by Watchtower Games
Jason, that's something we're definitely looking at. It's harder to blend in creatures and treasures for a random draw, but you're right. Story cards would be a great fit.
Super excited for this game! Following on the heels of Steve's question, I was wondering; do you think it might be possible for you to provide the pledgers with the tools to build their own storyboards? Kind of a how-to on how you come up with them so we might create our own and make our own stories?
Thanks to the in-depth response to my concerns. I'm looking forward to trying the game for sure and I understand what you are saying completely. The game is all about managing your resources and knowing when to push and when to hold. That seems fun and I'm looking forward to trying it out, although the game will probably give me fits because dice are notoriously fickle for me...but that's certainly no failing of Fallen :)
Thanks for the post, Giles.
Fallen strikes a great balance between the story and the game play. The actions in the story cards are represented by different attributes (agility, intelligence, and strength), treasures if the story fits or takes a positive path, wounds if the hero chooses a more dangerous path, omen symbols representing darker paths either in the dungeon itself "Burning Temple" or in the hero's actions "Slaughter the Gnomes", and finally the story cards have symbols to represent if a challenge is easy, normal, or hard difficulty based on the text. So the decisions the hero makes in the story card definitely have a tangible and thematic effect.
Fallen has very tight game play that plays well, gives players plenty of options, and keeps them on their toes. One of our core design goals is to give the players plenty of choices. Removing or restricting these choices about equipment or creatures is something we take seriously in our design. With so many adventure locations and actions to take combined with tons of variety in cards, equipment, characters, critical wounds, skills Fallen does a great job of providing a random dungeon generator (or themed adventure packs) with fun story elements to drive its core card and dice game play.
Although I love how the game is looking, I have seen a number of reviews of the game criticising a lack of continuity/theme between the text in the adventures and the cards the dungeon lord uses during challenges. I wondered if just the slightest of additions to the story card text would help solve this issue....if, say, the challenge was to 'smack an Orc about the head a bit' (a lame scenario but good enough for my suggested change) ...currently the dungeon lord draws upon minion/ powers etc unrelated to an Orc and so the narrative continuity is lost.....if, however, there were a die symbol or two within the story card text (to represent the orcs power/contribution to a challenge) giving the dungeon lord an additional blue die or so, this gives some continuity to the narrative.....the hero has to defeat a rather feeble Orc....a simple task I hear you cry but if play then continues as normal, the powerful dungeon lord can draw upon all the power/minions etc he controls to support his weedy Orc and thus build his pool of dice. In real terms I am making no suggested changes to actual game play, but with the addition of die icons within the challenges, it links the story to the actual challenge (without the need for additional cards to represent a challenge's danger the hero has to face...and makes it a little more of a challenge to overcome
You chose "Join the Relaxing Picnic". You sit down with the picnic goblins and partake of their bounty of fruit salad. You have a pleasant time trading hygiene tips and trash-talking trolls ( ya know what I'm sayin'?). You bid farewell to your new friends and head back to the dungeon.
Unbeknownst to you, that fruit salad had been sitting in the sun a bit too long. Your insides start to churn.
Do you "Run Back Outside and Warn the Goblins" or "Let One Rip Where You Stand"?
The dungeon corridor opens up into a verdant green field with beautiful sunshine. Under a tree swaying gently in the breeze, you spot three picnic goblins enjoying themselves on a checkered blanket. One of them waves to you with a toothy smile and offers to share what appears to be a plastic container of fruit salad lovingly made and to be shared with friends and family.
Do you "Join the Relaxing Picnic" or "Slaughter Them All in a Bloody Rage"?
Nothing messes with the hero's head more than picnic goblins. Do you slay them? Do you join them for sandwiches and lemonade?
@Watchtower - I'm very pleased that you started giving us more details on the character specifics and strategies. It makes me much more enthusiastic about the game's replayability. Like Steve, I've always had some reservations about how one game of Fallen will differ enough from the next game to make the cards and dice hit my table more than a few times before the "sameness" sets in. These sort of updates help some different strategy possibilities.
