Buffy board game questions & mini-review

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Damien Sullivan

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Sep 7, 2003, 11:52:37 PM9/7/03
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I hope Rob is still around...

I've read the FAQ and a lot of old posts, but have a couple of questions:

Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it always work in an
attack, or is use still optional? My apologies if this is clear on the card,
but I remember wondering, and I'm away from my game.

If a vampire is outside next to a doorway, and the sun comes up, so she can
scurry right inside, is that 0 or 1 damage? I played it as 1 -- one movement
-- but wasn't sure if the idea was to count squares passed through.

If Evil loses minions, can it move all characters? I played an on-spot house
rule of "when the Master loses all minions he gets to move god damn it"
although rolling the black die might have been relevant as he promptly
summoned Veruca and sired Willow. (And next turn I messed up by moving Veruca
first ... on a full moon. Her 6-6 movement roll was way more useful than it
would have been for trapped Willow... 24 moves gets just about anywehre.)

Speaking of which, what's the logic of forcing the sired chars to be moved?
Keeping their players vaguely interested? And what was the logic of the black
die? Did playtesting suggest that balance was really needed?

Moving beyond official rules, have people played with Hungry Oz, or a rule
where Evil gets to move all the time? Any results?

I'm a Buffy fan, but my roommate hasn't seen much. We played the game -- me
Evil, she Good -- and she enjoyed it. "Now I want to see the show." It was
interesting how different gameplay can be -- the previous games I've been in
involved early Buffy combat followed by Buffy cowering and being protected by
the others, while Good tried to get Were-Oz to chew on the Master.
Successfully, I think. This game Buffy cowered less but I got Willow on the
run, although she later healed Buffy and herself (I houseruled that she could
heal herself) and Were-Oz didn't do much. All starting minions got wiped out,
but I sired Xander and Willow. Buffy got the Magic Sword though (found by Oz,
passed on to Willow, and then to Buffy after a summon) which combined with
crossbow, explosives and Angel did a lot of damage. As did my letting evil
get caught outside twice... the Master died just as he reached cover, which is
why my second question is farily relevant.

Bringing in new minions is cool, but I wonder how easier healing would change
things. Buffy regeneration, evil regenerating on black squares... I guess
there's a risk of it being hard to actually end the game; as it is Big Bad
life points are the only non-renewable resource. (Well, so are good chars, if
they actually die.) But if you wanted a long, more calculating game...

Thanks!
-xx- Damien X-)

Neil Cerutti

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Sep 8, 2003, 2:41:38 PM9/8/03
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In article <bjgue5$4nu$1...@naig.caltech.edu>, Damien Sullivan
wrote:

> I hope Rob is still around...
>
> I've read the FAQ and a lot of old posts, but have a couple of
> questions:

Here are my opinions.

> Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it
> always work in an attack, or is use still optional? My
> apologies if this is clear on the card, but I remember
> wondering, and I'm away from my game.

I think that's irrelevant, in that I can't imagine not wanting to
use it.

> If a vampire is outside next to a doorway, and the sun comes
> up, so she can scurry right inside, is that 0 or 1 damage? I
> played it as 1 -- one movement -- but wasn't sure if the idea
> was to count squares passed through.

1 move equals 1 point of damage.

> If Evil loses minions, can it move all characters?

No.

> I played an on-spot house rule of "when the Master loses all
> minions he gets to move god damn it" although rolling the black
> die might have been relevant as he promptly summoned Veruca and
> sired Willow. (And next turn I messed up by moving Veruca
> first ... on a full moon. Her 6-6 movement roll was way more
> useful than it would have been for trapped Willow... 24 moves
> gets just about anywehre.)
>
> Speaking of which, what's the logic of forcing the sired chars
> to be moved? Keeping their players vaguely interested? And
> what was the logic of the black die? Did playtesting suggest
> that balance was really needed?

I would guess it was needed for balance.

But it also give the Evil played less to think about sometimes,
making his/her job less taxing, and more fun.

> I'm a Buffy fan, but my roommate hasn't seen much. We played
> the game -- me Evil, she Good -- and she enjoyed it.

I've had the same experience with other non-fans of the show.
The game is good.

> "Now I want to see the show."

I've never had that happen, though. ;-)

> It was interesting how different gameplay can be -- the
> previous games I've been in involved early Buffy combat
> followed by Buffy cowering and being protected by the others,
> while Good tried to get Were-Oz to chew on the Master.
> Successfully, I think. This game Buffy cowered less but I got
> Willow on the run, although she later healed Buffy and herself
> (I houseruled that she could heal herself) and Were-Oz didn't
> do much. All starting minions got wiped out, but I sired
> Xander and Willow. Buffy got the Magic Sword though (found by
> Oz, passed on to Willow, and then to Buffy after a summon)
> which combined with crossbow, explosives and Angel did a lot of
> damage. As did my letting evil get caught outside twice... the
> Master died just as he reached cover, which is why my second
> question is farily relevant.

