Hi to all! I´ll get to the point:
I´ve started a set of variant rules for Dungeon! (www.dungeonringsndragons.org) though it´s becoming a tad more complicated than originally expected, which is a good thing since I’m learning and having fun in the process, just discovered I enjoy designing BGs…a lot! I just wish I had more time…
However, I’m seeking advice with a few design issues I’m having, particularly with the combat system. I figured that the easiest way is to explain very concisely how the system works, highlighting the main choices I´ve made so anyone may take a look and just let me know if you see any major faults or blunders, details invisible to the rookie. I don´t want to waste your time so any comment or feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Although I can explain in certain detail the logic behind the adopted design choices, for practical reasons I´ll just describe the system as briefly as I can, in case that further explanations were needed I will gladly provide them, otherwise I´ll assume the reasons are evident.
This is my first design so please bear with me:
DR&D may be categorized as a semi-coop or competitive multi-team adventure board game. It´s intended as a beer and pretzels game and is based on a Mexican version of Dungeon! Perhaps the sole multi-team specimen of its type.
It´s about two (or more) teams of fantasy adventurers delving into the dungeon to retrieve 4 (out of 6) rings to win. The game is played on any of the game boards from the commercial versions of Dungeon! More info is available on our site in case someone is interested.
Combat is resolved using a non-linear dice pool system, very similar to HeroQuest and D&D The Fantasy Adventure BG:
There´s only one (and always one) roll by the attacker and one by the defender. The pool is limited to a maximum of three attack and defense dice respectively, plus one Special Action or “wild” die. The attacker rolls his dice, sums the hits rolled and compares the result against the defender´s roll, all unblocked hits inflict 1 wound each. Additional dice and bonuses resulting from Abilities, Weapons or Potions are possible.
Different dice are used according to the following table:
As we can see, the maximum possible Hits rolling three purple dice are twelve (though very unlikely), while a maximum of six Blocks are possible rolling three blue dice. Of course we have to leave room for magical and ability bonuses.
I believe the above information provides us with the foundations to build upon. The whole system depends on dice to resolve combat, so I believe it should be designed upon the analysis of the possible results.
According to the dice table above, I believe we can establish three levels of attack and defense proficiency, which in turn may serve as levels of character development and Monster balance:
This table is used for design purposes only so it doesn´t matter how cumbersome it looks, it´s not used for playing. According to it, all the possible attack and defense results may be divided into Levels. Each level has 3 sub-levels: Low, Medium and High, these will serve as a map for graduating the strengths of physical attacks and spell effects and for balancing the adventurers and monsters; they will also provide more variety to the game as a finer customization is possible for adventurers and monsters, as well as equipment and magic. For example: multiple options are possible within each level combining Low, Medium and High Attack with Defense, respectively.
Level 1 is intended for starting (unequipped) adventurers, Level 2 attacks and defense ratings will be achieved upon equipping a special weapon or amour or using a spell or potion. Level 3 attacks and blocks will be achieved only to adventurers equipped with a special weapon or amour and a powerful spell or potion.
By looking at the table above it will be possible to determine the level of every Adventurer or Monster at any given moment. Every Adventurer and Monster has a minimum and maximum amount of Hits and Blocks possible for every roll. The Warrior for example, at Level 1 may score a maximum of 4 Hits and may Block up to 2 each roll; meaning that this adventurer has a Level 1 (High) Attack and a Level 1(High) Defense.
As seen on the dice color table above, while two monsters or adventurers from the same level may have the same amount of possible maximum hits and blocks, the chances of hitting or blocking will be different depending on the color of the dice rolled.
Let´s take the Warrior and Elf for example:
These have both the same amount of maximum Hits and Blocks possible, while the warrior has a greater chance of delivering more powerful blows, the Elf has a greater chance of hitting with less damaging attacks; same happens with defense, while both may block up to 2 hits every roll, the Elf has a slightly greater chance of blocking, and so on.
So far we have established the possible dice results and the categorization of those results, now let´s take a look at some “principles” I have set as the baseline for scale and balance, things like “Ok, blah, blah, but…how many Life Points should the Warrior start with?” or “How much damage does the Warrior should do at Level 1?”.
These “principles” or premises (I don´t know the technical name in BGD´s slang) are projected to constitute the “engine” of the system:
-The Warrior at Level 1 will be the “baseline” so all the tweaking and balancing will have the Warrior as reference. Monsters and other Classes will be adjusted accordingly.
- Adventurers and monsters will be scaled according to the same table above.
- Adventurers and monsters are sorted in 3 Levels: Level 1, 2 and 3 (See table above) Blue and Green monsters will be Level 1. Yellow monsters will be Level 2 and Red monsters Level 3.
-The Average Attack (first Medium number of each level) is considered as a reference for balance:
-The average attack of the Warrior at Level 1 may take up to 2/3 of a L1 Monster LPs, up to ½ of a L2 Monster LPs, and up to ¼ of a Level 3 Monster LPs.
