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Subject: [WIP] Attack on the Flower Mountain's Temple rss

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Vicente Sivera Catala
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Working title:
Attack on the Flower Mountain's Temple

Designer:
Vicente Sivera

Overview:
AotFMT is a 2-player skirmish combat game set in an alternative China setting called Tears of Nüwa. You can check an introduction to the setting below.

The game features a rich combat system, which involves 3 combat distances and 5 basic moves in order to give players tactical options similar to those found in a real fight. The system aims to model differences between combat styles and weapons equipment, creating different strategies for each warrior.

Play time:
60-120 minutes

Components:
Final list of component still to be determined

Comments:
The game is aimed for a middle level of difficulty, trying to find a balance between not being too crunchy but still having detail.

Files

Updated
I prepared this simplified version of the game, which I called Duel in the Courtyard.

This is the prototype board:


First, there is the rulebook. It covers the combat system, leaving out things like hex move, terrain, and things like that. For now, I want to focus on establishing the core mechanics.

You can download the rulebook here:
http://www.wucai.es/DiC_PnP/Duel_in_the_Courtyard_rules_0.1....


Then there's the PnP:
http://www.wucai.es/DiC_PnP/Duel_in_the_Courtyard_PnP.pdf


I'm still closing basic stuff and balancing things, so if you decide to play it, keep in mind that some things may not work. For example:

- the basic characters are quite inept and it can take a while for them to defeat each other.
- I still haven't decided the final distribution of the dice. Right now if feels that the jump from one dice to a more powerful one is not enough.
-Throw and Grapple moves are the most complex and still not sure if they are too good or not good enough. The main idea, however, is that only characters specialized in them will be any good. That means that if you use these moves with the base characters they will feel quite lame.


If anyone is interested in helping me testing this, let me know. I put together a testing environment in roll20.net

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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Tears of Nüwa - Introduction to the setting

Ten thousand years ago, humans lived in cities built on top of the back of giant turtles; and demons besieged them. Nüwa sacrificed herself in order to restore balance to the Land of the Center and cast the demons away. In the process she exploded into ten thousand crystals that were scattered among the endless plains and mountains. Those crystals, the Tears of Nüwa hold great power.

Today, the once powerful and proud Empire of the Center is collapsing. Led by a cohort of necromantic eunuchs that use the Tears of Nüwa for artificially keeping themselves and the Eternal Son of Heaven alive, they try to maintain an empire of corrupted traditions by means of their undead army, their Mandarins, and the help of the demons that Nüwa once banished.

Some years ago, the Eastern India Company, a group of merchants attracted by the power of the Tears of Nüwa began a war against the Empire in order to enforce trading agreements. They brought to war state-of-the-art machines of war from the far away lands of the west and slave soldiers from their colonies all around the world.

In the middle of this war for the Tears of Nüwa, the southern part of the Empire, the Canton, became independent and turned into a loose coalition of warlord states, transforming the Canton into a lawless place where bandits and mercenaries from all around beyond the four seas come looking for adventure and wealth.

The Warriors of the Rising Sun, from an island with scarce resources, are now in conflict with the spirits of their own land. They recently invaded the Northern Frozen Plains in the hope of finding natural resources and controlling the spirits of their land with the help of the Tears of Nüwa.

But not all is lost for the poor citizens of the land of the ten thousand mountains and rivers. Groups of peasants, warrior monks and ancient masters have allied with the supernatural forces, the Sons of Nüwa and, although few in number, they fight fearlessly against the foreign invaders and the dying empire, in the hope of restoring balance to the sacred lands.

At the same time a simple peasant has become the leader of the self-proclaimed Liberation Army and is progressively, with the help of the Workers Coalition, freeing their people in the hope of creating a new and peaceful nation.
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Warrior card prototype



As said before, the game's main feature is the combat system, which revolves around the use of what I called the "combat dial".

Combat distances

Distance 2 - At this distance, only weapons can be used, and characters with polearms have advantage.

Distance 1 - This is a distance more suited for kicks and punches, and the use of smaller weapons.

Distance 0 - At this distance, wrestling and grappling techniques tend to be the most effective.

Combat moves



There are five movements available. Each of them has a different use. Three of them are offensive and two defensive.

Hit - Is used to inflict physical damage called blood and represent punches, kicks, thrusting, slashing, etc.