The most common tactic is surrounding and blocking in an
opponent. Black is more susceptible to it, having no teleport
spells. If the game gets boring, it'll be because of that this
tactic.

A limit on the random movement rolls would help.

The times I've lost as good, evil usually found some means of
keeping the werewolf out of the game.

> Bringing in new minions is cool, but I wonder how easier
> healing would change things.

I love that evil gets new minions and good gets healing. It fits
the theme of the game so well, and supports "evil" and "good"
strategies, respectively. Good has to mother-hen all it's
irreplaceable Scoobies, while evil can treat its minions like,
well, minions.

There's always the Mark of the Annointed. ;-)

> Buffy regeneration, evil regenerating on black squares... I
> guess there's a risk of it being hard to actually end the game;
> as it is Big Bad life points are the only non-renewable
> resource. (Well, so are good chars, if they actually die.)
> But if you wanted a long, more calculating game...

There's a good argument that Buffy regeneration fits the theme,
but you'd have to beef up evil to compensate, perhaps with a few
life-draining evil cards (I think life-drain fits the theme
better than evil healing).

--
Neil Cerutti

Damien Sullivan

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Sep 8, 2003, 3:16:20 PM9/8/03
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hor...@yahoo.com wrote:
>In article <bjgue5$4nu$1...@naig.caltech.edu>, Damien Sullivan

>> Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it


>> always work in an attack, or is use still optional? My
>> apologies if this is clear on the card, but I remember
>> wondering, and I'm away from my game.
>

>I think that's irrelevant, in that I can't imagine not wanting to
>use it.

You can't? It does damage to its wielder. Way I read it, it does damage to
you whether or not it does damage to your opponent, meaning Willow gets the
most benefit from it. (Briefly.) If you have low life I can imagine wanting
to not get closer to death. (Or wounding.)

>But it also give the Evil played less to think about sometimes,
>making his/her job less taxing, and more fun.

I felt more taxed. "Which of my minions will I move? And argh, I want to
move them all!"

>strategies, respectively. Good has to mother-hen all it's
>irreplaceable Scoobies, while evil can treat its minions like,
>well, minions.

Yeah, I can see that.

>There's a good argument that Buffy regeneration fits the theme,
>but you'd have to beef up evil to compensate, perhaps with a few
>life-draining evil cards (I think life-drain fits the theme
>better than evil healing).

Going by the show, everyone *except* the Scoobies should heal quickly.
Buffy's basically a living vampire with visions; they all heal too.

But we all know the game doesn't go by the show that closely. I guess I
should try to play the game as is before getting carried away by variants.

-xx- Damien X-)

Neil Cerutti

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Sep 8, 2003, 4:32:34 PM9/8/03
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In article <bjiki4$rak$1...@naig.caltech.edu>, Damien Sullivan wrote:
> hor...@yahoo.com wrote:
>>In article <bjgue5$4nu$1...@naig.caltech.edu>, Damien Sullivan
>
>>> Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it
>>> always work in an attack, or is use still optional? My
>>> apologies if this is clear on the card, but I remember
>>> wondering, and I'm away from my game.
>>
>>I think that's irrelevant, in that I can't imagine not wanting to
>>use it.
>
> You can't?

Er, right. I was ignorantly thinking of a totally different
artifact. Sorry for being confused.

>>But it also give the Evil played less to think about sometimes,
>>making his/her job less taxing, and more fun.
>
> I felt more taxed. "Which of my minions will I move? And
> argh, I want to move them all!"

I can definitely understand it causing frustration, but in
limiting your options, it does give you less to think about.

--
Neil Cerutti

Chris Camfield

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Sep 10, 2003, 7:53:47 PM9/10/03
to
On Mon, 8 Sep 2003 03:52:37 +0000 (UTC), pho...@ugcs.caltech.edu (Damien
Sullivan) wrote:
[snip]

>Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it always work in an
>attack, or is use still optional? My apologies if this is clear on the card,
>but I remember wondering, and I'm away from my game.

Based on my recollection of that episode, I'd say it probably should not be
optional. It's an Evil Weapon and while technically yes, the individual using
it could punch someone with the offhand, or kick or what have you, when you have
a glove that can IIRC shoot fireballs... the temptation would be to keep using
it.

I do like the Buffy game, but if Evil always has a reinforcement minion card
available it's pretty unstoppable.

Chris

Steven Sharp

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Sep 13, 2003, 8:07:32 PM9/13/03
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pho...@ugcs.caltech.edu (Damien Sullivan) wrote in message news:<bjgue5$4nu$1...@naig.caltech.edu>...

>
> Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it always work in an
> attack, or is use still optional? My apologies if this is clear on the card,
> but I remember wondering, and I'm away from my game.

I don't have the card available, but I suspect it says "may" or "can".
I don't think there is anything on the card or in the rules that forces
you to use it. Use of all of the artifacts is optional. Some just can't
be traded away after being used.

