting this tonight.

 

Introduction

We love this scenario. We love the map, we love the idea. We love the Scepter with the spell. We love the Atali Enchantment (Conan fell and took 2 damage immediately!). We really enjoy the idea that you need to kill a demon in order to get an artifact in order to attack Shuang Mian. 

 

Areas for Work

.... but, this scenario as it currently is is totally unbalanced in favour of the Overlord. We played with Atali in the game but without any other things, such as the heroes having the Medallion from Fight or Flight, or any other level up abilities or communal gems. Even so, even if we had used them, it would have been totally unbalanced.

 

Here are the reasons why...

 

By the end of the game, Conan had one gem left and Hadrathus, Niord and Ikhmet were dead. The Overlord had only three models off the tables - two Javelin Throwers and Atali. That's absolutely unbalanced. There are a number of reasons why we believed that this happened:

1) The Reinforcement rate is way too high. We would suggest dropping it to 4 or 5. I was able to reinforce Javelin Throwers and fired 5 of them onto Ikhmet in one turn. That was crazy, especially half way through the game.

2) There are too many Dark Demons. The Outer Dark Demon is a viable target, although with a Guard of 3 and health of 10, it's tough to kill. But then to have the Dark Demon on top it's just pure muscle and way too much attack.

3) Apart from Atali, there's really no chance for the heroes to take out a tile, thereby causing the OL to have to dredge the river. There are too many models per tile. 

 

As the OL, I didn't even get to use Mind Control because of the movement limit of 2. That means that the Xuthal's Crowns were irrelevant.  It's so hard to get the two sorcerers together that in fact all the OL has to do at the moment is kill Hadrathus because if the heroes get close to killing the Outer Dark Demon it can just fly away so they never get the Stygian Artifact and therefore have to kill Thoth Amon. Since Thoth Amon has Set Halo, Bori's Rage isn't enough to really do him much damage so the heroes then have to find the Scepter. But since Hadrathus is the only person who can use the Scepter, if you kill him then that's game over for the heroes.

 

Suggested Changes

There are a few things that need to be changed. Not all of them, though, because that would be too unbalanced the other way!

 

1) Take out the Outer Dark Demon. Have the Stygian Artifact be the reward for killing the Dark Demon. That's still a very hard thing to do, especially with Jinx and a Guard of 3. This would be our first recommendation by far. Others include...

2) Reduce the Reinforcement rate, perhaps to 4 or 5.

3) Split the Bossonian Guards into two tiles.

4) Reduce the gem recovery rate.

5) Have anyone be able to use the Scepter. Perhaps non-spellcasters suffer a -1 damage penalty.

 

Another change that isn't about game balance but is about how the game feels is the Crossbow. Nobody's using that. Three of the heroes roll yellows for ranged attacks and the only one who doesn't is Conan and he's not using a Crossbow. So, either change that for an Empty Chest or, if you want to increase the balance towards the heroes again, an Explosive Orb. The Explosive Orb could be a lot of fun if the heroes can get the OL's minions to bunch up a little.

 

Conclusion

In theory, this is an excellent boss battle and wonderful way to end a campaign narrative. In practice at the moment, it's totally unbalanced and would be a very frustrating way to end a campaign. One or two tweaks might really change that. But this needs some serious playtesting to balance it out before it's ready.

 

P.S. You need to add text from Fight or Flight about the Medallion, in case the heroes have it.

Edited by Neil Amswych
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On 6/17/2018 at 2:22 AM, Neil Amswych said:

Firstly, I would suggest a tweak of "The Overlord may move up to four gems from their own Reserve Zone to their own Fatigue Zone." I mention that because the previous sentence could be read in combination to suggest that the Overlord moves the gems according to the character (N.B. should probably read "hero") that they chose.

 

 

 

 

@Ken I'll vouche for the importance of this change. I played it wrong. I made the exact mistake Neil described. Oops. I guess I owe you another run through. 

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5 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

@Ken, if you make some tweaks I could try playtesting it again next week.

 

Sweet! I'll try to get an updated version posted this weekend.

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On 6/18/2018 at 1:30 AM, Neil Amswych said:

1) The Reinforcement rate is way too high. We would suggest dropping it to 4 or 5. I was able to reinforce Javelin Throwers and fired 5 of them onto Ikhmet in one turn. That was crazy, especially half way through the game.

