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Subject: Fantasy Innkeeper rss

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Ben Milton
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So I'm working on a Fantasy Innkeeper game (tentatively titled Bitter End), and I need some help figuring out how to attract heroes into your tavern. Each player has a tavern (probably on a player tableau, which you can add tile-rooms to, much like Agricola). A random assortment of Fighters, Rogues, Wizards and Bards enters the town every night, and players compete to attract them to their establishment. At the end of the night, you can use your heroes' abilities to screw with your opponents, or get them into groups and send them off on quests to bring fame to your tavern.

Here's my ideas so far.

Idea #1: Each hero type desires a different kind of drink. Fighters want mead, Rogues want ale, Wizards want cider, and Bards want wine. If players were competing over a group of fighters, they would all bid X amount of mead, and the player who bid the most would get all the fighters.

You would buy tavern upgrades that produce different kinds of drinks, but I don't have this very fleshed out.

Idea #2: It might be more interesting to have each hero type be attracted in a completely different way. Fighters, for example, are a thirsty lot, so you would attract them by offering them mead, as in idea #1. Wizards are a snobby, elitist type, so you could attract them by reserving rooms and dormitories exclusively for their use. Bards want an audience more than anything, so players could compete for them by "tapping" a number of heroes already in their inn, who will spend the evening listening to the Bard's epic songs. I haven't figured out what Rogues would want.

Idea #3: Offer discounts to groups of heroes, lowest price for the night gets the group.

Idea #4: Upgrade the tavern with various rooms tailored to the different types. Mead Halls for fighters, gambling dens for Rouges, Libraries for Wizards, and stages for Bards. You bid to attract heroes by placing staff on the different rooms.

Any suggestions, modifications, or entirely new ideas?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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How about each character having a secret set of "desirables"? And your job as innkeeper is to guess at those desirables and make your "bid" each night by selecting what you'll offer that night. Each night, a number of characters are drawn from the deck, their desires are revealed, and the best matches get the character.

You can still have trends, as you've mentioned .. bards like audiences and wine... or so.


For example:

Innkeeper 1 bids: 3 Wine, 2 Mead, 1 Busty Wench.

Innkeeper 2 buds: 2 Busty Wench, 5 Ale.


Cards are drawn:

Olaf the Fighter: desires Busty Wench and Mead
-- Innkeeper 1 wins because he can provide both. Olaf goes to Inn 1. Busty Wench and Mead reduced at Inn 1.


Vlad the Rogue: desires Busty Wench and Wine
-- Inn 1 no longer has Busty Wench; however the 3 Wine trumps Inn 2's offer of 2 Busty Wench. Vlad goes to Inn 1. Wine reduced at Inn 1.


Bella the Sorceress: desires Wine, Mead, and Ale
-- Inn 1 offers 2 Wine and 2 Mead. Inn 2 offers 5 Ale. Inn 2 wins (more to offer). Bella goes to Inn 2. Ale reduced at Inn 2.

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Ben Milton
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That's an interesting idea. I like it. Originally, all the heroes were just going to be represented by cubes or tokens you put on your board, but with cards this would be a cool alternative.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Hot Soup wrote:
That's an interesting idea. I like it. Originally, all the heroes were just going to be represented by cubes or tokens you put on your board, but with cards this would be a cool alternative.
With tokens, I'd still use the same idea as cards, but they would be drawn from a bag.

With cubes, I can opt for treating them like dice ... "fickle desires" ... each side of the dice reflects a different set of desires. I actually like this line of thinking: You have a big pool of say ... 30 different characters, and each character's sets of desires are on 1 die. Each night, 10 out of those 30 are drawn from the bag. You innkeepers get to examine these 10 dice, and make your bids. And then, the dice are rolled and we see which desire actually comes up for each character.

Print-and-Play ... and probably also publishing-wise ... cards are the easiest route. But the RPG crowd might actually like rolling lots of dice.
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Chris Cisne
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Hot Soup wrote:
Idea #2: It might be more interesting to have each hero type be attracted in a completely different way. Fighters, for example, are a thirsty lot, so you would attract them by offering them mead, as in idea #1. Wizards are a snobby, elitist type, so you could attract them by reserving rooms and dormitories exclusively for their use. Bards want an audience more than anything, so players could compete for them by "tapping" a number of heroes already in their inn, who will spend the evening listening to the Bard's epic songs. I haven't figured out what Rogues would want.
Perhaps Rogues could be interested in rumours? You know, the stock reason a group of players start in/go to a tavern in an RPG...to give the DM an excuse to have NPCs talk loudly about treasure to be found nearby, and local mysterious goings-ons.
Rumours are a fickle thing by nature, so perhaps you could take up 'space' in your bar (which would otherwise be occupied by heroes) with 'customers'. Each customer in a bar would result in a certain chance of generating a rumour, which would attract Rogues.
To make this more versatile, the rumours could also increase the benefits of sending heroes on quests (as they're going towards the juicier ones), and crowd members could also be 'tapped' to act as audience members for the Bard (instead of talking and producing rumours). [Edit: and bouncing off of what SimonSes and blaird say below, Fighters could have a chance to incapacitate (to be polite) customers by starting brawls, leading to tension in the choice of what type of heroes you choose to prioritise.]