The Glove is already dangerous for Good to use. They can't afford to
throw away a life point except when they have a serious magical helper
to do enough damage to make it worthwhile. Making them use it when they
don't would render it almost unusable for them.

> If a vampire is outside next to a doorway, and the sun comes up, so she can
> scurry right inside, is that 0 or 1 damage? I played it as 1 -- one movement
> -- but wasn't sure if the idea was to count squares passed through.

That counts as 1. It is 1 for each square moved, plus it makes sense to take
damage since they were outside. A tougher question is what happens if there
is an ally just inside the doorway, so they have to move one further to get
to a clear space. They moved an extra square, but were inside already. We
don't count this for extra damage, but it isn't clear.



> If Evil loses minions, can it move all characters? I played an on-spot house
> rule of "when the Master loses all minions he gets to move god damn it"
> although rolling the black die might have been relevant as he promptly
> summoned Veruca and sired Willow.

No, Evil can only move what the die says, just as it says in the rules.

But the rules seem to be pretty relaxed about when Evil cards can be used
during Evil's turn. They seem to be associated with Evil's turn as a whole,
rather than any given character (for example, note that Surprise Attack
applies to all Evil characters attacking that turn). This fits with the
fact that they belong to Evil as a whole, not one character. We have taken
that interpretation all the way and allow the use of Evil cards at any point
during Evil's turn. With our interpretation, if you rolled 3 minions, but
had no minions, you could still play Summoning cards to get minions and move
them.

> Speaking of which, what's the logic of forcing the sired chars to be moved?
> Keeping their players vaguely interested?

I thought at first it was to give the sired players something to do, though
just rolling dice isn't very interesting. Frequently the players do get
into the evil role and start advising Evil. However, after listening to
Evil complain a lot about having to move the sired characters first, and
even reconsider whether to sire because of it, I now suspect that it was a
balance thing. Siring is very powerful. It not only gets rid of a Good
character, it adds an extra minion. The restriction of having to move them
first helps counteract this unbalancing effect.

It also fits with the show. These are the major characters, and any episode
where they got sired would center around them.

> And what was the logic of the black
> die? Did playtesting suggest that balance was really needed?

If you didn't use the die, then a lot of rebalancing would be needed.
I don't know whether the die was designed in early and the game balanced
around it, or whether it was added later for balance.

But it does fit the show reasonably well. There are a lot of times when
the major villain just stands around pontificating instead of going out
and using their superior abilities for killing people. Near the end of
an episode, a villain who has been countering every move that the Scoobies
makes, will fail to do anything about that final big plan. And the show
tends to be fairly even-handed in showing what the Good characters are
doing, but may not cut to an Evil one for long stretches.



> Moving beyond official rules, have people played with Hungry Oz, or a rule
> where Evil gets to move all the time? Any results?

Oz's complete cooperation with Good is one of the more glaring discrepancies
with the show. We have only talked a little about how you could change that.
Did you have any specific ideas?

> It was
> interesting how different gameplay can be -- the previous games I've been in
> involved early Buffy combat followed by Buffy cowering and being protected by
> the others, while Good tried to get Were-Oz to chew on the Master.

Sounds like Buffy was too aggressive. She's more powerful and can fight
successfully without cards, but she's more effective with them.

Games do vary wildly. There are a lot of luck elements that can swing
things back and forth. Personally, I think the amulet and sword artifacts
are overly powerful in that regard. But the wild shifts in fortunes do
keep things exciting and match the style of the show.

> (I houseruled that she could
> heal herself)

I don't think that is technically legal. And having to arrange for some
help for healing Willow makes for interesting maneuvering.

> As did my letting evil
> get caught outside twice... the Master died just as he reached cover, which is
> why my second question is farily relevant.

Some players do habitually forget about sunrise and get burned.



> Bringing in new minions is cool, but I wonder how easier healing would change
> things. Buffy regeneration, evil regenerating on black squares... I guess
> there's a risk of it being hard to actually end the game; as it is Big Bad
> life points are the only non-renewable resource. (Well, so are good chars, if
> they actually die.) But if you wanted a long, more calculating game...

I think it would reduce the excitement and tension. There have been a lot
of tense times where characters were really hurting and covering for each
other, and Joyce or a healing spell showed up in the nick of time. I don't
know that a slower pace would match the style of the show. And the games
already take one to two hours for us.

We did a couple of playtests of a scenario with Angelus as the villain (with
Spike, Dru and Vamp X as minions). Since Angelus is much weaker than the
Master, we balanced it by saying Buffy couldn't bring herself to stake him,
though she would fight him. This also matched the show fairly well. We
had the Summon Angelus card restore him to full health if successful.

The balance seemed reasonably good, but it felt like there was less tension.
Since Angelus was less able to sire than the Master, and Buffy wasn't allowed
to kill him in one shot by staking, it didn't have the same fear of sudden
death as the Master scenario. While this didn't have the lengthening effect
that you suggested, it did show what reducing the risk of quick death does
to the mood.

