Thunderstone Quest – Back to the Dungeon Barricades Mode

Barricades Mode

Barricades Mode brings with it new rules to the game of Thunderstone Quest to make it a new experience. Many of these rules are tied to new components, such as Damage Chits or Guardian Dice, but there are a few new rules to Barricades Mode independent of these components.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca, Roman Philosopher

Our Champions are going to need some luck in order to survive the Guardian’s assaults on the Village, but luckily they are more prepared than normal. Players will begin the game with advanced starting decks, though no Iron Rations tokens. Players begin the game with two Level 1 Heroes, replacing two Adventurers, and a number of XP tokens equal to the number of players in the game. So in a 4 player game, each player would begin the game with 4 XP tokens. If players find the standard (competitive) mode of Thunderstone Quest can last longer than their tastes at times, try letting each player begin the game with two Level 1 Heroes, replacing two Adventurers. We have found it to speed up the game nicely without interfering with the gameplay.

Speeding up the pace of the game was one of our targets for Barricades Mode, as we strongly wanted the game to play smoothly with 4-6 players. We are happy to announce that we were able to do this by implementing a simultaneous turn in Barricades Mode. The structure of a turn in Barricades Mode is the same as always, but slightly more structured to allow simultaneous play.

  • The first thing players do each turn is roll Guardian Dice (each). Once the dice are rolled, the players should take some time to discuss with each other what they plan to do that turn, and which obstacles they can help the group overcome.
  • Players then choose Village or Dungeon, placing their Champions accordingly.
  • Then, all players in the Village take their turn. Not many conflicts arise in the Village, and as this is a cooperative game, the players are assumed to be capable of handling any conflicts that may arise (such as buying the last card in a stack).
  • Then all Dungeon players take their turn, simultaneously, including players who were in the Village and are now in the Dungeon.
  • Finally, players resolve the ends of their turns together.

As players are working together as a team, they may freely discuss their plans at anytime. They can also coordinate their efforts to try and outwit the Monsters in the Dungeon. Let’s say that there is a Level 2 Monster that you really want to battle, but the Level 1 Monster above it will harm you for moving through its room. Ask one of your teammates to Clear The Path.

Whether players need a path cleared, or just find simultaneous battles to be too chaotic, you can choose to let players resolve their battles one at a time, instead of simultaneous. If this is what you want to do, then Dungeon players will still resolve their 1st and 2nd steps as normal (reveal and play cards) simultaneously, but then will, in any order the players wish, resolve their 3rd-5th steps (move, battle, gain rewards) one at a time. Everything resolves as any Thunderstone Quest battle, with one exception: do not refill any Dungeon Rooms until the turn ends. This is called Clearing the Path and allows earlier rooms in the Dungeon to be cleared of Monsters with nasty Alert! effects so others may venture safely deeper into the Dungeon.

Clearing The Path is not the only way though that players can help each other. Players may also form a Party, combining their efforts to battle Monsters. At any time during the turn, two players in the same Dungeon Room may form a Party. There are a few special rules for players in a Party.

  • As a Dungeon ability, a player may give any number of Gear tokens to another Party member. They may also lend (for the turn) or give (permanently) 1 of their non-Wound cards to that Party member. Lent cards are returned when the turn ends. This includes a lent Hero that was leveled up during the turn; the new version of the Hero would return to its owner. A destroyed card remains destroyed though, and is not returned. “When returning your cards, please be kind. Rewind.” -Thunderstone Keep Card Rental Management
  • Players in a Party combine their Light values when moving through the Dungeon.
  • Players in a Party combine their Attack values when battling a Monster. Armor and Magic Resistance only affects each Party once, it does not affect the players of the Party individually.
  • Players in a Party split the rewards and Spoils effects from the Monster and Dungeon Room however they see fit. If the Monster gives a Treasure card, they may look at the Treasure first before deciding how to split the rewards.
  • Each player in the Party suffers the effects of the Monsters individually, including its text and wounds.
  • Forming a Party does NOT allow you to choose other players cards with your effects unless explicitly stated. If you have a Cleric that heals 1 Wound, and your Partymate needs the healing, you will need to lend them your Cleric for that turn.

By forming a Party, players will collaborate to defeat more difficult Monsters than they normally could on their own. While Parties are normally restricting to only two players, battles against the Guardian are an exception. Any number of players may form a Party to battle the Guardian. When a Party battles a Level 7 Guardian and has enough combined Attack value to Wound it, the Party will deal 1 Wound to the Guardian (no matter how many players are in the Party). Players may form/join a Party at any time during the turn as long as they are in the same Dungeon Room. Joining up in the same Dungeon Room could potentially come after cards have been played and movement has happened, and thus even though the players combine Attack values to battle the Monster, they would not receive Party benefits from previous steps of the turn (such as lending/giving cards/tokens).

But even when players are working individually, they are working as a team, giving each other cards and Gear tokens, removing Guardian Dice from the Monster pool, going to the Dungeon to battle invading Monsters, allowing their compatriots rest so they may get back into the Dungeon themselves the following turn. The question is, will it be enough?

  • Bryan Reese, Development Lead for Thunderstone Quest

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