Black Forest design and development

I wanted to capture some of the process I've been going through to bring this game to publication. While I've dabbled in some design and expansion work, this is my first real foray into board game publication, which I am spearheading myself.
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Black Forest - Roles and Seer Visions

Jack Reda
United States
Herndon
Virginia
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Black Forest is a board game I have designed and will be publishing later this year. Please read the first part of this blog here: (Black Forest design and development).

In this blog, I will talk about the different roles for the game, and cover how the Seer vision mechanic works.

Since Black Forest is a board game for 3-5 players, there are only 4 different roles currently part of the game.

Villager, Pagan, Lycan, and Werewolf. The game will come with an extra Villager role (and an extra Werewolf role for the advanced game). Other roles are planned for an expansion, or possibly as part of a stretch goal.

Each role has two icons on it that are for the Seer Vision. There are three different vision icons: Villager, Pagan, Werewolf. So, the roles have the icons in these combinations:

Villager: 2 of the same "Villager" icon.
Pagan: 1 "Villager" icon, and one "Pagan" icon.
Lycan: 1 "Villager" icon, and one "Werewolf" icon.
Werewolf: 1 "Pagan" icon, and one "Werewolf" icon.

The reasoning is that the Pagan is more in tune with nature than a standard Villager. The Lycan has werewolf ancestry, but despite that still counts as a normal Villager for game play. The Werewolf, while supernatural, is still a part of nature. The Villager has none of the pagan or werewolf qualities, so that role only has one icon type.

This brings us to the Seer cards.

There are four cards used for Seer visions: 2 copies of the "Villager", 1 "Werewolf", and 1 "Pagan".

In the game, one of the Village tiles is the Seer. A player can put one of his or her Villager tokens on the Seer tile during the Day phase, and when the Seer tile is activated, he or she pays 1 Coin to have a "vision" on another player.

For example: The RED player visits the Seer and pays 1 Coin to have a vision on the BLUE player. The BLUE player then takes all 4 of the Seer Vision cards and selects the two that correspond to his or her Role card. In this case, we'll say that the BLUE player is the Lycan. He takes one of the "Villager" cards, and the "Werewolf" card. He places them face down in front of the RED player. She then gets to pick one of the cards to look at.

If she sees the "Villager" card, she will know that the BLUE player is NOT the Werewolf (though she won't know if he is the Pagan, Lycan, or normal Villager, depending on what role RED has). This is because the Werewolf does not have a "Villager" icon as part of its role. If she picks the "Werewolf" card, she will know that the BLUE player is either the Lycan or the Werewolf.

Having one Seer vision on a player is not necessarily conclusive proof a player is a werewolf, but having a second vision can- provided you don't end up selecting the same card twice.

So having Seer visions on other players can provide crucial information to the players about who the werewolf might be or definitely isn't. Of course, there's nothing stopping the werewolf player from using the Seer vision space him or herself, to prevent others from using it.


Additionally, whenever the Market is replenished, there is a chance of drawing an "Event" card. When this happens, it is placed on the Seer tile. A player must visit the Seer during that Day phase and pay 1 Coin to cancel the Event, or else it activates at the end of the Day phase. Events can prevent Seer visions from happening, unless a player decides it's more important to have the vision than it is to cancel the Event (and the player would need to have a Coin).

In the game, all 12 Village tiles are two-sided. The reverse side is the "upgraded" version of the tile. When the Seer tile is upgraded, a player can cancel and event and have a seer vision on another player.

* * *

In the next blog, I will go in to more detail on the Village tiles, and what the normal version of some tiles do, as well as the upgraded version.
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