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Subject: Furniture in dungeon boardgames/RPG rss

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Hi guys, I think we all love when old school boardgames like Hero Quest used furniture to decorate and break the monotony of dungeons, and too rarely nowadays I see this done anymore.

My question is, if you could design a game like Hero Quest/Warhammer Quest, or any other table top Rpg, what role would you give furniture, and how would it work? For as much as I loved HQ In terms of modern design the furniture is almost pointless if not for changing the room layout.

I would only ever use furniture if I found some neat, simple and fun rules to play with. I realise you would probably need to know the core of the game to actually throw design ideas out there, but for the sake of brainstorming, indulge me, and pretend you were redesigning HQ furniture system to make it more engaging and fun

cheers!
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Jake Staines
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GrimRabbit wrote:
For as much as I loved HQ In terms of modern design the furniture is almost pointless if not for changing the room layout.


I think HQ's approach to furniture was more flavour than design - adding bookcases and a desk versus a tomb and an altar versus a rack and a cupboard gave the same five-by-four rectangular room a totally different feel for different adventures.

I recently had the opportunity to play Krosmaster: Arena, and at first glance, that comes with furniture in a similar style to HQ. It's all slotted-together cardstock, but there's trees and shrubs and crates and IIRC rocks, and it makes the game look pretty. In this case, though, simply categorising the terrain/furniture pieces into "blocks line of sight and movement", "blocks movement but not line of sight" and "can be climbed upon to increase range" makes a fairly clean system which has a dramatic impact on the board flow. Pretty much all of the tutorial battles rely on you exploiting the terrain properly, which play as a kind of puzzle, for example.
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Bichatse wrote:
GrimRabbit wrote:
For as much as I loved HQ In terms of modern design the furniture is almost pointless if not for changing the room layout.


I think HQ's approach to furniture was more flavour than design - adding bookcases and a desk versus a tomb and an altar versus a rack and a cupboard gave the same five-by-four rectangular room a totally different feel for different adventures.

I recently had the opportunity to play Krosmaster: Arena, and at first glance, that comes with furniture in a similar style to HQ. It's all slotted-together cardstock, but there's trees and shrubs and crates and IIRC rocks, and it makes the game look pretty. In this case, though, simply categorising the terrain/furniture pieces into "blocks line of sight and movement", "blocks movement but not line of sight" and "can be climbed upon to increase range" makes a fairly clean system which has a dramatic impact on the board flow. Pretty much all of the tutorial battles rely on you exploiting the terrain properly, which play as a kind of puzzle, for example.


That is a lovely little system, looks fun too, thanks for the link, I think it works because the rooms are so wide, and strategy do change quite a lot when you change the room's layout. When you play HQ or Warhammer Quest, rooms are about 4x4, and furniture might add to the "chore" factor rather than "Fun".

Also I have noticed this games get away by having 1x1 miniatures, but my fear is that when you get 2x2 character base, things will start get tricky, like exploiting monsters by blocking their movement (I speak of randomly generated dungeons and AI monsters).

But I like the idea of climbing over for + Combat or ranged attributes. I was wondering if there is an easy way to get away by picking up chairs, smashing them, flipping tables for cover from ranged attacks and so on.. but the main issue is the size of the rooms: Too small and it gets really cluttery, especially with 4 Heroes +10 monsters, and too big it gets empty when there are fewer monsters and furniture to mess around with.

So far I use a system of cards, so the card tells you there is a chandelier within the room you can cut and set loose above the heads of enemies, or a bookcase you can knock over to hit an area of 1x2 and so on, this seems to work and it is fairly easy but you still have to reference the card to know the rules of each individual item and you lose the aspect of variety in dungeons, and visually becoming more monotonous.
 
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mike
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If you going to have furniture and accessories then the players should be able to interact with them.

I would do something like the old NES game shadowgate, each room is different and you have to interact with different objects in some way in order to make something happen

So if there are torches on the wall, you could take them as an item or maybe objects be moved around to reveal things

I'd make the objects part of the quests
 
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John Breckenridge
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Varying the furniture in the dungeon provides opportunity for varying the sorts of traps and treasure the players can find. Like when a player decides to interact with a bookcase, he could draw a card from the bookcase deck or roll a bookcase die or whatever your randomizer is and see if the bookcase collapsed on him, or if he found a magic book on one of the shelves, or if the bookcase itself turns out to be a secret door, or maybe it was just a bookcase.
 
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For as much as I would like the idea that each item has its own deck of possibilities I fear that would just complicate things and get in the way of fun and flow of the game.

I wrote down a few ideas for now, hoping to test them once I am really happy with the basic combat, the trick is that sometimes combat has to be designed around furniture and cannot be properly added later.

In terms of examples, I think I will have things like:

Tables: You can stand on them and gain a combat and ranged advantage or stand beside them to receive ranged cover unless someone is flanking you.

Pillars: Blocks line of sight but can be knocked over and damage several squares in a row.

Brazier: Can be knocked over to set adjacent enemies on fire.

Etc...

etc...
 
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