This week's session was less successful. Toward the end she was visibly bored and ready for the game to end. As I see it, there were 2 issues:
- Too Long - Admittedly, 4AD is a fast playing game. A single combat can be over in a couple of minutes at most, Still, I haven't totally gotten used to the charts, slowing down play. I have gotten better. By adding an index to the PDF, Ganesha Games made it so much easier to find stuff in the book. They also provided cheat sheets but I haven't been using them. Previously, I made my own cheat sheet in Excel and I find it quicker to use that. Even with these improvements, we spent nearly 2 hours playing (although I probably spent half an hour redoing the character sheet). I have a couple of ideas to speed the game:
- Pre-mapping the dungeon - I could do the mapping and rolling for encounters prior to us playing. But that won't be as much fun for me; the surprise of the randomness certainly makes things interesting. Still, it may be a good idea for my wife's sake.
- Impose a time limit - an idea in the 4AD rulebook. I could say that after an hour of exploring we find the main boss. Alternatively, I could limit the dungeon to a certain number of rooms.
- Too Much Combat - My wife complained that this session had too much fighting. We fought 5 combats vs. 3 in the previous session. However, in this session we fought 3 bosses vs. 0 in the first session. I think it was too many bosses for my wife. Solutions?
- Modify the encounter charts to create more non-combat encounters
- Increase the odds of a boss being the final boss (which should also reduce the time spent playing)
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy this game immensely. I also love that my wife is willing to play. The core rules are fine but I just want to streamline the game a little more. I think I may try a combination of the ideas above.