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Subject: Fan Expansion rss

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Jeff Pearce
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EDIT: Edited for clarity and spelling.

LONG POST, bolded highlights for the lazy.

Been working with my gaming group for about a month now on ideas for a new Expansion. This would be a smaller expansion, that adds new elements, augments current gameplay, and adds enough variety to make the game a little more interesting.

The idea behind this expansion is money - with the whole expansion being about it's use, and both gaining and losing it.

We've tried to make this expansion slot in, yet be modular, allowing players to pick and choose what they want to use.

This expansion plays well with the base game, or with Scoundrels of Skullport.

The main features:

- New Event deck

- New Powers mechanic

- New bidding mechanic

- New team-questing mechanic

- New board, with 8 new buildings

- New intrigue cards

- New quest cards

- New building cards

- Unique lord quests

- New lords

- More gold

- New faction and meeples for a 6th/7th player


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I'll now go into these in a little more detail.

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- New Event deck

The idea behind this is that each round a card is drawn from a shuffled deck of 24 cards. These random events can be positive, negative, affect only one player, or affect them all. With 24 cards, it would take at least 4 games to see them all, adding a great deal of variety and adding less than a minute per round. Some of the cards we've played and liked include:

* Each player gains one/two gold
* Count the number of players. Lowest scoring player gets that amount in gold. Than one less gold per player, in turn. (so, in a five person game, fifth player gets 5 gold, 4th player gets 4 gold, and so on)
* Each player may pay 1g to the supply for a fighter/wizard/cleric/rogue (four different cards), up to a maximum of two per player.
* Certain quest types (two different types, multiple cards) are worth an additional 2VP if completed this round

And so on. This is a randomising element that just makes game feel a little more unique. With lots of new cards, but almost no confusion, this is probably the easiest module to be added to the game.

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- New Powers mechanic

While the lords are nice, and each has a uniqueness to them, they don't do much throughout the game, and only come into play towards the end. I felt it was silly hiding which lord you had, and in smaller number games, they really don't hinder you. In a larger game, this new mechanic is a little more fun, a little more chaotic, and adds a little more flavour to the standard play.

The powers that can be used are: Round 2; Positive. Round 4; Negative, Round 6; Negative and Round 8; Positive.

With this module - each lord will now gain a negative power and a positive power that can be utilised every second round. Using this power does cost a meeple (there is a spot on the new board to use this), and can only be used during rounds 2, 4, 6 and 8. The powers are themed to each lord, such as:

Kyriani Agrivar:

Positive - Pious - everyone on the board may pay a donation and gain a cleric. The donations double each time it is used. (4g in round 4, 6g in round 6)

Negative - Manipulator - The player may take a quest for themselves of their choice from the quest deck, and prevent anyone else from completing a quest this round.

These powers help with further illustrate her character as someone who walks the line between good and evil.

Nymara Scheiron:

Positive - Thieving Boon - Count the number of players. Each player gets two gold, and an additional five gold is randomly distributed based on placing (last place cannot get less than the player coming second last etc)

Negative - Take from the Rich - Take a maximum of 8 gold total from other players, with the most gold to come from the richest person (not you) from the board.

These powers help illustrate Nymara as a former thief. In a positive light, she is taking from the supply and everyone benefits, with those coming last getting more gold. In a negative light, she is taking from the players for herself, with the richest being most vulnerable.

I'm attempting to keep it as close to the characters story as possible. This is an optional module, that allows people to get a stronger feel from their characters, giving them something more to aim for then two different quest types to follow.

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New bidding mechanic

I felt that money was lacking importance in the game. A bidding mechanic is introduced now in the game which could become important. Each round, a card from a new bidding deck is drawn and read. There are 24 of these cards, so, like the event cards, will take a minimum of 4 plays to see them all. They can be used in Round 5 and the final Round, and can easily be left out of the game should you not like them. This is another way to spend gold.

Some examples we have are:

- Random quest
- Random intrigue
- Random quest/intrigue
- Random building
- Specific quest type
- 5 points
- 10 points
- Random worker
- Specific worker
- First player token

Quite a few more. This is one way to remove gold from the game, and with over twenty cards, will take a while to see them all. Bidding is done in secret, with players putting their hand over the bidding amount prior to bidding and then showing when ready.

As a way to get rid of gold in the final round, this could help get some players that certain item, and makes the game a little more random. Pursuing gold is now a little more worthwhile, and there are several new ways to gain gold in the game. With the base game only coming with one primary way to gain gold, (and another by proxy), and only 5 buildings providing gold (another two where you can spend it), there are no guarantees in getting or spending gold. This expansion puts gold front and centre as an important element.