Also, Bitter End is an awesome name for this. ^_^
 
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Dan Likos
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Rogues like drunk patrons...to pick pockets and overhear rumors as mentioned above.
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Chris Cisne
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dlikos wrote:
Rogues like drunk patrons...to pick pockets
This +1
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David Thornton
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Nothing to add, really, but I think if done properly this game could be a huge hit.
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Simon Ses
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I like the theme. It's a really cool idea.

You could consider disadvantages that the inkeeper has to hedge against: Fighters have brawls and break furniture which then has to be replaced (overcome by buying more solid furniture - or getting cheap furniture and treating it as disposable); the till always winds up short when there are Rogues around (hire security); Wizards may fireball something if they get annoyed (keep them away from the brawling fighters); too many bards and the constabulary visit because of noise complaints (install expensive sound proofing), or maybe bards attract seat filling "customers" who come for the free show and don't buy drinks.
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Bryan Laird
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Pear Annoyed wrote:
Nothing to add, really, but I think if done properly this game could be a huge hit.
+1 Sounds like an interesting idea.

One idea is to hire bards, so that they can attract patrons instead of trying to win the bards attention.
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James Hutchings
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You could have 'dark corners' as a resource.

You can never have more 'mysterious cloaked figures' than you have dark corners.
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Andrew Tullsen
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apeloverage wrote:
You could have 'dark corners' as a resource.

You can never have more 'mysterious cloaked figures' than you have dark corners.
Nice. I like it.
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Sam Mercer
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apeloverage wrote:
You could have 'dark corners' as a resource.

You can never have more 'mysterious cloaked figures' than you have dark corners.
I was going to say the exact damned thing, you win _this_ time James ¬_¬

So yeah, adventurers traditionally need some things :

1. Quest givers. That's why adventurers go into pubs, to sleep, regain their hp, and get some missions. So you need to provide mission givers. So people can buy game upgrades in the form of "Agents" (see: hooded figures in the corners). Perhaps some of them can specialise in different mission types, with certain heroes preferring certani types of quests (exactly what is up to your imagination. Perhaps you could also have an exceedingly clever mechanic (sorry its a bit early here right now to think of one) that would basically give a group of heroes a chance to complete a quest and come back to spend their earnings once they have already developed a fondness for your bar and your agents.

2. Gossip. They com in, and if you have a piece of gossip for sale, the adventurers will toss you a coin, this will be some low grade money earners, you could abstract it "gossip token" or you could card it "Did you hear, the kings daughter ran away and was captured by pirates?!". Some of these gossips could even be the catalyst for further quests or what have you. Perhaps a gossip deck with each piece having a certain chance to give you-the inn keeper- something as a bonus too.

3. Keep it as an inn, but you can also have one of the corners set up with a weapons merchant, selling weapons and armors. Of course this can be logically upgraded to a _rare_ weapons merchant.

4. Pick pockets, definitely (as above) include these. You could either have the heroes themselves pick pockets, or more accurately, have the pickpockets under your own employ, like paid off little scallies that go around trying to steal things from the patrons. Of course, most of it ends back in your own purse strings!

Great idea - you better make this game Ben, or I will ¬_¬

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Panahs Sainis
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Fantastic idea! I,d definetly play it.

I like almost all the above ideas about quest, merchants, hooded figures...

May I recommend. Missions..for the inkeeper. Lets say you draw a mission card that says.

"Mages Gathering. A circle of mages decided to hold a meeting at your inn. Win codition: Attract at least 3 mages and keep them until the end of the round. Reward: 10gold"

So the player would have to try and attract every mage that comes to town this night but also avoid attracting roques or fighters that could start a brawl and make some of the mages go to another innkeeper. So that lives involes more player interaction and you can add some stuff so tha someone may intentionally sent a fighter away loosing some but eventually disrupting your plans.

