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Subject: Ideas for a couple of small variants... rss

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Chris J Davis
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Just had these ideas for a couple of small variants - wondered what people thought?

- We were a little frustrated with the fact that a single unused cube always went to waste, so thought it would be fine to allow players to draw a random ingredient card for a single cube (a pair still gets you a Favour card).

- We also felt it would be preferable if the Sage space also depended on turn order in some way, and so we thought a nice variant would be to not allow the Sage to transmute the same ingredient twice in a single round. This would involve the players revealing the ingredients they were giving to the Sage, which would also allow a little bit of extra information into the game.

Thoughts?
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Paul Grogan
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First one isn't a bad idea, but the second one might completely screw the game up for some players who have worked out their turn, only to find they cant transmute what they need to.
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Chris J Davis
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PaulGrogan wrote:
First one isn't a bad idea, but the second one might completely screw the game up for some players who have worked out their turn, only to find they cant transmute what they need to.


Good point. Scrap that one, then. Though if there's still some way to implement something similar that *wouldn't* completely screw up a player's whole turn...?
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Petr Broz
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bleached_lizard wrote:


Good point. Scrap that one, then. Though if there's still some way to implement something similar that *wouldn't* completely screw up a player's whole turn...?


I personally like that the sage does not care about the turn order, but if you wished to implement something, I thought of this:

---
If you are (X)nd/rd or later in taking this action, then
after taking it, your cube is sent to the hospital. You can only have
one cube sent into the hospital this way each turn.

Values of X for total number of players :
players...X
4 ... 3
3 ... 2
2 ... 2
---

Thematically, transmutation surely produces lots of unhealthy fumes.
The old sage is used to them, but you're not, and if you come to his
lab after someone's filled it with vaporized lead, you're definitely
going to need some treatment. You can of course always forfeit your
actions to avoid the fumes.

I'm not certain on the values of X, they would need tweaking.

EDIT: Attempt at improving readability
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Christopher Barnett
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Well I am a fan of cycling, so if I was going to tweak, I would do the following to the 2:

1) The odd unused cube is used like a forage action, except you must discard an ingredient card of your choice after you draw one (either the face up or face down). This still keeps the forage action important for actually getting ingredient cards. The represents spending some time trading ingredients in town.

2) The first player to use the sage gets to draw an ingredient from the deck, then transmute 2 ingredients into one gold. This represents chatting with the sage and swapping some ingredients while you wait. The sage is more tired and less social by the time the second person comes round.
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Alex Churchill
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Ooh, I really like both of Chris Barnett's ideas.
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Pontus von Geijer
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I like game variety but Im careful to overly tweak the balance of the game. For example a free resource for a missed cube seems to powerfull. Perhaps I should start by saying that I actually like that the game has an element of punishing you for not planning. If any botched action = a free foraging actions I think it would just detract from the importance of turn order. I dont want to make turn order not matter, I love the turn order system of alchemists.

So for me I like one cube wasted meaning you actually loose something. Alchemists is that kind of game for me.

I also think making the sage depend more on turn order skews the game in a negative way. (Sorry if I come of as a negative nelly, Im not in principal against hose ruling games). The reason I say this is that the sage is already a weak action. Its in general a bad way to get gold and best to not use unles you haveto. A good way to get gold is selling potions. that gives you information AND possibly more than 1g/resource. But for that turn order does matter and there is a risk to taking the action.

I have yet to play the game with any alternative rules, but something my group has discussed is adding som minor (very minor) effects to drinking positive potions yourself. So you get punished if you drink negative effects, but actually get something if you drink a positive efect. The ideas we have so far are:

Since testing potions is the last thing you do in a round we figured its best to have the effects apply to ne next round. You drink a potion, go to bed, and the next day is somehow a bit easier because of the potions effect.

Wisdom potion:
Filled with wisdom byond your years you realize how to avoid the many pitfalls of the ruthless academic enviorment you find yourself in.
If you loose reputation next turn you loose one less reputation.
(Effect can only happen once, so if you loose rep from several actions only the first is affected.)
The reasnoing is that the effect is somewhat the oposite of drinking a madness potion, but not so good that you want to drink a wisdom potion just for the effect.

Dexterity potion:
Lets face it, alchemists are not athletes. But when you finish of the day with a dexterity potion nothing feels impossible the next day. If you forage any resources next turn you can draw an extra hidden resource and then discard a resource form your hand. (The idea is that your added dexterity allows you to climb to some otherwise hard to reach places for a pot bellied alchemist and can forage what you need with better precision.