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New team questing mechanic

As part of the new board there will be a new team quest deck of 12 cards. There will be four placed on the board, just like Cliffwatch Inn. These quests cannot be removed from the board, and remain throughout the game. They are not replenished, so it will take a minimum of three games to see them all. These quests are very difficult, with some requiring as much as 25g as well as 25 meeples but reward massive points - the lowest being 80, and the highest being 100.

What's unique about them is that they will require a minimum of two players to complete. It will be up to the players how to divide the requirements to complete the quest, but they both get an even share of the reward.

I feel this is a new aspect to the game that provides another way to play. The game feels geared with having different lords working together - so why not do that?

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New board, with 8 new buildings.

The buildings don't have names yet, but they each make use of gold in some way.

- Hand in a rogue or cleric to the supply, gain a gold. (up to maximum of five)
- Hand in a cleric or wizard to the supply, gain two gold (up to maximum of five)
- Gain a gold, a quest, and an intrigue card
- Remove up up to five points, gaining two gold for each point lost.
- Sell an uncompleted quest for five gold to the supply
- Gain four gold, but lose the use of a meeple (total of two used)
- Gain four gold and a worker
- Gain one gold and can use your unique power this round

This board makes gold a more valuable strategy, and provides alternative routes to making money. This will help in bidding, or in building more (and some of the new buildings are going to be expensive), and ties in more with the gold = power mechanic, especially when you are losing things to make money (which the original board does not have).

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New intrigue cards

12 new intrigue cards are added. 6 neutral, 6 attack.

Attack

- Choose a player - that player is unable to complete a quest this round
- Choose a player - they must give you an intrigue card from their supply
- Choose a player - that player may not use any player made buildings this round
- Each player must remove a worker of their choice and return to the supply.
- Each player must remove a worker of your choice and return to the supply.
- Choose a player - choose a quest - that quest now requires two additional gold to complete.

Neutral

- All owner bonuses also apply to you this round.
- Player may use their unique power this round
- Next round two event cards are played
- The player may take a building card at random from the deck, and provided they can purchase it, will now own it.
- Any costs associated with any building tile are suspended for all players this round.
- Any costs associated with any building tile are suspended for the player this round.

I felt there was some weakness in attacking other players with intrigue cards. These cards can be shuffled into the main intrigue deck, or not used at all. They hopefully just add a little more variety.

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New quest cards

As above, new quest cards can be added or removed from the game as required. There are no new quest types, just 3 of each of the five types. All quests will require gold to complete. They will all have a easy, a medium, and a difficult quest to complete.

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New building cards

9 new buildings have been added. They can be slotted in with the existing buildings. As with the gold theme - the buildings are mostly to do with currency. Some are also the most expensive - with the most expensive one costing a whopping 15 gold. There is also one building that is completely free, it provides an intrigue card, a quest, and two gold for the player, but there is no owner benefit.

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Unique lord quests

Each lord is now given a unique quest at the start of the game. As with everything else in this expansion, gold is a tangible reward. These quests are unique to the lord, and provide no points. If they are completed however, you gain the Round 5 meeple early. If they are not completed before Round 5, you gain 10 gold and the quest is removed. The requirements to complete these quests are relatively small, so it's up to the player should they seek gold or another agent more.

This is just another element to inject personality into the game. Having unique quests makes sense to me, and this has been enjoyed by people I've played with.

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New lords

Relatively simple - more lords to play with. Another 4 are added to the game.

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More gold

Considering how much gold is injected into the cards, more gold is added to the game. Another 20 moon gold (5g) pieces are added.

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New faction and meeples for an additional player

There are enough spaces for an additional player to be involved, so why not? We haven't go an idea for the background of the player mat, but the colour has to be purple because the wife likes purple.

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Altogether I think there is enough here to add to the game to make it unique and interesting. It's more of the same, but the new rules, cards and board add some interesting twists to the original game. And all of it is modular, being able to add or remove as necessary. Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Dirk Rieberghs
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As lords of waterdeep is one of my favorite games I was very curious to read this and I must say that I liked some of the ideas in here.

- New event deck : This seems to me a very good idea and is easily to integrate in the game.

- New powers mechanic : These seems to me not really necessairy to make it a better game, it put a bit more interaction in the game but does it need that ?? For me, not.

- New bidding mechanic : This could be an interesting mechanic to get some extra stuff from the game.

