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Subject: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Components Ready rss

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Jessey
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Two years makes a tradition, and so this begins the tradition of a Nimbles game for every Solitaire PnP contest I participate in.

Last year Nimbles dared to steal magic tomes from the illustrious Wizard Academy. This year our intrepid (and quite clumsy) thief made one heist too many, and has been apprehended by the Matron of the academy. The Matron has never been regarded for her kindness, and she has thrown Nimbles into the Dungeon of Despair. The Dungeon is a winding maze of corridors, home to a variety of flesh eating monsters, dangerous traps and brain-melting puzzles. Wizards have a twisted sense of irony and never miss a chance to deploy it. Thus, there is in fact - technically - a way to escape the Dungeon of Despair (at least, that's what the Wizard said before she tossed you into the Dungeon). With this shred of hope, a dash of Wit, a sprinkle of Power, a heaping tablespoon of Swiftness and a large helping of Luck you (Nimbles) set out to escape the Dungeon of Despair!

Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair is a solo dungeon crawler with a twist. The primary conflict resolution mechanic will be a cube-drop into-a-tin, which is a semi-random push-your-luck system. You will have to explore the dungeon, solve puzzles by rearranging rooms and discover the exit portal while avoiding wandering monsters and bumbling through traps. Do you have what it takes to escape the Dungeon of Despair?!

Components and Rules v0.1:

Components
Tin Sticker

Rules
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
ARCHIVE OF ORIGINAL FIRST POST

Two years makes a tradition, and so this begins the tradition of a Nimbles game for every Solitaire PnP contest I participate in.

Last year Nimbles dared to steal magic tomes from the illustrious Wizard Academy. This year our intrepid (and quite clumsy) thief made one heist too many, and has been apprehended by the Matron of the academy. The Matron has never been regarded for her kindness, and she has thrown Nimbles into the Dungeon of Despair. The Dungeon is a winding maze of corridors, home to a variety of flesh eating monsters, dangerous traps and brain-melting puzzles. Wizards have a twisted sense of irony and never miss a chance to deploy it. Thus, there is in fact - technically - a way to escape the Dungeon of Despair (at least, that's what the Wizard said before she tossed you into the Dungeon). With this shred of hope, a dash of Wit, a sprinkle of Power, a heaping tablespoon of Swiftness and a large helping of Luck you (Nimbles) set out to escape the Dungeon of Despair!

Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair will be a solo dungeon crawler with a dextrous twist (it's not a Nimbles game if it doesn't require some dexterity). There will be several micro-dexterity games packed into this, each used to resolve different types of events. The primary conflict resolution mechanic will be a cube-drop into-a-tin like I used to create Clanwars. Ranged attacks will be a "flick a cube off your marker and hit the enemy marker" mechanic and there may be more (if I go so far as to put locked doors and chests, lock-picking will be yet another dexterity mechanic).

In addition to these dexterity mechanics the current brain-storm draft has a standard tile-placing exploration mechanic, wandering monsters, puzzles, trap rooms, spell scrolls, items (and inventory), effects that let you rearrange the dungeon -- all in the service of finding the keys, the exit and getting out alive!

And, before I wrap this intro post up, a teaser!



On the left is the character board. Our protagonists pretty mug on the top right (there will be a 2player variant, with a second board for Kayden - he's not forgotten!). To the left of the mugshot is your statistics array. You have Swiftness, Wits and Power and at the start of the game have to decide which ones have 3, 5 and 7 maximum cubes (the above example has 7 Swiftness, 3 Wits and 5 Power).

You start with your stats completely full of cubes, and when you get into conflicts (fights with monsters, traps, and so on) you will 'bid' a certain number of cubes, drop them and hopefully both win the conflict and retain your cubes (more likely you'll lose a few, the tin drop works much like Shoguns' Battle Tower: It will swallow cubes for a later date). Your skill cubes function as your Vitality as well - if you ever have zero it's Game Over (and when you take damage you have to return cubes to the general supply).

Below that is your inventory. All items in the game are 1" square chits, and as you can see the character board has 5 spaces that fit these. This is your inventory, you can only hold 5 items. There is an item in the leftmost spot, it's an aerosol spray of some sort that you can expend (flip facedown - items that flip can be 'recharged') to recover 1 Wit Cube (little brain icon).

On the bottom there are 2 Spell Scroll slots. There are two equipped on Nimbles already. Scrolls can be found in the Dungeon and give you access to powerful, but risky, abilities. Shadow Walk, on the left, lets you (as a Free Action, so it doesn't use an Action Point; of which you only get 4 per turn) teleport to any tile on the board (you have to drop 2 Wits cubes first, which may cost you those cubes, or it may be free!). However, all scrolls have a Backlash value and effect. Black cubes can get added to the tin, and if they come up during a scroll check you suffer the backlash (in addition to the positive effect). The scroll is discarded and something bad happens (Shadow Walk summons a demon in your room).

Finally, on the right side is a mock up of an early game state. The start tile with the big star and a few other tiles. Each tile has a number of exits, which will be numbered 1 through 4. The tile Nimbels is on has a Scroll icon (so it is where one of her two scrolls came from) and a Gear Icon. Gear tiles can be activated to rotate connected tiles (tiles are connected if there is a path from one to the other). Above her is an Imp (which has 2 Power and the little arrow indicates its preferred movement direction). To the right is a Scroll tile that also spawns a "Horror" when it's revealed (the monster faction symbol) - which may be where the Imp came from.

So there's a taste! Feel free to comment, speculate, demand more information and generally be excited!
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Sweet!
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
I am about to head out for a week, but I wanted to leave behind another teaser (and to tease out some of my ideas more clearly). So, this post is in two parts. First, a Monster Token, then a list of mechanics currently on the table (with rationale). I'm going to try and make my design process on this one (more) transparent, since I've noticed a few people drawn to the contest who are brand new designers! If any are following, I hope to be helpful!



This is the Minotaur (well, none of the monsters well be "named", but we all recognize that image!). The number in the top left is the monster's "Threat Range" - this is how many tiles it can see (if not obstructed by a door). If a monster "sees" a Player they move one space towards the player. With a sight range of 3, the Minotaur has some good eyes.

The number in the top right is its Attack Value. If you end your turn in a room with a Monster, or a Monster walks into your room on its Activation, it attacks you! To resolve a monster attack you drop cubes equal to the monsters AV plus one white cube (white cubes "absorb" cubes when they 'fall out of the tower'). So, an AV indicates the maximum damage you could take (the minimum is always 0). 2 AV is average.

Between the numbers on the top is an icon - this is the Monster's Class (the same icon will be on the back of the monster token). I've settled on, for certain, 4 monster classes (in order of danger: Weakling, Beast, Demon, Horror). The Minotaur is a Beast (Weaklings don't add a White cube when they attack and have no ability icons; Beasts typically have an icon; Demon's add a black cube to the tin when they appear (which are what cause spell backlash); Horrors all cause Terror).

In the bottom left is the "Gore" ability icon. The Minotaur, when it sees a Player, doesn't just move one space, it moves *all the way to the player*.

Finally, the bottom right is it's preferred "wander" direction. Which is down, and it moves 2 spaces during Monster Movement.

MECHANICS INVENTORY
When designing a game I go through 3 early stages; the first is theme (check), the second is mechanics brainstorm (below) and then I put those together and identify the fundamental aspect of the theme that the game must capture and tie that to a core mechanic. The whole design will then be built upon that foundation. I've already done that for this game, so the mechanics list below is actually much much shorter than stage 2 (because it's mechanics that are actually going in, stage 2 is any mechanic I can think of that fits).

Core: Stat Cubes and Cube-Drop in pseudo-Shogun tower to resolve conflicts (combat, traps) and handle damage. Three categories (Wits, Power, Swiftness)

Other:
- Tile laying for exploration
- Ability to move and rotate tiles through game effects (manipulate revealed dungeon)
- Spell scrolls provide powerful abilities at a risk
- Items (loot from Monsters and laying around) provide new actions (rechargeable, one-time and permanent)
- Puzzles that require the use of tile manipulation to "solve"
- Collect set of 'keys' to open door to escape
- Some kind of timer mechanic (monsters appear on a semi-random interval)
- Simple AI (Monsters wander, see player, move closer, attack)
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Very cool. That's a lot of information you've managed to put compactly onto the monster tiles. And the AI seems quite good.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Turns out I have WiFi here, so I'll be able to post a bit.

