Monday, January 26, 2015

Chasing Brimstone

Over at Board Game Geek, someone was asking for ideas for Shadows of Brimstone scenarios that wouldn't just play out as the same "stumbling about in search of clue tokens" feel that is the default experience for most of the published missions.

Here's the rough idea I threw at him. I figure I might as well cross-post it here, since I haven't blogged much lately.

I propose a mission that is a chase through a tunnel, where you place ~4 tiles in a row at the start. Place the Corrupt Sheriff token (or an unused red mini) at the far end from where the Heroes start. Players are trying to catch up with him.

How far he moves each turn depends on the Hold Back The Darkness rolls / Depth Track, or a custom chart. Some rolls trigger him to jump ahead to the start of the next tile, and other rolls just send him a number of spaces forward.

You could avoid Exploration Tokens entirely, so no clues at all. Maybe the only Encounter cards drawn are ones that correspond to the "Advanced" block at the bottom of room tiles. Threats are produced by the same chart that governs the Corrupt Sheriff's movement. Instead of being Threats determined by your Posse level, it'd be only Low Threats entering via side doors, and the frequency (instead of Threat Card color) is determined by your posse level.

They want to bring the Corrupt Sheriff back to justice, which requires getting adjacent to him and making a 6+ Strength check to wrestle him down. Once he's down, no more monsters spawn, and the players win if he's down and they've killed all the monsters that had appeared during the chase.

Stopping to fight the monsters while the sheriff is still on the loose is counter-productive. There'd be a rapid pace forced on the players, with optimal play being about punching a hole through the monster formation, not fighting everything to death (which would only allow the Corrupt Sheriff more time to run away).

Catching Your Breath wouldn't be triggered by eliminating all the monsters, as there's never a moment without at least that one Enemy (the Corrupt Sheriff) in play. So instead Catching Your Breath comes from some entry on the Sheriff's movement chart, which also provides the Loot rewards, and can happen even if there are monsters still in play.

The Corrupt Sheriff is himself carrying a Lantern, so if a Hero is faster than the rest of their posse, they could risk running ahead and try to use the villain's light instead.

The idea would be to reward characters with Move bonuses, since they'd be able to catch up with him fairly quickly. In one of the posses I play with, there's a character with +3 movement, that's pretty much always wasted as she can't safely move ahead of us slow-pokes. In this scenario, she'd excel, provided she can slip around the Low Threats as they come up.

It would also make "discard and redraw the map tile" powers somewhat better than they are in most missions. You'd use them to redraw large rooms (since the Corrupt Sheriff can sometimes jump the whole length of a room in a single turn) in favor of short passages and small rooms.

Building the chart and getting the timing right on the Sheriff's movement and monster spawns would take a lot of playtesting and number-crunching, but it's a starting point.

No comments: