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Subject: [WIP] Dungeon Crawler style Card Game rss

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Justine Ayers
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Inspired by games such as shadowgate (from PC and NES) and the more recent Legend of Grimrock.

My idea is a card game in which you explore a dungeon, fight monsters and collect loot in the goal of either escape, defeat or killing the monster at the end of the dungeon.

The idea of the game is we use Story Cards that will present the layout of the dungeon, the turns and doors.

These Story Cards will inevitably make you layout Encounter Cards which are the inhabitants, traps, and challenges of the dungeon. There will be certain cards who's victory conditions will add the mini-bosses to the Encounter deck. They will not be in the game at the start to maintain a balance so you don't start the game with really hard creatures to kill. Similarly the boss is added by adding his lair to the Story Card Deck. The lair card will be to put the boss into play.

When monsters die you can collect Loot Cards which power up your hero card.

You are represented by your Hero Card which has your stats and special abilities on it. You also have a deck of Special Attack Cards. Which help to boost your abilities to defeat monster or traps. You can only have 5 cards at time in your hand and you draw anytime you use a card. Unless otherwise instructed by other cards. Each hero type will have their own deck of cards.

Combat is dice based not sure of the mechanics yet we are still working on this part. I would like to do custom dice this of some kind.

I have not decided how many people the game will be played by. I am kinda thinking 1 to 4 players currently.

*warning on artwork*
These are sample cards using a magic card template i found online and some random pieces of art. They are in no way representative of the final cards though the artwork is similar to the final feel I would like to go with. Or i may throw that complete out and go for a more "cartoony" super dungeon type artwork also. Just depends on the final demographic i guess.

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Jeff
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Cool. Also reminds me of the old Wizardry games.
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Justine Ayers
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Yeah i loved Shadowgate and Ultima as a kid (never had wizardry). Was really psyched when i saw they where remaking Shadowgate for PC.

I think the cool part about the game will be the randomness. It won't ever be the same game twice. You will always have different items and be facing different mobs in different places.
 
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Eric Miller
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Yes! Reminds of Bard's Tale as well...

Any idea when some early PnP files will be up? I'm more of a solo gamer, so that's the mode I would try first...
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Justine Ayers
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Really just getting started. I gotta figure out the combat method first and make the cards for all the stuff after adding the stats to the cards.

So quite a bit a work to go till i can post anything up.
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Justine Ayers
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So for the dice system I'm still kicking ideas around but I was already working on a system that builds a dice pool for another game but it isn't working into this system very well.

In that system you had 2 players going against each other. I this system you will only have the 1 or more players against the game.

So a dice pool system where both sides roll will not work.
or the players are going to have to roll the monsters dice and that just seems silly.

It seems unbalanced to have a monster that can attack with a flat rate of damage and the players cannot do that also. Seems sketchy.

A turn buy type system would be interesting in which a player rolls a pool of dice based on stats or just whatever he has, and that determines the number of points he can spend that turn. Each of his special Moves or weapons would have a cost to play within the turn. The monsters have a flat attack and defense rate but the players could also if they roll really poorly.
 
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Eric Miller
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What if...

You had two types of dice of different colors- monster & player. And roll all dice at the same time.

A monster may have on their card a "2" or some other indicator on how many dice to roll. Then to resolve combat, the player(s) would roll their combat dice *AND* the monster dice. Then you can see who hit who, and for how much.

This might require different sided dice- say d4 to "hit" and d6 for "damage" or something like that. Once the dice are on the table, any modifiers would kick in for both player and monster.

You'd get a single round of combat in every roll- should cut down on the combat time and leave more time for other parts of the game.
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Justine Ayers
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Or if the to hit was static, it's always a d6 and you have to roll above the targets armor (+1 or +2 to hit can be a thing though). Would have to be careful about balance though maybe a d10 would be better. Woudln't want a hero to never be able to be hit by a monster or something like that. Though a hero with plate armor should be hard to hit. That could be manage by adding a magic defense stat though where plate wearers don't have much magical defense.

I like the idea of the player rolling both though.
 
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Eric Miller
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Good!

And changing the dice is where some bit of balance can come in- if you're willing to have all kinds of dice in play. Needing a "4 or above" is different between a d4 and d6 (obviously!) and that might help with items- a magic sword might carry a different die instead of simple "+x" modifier.

I had visioned where one die would be the "hit" die and then a second die would be damage. If the hit misses, the damage die is ignored. If there's a hit, then the damage die is modified by armor, etc. So a player would be rolling 4 dice- 2 for the player, 2 for the monster. Multiple attack weapons (Magic Missile, darts, etc.) could have multiple "hit" dice. Ah, maybe not... that could mean a fistful of dice... Maybe stick with 2 for the player and 2 for the monster.

I would think someone in plate armor would be easy to hit- but wouldn't take much damage.

