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Monday, 27 July 2015

Myth Campaign Diary: The House Rules Edition

No Flavour text this update but we've just cleared everything except the Terror in act 3 so plenty of that to come in the next update "The Song of the Spider"

The Monty Haul Problem
Thus begins the final push towards the end of story two act three. And I’m beginning to feel that there might be a treasure problem. I fact I’m having  a bit of an existential Myth crisis about a few things.

Number One – the Loot
I’m a tabletop GM by nature and one of the maxim’s I’ve learned to live by is “Keep ‘em poor and hungry for more”. The acquisition of material stuff is a primary driver for adventuring. A paucity of said stuff also means that the players and their characters are challenged more strongly by circumstances and are therefore forced to become more inventive in their problem solving. This always leads to a good story.
We’re into our 6th act in total and most of us are carrying one or two pieces of blue gear and the rest is green.
Being an experienced bunch we are also very good at maximising our opportunities for gaining loot. This has resulted in us being both very well equipped and fantastically rich.
The upshot is that the current batch of antagonists is proving less challenging that I though they would.

Number Two - Faffing About (or the loss of urgency)
Mechanically if the perceived danger is low then there is no incentive to gain threat. Realistically this means that the only threat thresholds that we meet on the darkness deck are the occasional 8, and that’s only the case when we’ve needed to do a high threat action for a specific quest gain, such as in the epic mega kill episode last post.
It also means that once the lairs are done we can faff about for ages using movement cards to meet the “must act” anti loitering criteria while picking up all the treasure tokens.

Number Three – Bum Scratching
This has happened to both the trickster, where I think this is a larger defect, and most recently to the spriggan. You draw a hand and there’s no useful contribution you can make, repeat until at the end of your deck. By this point everyone else has been sticking the boot in and you’ve sat about scratching your bum for an hour or more. This is about the least fun you can have playing Myth.
The problem for the Spriggan is that she is very fragile until geared up which does apply some urgency pressure, but in a larger group context just leaves her hanging about at the back doing nothing and feeling like a third wheel.

Number Four – Follow the Leader
Minion clumping is a thing. Especially with the instinct enemies they all rush the heroes and effectively block the captains from doing anything apart from wandering up and down the back row like a heavily armoured football coach. Not so much of a problem at setup but after a few spawns makes the tile a turgid swamp of slowly shuffling minions. Captains are also slow to emerge in the Terror deck which means that there are usually a lot of crawlers on the tile before they put in an appearance.

House Rules
We’ve had a bunch of great Myth sessions but we’ve put in a whole heap of hours and that’s drawing out some underlying issues, non of which can’t be overcome with a house rule or two. And it’s also possible that the chaps at Myth HQ will have already thought of these for Journeyman.

Changes to enemy movement
We’ve already been playing these house rules as they are mainly clarifications to the existing movement rules.

Proximity
Proximity attackers will do their best to move next to the closest target. If they are obviously blocked then then will move towards the next nearest, based on their priority and so on.

Threat
When calculating which target to attack based on threat subtract the distance the enemy unit would have to travel from the calculation. This reduces clustering as it means that enemies will close with heroes as targets of opportunity first unless given a compelling threat and gives a reason for the soldier to keep his threat high to draw fire from other heroes.

Changes to card draw
Before anyone plays a card in the hero cycle you may discard a card, search your deck for a replacement card and place it in your hand. To do this you must pay the AP cost of the card plus one as the Darkness becomes aware of your manipulation of the fates. The may spend 1 serendipity to reduce the AP cost by one. You may not spend more than one serendipity.

New Mechanics for the Acolyte
You may play a card face down to heal a hero by one point of vitality. The range of this ability is equal to your Faith. This operates in a similar way to the Soldier’s rage mechanic

Changes to lair spawn
If there are eight or more minions on the tile then the lair will automatically spawn a Captain during the Darkness cycle in addition to the spawn on the Darkness card.

Changes to treasure
Intelligent creatures moving over a treasure token will expend a point of movement to pick it up, returning it to the treasure pool for the tile.

All of these will be reviewed once we introduce new darkness decks as some of these issues may be caused by just playing the stories for the Terror.