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Subject: The Storm Spirit rss

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TImothy Hermanto
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This is my first variant idea. Even though my copy of Forbidden Desert is still being shipped, I'm really excited to make a variant for this awesome game! So here goes:

When the unlucky adventurers crash landed their helicopter on the vast desert, they have awoken one of the most destructive forces in the world. The Storm Spirit has awakened from his deep slumber and has sworn to protect the secrets of the desert. Still weak from his rest, the Storm Spirit will slowly gain control of the raging storm, ultimately becoming the storm itself.

This variant can be played by a minimum of 3 players (2 adventurers and 1 Storm Spirit). You can add up to 6 players (5 adventurers and 1 Storm Spirit)
Beware, though, as this variant will change the game into a semi-cooperative one. It's you versus the Storm Spirit!

OVERVIEW
The Storm Spirit's goal is to prevent the players from escaping the desert with all 4 ship parts. The adventurers' goal is to, well, escape with all 4 parts. However, this is no easy task. Not only the adventurers have to face the shifting sand, the treacherous storm, and the burning sun, they will have to face the Storm Spirit himself.


SET UP
Set up the game normally. Lay down the tiles, deal role cards to the adventurers, yadda yadda.
Pick one player who will play as the Storm Spirit. Give them an unused pawn. Then, the Storm Spirit puts his pawn on any tile with at least 1 sand marker on it. You might want to move the sand marker stack a bit closer to the Storm Spirit.


TURN ORDER
First, one of the adventurers will go first. When he/she done, instead of drawing cards from the Storm deck, the Storm Spirit begins his turn. After he's done, it's the second player's turn. Then the Storm Spirit's. Then the third player's. And so on.
If you're still confused, the Storm Spirit replaces the Storm. That's it.


THE STORM SPIRIT
The storm spirit has a number of actions equal to the Storm meter. He may share his turn with the Storm itself.
For example, the storm meter is currently 3. The Storm Spirit may choose to take either 0, 1, 2, or 3 actions. If he does a number of actions less than the current Storm meter, the current adventurer draws cards from the Storm deck, as many as the Storm Spirit's unspent actions. Here's an example:
Currently, the storm meter is 3. The Storm Spirit may:
-Take 0 actions, then the adventurer draws 3 cards (3-0=3)
-Take 1 action, then the adventurer draws 2 cards (3-1=2)
-Take 2 actions, then the adventurer draws 1 card (3-2=1)
-Take 3 actions, then the adventurer draws 0 cards (3-3=0)

Here is what the Storm Spirit can do (for 1 action):

-Move
The Spirit moves swiftly across the desert. His haunting presence lurking among the shadows...
Move from adjacent tiles (not diagonal) covered with at least 1 sand marker. If there aren't any sand markers on a tile, he can't move there.

-Sweep
Endless waves of sand bury the lost city...
Put 1 sand marker on each tiles that are in a row or column that the Storm Spirit is currently located in, except for the tile he is in. He chooses whether he wants to sweep a row or a column.


THE ADVENTURERS
Aside from the normal actions the adventurers may do, if one of the adventurers removes all of the sand markers on a tile which the Storm Spirit is currently on, they have stunned him, causing him to skip his next turn. This also means that the adventurers won't draw any Storm cards. The adventurers then relocate the Storm Spirit's pawn to any tile they want, but it has to have at least 1 sand marker on it. While the Spirit is stunned, he may not be stunned again.


GAME END
The game ends when the adventurers have escaped from the desert (like in the normal rules), in which they win. The Storm Spirit wins when the game ends in defeat for the adventurers (like in the normal rules).


That's it! Thanks for reading . If you have any comments, suggestions, or critics, do post them here.
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Joe Lutovsky
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I like it. Is the sweep ability overpowered?
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Rafael Ramus
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RogueLieutenant wrote:
I like it. Is the sweep ability overpowered?


It is, definetely.
 
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TImothy Hermanto
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Rafael Ramus wrote:
RogueLieutenant wrote:
I like it. Is the sweep ability overpowered?


It is, definetely.


I've been thinking about the same problem. While writing this post, it did occur to me that the Sweep ability is overpowered.

How about if the Spirit may only put 1 sand marker on 2 tiles adjacent to him for 1 action? And if he moves to the eye of the storm, then he may Sweep.

How does that sound?

This will give the Spirit 2 choices, whether to just use his normal actions (put sand markers) or to use Sweep in the eye of the storm.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Rafael Ramus
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EmeraldDagger wrote:
Rafael Ramus wrote:
RogueLieutenant wrote:
I like it. Is the sweep ability overpowered?


It is, definetely.


I've been thinking about the same problem. While writing this post, it did occur to me that the Sweep ability is overpowered.

