fin coe
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Chicago
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Cowl & Mask
A microgame of Poker bluffing and Chess positioning at Love Letter speed.
5-10 min
2 Players

Components:
21 cards (1 deck of 7 identical Court cards for each of the 2 players, 7 Floor Tiles, with Basic and Advanced sides)
Court Cards (w/ Reference)
Floor Tiles (Basic side and Advanced)

This is an entry for the 2015 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest.

Current Rules - Cowl & Mask v0.3

In Cowl & Mask, players compete to claim the 7 Floor Tile cards, laid in a row in the center.
Each player has the same seven Mask cards - ranked 1-7, each with their own special ability.
There is more than one cardback however: The 7 Masks fall into three subsets, each with their own cardback: The Cowl of the Stars, the Cowl of the Sun, and the Cowl of the Moon.
This introduces limited bluffing and a deduction element, as each player tries to pick their battles, maximizing their bonuses and mitigating their penalties in order to win the most Floor Tile cards.
Each player will play one card to each Floor Tile, and at the end of the game, bonuses and penalties will be tallied and the card with the greater final value will win each Floor Tile.
The player who wins more Floor Tiles than the other, is the winner.

The current Mask list is:
[1] Fool (Cowl of the Stars) +4 to both sides, or rotate the card to point left or right, granting the card on that side +6
[2] Courtesan (Cowl of the Sun) Point left or right, granting the card on that side +4
[3] Baron (Cowl of the Moon) +2 to both sides
[4]
[5] Duke (Cowl of the Moon) -1 to both sides
[6] Vizier (Cowl of the Sun) Point left or right, granting the card on that side -2
[7] Empress (Cowl of the Stars) -2 to both sides, or -3 if only adjacent to one card

Which makes the Cowls:
Stars: Fool [1] or Empress [7]
Sun: Courtesan [2] or Vizier [6]
Moon: Baron [3] or Count [4] or Duke [5]

Any questions thus far? I'll post fuller rules with diagrams in a bit, just trying for a barebones synopsis and want to know what's fundamentally unclear.
Any feedback is well-appreciated.
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Gary Boyd
United States
Evansville
Indiana
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Re: [WIP] {2015 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest} Cowl & Mask - Chess Positioning and Poker Bluffing at Kanai Speed
This has an interesting Citadels meets Smash Up feel to it.

I'll have a look at the rules when you get them up.
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fin coe
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Chicago
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Re: [WIP] {2015 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest} Cowl & Mask - Chess Positioning and Poker Bluffing at Kanai Speed
Hokay! I've updated the first post with the link to the v0.3 rules: My first public version of the rules. I've gotten some good feedback from a few friends, and am looking to clarify this ruleset further. This really should be a game that is simple to learn, and hopefully fun enough that people get past the "This is random, there's no strategy" phase and into the "Oh. I can think of some devious tricks or combos..." phase.
I'll also hopefully have an early PnP build up in a bit. I know the popular wisdom is that thinking about art too early is dangerous, but good compelling graphic design is what generally gets me to spend toner, so I want a decent build before I put it up.
Anyhow, here's the 2/9/15 ruleset: Current Rules - Cowl & Mask v0.3
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fin coe
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Re: [WIP] {2015 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest} Cowl & Mask - Chess Positioning and Poker Bluffing at Kanai Speed
I've started forcing enticing my friends and family to playtest this game. Bit rough as I've currently just got basic text-only card backs for the Cowls, and the Mask sides are currently just a name and a base number, with players having to consult the reference sheet to see which card has which power. I'm currently putting together an actual readable print-n-play of the game to go with the rules.
The printing involved: 2x deck (7 non-identical non-unique Cowl sides, 7 unique Mask sides), 1x Floor Tiles (7 identical non-unique cardbacks for the Basic game, 7 unique card fronts for the Advanced game).
My current 0.1 build has three 0 cards (not mentioned in the current rules), but I think I'll need to take those out for now, until I've tested the basic 1-7 cards some more first.

It helps that after playtesting with me, my good friend
Fran├žois-Marie Arouet
United States
Chicago
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was inspired to have a go at designing some playable mockups. So, should be at least a 1st-playable PnP up shortly.



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Nate K
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Illinois
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Re: [WIP] {2015 Two-Player PnP Game Design Contest} Cowl & Mask - Chess Positioning and Poker Bluffing at Kanai Speed
fcoe wrote:
I've started forcing enticing giving pizza to my friends and family to playtest this game.


Fixed that for you.
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fin coe
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Ok! This thing is... technically Components Ready!
I've tested this a bit with friends, but I got tired of waiting and relying on the old pure text proto I was using, so I've created a super basic PnP for the Court cards and Floor Tiles, along with a couple of reference cards - this baby's playable!
The current rules (linked from Google Drive) as well as dropbox links to pdfs of the components, are all in the first post of this thread. Would love it if any interested parties could give it a look. Feedback on cards, rules, powers, would be much appreciated.
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James Robertson
United States
New York
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Haven't gotten to play, but it looks to me like the different card backs are unnecessary. Whether or not you'll tilt something already gives a lot of information away.

Otherwise, it looks interesting. Not my sort of thing, but I know two people who might like it so I'll show it to them and see what they think.
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fin coe
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Hi James! Thanks for your feedback, perhaps I'll playtest it without the cardbacks, this whole idea just happened to spring from me tinkering with partial information, a less-explored niche than most. Let me know if your friends play it and have thoughts!
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fin coe
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Hello!

I'm reconsidering the name of this game, and since everyone likes a naming poll... See below! Any feedback on name or rules is much appreciated.

Poll: Naming This Game
Which of these options jump out positively at you? You can vote for more than one.
Current options
Cowl and Mask
Cowl and Masque
Cowls & Masks
Shroud and Mask
Shrouds & Masks
Vizard and Veil
Vizards & Veils
Visage and Veil
Other (Share in the comments below)
      3 answers
Poll created by fcoe
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