2) There are too many Dark Demons. The Outer Dark Demon is a viable target, although with a Guard of 3 and health of 10, it's tough to kill. But then to have the Dark Demon on top it's just pure muscle and way too much attack.

3) Apart from Atali, there's really no chance for the heroes to take out a tile, thereby causing the OL to have to dredge the river. There are too many models per tile. 

 

As the OL, I didn't even get to use Mind Control because of the movement limit of 2. That means that the Xuthal's Crowns were irrelevant.  It's so hard to get the two sorcerers together that in fact all the OL has to do at the moment is kill Hadrathus because if the heroes get close to killing the Outer Dark Demon it can just fly away so they never get the Stygian Artifact and therefore have to kill Thoth Amon. Since Thoth Amon has Set Halo, Bori's Rage isn't enough to really do him much damage so the heroes then have to find the Scepter. But since Hadrathus is the only person who can use the Scepter, if you kill him then that's game over for the heroes.

 

Suggested Changes

There are a few things that need to be changed. Not all of them, though, because that would be too unbalanced the other way!

 

1) Take out the Outer Dark Demon. Have the Stygian Artifact be the reward for killing the Dark Demon. That's still a very hard thing to do, especially with Jinx and a Guard of 3. This would be our first recommendation by far. Others include...

2) Reduce the Reinforcement rate, perhaps to 4 or 5.

3) Split the Bossonian Guards into two tiles.

4) Reduce the gem recovery rate.

5) Have anyone be able to use the Scepter. Perhaps non-spellcasters suffer a -1 damage penalty.

 

Another change that isn't about game balance but is about how the game feels is the Crossbow. Nobody's using that. Three of the heroes roll yellows for ranged attacks and the only one who doesn't is Conan and he's not using a Crossbow. So, either change that for an Empty Chest or, if you want to increase the balance towards the heroes again, an Explosive Orb. The Explosive Orb could be a lot of fun if the heroes can get the OL's minions to bunch up a little.

 

Conclusion

In theory, this is an excellent boss battle and wonderful way to end a campaign narrative. In practice at the moment, it's totally unbalanced and would be a very frustrating way to end a campaign. One or two tweaks might really change that. But this needs some serious playtesting to balance it out before it's ready.

 

P.S. You need to add text from Fight or Flight about the Medallion, in case the heroes have it.

 

@Neil Amswych

I designed this scenario with the intention of making it impossible for either team to win quickly. That is why the sorcerers can only move 2 zones, and why I have the stygian artifact so far away, and the scepter hidden in a chest. But you are right, the easiest way for the OL to win is by killing Hadrathus - so I expect the heroes to protect him at all costs.  

 

That being said, here are my suggestions for leveling the balance without making drastic changes:

 

1. Drop the reinforcement rate to 6. This should help keep the heroes alive.

2. Switch the crossbow to the explosive orb (I like this idea!)

3. Drop the health of the Outer Dark Demon to 6.

(Sure he can fly away once, but then he is stuck and can't fly away for another few rounds. And like you said, there is nothing to dredge in the river to speed this up.)

 

I prefer to keep both demons in the scenario if possible, but if this doesn't level the playing field, I could swap the locations of the demons and give the artifact to the Dark Demon (since it is slower). With Ikhmet's armor reduction skill (and possibly even the medallion), I can see him doing serious damage very quickly.  

 

What do you think?

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@Neil Amswych @drmauric 

 

I updated the scenario with the following changes:  
1.    Reduced the life points of both demons to six.
2.    Removed a javelin thrower
3.    Reduced the reinforcement rate to six
4.    Fixed the wording and typo in the Mind Possession text
5.    Added the rules for the Medallion of Zhangpau
I ended up leaving the crossbow in the chest. Although it is not maximized for any of the heroes, it is a good weapon and could come in situationally useful.
 

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I’ll try to gather some people to test it. I’m still not convinced by having two Dark Demons but at least if they have the Medallion of Zhangpau they’ll have a chance. I suggest testing this with them having retrieved either the Medallion or a Xuthal’s Crown from my scenario, but not both, since that’s extremely difficult. Still with a move of 8, the ODD is still a very difficult target to hit.

 

We’ll test it and see.

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We may have a chance to test this on Saturday. Has anyone else tested this since the changes? I think it needs a lot of testing, especially because it’s a final scenario.