Next major mechanic I haven't talked about is the pseudo-Shogun-tower which is managed by dropping cubes into an (Altoids sized) tin with a sticker in the bottom (I will also make a 3inx3in square version of the sticker). Here's my prototype tin sticker (the final sticker may be a bit more jazzy - and may have some more marked out "zones").



There will be 5 colours of cubes. Swiftness (blue), Power (red), Wits (green), Doom (Black) and White (no name yet). You will be able to use any colours you like, as long as you use 5 and define them before you play

To resolve conflicts you will take into your hand all of the cubes currently in the tin, as well as the cubes being added for the check. Then drop all of the cubes over the middle of the circle. Those that land (and stay) in the circle are "live" for the check, those on the periphery stay in the tin and are ignored.

Depending on the check, only certain colours of live cubes will be removed from the tin and used to evaluate the check. White cubes are always removed, and only the colour of cube that matches the skill you are using (or skills, in the case of monster combat where you may use different ones).

Then you eliminate a removed cube for each white cube, and the rest go back to your character sheet. That may not have been terribly clear, so lets go with an example:

Say you get into a Fight with the Minotaur up there. It has an Attack Value of 2 so you need to "bet" 2 cubes from your character sheet on the combat. You look in the tin and see a 3 stray blue cubes, 1 white cube and 1 green cube. You're really hurting on Swiftness (with only 2 left) so you bet 1 Swiftness and 1 Power (which you haven't spend any of and have 5 left). You take into your hand the cubes you bet (1 Blue, 1 Red) and 1 White (because the Minotaur is a Beast, and Beast's add white cubes to the tin in combat) as well as the cubes in the tin (3 Blue, 1 White and 1 Green); mix it up in your hand a bit, then you drop it all back into the tin.

3 Blue, 1 Green and 1 White end up in the middle circle. You bet Blue and Red, so you remove the blue and white cubes (white is always live) then compare them. For each white you return both the white and one other cube to the general supply, this eliminates 1 blue (if there are only white cubes left you take extra damage!). This leaves 2 blue, and no whites. Those go back to your character board (if there is room).

The outcome of this combat was effectively to convert 1 red cube into a blue cube (you lost some power, and gained some swiftness - a small injury and an adrenaline rush). However, that white cube exiled a blue cube to the general supply. Cubes in the tin *could* be recovered to your player board in the future, but cubes in the box are gone!

Also, since you had 2 cubes of the same colour in your resolution you actually defeat the minotaur (if you return to your board a number of cubes of the same colour equal to the monster's AV you defeat it!). Discard the Minotaur token and draw 1 Item (reward for defeating a Beast).

Hopefully that makes sense, and you can see how the tin-drop mechanic will form the basis for resolving combat and traps, and how eventually repeated combat will defeat you! (notice that the 1 white cube the minotaur brought in is still hanging out in the tin -- this is, in some sense, guaranteed damage that you will take eventually if you keep engaging in combat).
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
So white cubes need a name? They are always active, and they can, in some cases, guarantee that poor Nimbles will be taking damage. How about Exhaustion?
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
kurthl33t wrote:
So white cubes need a name? They are always active, and they can, in some cases, guarantee that poor Nimbles will be taking damage. How about Exhaustion?

Or Fatigue, Weariness or Impairment.

I can't wait to see how this goes!
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
HuggableHamster wrote:
kurthl33t wrote:
So white cubes need a name? They are always active, and they can, in some cases, guarantee that poor Nimbles will be taking damage. How about Exhaustion?

Or Fatigue, Weariness or Impairment.

I can't wait to see how this goes!

I kind of like Fatigue, so I'll go with it for now. The bad cubes are Fatigue (white) and Doom (black).

I didn't talk about Doom above, I'm not certain of all the ways it may play in (for instance, I'm toying with the idea of having certain Horror's have abilities that trigger on results that include Doom cubes). I do know that Spells use Doom to trigger Backlash (which discards your spell and does something bad). If a number of Doom tokens appear in the result equal to or greater than the spell's Backlash, it triggers (and the Doom tokens are returned to the supply).

Doom will only be removed from the tin if it is both in the result (falls in the central area) AND triggers an effect. If you have an excess of Doom, the extras (say you get 3 when using a spell with Backlash 2) are returned to the tin.

