Monday, September 11, 2017

A New Light on the Horizon - Kingdom Death Gorm and Campaign (year 0- 5, modified)

So, I finally got around to painting some Gorm survivors.

This is in large part because I didn't really know what to do with the Gorm armor set. The weapons are some of my favorite, but they don't fit particularly well into the Gorm armor. Add to this that the set is fairly difficult to efficiently build, and I spent a fair bit of time working out some designs I felt happy with.

Mostly because my group doesn't use clubs much, I went with the crazy super hammer, since it seemed to have natural interactions with the Regeneration Suit. It's surprisingly hard to build around that, but I got a set working (I believe the actual build has a scrap shield).

The guy is another attempt at an efficient set, and then I thought it was a pretty cool design, so ran with some sort of barbarian champion aesthetic.

The Gorm is included since, by the time I was done with the survivors, I'd played around with purple enough that I wanted to add some more texture to the Gorm itself, which felt a little like it was lacking detail.

Campaign, year 0-5
After taking a bit of a break from writing battle reports down for Kingdom Death and having not played KD much during a particularly busy season, I felt it was time to start over and get back in to these abridged campaign sessions.

For any new readers, I always try to avoid specifics to keep it spoiler-light, but obviously I need to write about what actually happened, so expect light spoilers.

We decided right off, to use the following monsters:
Gorm (not technically replacing the White Lion, but with the aim not to hunt the latter)
Spidicules (replacing the Screaming Antelope)
Sunstalker (again, intending not to hunt Phoenixes)

Butcher (since there's currently no replacing it)
Hand (ditto)
Slenderman (replacing the King's Man)
Manhunter (because we haven't played either Special Showdown, and the Lion Knight looked like it had interactions with the core monsters)

We've also slightly modified the campaign:

We're still not positive how adding expansion content is intended to work: we've played with all random content accessible (ex: you don't need to face Manhunters to get their random fighting arts) because the written rules are fairly clear. This time, we're playing that we only use content from the expansions we're playing, but that they start in play (for instance, we don't need to wait for the Sunstalker to show up to get Disorders related to it). This is mostly because there are a couple things which make the game much easier, and it makes the Innovation trees sprawl immensely if you use every expansion. I'm not sure how much I'd even call it a mod, since it's essentially just simulating us using a smaller collection.

Also, we decided the Watcher was a boring boss so, while we're waiting for 1.5, we're going to randomly draw the final boss when the countdown is triggered, from among a list of:
Legendary Phoenix; Legendary Lion (not the easy one)*; Legendary Antelope*; Level 3 Sunstalker; Level 3 Dragon, Level 3 Flower Knight*, Level 3 Spidicules*

*probably with stat buffs.

Probably going to decide to rule out the Level 3 DBK or Lion God.

Year 0/The First Story:
We fought the tiny little junior lion for the first time in a while (normally, we opt to skip since it's a really generic fight), and got a strength, an extra resource, and a dead survivor for our trouble.

Year 1
Starting with four (now three) ladies, the victorious survivors, after much debate, founded Spamazonia, a settlement of nine survivors, that was plagued by inclement weather caused by a Gorm, and they set out to hunt them to the exclusion of White Lions. (This is our third campaign with Gorms, but our first one was casual and had abysmal luck, and our second didn't allow us to use most of what it produced). In reaction to the bad weather, we figured out how to make houses, in a hurry. Making use of said shelter, we made a knife, a sword, some armor for the essential early Rawhide set, and innovated Symposium, which would pay off quickly.

We then went on a rather poor Gorm hunt, followed by a pretty smooth fight, which reminded us all how fun early Kingdom Death really is.

Year 2
We had a rather strange harassment by a Spidicules without any males to be protagonists for the story (yeah... we gamed that a bit), and then invented Drums and made ourselves a nice axe and a hat out of a skull we found.

Again, we fought the Gorm, this time training in Fist and Tooth and Axes, since we had veterans old enough to start. The only really irritating thing is that our Fist and Tooth lady messed up her arm, so she became a rather poor F+T candidate.

Year 3
There was a heat wave that we took advantage of, and, in the midst, we learned the Song of the Brave, which we'd been shooting for (no spoilers why), and with a rather inflated Innovation deck (a lot of expansions give Hovel Innovations) luckily had managed to hit it extremely quickly.

Another kind of rough Gorm hunt, and then a good Gorm fight. It got close enough to starting to lose survivors that we considered spending a Founding Stone to finish it, but chose not to and squeezed by with nothing terrible. We got to try out our Pulse Lantern late in the fight, and it was stronger than anyone expected.

Year 4
We cheerfully marched back to our settlement's first... uh, probably not sunny... "dark, but at least dry"? day, and met some spooky guy who apparently already lived here and wanted to help us out (maybe he didn't like the bad weather).

We ended up with enough resources to finish a Rawhide set, make some more Gorm armor (making us only one of the easy pieces away from finishing the set), a Gorm knife, had two kids, including a Green Savior we decided to take for the extra armor this year (we were feeling a bit weak).

We were right about being a bit weak for fighting the Butcher, with our second-best damage dealer dying early, and then everyone dying to bleeding because we didn't have bandages (unfortunately, we were short the one hide we needed for it, and felt the armor was more worth it, especially since we just got both special resources we needed for the Gorm armor) due in large part to one early turn where he dealt 8 bleeding in a single phase. We might have been able to beat him with a little luck: it had 3 wounds left, but we did, it felt, roll pretty average.

A bandage would have been more valuable to us than completing the Rawhide set with our specific attacks etc., but I feel like 5 more armor vs. the bandage was a decision that could have gone either way.

Year 5
One of our survivors discovered using heat but ran off to become a Bone Witch, which meant we lost 5 survivors (almost half our rather measly population) in less than a complete year. We then had our first encounter with a Manhunter, whom our survivors felt was necessary to fight.

The timing was a little confusing, but we decided to follow the recently released settlement sheet that clearly puts Special Showdowns after endeavoring, mostly because the other way to read causes timing issues. Yeah, yeah, "Rule of Death!!!" but, we decided that the newer and clearer rule that causes fewer mechanical conflicts takes priority over being the most hardcorest metalest of players in a game where you fight your toys against bigger toys with more hands. There, I said it, I don't care about being that serious in the game. My group has even rarely cheated when something happens that makes the game dramatically less enjoyable (not to be confused with making the game harder: we take plenty of normal bad things happening... it would hardly be KD if nothing bad derailed what we were doing).

Back to the game.

We rolled improbably well, and managed to get 5 kids out of 9 Augury attempts.

We then sent four of said kids out to deal with the Manhunter. He was pretty darn scary, but it was a really enjoyable fight: we're certainly looking forward to his next settlement harassment. We spent a Founding Stone, and got some bad disorders, but managed to squeeze through the fight without anyone dying. That was pretty exciting, and exactly around the level I like KD, where it's a very close game.