Eric Weismantel
United States
Ohio
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The premise of the game is that the players are attempting to stop a threat which has caused a dystopian society. The unique twist is that all players are the same person in different eras of time. Players will have to work together to make decisions that benefit later versions of themself while also dealing with threats in their current era. If the players can cooperate to weaken the threat enough, there is hope for humanity to recover from the darkness. It is loosely based on the framework of Sentinels of the Multiverse.


The aftermath of playtest one.

Deck explanation and Terminology

Environment deck - The environment deck will have cards representing the influence of the environment on the players and the threat. Each card will either be an ongoing effect, an immediate effect, or a target. At the beginning of the game the chosen environment deck will be shuffled into the threat deck.

Adversary deck - The adversary deck will have cards representing the growing strength of the force that has created the dystopian society. Each card will either be an ongoing effect, an immediate effect, or a target. The targets have HP, damage, resistance, and threat value information on the card. When a target or ongoing is defeated, the adversary strength will decrease by the strength value.

Threat deck – The environment deck and the adversary deck are shuffled together to form the threat deck.

Research deck - The research deck will consist of ~40 possible schematics that the player can purchase. The schematics will fall into 3 categories: chems which have limited use but give the player powerful limited time abilities at the cost of HP, weaponry which permanently strengthens the player’s attacks by doing things like increasing the amount of dice they can use or allowing rerolls, and implants which give permanent benefits to the player and players in future eras.

Player Deck - All player decks will have 10 standard cards whose utility changes drastically depending on other cards in the deck. The rest of the cards in the deck will be based on which life stage the player chooses. Each life stage will be able to further specialize during the game and have 3-5 cards added to their deck and 1 card added to all future eras (e.g., the child will be able to choose a hobby which gives them new cards based on the hobby and gives later players 1 strong card based on that hobby). Ideally each life stage will have a few different choices for which deck they want to play and three different specializations they can choose.

Target – Any card which has HP is considered a target.

Goal

Players win if:

A. Adversary strength reduced to 0, and the players complete the drawn mission. The adversary strength decreases when an adversary target is destroyed based on the strength value of the target.

Players lose if:

A. All players are dead

B. All eras have 3 or more adversary targets. Each era can have 3 adversary targets and 2 environment cards

C. Adversary’s influence is 10. All adversaries gain influence when an era has 3 adversary targets in it, and each adversary has unique mechanics which cause it to gain influence.

Threat Turn

Resolve these steps in order:

1. Environment attacks and burn damage – Each environment target attacks the target in its era with the highest HP. If there is a tie, the environment attacks the players over any other target. Players choose who gets attacked for a tie between players or threat targets. If a target has a burn marker, roll a die. On a roll of 1 remove the burn marker otherwise the player loses 1 HP.

2. Play threat cards - Play 1 card from the threat deck. Targets are placed into the era which has the fewest cards of its type (Environment or Adversary) and an available spot (max of 3 adversary cards and 2 environment per era). If there is a tie place the card into the earliest era. If there is no room for an environment card, discard it. If there is no room for an adversary card, the players lose.

3. Increase influence - Increase the influence track by 1 for each era that has 3 adversary targets. If the influence track reaches 10, the players lose.

4.Resolve threat effects - If a threat target has an effect, it is now resolved.

Player Turn

1. Make a Plan – Each player chooses 1 card from their hand and places it face-down in their play area.

2. Play threat card - Play 1 card from the threat deck. Targets are placed into the era which has the fewest cards of its type (Environment or Adversary) and an available spot (max of 3 adversary cards and 2 environment per era). If there is a tie place the card into the earliest era. If there is no room for an environment card, discard it. If there is no room for an adversary card, the players lose.

3. Reveal cards – All players now reveal the card that they chose. (I’m not sure the card needs to be played face-down, but I was trying to use it as a way to cut down on possible quarterbacking).

4. Resolve ongoings – Players resolve any ongoing abilities in turn order.

5. Take actions - Players take turns using their 3 actions to do the following things:

A. Play card – Play the card that is face up in the player’s play area.
B. Gather Intel – Replace the face up card with a card from the hand and look at the top card of the threat deck
C. Research – Discard the face up card and gain 1 point of research in either chems, weapons, or implants.
D. Acquire tech - Spend research points to get a face-up card from the research deck.
E. Use ability - Use the ability of a card in play or an ally in the player’s era.
F. Attack – Choose 1 target in your era. Resolve a combat with that target.
G. Time Travel – Travel to a different era of time. If the era is two or more eras away, the player must discard a card from hand.
H. Other actions

6. Draw Card

Comments on mechanics and theme are appreciated. More information including images from the first playtest can be found on my game design blog.
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Benj Davis
Australia
Summer Hill
NSW
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Re: [WIP] Chromnipresence (tentative) - A near-future dystopian time travel co-op game
That is a very cool concept!
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Eric Weismantel
United States
Ohio
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Re: [WIP] Chromnipresence - Near-future time travel co-op
Thanks for the positive comment. I actually started with the theme on this one, and the mechanics have evolved naturally from it. My main focus is to make the players actually feel like their decisions are having a direct impact on later versions of themself. So far I've accomplished this by having implants which affect all future versions, the ability to specialize and add new cards to later players decks, and cards which a younger player can play to strengthen a weaker player. I'm still working on finding a way to implement a mechanic where the younger player can do something powerful, but it comes with a cost for the later players. I'm also considering some way for the younger player to suffer injuries which drastically affect later players (inspired by Looper).

With all of these mechanics I have to make sure I avoid making the early player too weak and giving all the power to the latest player. I also don't want it to feel like you are being impacted incredibly negatively by a choice the earlier players may have made.

All thoughts regarding this issue are appreciated.
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