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8 hours ago, Neil Amswych said:

We may have a chance to test this on Saturday. Has anyone else tested this since the changes? I think it needs a lot of testing, especially because it’s a final scenario.

 

@drmauric gave it another play-through and said it was still slightly skewed towards the OL. I just haven't had a chance to tweak it. 

 

One of his suggestions was to start Conan with a two handed weapon for better cleaving power. Another was to drop Shuan Mings hit points (perhaps to 4?).

 

If you play this weekend, why don't you try it with these two changes?

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One of our players couldn’t make the regular campaign game so we’re testing this instead. I don’t think that either of those changes address the concerns expressed earlier. The two wizards can sit pretty while everyone just rags on Hadrathus. If success is essentially tied to one character (assuming that no-one ever gets to kill the ODD unless the OL is a blithering fool) then all the OL has to do is kill that character. I think making the wand accessible to others changes the scenario enormously, although i understsnd in terms of narrative that you may not want to do that.

 

So we’ll add those changes and see, but I’m skeptical.

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@Neil Amswych

 

Success is not exactly tied to Hadrathus. Him using the Sorcerer's scepter's Lighting Storm is only one avenue of victory for the Heroes. The other way is to kill the Outer Dark Demon, get the Artifact and kill Shuang Mian. That's what the crossbow in the chest is for. Also that was what was driving my thinking that Shuang Mian's life points should be lower and Conan should get more firepower. Because, yes, it is hard to pin down the Outer Dark Demon. Hard but not impossible and once the Heroes get him then it is more likely that they can kill him. And if Shuang's HP is lower, Heroes that are exhausted late in the game stand a chance of damaging him.

 

So even if Hadrathus is killed early, there still is an option, albeit a hard one, for the Heroes to win. Using Lightning on Thoth is the obvious easy avenue, but not the only one.

 

And the wizard's can't  necessarily just sit still. They have to connect to win. Or kill all the Heroes. But the longer the Heroes are alive the more likely it is they will do some damage because as you pointed out, due to reinforcement rate the river doesn't get dredged, so there is a long wait between activations, unless the OL wants to spend big, but then he can't defend.

 

I found that the Heroes really needed to know how to use their Skills. Niord's Blocking can tie up a ton of minions and his Amidextrous can chop them down . Ikhmet needs to be opening chests with his red die manipulation. Even Hadrathus' concentration skill came into play once. (we had to look it up because it hardly ever gets used!) And yes, Hadrathus seriously need to be kept safe. He can't be a front line fighter and don't get carried away with Teleportation. (I had a player get Hadrathus killed in the 3rd round, it was a long night for him, but he knew he messed up) This is why I suggested giving Conan a 2H weapon so he can excel in his role: killing st*ff.  🙂

 

For sure this one is hard for the Heroes. I played 3 times and Heroes lost. But the OL was sufficiently threatened all three time. Ultimately the OL played a better game/ got lucky early. Both Heroes and Overlord have to bring their best to this one.

 

While my Heroes got beat, they enjoyed the challenge and learned from their mistakes. Unfortunately being the end if the campaign, that's a bitter pill to swallow.

 

EDIT: Basically, if the Heroes screw up early then I can see how this may seem unbalanced in favor of the OL.

Edited by drmauric
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23 minutes ago, Neil Amswych said:

Pick a two-handed weapon for me to test to Conan. (Test starts in 20 mins!)

 

Battle axe!

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Does Atali affect hindering? Can she Kiss of Death on others? In other words, Conan is the only hero who can interact with her but can she interact with others?

Edited by Neil Amswych

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54 minutes ago, Neil Amswych said:

Does Atali affect hindering? Can she Kiss of Death on others? In other words, Conan is the only hero who can interact with her but can she interact with others?

 

Atali does not hinder nor harm any hero but Conan.

 

However, the Overlord's units CAN see/interact with her (for example, guards can sacrifice for her).

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46 minutes ago, Neil Amswych said:

Conan puts 8 wounds on Ikhmet who is very lucky to defend for 4.

24E5841F-6E29-4CBD-8A43-E0CE07E87367.jpeg

 

Yikes. This is one of the reasons the players should try for both Xuthal's Crowns.

 

Edited by Ken

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1 minute ago, Neil Amswych said:

Okay that needs to be clear in the rules

 

Noted.

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