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Subject: Custom Incidents, Roles, and Plots/Subplots? rss

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Chris Nishijima

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So the game definitely encourages customization with the options that they give you, but I was wondering, do you guys think there is room for the creation of new Roles, Incidents, and Plots/Subplots?

I recently came up with a custom Tragedy Set using some of the ones that I've created. I'm not sure it's perfectly balanced, but in my opinion the Tragedy Sets included with the game aren't perfectly balanced either, and I feel like it's the Mastermind's job to build the script in a way that is balanced (or unbalanced if the difficulty is meant to be high).

If anybody has created any of their own Tragedy Sets with homebrew elements to them, feel free to share! I'd love to hear about them!
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Simon Lundström
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There is indeed room for creating a Tragedy Set, but it needs much more thought than just a script.

The most basic that you probably already know, is that each plot should have at least one Cover Story. If your plot has a loss condition like, "the Benefactor dies", then you'd better see to that one of the other possible plots in the Tragedy Set causes a loss condition on some character death. If not, you've completely given away one of the plots just by killing off one character. If you have a possible Cover Story, then the Protagonists will still don't know which one of the plots are the active one.

It's probably extremely fun to make a Tragedy Set of your own, but it probably needs a lot of thought.
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Chris Nishijima

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Oh yeah I know. Actually I've made a whole Tragedy Set already, but haven't made any scripts using it just yet. I'm trying to work out the kinks in some of the Incidents and Roles that I've made for it. I'll try to upload it so people can take a look, but here are some of the things that I've made:

Roles:
God of Death (Limit 1) (Optional Goodwill refusal):
[Optional: Day end] Any 1 character with 2 Intrigue dies.

Terrorist (Mandatory Goodwill refusal):
(Optional: Day end) Place 1 Intrigue on this location or any location vertically or horizontally adjacent to it.

Incidents:
Skyscraper Incident:
If at least 1 Intrigue on City: Everyone in the City dies.
If at least 2 Intrigue on City: Protagonists die.

Murder-Suicide:
One (1) other character in culprit's location dies, then the culprit dies.

Scattered Rumors:
Place 1 Intrigue on any location, and 1 Paranoia on any character.

Mass Suicide:
All characters with at least 1 Paranoia in the same area as the culprit die.

Judgement Day:
If at least 1 Intrigue on an area: Everyone in that area dies.
If at least 1 Intrigue on each area: Protagonists die.
 
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Chris Nishijima

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If anybody has any thoughts on how I should change it up, please let me know. I know some of them probably seem pretty crazy but here are my thoughts.

God of Death - Kind of crazy so I limited him to one. Maybe make his power mandatory so that it can come back to bite the Mastermind in some cases?

Terrorist - Ability is useful, but I feel is equal to the Brain's ability, as he can only place on locations, while the Brain can place either on a character or a location. In order to make the Terrorist's power equal to that of the Brain's, I expanded the range of it.

Skyscraper Incident - Basically the Hospital Incident, but just for the City.

Murder-Suicide - Not completely sure on this one. Seems like a good incident, but might be too overpowered. Thoughts?

Scattered Rumors - Similar to Increased Unease, but since you get to place Intrigue on a location instead of a character, I lowered the Paranoia to 1 instead of 2, because let's be honest, Intrigue is powerful on locations.

Mass Suicide - Crazy Incident, but takes a lot of Paranoia set-up and Movement manipulation.

Judgement Day - I definitely like the last clause, but I don't know if the first clause seems too overpowered.
 
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Chris Nishijima

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As for Plots and Subplots, this is what my Tragedy Set consists of for choices:

Main Plot:
Murder Plan
All vs. All (My original)
Light of the Avenger
Day of Reckoning (My original)
Romeo & Juliet (My original)

Subplot:
An Unsettling Rumor
The Hidden Freak
A Hideous Script
Destroy the Peace (My original)
Threads of Fate
Pure Souls (My original)
Paranoia Virus

To explain the ones that I came up with here they are:

All vs. All:
2 Killers
1 Serial Killer
1 Terrorist
Loss condition (at Loop end): Any 3 characters are dead

Day of Reckoning:
0-1 God of Death
1 Cultist
Script creation: God of Death must have an entry condition specified in the script

Romeo & Juliet:
1 Killer
1 Friend
1 Lover
1 Loved One
Loss condition: Both Lover and Loved one die

Destroy the Peace:
1 Terrorist
1 Brain
Loss condition: If any location has 3 Intrigue or more, Protagonists lose and the loop ends immediately.