How about if the Spirit may only put 1 sand marker on 2 tiles adjacent to him for 1 action? And if he moves to the eye of the storm, then he may Sweep.

How does that sound?

This will give the Spirit 2 choices, whether to just use his normal actions (put sand markers) or to use Sweep in the eye of the storm.

Thanks for the feedback.


I think it sounds better, but it needs some playtesting. I think if I were the spirit and had those powers, I would always make no move until the storm is at least to level 4. Then I would rush towards the storm and sweep like crazy.

I think it would be interesting if the spirit could instead just move the storm a number of tiles equal to sand level without adding sand to those moved tiles. No sweeping in this version.
 
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TImothy Hermanto
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A few questions:
1) Will the players be drawing any Storm cards? And if they do, when?
2) May the Storm Spirit add any sand to the game?

Your version sounds great! We definitely need to playtest it, but I don't have a copy.
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Rafael Ramus
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EmeraldDagger wrote:
A few questions:
1) Will the players be drawing any Storm cards? And if they do, when?
2) May the Storm Spirit add any sand to the game?

Your version sounds great! We definitely need to playtest it, but I don't have a copy.


Well, let me be more thorough. First, you must consider how experienced players play the game (I mean, I'm not that experienced, but I do play this and Forbidden Island a lot!).

If there is Climber, Archeologist and Navigator in play, the Navigator will always use its power to move the Climber taking with him the Archeologist - with 4 actions, this means the Navigator can send them up to 12 tiles in a single turn. This means they are not going to be buried, and they will not have that much of a hard time catching the Spirit. The Archeologist can dig 8 sand markers without moving - so once he has the Spirit on track, he'll have no dificulty stunning him.

And we have the Weather Guy, I mean, the Metereologist, who can use no action so that there is no cards drawn / actions taken by the Storm / Storm Spirit.

Now, back to vanilla: in the normal game, what prevents this sort of strategy to work every single time: 1 - "Sun Beating Down", 2 - "Storm picks up".

In the beggining, everybody is running against the clock to find both water and the tunnels. It is even better if you can get the item that shields a tile from a "Sun Beating Down". With the original Spirit, there is no reason to do so, since you can expect there will be less cards drawn, and no drawing of the cards whenever they catch the Spirit.

So the only hope I would have to win playing as the first Spirit would be to draw a lot of cards praying for some "Sun Beating Down" and "Storm picks up". In the unlikely event the players don't manage to get to the Spirit until the level is 5, then the Spirit could and should sweep like crazy, so much that the game runs out of sand tiles - which would mean victory to the Storm Spirit.

Now, I really like your concept.

My suggestion is that the Storm Spirit should not interfere with the drawing of Storm Cards. I'd give a cost to activating the Spirit in a turn, like 1 less Storm card drawn. This is done before the players turn, so the order of a turn would be Spirit (if activated), Player, cards are drawn.

So the Spirit travels from sand to sand, moving the Eye of the Storm away from those nasty corners! You see, in vanilla F.D., sometimes the Storm gets stucked in a corner and stays there not moving. Now, every time the players remove all sand markers from the tile the Spirit is on, the Spirit gets stunned, meaning it cannot protect the Storm that turn - but the players must draw Storm cards as usual (or -1 card if the Spirit is activated that turn).

I see no problem with your suggestion of giving the Spirit the ability to put 1 sand marker as an action, but I wouldn't give it 1 sand marker in two tiles - the game is quite hard as it is already.

Oh. And no sweeping
 
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TImothy Hermanto
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Thanks for your consideration of my idea. Really appreciate it!

So, to conclude your suggestions, the Spirit has only 2 actions, to move from sand to sand and to move the Eye of the Storm?

And also, the players draw 1 less card if the Spirit is activated.

Ok, no more Sweeping.


P.S. : Check my new variant, The Eye of the Storm!
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Rafael Ramus
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EmeraldDagger wrote:
Thanks for your consideration of my idea. Really appreciate it!

So, to conclude your suggestions, the Spirit has only 2 actions, to move from sand to sand and to move the Eye of the Storm?

And also, the players draw 1 less card if the Spirit is activated.

Ok, no more Sweeping.


P.S. : Check my new variant, The Eye of the Storm!


Yes, that's basically it, and the Spirit may, once activated, add a single sand marker to a single tile anywhere on the board.

I'll do some playtesting this weekend devil
 
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TImothy Hermanto
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Rafael Ramus wrote:
EmeraldDagger wrote:
Thanks for your consideration of my idea. Really appreciate it!

So, to conclude your suggestions, the Spirit has only 2 actions, to move from sand to sand and to move the Eye of the Storm?

And also, the players draw 1 less card if the Spirit is activated.

