Friday, April 25, 2014

Myth Story Quests rendered into Chapter Quests: The Common People

Here's another set of Story Quests from Myth converted into Chapter Quests. This time I tackled Story #4: "The Common People".

These cards are intended to be played during Free Questing, with the following House Rules to replace the usual Story-dependent "level up" rules about decks, titles, and equipment.

House Rule #1:  At the end of every third session, the players receive a Deck Manipulation reward.  When this happens, items are reset to their starting (brown) equipment for each character, but you can save 1 item + 1 per earned Title. Serendipity and gold are reset to zero at this time as well.

Addendum to House Rule #1: If the Heroes ended the third session while still in the middle of a Quest Chain, they may choose to delay the Deck Manipulation and item reset until the end of the session in which they complete that chain. Further Deck Manipulation rewards do NOT accumulate while you are delaying one.

House Rule #2: When you complete a chain Quest that directs you to add a new chain to the Quest Deck, you may choose to either place that card on top of the deck, or to shuffle it into the deck. If the last Quest of a session tells you to add a new chain to the Quest deck, you may make the decision at the start of the next session.

House Rule #2 is arguably the intent of the designers at Mercs/MegaCon Games. It is already implied on page 11 of the rulebook, when they say you can abandon Story or Act Quests to pursue a Chapter Quest Chain, but I wanted it to be listed explicitly since I got a few questions after I posted my conversion of "The Mad King" into Chapter Quests.

Here's the cards that together act as a conversion of "Common People" into a series of Chapter Quests...

Act 1 of the "Common People" Story is/was a rush across several tiles on a 10 Darkness Cycle timer.

I turned this into a per-Tile Hero Cycle timer for 2 reasons:

#1: To allow the players to wrap up the game for the night at the end of any Tile, and eliminate any memory issues next session if they do so.

#2: To allow the players to have the freedom (standard to Free-Questing) of choosing which tiles have Quests and which have Traps without it complicating the Quest.

When I say "complete this Realm Tile" on the various cards, I meant "Clear this Realm Tile". Memo to myself: fix that bit of language whenever I get around to updating these cards.

 (By the way, I made these cards a few weeks ago, so they've got the older layout. I'll probably move them to my newer layout whenever I implement any playtest feedback that crops up.)


 I'm a little nervous that I might have set the Hero Cycle timers too aggressively, and need to relax them later so players can actually succeed, especially this last one.

The difficulty may have gone up, but the rewards if you are successful on all three have also increased a tiny bit. You'd get 3 treasure draws instead of 2, and you'd get two of them a tile or two earlier than otherwise expected. My hope is that the combination roughly evens out.

Giving the players control of when they call it quits for the night meant I had to include text on both Burning Bridges and Fallen Guard to ensure that the former would continue to affect the game while the later was being resolved.

At first glance, there's no way to fail this Chapter Quest. However, a TPK is definitely a possibility in any game of Myth, and the players should probably have the freedom to abandon any quest when Free-Questing. With that in mind, I decided to include some minor directives and flavor text for failure. Such failures won't come up very often, so I didn't spend a lot of time or energy on them. Keeping with Myth's stated "the heroes are telling the tale in a bar after the fact" theme, I decided to not make a TPK end the plotline.

The second Act of this Story was a little vague, and I'm taking a position here on what it meant. Any Hero may exit the Tile as normal by moving off the edge (and placing a new Tile if there isn't one yet), but instead of having to "Clear" the tile to progress, each Hero can individually escape as soon as the number of monsters on the Tile is less than the number of Heroes. The previous quest will keep sending monsters towards you to mess up that math, so this may be tricky, especially for the last Hero through the doors. Players will find success at the Quest hinges on them being coordinated and clustered at a Tile-edge so they can all flee at the start of a Hero Cycle when the monster count is low. If some Heroes flee before the others and accidentally trigger a Darkness Cycle in the process, it may cause the group as a whole to fail. Leaving someone to die outside the gates doesn't feel like success to me.

Trying to pack everything into a single card and keep it legible wasn't easy. I had to truncate a few sentences, skip some of the flavor text, and even omit important information. So it's not as clear as it could be that you win at the end (not the beginning) of wave 10. I don't spell out exactly how the limited entry zones affect Slaughterfield spawning -- personally I'd basically spawn them as if there were off-board lairs adjacent to those 6 spaces -- so how you interpret it might render the Quest a cakewalk, or on the other hand Heroes trying to fix the gaps may find themselves surrounded suddenly and frequently. I also left off the description of what the three resources represent for space considerations (pickaxe/rock, bucket/water, and hand spade, for those still wondering).

Even with those problems, I think the process for fixing the walls is still probably clearer on this card than it is in the rulebook. In the rulebook it's on this weird little copy/paste chart from another quest, and there's no mention of where or how you get a hand spade. I've seen forum threads where different groups interpreted the rulebook in very different ways based on the vagueness of the rules.

In closing, I would just like to say that despite having thoroughly read, thought about, re-typed and re-edited the "Common People" story, I still have no clue what the name means.


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