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Subject: The Decaying Dream rss

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Dave Mendiola
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Preface: This faction breaks a lot of my own rules for creating a faction, but it was such an interesting idea, I went with it anyway.

One of the best ways to come up with new and innovative ideas for gaming is to list some assumptions we have regarding gaming and then think of something that breaks that assumption. The assumption I got to thinking about are spellbooks.

Currently, spellbooks are good things to get. They represent your faction advancing, becoming more and more powerful and flexible. But what if it was the opposite? What if you go from a powerful force of destruction that became weaker and weaker as time progressed.

With that in mind, I've started the following faction. It's a work in progress, especially the spellbook requirements. Both the spellbooks and the Great Old One's ability work under this idea. The monsters in this faction are all the Dreamland faction monsters and they start with all their abilities. But as they gain spellbooks (despite their best efforts otherwise), they'll lose abilities one by one.


The Decaying Dream

Faction Ability - At the end of any player's action, you may swap all monsters of one type on your board for monsters of an equal cost from your pool. You may only have one type of monster of each level cost out at a time.

Additional rule. You may win the game without all your spellbooks.

Great Old One:Nodens

The Last Hunt: (Ongoing) When rolling for combat, you may limit the amount of dice you roll. For every pain/kill, lose one dice for future rolls.

Summon Requirements: Can be summoned anywhere you control a gate.

Combat: 20
Cost: Number of gates on the map.

Monsters:

Ghast
Leng Spiders
Gugs

Moonbeats
Gnorri
Shantak

See http://imgur.com/a/37iOM#0 for stats.

Spellbooks:

Lose Ghasts ability
Lose Leng ability
Gug loses 2 combat dice.
Lose Moonbeats ability
Lose Gnorri ability
Lose Shantak ability.

These represent the dying of the Elder Gods with the coming of the Old Ones.


Spellbook Requirement:

Control 3 gates that are adjacent to at least one other or control 4 gates.
Have 3 or more units be pained or eliminated during combat.
Do not perform a ritual of annihilation during Gather Power.
Lose control of a gate.
Have 6 or more units on the map
Have 9 or more units on the map.


I would love to hear ideas on how to make this faction better, especially the spellbook requirements. The spellbook requirements are things the faction wants to actively avoid, but either by doing so they're limiting themselves or the enemy factions would love to do to your faction.
 
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Sid Rain
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Reminds me a bit of what AdamStarks was trying to do for the False Throne/Crippled Eye faction with the faction getting worse as spellbooks were acquired, though his spellbooks are probably more like double-edged swords.

General comments:

* It's an interesting idea, it definitely goes against the idea of Cthulhu Wars where everything gets better as time goes on and you generally don't lose anything once it's been gained. It shifts the focus from "What can I get to do more?" to "What can I avoid to keep from getting worse?"

* Things like this always make me wish there were a way to calculate the average/optimum number of turns it would take a faction to win the game (if unhindered by other factions getting in the way). Just as a way to gauge the general difficulty in playing a faction. I suspect this faction would have a weird curve depending on how quickly you worked towards the Doom point requirement versus delaying to avoid picking up spellbooks.

* It's at the higher end of the unit count (including Cultists = 25, compare that to the Yellow Sign faction, which has 18, the highest from the base game), it also has the highest variety of different monster types to choose from. You may potentially want to cut out one or two of the unit types you have in there to give it more focus or to give a clearer idea of what the 1-, 2-, 3-tier progression is. Looking over your faction ability though, I guess it makes sense to have that many different Monsters.

* Nitpicky: while Moonbeats are probably crazy dope and all, I'm pretty sure you're talking about 'Moonbeasts'
 
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Dave Mendiola
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paddirn wrote:
Reminds me a bit of what AdamStarks was trying to do for the False Throne/Crippled Eye faction with the faction getting worse as spellbooks were acquired, though his spellbooks are probably more like double-edged swords.


Yep, that's where the idea came from.

paddirn wrote:
* Things like this always make me wish there were a way to calculate the average/optimum number of turns it would take a faction to win the game (if unhindered by other factions getting in the way). Just as a way to gauge the general difficulty in playing a faction. I suspect this faction would have a weird curve depending on how quickly you worked towards the Doom point requirement versus delaying to avoid picking up spellbooks.


There should be a fairly easy algorithm, as you'd simply be building gates and ritualing. Without having to defend your gates, I'd say you would win by turn 3 at the latest.

That's assuming spellbooks aren't required of course.

* It's at the higher end of the unit count (including Cultists = 25, compare that to the Yellow Sign faction, which has 18, the highest from the base game), it also has the highest variety of different monster types to choose from. You may potentially want to cut out one or two of the unit types you have in there to give it more focus or to give a clearer idea of what the 1-, 2-, 3-tier progression is. Looking over your faction ability though, I guess it makes sense to have that many different Monsters.[/q]

One of the things I thought was the faction would have some wiggle room at first, able to swap out their units as they become less and less powerful. This way, the faction isn't necessarily stuck with useless news, at least at first. But as time progresses, you'll eventually have to lose abilities for units you can't swap out.



Any thoughts on different spellbook requirements?
 
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Sid Rain
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Well one thing I noticed right off the bat is that there's no 'Awaken GOO' spellbook requirement nor a spellbook devoted to gimping Nodens, though maybe it's not required since he degrades over time anyways. Combat is probably avoided by this faction at all costs since it has absolutely nothing to gain from combat and actually gets weaker everytime it fights.

As for the spellbook requirement? I almost think this faction should get a spellbook right off the bat for something, either in the first turn or two, to force the player to make a decision. Looking more closely, it looks like you already have this with the "Do not perform a ritual of annihilation during Gather Power" requirement, or hell, even the "Have 6 or more units on the map" will cause this faction to get a spellbook at the very start of the game (from 6 Cultists).

Some of the other ones may need to be clarified:

Control 3 gates that are adjacent to at least one other or control 4 gates.
This one seems the easiest to avoid for the entire game, which while it will definitely influence behavior, it seems like there should be a sense of pacing that creates an urgency for this faction to get things done. So just as there are early game spellbooks that will definitely be acquired, there could be late game spellbooks that are definitely picked up if the game drags on too long. Maybe something like "Another faction gets 6 spellbooks"

Have 3 or more units be pained or eliminated during combat.
This could also be avoided the entire game if you never have more than 3 units in an area at once. I take it this applies to any single combat round in which this faction has 3 or more units pained? 3 pains/kills might be a bit high, though I don't know what the average number of pains/kills are in a combat, so maybe it's just right.

Lose control of a gate.
Technically you lose control of a gate if you just move a Cultist off, would that cause them to gain a spellbook? It would be a devious situation to put a player in that they have to plan on staying permanently at any Gate they control.
 
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Adam Starks
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I wonder if you could generalize the idea of this faction to include all other factions, and call these variants "inverted".

Inverted factions would only have access to their unacquired spellbooks, and so would lose access to one of them each time they met a requirement. In order to win the game, they'd still need to have meet all their requirements.

Inverted Great Cthulhu would automatically lose a spellbook during the first Doom Phase, and then again when Cthulhu is awakened, etc.

So whereas in most games factions go after the easiest spellbooks first, inverted factions would go after the hardest ones first, so that when they're close to winning they can claim those last few spellbooks as quickly as possible.
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