Doom enters the tin via Horrors (when they appear and when they attack) and possibly also through other effects (tile symbols, certain items may produce Doom as a cost, certain arrangements of puzzle tiles will produce Doom).

The concept has reached the point now that I think I need to just build a micro-prototype (a half-dozen monsters, a dozen tiles, a half-dozen items, a couple spells) and play through a few sample turns to see how it holds together. The one thing it's missing is time pressure.

I can't decide if the game is going to spawn monsters on you constantly (which will eventually run you down and take you down), or if I want some kind of built in timing mechanic (threshold of tiles, certain symbols on tiles appearing, the addition of a Doom and/or Fatigue every X Actions). There's lots of ways I could imagine implementing time pressure, and I think the only way to really sort between them will be to try a few out and see how it effects gameplay.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Cube dropping is so last year.

Looks kind of cool. My first thoughts are this:

1) What do you do if the cube lands outside of the Altoids container?

2) Could the tiles of the dungeon itself indicate how many monsters are placed when the dungeon is placed? Therefore, your quest is to find some ancient doohickey with in the dungeon and get out alive? I think it has been done before, but there is no reason why it can't be done again. (but of course, your theme would have to change if you did this. )

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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
radchad wrote:
Cube dropping is so last year.

It was your game in the far depths of the back of my mind that subconsciously pressed me to design Clanwars (and so thus, this).

Quote:

1) What do you do if the cube lands outside of the Altoids container?

Because of the walls of the tin and the height of the drop (~ 1inch above the tin), I've never had anything bouncing out. That said, if something *did*, it would count as "not in the central zone" and you'd gently place it back in the tin around the periphery at your discretion.

Quote:

2) Could the tiles of the dungeon itself indicate how many monsters are placed when the dungeon is placed? Therefore, your quest is to find some ancient doohickey with in the dungeon and get out alive? I think it has been done before, but there is no reason why it can't be done again. (but of course, your theme would have to change if you did this. )

I'm not certain I understand the question. The tiles will have on them various icons, some of which are monster icons. When you place a tile with a monster icon you then also draw a token from the monster pile (with the same icon on its tile back) and place it in the room you just played.

Here's an example:



You explore the next area and draw this tile, it has a Bast Icon and a Treasure Icon on it. When you place the tile you draw a Beast monster token and place it on the tile and also a treasure token and place it (face down) on the tile.

To some degree the goal of the game *is* to find a doohickey (well, a series of them) and get out alive. The escape tile (of which there will be several) will require a distinct array of keys to win. There are several keys (some "buried treasure" and some come from specifically marked tiles) so you have to explore to find the doohickey's and also find the exit... Which is a good transition into talking about the three room tile types:



There are three tile types. The left most (with the plain boot) are the easiest, they only contain Weakling monsters, a few Beasts, and otherwise empty or treasure containing rooms. They don't help you *win* the game, but they do help you buffer rooms with space (which is important for evading monsters) and "build up" some strength by beating Weaklings for treasure. There are also some keys in these tiles, but you will never be able to escape without exploring all three piles.

The middle tiles contain Beasts, and a smattering of Demons. They also have more Gear Icons (tile manipulation rooms) as well as a couple puzzles and traps. Traps are like Monsters that are permanently located within a room and you have to fight every time you pass through (and don't wander). Puzzles require multiple room tiles to "solve" and the solution will involve using tile manipulation to make the puzzle rooms stand in some relation to each other (connected by specific paths, arranged at a distance with a specific pattern, etc). It is these middle tiles which will provide you with the keys to escape.

The right tile pile are the most dangerous tiles, containing Demons and Horrors. This pile also contains a few puzzles, more dangerous traps and less rewards (random treasure just sitting around). It also contains the Exit tile (somewhere near the bottom).

When you explore, you choose which tile pile to draw from. There is value in locating the exit quickly, because then you know which keys to collect (and if you are familiar with the game, you'll probably also know where they are in terms of tiles or treasure pile). This will mean you are dealing with Demons and Horrors (and Doom tokens) from the beginning; so it may be worth trolling about blinding a bit first.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Candi wrote:
radchad wrote:


2) Could the tiles of the dungeon itself indicate how many monsters are placed when the dungeon is placed?