Throw - Is used to displace the enemy via projections, and not only represents judo-like movements but also big impacts that can make you fly away.

Grapple - Allows the warrior to submit the opponent. Includes wrestling techniques but also weapons that can trap the opponent.

Block - This move is used to reduce the effectivity of an offensive move. Represents the warrior blocking the impact with a shield, armour, his own body, etc.

Dodge - The second defensive move, is used to avoid an offensive move. While block reduces the effectivity of the opposing movement, Dodge is an all of nothing move. The warrior either avoids the attack completely or suffers it completely.
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David Bate
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Couldn't help but whistle the "Water Margin" TV theme look over the thread.
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
wrrlykam wrote:
Couldn't help but whistle the "Water Margin" TV theme look over the thread.

Yeah, that's one of the references for this!
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Scott Fishwick
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Minor point, but I'd change the title to Attack on the Flower Mountain's Temple.

It's not good English in the current form.
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Nate K
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Wow. This is the boiled-down version? Because this is already a big, ambitious game. The full version is going to be quite the minis game. Good luck!
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
Fishwick wrote:
Minor point, but I'd change the title to Attack on the Flower Mountain's Temple.

It's not good English in the current form.

Thanks for pointing it out. English prepositions are my sworn enemy.

I'm aware that I make numerous mistakes when writing English. I will ask an american friend to proofread the rulebook once it is in a more stable and polished state.
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Re: [WIP] Attack to the Flower Mountain's Temple
kurthl33t wrote:
Wow. This is the boiled-down version? Because this is already a big, ambitious game. The full version is going to be quite the minis game. Good luck!

Well, it's a boiled down version in the sense that it will come with two, predetermined groups of around 10 warriors, thus drastically reducing the amount of developement

I also left out several mechanics that although interesting, are a bit beyond the scope of this version of the game. I won't go into details but , for example, the original idea was to have a heavier interaction with the terrain and environment, with rules for miniatures breaking walls as they fly away after being kicked.
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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So, one of my first problems here is that the game originally needed custom dice. This is so, because there are three kind of dice with different distribution of scores.



Of course custom dice is a problem for PnP, and I was thinking how to solve it. I could come up with these options:

- Ask nicely for the players to color the pips on their dice with a marker.
- Make a rules amendment where dice have a numerical modifier. Positive results equal the amount of swords, while 0 or negative amount shields.
- Supply a sheet with icons so players can print stickers and make their own dice.
- Program a small webbased app that roll the dice for you (this one may sound complicated but actually could be done in a couple of hours).
- All of the above and let players choose.

Any thoughts about this?
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Tom Hardy
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pulpapocalipsis wrote:
So, one of my first problems here is that the game originally needed custom dice. This is so, because there are three kind of dice with different distribution of scores.



Of course custom dice is a problem for PnP, and I was thinking how to solve it. I could come up with these options:

- Ask nicely for the players to color the pips on their dice with a marker.
- Make a rules amendment where dice have a numerical modifier. Positive results equal the amount of swords, while 0 or negative amount shields.
- Supply a sheet with icons so players can print stickers and make their own dice.
- Program a small webbased app that roll the dice for you (this one may sound complicated but actually could be done in a couple of hours).
- All of the above and let players choose.

Any thoughts about this?
I think i'd prefer option 2 or 3 as that would be the simplest to do and most readily available.
But then of course, if you have something like option 5 available, the other options don't even matter, do they?
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I guess I will go for a combined approach. I will make the small app, so people can use it on their phone and prepare a sheet for making the stickers.
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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Ok, for now, I came up with this two files. One for people who wants to build the dice, folding style. The other for people willing to make stickers.

I did them with a 16mm size in mind. Anyone thinks it is too big or too small?

Another question: Should I do this on A4 or american letter? It seems that american letter is contained inside an A4 (kind of) so maybe I should go for that format.

These are low rez versions. I will upload higher resolution ones later when I'm sure about the whole thing.
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I made a better design for the warrior card.

I've been playtesting the rules but I need some more spins to have a better idea of what works and what not. So some of the elements may change.
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And now, a ranged weapon card.
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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Here you have a couple of pages to check how the rulebook will look.