For anyone interested, we used the Orb of Thessala as the story artifact,
and required the Orb for casting Soul Restoration. Good could win by killing
Angelus or by restoring his soul. Evil could win by killing or siring Buffy,
OR by killing or siring everyone but Buffy (Angelus's game of tormenting
Buffy). The Orb thing didn't work very well, as Evil kept getting it and
there is only one Soul Restoration card anyway, making it too hard to use.
But we really didn't like allowing the normal Soul Restoration as an instant
win. The bit about Buffy not being able to stake Angelus was sort of
interesting, as it pushed the others more toward trying to stake him. It was
particularly appropriate to see Xander gearing up to try to kill him, while
Buffy wouldn't.

Steven Sharp

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Sep 13, 2003, 8:45:07 PM9/13/03
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Chris Camfield <ccam...@DELETEMEemail.com> wrote in message news:<49evlvgoefnh88flc...@4ax.com>...

>
> Based on my recollection of that episode, I'd say it probably should not be
> optional. It's an Evil Weapon and while technically yes, the individual using
> it could punch someone with the offhand, or kick or what have you, when you have
> a glove that can IIRC shoot fireballs... the temptation would be to keep using
> it.

Actually, in the game it is only part of your attack; there is no reason
you wouldn't try to punch and kick too.

And while what's-her-name in the episode was using it non-stop, there is
no reason to believe that wasn't just her decision.

> I do like the Buffy game, but if Evil always has a reinforcement minion card
> available it's pretty unstoppable.

We find that Good tends to win more than half of the games, with experienced
players. They have a more opportunities for clever maneuvers, and extra
players do help in coming up with good ideas.

Evil can always get lucky in when the Summon cards turn up. Too early and
they clog up your card slots if you aren't willing to discard them, and too
late leaves you short of minions. And blowing a Majik roll on Summoning
really hurts. Luck helps a lot.

But it is also possible that you are talking about a strategic error on
the part of Good: expending too much effort eliminating minions, who can
be replaced, instead of going after the Big Bad. I have seen this happen
quite a bit, usually against the Master. I have done it more than once
myself.

Sometimes it just seems like a good tactic. You killed one minion to save
someone's life, or because they had a dangerous artifact. You then think
that if Evil were really short on minions, they would lose moves and have
trouble picking up cards to replace the minions. So you go after the
remaining minions, the way Evil goes after the weaker Scoobies. This
tactic doesn't work very well, and is best avoided.

But the main reason is that the Big Bad just seems too intimidating. This
is particularly strong with the Master, who has a good chance of siring in
one shot. So Good hangs back, trying to collect better cards for the
assault. That gives Evil time to trap somebody with minions, so you have
to kill one. Then you have used up your good cards and still need more,
plus you need cards for healing. That gives Evil time to do it again.
Three replaced minions later, and Good is on the ropes, with Big Bad still
at full strength.

It is tough judging whether you are ready for an assault (and the movement
dice never seem to cooperate), but waiting too long can be as bad as
going too early. Remember that killing minions isn't the victory condition.

Damien Sullivan

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Sep 13, 2003, 11:57:23 PM9/13/03
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sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote:

>to do enough damage to make it worthwhile. Making them use it when they
>don't would render it almost unusable for them.

"But it's an evil weapon!" But no, I see that logic.

>That counts as 1. It is 1 for each square moved, plus it makes sense to take

Oh good.

>damage since they were outside. A tougher question is what happens if there
>is an ally just inside the doorway, so they have to move one further to get
>to a clear space. They moved an extra square, but were inside already. We
>don't count this for extra damage, but it isn't clear.

This actually came up in our game. I didn't count that for damage -- he's
indoors!

>> If Evil loses minions, can it move all characters? I played an on-spot
>> house rule of "when the Master loses all minions he gets to move god damn
>> it" although rolling the black die might have been relevant as he promptly

>No, Evil can only move what the die says, just as it says in the rules.

Hmph. I see your "show logic", but it seems brutal to have the Big Bad alone
and immobile.

>But the rules seem to be pretty relaxed about when Evil cards can be used
>during Evil's turn. They seem to be associated with Evil's turn as a whole,

Yeah, played that way. Although forcing them to be played by chars might make
the higher Magik die minions more useful -- right now they're just good for
faster artifact recovery, or the Glove.

>If you didn't use the die, then a lot of rebalancing would be needed.
>I don't know whether the die was designed in early and the game balanced
>around it, or whether it was added later for balance.

Well, I might try it sometime, after I've actually plaed the game more.

>> Moving beyond official rules, have people played with Hungry Oz, or a rule
>> where Evil gets to move all the time? Any results?
>
>Oz's complete cooperation with Good is one of the more glaring discrepancies
>with the show. We have only talked a little about how you could change that.
>Did you have any specific ideas?

Just the one from the "Optional Rules" link at my page.
http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/buffygame.html
Basically he tries to attack the closest character, with his player breaking
ties. Would lead to some delicate maneuvering before the full moon. ("Make
sure he's closer to them than us.") Could be a lot more in tune with the show
-- Oz trying to get himself away from his friends.