I'm not certain I understand the question. The tiles will have on them various icons, some of which are monster icons. When you place a tile with a monster icon you then also draw a token from the monster pile (with the same icon on its tile back) and place it in the room you just played.


This answered the question. It should have said 'dungeon tile is placed'

In one of your summaries, you were asking for some kind of time pressure. I thought that maybe revealing tiles until you reach the exit tile was your time pressure. I think I need to reread what you had said.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
radchad wrote:

This answered the question. It should have said 'dungeon tile is placed'

In one of your summaries, you were asking for some kind of time pressure. I thought that maybe revealing tiles until you reach the exit tile was your time pressure. I think I need to reread what you had said.

Ah ha! Now I understand what was unclear. Which brings another opportunity to discuss another mechanical aspect of the game: Actions and Turn Sequence.

The game sequence will be divided into two phases, Action Phase and Monster Phase. During the Action Phase you have a fixed number of Action Points (currently 3, but its a variable I can tweak to adjust difficulty). The following things are each 1 Action:

- Explore (draw a tile from a pile and place it adjacent to your current room, connected by open doorways)
- Move (move up to 2 tiles)
- Activate Items which require an Action to activate
- Attempt to Recharge Items which have been used but can be recharged
- Activate Spells which require an Action to activate
- Activate a Gear Tile (to rotate by 90 degrees that is connected to the Gear Tile).
- Activate Special Tile (these are the tiles that you get the keys from)
- Escape (if you have the keys and are on the exit tile, it takes a full set of Actions - 3 - to actually escape)

After you spend your Actions then the Monster Phase kicks in. During the Monster Phase each monster wanders, and if at any point during their Wander they "detect" the Player (as described in the Monster post above) they wander towards the Player (even if it is done it's movement, it still moves one space towards the player). If a Monster enters your space it Attacks you. Once all Monsters have moved, then a new Action Phase begins.

That's the core functioning of the game. As you can see, there is no built in time pressure. Well, no direct pressure - the monster wandering can be a kind of pressure; but with enough patience and cleverness a player could conceivably use Gear tiles to trap monsters in isolated corners. Until I wrote this up I had been thinking I needed a time pressure mechanic to prevent players from, well, taking their sweet time and forcing them to rush a bit and take more staggering risks. Having written this, I think having such a mechanic isn't necessary and I can ensure that the game terminates by controlling monster density and danger levels.

I will still seek a time pressure mechanic. Either to use as a variant, or an expansion (or just in case my conjecture is wrong, and no pressure does make it a boring, careful, dungeon crawl).
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
I had mentioned that you will have to deal with Monsters, Traps and Puzzles. I've talked Monsters a good bit, so lets talk Traps and Puzzles.

Traps, quite simply, are stationary monsters that never go away. Every time you enter a Trap Tile you resolve a conflict with the trap as if you were battling a monster.



In the top left traps have a number and an attribute icon (this one is Swiftness 2). This is how many Swiftness cubes you *must* add to the drop pool when you encounter the trap. If you don't have 2 Swiftness cubes you must remove 1 cube in the tin from the game before the drop. Then you drop, and would resolve as normal (remove all swiftness and fatigue cubes that land in the center from the tin. Pair up the fatigue with a swiftness cube and return those pairs to the box. Then place all remaining cubes on your player board). Traps don't add Fatigue, but they are themselves a nuisance (and at least one trap category can be a problem for you because you will have one skill with only 3 cubes!)

Puzzles are more interesting. The following image is a mostly plausible early game scenario:



Nimbles is hanging out in the top left on a "Swap" tile. This tile lets her spend 1 Action to swap two unoccupied tiles that are connected to it (by open doors: I've traced some few connections to the tile in blue). The red tiles are Puzzle tiles (this is the "Gem Eye" puzzle). To "solve" this puzzle the arrows on the tiles must be pointing towards each other, and the tiles must be adjacent (the arrows and equal signs under the icons represent this).

Also note the Ifrit in the middle of the board. It's movement will result in it reaching Nimbles on the next monster phase (it will go up, then left, then see her and so move into her space with its final movement). Ideally, she doesn't want to deal with that so in a perfect world she'd be able to swap 2 tiles, solve the puzzle AND block the Ifrit. Well, she can!

