Thursday, April 30, 2009

An Epic Update!

Epic Solitaire Notebook Adventures has been updated once again. Click here for the link.

Numerous things have been hammered out and altered. A quick glance:

-- No more cursed items (for now).
-- No speed initiative for creatures.
-- No references to time penalties on Quests.

-- As suggested by "Tim," the player has some decisions to make in Battles now (granted, not much too start the game, really)
-- In response to the "mighty Battle Actions" that the player can obtain, Creatures are built differently; known game types are randomly assigned, and can affect the rules of Battle now.
-- As a way to increases the useful of the Terrains, Creatures are randomly assigned Terrain Modifiers, which modify their Level.

-- Magical Items are Battle Strength modifiers, instead of Level modifiers.

Probably the biggest addition is the use of and acquistition of Battle Actions. These are basic modifiers that are used during battles, which can only be used once per player level change. So, when you increase your Level at a Temple, you "recharge" your Battle Actions. Also, increasing your Level gains new Battle Actions.

The selection of new Battle Actions is sort of interesting. They create "paths" towards a character archetype. So, instead of simply declaring yourself as a Fighter or Wizard, the "path" that you decide to take in acquiring your new action sort of thematically decides that for you. It's sort of subtle.

Anyway, the Creatures are probably too mean now, due to the Terrain modifiers. As they are using the modifiers regularly, whereas your Battle Action modifiers are pretty limited, especially early on. But maybe not.

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Blogger curufea said...

I've only just discovered this game yesterday - downloaded and printed it out. Looks really good- and I'm also wondering if it can combine with the How to Host a Dungeon game ( somehow :)

However - the rules don't cover things that may push a character's level over 10. What happens if they have cummulative magic items that exceed the BS table? Some kind of blanket rule could be used (if greater than 10, use the 10 and add the difference ie level 15 = level 10 + level 5)

3:18 PM  
Blogger Kaptain Kremin said...


I've found my way here via BGG and PocketCiv (excellent! Why aren't you pushing it harder?).

ESNA looks great. I've had a couple of run throughs and - for what it's worth - here's some feedback.

What I liked

1.Card driven. Good card/info combination

2.Reputation system (eg. how am I doing with the various factions in the world?) - this could be fleshed out a bit more perhaps but the design as is works well once you are past the initial 'dance of death'

3. Quests. You've made these interesting, despite the simplicity. Love the negotiation one and the daughter / prisoner ones where you can tackle them different ways.

4.Victory conditions. Full agreement with your modified approach here. Good job.

5.Levelling / clock system with the monsters. Great. Gives tension.

6.Ability to build the world as you go, eg. villages, castles, temples. Innovative and fun.

Areas that didn't grab me

1.Combat. Basic combat is too basic. Clever system with the cards which is good but the lack of decisions points and the generic monster stats make it a bit bland.

Your introduction of Combat tactics (forgot the name) is a step in the right direction and making them one use per level is an excellent touch but I feel that either combat or the monsters need to be livened up a touch.

2. A personal viewpoint but I think you need to introduce an additinal element into the game that provides another layer of depth and meaningful decision points for the player in order to lever up the game's potential from merely
good to great.

Whether this is enhancing a current aspect of the game or tossing in something new to the mix I couldn't say but having enjoyed the deceptive simplicity & depth of PocketCiv I feel that you need a few more herbs and spices.

Don't take any of this as critiscism as you've done a hell of a job to date with what you've got already and I'm mightily impressed.

Kaptain Kremin

(I've posted this twice as I inadvertently put it as a comment to an earlier post by mistake, sorry for the spamming)

3:35 PM  
Blogger Kaptain Kremin said...


After another go at the game I'd like to revise my comments above to say that the combat / monster system is working pretty well as is.

The addition of terrain modifiers, specific monster types with attributes and battle actions makes it a lot more interesting.

The battle actions particularly make for interesting player decisions given their limited useage.

One suggestion would be to add in an additional tactical element in that the terrain determines the confines or openess of the battlefield.

The outcome determines how many of a horde you fight at once, eg. your 'frontage'. In the dark depths of a forest or a mountain pass you might only be confronted by a maximum of 3 monsters at once because of space limitations.

The remaining monsters in the horde are hanging back waiting to fill 'dead monster's shoes' when appropriate.

So even though you are fighting a big bunch of critters you have a more manageable situation (in the right terrain).

A quick (and yep, it's quick) look at how this might work can be found via this link to a game called 'barbarian prince'.

This concept could (I think) integrate pretty well with your cards and promote a more strategic
approach for players as they weigh up the risks of running into a horde in open terrain in this kingdom vs. the possibility of a longer route via more closed-in terrain.

Just a thought.

Kaptain Kremin

8:52 PM  

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