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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Runebounding, Part III: Big Changes

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17 Aug 2020 00:00 #313169 by Jackwraith
One of the restraining factors on many board games that...

The four large expansions for Runebound not only transform the game, but reinforce its lasting appeal.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: southernman, Frohike, marlowespade

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17 Aug 2020 02:58 - 17 Aug 2020 03:00 #313170 by marlowespade
First off, thanks for this series. It's been a great walk down memory lane, and inspired me to pull my Runebound 2E off the shelf as well.

I think the survival elements of Sands/Wastes/Mists is really what hooked me on the system over and above the core game. Having to deal with heat, cold, sickness - all that stuff, while arguably fiddly to manage, also makes my character more than a bag of stats wandering around hitting things. It also added that strategic dimension to movement, something to consider other than just swearing at the terrain dice (though there's still plenty of that).

Of these, I think Sands is the clear winner, for all the reasons you've mentioned. It's got the best map, the best sense of purpose, and focuses on the narrative, literally and figuratively. It's certainly the most evocative. Although my favorite characters are in the other boxes (Okaluk and Rakash from Wastes and Maliki the Claw from Mists), there's some fun ones here like Tahlia.

Island of Dread always makes me wish we had more (like, at least one) nautical-themed adventure game, because I'm a sucker for a seafaring milieu and think this is an admirable try within the confines of the system at the time. Mainly though, we found it punishingly difficult most of the time.
Last edit: 17 Aug 2020 03:00 by marlowespade.
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17 Aug 2020 07:46 #313173 by jason10mm
Great conclusion (?) to the series. This also inspired me to get my RB stuff out. I have virtually all of it (other than the elusive Midnight expansion) as well as Descent 1st edition, which shared a lot of heroes with RB. I have the Descent 2nd edition conversion pack that takes those tried and tried Terrinoth champions and converts then to D2e. Laid out on a desk, it is an impressive spread of heroes.


The Mist characters didn't make the cut apparently (maybe Musts came out after the D2e conversion pack) and there are some D1e characters that never appear in RB (from the Well expansion, IIRC). There are also a few promo characters from who knows where.

The entire game plus the bazillion card packs can fit into 2 of the large boxes, to show how economical a primarily card based game can be. Every card has an icon to denote the source, so you could (eventually) reconstitute everything should it all get dumped into a big pile.

This, along with Arkham Horror 2e, was really the pinnacle of the era of sheer cardboard weight IMHO, though I suppose Gloomhaven has it beat. I remember setting up AH with all the expansions and it took up 8 FEET If table! RB fortunately doesn't lend itself to that kind of multiboard masochistic endeavor but I wonder.....
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17 Aug 2020 09:56 #313177 by Jackwraith

MarloweSpade wrote: First off, thanks for this series. It's been a great walk down memory lane,


You're welcome. Was for me, as well.

MarloweSpade wrote: I think the survival elements of Sands/Wastes/Mists is really what hooked me on the system over and above the core game. Having to deal with heat, cold, sickness - all that stuff, while arguably fiddly to manage, also makes my character more than a bag of stats wandering around hitting things.


Exactly. You were a character in a story, not just a wandering engine of destruction. That element is what made Cataclysm and Cult of the Rune get closest to the big expansions for me, as well.

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17 Aug 2020 10:05 - 17 Aug 2020 10:09 #313178 by Jackwraith

jason10mm wrote: Great conclusion (?) to the series.

Thanks. Yes, conclusion. Not much more to say, other than the Midnight box you mention, which I also don't own and, IIRC, wasn't very well received.

jason10mm wrote: The Mist characters didn't make the cut apparently (maybe Musts came out after the D2e conversion pack) and there are some D1e characters that never appear in RB (from the Well expansion, IIRC). There are also a few promo characters from who knows where.


I also had the full slate of Descent, 1st Ed and 2nd Ed. I think there was a gap between 1st and 2nd that Mists dropped into, where they didn't want to take the design time to fit Maliki and Co. into a system that was about to be modified. As for why the Well characters never showed up in RB, I have no idea. Perhaps not thematic enough with the appropriate large expansions? They are all pretty typical fantasy characters, while the Sands/Wastes/Mists groups have an appropriate regional attachment.

Had the full complement of Arkham Horror material, too, until I traded it all last year (or two years ago...?) In the end, trying to use it all became more of a bookkeeping exercise than actually playing a game, but it was fun while it lasted. My RB stuff also fits in two large boxes. All the base game material and small expansions in the main box and all of the expansion stuff (minus hero figures and cards) in the Frozen Wastes box.

Oh, and the promo heroes (Jonas the Kind, Nara the Fang, Truthseer Kel, and Tobin Farslayer) came from an event that FFG ran at their game space that incorporated the various Terrinoth games. They created some new info/scenarios for Runebound, Descent, and Runewars, along with the 4 and their respective cards for each game. You could order the kits that were left over from that event for a few days and I managed to snag one.
Last edit: 17 Aug 2020 10:09 by Jackwraith.
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17 Aug 2020 10:27 #313179 by SuperflyPete
If there's ever a game that I would dump vast sums into if it ever became an app with In-App Purchases, this is the one.
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17 Aug 2020 11:34 #313184 by jason10mm

LazarusTNT wrote: If there's ever a game that I would dump vast sums into if it ever became an app with In-App Purchases, this is the one.


Don't give FFG any ideas. They certainly spearheaded app dependent boardgames (any one still playing XCOM?) or app assisted ones. Wonder if the new Descent will be fully dependent or just use it as an overlord replacement like D2e (and maybe Mansions of Madness? I can't keep up).

It's too bad the touchscreen as game board never really took off. I'd love to have all the maps and cards be virtual but still have physical minis and maybe dice to play with.

Is there a TTS port of FFG games? I don't recall many, if any, official apps of their stuff.

On a side note, for all the flack FFG gets for female characters, having them all laid out shows that really only Red Scorpion and maybe Silhouette were egregious. The other female characters were pretty conservatively posed and dressed by comparison. I mean, halter tops and skirts split up the thigh were a common thing back then... right? :p

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17 Aug 2020 17:23 - 17 Aug 2020 18:41 #313191 by dclose
I own all of the Runebound II big box expansions, including Midnight, and all of the mini ones too. I traded away the PvP packs, as that's not my style of play.

I have played, and enjoyed, Midnight! It came out before the big co-op binge, so it was neat to see how they implemented a cooperative style of play without what later became the 'usual methods and trappings'. It was rather fiddly, but it worked, and my husband and I ended up using a number of the ideas to do our own cooperative versions of the other Runebound 2e games.
Last edit: 17 Aug 2020 18:41 by dclose. Reason: stupid autocorrect!
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17 Aug 2020 17:56 #313193 by Jackwraith
That's cool! I'm glad you had a positive experience with it. I'm normally a total sucker for post-apocalypse-style anything, although I know that's not entirely the setting (my all-time favorite RPG is Gamma World, just as an example.) But somehow Midnight just never drew me in. Maybe I wasn't interested in a "licensed" version of Runebound? Dunno.

It's certainly possible that the co-op nature threw me off, as I'm not normally a fan of that type of game, in general. But I did have a complete set of Arkham Horror, so maybe not.

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