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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Personality Traits instead of Secret Objectives rss

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Julie Rose
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Oregon
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Instead of Secret Objectives required as a mini win condition for each player, this variant uses personality traits for each player that guide and restrict your followers' actions throughout the game.

Example:
The Secret Objective Hypochondriac (you need 2 medicine to win) has been replaced with the Trait Hypochondriac (you may not give medicine to other players or use it for anything but healing your followers; you cannot stay at a non-colony location for more than one turn unless you have 1 medicine for each follower).

The benefit of this variant is greater thematic consistency and engagement throughout the game, as well as the option to increase game difficulty. Each Trait is offered with both an Easy and a Hard option. The Hard options are intended to provide a significant increase in game difficulty.

To play with this variant, you will need:
    My website, with Trait rules and descriptions
        - deadofwinter.droppages.com

    Loyalty cards
        - Option 1) Use the standard Secret Objective/Betrayer cards, but ignore all text except the word "Betrayer" (or lack thereof)
        - Option 2) Create new Loyalty cards (some say "Betrayer", some say "Survivor")

    Trait cards
        - One card per Trait, listing the trait's name (and possibly also the rules for each Trait)

This variant is still a work in progress
Updated: 9/24/2016 - Adjusted Altruist and Glutton to fix inconsistencies with game rules, clarified other game conflicts, made Hard Mode default selection
Published: 9/22/2016

I would greatly appreciate any feedback, especially regarding:
    - gameplay feedback (modifications to Traits, rules, etc for better gameplay)
    - clarification or phrasing for Trait rules or descriptions
    - trait flavor text
    - additional Traits to add
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Davy Ashleydale
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This is an interesting idea and is very extendable -- you could really come up with a lot of these!

In a way, I see this as kind of a strategy guide for how to play the Secret Objective cards and/or a way to force players to actually play more thematically. Someone that has the Hypochondriac Secret Objective card should probably not give medicine to other players. And they probably shouldn't stay at a place like the Police Station, looking for weapons, unless they have all the medicine they want.

So this variant kind of forces people to play "correctly" (I know there are many ways to play, that's why I put it in quotes. But you know what I mean. )

These restrictions make them game harder, but on the other hand, you still win if the Main Objective is completed, no matter what else you've done during the game. So those two factors might balance each other out. So even the Hypochondriac will win the game if the Main Objective is completed and they have no medicine on them. They will tend to have medicine on them, due to their restrictions, but they won't need to try to stall the Main Objective if they have no medicine like they would in the original game.

This might be fun to try!
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Julie Rose
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Yes, exactly - I'd like to come up with more Trait options as well (I have 15 now).

There isn't a 1:1 correlation between the original Secret Objective cards and the Traits described on my website. I used the originals as inspiration and a starting point. I'd appreciate any additional ideas you have though (either inspired by other Secret Objectives I didn't use, or ideas of your own creation).

As you say, I've had several games where at least one player has to choose between sacrificing their own objective, or sacrificing the main objective. Either way, they lose. This allows a single group objective, while also providing more cover for the betrayer and adding more character depth for the other players.

If/when you try Traits, let me know how it goes! I'd love to have feedback or more suggestions on how to tweak and improve the idea.
 
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Stephen Sparks
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I really like the idea and agree with the points above. Not sure when I will have a chance to check them out in play.

I saw in your rules allowing players to draw two and choose one trait card. This may make it a bit easier, allowing a player to choose a trait that is less impactful on the current scenario, or perhaps help them hide better as the betrayer.

I would be nice if you had PDFs that could be printed so that testers do not have to create them all individually.
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M. B. Downey
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Interesting take on things! I like how it forces people how to play, but I don't know what I think about the group all winning or losing together. Though it would eliminate some specific issues some people have with the game.

Enforcing it will be the challenging part. It's easy to see if a player has achieved their goal at the end of the game, less easy to remember (or verify!) if they ever moved without having a specific card in their hand. It would be very easy to mess that up.

But still, very cool concept!
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Julie Rose
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spazz451 - Good idea. I'll work on those .pdfs and update my main post when they're available.

downeymb - I tried to keep some of the effect of the Secret Objectives (providing motivation to leave the colony and do things that benefit only yourself) by adding restrictions on behavior until you obtain certain items. This effect is most effective on Hard Mode (at the request of a friend, there is also a seriously nerfed Easy Mode for those who don't like such severe restrictions).

If you playtest this and still don't like the "all win together" (or if I get other feedback from friends/forum users), I'll adjust these to include individual objectives as well.

As far as enforcement - this variant does rely on each player being honest about their own Trait. In my own gameplay, most players seem to be able to remember and figure out their Trait's requirements with almost no issue. The few slip-ups haven't yet had any significant impact on gameplay.

Unfortunately, the only way I see around this is to make Trait cards public, and the strong vote from my friends was that the Traits remain secret. Of course - you could always make them public as your own house rule.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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Well, there's still the possibility of a Betrayer, right? So it would still be possible for the Betrayer to be the only winner.
 
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Janet Welch
United Kingdom
Morton in Marsh
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People make mistakes but there are plenty of games, even cooperative ones, that rely on people being honest about effects etc. If you play games with a group of people that will cheat because they can then I suggest you find a new group to play games with.

The idea that everything has to be open and accountable in every game saddens me, I love hidden movement games and in those the player who's movement is hidden has to be honest or the game just does not work.

The idea some information is hidden from other players and you have to keep track of the situation and be honest about it does not bother me, I don't want to play games with people who would knowingly cheat.
 
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M. B. Downey
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The emphasis was on people messing things up, not cheating.
 
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No Way
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Are you still working on this? I'm very interested to try this, but your site seems to have been taken down. Do you have a PDF or something?
 
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