A return to Terrinoth
I’ve written about Runebound before, but playing it is such an event that I felt that I had to write about it again. Miss B loves the idea of adventuring games. We haven’t played it for a while, but Dungeon! always goes down well. Talisman is always talked about in awed tones (despite the fact that, in the version we have at least, the choices for female characters are almost non-existant). And Runebound is possibly edging a lead over the other two games largely due to Miss B being obsessed with one of the characters.
So this weekend, S was away on a business trip, so Miss B and I agreed that we should get Runebound out. The game is a long one, particularly when playing with a 6-year-old, so I figured we would use the whole of Saturday afternoon (allowing for some breaks) and, if needs be, we could continue on Sunday.
As it turned out, needs beeded. Or whatever.
But to begin at the beginning…
Having been going on for ages about wanting to play as all-rounder Red Scorpion (illustrated in an outfit possibly not best suited to adventuring), Miss B briefly flirted with the possibility of playing sneaky assassin Silhouette before finally deciding that this time she wanted to be Runewitch Astarra and use magic. I chose to play the outdoorsy raccoon charmer Ronan of the Wild.
Knowing that this would be a long game, we decided to speed things up by requiring only three experience points to gain a boost rather than the recommended five for a two-player game. Actually, much as I like the game, experience is one of the beefs I have with it. Essentially you start very slowly, but as you progress gaining experience gets easier and easier, so eventually you end up ticking over a level every couple of turns. This does mean that the game snowballs nicely towards the end, but it also means that if you are unlucky enough to make a slow start (and make no bones about it, this game relies on luck a lot) you may never be able to keep up with the person that got lucky early on and was soon running around the land with rune plate armour and a healing rune.
This is, of course what happened to us, meaning that Miss B, who had a couple of rough breaks early on struggled a bit, though this improved when I traded her a couple of items that weren’t too useful to me but made the world of a difference to her.
Through the afternoon we took a couple of half hour breaks, but by the time it reached five o’clock (we started a little after one), Miss B’s stamina and will to continue was pretty much drained. This was made so much worse when she hit a particularly nasty challenge with an undead monster which regenerated, making it very hard for Miss B who ended up having to run away. Things didn’t return to a happy state after that, meaning that neither of us was having any fun, so we knocked the game on the head for a while so I could prepare us a meal.
After a pile of pizza the world was a much happier place and we managed to return to play a few more turns before bedtime. At this stage I had started battling the purple (level 3) adventures while Miss B, after having a bad experience earlier, was starting to beat yellow (level 2) adventures reasonably comfortably.
It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you, and Miss B was actually quite spritely about having breakfast and getting dressed so we could resume. We agreed that we would play to the official end of the game and not cut it off short. Miss B’s confidence grew with every defeated foe and while I moved on to the top level red adventures, she mopped up most of the remaining purple ones before joining me in beating the stuffing out of dragons.
I’m treating this post as different to our normal game posts, but I think it would be best to leave things with a comment from Miss B: “I enjoyed it a lot but I got a bit scared about everything and the living dead were really scary because when you got injured it healed up. We played for two days but I got a bit cross because my tummy was starting to hurt, saying, ‘I want pizza!'”