Pure Souls:
2 Key Persons
(Makes it hell to try to keep them alive)
 
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Nixitur
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This may sound very harsh, but I feel like most of those are entirely mad and the ones that aren't are basically just variations on the ones in Basic Tragedy.


God of Death is just insane and seems way too powerful. Limiting it to one doesn't do much to reduce its insanity, especially since it instantly leads to taboos when coupled with plenty of incidents or subplots.
Also, having its ability be optional is way too harsh as it's bound to lead to annoying last-loop "Gotcha!" moments where you use it as a Killer, except without the same-location restriction.

Terrorist is way too covert. Anytime its ability gets used, it could be a lot of people which makes finding out its identity very difficult and this role kinda overpowered.

Skyscraper Incident is alright, but uninspired.

Murder-Suicide is way too powerful. There's a good reason that Murder and Suicide are separate incidents.

Scattered Rumors actually seems pretty fun, but putting Intrigue on locations is really powerful. Maybe make it so that you put Intrigue on this location? That way, the Mastermind has to be careful with manoeuvring the culprit.

Mass Suicide... could be okay, I guess, but seems a bit too uncontrollable for both the Mastermind and the Protagonists. It adds a lot of chaos for not a lot of payoff.

Judgement Day is basically Hospital Incident, but way crazier. That first clause is way too broad and getting a lot of kills quickly really limits its usefulness in most scripts. The second clause seems like it's either way too powerful or completely toothless. If you have it happen fairly late in the loop, it's almost unstoppable, but early on, it's completely harmless. Not sure if it could be balanced.

All vs. All seems weird. You have Killers, but no Key Person? What's the point then, they can't kill anyone but the Key Person and the Protagonists. So, you can pretty much only use it with Pure Souls or the Mystery Boy as the Key Person, in which case the extra rule is completely pointless because killing the Key Person ends the loop, anyway.

Day of Reckoning seems way too harsh. Not only that, but since the God of Death needs an entry condition (I'm guessing like "second loop" or so), the Mastermind doesn't have a lot of things to play with until the God of Death appears.

Romeo and Juliet seems fine, but again: Killer without Key Person is really weird or you're forcing the script creator to use the Mystery Boy as the Key Person or to use Pure Souls which is really limiting. Also, a main plot specifying four roles is pretty hefty.

Pure Souls seems way too difficult, especially as a subplot. Your Tragedy Set has far too many ways to randomly kill people.

Destroy the Peace is just nonsense. On the first loop, play Intrigue+2 and use the Brain or Terrorist to force a loss. On the second loop, play Intrigue+2 and use the other role to force a loss. Even if Brain and Terrorist do not start in adjacent places, you can pretty much waste two loops instantly without giving the Protagonists a chance. Hell, the Terrorist role gives you very little information about which character it is, so you probably don't even need the Brain and it would still be overpowered.
Hell, even if the Protagonists knew the Brain's and the Terrorist's identity, the chances are pretty good that they still wouldn't be able to stop it. Just put cards on all the locations that the Terrorist could attack and the Protagonists have no way to know which one is the Intrigue+2. Even if they move the Terrorist, he can still attack two of the three places. Oh, there's also the Brain which could make things even worse.
Mind you, I'm solely talking about Day One wins here. When your plot enables Day One wins in most cases and stopping it is literally just a question of luck, it's not a good plot. You have literally created a taboo script just with this plot alone.


So, either I've missed a lot of very essential things or a lot of these things aren't very well thought-out.
 
