Sunday, December 2, 2012

When New Player Comes

Am I really going to have some super-lame pun as topic whenever I play When Darkness Comes? Looks like it.

A few days ago there was a new experience on that game: a third player.

We two oldbies continued with our earlier characters Ninton Kanton and Rick Harrigan. This duo was bolstered with Amé Stinger and her dubious past as an anarchistic gang member.

We played the Out of the Frying Pan scenario, with few additions.

First, the D12 dice was a turn marker, and every time it was turned back to 12, every player took a failure token. If this happened four times, everyone lost.

Second, outside encounters were placed on ! -marks. Forests and starting tile were unaffected by this. Though forest thingy was house-ruled during game. After all, it would be rather weird to find a bad case of traffic that slows you down from a forest...

Of course, the "story" behind scenario tells us that there is this martial law going on within the village. I guess I didn't take that into account when deciding to use outside encounters in this game. After all, there were plenty of Civilians and Tough Guys around wandering the streets.

Also, all the police characters were found inside houses, which raised some questions about the state of this martial law. Had civilians actually claimed the streets and forced police inside?

During first rounds of the game, a peek through window by Amé and a good perception roll by Rick Harrigan told us that the whole frikkin' City Hall was full of zombies. Who had actually forced martial law on the village? Who was behind the schemes here?

Ah well.

Game went by without encountering almost no adversaries except Tough Guys on the streets. A lot of items and allies were found though, most of them from forest and/or streets.

So characters were quite well-equipped. But lack of true adversaries and a few unlucky Oh Crap -rolls (a mention here goes to Rick Harrigan, who spent two turns in a row just looking at the ceilings in one house because of Oh Crap -table rolls) meant that they didn't have too much Victory Points. Especially when no amount of additional dice and re-rolls actually gave results at times.

D12 had almost turned twice, when people started rushing around in attempt to find actual adversaries. And, eventually, they sure did.

The elder heroes Ninton Kanton and Rick Harrigan thought they could tackle anything alone, and ran alone to different tiles in the city (Ninton went to the City Hall, Rick to random places in Arkham campus area. That had a gun shop as a store-next-door. Go figure.)

Both of these pompous characters faced a D4K monsters. Which means you have to roll 4 same numbers with your dice roll to defeat the beast.

Ninton survived one round of combat, but was left with only one Defense/Health.

Then Rick faces his own adversary, and despite his handgun, he dies. Ninton dies too, since everyone takes one damage point when another character bites the dust, and he had only one health left.

So Amé is the only character left on board, with just one health remaining, and both damage tokens being unhealable.

Amé had impressive 7 Attack dice with her pistol and RMW skill, and had enough Victory Points to actually fight adversaries even with only one health left. That required that no random dice screw ever took place.

Well, dice screw came with first adversary she encountered. The very same adversary that had killed Rick.

So... everyone died.

I had thought that this games difficulty doesn't scale much when additional players join the fray, but when 2/3 of characters manage to kill themselves, it's a whole lot worse situation than when this happens with only 2 players.

Inspired by this I finally managed to compile a better skill table for players to use. The one behind character sheets gives next to no details on how the skills actually work and where they help. Also, when skills usage is scattered between 4-5 rule books and leaflets, it's a pain to check how they actually work. This was actually somewhat of a problem now with three players, when different situation and different skill interactions came up more often.

Enough of ramblings, waiting for next time.

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