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Campaign : Sands of Despair


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15 hours ago, Roolz said:

@Finbar I’d suggest you ask questions directly here, answers might be useful to others 😊

 

As @Roolz has encouraged me to share my questions with the group, here goes. (I generally keep questions with the developer private out of respect.)


Once again, congratulations to Nesh-Shogta on completing such a imaginative and artistic campaign of large scope and length. 

By way of introduction I'm part of a group that often play tests for Ken Myri, Dan Mauric, and Matt Sullivan -- not to drop names but to give you an idea of our experience level. We are a team of retired and active military (combat soldiers) and myself, a long time combatant in martial arts, so we bring all that knowledge and experience of combat with us into the game. We have been known to surprise the designers with our all-in, combat team approach, bringing tactics like bounding overwatch into it.

Sometimes we're the ones surprised, as we have been with several of the scenarios in this campaign, which we have been able to win, sometimes on replay, but only by the skin of our teeth.  (We  had started with the original version, have shifted to 2.1) On this latest one, 6 - Kushite Hunters, we have not yet been able to find a winnable solution for the Heroes. We've played through it twice, and walked through it a 3rd time and a 4th time, but couldn't find a convincing way to kill Ageera to get the key to open the red door. Perhaps we're missing something?  

We first tried evading the patrol on its initial rounds and then engaging the Kushites, but couldn't dispatch enough of the Kushites in time to get to Ageera, because three of them can bodyguard him with Sacrifice and a good set of hit points and then the patrol reappeared who all have Sacrifice, so Ageera was able to flee the quickly overwhelmed heroes (all the Bossonian Guards having Sacrifice.) We tried defeating the guard first, but because again they each have Sacrifice, they could Sacrifice for each other and no sweeping actions or multiple attacks at once would work. (Not to mention that the OL has a strong gem reserve, with an equally strong recovery rate to defend attacks.) Did you intend for them not to be able to Sacrifice for each other, as one of them at a time can absorb all the attacks into himself? 


There are 8 of to defeat, along with the Archers and Othryades (who’s no pushover), and regardless of which angle or vantage point we approached it from, before the Kushites emerge, the heroes were pretty spent and still haven't dispatched all the guards, archers, and Othryades.  Then, again, Ghayour, Shafiah, and N'gora all have Sacrifice and a lot of hit points before Ageera can even be touched, and he can soon sprint away once any number of the guard show up with their Sacrifice, too, and the Heroes are so encumbered by the mass they can’t catch and dispatch him for the key.


What are we missing in this ingeniously constructed scenario which we find way overmatched for the heroes with the number of characters with Sacrifice and the time constraints, please?

Edited by Finbar
highlighting Roolz name
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Also, I'm curious how everyone interprets this section:

Find a secret passage :
A Hero must succeed on a complex Manipulation roll (difficulty 1, without the thieves' tools or skill
bonus) to determine whether or not there is a secret passage in a room. Use the secret trap token.
Chests : simple Manipulation. 1 grappling hook (essential to descend into the pit).

It's clear that Ageera must be killed and drop the key in the area she dies, which (not "she") opens the red door to get to the chest to get to the grappling

hook to be able to descend. The question is, do the Heroes search just that room for the secret passage from that point, or any room? Cannot they not just

add Manipulation dice or reroll in a room? 

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Disclaimer : I haven't played this campaign yet, only helped proofreading the FR version.

 

On 10/22/2021 at 4:55 AM, Finbar said:

Also, I'm curious how everyone interprets this section:

For what it's worth, here's how I interpret the section:

#1- One hero can search any room, by performing a complex manipulation, difficulty 1.

Lock-picking skill not allowed. Thieves' tools (custom equipment at the end of the booklet) not allowed. By the way, the Lockpicking kit in scenario 1 should read Thieves' tools. Everything else allowed, including adding dice up to exertion limit, and reroll.

#2- If the roll succeeds, the secret passage is here ; if not, heroes have to search another room.

 

On 10/22/2021 at 4:45 AM, Finbar said:

We tried defeating the guard first, but because again they each have Sacrifice, they could Sacrifice for each other and no sweeping actions or multiple attacks at once would work. (Not to mention that the OL has a strong gem reserve, with an equally strong recovery rate to defend attacks.) Did you intend for them not to be able to Sacrifice for each other, as one of them at a time can absorb all the attacks into himself? 

