A relic hunt by Jeff Warrender and Steve Sisk

Monday, February 4, 2013

Failing a challenge -- what happens?

What happens when a player fails a challenge?
Outside the temple, the solution is simple:  the player loses one white chip (ie, one action), and if an enemy operative is active in that city, the operative executes its power (problem alert:  if there are multiple operatives in the city, do they ALL execute their powers?  Maybe it's just "the leftmost in the row" of operative cards, since he's the "senior" operative).
Inside the temple, to keep the action brisk, you face challenges at the end of your turn, if you draw a "trap" chip from the cup (which are added to the cup when you pass through a room having a "trap" icon).  So you can't lose a white chip -- you have already spent all of those.  And you can't just lose some adventure cards, since you don't have any, or else you'd have spent them on the challenge. 
Possible answers could include:
- Lose an artifact (if you're carrying one)
- Return to the entrance
- Lose a turn
Sending you back to the entrance isn't always punitive, and if it doesn't entail loss of the artifact, it can actually be helpful -- it gets you away from all of the other player and operative pawns that may have been hounding you. 
Lose a turn may be too punitive, but it's thematically appropriate.  The only problem is, what if everyone fails a challenge?  Then everyone loses a turn and there's no net effect.  And especially in a 1p game, who cares about missing a turn?  So a better punishment may be "draw no white chips during the resupply phase next turn".  That way the enemy clock continues ticking, but you can still spend white chips off of your item cards, so you may still be able to take a turn, albeit an abbreviated one, and at a cost (my thought was that white chips on item cards are worth VP at game end).
A related question that came up has been, what do you do when a "noise" chip is drawn?  I have it that ALL enemy pawns move one space closer to you, and (i) any pawns in a room with a feature, instead of moving, test it for the grail room or a font, and (ii) any pawn in the same room as you steals whatever you're carrying.  In practice, (ii) was too brutal, so I changed it to "you must pay a certain number of fist icons to avoid having something stolen", and if you can't, or won't, the enemy steals an artifact, or if you don't have one, an item, or if you don't have one, an ally card.  Then that enemy carries the artifact around and you can initiate a fist-icon challenge against the enemy to take it back (or anyone else can).
It might also work better if it's that the first chip drawn moves the closest enemy (you generated a little noise), second "noise" chip moves the next-closest enemy (you generated a lot of noise), and so on; maybe it's cumulative, so second chip moves closest AND next-closest, etc.

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