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Chris Nishijima

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I had been hoping to make the difficulty level a bit higher than the basic one that they supply, which in my opinion makes things really hard for the Mastermind to win. Still, I do think that it could be toned down a bit...

For Destroy the Peace I originally had it at 4 Intrigue on a location as the winning condition. Maybe that's a bit more reasonable? Possibly even 5, but that sounds almost impossible. Of course with the set up of two characters that can add Intrigue it might not be so far out of the question. Alternatively it could come with the "Loop End" clause so they would at least have the entire loop to gather information.

For Pure Souls, I could just reduce it to Pure Soul and make it a single additional Key Person. That one was originally set up to go along mainly with the plots that had no Key Persons in them.

I had forgotten the clause about the Killer only being able to kill the Key Person though, so thanks for that reminder.

Any other suggestions on how to work it out? I still haven't run any games using it specifically because I figured it would be kind of buggy.
 
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Nixitur
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kaiwest wrote:
I had been hoping to make the difficulty level a bit higher than the basic one that they supply, which in my opinion makes things really hard for the Mastermind to win. Still, I do think that it could be toned down a bit...

That's an admirable goal, but I feel like you're adding way too many ways for the Mastermind to win or gain an advantage without giving the Protagonists any interesting or even effective counter-play.

kaiwest wrote:
For Destroy the Peace I originally had it at 4 Intrigue on a location as the winning condition. Maybe that's a bit more reasonable? Possibly even 5, but that sounds almost impossible.

4 Intrigue might be a bit more doable. That way, you can only do a Day One win with Intrigue on the Brain's location and only if Brain and Terrorist start next to each other.
Even then, I find the Terrorist to not be a good role, precisely because it's enormously difficult to find out its identity. And not difficult in the "It's possible to figure out, but really hard." sense, but in the "It's literally impossible for you to find out their identity." sense.

kaiwest wrote:
Alternatively it could come with the "Loop End" clause so they would at least have the entire loop to gather information.

That's an idea. This plot and Light of the Avenger are the only plots in your Tragedy Set that would have "Loop End" loss conditions.
In fact, now that I think about it, this might work better as a main plot. No other subplot in Tragedy Looper has an added loss condition and this one is so incredibly powerful that having this plot and a main plot that could add another loss condition would be almost impossible to handle.
Also, maybe the Terrorist's ability could be mandatory? That, together with "Loop End" condition and 4 Intrigue required for a loss could make finding out the Terrorist's identity much easier.
This definitely needs playtesting. I am, however, convinced that Destroy the Peace needs to be a main plot. That also opens up more ways for the Protagonists to counter the Terrorist by killing him via, say, a Serial Killer from The Hidden Freak or Paranoia Virus.

kaiwest wrote:
For Pure Souls, I could just reduce it to Pure Soul and make it a single additional Key Person. That one was originally set up to go along mainly with the plots that had no Key Persons in them.

Well, two Key Persons is insane, but one is... kinda pointless? You could just as easily use the Mystery Boy and cast him as a Key Person and you'd get basically the same effect.
 
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Chris Nishijima

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Nixitur wrote:
kaiwest wrote:
For Destroy the Peace I originally had it at 4 Intrigue on a location as the winning condition. Maybe that's a bit more reasonable? Possibly even 5, but that sounds almost impossible.

4 Intrigue might be a bit more doable. That way, you can only do a Day One win with Intrigue on the Brain's location and only if Brain and Terrorist start next to each other.
Even then, I find the Terrorist to not be a good role, precisely because it's enormously difficult to find out its identity. And not difficult in the "It's possible to figure out, but really difficult." sense, but in the "It's literally impossible for you to find out their identity." sense.


That's true. Perhaps if I made it so that the Terrorist could place an Intrigue only on horizontally or vertically adjacent to him/her, and not on the one that he/she is actually on? Also, since his power comes in at the day end it can't trigger a win on the first day, so I think that might make it easier. Or like you said, the same but with the ability being mandatory.

Alternatively I could just have it be exactly the same as the Brain, but have it be on the diagonal location instead of the location that he/she is in.

