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Duke


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

At the risk of turning all the way off topic, I'm a big fan of Betrayal. It's a great game for introducing people to the hobby, and it requires very little attention.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, we wouldn't want this 64 page thread to get derailed. That'd be a tragedy.

Betrayal is alright to me. I appreciate just how dense it is with content and different haunts usually do feel meaningfully different to one another to play, but often victory and defeat comes down to luck. I've played a game where the haunt was resolved one turn after beginning when someone yoinked the Necronomicon from the traitor and handed it off to another player who immediately threw it into the furnace down the hall, and another game where over half of a group of five players ended up being primarily just observers to a fight between two superpowered eleven year olds because the player behind the twelve year old boy got super lucky with item draws and the player behind the twelve year old girl got an army of ninjas from the haunt. On the one hand, those are both fun stories to tell, but on the other, one is an example of the entire game being determined by the largely random pre-haunt board state and a single die roll, while the other is an example of over half the group becoming irrelevant. I like Betrayal once in a while, but I get tired of it fairly quickly and I can understand why someone else might not like it at all.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
I like Betrayal once in a while, but I get tired of it fairly quickly and I can understand why someone else might not like it at all.


I've had a copy of Betrayal since it's first release (and got an errata'd version when it came out), and the whole "swingy" haunts problem has always been something that I've had to explain to new players. The game isn't exactly the most fair for all sides, in all haunts.

Some haunts are wtfbbq levels of overpowered for the Traitor (the Demon Lord one comes to mind, granting 1 demon per player (not survivor); plus the traitor's character, at the traitor's control); making the haunt almost impossible for the survivors to win. While a lot of the "ritual" based haunts are almost too easy for the survivors to succeed at.

Then there's the "[faction] wins if the [enemy] is all killed" issue where survivors can rush a traitor (forcing them to use their more powerful items, often needlessly; but also not b/c losing a combat by 2 means they can be slowly disarmed) and give as many items as possible to a single survivor (in order to force a "last girl" situation) in order to achieve a 'win' for the survivors.

At least once I've given every possibly useful item to a new player (who I knew was in better shape to defeat the traitor than my character was); then charged the traitor to force them to waste their dynamite on my (nearly) unarmed character.

An other big factor, but almost impossible to account for in terms of the rules for the haunts; room placement and house layout. Most of the time it's more random architectural collage, than a house. However the layout seems creepiest when it seems like it's a set out of an actual horror film or video game. The last session I ran was almost like it was scripted out of a film/game (the 1st floor room off from the main hallway where the secret stairs started; led to 2nd floor laboratory; which also had the magic slides that led to the basement, and other rooms of the house); which led to some disturbing implications (i.e. homeowner has secret access on a 1st floor room beside the front door to their 2nd floor lab, which has disposal chutes to the basement & rest of the house; that's creepy as fuck imho).
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I love Betrayal, but yeah, it's super swingy. One of the things I see most often is the traitor will be a person with high mental stats, i.e, probably one of the old guys, and they'll start next to Ox Bellows with the Spear, who'll just stab and instakill them before they get a turn, and the resulting haunt will almost certainly go in the survivors favour. You can play around that to a certain degree if you know to expect it, and start moving away from the higher strength survivors when it's getting towards haunt time, but I've seen a lot of entirely nonplussed reactions from people who have that as their first experience with the game.

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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

zugschef wrote:
Whipstitch wrote:
I hate Betrayal so very, very much.

Why if i may ask?


The game's claim to fame is supposedly its newbie friendliness yet everything hinges on sending a random person off by themselves with a booklet to learn new rules to potentially fuck up. Not just new rules, mind you, but secret rules. I've played versions of Betrayal only about a half dozen times but on three occasions we've had traitors who didn't quite understand some facet of the rules and ended up inadvertently cheating themselves or the investigators and nobody felt confident and informed enough to call out the potential mistakes and just assumed the traitor was doing things right.

Plus, it's not really like the game has any real strategy or depth to it either, so I don't know where it gets off on being complicated enough that the new guy still might end up feeling dumb at the end. I'd genuinely rather play Candy Land.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
zugschef wrote:
Whipstitch wrote:
I hate Betrayal so very, very much.

Why if i may ask?


The game's claim to fame is supposedly its newbie friendliness yet everything hinges on sending a random person off by themselves with a booklet to learn new rules to potentially fuck up. Not just new rules, mind you, but secret rules. I've played versions of Betrayal only about a half dozen times but on three occasions we've had traitors who didn't quite understand some facet of the rules and ended up inadvertently cheating themselves or the investigators and nobody felt confident and informed enough to call out the potential mistakes and just assumed the traitor was doing things right.