-The average attack of a Level 1 Monster may take up to 1/3 of a L1 Warrior LPs. Level 1 Monsters start with up to ½ the Warrior´s LPs at the same level.
-The average attack of a Level 2 Monster may take up to ½ of a L1 Warrior LPs. Level 2 Monsters start with up to 2/3 the Warrior´s LPs at Level 1.
-The average attack of a Level 3 Monster may take up to 2/3 of a L1 Warrior LPs. Level 3 Monsters start with up to 3/4 of the Warrior´s LPs at Level 1.
-The Warrior should start with the strongest attack of all adventurers, be moderately elusive and weakest against magic.
-The dwarf should have a moderate attack and be the most resilient, weak against magic.
-The Elf should have a weaker attack but higher to-hit chance and be the most hard to hit at Level 1. Moderately weak against magic.
-The Wizard is the weakest melee attacker and the easiest to hit, but with the greatest magic resistance.
Using these “principles” or rules we can deduce the number of wounds the Warrior should start with. If we already know that the average attack of a Level 1 Monster may take up to 1/3 of the Warrior´s LPs at the same level, and that the average attack of a Level 1 Monster is 2 according to the first table above, then we can say the Warrior should start with at least 6 LPs plus any bonus that his class might grant.
This way I think we can fine tune the game just by giving or taking Life Points, less complicated than reworking the whole thing all over again.
Taking the Warrior as a baseline, and considering the rules above, we can now determine the attributes of each Class:
Also, we can now determine how many Life Points each Monster should have, here´s an example taking one monster of each color:
There are still things to be decided like the effect of the “wild” die and other details, as well as some ideas I´ve been considering lately:
-Random abilities, weaknesses and events: Before each game players will determine one random ability and one random weakness for their adventurers, as well as one random event for the game. More powerful abilities or severe weaknesses will be harder to get of course. I'm thinking in abilities and weaknesses like, -/+ hit points against a monster of specific color, increased speed, increased defense, and so on, also random events like, all monsters of certain color get a +1 white dice defense, and so on.
-Power Attacks: Different classes will be provided with PAs as Abilities. These will be moderately more powerful and free to use, but will have a greater fumble chance.
-More potions, armor and weapons scattered as treasures: These should provide more variety and sense of improvement, I'm thinking that maybe the treasure deck will have more than 80 cards. These items and weapons will be more powerful in combat, but will have a greater chance of breaking or producing negative effects upon the bearer.
-Just realized the game has also some humorous potential: Being a beer and pretzels board game, it could be fun to explore the option of ridiculously powerful but balanced weapons, spells and powers. At least an irreverent setting could be fun.
-Design my own game board: I'm tempted, maybe later.
That´s where we are at right now. Any help, advice or suggestion will be much appreciated.
- Last edited Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:51 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:52 pm
Development Update: The Monsters of DRnD 2.0. http://www.drndproject.org/apps/forums/topics/show/11987884-...
"After spending some time experimenting with the Character Creation system I've finally put together a first set of monsters for Advanced DR&D 2.0
The new Monster Cards deck will have 120 cards: 107 monsters and 13 traps. Traps will be discussed in an upcoming entry. The deck includes the 79 original monsters from all versions of Dungeon! as well as 28 additional ones inspired in the D&D universe.
As you may see, there will be a few more monsters than the maximum required (80 rooms+18 creatures in 6 chambers=98 required monsters) I made this design decision expecting varied sets of monsters between games as well as rendering virtually impossible for the players to track which ones are left to appear, as few cards will always remain unused in the deck to the end of the game. I would love to hear your opinions on this matter.
The new system is quite simple but turned out to be very flexible and productive, given the varied dice pool mechanic used. Literally thousands of combinations are possible by mixing just four basic attributes: Defense, Attack, Magic Resistance and Life Points.
This new system has been thoroughly described in our previous Development Update published more than three of months ago. Using the guidelines described there I was able to create a "universe" of 9,324 different combinations as shown in the document attached, from which I picked my 107 candidates. No version of Dungeon! has offered this vast array of monsters.
Most of the monsters in DR&D resemble their Dungeon! counterparts and preserve their relative strengths and weaknesses between each other. However, specific attributes have been allocated and tailored to suit our own design, therefore they’re not always in harmony with the originals or their counterparts in the D&D universe, though I’m sure more adjustments and refinements will find their way into the final version.
Having exposed the above, here are the details of the new design and sorting patterns:
The monsters of DR&D are sorted into 3 levels: 1, 2 and 3.
Each level is divided into 3 LP Groups depending on their LP allocation (low, med or high)
Example: Level 1 includes monsters with 2, 3 and 4 LPs. Level 2 with 4, 5 and 6 LPs. Level 3 with 6, 7 and 8 LPs.
Every LP Group is divided into 3 Attack Strength Groups depending on their attack strenght (low, med and high).
