1. Use the correct modifier deck
In the box there are 3 types of modifier decks: your character modifier deck, the monster modifier deck, and decks numbered 1-4. When your character is attacking an enemy in a scenario make sure you’re using one of the 4 numbered decks and not the deck that comes in your character box.
So then what is the other deck for? The deck that has your character’s symbol on it is used for perks when you level up or when you get 3 check marks from completed battle goals. Because of all the rolling modifiers in that deck, If you use it as your regular modifier deck you’re going to have attacks that do 18 damage, infuse ice, earth, and fire, push and immobilize the enemy as well as stun it 3 times. And you’ll think hmmmm… I think we’re doing something wrong…
2. Calculate the difficulty level
This is a really common mistake that new players get wrong right off the bat. Makes for one heck of a rough time early on, and new parties are left scratching their heads wondering why in the name of the Great Oak this game is so hard…
Game difficulty is your team’s average level divided by two, rounded up.
3. Initiative doesn’t dictate the order cards are played
At the beginning of a round, when everyone flips his or her cards to determine order, the card that you flip does not need to be the first card you play. You select a top action you want, a bottom action, and of those two cards, which initiative you want to use. Flip over your initiative card and then play the two in any order. You can even switch what actions (top/bottom) you are going to do if you change your mind.
4. Not all traps are damage traps
In the trap section of the rule book it’ll tell you how to calculate how much damage traps do (2 + Scenario Level), but what is often missed was the fact that they don’t all do damage as a default.
We were in a room where there were two traps that were stun traps. My party played that as 3 damage (2 + scenario level of 1) plus the enemy is stunned. That is not how it’s meant to be done.
In reality the only effect should be: enemy is stunned.
5. You don’t control summons
They just aren’t that strategic. Remember, summons use the rules for Monster AI, focusing on the closest enemy first. If two are the same distance away the tiebreaker is initiative.
You can’t say “My summon goes first, and he’s going to go for that archer in the back corner”. Nope, he ain’t that clever! He’s going for the bad guy right in front of him.
6. Effects still happen with a null
Attacks with an effect on them still have that effect even if the attack does no damage. A null card doesn’t mean you miss, it just means you don’t do any attack damage.
7. LoS is corner to corner, not the centre of each hex
If you can draw a line from the corner of one hex to the corner of another, then there is line of sight (LoS). Sometimes it may seem like a wall is in the way, but pay close attention because you may be able to connect corners.
Here’s a full article to help out with Line of Sight.
8. Obstacles don’t block LoS
Enemies can shoot range attacks right over them, and so can you. You just can’t move through them (hence the name “obstacle” unless you have a jump action. Only walls (and, by extension, closed doors) block LoS.
9. Monster AI in general
You’re going to make mistakes. Everyone does. Just remember to find the closest hex the monster can attack from. If it’s a tie then the focus is the character that is closer as the crow flies (ignore obstacles), and if it’s still a tie then the lower initiative gets attacked.
There is way more to say on this topic, but that’ll be a discussion for another article.
10. Healing gets rid of poison, but does not ALSO give HP
If your character has been poisoned and your Tinkerer gives you a heal 3 you don’t get to increase your hit points at all, you just get to remove the poison token. Poison is gone and the heal has no other effect. Same goes for when monsters heal themselves, just remove the poison.
11. Summoned monsters don’t drop gold
Eventually you’ll run into monsters that *gulp* summon other monsters… No, that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the rule book. If an enemy monster is summoned during the scenario they don’t drop coins when they’re killed. This does not include monsters that appear (respawn) as an aspect or special rule of the scenario.
To track this, you can put a summon token underneath the monster that was summoned to differentiate between summons and original monsters.
12. You still get XP if the effect didn’t make any difference
When you have a portion of the card that gives you XP, but that action didn’t do anything, you still get the XP for it. Say for example you whiff and do 0 damage, you’d still get that XP. If the enemy dies before you can do the XP action, still get the XP. In the example below, the Mindthief consumes ice, and attacks the enemy, but the enemy dies before he can be stunned. Ice is still consumed and the Mindthief still gets an XP.
13. Monster Shield/Retaliate abilities on their action card only last one round
If that’s their action, it only happens once they have their turn (in initiative order) and it only lasts until the end of the round. They don’t last forever! Otherwise you’d have an enemy with Shield 10 and you’d be in a bit of a pickle.
The ones on their character sheet last the whole scenario, and other shields on the monsters’ action cards are in addition to those.
14. Remove any blessings/curses once you’ve drawn them
Unlike the regular ‘whiff’ card or 2x card, the blessings/curses don’t get shuffled back into the deck after you’ve drawn them once. They get taken out of that scenario entirely after they’ve been drawn the first time.
15. Only allowed one potion at level 1
You don’t get as many small items as you have levels. Nor is it as many as you can afford. You can carry half your level, rounded up. So you can’t buy a second one until you’re at level 3.
16. You add one new level card to the pool, not both of them.
When you level up and you have access to shiny new cards, it can be tempting to add them both into your pool of cards and then pick your favourites for the scenario, but that’s not how it works. When you level up, you only choose one new card to be added to the pool of cards available to you, not all the cards labeled with that level. You have to pick just one and stick with it. The other option(s) can’t be selected for a scenario until you level up again and select it as your one card, but by that time you’ll have other cards to choose from as well.
17. The scenario ends at the end of the round that the objective is achieved
If you’ve accomplished your mission, you still have until the end of the round to loot coins and open treasure chests. The round doesn’t end immediately when the last enemy dies (if that’s your objective). However, you cannot start another round. So if you didn’t manage to open up that treasure chest by the time the final round ends, you’ll have to do the scenario again in order to go back for it.