After getting a lot of really great feedback from the New York playtest, we made a bunch of adjustments. We did a lot of in-house playtesting, tweaked a bunch of things, and appear to have settled on the new version. Biggest changes: the only trashing in the game is fighting the always-available Training Dummy (2) Win: Trash 1 card from your hand or discard. Lose: nothing. We like this change a lot, because this removed trashing as an ability you can buy, which was a very luck based element that could decide games early on, and this is a unique mechanic, and it makes a lot of thematic sense-you can practice against the Training Dummy to unlearn bad habits, but you can’t make an actual difference in the world by doing this, so you can’t gain XP*.
The next change is that there are now 3 Adversaries available to fight each turn, instead of 2. This combines well with the last big change to open up a bunch of interesting decisions.
All Adversaries have been redesigned. Most have kept a lot of what they had originally, but they’re a lot more unified-the mechanics for rewards/losses of one make a lot of sense when compared to the others similar to it in power. Now, the lower combat a monster, the lower XP reward it gives, but the more useful of an additional reward. That is, a Combat 4 monster might make you gain 2 XP and 3 Skill, while a Combat 6 monster would make you gain 5 XP and nothing else for defeating it. The penalty for losing, however, rises with the combat value, and is quite different across the various adversaries of the same combat score.