The fourth volume in the Hexplore series of Fantasy adventuring, The Domain of Mirza Noctis, will launch on Gamefound on April 7th.
The setting of this new volume draws from the standard tropes of Gothic Fantasy: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc. This new volume introduces a Day/Night cycle, the possibility for dead players to come back as a zombie or another undead, full dungeons to explore with modular tiles on top of the "overland" adventure map, a rune system, familiars, and certainly more.
I understand. I backed for the two first volumes during the second KS. I had barely played the first when Volume 3 came out, which I backed. I received it three months ago, and actually haven't played Volume 1 ever since. So, no, for once, I will put my completionist compulsions aside and won't get that Volume 4 (it helps that I utterly dislike Gothic Fantasy).
I think the series could be great, it's like a Runebound + game, the boxes are not too big, the rules not too complex, the footprint not too huge. But I found as well that it was marred by a few flaws:
- almost no art while playing the game. Encounters are a card with an exclamation mark and a bunch of outcomes when rolling the die. Character art is on the back of the boards.
- managing food is a chore. Thinking what I shall cook tonight and whether I should do some grocery shopping is trouble enough already, I don't want to have any of that in my games.
- I was inadvertently erasing the mats as well. I'd just love to have a printable sheet online, and to proceed with traditional pencil. I actually made a character board on PowerPoint that I plan to use when I will play the game again, in a handful of years.
- understanding your characters abilities takes time and effort. They are far from clear. I remember I was staring at them, reading, re-reading, still no clue. After a while I got it, but it's not easy to sort out their meaning.
- I found the Dead King timer completely off. He was rushing through the map, destroying cities upon cities, while I was still wandering in the woods, not far from my starting point, turns away from fulfilling my first quest. Maybe I didn't play correctly but I found it crazy and it ultimately turned me off.
I've played the first two. The games took long, lots of administration of stats, inventory and battles on a dry erase board (that I kept accidentally wiping). Then I found out it was going to be a series of six games and I gave up. Sold my boxes, never looked back. Funny thing is, that if HEXplore It had just been the first game, I probably would have kept it. But I was having an attack of completionism. Couldn't keep that box without feeling it was incomplete (which is nonsense).