Healing potion:
Healing potions dont just heal wounds. Drinking one fills you with vigor, and you find some extra energy. If you fail to (or choose not to) carry out an action next turn you can use your burst of energy to help someone in town and draw a favour even if you have just one missed cube.

So basicly if you mix and drink a positive potion you get some small benifit from it. The benifit is themed to somehow do the oposite of what drinking the negative potioon of that color would to. But all of them are designed to be minor and more to mitigate some bad luck next turn rather than give a direct boost. I think its important to not make any of the effects so good that it skews how much you want to test things on students rather than yourself.


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Cameron McKenzie
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You could have sage visitors participate in a sort of "draft" where they all throw their transmute materials in the middle, they are mixed up, and then they are passed around to each player in order who can swap a card in his hand with one in the draft, if he wishes.

Essentially this gives first player to option to grab up something another player was going to transmute, by substituting something else from his hand.



Example:
Red is first and wants to transmute toad. Blue is second and wants to transmute mushroom.

They both throw their cards in. Red picks them and sees blue threw a mushroom. Red decides to keep the mushroom and he throws in another toad.
Blue picks them up and sees two toads. He probably won't take one (he threw one in the pile in the first place, but he knows red threw away a toad).
The toads are then discarded face down (othe players know red swapped but not the ingredients involved at any point)


Net result is the same (both are down an ingredient and up a gold) but someone might walk away with a favorable ingredient swap, plus everyone who visited got some look at what others might have thrown in the pot.
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Mihir Shah
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Vargtass wrote:
I like game variety but Im careful to overly tweak the balance of the game. For example a free resource for a missed cube seems to powerfull. Perhaps I should start by saying that I actually like that the game has an element of punishing you for not planning. If any botched action = a free foraging actions I think it would just detract from the importance of turn order. I dont want to make turn order not matter, I love the turn order system of alchemists.

So for me I like one cube wasted meaning you actually loose something. Alchemists is that kind of game for me.

I also think making the sage depend more on turn order skews the game in a negative way. (Sorry if I come of as a negative nelly, Im not in principal against hose ruling games). The reason I say this is that the sage is already a weak action. Its in general a bad way to get gold and best to not use unles you haveto. A good way to get gold is selling potions. that gives you information AND possibly more than 1g/resource. But for that turn order does matter and there is a risk to taking the action.

I have yet to play the game with any alternative rules, but something my group has discussed is adding som minor (very minor) effects to drinking positive potions yourself. So you get punished if you drink negative effects, but actually get something if you drink a positive efect. The ideas we have so far are:

Since testing potions is the last thing you do in a round we figured its best to have the effects apply to ne next round. You drink a potion, go to bed, and the next day is somehow a bit easier because of the potions effect.

Wisdom potion:
Filled with wisdom byond your years you realize how to avoid the many pitfalls of the ruthless academic enviorment you find yourself in.
If you loose reputation next turn you loose one less reputation.
(Effect can only happen once, so if you loose rep from several actions only the first is affected.)
The reasnoing is that the effect is somewhat the oposite of drinking a madness potion, but not so good that you want to drink a wisdom potion just for the effect.

Dexterity potion:
Lets face it, alchemists are not athletes. But when you finish of the day with a dexterity potion nothing feels impossible the next day. If you forage any resources next turn you can draw an extra hidden resource and then discard a resource form your hand. (The idea is that your added dexterity allows you to climb to some otherwise hard to reach places for a pot bellied alchemist and can forage what you need with better precision.

Healing potion:
Healing potions dont just heal wounds. Drinking one fills you with vigor, and you find some extra energy. If you fail to (or choose not to) carry out an action next turn you can use your burst of energy to help someone in town and draw a favour even if you have just one missed cube.

So basicly if you mix and drink a positive potion you get some small benifit from it. The benifit is themed to somehow do the oposite of what drinking the negative potioon of that color would to. But all of them are designed to be minor and more to mitigate some bad luck next turn rather than give a direct boost. I think its important to not make any of the effects so good that it skews how much you want to test things on students rather than yourself.




I like your changes to the positive potions as in our games the drink yourself is rarely used, too make turn order important here i would not give those positive potion benefits to the last player.
 
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