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Tom Hardy
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Hey Vincente,

That rulebook looks gorgeous! You have really done great job putting it all together, i know it must have taken a lot of time.

I also like the way you've written the rules. The style is very similar to what Vlaada Chvátil(my favorite designer) does in his rulebooks. Its a bit long but it keeps you engaged in reading and explains everything.

My first impressions about the game after reading the rulebook(Keep in mind that i didn't read it in detail but i skimmed through):
- A little complex but a very thematic game. It fits my interest! I really want to PnP it now, i hope I will get the time soon.
- I don't really still understand why we may not enter an enemy's control zone while moving. You can probably say that if you do, that enemy can attack you out of turn or that ypu may have the threat of an attack from that enemy. Completely not allowing moving adjacent to an enemy limits your movement options i think especially when you are in a crowded place.
- I really like the idea of how the stand ups interlock. Nice way to craft your own miniatures.
- The rolling mechanic looks good, but it seems to be a bit time consuming especially because it is done so much in the game. What if instead of reroll icons in the corner of some dice faces, you have those faces showing 2 swords/shields or sometimes even 3 of them and each will count as a point. So rerolls wont be necessary and the values will be decided in one roll. You can also have some of the faces with 1 sword and 1 shield so it be counted both for offense and defense.
- I really really like the Fatigue mechanic. Its a great way to track the stamina of multiple characters. How about using the back of the activation token as the fatigue token to avoid confusion between them?
- I like the throwing someone into an air space mechanic. Really brings out the feel of a fight on top a mountain.
- The map looks a little bit empty though for its size. I'll have to test and see if this happens here, but in many combat games with a huge map, you often don't care where you're going to move for the first few turns as your enemy is still far away from you. I like that there different heights to not let that happen here. But i dont know if it still happens in your playtests? A good way to avoid this is introducing special locations in some spaces that will give you something when you get there like weapons, blood etc.
- One minor little concern is that if the miniatures are knocked down and if their standee is placed horizontally, it will cover more than one space i think. So it might be difficult to place another standee next to it. Not really a HUGE problem right?
- oh, i just had another small idea. It would be cool if you could pick up an enemy's weapon after defeating him when you go to that space. I don't really know how and if it will work, just from the top of my head.

I like the game so far. I will be looking forward to the PnP.
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T hardy wrote:
Hey Vincente,

That rulebook looks gorgeous! You have really done great job putting it all together, i know it must have taken a lot of time.

Thanks! Actually designing is second nature to me, so it took less that it could seem ;)

T hardy wrote:
I also like the way you've written the rules. The style is very similar to what Vlaada Chvátil(my favorite designer) does in his rulebooks. Its a bit long but it keeps you engaged in reading and explains everything.

I haven't play any of his games yet, unfortunately. But I downloades a couples of his rulebooks and they seemed really funny to read. Definitely it was an inspiration for me.

T hardy wrote:
- A little complex but a very thematic game. It fits my interest! I really want to PnP it now, i hope I will get the time soon.

I have to admit I wasn't aiming for an easy game. I've been a RPG and Warhammer 40k player for long time and I kind of like games with some crunch on them.

T hardy wrote:
- I don't really still understand why we may not enter an enemy's control zone while moving. You can probably say that if you do, that enemy can attack you out of turn or that ypu may have the threat of an attack from that enemy. Completely not allowing moving adjacent to an enemy limits your movement options i think especially when you are in a crowded place.

Keep in mind that everything is subject to change as I test everything more. However, the reason for this was that, in the future there will be objectives to hold/protect, so I thought I needed some way to limit the movement nearby a guardian.

That said, I also though about creating a danger area instead where you can be attacked by a nearby opponent. But this forced me to make more rules and for now I kept it out.

I will give a second thought in the future.

T hardy wrote:
- The rolling mechanic looks good, but it seems to be a bit time consuming especially because it is done so much in the game. What if instead of reroll icons in the corner of some dice faces, you have those faces showing 2 swords/shields or sometimes even 3 of them and each will count as a point. So rerolls wont be necessary and the values will be decided in one roll. You can also have some of the faces with 1 sword and 1 shield so it be counted both for offense and defense.

Yes, I have to test more to find an optimal dice distribution/system. I thought about you ideas too but found some problems I couldn't solve. I will have to work more on this if the dice mechanics bog down too much.