>> It was interesting how different gameplay can be -- the previous games I've
>> been in involved early Buffy combat followed by Buffy cowering and being
>> protected by the others, while Good tried to get Were-Oz to chew on the
>> Master.
>
>Sounds like Buffy was too aggressive. She's more powerful and can fight

Yeah. We were newbies. Of course so was my roommate, but I guess she just
wanted cards.

>things back and forth. Personally, I think the amulet and sword artifacts
>are overly powerful in that regard. But the wild shifts in fortunes do

I wanna see Glorificus with the Magik Sword. (Or Glorificus with Olaf's
Hammer... Dee's rules say only Spike and Buffy can wield it, but if the
problem is strength, she should qualify too.) Kill Xander or Willow with one
blow, probably.

>I don't think that is technically legal. And having to arrange for some
>help for healing Willow makes for interesting maneuvering.

Yeah, "adjacent player". I guess it'd help limit Good.

>> Bringing in new minions is cool, but I wonder how easier healing would change
>> things. Buffy regeneration, evil regenerating on black squares... I guess

>I think it would reduce the excitement and tension. There have been a lot

Yeah. I spent a lot of time thinking about alternate rules, then ended up
deciding the current ones were mostly pretty good, Oz and the black die being
the big doubts. Other ideas had been making various cards reusuable, like
sewer maps (who throws those away) or giving vamps automatic sewer crawl.
That'd definitely change the game...

>We did a couple of playtests of a scenario with Angelus as the villain (with
>Spike, Dru and Vamp X as minions). Since Angelus is much weaker than the
>Master, we balanced it by saying Buffy couldn't bring herself to stake him,
>though she would fight him. This also matched the show fairly well. We
>had the Summon Angelus card restore him to full health if successful.

Ooh, interesting. I'd thought about Angelus, but wasn't sure how to do it.

Since you say the Orb didn't work, you could try boosting the number of splats
needed for the spell. Casting it was *hard* for Willow on the show -- she had
mysterious help and was still drained. (Admittedly this was before she nearly
ended the world, but hey, chronology's already scrambled.)

Thanks for the comments!
-xx- Damien X-)

Neil Cerutti

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Sep 15, 2003, 9:14:40 AM9/15/03
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In article <3a8e124e.03091...@posting.google.com>,

Steven Sharp wrote:
> Chris Camfield <ccam...@DELETEMEemail.com> wrote in message
> news:<49evlvgoefnh88flc...@4ax.com>...
>> I do like the Buffy game, but if Evil always has a
>> reinforcement minion card available it's pretty unstoppable.
>
> We find that Good tends to win more than half of the games,
> with experienced players. They have a more opportunities for
> clever maneuvers, and extra players do help in coming up with
> good ideas.

Mark, and remember. It was counterintuitive to me, but splitting
the good players amongst several people made the game *much*
easier for good than when I tried to run them all myself.

I think some of it may be a psychological advantage: possibly the
Evil player can feel overwhelmed when it's 1 against 4.

But too many cooks does *not* spoil the broth, in this case.

> Evil can always get lucky in when the Summon cards turn up.
> Too early and they clog up your card slots if you aren't
> willing to discard them, and too late leaves you short of
> minions. And blowing a Majik roll on Summoning really hurts.
> Luck helps a lot.

The eclipse cards seem more powerful to me than the summoning
cards, at least in my experience. If Evil can keep the werewolf
out of the game, its job is much easier. Plus, with clever play
of the eclipse cards, Evil keeps daylight from every coming, and
can burn through the Evil cards at a nasty pace.

> But it is also possible that you are talking about a strategic
> error on the part of Good: expending too much effort
> eliminating minions, who can be replaced, instead of going
> after the Big Bad. I have seen this happen quite a bit,
> usually against the Master. I have done it more than once
> myself.

Yup. My worst defeats as good have been when I overextended
trying to mop up an isolated or weak looking minion.

> But the main reason is that the Big Bad just seems too
> intimidating. This is particularly strong with the Master, who
> has a good chance of siring in one shot. So Good hangs back,
> trying to collect better cards for the assault. That gives
> Evil time to trap somebody with minions, so you have to kill
> one. Then you have used up your good cards and still need
> more, plus you need cards for healing. That gives Evil time to
> do it again. Three replaced minions later, and Good is on the
> ropes, with Big Bad still at full strength.

Ever seen a game where the Mark of the Annointed was used
effectively? I haven't yet. It just seems weak.

> It is tough judging whether you are ready for an assault (and
> the movement dice never seem to cooperate), but waiting too
> long can be as bad as going too early. Remember that killing
> minions isn't the victory condition.

Agreed. Evil is set up to win a war of attrition. Good needs
surgical strikes.

--
Neil Cerutti

Steven Sharp

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Sep 18, 2003, 8:02:08 PM9/18/03
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sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote in message news:<3a8e124e.03091...@posting.google.com>...