Also some illegal operations that would grand you great profit but if the law gets you you loose lets say the next turn or gold or whatever...

And in the words of Sam Mercer:"Great idea - you better make this game Ben, or I will ¬_¬"
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Jacco Versteeg
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Interesting. Lots of ideas that head straight into RP territory.

Looking at the original idea posted, I'm wondering about the scoring. You want to have heroes in your tavern. The more heroes you have (or the better combination of heroes) gives you a better crowd (hero groupies) and thus more points. So maybe there could be penalties for having the wrong mix of heroes? So that, for instance, too many heroes of the same type cause problems (= minus points). Or heroes who can't stand each other create a bad atmosphere. Which would possibly need a mechanic where you can actually send a hero to a different tavern, or refuse them entry. Also, with the room building idea, maybe there's an option for overcrowding (your inn is so popular everybody wants to go there), which could cause penalties in itself?

Upgrades could then be limited (and limiting): yes, a stage will give you a better performance rating and more crowds, but where are they going to sit? A bigger bar allows you to serve more (types of) drinks, but do you have the staff to manage it? That way you're looking at various ways of customising your inn to help you haul in more points.

So your scoring options are:

- getting heroes
- bonus points for getting the right combination
- minus points for getting the wrong combination
- a group of heroes can give both plusses and minusses

You expand your tavern to get more room, thus raising the space for clientele and options for scoring. Limiting factors:

- The size of the inn (same for everybody)
- Available upgrades and having the space to place them in your inn
- Available staff to mitigate bad effects
- Available staff to run the place
- Available staff to draw in a better crowd/give bonus scoring options

So you're looking to optimise your inn by either mitigating the bad effects, or by aiming for the bonus options. Or both.
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Graham
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I like the idea of running an inn, and a few of ideas struck me:

Brewing Facilities: Instead of buying the booze in you can buy the ingredients and make it yourself, or just get a certain amount of free booze each night/turn.

Notice Board: Effectively a low level quest giver who doesn't need to be paid.

Have the hero archetypes represented by decks of cards, with each being variations around a theme. You know what types of heroes are coming inn advance (if you pardon the pun), but not exactly what they want.

If you also divide the heroes and the normal townsfolk you could add another "desirable", e.g. bards and rouges want crowds but wizards and rangers prefer the quieter pubs (with exceptions included in the decks).

I'm just letting these ideas spill out, either way I like the sound of this game.
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Andrew H
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I like the cubes as dice idea. If you really wanted to appeal to role-players, have each die for a different class. d4 - fighters, d6 - clerics, d8 - wizards, etc. The cards could show what desire each roll corresponds to. Or you could have players bid with inn inventory (each ale = 1 point, each meal = 3 points, etc.), and the bid that is closest to the roll of the group gets them.
 
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Ben Milton
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Man, so many great ideas. The most frustrating thing is that I can't implement them all. One of the things I love most in a board game is a very strong theme. I'll forgive derivative mechanics if the game really transports me, so that's something I'm aiming for here: as much juicy theme as possible, while still keeping the game manageable. I don't want it to balloon to Arkham Horror size.

Re: having the heroes represented as dice. This would definitely be cool, especially the idea that each type would be a d4, d6 etc, but the problem would be the game would have to ship with a ton of dice. I want your inn to be able to get fairly crowded, and in a 4 player game, that would be a lot of dice.

I like the idea of Rogues attracted to pickpocket opportunities. Also having the heroes be a liability is cool. I also want you to be able to send your heroes to mess with your opponents' taverns (maybe in exchange for a free night at your inn).

I am trying to avoid a multiplayer solitaire situation, so I'm not sure about having agents generate private quests that only your heroes can go on. I'm leaning towards open quests on a public notice board in the middle of town that all players can send their heroes on. Adds more competition that way. Maybe adding agents that give your heroes an edge would be a good compromise...

I definitely want breweries and kitchens, just to add another balancing act. Every hero in your tavern must get a meal and a bed by the end of the night (round) or they leave for someone else's tavern. Drinks provide a bonus when attracting.

Missions for the innkeeper is a really good idea. It would add more conflicting goals, and hence more interesting choices.

One question, everyone. I'm still trying to figure out the best win condition. Originally you won by gaining the most prestige for your tavern by completing missions and building rooms, but now I'm thinking that maybe the most prosperous tavern should win (player with the most gold). Or perhaps there could be multiple paths to victory...
 