Ok, no more Sweeping.


P.S. : Check my new variant, The Eye of the Storm!


Yes, that's basically it, and the Spirit may, once activated, add a single sand marker to a single tile anywhere on the board.

I'll do some playtesting this weekend devil



Great! Let me know about your session. Thanks again!
 
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Darth Desi

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Awesome idea. I'm extending this to Forbidden Island. Ie you have the Evil Island Spirit, that moves on flooded tiles.
 
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Darth Desi

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An inspiration from another variant here.. Storm spirit can summon monsters / lay traps on adjacent tiles only, for one action.
Traps and monsters are limited in number.
Defeating trap / monster stuns the spirit.
Losing to trap / monster has negative effects.. Like lose remaining actions, or get buried on that tile, or lose one water level, or drop a gear card.
 
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Jon G
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I really want this to work... the idea that the spirit's actions reduce storm deck draws is brilliant, since the deck will be what kills you much of the time. The spirit really has to be subtle in his actions, or he'll be helping the adventurers.

Some more thoughts:
- Moving the spirit (and the sand-path idea is very good) doesn't hurt the party, so it will not normally be worth a card, unless some of the things you can do are better than a whole card.
- A card draw seems to drop a bit more than one sand (plus the sun & storm card effects), so the spirit should have to "get into position" if he wants to drop two sand. A four-sand sweep IS pretty broken
- It seems fair to let the spirit throw two sand on adjacent spaces when he is at or adjacent to the eye of the storm
- Stunning the spirit could (perhaps) prevent him from taking actions and reduce all 2-space and 3-space cards to 1-space cards for that turn, but not reduce the number of cards drawn. If you're worried about the archaeologist abusing him, let the spirit choose his new location after the storm draw.

Here's a somewhat different approach:
- The spirit moves as you've described for an action.
- As an action, the spirit may choose the order in which storm cards are played.
- If you remove sand from the spirit's current location, the spirit chooses an adjacent tile to receive one sand (though not where the remover is standing). The dune blaster does remove the sand normally, and the archaeologist's second sand is removed.

Other fun ideas:
- The spirit cannot move to the eye of the storm, but if the storm moves through his present location, he can move into (and with) the eye for the remainder of the storm cards. This makes him invulnerable to stunning, and gives him some useful ability (2-sand spray, storm control, an extra action)
- (Not sure about this, but) if a player enters the spirit's tile, the spirit may abuse him (stealing an action or a tech tile(!)) as an action.

So, putting it all together, how about this:

Spirit starts at the eye of the storm.

Spirit actions (all cost one card):
- Move: any number of orthogonal spaces along a continuous sand path (but not to the eye of the storm)

Actions if the spirit is in the eye of the storm:
- Sweep Sand: Deposit one sand each in any two orthogonally adjacent spaces
- Control the Storm: Decide the order in which storm cards are played

Actions if the spirit is orthogonally adjacent to the eye of the storm:
- Spray: The first time sand is removed from your space, you may announce a spray action; move one sand to an adjacent space not occupied by you or the sand remover. Once you use an action to do this, you may spray sand for free for the rest of that player's turn, each time they remove sand.
- Delay: When an adventurer enters your space, you may announce a delay action; they either lose one action or discard an equipment, their choice.
Once you declare a spray or delay, the adventurer can't take their action back.

Riding the Storm (free action):
When storm cards are drawn, if the spirit starts on a tile, and the storm moves that tile, he may choose to ride the storm. If he does so, he determines the order in which remaining cards are played (as though he used the Control action), and will end the storm phase at the eye of the storm.

If you start the storm phase at the eye of the storm, you are deposited on the first tile that moves to your location, and may not ride the storm. Alternately (not sure about this), you must ride the storm if you spend an action to control it. I like this thematically, but late in the game, the spirit just controls the storm every turn and is invulnerable.

Stunning the Spirit:
The spirit is invulnerable if in the eye of the storm. Otherwise:

If the last sand is removed from the spirit's tile, he is removed from the board and may take no more actions this turn. During the storm phase, all storm cards are treated as 1-distance cards, and "Storm Picks Up" cards are discarded to no effect (yes, this is nice, but the spirit can spray sand)

After the storm phase, put the spirit at the eye of the storm.

 
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TImothy Hermanto
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Woops, forgot to check my thread in ages. Thanks a lot for reworking my idea, now I just need time to read and give my thoughts on your version. I really appreciate your interest in my little project, hehe.

Now, some changes in the variant. I've come to realize Sweep is way overpowered (Really? It took you that long to realize? *yes*). Will probably remove it, or incorporate it in another form.

When we agree on a final version, we'll playtest it and see how it goes. Really excited to see where this goes!
 
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