Not sure I fully understand the above, but that's how I play Sacrifice : With a regular attack, one single dude can absorb all damage of said attack, indeed. But if one of the heroes has Circular Strike skill, he can kill several dudes with 1 attack, even if they have Sacrifice (remaining damage still goes to another dude after the sacrificed one). Area attacks (Lighting storm, Explosive orb, etc) work as well. Maybe it could helps killing the guards & archers faster ?

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6 hours ago, Roolz said:

How I play Sacrifice : With a regular attack, one single dude can absorb all damage of said attack, indeed. But if one of the heroes has Circular Strike skill, he can kill several dudes with 1 attack, even if they have Sacrifice (remaining damage still goes to another dude after the sacrificed one). Area attacks (Lighting storm, Explosive orb, etc) work as well. Maybe it could helps killing the guards & archers faster ?

 

I agree with Roolz on this. Sacrifice is basically a meat shield. A big circular swing can slice through the meat shield AND the target (and anything else nearby if the swing is big enough).

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@Ken, @Roolz

Thanks for your responses on Sacrifice. Every time this skill and its application has come up in scenarios, regardless of who was playing, the OL at the time interpreted as that *one* character with Sacrifice could absorb ALL the damage, regardless of the type of strike or attack. I, myself, have questioned that without prevailing, and you can imagine, having to kill every last single Bossonian Guard -- or whoever has that skill -- one at a time, regardless of how many hit points you can bring to bear, is well, a BEAR. 😉 And a very long, protracted battle. 

I also believe that it's thematic (and has verisimilitude) if a minion can sacrifice himself for a superior/retainer/henchmen, but rather fatuous to use that to protect another minion, or a whole band of them. This ain't Beau Geste 😉


Thanks, again, gents!

 

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@Roolz @Ken Et al:

Unfortunately, our OL with the longest experience is digging in on this subject of Sacrifice. He states:

  • Only if you want to make it easier on the heroes, which it seems some people would like to do. Take a valuable tool away from the Overlord, and make it easier for the heroes.  It seems one designer supports it, I don't, as the company itself would have included it in errata.  Which hasn't happen yet.
    So, what you are saying is if a foot soldier stands in the way for leader/hero it still cuts through him, and still gets the leader hero. Then there is no use for sacrifice.
  • It shaves a couple hits off a major attack.

  • It's a provision area attack, only if you get thru the first meat shield, or point of attack. Yes it is taking it away.

  • I will agree it will greatly throw the balance in favor the heroes in situations. It will strip the Overlord the ability to protect his main boss. I would attack a guard kill them all in one sweep, no more protection, everyone else kills boss. A useless skill for the Overlord, balance in play is shot.

  • Again, you cut threw minions first, with circular strike since they can't defend each other, leaving boss bare of any protection, making a useless skill for the minion. Boss can now be killed as you please.  All other minions like bowman can't be protected, useless skill.

 

I hold with you both, but you can see what I'm contending with. Any other thoughts? Do we need one of the authors or original designers on this?


Thank you all for your time, help, and indulgence. 


 

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So we are on the same page: 

Sacrifice  - When a friendly character in this character’s area is attacked, before dice are rolled, this character may choose to be attacked instead. This character cannot Guard for that defense.

Circular Strike - When this character kills an enemy character with a 2-handed Melee Attack, another enemy character in the same area suffers the excess damage from the attack (if that character is killed, repeat this process).

 

Is your friend is saying that a) the Sacrifice skill invalidates Circular Strike, or b) that the Sacrifice skill can be used to redirect the excess damage from a Circular Strike over and over until there are no more units with Sacrifice? 

 

Thematically, it makes sense too. Think of it like a pellet gun (regular attack) versus a 50 caliber rifle (circular strike).

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5 hours ago, Ken said:

So we are on the same page: 

Sacrifice  - When a friendly character in this character’s area is attacked, before dice are rolled, this character may choose to be attacked instead. This character cannot Guard for that defense.

Circular Strike - When this character kills an enemy character with a 2-handed Melee Attack, another enemy character in the same area suffers the excess damage from the attack (if that character is killed, repeat this process).

 

Is your friend is saying that a) the Sacrifice skill invalidates Circular Strike, or b) that the Sacrifice skill can be used to redirect the excess damage from a Circular Strike over and over until there are no more units with Sacrifice? 