- New team questing mechanic : This sounds like a great idea but I think it will be hard to make it work ? Must both players contribute the same or can one player offers more than the other, how you're going to give points for that etc ....

- New buildings, intrique cards, quests cards and lords : Always nice to have more of them so the replayability increase

- Unique lords quests : This seems also a very neat idea that would be easily to integrate and give you something extra. Or money or an extra agent !! I'm a fan of this !!

- Additional player : Totally not necessairy for me, I play this most of the time with a max of 4 players, 5 or 6 is IMO too much so no need for a seventh player for me.

Just one thing, money is sometimes thight in this game, how you're going to generate the money neede for all these things ??
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Jeff Pearce
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All of the ideas are modular - every item could be added, or none, or some. That's completely up to you. We've found the unique quest and events decks to be the most popular. Each adds something unique, yet barely increases gameplay. I made an error in writing with the bidding - as there would only be two auctions. One at the start of Round 5, and another at the start of Round 8. Meaning you would require at least 12 plays to see all the cards. I found that money was tight in the game, so I made multiple ways to get it. Many of the new intrigue, quest and buildings provide gold, but the major way to get it would be the new board - which has 8 spaces - all of which provide gold in some manner. Two of the spaces offer up to 10g, but you need to lose either points or workers to get these. There is a catch between making money, and using it. That's the major way to make gold. Spending it will be a little easier as well. Some quests will require gold, some of the buildings will be expensive, and of course, there is bidding. I've tried to strike a balance between earning gold and earning points. That is what went into the making of the unique quest. If the person is lucky, they could get their meeple as early as round 3 (and begin to use them immediately). If they decide not to pursue the quest, they will still get their meeple, and a little gold. The team questing mechanic is on the board with the new buildings (the new buildings to the side, four upturned cards in the middle). It's completely up to the players how the quests are to be divided - and who offers what. One person could provide the gold requirement, the other provide the workers. One person could provide only one worker. It's a negotiation between the players. However, the point reward will be completely even. These quests only reward points - so someone who is only offering gold, won't get some gold back - just to keep it fair. You could make a lot of points this way. This is again, optional, it isn't a requirement to complete them - but it is just another element that I felt could add something unique to the game.

I'm still working out how to make it all work, and to balance it - but not every element here is a knock it out of the park winner. Some will need more work than others. Like you, I think the unique quests and the event cards are a great addition to the game.

I'm unique in that I analyze games and attempt to add to them, make them more than what they are. Theres definitely some games that can be improved. Lords of Waterdeep is rich, fun, and strategic (and im playing it again in a few hours), and is perfectly fun on its own. These additions are just an optional element that I've been working on, and playtesting with my friends, in the hopes that we can make the game something more than what we already have. And its fun to do this.

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Val Cassotta
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Sounds interesting - I certainly wouldn't mind more pick and choose expansions, sort of like how Fresco works.

Really like the Event Deck idea.

The Lord powers don't work for me - I'd prefer to see something more in line with Faction powers. Personally I like the hidden Lord, as it makes me watch the other players and try to figure out their plans, and work to hinder their hidden agendas. Knowing who a player is would take away from the feel of the game, IMHO.

Bidding Mechanic could be interesting, though I would really have to see it in action.

For the multi-player quests, perhaps have the quest card dived up ($$ and adventurers, or adventurer types) and players have to fill an entire portion of the card at a time, they then place a 'player ownership' token to show they have 'fulfilled' that portion. Perhaps limit players from filling more than one 'space' per round (or per card per round). Then once the card is completed, it is divided among the tokens on the card. In this way, 1 player could even finish a major quest by themselves over several turns. This also forces you to look at your opponents - seeing what they could complete, in order to either 'quest block' or 'open for the assist'.

I'll echo Dirk in saying that new Building/Event/Intrigue/Quests/Lords would be welcome. For the new lords, maybe someone from The Kraken Society?

If you decide to make a 7th faction, perhaps The Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors, Waterdeep Navy or The Tel Teukiira.

For the extra gold, why not just add in a new coin type. Some examples:
- Add Platinum Suns (which are typically worth 5 GP anyway) and then upgrade the value of a Harbor Moon to 10gp.
- Alternatively, add in "Trade Bars" (make them rectangular ingot shaped) and have those worth 10GP.
 
