Forums/ The 7th Continent/ Rules and Operating Points1 post
repost from BGG link

I’m one of those players who enjoys losing this game in as memorable way as possible, preferably with multiple close calls along the way. Winning this game, or worse: sailing through hours of gameplay never feeling too close to death, is to be avoided, in my opinion, and means it’s time to increase the difficulty level. The problem is neither ‘hardcore mode’ nor adding lots of curses does that in a way that feels very satisfying.

Could some new mechanic enhance replay-ability in a way that is more challenging and fun from start to finish as an alternative to ‘hardcore mode’ or adding lots of curses into the deck? And at the same time discourage exploits, grinding and middle-late game boredom? After playtesting the below house rules, I believe the answer is: Yes!.. although I hope it could be further tuned and improved with 7C community feedback.

Proposal: ‘Intrepid Mode’ House Rules:

0) At the start of a game, choose a difficulty setting D = 0, 1, ..
[D=0: Explorer, D=2: Adventurer, D=4: Daredevil, D=7: Madcap]

1) Action deck cards added to a player hand during the Skill step discard to an Exhausted pile that is separate from the Discard pile for all game play purposes; this includes cards discarded from any player hand and items relinquished in whole or part from any player inventory, for any reason.

2) Following a successful rest action:
2a) Draw D cards at random from the Discard pile, banishing any skill or advanced skill card(s) and returning any curse card(s) to the Discard pile.
2b) Shuffle the Exhausted pile back into the Discard pile.

What this does primarily is prevent reusing or reconstituting popular and/or powerful cards in the Discard pile, by
eating, remembering
, etc., without taking a rest action with counterbalancing consequence. This provides a mechanism to make the mid-end game play more challenging and variable, while adding new hand and pile management decision making choices such as: when to take cards to hand vs discarding them, and when and how often to rest vs the state of the Exhausted and Discard piles. This new mechanic also suppresses at least some hand-action-discard pile exploits, without having to house rule them individually.

Having played with these house rules through 3+ games now (all losses) with the same explorers [M+K] and curses [VG+BH+IM], I can confidently report they work well for me and now I can't imagine playing without them, unless it was with a group new to the game. In any case, I believe this is a topic worthy of further creativity and discussion and look forward to constructive feedback from the 7C community. Thank you in advance!
Forums/ The 7th Continent/ Rules and Operating Points1 post