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Subject: Fan Expansion: Dynasty of Shenzhou rss

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Thomas King
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This is a work-in-progress fan expansion for Runebound: Second Edition. I will say upfront that this is primarily designed to be played using the PBF script created by
Carey J
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The map and components are not designed for printing at this moment, but can be printed if you wish (they just won't look as nice).

Summary Info:
Still in early development, but here's some of the things I've started or have planned.

It is set in an asian-themed land with a unique map and new mechanics (all the typical big-box goodness). The main narrative of the expansion is the tyranny of the Suyoung Dynasty that rules over the land of Shenzhou and the civilian uprising. Heroes will be able to choose which side they join, the Dynasty or the Civilians. Over the course of the game, events will allow heroes to take part in the growing conflict while working towards victory.

One of the central mechanics will be Blessings obtained at 4 temples scattered around the map. Praying at a temple will grant you the blessing of that temple, a new power you can use. Once you have obtained all 4 Blessings, you can confront the final boss based on your faction; the Emperor Suyoung, or the mythical Qilin.

There is also a crafting mechanic. On certain terrain spaces, heroes can attempt to gather materials (or use one of the survival gear tokens) which can be discarded in town to craft a Master Item. This mechanic serves a similar purpose to the legendary items in IoD and FW expansions, but will hopefully be balanced in a way that low-level items are still interesting, but high-level ones aren't as difficult to obtain while still keeping their powers/stats balanced out for the ease/difficulty of obtaining them. It is a goal of this mechanic to make some of the terrain more useful (non-adventure spaces), and not just a trap for heroes to waste a turn in because they didn't get a good roll on the movement dice.

Survival Gear
Harvesting Tools
Experience: Discard to collect a resource token from your current space instead of gathering.
Raft
Movement: Discard adjacent to a lake or river space to move up to 3 contiguous lake and/or river spaces. You may continue moving after.
Jade Idol
Discard to reroll your hero's or an ally's combat roll or to pray at a Temple.

Resources
Wood- Forests
Ore- Mountains
Jade- Hills

Gathering
During your movement step after rolling the movement dice, you may spend movement dice that show a terrain symbol matching your current space to gather a resource for each die spent. This resource is taken from the general supply, and if there is no token of the matching resource, then you cannot collect that resource. You may only do this before moving and may not gather from a town or temple space. Resources gathered can be used to craft items, or can be sold for 1g each during the market step.

Crafting
During a market step, a player may craft a Master Item by discarding the necessary resources. The player then takes the Master Item that was crafted and adds a new Master Item to the row. (See master item sample below).

Factions
There are 2 factions in the land of Shenzhou. There is the ruling Dynasty, led by the Emperor Suyoung. They are ruthlessly looking to crush the civilian rebellion. Then there are the Civilians, the down-trodden people of Shenzhou who revere the Qilin.

The heroes begin the game as neutral. When a neutral hero takes a market step, they may join the faction of the town they are in, taking a matching faction token. A neutral hero may enter any town except for the Royal City. A hero that has joined the Civilians may not enter the Royal City until they have gained all 4 Blessings, but in Civilian towns, they may heal all wounds from a hero or ally for 1g. A hero that has joined the Dynasty may take a free Survival Gear during their market step (once per turn) in a Dynasty town and may enter any town except the Grand Temple; a hero of the Dynasty faction must gain all 4 Blessings before they may enter the Grand Temple.

Temples
On the board are 4 Temples that must be prayed to in order to enter the final city and defeat one of the end challenges. You must discard a Jade Idol to pray at a Temple. When you do, receive a Blessing from that Temple. You may only have 1 of each Blessing. When you have obtained all 4 Blessings, enter the Grand Temple and summon and defeat Qilin, crushing the spirits of all civilians and ending the rebellion. This is a Dynasty victory. Alternatively, if you have joined the Civilians, you can enter the Royal City with all 4 Blessings and face Emperor Suyoung, putting an end to his tyranny and freeing Shenzhou, achieving a Civilian victory.

Blessings
Blessing of Wind: You may move 1 additional space at any point during your movement step.
Blessing of Fire: You receive +1 to all combat rolls.
Blessing of Earth: You receive Endure +4 and Resist +4.
Blessing of Water: Movement: Instead of rolling movement dice, if you are on a river or lake space, you may move through any number of contiguous lake and/or river spaces.