Nixitur wrote:
kaiwest wrote:
Alternatively it could come with the "Loop End" clause so they would at least have the entire loop to gather information.

That's an idea. This plot and Light of the Avenger are the only plots in your Tragedy Set that would have "Loop End" loss conditions.
In fact, now that I think about it, this might work better as a main plot. No other subplot in Tragedy Looper has an added loss condition and this one is so incredibly powerful that having this plot and a main plot that could add another loss condition would be almost impossible to handle.
Also, maybe the Terrorist's ability could be mandatory? That, together with "Loop End" condition and 4 Intrigue required for a loss could make finding out the Terrorist's identity much easier.
This definitely needs playtesting. I am, however, convinced that Destroy the Peace needs to be a main plot.


I did originally imagine it as a main plot, so I agree with you. I ended up dropping it down to sub to make room for All vs. All, but I'll do some reorganizing.

Nixitur wrote:
kaiwest wrote:
For Pure Souls, I could just reduce it to Pure Soul and make it a single additional Key Person. That one was originally set up to go along mainly with the plots that had no Key Persons in them.

Well, two Key Persons is insane, but one is... kinda pointless? You could just as easily use the Myster Boy and cast him as a Key Person and you'd get basically the same effect.


That's true. I originally created Pure Souls to kind of like Circle of Friends where you try to stick to only killing one of them to cover up the identity of the other. I'll have to rethink it and I might end up scrapping it.

That being said, it occurs to me that in the original, the only roles that can kill are the Killer, which as you pointed out really can't kill much without a Key Person around, and the Serial Killer, who is really easy to identify and a bit tough to control sometimes. I guess that's why I wanted to try coming up with the God of Death, but he still needs tweaking too...
 
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Simon Lundström
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I agree with that, from my limited point of view, most was overpowered.

kaiwest wrote:
God of Death (Limit 1) (Optional Goodwill refusal):
[Optional: Day end] Any 1 character with 2 Intrigue dies.

I didn't think this was over-powered to begin with, but since any character can die, he's too hard to pinpoint. Especially since it's inrigue on CHARACTERS. Getting intrigue on characters is normally easier than getting intrigue on locations, since putting a card on a character isn't as blatantly obvious as putting a card on a location.
However, combined with possibilities to wreak out intrigue, this is quickly getting OP.

kaiwest wrote:
Terrorist (Mandatory Goodwill refusal):
(Optional: Day end) Place 1 Intrigue on this location or any location vertically or horizontally adjacent to it.

Again, too difficult to pinpoint. Consider that the guys in the normal Sets put stuff where they are, just 1 location, instead of 3.

kaiwest wrote:
Skyscraper Incident:
If at least 1 Intrigue on City: Everyone in the City dies.
If at least 2 Intrigue on City: Protagonists die.

Sure, why not. In fact, this one exists in another Tragedy Set, I think it was Midnight Zone.

kaiwest wrote:
Murder-Suicide:
One (1) other character in culprit's location dies, then the culprit dies.

Interesting, actually. But what happens if there is no other character? Does the culprit die alone or not at all?

kaiwest wrote:
Scattered Rumors:
Place 1 Intrigue on any location, and 1 Paranoia on any character.

Sure.

kaiwest wrote:
Mass Suicide:
All characters with at least 1 Paranoia in the same area as the culprit die.

Could be interesing, actually. Paranoia is hard to keep, as there are many goodwill abilities that removes paranoia. And gathering a lot of people in the same place will usually be rather hard. This one looks good.

kaiwest wrote:
Judgement Day:
If at least 1 Intrigue on an area: Everyone in that area dies.
If at least 1 Intrigue on each area: Protagonists die.

This seems overly OP, considering the Mastermind only has to wreak out Intrigue on areas. This one could only ever be used if the culprit had a paranoia limit of 3, no roles to dish out intrigue, and the incident quite early (say, day 4 or so). Picture this with the God of Death and the culprit being Rich Man's Daughter – would immediately become impossible.
 
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