 

Thematically, it makes sense too. Think of it like a pellet gun (regular attack) versus a 50 caliber rifle (circular strike).

Hi @Ken 

Thanks for beginning with the statement of the two terms to assure we're on the same page, which  we all at least are. It's just that so far he's not accepting our consensus on the interaction of the two.
 

Yes, he's saying "a) the Sacrifice skill invalidates Circular Strike".  He's adamant that unless we allow a single character (minion, esp.) the ability in the  Sacrifice skill to absorb ALL the damage for a  Circular Strike and protect everything behind it, we have invalidated Sacrifice. He says that makes Sacrifice "a useless skill for the OL and play balance is shot. "

To reiterate to one of his quotes: " So, what you are saying is if a foot soldier stands in the way for leader/hero it still cuts through him, and still gets the leader hero. Then there is no use for sacrifice. It shaves a couple hits off a major attack." [sic] 

 

I could be persuaded to go along with the "b)" option, IF the OL (or Hero) whose character is being attacked, specified before the roll the full number of characters with Sacrifice to serve as meat shields (prespecification being a requirement) and then have Circular Strike go through them one at a time until either the strike was exhausted, or it finally cut into the initial target. This way, both Sacrifice and Circular Strike are honored, if that is to be the official ruling.

Agreeing  fully with your ballistics analogy, @Ken, I can't accept that Sacrifice completely vitiates Circular Strike with just one minion/character standing in the way as he asserts it must. Extending on that analogy, I'd frame it that one character can take on the full brunt of a single missle shot (spear, arrow, crossbow , bolt -- or bullet) or standard melee cut with any single-handed edged weapon, but not the equivalent of a fully automatic burst (esp. with a high caliber (50 ) machine gun that is spraying an entire mass or area.

Again, I appreciate this discussion, and hope it is relevant to all. I certainly don't want to hijack a thread, yet this question has been the key to Scenario #6, the way this OL insists it be interpreted.  I don't know if it's going to take an official clarification station from The Overlord  forum, ex cathedra for him to be satisfied. 

Many thanks,
Barry

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Well, the Circular Strike stuff is somewhat off-topic with your original question (i.e. "Kushite Hunters scenario unwinnable for heroes"): since players can choose their heroes, it's possible that none of them has Circular Strike (or the required 2-handed weapon)!

 

That being said, about Circular Strike vs. Sacrifice, there's been some discussion on the French side of the forum, in 2017. Everyone agreed that remaining damage went to the other dudes, but there was disagreement about the detailed sequence of who does what . So a -now former- member of Monolith gave an official answer, which I translate hereunder (fell free to copy-paste it in the rules section on this side of the forum):

#1: Hero with Circular Strike declares that he will use this skill,

#2: Hero declares his target and the number of gems he will use for this action,

#3: OL declares the mini that will be Sacrificed,

#4: Hero rolls dice (= X successes),

#5: The sacrificed mini dies (= successes - (armor+ life points)),

#6: If there is any remaining damage, Hero announces his new target (it can be the same as in #2),

#7: OL declares the mini that will be Sacrificed (if there are others with this skill in the area),

#8: The sacrificed mini dies (= successes - (armor+ life points)),

#9: Back to #6... (and as long as there is remaining damage).

Practically, it still costs the Hero an awful lot of gems when the OL has several sacrifice-able dudes (and if OL can bring reinforcements, the main target is almost un-killable, I've experienced it firsthand).

Edit: in the Kushite Hunters scenario, a Circular Strike hero would have to roll a total of 24 successes (=8*(2+1)) to kill all Bossonian guards before even thinking of hurting the boss.

Edited by Roolz
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16 hours ago, Roolz said:

Well, the Circular Strike stuff is somewhat off-topic with your original question (i.e. "Kushite Hunters scenario unwinnable for heroes"): since players can choose their heroes, it's possible that none of them has Circular Strike (or the required 2-handed weapon)!