(Continuing to think through my fingers....)

If I have a choice of attack between a projectile and melee, each might carry a different "hit" die or at least different chances to hit based on skills or the weapon used. And each might do the same potential damage if they hit.

Hope that's not too confusing. Keep at it!
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Pat
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Ohhhhhhhhhh man I would love something like this. Kindof giving off a Diablo / Baldurs Gate vibe. Both good things.
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Justine Ayers
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Yeah your right the plate armor you will have a higher armor value and armor could soak damage instead of being the basis for the to hit. When attacking we need something else to roll against though hmmm (already at 4 stats maybe 5 i can count) I will have to think of where that would come in. If it's always a static number you need to roll a 6 or above to hit on a d10. A thief could give a -1 to the roll because of a ability on the card called evasive or something like that. Monsters could have something similar too. Heroes and monsters could have a burdened ability too if they are wearing heavy armor or are just to fat to get out of the way. That gives a +1 to hit them.

(this is a complaint i had about dnd 2nd edition also that why is it harder to hit someone in plate deal. Here I was recreating it!)
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Eric Miller
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Hmmm.... As a way to cut down on randomness and die rolling, what about a static for either "hit" or "damage?"

There are some systems out there (names escape me) where you simply compare values- the greater one wins every time. If the player is bigger/stronger/faster than the monster they face, they will ALWAYS hit the monster. Then the amount of damage becomes random- modified a bit by armor/magic, etc.

The other way would be for a random hit roll- modified by skills, etc. A small monster would just be harder to hit, a thief would be harder to hit, etc. but they still COULD be hit... This would then give a chance at the "critical hit" which might do greater damage...

If there is a hit, then the damage would be static- my arrow always does 2 of damage. Then it would be modified by armor/magic, etc. It would have to be such that if there's a hit, there will ALWAYS be some damage inflicted.

This way, an item/spell, etc. would only give a real benefit in one area, and a potential benefit in the other. That might make the player choose to leave behind an item they might need....
 
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Justine Ayers
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With some testing thus far the comparative roll off style method seems to work pretty well. You roll 2 d10 one being the "hero die" one being a target number die. You are rolling against the other dies result + or - modifiers. Damage would be static at the start your hero card will have a attack and defense. This is modified by items (armor, potions, weapons). I am thinking as a rule the heroes always go first would be a good thing. Left to right then the monsters go. I am thinking we should make one player be a gm and he always makes the monster rolls. Monster rolls are the same only they won't get any help from items, they get more natural abilies that boost to hit and damage than the heroes though.

One ability I had in mind for mobs was a counter attack. If a player fails at a attack it does damage to them as though it attacked them. Cleave was another damages 2 adjacent heroes.

Time to start making the dungeon cards. I'm going to make the rooms in Minecraft and do a screenshot for the proxy cards that way it's not using someones artwork and it will still look kinda cool.
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Eric Miller
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Yes- makes sense. One die vs. another. Then modifiers.

And yes, with more than 1 playing, someone should roll for the monster. And yes, keep with the collateral damage- one player swinging a big axe may hit a team member as likely as the monster...

I've never gotten the hang of Minecraft. I'll settle for walking through your dungeons...! Great idea for some quick artwork!
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Justine Ayers
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Still working on stuff. Playtest/balance setting cards templates are started.

Minecraft isn't working so well for the artwork. I get everything set up how I like it then do a screenshot and it reduces the contrast and looks like crap. Gonna try to figure something else out. I know how to use Maya but it is way too much work to design something like that for samples unless that is going to be the final way I did it. And I want to hire artists for the final.

All the random art i use from now on will have a SAMPLE ARTWORK watermark so nobody gets the idea this is in any way official artwork.


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Justine Ayers
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What is needed to play:
5 d10's (White, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Black) Used for Combat.
1 d6 - Used to resolve room mechanics.
6-10 d20's - Used as life counters.
1 Full Set of the Game Cards

Win Conditions:
You escape from the dungeon. There is 1 card in the entire story deck that will allow you to escape. It is "The way out".

The other way to win is to defeat the Boss Monster (probably call this something else since Boss monster is the name of another card game.) and his minions at the end of the dungeon.

How the game is played:
First thing to do is shuffle all the decks individually. You should have 3 Decks of cards for the dungeon. The Story Deck, The Encounter Deck and the Loot Deck. Place the 3 decks next to each other on the table in front of you. (see table layout figure). Each player will also have a hero card which they choose and a deck of cards for their hero each player should shuffle these cards as well.

The players will roll their d10 to determine who will be the Game Master.

to be cont...