Spending an Action she swaps 2 tiles:



Leaving the Eye tiles adjacent and pointing at each other (puzzle solved) AND blocking the Ifrit's approach. She has, however, trapped herself and severed a lot of connections to the swap tile. At this point exploring more is her only real option.

For solving the puzzle she will place a Treasure token in any one of the puzzle tiles (that she can pick up if she finds her way there). This is extra juicy treasure because treasure tokens claimed from Puzzle Tiles let you look at the top 3 treasure cards and pick one (instead of just getting the top one).

I haven't talked much about escaping (only that it requires "keys"). Solving puzzles are a kind of "key" (the other kind are literal keys which are found in treasure). Your escape tile may require you to have the board arranged such that a certain puzzle (or two, or three) is in its solved state in order to escape.

I've almost got a working concept prototype. Just need to finish up a few more treasures and I'll be stress testing the core
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Candi wrote:

- Activate a Gear Tile (to rotate by 90 degrees that is connected to the Gear Tile).

Love the dungeon twister reference.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Finally got enough stuff made to print and stress test the concept. The fundamental core is solid, but I have made some changes to the game (some pretty significant ones).

The biggest change is a much narrower focus. In the original idea you were, in equal measure, exploring, fighting and solving puzzles. Having played it, the most fun part of the game is solving puzzles (and trying to avoid monsters while doing so because you don't have enough resources to fight everything). It's fun to find clever ways to manipulate the tiles via rotation or switching to both trap monsters in isolated sections so they can never reach you *and* solving the puzzle tiles (by arranging them in the way they require).

The pacing was all off, it was too slow to have Exploration and Movement as different actions so now it's just movement. 1 Action gets you 3 spaces worth of movement and if you move into an unexplored space you place a tile there.

With the focus now primarily on the puzzle solving aspect I'm going to tone back on treasure finding (Weaklings no longer drop treasure), and I need to find add more tiles to increase the number of puzzles in the game. To do this in a way that solves another imminent problem (not having monsters threatening you) and avoids increasing the total tile count, I'm going to cut back on the monster icons and introduce Monster Summoner tiles, which - when empty - spawn a monster of the indicated icon.

Finally, I want to make the three different "builds" distinct (or at least, make the three stats feel different). Wits was already really good because it is what you use to cast spells, so the 7 Wits build is best/most reliable at spells.

Swiftness will be used in the same way to "recharge" treasure that are exhausted on use (so you have to recharge them to use them again). To make this make sense, these treasure items will actually be "Special Actions" (instead of Items or Devices).

Items will typically give you a bonus when you ante a Power cube for Combat (or will have effects that require Power tests).

So, Wits is for Spells; Swiftness is for Special Actions; Power is for Items

I have some ideas for other ways to distinguish these - such as having each start with a default spell, action, item respectively, or adding responsive actions (for example "you may send a Swiftness to the Tin to avoid moving into a newly revealed tile. However, I'm going to avoid these for now (some will go towards expansions, others for distinguishing difficulty levels).

I'm also going to cut the Horror monster type and Doom cubes (and save that for The Expansion of Doom -- which I have some ideas for; and should release with the game; so more of an "inspansion").
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Jessey
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Brief update: It's coming along well!

Components are so far:
32 cards (smaller sized)
48 square tiles (2.5inch)
18 Weakling Monster Tokens
24 Beast Monster Tokens
10 Demon Monster Tokens

1 Altoids Tin and sticker
7 Blue cubes
7 Red cubes
7 Green cubes
7 White cubes
1 Nimbles Token

The monster token counts are coming down, as I intend to use the tokens as the game timer. When you run out of Demon tokens, it's game over (the dungeon collapses, or more likely the Wizards cast "Mass Disintegrate" to purge it of the monsters - you know, so they don't form a government and try and battle their way out of the dungeon). I expect the numbers to drop to ~10 Weaklings, 18 Beasts and 6 Demons (testing to verify).

The decision space is two fold. On one hand there are the bare decisions of how to spend your actions (where to move, when to use rotation and tile swaps to manipulate the dungeon and how you do that). All of these decisions involve considerations of monster positioning (you really do want to avoid them).

On the other hand, when you do get into combat, there is a decision about which of your precious cubes to ante for the combat. Since only the cubes of the type you ante are "live" (and can contribute to the result), it's a careful balancing act that involves considerations of the content of the tin and what you have left and how lucky you feel (punk!).