Now for some specific Creatures, Story Cards, and Adventure Pack details... :-)
Steve, it's not so much a matter of gain a die or gain a fortune it's all about the timing of when and if you use these effects. With the limited resource of Fortune, it's a constant pressing decision of "Is this the time to play this card? Do I save my Ultimate for later?" These decisions are happening constantly throughout a challenge. Not just 1 or 2 decisions but 5, 6, 8, 10+ decisions are pulling you in different ways during a single challenge, from do I play a card, which creature do I use now and use the next challenge, do I save my equipment for later, am I running too low on Fortune, to even which reward do I pick for winning. "I can pay for this card to mess with the Hero's hand of cards, but then I won't have Fortune left to try to win the challenge. Is it worth it? Has the hero seemed excited about the latest card draw? Should I play a different card to pull the Shadow Track into the dark to play my future cards more cheaply?"
Not only are these decisions you have to make in the moment, but you have to plan ahead for the rest of the story card when you refresh several of your resources. Fallen gives you the freedom to burn your resources all up front (a common mistake with new players), so you have to balance giving up one challenge now by planning out a better move later to win two other challenges.
Then you have combos like the one above. What looks like a "Do one damage" card is a lot more than that based on the rate (or rotation) that the creatures come into play. You can simply play the card when you have the Fortune, but then you're spreading your wounds out and not getting the XP as quickly. Anticipating which creature the Dungeon Lord is going to use for the next challenge and how much fortune to save for the combo can have a big impact on the current challenge. If successful, you score a ton of XP to help you win the game. If you fail, then you gave up a challenge earlier and then fumbled your big plan giving your opponent a step up.
Fallen also gives you freedom to take your actions as you want during your turn, allowing you to create combos or moments in the game that didn't seem possible to your unsuspecting opponent. There's no hard turn order of 1) Play 1 card 2) Spend Fortune for Dice 3) Use an Ultimate. You mix these up any way you want to create the best possible play for yourself. The Dungeon Lord rolls big and sits there confidently. You start with your initial roll and then make your move. Your Ultimate is down, but you play a card that grants a shift and a charge costing you some of your precious few Fortune. Your ultimate is almost charged but not quite there. Then you exhaust the Treasure card you've been saving for just this moment that triggers off the shift you just made in the shadow track. It negates the active creatures ability but what you really care about is that it also gives you a charge. With your Ultimate up, you finally use it giving you dice that bring you so close to winning the challenge. And remember that shift the Treasure gave you? Well that finally brought the Shadow Track into the light, so now your ultimate allows you to draw a power card. The new power card might just save the day, but it's too expensive...or is it? Because since the Shadow Track is in the light, it helps you pay for your card. So now you can play the card..and so on.
There's also several moments during each story card where one player or the other (or both!) will have to decide whether to press their luck. "Just 2 more Fortune spent for this card may help me win, but it's a long shot. Do I go for glory now, or save it for later?" Watching players squirm and laugh about which choice to make is an absolute delight as a game designer.
We had 3 backers drop by this week to see the game for themselves. All of them were blown away by the game. Two of the backers played two games in a row and would have gone all night if I hadn't kicked them out. When I asked them what was the number one thing in the game they would change, they said "Having to wait until December." :)
Is Fallen chock full of Mage Knight complexity? No. But for a card and dice game playable in 60 to 90 minutes, it's got a heck of a lot of depth to it.
The abilities in this game always seem underwhelming to me. They always seem to be some variation of "roll a blue die" or "roll a red die" or "deal a wound" or "gain a fortune", etc, etc. It still looks fun, but I don't know how long a game like that will keep me interested
I must have paniced when I wrote it.
The correct word should have been "picnic".
Not to be nitpicky but "paniced" is spelled wrong on Cleave. :(
That character may be too much overpowered versus Overlord? While the overlord always first to challenge, will never get more dices to beat that hero unless the shadow track is on overlord side.