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Andrew H
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Hot Soup wrote:

One question, everyone. I'm still trying to figure out the best win condition. Originally you won by gaining the most prestige for your tavern by completing missions and building rooms, but now I'm thinking that maybe the most prosperous tavern should win (player with the most gold). Or perhaps there could be multiple paths to victory...
I think the prestige idea makes the most sense. There could be a point or two for the player with the most money (money is prestigious), but mostly money could be used to upgrade the inn with staff/food/beds/etc. These would attract the adventurers and increase the prestige.

One way to score it would be a 1st/2nd/3rd place in each category. Say the player with the best food gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 points, etc. Then if another player upgrades their food quality later on, they then get the most prestige for that category.
 
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Panahs Sainis
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I would go with prestige points. But not the first tha reaches lets say 100 wins...

Maybe a more thematic idea. Lika lets say having a big night on your town next week. A festival of sorts and each round represents a day before the festival.
The last round would be that special night where points count a little different... more hereoes would come. Greater gains but also greater loses if things go wrong. And at the end the player with more points wins.
 
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Kai Bettzieche
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Very cool ideas, so far ..

This:

Stormtower wrote:
Hot Soup wrote:
That's an interesting idea. I like it. Originally, all the heroes were just going to be represented by cubes or tokens you put on your board, but with cards this would be a cool alternative.
With tokens, I'd still use the same idea as cards, but they would be drawn from a bag.

With cubes, I can opt for treating them like dice ... "fickle desires" ... each side of the dice reflects a different set of desires. I actually like this line of thinking: You have a big pool of say ... 30 different characters, and each character's sets of desires are on 1 die. Each night, 10 out of those 30 are drawn from the bag. You innkeepers get to examine these 10 dice, and make your bids. And then, the dice are rolled and we see which desire actually comes up for each character.

Print-and-Play ... and probably also publishing-wise ... cards are the easiest route. But the RPG crowd might actually like rolling lots of dice.
Reminds me of a thread, I wrote two years ago:
Dissecting the D6 – a powerful tool of high flexibility.

With this as a background, you could distribute different needs on one side of a die simply by colour coding them.

Examples for colour coding:
Wench (pink)
Meat (red)
Water (blue)
Ale (brown)
Audience* (black)
Gold* (yellow)
Nothing (white)

Now a fighter gets drawn from the deck.
His coding:
1: white
2: pink, red
3: brown, red, red
4: brown, brown, red, red
5: white, brown, brown, red, red
6: pink, pink, brown, brown, red, red

A charactersheet could - remotely - look like this (just disregard the right side):


-------------------------
*Another thought on audience/people coming in:
Players could be forced to find a way, how many "guests" they would like to have. The larger the audience, the higher the chance, a bard steps in. (Bards would have to be sought after cards then)
However, with a growing audience, more gold comes in, too, attracting rogues. Rogues are the "bad cards" no one wants to have.
So, whenever a rogue steps in, he steals some of the gold, leaving less to the player.
That way, player are force, too, to manage their taverns in a way to make other players' taverns more attractive for rogues.

Just a thought

Kind regards,
Kai

Edit: typos ..
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Jens
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A modified version of your original ideas...

Separate attracting heroes and keeping them. Various facilities, attributes and characters, such as have been outlined by others, are what attract heroes of different types. This can be summed up in a reputation score for each of the different classes. A dark, seedy, place will have a high reputation for rogues, for example.

But you need the mead, ale, cider and wine respectively to keep your customers. If you run out of mead, for example, your fighters will leave and continue on their round, heading to the player with the next highest "fighter reputation" or perhaps the player to your left.

Of course, not being able to keep up with the orders will lower your reputation for that class.

This brings in an element of balancing the reputation you build up and what you can actually deliver in terms of drink, seats, beds etc. If you run short on any of those, heroes will find another place to go, and you are perhaps even giving your opponents 'free' customers.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Breothain wrote:
dlikos wrote:
Rogues like drunk patrons...to pick pockets
This +1
I was going to say that rogues like wealthy patrons.

Your tavern could be "stocked" with some number of local patrons which act as a resource of sorts. Merchants attract rogues. Scholars attract wizards. Nobles attract bards. Ladies attract fighters.

You can also have the types of locals provide other benefits like extra income or points, based on their class.

You may have to consider the space of your tavern. You can only fit however many patrons, whether they be locals or adventurers. You may decide to focus on one more heavily than the other, though you shouldn't be able to neglect one entirely.
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Simon Ses
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Ladies attract fighters.
So the fighters are lesbians? whistle
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Sturv Tafvherd
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SimonSes wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:
Ladies attract fighters.
So the fighters are lesbians? whistle
shake Nice contribution. /sarcasm
 
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