Plus, it's not really like the game has any real strategy or depth to it either, so I don't know where it gets off on being complicated enough that the new guy still might end up feeling dumb at the end. I'd genuinely rather play Candy Land.


I've learned to develop a solution to this issue: the owner of the game goes off w/ the Traitor player, and goes over how their part of the Haunt works.

It's really the only way to make the game playable for new players.

Of course, the game's owner has to then compartmentalize the Traitor's secret win conditions from their gameplay choices; but that's easier to achieve than having the Traitor shoot themselves in the foot and not make the haunt remotely tense, or challenging, for the Survivors.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, we considered that for a moment and then instead chose to play anything else.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
Yeah, we considered that for a moment and then instead chose to play anything else.

NoNoNo
That leaves you open to someone attacking the group with Talisman.
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MisterDee
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Betrayal has the potential to create truly memorable games.

That said, most of the games won't be memorable at all. And of your memorable games, most will be memorable because of a haunt fizzling out instantly.

It's a great concept that would greatly benefit from a thorough redesign.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Okay - Mearls is at it again.

This blog explains that Xanatha'rs Guide is the 'fastest selling' D&D book of all time.

The blog links to best-seller lists including a Wall Street Journal list hosted on the Washington Post (here)

This link also covers the Wall Street Journal best selling list for the time period but doesn't include it. Again, this is hosted at the Washington Post. I don't have a Wall Street Journal subscription, so I'm confused as to whether it was on the list or not.

In any case, to better practice for making deals with Infernal creatures, when Mearls says 'fastest selling', what does he REALLY mean?
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virgil
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
In any case, to better practice for making deals with Infernal creatures, when Mearls says 'fastest selling', what does he REALLY mean?
In reality, that term is generally used for how many books are sold its first week; but you can set that point to its first month, or first three days, or whatever. OR, it can look at how long it took the book to sell X copies. There are enough undeclared variables here that you can very plausibly choose parameters that make Xanathar look good.

You could dishonestly stretch the variables even farther. Don't define your success metric by number of books sold, set it by number of print runs sold. Only set your comparison for success for specific mediums - print books sold on Amazon, or downloaded from Steam.

ADDENDUM
Publisher's Weekly seems to be actually showing sales numbers! 55,458 sold so far this year, and ~10k over the last week - interestingly, it was at #1 in its first week, and dropped to #19 in the second week.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:

In any case, to better practice for making deals with Infernal creatures, when Mearls says 'fastest selling', what does he REALLY mean?


Fastest Selling Book is not actually a real thing.

It definitely doesn't mean "sold the most copies" or even "sold the most copies in a period of time." It also definitely doesn't mean "sold through its print run in the smallest amount of time."

Remember that 4th edition D&D sold through its entire initial printing before it had even been printed because it had the highest number of pre-orders and also they made an initial printing equal to the number of orders that they had. If you find yourself discussing event between now and some point in the past, you are obviously not "faster" than something that literally sold out in negative time.

What he seems to be implying is that he's claiming it's the fastest sales because it's the shortest time between when a D&D book has gone on sale and when it has appeared in a book sales list. But that doesn't actually mean anything other than that a lot of book lists update semi-continuously these days and obviously they didn't do that when AD&D was a thing.

So yeah, Mearls is again declaring that things are going super well because he literally just made up a new metric by which things are going well. It's puzzling.

-Frank
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
What he seems to be implying is that he's claiming it's the fastest sales because it's the shortest time between when a D&D book has gone on sale and when it has appeared in a book sales list. But that doesn't actually mean anything other than that a lot of book lists update semi-continuously these days and obviously they didn't do that when AD&D was a thing.

Also that preorders are a thing. Which is actually really important here.

But yeah, when I dealt with book sales, 'fastest selling' wasn't a metric anyone gave a shit about. It occasionally came up in the context of 'order a fuckload more Harry Potter & XXXX,' but that's literally the only time you'd care about 'fastest.' And even then it wasn't a big deal because you pre-sold or reserved X number for customer orders and basically doubled that for your initial order.

The most likely thing Mearls is doing here (through the mouthpiece of some DDO junkies, which... what?), is he's claiming 'fastest' because the sales are going to drop like a stone after the preorders ship...

virgil wrote:
ADDENDUM
Publisher's Weekly seems to be actually showing sales numbers! 55,458 sold so far this year, and ~10k over the last week - interestingly, it was at #1 in its first week, and dropped to #19 in the second week.

