$20.00
$60.00
Jason Kratz
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, I considered putting tags on this - but really, the whole thing is a massive spoiler, so I didn't. If you have a problem with that and you are reading this - really?! You were warned - too bad!

So, my wife and I had a couple of friends over to play A Prophecy of Dragons (APD), the third TIME stories expansion. We've played the base game and the Marcy Case expansion, so this was our third foray.

Starting out, we went through the briefing, and it seemed like pretty standard fantasy fare, so we decided to hit the basic fantasy sterotypes, my wife Manda took the Cleric, I took the dwarven berserker, my friend Dave took the mage, and my other friend Monte took the ranger.

Our first stop was the local inn - Dave and I were told that we needed at least one (maybe 3) dragon glyphs to make it into the castle, and that we should really be pretty prepared before we tried it. Monte apparently picked up a set of briefs (yes, you read that right), and Manda would have had a chance to gamble all of her gold for a chance of doubling it, but decided that discretion is the better part of not losing all your money. So, we decided to, umm..., prepare(?) at the market.

On our way to the market we were waylaid by an archer who wanted to test our ability with the bow. Monte was the ranger, need I say more? Anyway, that netted us 5 gold, and we then went to the market.

The market had a weapons shop, a potion shop, an items shop and a weird space for magic users. I went to the weapon shop because meat stick, where I purchased a warhammer, giving me an extra die and success in combat rolls. Manda went to the item shop, which had a glyph and some other neat stuff - magic fairy, lockpicks, other stuff. She grabbed the lockpicks, but didn't have enough cash for anything else, but since Monte was flush, he would buy some the next round.

Monte and Dave went to the magic user, who was creating a portal to god-knows-where. Dave and Manda decided they wanted to find out (although they waited for Monte to go to the item shop to buy the glyph and fairy). Remember where I had a (?) after prepare? Yeah... So a time unit later, the group winds up being pulled into limbo. Unfortunately, while in limbo, all non-magic users (that being half of our party) are immobilized, and have their health draining at 1 HP per time unit. Our magic users are trying to rescue us, but the dice gods were not being kind. It took 3 tries for our mage to get 2 successes, and the same amount of time for our cleric to get 3. While eventually, the magic users did manage to rescue Monte, my character succumbed to the chaotic magic.

Once the mages had completed limbo, the heroes found themselves in the castle sewers, minus one dwarven berserker. There were 3 locked gates we could attempt, and we suspected that only one led forward. Since we were almost out of time, and all heroes still functioning were down to 1 health, we decided we'd just try one and see what happened. After all, this is TIME Stories, we'll have another chance to start over, and we've got some idea of what NOT to do, right? Anyway, the path chosen led to a cistern, where each hero had to succeed at a dexterity check, and each failure cost an additional time unit. At this point it is a very good thing that the dwarven berserker is dead, as I only had 1 dex die, and it would have taken 3-4 turns at best to get the necessary 4 successes.

At this time the die gods are kind - our ranger passes on the first try, and the cleric and mage each pass in 2 tries, so we're down to about 5 TUs as my character comes back.

Well, apparently we went the right way. We gain 30 TUs, and are teleported to the courtyard of the castle. Granted, the party is about 3/4 dead, we have no resources, and have no real information about what we are supposed to do. We also get a checkpoint that we can start from the next time, in our current condition (which feels woefully under-prepared). However, once we fail, we also do have a choice to just start over from the very beginning, which we all feel makes the most sense, but we'll keep pushing ahead to try to get more information for our next go.

So, we have a choice of guardroom, banquet hall, archives, and library. Guardroom is somewhat terrifying in our condition, banquet hall we're also afraid will have some combat, so we decide between the archive and the library. We go to the library, where we have a random encounter of a person walking around (nothing happens), and we discover that for every area in the library we need something that we don't have (yes, Manda, you were right, happy? Makes up for the plunger dance (following spoiler tag from base set)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
At one point a lunatic requires a plunger - my wife insisted that we needed the information you get from bringing it to him - once we did he danced around it and we lost 5 TUs - we got a good laugh out of that, and she has yet to live it down
)

So, we go to the archive, and actually get one of the things we need, then bring it back to the library, where we get a magic book and a password (it gives our mage an extra 2 dice on magic checks - sweet!)

We then go to check out the banquet hall, where our ranger runs into a monster that kills him, and our mage gets muted and healed, and the cleric runs into a severed head that offers to announce us to the king, but we all need to be there. The surviving members of the party do this, which then allows us to return the the library again to get something else (don't remember exactly what - I think it was another item that gave our cleric 2 additional dice on a magic check).