T hardy wrote:
- I really really like the Fatigue mechanic. Its a great way to track the stamina of multiple characters. How about using the back of the activation token as the fatigue token to avoid confusion between them?

That's a good idea! I guess I kept the token single sided so it would be easier to craft. But probably I will prepare the tokens to be double sided.

T hardy wrote:
- The map looks a little bit empty though for its size. I'll have to test and see if this happens here, but in many combat games with a huge map, you often don't care where you're going to move for the first few turns as your enemy is still far away from you. I like that there different heights to not let that happen here. But i dont know if it still happens in your playtests? A good way to avoid this is introducing special locations in some spaces that will give you something when you get there like weapons, blood etc.

Map is another part of the game that is "underdeveloped" now. I agree that right now there's no so much about it. I will try to think ways of making it more interesting. Your idea about the bonus sounds good.

T hardy wrote:
- One minor little concern is that if the miniatures are knocked down and if their standee is placed horizontally, it will cover more than one space i think. So it might be difficult to place another standee next to it. Not really a HUGE problem right?:P

Hehehe, didn't think about this one. I guess that would only be a problem if a warrior is actually surrounded by 6 opponents :P

T hardy wrote:
- oh, i just had another small idea. It would be cool if you could pick up an enemy's weapon after defeating him when you go to that space. I don't really know how and if it will work, just from the top of my head.;)

Nice idea, specially if there are special/magic weapons. However I will keep it on the list of features for phase 2 :)

The deadline for the 2-player contest is approaching, so I'm afraid that I will not have enough time for anything else than producing some good-looking artwork.

But, of course, I'm planning on keep working with this afterwards and make it work better.
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After a long hyatus I've came back to work on this one, now without the pressure of trying to submit it to the 2Player PnP contest.

Last time I was rushing the whole thing and now that I was looking back at the game it seemed a bit lacking on some areas. So I decided to make a whole review of the system, deciding what was working and what needed a radical change.

So while analyzing the combat system again, it seemed to me that it was lacking something. While thinking about it I've come with a new paradigm about how the actions work. Even though I still haven't fully implemented it, let alone tested. I wanted to share my ideas here.



So the warriors now have an "Energy" allowance, that they can use for performing actions. In combat, a warrior can choose among some available actions and spend one or more of those points. The more points the warrior spends, the more powerful the action (i.e. the more dice will roll) but at the same time, the action will get slower, by accumulating "time points".

In the example, the blue warrior spends two energy points, getting 5 dice to roll. His attack will need 4 "time steps" to hit.

An opponent can, on its side, choose to do one or more actions that, together, do not need more time points that his opponent's. A warrior hitting first, may "stun" the opponent, forcing him to spend further energy points, and stopping the attack if he cannot pay for it and becomes actually stunned.

On the example, the red warrior decides to make a fast attack, spending one energy point for two dice, and taking two time step to execute. As a result he hits the blue warrior, forcing him to spend one energy point. Since the blue warrior is not stunned yet, the red warrior tries again with a second attack and once again he forces the blue warrior to spend another point.

Unfortunately, the blue warrior hasn't been stunned and can land his hit on the red warrior, who loses three hit points as a result.

As I said this is still and undeveloped idea, but already seems to create a more intertwined combat system, with more options than the last one. At the same time I'm already planning to streamline some steps from the last version of the game and, hopefully, all togheter will make the game a bit funnier to play.
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Lately I haven't found the time to work on the system that much, so still no real updates I can post on that.

However, I found some time to indulge in some concept art. I also have been working on writing some of the background, but the texts need polishing before they are barely readable.



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Celina
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Still subscribed! Take as much time as you like.
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Vicente Sivera Catala
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I moved to a different country, with all the annoyances it carries. But I already found a group of victims to playtest with ;)

Also I convinced a friend to make some 3d models for me, so we will have miniatures (or at least we will dream about them)
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Charles Ward
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Globe trotting again Glad you are settled in with a game group.
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An early concept for Horseface.

Horsefaces are demons whose main purpose was to escort the newly dead into hell. Now that part of Diyu (capital of hell) has merged into the real world with Chang'an, capital of the Empire, Horsefaces are usually seen in armies of the Empire.
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I was so excited that I couldn't help but sharing this sneak peek of my friend's work :)

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