Of Monstrous Things
We talked last time about the heroes that will be joining you on your quest. Let’s talk this time about the things that stand between you and victory. The monsters!
Monsters come in groups, and each group has a level. This represents how difficult they are to defeat and how much experience you gain for defeating them. In Thunderstone Quest the Dungeon has three levels, with each level comprised of its own rooms. The level one monsters are in the most accessible rooms and the fearsome level three monsters are in the deepest parts of the Dungeon.
Level 3 Monsters from A Mirror in the Dark
As the game progresses you are trying to improve the quality of your deck in order to have both the Light to get to the deepest parts of the Dungeon, as well as the attack values to defeat the denizens that live there.
The way to beat a monster is to have an attack value amongst your heroes, spells and their various bits of gear that is at least as high as the health of the monster you are facing. But health isn’t everything. Monsters also have abilities.
Usually the lower level monsters will do things that will either be a minor annoyance when you fight them, or even worse they have been sent out to impede your progress to the tougher second and third level monsters (Kobolds are especially annoying when it comes to this!).
The second and third level monsters will have more health, but they may also have traits and abilities that protect them in some way. They may require you to have magical attack, they may have some degree of innate resistance to magic, or to physical attack. The toughest monsters are also the ones who have abilities that happen ”before the battle” these guys do things that can change the result of the combat before it happens. Others may still be nasty but their effect is only a parting shot after the battle.
We made the decision to add dice to the system. Adding dice has allowed us to design a small element of chance to encounters with the monsters, and whilst not every monster group uses dice, those that do gain a touch of uncertainty to the outcome.
One of my favorites is: “Before the battle, roll 2d6. Discard a weapon card for each 5 or 6 rolled.” There are range of other similar abilities similar to this mechanic. They are designed to make each encounter more than a pre-calculated pre-determined fight but not so random that you cannot plan a winning strategy.
You will think to yourself: It’s a juicy target, but I really need that sword equipped to win, I just need to not roll badly… Plus I always roll better when I have the yellow meeple.
Monster groups represent some sort of collective theme within the stories of Thunderstone Quest – it might Kobolds, it might be Ogres or even Servitors of Fire. Each group will tend to have abilities that reflect what they do as a type of challenge. Each group is 10 monsters strong. Except the Guardians.
The Guardians are the bosses of the Dungeon. The ultimate bad guy that appears at the climactic conclusion of the day. Guardians are released once a number of Keys have been discovered in the Dungeon decks. Once the Guardian has been released each player gets one turn to take on the Guardian Monster (they don’t have to, they can continue to defeat other monsters, but if you can defeat the Guardian the rewards are big).
Each Quest is designed with six monster groups, two of each level, so as you work your way through the Quests not only will you see a lot of different themes with each scenario, you will also see how much replay value comes from the way the different monsters behave when you play with random set ups.
Thanks for keeping up the amazing support of the campaign! Let all your friends know about this Update and remind them that the more stretch goals we hit the better the Rewards become for every backer!
— Mark Wootton
Thunderstone Quest Project Lead