 

That being said, about Circular Strike vs. Sacrifice, there's been some discussion on the French side of the forum, in 2017. Everyone agreed that remaining damage went to the other dudes, but there was disagreement about the detailed sequence of who does what . So a -now former- member of Monolith gave an official answer, which I translate hereunder (fell free to copy-paste it in the rules section on this side of the forum):

#1: Hero with Circular Strike declares that he will use this skill,

#2: Hero declares his target and the number of gems he will use for this action,

#3: OL declares the mini that will be Sacrificed,

#4: Hero rolls dice (= X successes),

#5: The sacrificed mini dies (= successes - (armor+ life points)),

#6: If there is any remaining damage, Hero announces his new target (it can be the same as in #2),

#7: OL declares the mini that will be Sacrificed (if there are others with this skill in the area),

#8: The sacrificed mini dies (= successes - (armor+ life points)),

#9: Back to #6... (and as long as there is remaining damage).

Practically, it still costs the Hero an awful lot of gems when the OL has several sacrifice-able dudes (and if OL can bring reinforcements, the main target is almost un-killable, I've experienced it firsthand).

Edit: in the Kushite Hunters scenario, a Circular Strike hero would have to roll a total of 24 successes (=8*(2+1)) to kill all Bossonian guards before even thinking of hurting the boss.

@Roolz, Thank you for spending the time to dig that up and share it here. Thank you Nesh-Shogta and the rest on this thread for your indulgence and kindness in entertaining this question here. I hope that this has not been too out of place (next time, I will spin up a separate thread.)  

I hope you don't, but sometimes I encounter an OL intractable on a question, and need such source authorities. 

Thanks again, and kind regards,
Barry

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10 hours ago, Nesh-Shogta said:

Dears friends of the brotherhood of the dice of fate, I suggest the following changes for Scenario 6:
- delete the special rule about the secret passage.
- replacement of Bossonian guards by Eternal guards.
- replace Kushite hunters Sacrifice skill by Counterattack.

Thank you, kindly, Nesh-Shogta for your suggestions. 
I hope that this has not done violence to your intentions for the scenario, and I appreciate your indulging all these questions on this thread.

Appreciatively,
Barry

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On 10/25/2021 at 4:02 AM, Finbar said:

@Roolz, Thank you for spending the time to dig that up and share it here. Thank you Nesh-Shogta and the rest on this thread for your indulgence and kindness in entertaining this question here. I hope that this has not been too out of place (next time, I will spin up a separate thread.)  

I hope you don't, but sometimes I encounter an OL intractable on a question, and need such source authorities. 

Thanks again, and kind regards,
Barry


Thank to you Barry, because you are one of those people who is involved to improve the adventure.

I see what you mean by intractable OL. It happened to me to try to help some to improve the writing of their scenario, and even after having written 3 campaigns and game aids, my advice fails to help these OL.

I gladly welcome suggestions from players
(perfection must be an art, not an obsession).

Edited by Nesh-Shogta
dilpomatic consideration
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On 10/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, Nesh-Shogta said:

It happened to me to try to help some to improve the writing of their scenario, and even after having written 3 campaigns and game aids, my advice fails to help these totally closed  minds.

I had exactly the same experience ! Perhaps it was the same guy :malchance:

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  • 4 weeks later...
10 hours ago, PADORR said:

Can this be printed properly as a hardcover then or should it just be a magazine?

 

(thanks for all your hard work btw)

I have tried, not happy about the result (cut edges, bad pagination, dull colors), I know someone did it too, and ask to Lulu to make it better. Springbringer got more success with the magazine version. It's a mystery because I use Lulu files and recommandations. If you have  information/suggestion, I am taker.
Thanks to you Padorr.

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2 hours ago, Nesh-Shogta said:

I have tried, not happy about the result (cut edges, bad pagination, dull colors), I know someone did it too, and ask to Lulu to make it better. Springbringer got more success with the magazine version. It's a mystery because I use Lulu files and recommandations. If you have  information/suggestion, I am taker.
Thanks to you Padorr.

Unfortunately I don't. That's why I really appreciate the work you have already put into this.

 

It's fantastic having these brilliant adventures professionally made up

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  • 1 month later...

Hi. Thanks for the awesome campaign and all the extra material, like the new map boards. I have downloaded version 2.2, and found some minor typos:

 

Tiles: there are some names on the tiles in the Book of Skelos that doesn't correspond with the printed names on the tiles, like Pict Bowmen (Pict Archers), Bossonian Bowmen (Bossonian Archers), Scorpion Queen (Scorpion Broodmother), Ape Men = Grey Man Ape. I guess that every Conan player will easely recognise these tiles.