The only problem is how much upkeep the monster movement requires by the end of the game. If you're avoiding monsters (or unlucky and not defeating them), then there may be 15-20 tokens on the board by the last turn. Each one has to "wander", and this can be a bit time consuming and tedious (and a bit fiddly, I will strongly recommend building the game on heftier cardboard to reduce that).

That all said, I am turning to the rules now (probably by the weekend?). I also hope to make ink friendlier bits for aspiring testers.

After this it will be time to think about the "& Doom" expansion (so that it's the "Dungeon of Despair & Doom") and also brainstorm a "no cube drop" set of mechanics (probably using a couple of d6). Maybe even a slightly different game (I have some ideas for combat using 3d6 borrowing from the Dragon Age RPG).
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
What if you only had to "wander" monsters within a certain range? So that some monster could be left behind, and their upkeep avoided?
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
kurthl33t wrote:
What if you only had to "wander" monsters within a certain range? So that some monster could be left behind, and their upkeep avoided?

I could do that, it would make the "length of sight" value on the monster chits irrelevant (or less relevant); and a secondary upkeep check (counting out to find which monsters actually do move this turn) that may or may not take just as much time as moving a few extra tokens around.

I identified it as a problem, and I think the best possible solution would be to make monsters more dangerous and reduce their frequency. Then again, I find something charming about having them form into little hoards of 5 or 6 (at which point even Weaklings are a real danger) and milling about keeping sustained threat on a semi-predictable range of tiles.

I identified it as a problem because I know, where this game to be reviewed, it would be commented on. Not sure it's something to be "fixed", but it is definitely something worth thinking about (and I welcome any recommendations).
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Another option would be to create a monster hierarchy of sorts. Have the player move monsters according to the hierarchy (so, for example, Goblins first, then Minotaurs, then Vampire Bats, then Archdemons, then Lesser Demons, then Giant Slugs).

Then you can put a cap on the number of monsters to move each turn, such as 10. The player moves all monsters, starting with the top of the hierarchy and moving down, until he or she has moved 10 monsters, or until all monsters have been moved, whichever comes first.
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Chad Mestdagh
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Any action on this Jessi? I am looking forward to trying this out!!!
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
I've been thinking about it. I had a comprehensive exam last week and one more this morning, after that it's open season for game design Hopefully by the weekend I'll have the rules up.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
I spent most of yesterday's game design time adding icons to every tile so that they are distinguished by their fronts (and so I can give them all the same back).

That said, I did get a start on the rules (they aren't done, I still need to explain every icon on the tiles and monsters and also explain the puzzles and items). But the core is written up (how the game flows and a rough idea of what each component is and does).

If you feel so inclined please have a look. Hopefully I'll get the rest written up tonight and the files recompiled and made available. At this point it's just tweaking the monsters I think.

Dungeon of Doom Rules
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Nate K
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
Quote:
Whenever you Drop cubes into the tin, those which are touching or inside the black central circle and are the same colour of the cubes you dropped are considered “Live” cubes.

This sentence could be confusing. It comes up before you mention that some cubes will REMAIN in the tin. So a first-timer would be scratching his or her head, thinking, "Why wouldn't they be the same color as the ones I just dropped? Do they change color on the way down? What's going on?!"

I'll have more feedback later, but I've got to get ready for work.
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Re: Nimbles: Dungeon of Despair - Soltaire PnP 2013 - Concept Phase
kurthl33t wrote:
Quote:
Whenever you Drop cubes into the tin, those which are touching or inside the black central circle and are the same colour of the cubes you dropped are considered “Live” cubes.

This sentence could be confusing. It comes up before you mention that some cubes will REMAIN in the tin. So a first-timer would be scratching his or her head, thinking, "Why wouldn't they be the same color as the ones I just dropped? Do they change color on the way down? What's going on?!"

I'll have more feedback later, but I've got to get ready for work.

Bolded: I wish! I want cubes that do that so I can design a game around them (maybe a dice drop.... another game, another game).

Order of explanations is always something I agonize about (and haven't yet agonized about for this particular unfinished rulebook). Definitely noted however. I'm not sure there is an ideal order to explain those two things in.
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