> pho...@ugcs.caltech.edu (Damien Sullivan) wrote in message news:<bjgue5$4nu$1...@naig.caltech.edu>...
> >
> > Once a character has used and activated the Glove, does it always work in an
> > attack, or is use still optional? My apologies if this is clear on the card,
> > but I remember wondering, and I'm away from my game.
>
> I don't have the card available, but I suspect it says "may" or "can".
> I don't think there is anything on the card or in the rules that forces
> you to use it. Use of all of the artifacts is optional. Some just can't
> be traded away after being used.

OK, I have looked at the card and it just tells you what it does, not
whether you have a choice of using it. But it seems like you have a
choice of using it the first time, and it doesn't say that that changes.
Then again, you could assume that you have no choice the first time either,
but will use it if you make an attack. That would make it very dangerous
to pick up at all. It would give you an extra incentive to destroy the
thing, beyond keeping it out of the wrong hands.

I found nothing in the rules about whether artifact use is optional.
Except for the one-shots, there was nothing on any of the artifacts that
said there was a choice either. Of course, for most there is no reason
why you wouldn't use them (a vampire might hold back on the Sword to avoid
killing instead of siring, I suppose).

So it isn't clear. I would fall back onto the general principle that you
get to choose when to use the other cards, so this should be the same. Plus
the other artifacts are at worst useless, and this could actually be bad to
pick up if you assume you never have a choice when in combat.

BTW, for some reason I don't remember Evil ever getting much use from the
Glove either. Maybe it has just been that they haven't gotten it in our
games. It isn't necessarily all that useful to them though. Taking a point
of damage to inflict an average of 1 or 0.5 points may not be a good trade,
unless you have the replacement minion all lined up. It would be quite
powerful for the Mayor before he ascends, since it doubles his damage while
presumably doing no lasting harm. It wouldn't be so good after ascending
(and where would he be wearing it anyway?)

Steven Sharp

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:23:14 AM9/19/03
to
sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote in message news:<3a8e124e.03091...@posting.google.com>...
>
> Taking a point
> of damage to inflict an average of 1 or 0.5 points may not be a good trade,
> unless you have the replacement minion all lined up.

Oops, that is 2 points of damage per Majik symbol, so make that 2 or 1
point inflicted for minions with 2 or 1 Majik die respectively. Much
better trade.

Steven Sharp

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Sep 19, 2003, 7:24:03 PM9/19/03
to
Neil Cerutti <hor...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<bk4e00$op1mj$2...@ID-60390.news.uni-berlin.de>...

>
> Ever seen a game where the Mark of the Annointed was used
> effectively? I haven't yet. It just seems weak.

My experience is similar. Good recovers it about half the time, and
can usually keep it away from Evil if they do. If Evil recovers it
and anoints a minion, Good will generally take out that minion before
doing any damage to the Master, rendering it useless. I once saw
Evil hold off anointing while trying to arrange to get Angelus into
play. An anointed Angelus could have been nasty if we hadn't destroyed
the Master before that happened.

BTW, what should happen if Angelus is anointed, then has his soul
restored? Would his damage done still go to the Master? This is not
likely to come up, since I have never seen him anointed, and I have
only seen his soul restored in one game. But I have seen Vamp Willow
anointed once, and I have seen Vamp Willow re-ensouled a couple of
times.

I have seen one game where the Mark was somewhat useful. A minion
was anointed, but Good had a chance to trap the Master in a bad position
and took it. The anointed minion managed to feed him a few points while
trying to help free him, delaying his destruction slightly.

Steven Sharp

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Sep 20, 2003, 7:35:26 PM9/20/03
to
pho...@ugcs.caltech.edu (Damien Sullivan) wrote in message news:<bk0ov3$s3q$1...@naig.caltech.edu>...

> sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote:
>
> >A tougher question is what happens if there
> >is an ally just inside the doorway, so they have to move one further to get
> >to a clear space. They moved an extra square, but were inside already.
>
> This actually came up in our game. I didn't count that for damage -- he's
> indoors!

You could argue that it is slower getting through a doorway when someone
is standing in it, but we don't count it either.

> Hmph. I see your "show logic", but it seems brutal to have the Big Bad alone
> and immobile.

It is rare to have Big Bad entirely alone.

I do understand the frustration. I once played the Mayor and managed to
get him to ascend to Demon Mayor. I then didn't get to attack with him
even once. I kept rolling 3 minions, leaving him immobile for 3 or 4 turns
while the Good characters hauled in explosives and everything else to kill
him. That must have been one very long commencement speech he was giving!



> Basically he tries to attack the closest character, with his player breaking
> ties. Would lead to some delicate maneuvering before the full moon. ("Make
> sure he's closer to them than us.") Could be a lot more in tune with the show
> -- Oz trying to get himself away from his friends.

Though in the show, they locked him up, rather than trying to aim him in
the direction of opponents.



