View Full Version : How the game plays: character balance
2006-08-28, 05:04 PM
I've played OOTS Adventure game twice now--each session with four players in the 'short' game coming in at betweeen 4 and 5.5 hours. ...
The person playing Haley won and was second in these games, she also had the most loot and loot getting abilities. I think loot is the root of all evil in this game (well everywhere really, if I may be so Marxist!). If you don't have loot you can't get as many schticks or assistance which then prevents you from further schtick getting and thereby preventing you from getting down to the later levels.
That's really interesting. I've played two games so far with more than two players (I'm not going to count the ones with just me and the wife), and we had V win one and Roy win the other. In the first game we had Roy, V, Belkar and Elan. In the second we had Roy, Durkon and Haley. In the first game Roy came in a close second. In the second Roy was WAY out beyond the other two.
In our games, loot wasn't making much difference at all. In both cases, winning was all about racking up mad numbers of stacking shticks and then blowing Xykon to bits. In both cases a couple of loot items were tossed to NPCs during the final Xykon battle, but mostly the battle was won with piles of shtick-driven bonuses. The 6 points for eliminating Xykon coupled with the point for each of 10-12 shticks (when other players had 6-8) blew away the few points difference between loot stashes.
Roy in particular was a shtick-getting machine. Once he gets a boost or two to great cleavage and the greenhilt sword and gets to a lower level, watch out! One four-monster battle started with a couple of weak monsters from depleted battle decks, so by the time Roy got to the tougher monsters he was attacking at around +16 between the sword and cleavage. Four monsters killed in one turn = one shtick and then some, and for that battle his bonuses were so high I don't think he needed to roll once. During the last five or six turns of the game I think Roy averaged a new shtick every turn or two and picked up a loot or two each turn. Haley and Durkon had no prayer of keeping up with those kinds of gains.
So from our experience: The wife doesn't even want to play any more because she thinks Roy is too powerful compared to the rest of the characters. I'm not completely convinced of this, but I'm sure not seeing Haley as the powerhouse Madame_Zelia describes.
What has everyone else seen in terms of balance between the characters during play?
2006-09-02, 10:47 PM
In our game last night, Roy and Haley were the serious butt-kickers -- V and Durkon just couldn't keep up. Haley would usually outshine Roy in combat (since her Longbow is +2/+2 with range, while Greenhilt is +2/+1 with no range). Then came the battle on level 3 that, due to several Leader/Horde cards, became Battle Size 22! Roy's Great Cleavage quickly took over (he only had to roll on the first three fights), destroying the entire stack of monsters, and giving him 8 (yes, 8!) new schticks! Then, of course, everyone piled into that room to rest for the next dozen turns or so, so we could collect all the loot!
Xykon was a piece of cake for Roy, too (since he had ALL of his schticks in play by then). Unfortunately, since Roy took Xykon out, everyone else was in a better position to flee the dungeon, so he was the last one out. Haley, through loot alone, won the game hands down. Roy was a distant second, with Durkon and V trailing along behind.
2006-10-09, 01:39 PM
We've also run into the "Roy overpowered" problem.
Generally, the game starts on level 1. Roy offers loot for help, and gets it right back when he defeats a monster, gaining schticks early-one.
His growth is exponential, once he has a sword boost or two. He goes down floors (while the rest of us are still on the 1st) and cleaves through piles of monsters, just walking to the next room if he sees a flier or impervious creature . . . just not enough of those "speed bumps" in the deck to stop him.
He can quickly get all of his schticks, piles of loot, and defeat Xycon before the rest of us have much of a chance.
Final score is always Roy way out in front, with the rest of us far behind. This game may hit the scrap-heap quickly . . .
Any suggestions? (Other than ganging up and attacking Roy turn after turn . . . which only works if everyone buys into that strategy.)
NOTE: Totally agree that Roy gets a Schticks/Loot way too easily, and the other players have no way of keeping up.
2006-10-11, 09:14 AM
Tips for slowing down Roy, or ANY character:
1.) When that player offers Loot--DON'T TAKE IT! No one can force you to take that first Loot at the start of the game. Roy is no stronger than anyone else on Turn One if you don't help him.
2.) Don't offer the player any of their Loot if they're getting ahead. Stay near the other players who are running behind and trade amongst yourselves.
3.) Play Monsters that have no red X's or Loot coins on that player. A killing machine is less useful if they keep getting Cowardly Kobold and Poor Little Rat. Add up all the monsters with no red X's, or no Loot cards, or Flying, or Impervious, and it's a pretty big stack. Save them all for whoever you think is the powerhouse.
4.) Attack the other player, especially at Range. You can snipe Roy with impunity until he gets the Bag of Tricks or Logic cards.
5.) Broken Weapon is all-but-designed to slow Roy down when he's far away from the Dungeon Entrance.
6.) Attack him when he rests for a -4 to his Defense. Then take his shiny Starmetal Chunk and sit on it for the rest of the game.