Adventure Allies
Some adventure cards are allies that depending on your faction, you must fight as if it were a challenge, or you can recruit them. These allies will specifically describe if they are an ally or challenge for each faction. If your hero is neutral, these ally adventure cards are discarded, then you must draw a new adventure card from the same deck. When hired as allies, these cards are treated as normal allies. When discarded from play, discard them to their appropriate adventure deck, not the market discard pile.

When you defeat these allies as a challenge, they become a Prisoner. Take the card and place it next to your hero face-down. Events and encounters may provide bonuses or options for what to do with Prisoners.

Cards:
86 Adventure Cards
Green (30/30 complete)
Yellow (28/28 complete)
Blue (24/24 complete)
Red (4/4 complete)
2 Final Bosses (2/2 complete)

18 Master Item Cards (18/18 complete)

6 new Heroes (complete)


Updated map layout (Oct. 20):


Heroes:


Sample card back (made from scratch):


Faction Symbols:
Civilians


Dynasty


Sample Survival Gear:


Sample Blessing:


Blank Master Item:


Adventure Ally:
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J Holmes
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Sounds intriguing.

I'd like to recommend:

Many more mountain locations. (Some easiesr way to move around mountains)

A lake (in the middle of the board) that can be frozen over or melted at some point (a little like IOD).

I like the quests from the base game, or from Sands since it forces you to plan out your movements more.

If you are having resource collection then having quests that give those resources might not be a bad idea.

Much like Sands you could have an explicit Ally deck (retainers, warriors, villages who have declared their support to you)
 
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Thomas King
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j_holmes wrote:

Many more mountain locations. (Some easiesr way to move around mountains)

Are you certain you know which terrain is the mountain?

j_holmes wrote:
A lake (in the middle of the board) that can be frozen over or melted at some point (a little like IOD).
There will likely be ways to change the board's spaces, but it will be tied to the narrative (so freezing lakes over probably won't be it, sorry).

j_holmes wrote:
I like the quests from the base game, or from Sands since it forces you to plan out your movements more.
I assume you mean the encounters from the base game, and I agree. I would love to know why they were removed from most of the expansions. They will be in this expansion.

j_holmes wrote:
If you are having resource collection then having quests that give those resources might not be a bad idea.
There will be multiple ways of getting resources, including rewards from challenges.

j_holmes wrote:
Much like Sands you could have an explicit Ally deck (retainers, warriors, villages who have declared their support to you)
There will actually be special allies in the adventure decks that depending on your faction will either attack you or be willing to join you.

If you have any questions about specifics, feel free to ask . I will eventually post info on everything of course, in due time.
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J Holmes
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Ok, the map colours are a little too similar and no key :S :S

Otherwise, sounds all good.

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Thomas King
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j_holmes wrote:
Ok, the map colours are a little too similar and no key :S :S
laugh
I did say "rough layout". The greyish spaces in the north are mountains, the yellow-green spaces are hills, dark green are forests, rivers and roads are obvious, blue spaces are lakes (swamps), and the brown 'patches' around the towns/roads are farmlands (plains).
 
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Mike Stack
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I guess this is the BB expansion you mentioned the main RB PBF forum. Cool! As I said count me in on the playtesting.
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Carey J
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Definitely seconding doing Sands- or Cataclysm-style quests. Really adds a nice variety to the "go to here, fight monster, repeat" base mechanic.
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Rafal Areinu
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Just an idea. Since we have ability to change maps already, so that wouldn't need implementation, you could do something that is pretty much impossible in real game. Seasons! Every time an event is drawn the season passes, and each season has completely separate map. I believe that map changing in IOD swaps whole map, not just designated places.

Monsters could change stats depending on season, similar to night/day mechanic of Sands. Some quests could then be also only doable in certain seasons. For example in the winter island would freeze in the middle of the lake, which would disappear in any other season(knocking out any hero on it). Some roads would be harder or easier to traverse depending on the season, and... well, there's whole ton of mechanics that could be tied to seasons.

Okay, I'm done with my crazy ideas.

I also love questing in runebound, or any mechanic that give players a way to get closer to the goal from first turns, not just in the endgame.
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Thomas King
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Areinu wrote:
Just an idea. Since we have ability to change maps already, so that wouldn't need implementation, you could do something that is pretty much impossible in real game. Seasons! Every time an event is drawn the season passes, and each season has completely separate map. I believe that map changing in IOD swaps whole map, not just designated places.