> I wanna see Glorificus with the Magik Sword. (Or Glorificus with Olaf's
> Hammer... Dee's rules say only Spike and Buffy can wield it, but if the
> problem is strength, she should qualify too.) Kill Xander or Willow with one
> blow, probably.

Yes, which was a problem I saw too often when testing that scenario. This
problem was second only to Glory finding the Key in her corner at the start.
And unlike the original playtesters, I know that two Majik symbols on a
Spell of Phases won't move the Moon two phases to skip past sunrise. There
is basically a 1/4 chance that the game is lost from the start. Once Glory
has the Key, there is no way to get it back short of destroying her, and
there isn't enough time for that.

I came up with what seems like a reasonable solution to both problems.
When Evil rolls 3 minions so that Glory is Ben, nobody moves him, but he
counts as an ally of the Good characters (though you could have this change
when Glory is hurt enough that Good can attack Ben, or throw that rule out).
Minions cannot move through him, but Good characters can. More importantly,
he will willingly trade away any artifacts in his possession to any Good
character, but not to any minions.

So if Glory tries to hold on to Dawn herself, Ben can hand her back over
to the Good characters (as in the show). So Glory will probably leave her
with a minion instead (also as in the show), giving Good a fighting chance
of rescuing her. Since she could also lose any other powerful artifacts,
she would tend not to use any, reducing that overkill problem.

A simpler variation of this would just be to have any artifacts held by
Glory be returned to a corner when turning into Ben, as with werewolves.

I had issues with Olaf's Hammer as an artifact, though I might have been
misinterpreting the intent. If it is included randomly, as a non-story
artifact, then the game is too strongly influenced by whether it gets
randomly chosen or not. It is another way that the initial artifact setup
determines the outcome, regardless of what the players do. If it were
always included, like a second story artifact, then it might help rebalance
the odds of beating Glory (which I have found to be very poor). Because
I assumed the first, and didn't like it, I took someone else's suggestion
and just used the sledgehammer Weapon card as Olaf's Hammer, doing 2 points
against Glory.

In general, I don't care for the Glory scenario. So many of the cards are
useless for both sides. It may give the designer's desired feeling of
futility, but that isn't a lot of fun to play. Glory kills people instead
of making them insane, unlike the show. Siring cards could have been used
for that somehow. And it leaves out most of her minions, like the giant
snake creature, the marrow sucking demon, and the guy with the tail. But
I guess that would have required too much change from the normal game.



> Yeah. I spent a lot of time thinking about alternate rules, then ended up
> deciding the current ones were mostly pretty good, Oz and the black die being
> the big doubts.

Just taking out the black die and letting Evil move all characters would be
very imbalancing. That would give Evil 50% more actions for each character
compared to an average roll (assuming a full set of minions). If you just
don't like the random element or the frustration of rolling the wrong thing,
you might try giving Evil the choice of moving 3 minions, or Big Bad and
1 minion. This reduces Evil's number of actions on the average, by losing
the chance of Big Bad and 2 minions, but that offsets the added flexibility
in choosing who to move.

We have found that the existing rules work pretty well. They seem to be
pretty well balanced, slightly favoring Good. So we don't tinker with the
rules. We do try out variant scenarios. I have posted a couple of Evil vs.
Evil ones. We also tried a 3 Geeks scenario, and the Angelus one.



> Since you say the Orb didn't work, you could try boosting the number of splats
> needed for the spell. Casting it was *hard* for Willow on the show -- she had
> mysterious help and was still drained.

Perhaps 3 symbols, or maybe only 2 if adjacent.

We have been trying to come up with a good way to have the story artifact
be based on the demon that Buffy had to impale Angel to shut down. The
artifact card would represent the knowledge of how to awaken it, which is
what slowed Angelus down. But to avoid the Glory/Key type problem, and
match the show, there should be a way to shut it down by killing Angelus
soon enough after activation. We wanted to restore the urgency of the
standard scenarios, but still make it stoppable.

Damien Sullivan

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Sep 24, 2003, 5:06:40 PM9/24/03
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sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote:
>Neil Cerutti <hor...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<bk4e00$op1mj$2...@ID-60390.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>>
>> Ever seen a game where the Mark of the Annointed was used
>> effectively? I haven't yet. It just seems weak.

Actually it came up in my second game with my roommate, who was again Good to
my Evil.

This time I kept my vamps mostly indoors, and never got caught outdoors. Of
course the sun only rose once, due to my actually using the Eclipse cards.
(And I went through my Evil deck at least twice.) Buffy got a good weapon and
the Magik Sword *again*, so I had to deal with the Buffy+3 again. Bleah!
Drusilla got the Glove, and used it to speed up Willow's death, before getting
whacked by Xander+Riley and then the Buffy+3. No one bothered with the Glove
again. I burned through all my original minions and then some, fortunately
getting lucky in drawing or holding cards. But eventually I was down to the
Master, Veruca (whom I sneered at) and... Angelus! Right after Harmony died,
too. Hee hee.