The fact is, the game has more basis in luck in the first few turns than anything else. When you play the game enough times, you'll see that it is just as likely that Durkon lucks into Thor's Lightning as his first gained shtick and starts kicking ass left and right with it. Or that Roy rolls a bunch of 1's and 2's for the first few turns and never catches back up.
2006-10-11, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the tips! ;D
2006-10-11, 04:16 PM
Also, I can say that in the 7 event games we ran at GenCon, I think every character won at least once.
Oh, and every game finished in 4 hours, or very close to it.
I think Roy is one of the EASIEST characters to play, though.
2006-10-12, 01:56 AM
That, I agree with. Roy requires less strategy to be good at what he does. Elan, Durkon, and, to a lesser degree, Belkar require a good deal more (or really good luck). Haley and V are somewhere in the middle.
Some characters are better or worse in an atmosphere of harsh competition. If there's a lot of Player vs. Player attacking, Roy and Elan are weaker and Belkar is king. V also does very well attacking other players.
2006-10-12, 12:05 PM
I've played the game maybe 5 times now in the four days I've had it, and although Roy is good, he definately isn't "way better" than everyone else. One game we didn't finish, but Durkon was doing just as well as Roy, and had way more power at range with his Thor's Lightning. Haley has always done well, and even won the game we had with 5 players. Order of that game was Haley, Elan, Durkon, then Roy and Belkar tied.
Just yesterday I played one-on-one with a friend from work; I was Roy, he was V. I was worried that it would be a one-sided first game for him with Roy kicking butt, but boy was I wrong. The guy was relentless with his magic shticks, and would never offer me assistance so I couldn't heal or flip shticks (I forget the name of Roy's shtick that does that offhand). I'd plow through half a room, only to be stopped by impervious creatures or flying creatures, and then he'd zap me from afar and steal my best equipped loot. V is deadly in the right hands.
My one suggestion to change roy would be with his Great Cleavage shtick. If he's plowing through monsters, and then comes to something with flying and switches to his Bag of Tricks shtick, he still gets the Great Cleavage bonus, which makes no sense to me. I think Great Cleavage should specifically say "when using the Greenhilt Sword battle shtick..." in order to get the bonuses.
This can be a simple solution to preventing Roy from hacking through a whole stack of monsters. We have house-ruled it in, and seems to work so far.
2006-10-16, 01:27 PM
My balance ideas so far place Roy and Haley at the front of the pack as far as ability...played the game 4 times (only finished once due to time constraints) but in 3 of the times Haley was winning...the 4th was a PvP game with Belkar and Elan and Belkar just killed the poor bard.
I'd be interested in seeing how the game plays with everyone in it...because I think in order for the game to truly be balanced, everyone would have to be present. In our game Roy started getting ahead and we refused to help him and I even zapped him with durkon's lightning, but he ended up getting +12 help from the 2 NPCs (I didn't have the loot to cut him off) as well as a screw this card, and the megaphone loot giving him a total of +24 to his roll (or something like that) while I only got +6. If they'd been players, they'd have turned him down (since we all wanted roy out for the count) but as it was he got the help easily.
2006-10-19, 09:30 PM
So far me and my friends have played only twice. Haley won both time through sheer loot alone, and both times she managed to kill Xykon. At first I considered this a problem, but after reading what other players have gone thru and what the Mods just pointed out (thanks for pointing out the obvious that I did not see , DUH [slaps foreheaad]) I can see that it is mostly just style of gameplay, next time I am just gonna have to be more greedy, cause as Haleys Shticks says "Greed is Good".
Thanks for the advice.
2006-10-20, 02:22 AM
My balance ideas so far place Roy and Haley at the front of the pack as far as ability...played the game 4 times (only finished once due to time constraints) but in 3 of the times Haley was winning...the 4th was a PvP game with Belkar and Elan and Belkar just killed the poor bard. *
I'd be interested in seeing how the game plays with everyone in it...because I think in order for the game to truly be balanced, everyone would have to be present. *In our game Roy started getting ahead and we refused to help him and I even zapped him with durkon's lightning, but he ended up getting +12 help from the 2 NPCs (I didn't have the loot to cut him off) as well as a screw this card, and the megaphone loot giving him a total of +24 to his roll (or something like that) while I only got +6. *If they'd been players, they'd have turned him down (since we all wanted roy out for the count) but as it was he got the help easily.
Y'know, I think there's a very easy way to avoid the problem of having NPCs to rely on.
Don't play with them.
After all, they don't really do that much in-game besides making it easier when there's less people to play, and if you DO already have four players, you can still rely on each other most of the time.
Of course, I don't even own this game. I just read the Rules online. So take my advice with about a half-gallon of salt.
2006-10-20, 07:17 AM
that may be a good idea, I'll have to try a game that way and see how it goes
although I would say that if you're going to play w/o NPC's, it would make sense to remove the loot cards that ONLY the NPC's drool over
otherwise it will probably come down to who is drawing the least amount of 'worthless' loot (not usable by the character drawing them and not able to be offered for assistance)
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