Well, at this point our only choice is to head to the guardhouse. On our way we have another random encounter - plus 8 TUs!

In the guardhouse we come face-to-faceplate with a gigantic robot. Fortunately we have the password, so we waltz right through to a quick puzzle. We knock it out then head down to the dungeon. Note - we screwed up the dungeon a bit - we didn't realize that you put the entire thing out initially, which the way it was set up would have allowed us to teleport pretty much across the entire thing - but we wound up going through, taking up a good chunk of our remaining time - oops! Our cleric also wound up dying during the dungeon, but was back on her feet by the time we cleared it.

We finally finished the dungeon, putting us up against the final encounter. This encounter is a bit different, because there are skulls on the backsides of many of the cards, and if they haven't been encountered, those skulls apply to any attack rolls.

The warrior and the cleric go up against the evil king, and the mage and hunter go after a critter putting out 2 skulls. The evil king paralyzes one of the heroes attacking him, which our cleric volunteered for. The warrior winds up with 5 dice, and if I roll 5 successes I will critical hit and auto-kill whatever I'm fighting. I roll 3 successes and a whole ton of skulls. This leaves me at 2 health remaining, and the mage and hunter combine to take out their enemy.

Another round of combat, and I am now rolling 7 dice due to only having 2 health remaining. I roll 6 successes (and no skulls), which auto-kills the king. The other two heroes have popped over to the portal we are supposed to close. We need 9 successes on magic checks to close the portal. And any blanks rolled lock those dice unless we can manage to kill another creature in this room.

Next round, the cleric moves to the portal to help, and the ranger and myself move out to different enemies to engage them. Our mage gets to roll 6 dice for his magic check... and 9 successes! Game over man!

While we really did enjoy this session, we were a bit disappointed that we won on the first time through. We didn't see probably 4-5 locations in the first half of the game. In our prior experiences with TIME Stories, we had to see everything to figure out how to move forward. In this one we were able to luck into finishing the first section, and the second section felt much more on rails or scripted than any other TIME Stories episodes we've played. By this I mean that there really weren't many real choices during the second half - it was basically a question of how well you got prepared in the first part. I can't see just playing the second half, even with the checkpoint because if you didn't make it once, there aren't going to be things you can change to do better the next time, other than roll better. If you didn't bring the potions and items from the first half, you still won't have them after resetting at the checkpoint.

While our party didn't really prepare well, we have enough knowledge of D&D and similar systems to realize that we needed a well rounded party, and that provided a sufficient level of preparation to get us through the second half of the game.

We will be going back to explore the first half again - we probably skipped about 70% of the first half of the game, and really want to see what we missed. Normally we only miss about 10%, and we'll go back and read any cards we missed after successfully solving the game. We didn't in this case because there is enough left to have some significant surprises.

Anyway, short version - it was fun, but we are disappointed that we won on the first time through (although a lot of it was just getting lucky at the right times).







2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wood
United States
Davis
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think your run is a record for number of deaths in a single run.

And you got Very Lucky.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
IT took us three runs to get to the castle! A big part seemed to be picking the right party - one able to get to the castle in good time (and good shape). So yes, I would say the OP got lucky.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alon Altman
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You made a small mistake in your run. Random encounters do not happen once you're in the mystery deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Kratz
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
epsalon wrote:
You made a small mistake in your run. Random encounters do not happen once you're in the mystery deck.


How do you get the new encounter cards then? There was a set of about a dozen or so encounter cards (separate from the Vortex cards) as part of the mystery deck, and I don't recall another mechanic to encounter them.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Hogan
United States
Oswego
New York
flag msg tools
Stryker1979 wrote:
How do you get the new encounter cards then? There was a set of about a dozen or so encounter cards (separate from the Vortex cards) as part of the mystery deck, and I don't recall another mechanic to encounter them.


One of the symbols in the dungeon gives you encounters, and one gives you vortex cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allan Clements
Norway
Oslo
flag msg tools
Turns out Esseb did touch the flag. Don't tell him I said so though.
mbmbmbmbmb
I also think you can only roll dice that exist, so you can't roll 7 dice, otherwise the mechanic of locking dice in this scenario doesn't do anything at all unless you lock all 6.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ALeX
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Kamakaze wrote:
I also think you can only roll dice that exist, [...]

Yes, 6 is the maximum, see question 13 in the Official FAQ.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.