...which, yeah. That isn't surprising at all either. Now it's just another random bit of book flotsam that exists.

Look, the book did fairly well for breaking into the best-sellers at all, but it's mostly a testament to the convenience of online preorders (which are going to clump sales at the release date) and the quiet desperation of 5ers for any sort of crunch content at all.

Which basically means WotC folks should stop yammering and go make more books.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Does anyone have details about 4th edition preorders versus Xanathar's guide? I would have expected 4th edition Player's Handbooks to outnumber this one pretty significantly.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
Does anyone have details about 4th edition preorders versus Xanathar's guide? I would have expected 4th edition Player's Handbooks to outnumber this one pretty significantly.


4th Edition's total numbers were fucking abysmal, but exactly how abysmal is hard to say. The PHB 2 may have sold less than ten thousand books. The first year's core book sales were stated in court as being "hundreds of thousands" but at the time they were counting dubious bullshit like Open Grave as a core book. So while the 4e PHB is obvious the highest selling book, exactly how much of the at-least 200,000 total first year books 4e made off with is unknown.

The 4e PHB appears to have sold somewhere between 50k and 150k books. Which is terrible, but probably more than Xanathar's. It's definitely true that 4e D&D collectively sold more books in 2008 than 5e sold collectively in 2017.

-Frank
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sure, by having 30+ books rather than about 5.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm trying to parse whether 'fastest selling' could truthfully mean that they had more pre-orders than for any other previous book. Even in 3rd edition sold more the first day, online ordering wasn't quite as common and I certainly don't expect that they had more pre-orders than 4th edition. My understanding was that they sold relatively well at first but then people realized it sucked and sales slowed to a trickle.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
I'm trying to parse whether 'fastest selling' could truthfully mean that they had more pre-orders than for any other previous book. Even in 3rd edition sold more the first day, online ordering wasn't quite as common and I certainly don't expect that they had more pre-orders than 4th edition. My understanding was that they sold relatively well at first but then people realized it sucked and sales slowed to a trickle.


Mentioning the difference between today's date and the release date doesn't make any sense at all if he's talking about pre-orders. You can't pre-order after the release date.

-Frank
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Pseudo Stupidity
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Xanathar's Guide to Everything has 17 pages of names and only names.

That's all you really need to know about how bullshit it is. 17 pages of names.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pseudo Stupidity wrote:
Xanathar's Guide to Everything has 17 pages of names and only names.

That's all you really need to know about how bullshit it is. 17 pages of names.
It's worse than that. A full third of the book is random crap tables. It's a 120 page book masquerading as a 192 page book sold at the price of 320 page book. And almost all of it is revision.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I thought you said 17 pages of memes and nearly ordered it.
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Stubbazubba
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The week that Xanathar's came out, Publisher's Weekly had it as, in fact, the top-selling nonfiction hardcover. That paragraph also notes that it outsold the core books in their first weeks. I have no idea how Mearls justifies the idea that its the fastest-selling book in the history of D&D, but I trust PW's determination that it's the fastest-selling book of the edition.

The real interesting figure is that we can see how many were sold in those weeks.XGE sold 45,219 copies in its first week, and another 10,239 in its second. I think those are the only solid numbers of any 5e book that's been revealed.
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tussock
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Only thing that works, far as I can see, is when he says "history of D&D" he means

5th edition

because 5th edition is called "D&D", and nothing else since 1974 was called exactly that. All AD&D, or AD&D 2nd edition, or D&D 3e, or Basic Set, or Rules Cyclopedia, or whatever the fuck. So they sold more of XGE in its first week than they sold of the 5e PHB in its first week, or EGG sold from his basement print run to his friends in 1974.

And thus, it is the fastest selling "D&D" product ever. I guess the release of the 5e PHB was messy enough that not everyone had it to sell on the same day, or maybe wasn't released on the right day of the week to spike that particular number.

So, fact, 5e PHB sold less than 45k copies in week 1.
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codeGlaze
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I will admit I have thrown away my ... standards basically, and embraced the use of 5e.

At the very least I'm enjoying the art and the character books like Volo and XGE. :/

TLDR; My life is too busy to fight against the tide, at least the pictures are pretty.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's nothing wrong with playing a game you like. And any game can be fun with a good GM. The game doesn't have a lot to it, but since anything they had would be crap, it's not the point against it that it ought to be. Basically ANYTHING you come up with will be better than what they came up with, so by making you come up with so much stuff, it's not as bad as it would be.
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