Board Game Night: Call to Adventure (Singleplayer/Cooperative)

In a recent Board Game Night post, I wrote about Call to Adventure, a game that I recently came across that has captured my imagination and love in a way I didn’t expect. When I wrote that post, I wrote about the multiplayer. The game also came with a cooperative and singleplayer mode. This version of the game follows the same basic principles as multiplayer with just a few slight changes. This post will be much shorter than the multiplayer version as I will only be expanding upon the rules for multiplayer rather than trying to describe the entire game again. It is highly recommended that you learn how to play the multiplayer version before playing this version. To reference back to the base game, click on the link below this paragraph for my original post to better understand things that I’m referencing in this post. With that, let me introduce you to the single player and cooperative version of Call to Adventure!

Call to Adventure: Multiplayer Post

Set up for Call to Adventure Singleplayer/Cooperative is as follows.

  1. Go through the Act II and Act III cards and take out all of the Adversary cards. They’ll say Adversary under the title of the card. Set them aside.
  2. Go through the Antihero deck and take out all of the cards with a small white skull at the bottom of the deck and set them aside.
  3. Take the Adversary Quest cards (a separate deck of black cards that wasn’t used in the multiplayer version) and set them aside.
  4. Set the game up exactly the same as the multiplayer game with the exception that your Destiny card and starting Hero card can be face up as you are playing alone or with other players in a cooperative situation. (See the link above for the standard set up)
  5. Choose one Adversary card. You can choose which one you want or you can randomly pick one.
  6. Find the Adversary Quest card from the deck of black cards that matches your adversary and place it next to the Adversary.
  7. Take the Singleplayer/Co-op card that comes with the game (called the Victory Card), flip it to the side that matches the number of players, and then slide it under the Adversary card so that the matching number of players section of the card is visible at the bottom of the Adversary card.
  8. Take those Antihero cards you set aside, shuffle them, and place the deck (now called the Adversary Deck) next to the Adversary.
  9. Find the card that lays out the rules for Singleplayer/Co-op games (Called Rise of the Adversary) and place it next to the Adversary Quest card.
  10. Flip over the Act I cards and let the game begin!

The object of the singleplayer/co-op game is slightly different than the multiplayer game. Rather than trying to be the player with the most Destiny points, you are instead trying to defeat the Adversary before he/she gains enough Experience Points (XP) to overwhelm you. You do this by playing the game like normal, choosing a path to take by rolling runes or taking traits from the Act cards on the table. However, certain criteria makes it possible to add XP tokens to the Adversary. If at ANY time during the course of the game the Adversary has the number of XP tokens equal to the amount shown on the Victory Card, all players lose. If you get to the end of Act III, one person has defeated the Adversary, and the players meet all of the criteria listed on the Rise of the Adversary card, then the players win. Here’s how the gameplay works.

The Rise of the Adversary card has some options on it that affects how the Adversary gets XP tokens or messes with the players.

  1. When you fail a Challenge, the Adversary gains 1 XP token.
  2. When your runes result in the option that lets you draw one Hero/Antihero card (the black/clear arrow on the core runes), draw one card from the Adversary deck and resolve it.
  3. If any player ends the game with less than 30 Destiny points, the Adversary gains 2 XP tokens.

Play the game like normal, attempting challenges, taking traits, playing Hero/Antihero cards, and so forth. However, the drawing of cards from the Adversary deck can really cause the players problems.

When you get the result that lets you draw a Hero/Antihero card, draw a card for yourself like you normally would. Then draw a card from the Adversary deck. Apply the card’s effect immediately. These cards usually make you have to reroll a challenge you just tried by adding difficulty to it, attempt a different path on the board rather than the one you just tried, or subtract runes away from your roll. These can really hinder you by making it harder to succeed on a challenge, and remember, every time you fail a challenge, the Adversary gains 1 XP token. Thankfully, if the card does not affect you in any way or does not apply to the situation, the card is put in the discard pile and does not affect the game.

The Adversary Quest card has other things that affect the players or helps the Adversary. As an example, the Adversary, The Wolf, gets a quest called Night of the Wolf. The three effects listed on the Night of the Wolf are as follows.

  1. Give the Adversary +2 (this means you need to roll a 6 to defeat the Wolf, but with this quest card, you need to roll an 8).
  2. When you fail a Constitution Challenge, the Adversary gains 1 XP token (so failing a Constitution Challenge means the Adversary gains 2 XP tokens; 1 for the Rise of the Adversary card and 1 for the Night of the Wolf card).
  3. When you gain 1 Pure on the corruption track, take 1 XP token from the Adversary (one of the only ways to take XP away from the Adversary).

Once any player at the table has 8 story cards under their character cards (meaning 3 Act I cards under the character origin, 3 Act II cards under the character trait, and 2 Act III cards under the Destiny card), the last turn for that player MUST be to challenge the Adversary. Unlike in the normal multiplayer game, you don’t discard the Adversary if you fail the challenge. If you’re playing solo, you must try again. If you’re playing in co-op, and every player has 8 cards under their story cards, the next player must try. You continue doing this until somebody defeats the Adversary or the Adversary has enough XP tokens listed on the Victory card to defeat the players.

An important aspect to remember is that if you defeat the Adversary, you don’t immediately add it under your Destiny card. Make sure no other events are going to add experience to the Adversary to give it sufficient XP to defeat you. This includes adding up your Destiny score, because if you have less than 30 Destiny points (the adding up everything as listed in the link above for the multiplayer game), the Adversary gets 2 XP tokens added to it which might be enough to lose you the game. Every decision can matter; almost more so than during multiplayer.

In a co-op game, if the Adversary has been beaten and no other events give it enough XP to defeat the players, the players have won. The player that defeated the Adversary gets to add it under his/her Destiny card. However, every player that still doesn’t have all Acts fulfilled can take one more turn. Even though the players have won, the player with the highest Destiny score becomes the Ultimate Winner! In a singleplayer game, the Adversary only needs 5 XP tokens to win. You add 2 more XP tokens for each added player. This means that in a 4-player game, the Adversary needs 11 XP to win.

Just like the multiplayer game, don’t forget to tell the stories of your characters. It’s even more fun if you try to tie them in together and how they all worked to overcome the Adversary as the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) in a rousing adventure story.

Conclusion
Call to Adventure is an amazing little game with storytelling capabilities. In a single player game, it’s harder to tell that story, but it’s still an incredible experience. In the multiplayer game, most if not all of your choices of which paths/traits to take from the face up cards on the table derive from an attempt to fulfill the requirements on your Destiny card. However, the solo/co-op mode can have an Adversary that will have far different runes/requirements than what is listed on your Destiny card. Finding the balance of making sure you get points from your Destiny card and have enough runes/requirements to defeat the Adversary makes your choices that much more interesting. You still need at least 30 Destiny points at the end of the game in order to make sure the Adversary card doesn’t gain more XP tokens. It’s a fine balance, but it allows for the players to work together, talk out which cards to challenge and tell amazing stories in the meantime. And even if you lose the game, you still get to tell great stories about how your characters traveled the journey but fell in a blaze a glory to the Adversary.

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