Monsters could change stats depending on season, similar to night/day mechanic of Sands. Some quests could then be also only doable in certain seasons. For example in the winter island would freeze in the middle of the lake, which would disappear in any other season(knocking out any hero on it). Some roads would be harder or easier to traverse depending on the season, and... well, there's whole ton of mechanics that could be tied to seasons.
That sounds pretty awesome, but maybe save that for an expansion built around it specifically (next one after Dynasty?). I wouldn't want to just toy with the idea, I'd want to go all-in like how you described and have many aspects of the game centered around it
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Rafal Areinu
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The more I think about it the more I want to do it But first I would like to see confirmation what swapping whole map is actually doable without much work.
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Thomas King
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Areinu wrote:
The more I think about it the more I want to do it But first I would like to see confirmation what swapping whole map is actually doable without much work.
You were actually correct, IoD swaps the entire map instead of placing tokens on the board.
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Carey J
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Areinu wrote:
The more I think about it the more I want to do it But first I would like to see confirmation what swapping whole map is actually doable without much work.


No additional work at all. I just name it map31-1.png map31-2.png, etc. and will set it to map31-2.png.
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lorien4 lorien4
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What about a modular board with tiles? I think, however, that it would be very hard.
 
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Jesper Brøchner
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Sounds very interesting and I will definitely try it out when it's ready and help as much I can to get it ready
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Thomas King
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Updated with more info on the survival gear, gathering, and crafting.
 
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Thomas King
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Didn't think to mention it here (most of the people here are ones I'm playing Runebound PBF with and already know), but I'm out of town for a few days. I'll be back Sunday and work will continue next week.
 
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Thomas King
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I've posted a bunch more info on factions, temples, blessings, faction allies/prisoners, as well as updated the map. The mountains are a bit more distinct and I've put the town decor up so they stand out. A few locations have been named.

I also added a rundown of the card counts and where I'm at.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Being able to heal all wounds for 1g seems like better marketplace buff than being able to save 1g on survival gear. Will Civilians have otherwise harder time?
 
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Carey J
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One of the cities should be called Hung Dong.

I'm half-kidding. That's the actual name of a supermarket in Houston.
 
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Thomas King
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Areinu wrote:
Being able to heal all wounds for 1g seems like better marketplace buff than being able to save 1g on survival gear. Will Civilians have otherwise harder time?
For one, unlike some of the other expansions, I hope that Survival gear is more important here, and being able to snag 2 of any gear (normally you can only buy 1 of each) where Civilian heroes are restricted to 1 of each will help balance.

In terms of how mean the game gets towards Civilian heroes, I'm undecided, but I'm thinking it will favor the Dynasty. One idea I have for a later event is one that allows Dynasty heroes to easily start burning down the farmland spaces (making it harder for Civilian heroes to get around). Civilian heroes can help save the farms, but it won't be as easy.

On the subject, what would you guys say to the possibility of player elimination in the form of Faction loss? Most likely the civilian rebellion being crushed very late-game. Another event idea I have (blue or red, so very late-game) is a territorial tug-of-war where Heroes can start taking control of towns for their faction. It would then be possible to eliminate the Civilian rebellion by completely taking over all Civilian towns. Perhaps instead of player elimination, Civilian players simply lose their faction and can't join the Civilians any more?

I'm strangely fascinated in the idea of a mean, PvP expansion that doesn't rely on typical RB PvP, but encourages players to pick sides and start fighting for territory.
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Rafal Areinu
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Ah, so it's additional survival gear. This changes things a bit, from this:
Quote:
A hero that has joined the Dynasty may take a free Survival Gear during their market step (once per turn) in a Dynasty town

I thought Civilian heroes were still limited to 1 per turn, just that it was free.

On PBF player elimination is no big deal. You just start another game or join another. On the other hand player elimination in real life means you spend next 90 minutes waiting till others are done having their fun. Since it's going to be PBF only expansion you can do this. But when doing so consider whenever this could be played solo-3 players. Also if all heroes will join the same side then it will be hard to get player elimination.
 
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Thomas King
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Areinu wrote:
Ah, so it's additional survival gear. This changes things a bit, from this:
Quote:
A hero that has joined the Dynasty may take a free Survival Gear during their market step (once per turn) in a Dynasty town

I thought Civilian heroes were still limited to 1 per turn, just that it was free.