 

Two tiles have others skills:  Scorpion Queen (= Scorpion Broodmother) + 1 extra skill: Poison, Giant Snake: has poison now in stead of Wall wrecker. These tiles are not provided in the addenda. If the player knows these differences, it is not a problem of course, but it is worthwhile to point it out.

 

Minor French translation thingies:

page 38: Le necromancer, should be The necromancer

page 42: Belit (avec son armure) fait face à l'homme-singe avec ses seuls poings. Should be: Belit (with her armor) faces the ape-man with only her fists.

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On 1/15/2022 at 1:18 PM, ronveer said:

Hi. Thanks for the awesome campaign and all the extra material, like the new map boards. I have downloaded version 2.2, and found some minor typos:

You are welcome, thanks Ronveer for the feed back
 

Tiles: there are some names on the tiles in the Book of Skelos that doesn't correspond with the printed names on the tiles, like Pict Bowmen (Pict Archers), Bossonian Bowmen (Bossonian Archers), Scorpion Queen (Scorpion Broodmother), Ape Men = Grey Man Ape. I guess that every Conan player will easely recognise these tiles.

I use tiles from  the software Conan Editor. I will fix these tiles.
 

Two tiles have others skills:  Scorpion Queen (= Scorpion Broodmother) + 1 extra skill: Poison, Giant Snake: has poison now in stead of Wall wrecker. These tiles are not provided in the addenda. If the player knows these differences, it is not a problem of course, but it is worthwhile to point it out.

I did it, but I will be more specific.
 

Minor French translation thingies:

page 38: Le necromancer, should be The necromancer

page 42: Belit (avec son armure) fait face à l'homme-singe avec ses seuls poings. Should be: Belit (with her armor) faces the ape-man with only her fists.
I will fix it too.

Current 2022, I will be able to make some extra material (small areas, rooms) and soon I will make a pdf with 13 missing tiles + life tokken (Brule, Amra, etc.)

 

Edited by Nesh-Shogta
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  • 4 weeks later...

Trying to get v2.2 to print on LuLu, but when selected as a magazine it just says the cover is formatted the wrong size and won't go any further. It won't even show me the preview.

Printing it as a book doesn't work either as the cover has the inner leaf art.

 

Anyone actually get v2.2 to print yet and how did you get it to go through?

Edited by Metalzoic
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7 hours ago, Metalzoic said:

Trying to get v2.2 to print on LuLu, but when selected as a magazine it just says the cover is formatted the wrong size and won't go any further. It won't even show me the preview.

Printing it as a book doesn't work either as the cover has the inner leaf art.

I just add the hard cover file for Lulu. Hoping it's alright.

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Cool thanks.

Just tried it and it does let it process and show a preview this time, but it's a bit to big. The Conan Sands of Despair Title is far right on the cover and cut off at the top. The text on the back is far left of center. The spine title is off center.

 

It also looks like pages numbered 5, 6 & 7 in the LuLu file are on the wrong pages as those page numbers print in the inside margin rather than the outside corner like the rest of the book.

Looks like this is because the PDF has 2 additional pages not included in the LuLu file (Pdf page 2 "Check for the latest version before playing" page. And Pdf page 8 "Rules of the new gameboards")

Without those 2 pages the LuLu page count gets thrown off for pages 5, 6 & 7. Could be fixed by adding a single page in front of those... maybe an art splash page before the table of contents page or something? The rest of the book is correct.

 

Now I'll  try it as a magazine to see how that Cover works there.

Edited by Metalzoic
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The new Hardback cover file also won't work as a magazine. Gives this error

Quote

Book Size: Your PDF dimensions are 18.542" x 13.444" (470.96mm x 341.49mm)For the book size you selected, the PDF dimensions need to be within 16.728"-16.853" x 11.877"-12.002". (424.88mm-428.05mm x 301.69mm-304.86mm). Please update your PDF dimensions or select a different book size.

 

And trying to use the Magazine cover file as a magazine gives this error

Quote

Book Size: Your PDF dimensions are 16.972" x 11.944" (431.09mm x 303.39mm)For the book size you selected, the PDF dimensions need to be within 16.728"-16.853" x 11.877"-12.002". (424.88mm-428.05mm x 301.69mm-304.86mm). Please update your PDF dimensions or select a different book size.

 

Hopefully that helps!

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