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Legends Untold» Forums » Rules

Subject: Game Design - Choices and Modular design rss

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Hugh Ducker
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As we are finalising the preview version of Legends Untold, we can't release the rules in detail yet, but we are hoping to do so shortly onto this Forum. Until we do so I thought we should lay out some of the game design choices we made whilst designing the game to give an insight into how the game to be the way it is. Inspiring Games is a two man operation and my principle role is bringing order to the chaos or, in other words, rules writing to accommodate the ideas behind the game in a coherent and straight forward way.

Design choices
The design behind the game came about as:
(1) The game should take about an hour to play
(2) The game should change every time you play
(3) Setup should be quick (~5 minutes).
(4) Its a co-operative game, so players should be working together.
(5) No player downtime - everyone should be involved in what's going on as much as possible.
(6) The game should be as much about exploration and challenges as combat.

Some of our design goals were:
(1) There are no tokens. You play the game with the 110 cards plus some dice for rolling for tests.
(2) Player choice was important. You make your choices and make a test and deal with the outcome.
(3) You get as much game as we can give you in a small package.

Modular design
When designing the game we wanted to make the game modular so that you can combine the different environments, challenges and foes in the game to create your own adventures. We had ideas for all kinds of environments (caves, sewers, crypts, dungeons, towns, arctic, countryside and more) and lots of types of Foes (Goblins, lizard-kin, acolytes, and so on).

So we came up with the idea of saying you can take any Environment and use any Foe in it. You can take the Goblins and place them in the Town environment, or take the Acolytes and place them in the ice caverns. Each Environment would have its own challenges and discoveries linked to it (it would be odd to find giant mushrooms in the arctic, or ice statues in the sewers).

Furthermore the Hero talent system is designed so that you can choose any Weapon or skill Talents for your Hero. If you want to have all Skills and be bad with a weapon, you can do that. If you want to have multiple weapon styles, you can do that (though you might need to wait to get multiple weapons). We can only fit so many cards in a single box, so we wanted to make it so that you can use any cards from any eventual set together. There are no "Fighter" talents, but you can choose to be a "big & tough" and be good with an axe. You can choose to be specialised in arcane Talents, or generalise across negotiating, animal ken and caving.

In the end we wanted to keep the choice of your adventure and your heroes down to the people playing the game. Coming up with interesting builds for solo or group play is up to the players and different environments will have different challenges for players to overcome.

A different game every time
The core of the game is based on around the different decks that are used. There are cards to represent the Locations in the environment, the Barriers, Challenges, Foes, Discoveries, Traps, Encounters and Curiosities as well as the Loot you can find in the Environment. Most of these are shuffled into the Adventure deck which shapes how the Scenario plays out. Each time you play the Locations will come in a different order, the barriers in a location can change and the Adventure deck might contain any combination of other challenges. This means you might find, for the same Location, that in one game you are trying to get across a chasm in a bat filled chamber and fighting Cave Spiders that were hidden behind a flooded corridor in the next.

More to come
As we get time we are planning on putting up details not only on how the game works but why the game works that way. We want engagement with all of our players to create a game that is fun to play, and can fill a gap in an evening for an adventure, or to play through a few adventures together as a campaign.
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Claire
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So looking forward to this and more updates Thanks
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Ray Smith
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This is sounding a lot like Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game, which is a good thing!

Eager to see more card art. thumbsup
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Kev Young
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OK Ray, I have just finished off this one so it seems unfair not to share it with you. We'll explain how it all works in due course but I can sense you are keen.

Let's assume your Scout chose an Exit from the previous map, and decided not to sneak. You draw a new Map card and create the new Location. It has an Obstacle Icon in the top, you draw through the Adventure deck and the first Obstacle you reach is...a trap.

Whether you trigger the trap will depend on your scouting, lighting levels, whether you sneaked etc. We will explain that idc.

If you triggered the trap the last three Heroes just took a damage (in this case the Scout tripped the vine),this is not the same for every trap. You will determine your party order before you enter the Location so once you commit there's no going back (it's all risk vs reward).

If you didn't Trigger the trap then as a Party you will need to decide whether to Avoid it or Disarm it.

Hints:
This would be a good trap for having a light source, a good scouting roll and a Mastery in Devices on.

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Ray Smith
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Super! Thanks, Kev.

(The other cards on your image page are pretty sweet too.)
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Kev Young
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Thanks Ray much appreciated!

Some of the other images are to help with the world building. We'll get to that soon but again we are trying to do something a bit different. We are going to ask you guys as players to help shape the world you will game in.

Feel free to spread the word and try to help us improve our standing on the Geek
 
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Claire
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Will there be dice rolling in the game? Also with there being no tokens how do you keep track of your damage etc??
And I know it was said that there are 110 cards but will there be more added for different locations, extra Kickstarter cards maybe or stretch goals??

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Kev Young
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OK that one was just to show you the resolution we have our artists working at.

Claire there are dice used in the game but everything is done using a bell curve probability system on 3d6. So a figure of 9-12 is most likely.

The tests are all created assuming more or less difficult than that 9-12 sweet spot and then modified by attributes, talents, kit, the difficulty of the obstacle etc.

You will create a Hero using an Occupation card and Talents (weapon talents and skill talents). Each of these Talents has abilities which can be exhausted or drained to help your Hero during the adventure. They also act as wounds or life points if you will. So as you take damage you will be unable to use less of your talents.
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Kev Young
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On the extra cards front. Yes we have figured out a way of giving you guys a lot more content as a stretch goal if we can get enough backers.

Also thematically it will all make sense when we show you the back story. The stretch goals we have planned will add lots of extra exciting stuff for you.
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Claire
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Thanks, cards looking thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
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