Friday, October 2, 2015

Lantern-side Stories - Kingdom Death Savior, and 4 more years of fighting monsters

Starting to get into light spoiler territory...
First, a little on the mini- I got the Pinup Savior some time ago since it was on sale more than anything else.

I'm not that enamored with the Pinup line (or general concept) but with Kingdom Death coming soon, I finally painted her up for some practice. I tried using shadows to give her a bit of her dignity back, and, after a few attempts softening the shadows (note how she's now finished after the First Story set), I think I hit the mark.

Her cape was a bit befuddling, since it wouldn't get any light, so I eventually basically trashed the original peacock design I worked on, instead going with a spiritual connection between Kingdom Death and peacocks, with the center of each feather being a glowing eye-like shape. I don't think it came out perfectly, but am still happy with it as an unusual bit of contrast.

On to the campaign...
EDIT: we started incorrectly keeping track of our years, so the Butcher should have been our 5th fight, not our 4th (hence some of the weird notation here). I've tried to correct this.

Year 2 (continued from earlier)
During our settlement phase, we invented graves (cannibalism is probably better, in retrospect, since gear is harder to come by than people, often), and had a child which, due to our Hovel, became a Savior (a super-powered survivor that gains buffs quickly but can't last many fights)! We also decided to care for our kids rather than make them tougher, since the latter option heavily contributed to New Detroit's demise.

We fought another White Lion, and our new survivor, Piantissimo, died.

Year 3
We invented painting. We got some poor draws and ended up with almost no armor going into the Butcher fight (which was automatic next year), which looked bad for us.

We realized that all those early deaths in New Detroit had given us a ton of gear, so we'd probably jumped a year or two in level by getting ourselves killed a lot. We also had twins. A pretty good year.

The Butcher came to Mt. Rushmore- bad times.

Besides being much more poorly outfitted than our previous settlement's Butcher fight, we also got just plain bad luck, and got a ton of passive buffs on the Butcher, which made him extra-good at hunting down poor Piantissimo 2 (no relation).

We ended up with two survivors one hit from death and one two hits from death, and used our emergency rocks to auto-kill the butcher, just barely surviving.

We ran across some contradictory language, starting to feel a little less-awesome about the rulebook consistency, but it's still a lot of fun.

The Butcher dropped nothing this year (1/5 chance).

Year 4
...However, we did get some very nice advances: We had another hunt reenactment, but, unlike New Detroit's house rule-inducing last straw, we got a nice buff against future Butcher fights. 

We also hit 16 population after more kids got born, and one of our survivors turned into a pretty epic Bone Witch (we're pretty sure, since the other path led to an exile and the Bone Witch event down the line and there was one picture of a scary lady covered in bones for the milestone event) due to having invented Society (ours is crazy, so we get enough of a buff on the crazy table that now we can't get killed by crazy).

At this point, the settlement felt like it was rolling along at a nice, steady pace. Each year for the last three, we've lost one survivor to a fight, gotten a little gear, and advanced our little society a little.

Another year, another Lion fight.

Well, actually, two.

See, we were done with the first one, when there was a crazy fog, and our options* were start with nice gear survivors in a brand new settlement, or take two hunts in a row, so we chose the latter. While the former would have probably been slightly better since we would effectively get 5 years' resources for free instead of 1 more fight and its gear, when counting down the timeline and bigger future fights, we decided we'd prefer to have made progress.

*It was actually really nice to be given options after rolling for something campaign-altering.

 We barely got by the second fight, with I believe a collective 1 survival between the party.

Year 5
We ended up with a glut of resources, a new weird guy we found on a chair who wanted to be our friend (instead of our old friend), and then triggered a bunch of events:

Squid picked up a broken lantern, which taught him new ways of fighting and taught the rest of us how to use fire. Then we got 'ligion and drums, which put us past 5 innovations. Then that meant we had a visit from a spooky guy who gave Squid (our veteran from the First Story) a cursed Twilight Sword. Then Squid got rage candy made from lion balls so can swing his super-(slow)sword more quickly. We needed to get him training, since the Knight would come back in 4 years and see how he's doing, but he seems pretty hulk-y (fingers crossed!).

We also completed two Rawhide gear sets, so (all things going okay) should have two pretty tough front-liners from the buff for having sets.

Then, we set out to fight an antelope.

That Antelope got chumped by 2 veteran Survivors, our near-supernatural (by frail human standards) veteran, Squid, with his Twilight Sword, and Tenta, our Savior. Tenta was going out as our newb, to gather resources and maybe fight after taking care of that, but rolled terribly with Acanthus grass to the point where she never got in the fight for phase 2 of the plan, since one more unlucky roll would have caused a severe damage roll and our veterans were handling themselves fine.

Year 6
The Armored Strangers came to town and decided that 16 was too big of a number, so turned it down to 11. We let them, because we really didn't want a level 2 fight in a couple years. Then we bred like rabbits and got back to 14.

We did a lot of innovating this year (we really wanted ammonia) and ended up boosting our Survival limit from 3 to 5 but didn't get anything we were really after.

We've contemplated a level 2 lion, but were so burned by that level 3 one that we're not going to fight a level 2 antelope for a long time, since it's a case of one bad roll likely killing the party instead of one Survivor.

(To be continued...)

More thoughts...
We've started thinking a lot more about party composition, as we're less-limited by resources, and are starting to think that the ideal composition we've been able to figure out is two front-liners, one skirmisher, and one support/interact character, so we're going to try to work towards that.

We've definitely learned to play the game somewhat conservatively, but are still pretty tempted by a few extra resources. Then again, it seems pretty easy to hack of antelope bits, which would make up for the difference vs. the loot from a second-level lion. 

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