Angelus whacked Xander (who'd found the Mark easily *again*) and picked it up
himself. I think he healed at least 9 points of Master-damage, cumulatively.
Including a wise choice of whacking a wounded Oz shortly before the full moon
instead of trying for a chance of siring Buffy, because the full moon came
right after that, leaving Buffy All Awone while making Veruca useful for
something other than researching Evil in the library. In fact she rolled a 9,
bounded across the board (everyone else was in or around Gile's apartment --
the Master and Angelus were both Invited) and chewed on Buffy a couple of
times, which ended that. The Master ended up pretty healthy, so the Mark
probably didn't throw the game, but it sure made me happier and more
confident.

I suspect a lot of times it's Oz who does the hard work for Good, not Buffy;
funny that Veruca got the kill this time.

Good spent most of the game taking out minions; she realized on her own that
this wasn't so good, as I kept bringing out new ones. Evil's strategy was of
taking out allies and keeping the Master safe, which I guess worked this time,
despite all my crappy die rolls. (Lots of times I rolled 4 or 5 dice --
surprise attack -- and did no damage. And Xander had garlic, and Oz is a
werewolf, so no siring. Then one time I rolled two fangs on Buffy without
having played a card.) So at least when I play the Judge or Mayor I'll have
the experience of killing everyone, even though I didn't have to. Though I
suspect it'd be easier to go for Buffy first, then everyone else is a wimp.

My big fear was the Soul Restoration; Buffy had Jenny, so probably had a
decent chance of casting it. (Giles was lost when Willow died.) But she
never drew it.

>BTW, what should happen if Angelus is anointed, then has his soul
>restored? Would his damage done still go to the Master? This is not
>likely to come up, since I have never seen him anointed, and I have
>only seen his soul restored in one game. But I have seen Vamp Willow

Gyah, I didn't think of that, and I wasn't that far from such a situation.

-xx- Damien X-)

Damien Sullivan

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Sep 24, 2003, 5:10:22 PM9/24/03
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sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote:

>OK, I have looked at the card and it just tells you what it does, not
>whether you have a choice of using it. But it seems like you have a
>choice of using it the first time, and it doesn't say that that changes.
>Then again, you could assume that you have no choice the first time either,
>but will use it if you make an attack. That would make it very dangerous

No, I'm certain choice of first use is optional, like the Military Costume.
It's after that I'm not sure about. Also, if used, should Oz or Veruca drop
it when they change? They drop artifacts, but the FAQ says the Mayor keeps it
when he changes. I guess it's more abusive if they get to hold on to it,
given their healing.

-xx- Damien X-)

Damien Sullivan

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Sep 24, 2003, 5:25:36 PM9/24/03
to
sh...@cadence.com (Steven Sharp) wrote:

>Though in the show, they locked him up, rather than trying to aim him in
>the direction of opponents.

Because of civilians, who are happily absent in the board game. ;)

>I came up with what seems like a reasonable solution to both problems.
>When Evil rolls 3 minions so that Glory is Ben, nobody moves him, but he
>counts as an ally of the Good characters (though you could have this change

I thought of something like that, but wasn't sure what to do with it. I think
Buffy should move him, actually. So he can do stuff like run away from where
she has to be. Although maybe that'd make it too hard. Well, playtest! (Of
course I still haven't even played the non-Master scenarios.)

>I had issues with Olaf's Hammer as an artifact, though I might have been
>misinterpreting the intent. If it is included randomly, as a non-story
>artifact, then the game is too strongly influenced by whether it gets

I'd started thinking of it as a story artifact, but that's the Key, right.

>randomly chosen or not. It is another way that the initial artifact setup

In my limited experience, normal games can be strongly influenced by whether a
good weapon artifact shows up (like the Magik Sword.) Is it that different?

>In general, I don't care for the Glory scenario. So many of the cards are

Have you looked at the third thing at
http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/hhigh/recess.html
?

>rules. We do try out variant scenarios. I have posted a couple of Evil vs.
>Evil ones. We also tried a 3 Geeks scenario, and the Angelus one.

Yeah, I've got at least one of your posts linked on my website.

-xx- Damien X-)

Damien Sullivan

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Oct 12, 2003, 8:45:51 PM10/12/03
to
I've added the "25 scenarios" of waysideentertainment to my list of links.
I've also written up some alternative rules, including Vamping Faith, Ghosts,
and Healing Help, and a Faith+Angelus scenario. The latter is long, but
that's because I try to be clear, and to clarify some complications from the
story artifact of Soul Switching. Plus, I keep describing possible
variations. The basic change over an Angelus scenario is that Faith and
Angelus are sort of the surrogate Big Bad together, so there's no single point
of failure, and with re-summoning, vamping Faith, or body switching, Evil has
a lot of options for recovery.

http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/buffygame/faithandangelus.html

No playtesting yet; imagination continues to run ahead of play.

-xx- Damien X-)

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