Terms:
Engaged: Turn the card 90 degrees to indicate it has attacked this turn.
Weapon Damage: Indicated by a black sword on the card. This is the damage a hero/monster does naturally before bonuses.
Magic Damage: Indicated by a black wand on the card. This is the magical damage a hero/monster does naturally before bonuses.
Armor: Indicated by a black shield on the card. Armor is the amount of damage the hero/monsters natural/worn armor soaks up before bonuses.
Magical Armor: Indicated by a purple shield on the card. Magical Armor is the amount of magical damage the hero/monsters natural/worn armor soaks up before bonuses.

Combat Turn Phases:
1. Ongoing Damage Resolution: If any damage/healing (poison, bleeding, ongoing healing) are attached to a card the damage is done now.
2. Disengage Phase: Turn card -90 degrees to indicate they are no longer engaged.
3. First Strike Phase: Monsters with first Strike attack during this phase.
4. Preparation Phase: Heroes can play Items, Armor, Weapons cards.
5.Hero Attack Phase: Heroes can attack and cast spells/ability cards.
6. Monster Attack Phase: Monsters attack.
7. End of Round:

Tokens: Tokens will represent effects on the hero/monster cards. Example: "Poison 1: Deals 1 poison damage each combat round until cured."

Dice Mechanics:
When you attack you/DM Monster chooses to either attack with magic or weapon. You choose a target for the attack. Heroes can at this point cast a spell card to boost your attack value or damage. After this you will roll 2 d10's, a Color one (warrior: White, Wizard: Blue, Cleric: Yellow, Thief: Orange) and a Black one to represent the Monster. You compare the values of the two dice.
If a Hero rolls higher after modifiers: it is a hit.
If the monster rolls higher: it is a miss.
If the Hero die rolls a natural 10 it is a critical and does double damage.
If the monster rolls a natural 10 they counter attack and deal their melee damage value to the hero.
Final Results Tie: nothing happens.
If both roll a natural 10: The hero gets a critical and does x2 damage and the monster counter attacks As normal.
(this is going to need to be reworded to make more sense when it's the DM's turn to roll for monsters.)

If a Hit is scored Damage is then dealt:
If you attacked with your weapon: Weapon damage (+ Modifiers) - Monster Armor (+ Modifiers) = total damage done.
If you attacked with magic: Magic damage (+ Modifiers) - Monster Magic Armor (+ Modifiers) = total damage done.
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Justine Ayers
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Started printing some of the blanked out creature and hero cards last night to put in magic card sleeves. Trying to decide how many of each card will make up the encounter deck. I also designed some of the card backs for when i get my playing card blanks in and start making a "real" prototype. Course in the final version we will have some really nice icons and backgrounds made up for the cards.I also did this so I can add a image of the area of play layout to add to the rules in the previous post.


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Justine Ayers
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So after testing the dice out and trying it. I'm scrapping the 2 dice rolled against each other idea. You miss way more than hit and it takes forever to kill anything. I'm now testing with a new added stat I'm calling avoidance which will be static. 1d10 vs avoidance. If you roll above the targets avoidance you hit. Roll below miss. Natural 10 crit.

Also been working on my own card template.
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Eric Miller
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Well- Work in progress... try some, scrap some.

Card looks nice! Nice to have all the needed numbers all along one side- I always seem to get lost looking all over for the right number...

Keep at it!
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Justine Ayers
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2 new mechanics I am working on.

The heroes will keep a communal horde where they keep the monsters they defeat and any discarded loot cards they don't need anymore.

Each monster and item card will have a gold value. I would like to add a system that would allow the Heroes to run into a encounter card that is a traveling merchant. The merchant would allow them to spend a amount of gold from their horde in order to draw extra loot cards. This gold value could be kinda a score keeping device also to see how easy or hard the dungeon was and kinda a bragging rights type thing between groups of players.

Also I am considering adding a symbol to the monster & trap cards that indicates if it's a monster, unholy monster, or a trap. These symbols are collected by the group in their horde. Once they have the matching symbols they can Level up the character with the matching symbols. There will be 3 different versions of each hero card with progressively better stats. This way i can add a bonus to hit without making it a item that only one hero can use at a time. I need to come up with a encounter type that is specific to magic users so their interests are in the game. The idea of these are that the warriors interest will be simply to kill stuff so each monster dead gives him symbols, the thief is after loot and to disarm traps so his each of these he will get a symbol, cleric is there to heal and kill unholy monsters this give him symbols. Magic user is there to collect arcane magic items and kill other magic users so that would get him symbols.

one problem with this 2nd one may be you could end up with getting a lot of monster cards and no traps or magic users ect and therefore the warrior gets to level 3 and everyone else is still at level 1. I would have to ensure there is a equal number of symbols of each type in the finalized encounter deck.

I have also considered making the dungeon master/BBEG actual player, he would actively be trying to kill the players to collect the skulls of dead players. He would have a special deck of abilities that effect the maze and add more monsters to encounters. But this may be a little harsh and a little too much like boss monster.
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