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Subject: was this design influenced my magic realm? rss

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Quantum Jack
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This question is mostly to the designer, but other comments and thoughts are certainly welcome.

Several aspects of this game feel familiar to my favorite game, magic realm
1. Hexagonal map tiles with different terrain types on each
2. Creature types encountered vary with terrain
3. Tokens/chits placed to store hidden information. (Mystics and cities)
4. Treasure sites with guardians
5. Multiple character synergy
6. Semi complicated or "fiddly" combat sysyem

Some of these things might seem superficial, but all of them together make me wonder, was the design influenced by magic realm, whether consciously or not?
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Jim Felli
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You are the second person who has asked me that (the first being Angelo Ricci). The answer is no. I have never player Magic Realm.

My inspiration for Shadows of Malice arose from my days playing D&D in high school and college. I loved that game (still do, but I prefer AD&D to everything that followed) and the way it allowed us to become characters in our own story, guided but not controlled by our DM. That's what I tried to create: a board game that (to me, anyway) would play like old school D&D.

I opted for hexagonal tiles so that I could more easily build out a large world by adding additional map tiles as the need arose. (In fact, many of my old D&D maps were hexagonal to conserve table space.) I opted to have creature types vary with terrain for two reasons: first, I liked the idea of different terrains being home to different mixes of threats; second, I wanted terrain to mean something other than a mere movement obstacle. (Terrain will play an even bigger role in the upcoming quest expansion Seekers of a Hidden Light.)

The tokens storing hidden information just seemed like a logical and efficient design choice when trying to minimize the number of game pieces. The treasure sites with guardians was to make treasure more rare, its acquisition more deliberate and risky, and to add the flavor of "creature-guarded" rather than "creature-carried" loot.

As for the multiple player synergy, I did that for one reason alone: so that players would have a greater incentive to work together and (hopefully) prevent one player from dominating the game.

And the combat system? I tried my best to streamline it, but I was driven by two objectives. First, I wanted to only use d6 in the game. Second, I wanted to keep damage numbers low within a framework of "did my item work ?" rather than "how well did my item work?" (This latter objective is the heart of the d* mechanic.)

Sorry to prattle on, but I thought that your well-posed question deserved a considered answer. I hope this helps. And please feel free to continue asking questions!
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