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Jeff Pearce
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Some good ideas Val Cassotta. The Lord powers, as interesting and as much work has gone into them - has been the least favoured option in playtests of this expansion. I'll likely scrap it completely. I felt that there wasn't enough personality or aggression in the game - hence the push for a Money and Power expansion. Some of the powers from that can be folded or modified and be made Event Cards, which have clearly been the favourite with playtesters. Knowing that there is something new each and every round keeps people engaged - and there's a few negative or not so great ones in there to keep people on their toes. The bidding mechanic was a way to remove gold from the game - as there are a lot of ways to make gold now with the new board. The most gold is gleaned from personal sacrifice, but even without that - there are a number of ways to gain gold now. We've attempted several options, such as blind and open bidding, with blind bidding seemingly being the best option. The Auction deck is fun, there are a lot of cards in it, and all of them are good. I've seen it changed how some people play - they've hoarded some gold in the hopes of gaining a nice bid card in Round 8. But there's always another one in the mid-game, and it is a fun addition. It does clog up the game, what with the additional meeple and the event happening, I might move the first auction to the start of round 4. Your idea of the multiple player quest is interesting - it would require some tokens - little blocks for each player colour would do. Being able to "tick off" or complete objectives would be interesting - but then that also takes away the negotiation power. And then, how do the points get divvied up? It seems like a good idea in theory, but in practice - it feels like just another quest being completed and not adding to the team dynamic. But, I'd like to playtest this and try it out. Obviously more of the buildings/intrigue/quest and lords would welcome - and these have been enthusiastically received. The free building has been of interest to players as well - even though there is no owner benefit to it. I haven't made a 7th faction yet, but The Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors is likely the top choice. With the magic behind it - it could be purple, and the wife would be pleased. I was just going to add additional gold, but a new coin type would likely be easier. And if I were to go down that route, Platinum Suns would be the way to go, I think.

Thanks for the valued feedback.
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Val Cassotta
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Appreciate the feedback on my feedback

For marking the completed portion of the multi-person quests, I was picturing using the control marker/tokens (the same little tokens you place on a building to indicate control). I rarely see all of them get used in a game, so I figure those would work. Otherwise, making a few more chits/tokens wouldn't be too hard.

While it would take away the negotiation/bargaining for the reward, my thought was more along the lines of game flow and speed. I'd prefer not sitting around for 10 minutes while 2 players 'discuss' how they are going to divide up the rewards. Once again, I'd have to see it in action, my suggestion is purely based upon assumptions. The way I was approaching it was to either have an easily dividable reward based on the # of players that could contribute to completing the card. Or, alternatively, just list a reward that each contributing control token would collect (so if you placed 2 out of 3 tokens, you would get double the shares).

It is still a risk to expend the resources to claim part of the quest - as other players may not jump on board to assist and cycle it faster (thereby tying up resources you could have used elsewhere). Then you have to choose if you want to keep tossing resources down to get the payoff.

You could even make a few intrigue cards that allow a player to swap their control token for another player's, or even just remove a token - increasing the risk or table side negotiations.

If you have some playtest files, I'd be happy to give them a shot with our local game group the next time we play.



 
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Leroy Potter
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Did you ever end up completing these. i really like the sound of them and would be keen to play if you have files around
 
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Jeff Pearce
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@leeboy001

I didn't, but I've been thinking about them more, especially as I'm doing the Extreme Challenge this year and one of my requirements is to do 12 fan expansions. Lords of Waterdeep was always going to be one of the expansions , it's a game I have enjoyed since I got it almost 2 years ago. I played 2 games today and remembered this so came back to it fresh. Most of what I put down will remain - I am happy with most of it. Some require minor tweaks. I'm going to remove the powers element and the extra player - they aren't required and just add to much decision and downtime. I'm also changing the new board slightly to have each new building unlock over the course of the game. The first one, where you hand in a warrior or assassin for 1 gold (and can hand in a maximum of 5) will be available immediately. The player with the castle will choose at the start of the round which building will be unlocked from then on for the round. In this way they unlock over time, providing a little more choice but not overwhelming the player. I'll be working on this over the next month and hope to have a fan expansion prepared soon. I need to have 12 able to print and play by the end of the year.

I am also working on my own game, and it is currently in playtesting. It is a divide and play and set collection filler game that plays in about 15 minutes. So I've definitely got games on the brain.
 
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Jeff Pearce
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I did end up completing a rulebook which adds a great deal to the game - it's an entire expansion.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/143445/lords-waterdeep-st...

You are free to use this rulebook to create all the new cards, the new board and buildings you require. You can freely use this, however it cannot be sold or hosted anywhere other than BoardGameGeek.

I am happy to help if you have questions on it - I have played with this with a very simple print and play, but I don't have the skill nor the patience to create cards that could slot in with the game as it currently is.
 
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