Yeah, wording needs to be cleared up, but it will be in addition to the 1-per-turn purchase.

Areinu wrote:
On PBF player elimination is no big deal. You just start another game or join another. On the other hand player elimination in real life means you spend next 90 minutes waiting till others are done having their fun. Since it's going to be PBF only expansion you can do this. But when doing so consider whenever this could be played solo-3 players. Also if all heroes will join the same side then it will be hard to get player elimination.
Well, players will want to diversify anyway, since if everyone's on the same side, you'll all be fighting over the allies in the adventure decks, and possibly other things. I'm still mulling over ways to encourage players to spread out and not all go with one faction. In the end, it will probably work best with 4-6 evenly split in the factions (that's my aim, anyway). In PBF, we seem to play 4-6 player games most often (excluding IoD which generally starts to break down if you go over 3 players).
 
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Thomas King
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A look at the events:


Simple freebee bonus to each player, even allowing them to pick a faction. They can change it later if they want.


Another nice event that gives everyone some options. Only comes up once (it is an annual holiday after all).


Nasty stuff begins. This one favors civilians, because the rest will primarily favor dynasty.


Speaking of which. Everyone can turn in prisoners for cash, but dynasty heroes can go bounty hunting.


Now it gets ugly. This one will likely take a few passes (along with the map) to get a good balance, and this one is here more as an example of what the event is intended to do rather than exactly how it will work. I want some spaces to automatically get burned when the event pops so if all players are civilian-side, they still have an objective. That's one of the things that will need to be considered, the balance of it if everyone's on one side. I don't want a side to get freebies because there's no one to oppose them, they should still have to work for their rewards even if it's easier.

Another thing about this event is how farms are burned. I don't want dynasty heroes to have to go far out of their way to participate in the event, but it needs to be possible to complete (they can't realistically burn 10+ farms before the event is replaced) and should be something simple. The 2 main ways this event can be re-balanced is by changing the number of named farmland spaces and increasing the number of fatigue a dynasty hero can put out on the board each time.

Where farms are on the map can be changed (and would probably need to be for civilian heroes to have a chance at clearing them all). The manner in which dynasty heroes place fatigue can be changed to, for example by making some sort of determining factor like it has to be the nearest farmland space, or something similar.


Upgrade to the bounties event. Since you're executing the prisoners, they are removed from the game.


The big daddy. A couple notes, there will be some rules to clear up how this event works in regards to the two main cities (below), and there will be as many red spaces as there are red cards (I'm reducing the number of red adventures, probably down to 4) so the event will likely come up unless some one rushed an end boss. The idea being that capturing cities is the main way you will progress in the end-game instead of fighting red challenges. The towns will already be split 50-50 so even if all heroes are on the same side, there will be cities to capture and everyone gets a reward once the war ends, even if they didn't capture a city. I'm also considering having a hard limit on the hero faction tokens, so in a 4+ player game, it is impossible for all heroes to be on the same side.

Royal City (dynasty) and Grand Temple (civilian)
These towns are blocked for heroes of the opposing faction. Obtaining all 4 blessings allows a hero to enter these towns regardless of faction. These towns may be claimed during The Civil War, causing them to become a town of the other faction and allowing heroes of that faction to enter them even without all 4 blessings.

The Civil War
If you escape the siege, follow normal rules (move back 1 space). If you are knocked out, move to the nearest town that belongs to your faction.

One of the things I want this expansion to do is instead of just being difficult and slapping the players around (Mists and Frozen), I want it to feel more strategic. Players will have several different options: go adventuring like normal, try to craft master items, collect the 4 blessings, complete encounters (which will be side-quest style, similar to the quests in Sands), or complete event objectives when they come up. You can't do everything, but they all provide their own benefits, and some will overlap. That's the hope anyway.


If you spot any typos, errors, or have any comments, suggestions, or just want to tell me I'm crazy and this all sounds terrible, feel free to speak up (except maybe that last one).
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Thomas King
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Updated Map:
- Moved some of the spaces around to centralize the farms.
- Named some of the farm spaces (the ones that will burn when the event pops).
- Altered the farm color so they stand out a bit more.
- Labeled the Royal City and Grand Temple.
- Put out faction symbols on the towns.
- Added temples to the map (temple pictures themselves are temporary).
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Thomas King
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Updated master item template with resource icons and numbers.
 
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