Example: Level 1 monsters may attack with 2, 3 or 4 maximum hits, Level 2 monsters with 4, 5, 6 or 7 and Level 3 monsters with 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12.
The maximum hits possible for a monster come in different configurations. Obviuously some configurations will tend to hit more than others, therefore have been sorted in the same 25/50/25 pattern.
Example: 5 max hits may be completed either with 1 Red die and 1 Yellow die, or 1 Red die and 1 Orange oie, or 1 Red Die and 2 White dice and so on.
According to the above, the monsters are sorted in the following way (roughly):
25% of the monsters are Level 1
50% Level 2
25% Level 3
Whitin each level:
25% of the monsters are low (LPs)
50% are medium (LPs)
25% are high (LPs)
Whitin each LP group:
25% of the monsters are low (max hits)
50% are medium (max hits)
25% are high (max hits)
Whitin each Attack Strenght group:
25% of the monsters have low chance to hit
50% have medium chance to hit
25% have high chance to hit.
The rationale behind the design goes as follows:
There's only one deck of Monster Cards in DR&D, players have no control over the level of the monsters they'll face. This is an important deviation from the original Dungeon! where monsters are sorted according to dungeon levels so the adventures are able to simply choose the level they want to be in.
Taking the above into account and considering my own conception of how the game should play, I decided to privilege an average allocation, meaning that average (Lvl 2) monsters will be the most likely to appear at early stages of the game. Adventurers will start off relatively weak, I don’t want to make it too hard for them to obtain their first Lvl 2 (or 3) weapon, though I neither want the game to become too easy after getting it. This is the balance I´m looking for.
Also, one third of the monsters will perform magic attacks; this means that the Barbarian will be weak against 1/3 of the monsters in the new deck. This is a balance adjustment, the Barbarian won´t be the most powerful combat character all the time.
Besides, one third of the monsters have higher magic resistance so the Wizard will be weak against 1/3 of the monsters. Magic will be a powerful weapon in the game but some monsters will have higher magic resistance.
I’m still figuring if these two groups should be composed of different monsters or several of them could be concurring in both groups.
DR&D is mainly a game of exploration, combat and random occurrences. If a very powerful monster is found early on, the adventurers will have the option to flee for a relatively low cost. Continuous exploration is rewarded but it could also help more powerful opponents looking for treasures, as the fleeing adventurer must reveal the monster he´s running from.
Since we have 9234 candidates to choose from there's a lot of room for adjusting and fine-tuning every one of the 107 monsters in the deck. No work is perfect though, so I’m sure that some improvements and revisions will be included in Advanced DR&D 2.0.
This is an open test version, which means that it is subject to modifications and revisions until the final version is relased with Advanced DR&D 2.0. Every user may report any issue or suggestion regarding the design. Please feel free to submit your candidates as well as your corrections to the ones proposed in the files attached.
Some new features in Advanced DR&D 2.0
-Print and Play. DR&D has become an unofficial PnP expansion; everything you need to play will be included.
- Simpler rules. The rulebook became thinner; rules are now mostly card driven so they’re more straightforward and easier to follow.
-Random Character abilities and powers. Each adventurer will play differently every time.
-Random Monster abilities and powers. Monsters will have different abilities and powers every time.
And there’s more coming...
Dungeon, Rings & Dragons may be categorized as a semi-coop or competitive multi-team adventure board game.
DR&D´s defining elements are adopted from Calabozo: La Aventura de los Anillos" (Dungeon The Adventure of the Rings) which is a Mexican version of Dungeon! Perhaps the sole multi-team specimen of it´s type.
This variant is based on the original gameplay from The Classic Dungeon, borrowing and blending elements from the Mexican "rings and dragons" version, HeroQuest, Advanced HeroQuest and D&D Fantasy Adventure Board Game, as well as other original novelties.
We´re looking for extra depth and strategy yet keeping things simple and beer/family friendly like in the original. That´s essentially the DR&D Project.
Here´s the link to the files in case someone missed them from previous post:
"The new Character Generation system is quite simple but turned out to be very flexible and productive given the varied dice pool mechanic used. Literally thousands of combinations are possible by mixing just four basic attributes: Defense, Attack, Magic Resistance and Life Points.
This new system has been thoroughly described in our previous development update published more than three of months ago. Using the guidelines described there I was able to create a "universe" of 9,324 different combinations as shown in the document attached (see our Downloads section) from which I picked my 107 candidates for Advanced DR&D 2.0.
Since we have thousands of candidates to choose from, there's a lot of room for adjusting and fine-tuning every one of the 107 monsters in the deck. Every one is unique and therefore different from each other. No version of Dungeon! has offered this vast array of monsters.
Could you find a better candidate for any of the 107 proposed monsters? The Monster Cards uploaded recently still require some work and polish, I'm sure anyone could come up with better choices within this "universe" and that´s the beauty of it