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Subject: Should two cards be used in place of one? rss

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Jack Carr
Australia
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Hey everyone.
In my game I am working on the player has 'character' cards which have a name and a power amount on them. A small amount of these character cards are associated with their factions and the player receives power increases for playing them.
In the current system these characters have 'traits' or special abilities that can be used once per turn. Right now these are represented by their own deck separate to the character deck.
As it stands the player would play a character card, then flip a trait card for that character. This allows for a little more randomisation and unpredictability - you might get a good power card but draw a bad trait. However on the other hand it requires double the components and adds complexity.
Do you think I should replace this system and just have each character card have a certain trait on it? Or should I keep it as it is or modify it in a different way?
Thanks.
 
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Craig Somerton
Australia
Invergowrie (Armidale)
NSW
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How many different characters and traits are we talking about?

If it's a small number, it is probably worth having separate cards, if it adds the necessary variability to the game.
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Jack Carr
Australia
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Well for the base game I was thinking of having four factions with nine characters each, for a total of 36. I was considering having nine additional 'unaligned' characters - but yet to decide.
There can be a maximum of 12 characters in play at once - so I would want to have at least 36 trait cards for ideal depth, this could be reduced to 24 if it proved too many.
Do you think that is too great a number? Ideally I would have more traits and characters but I'm worried about having too many components.
Thanks for your feedback.
 
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Craig Somerton
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12 characters in play? Are these player characters or NPCs?

I think the idea of having interchangeable character traits for player characters is good, but perhaps less so if they are NPCs? Or are players controlling multiple characters. If it's the latter, then you really are looking at adding a lot of complexity.

Players tend to focus on their own characters, so having additional interchangeable traits isn't generally going to be a problem, and the bonus is - it adds variability.

But adding the same to NPCs is only going to add complexity. Perhaps these should have fixed traits?

Can you explain a little more about what the characters are and how the traits affect them? It's difficult to make an assessment based on limited information.
 
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Jack Carr
Australia
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Sorry for the limited detail.
In my game each player has a 'retinue' of up to three characters that generate 'power' for the player based on the characters 'gravitas', these characters can also take once per turn actions based on their traits. The gravitas of characters is boosted if they are from the same faction as the player they are played by.
Player select new characters to play in their retinue from a pool of three face up characters (who have their traits assigned when they are drawn). Players can also choose to draw new characters (and traits along with them) to be placed in the character pool that all the players may select from.
An example of a character is Caius Latin, who has a gravitas of four. The last name 'latin' is the faction he is associated with. If a player representing the Latin faction added this character to their retinue they would get five power from him rather than the usual four - because he is from that faction.
An example of a trait is 'opium fiend' which allows you to discard the trait of another character and replace it with a matching 'opium fiend' card from the deck.
So in a game with four players, each player would have a maximum of three characters in play, and there would be a pool of three characters owned by nobody which the players could select from. Each character would have one trait.This gives a maximum total of fifteen (12 was a miscalculations) characters and fifteen traits.
 
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Brendan Riley
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Assuming the characters are the main focus of the game -- like the races in SMALL WORLD, I would say the numbers of characters you describe sound good for a full-scale large game.
 
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Jack Carr
Australia
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wombat929 wrote:
Assuming the characters are the main focus of the game -- like the races in SMALL WORLD, I would say the numbers of characters you describe sound good for a full-scale large game.
The characters are a resource generation mechanic (one of three) that also allow tactical options, I wouldn't describe them as the 'main focus' but they are certainly a core element.
Thanks for the feedback.
 
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Jason Mancini
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I think the number of cards you originally described is perfectly fine from how you've described your game.

To me it seems to add a level of complexity (and randomness) to the game to have the traits as separate cards. I like the complexity it sounds like it brings. I do think that if you're going to market to first time gamers it may be a little complex for them until they've played a few times. Perhaps you could put in a rule that the trait cards are optional and are best used for advanced players? That's just a suggestion to help with marketing to a wider variety of gamers and by no means a criticism.

Anyway, I hope this stuff helps and good luck.
 
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Jack Carr
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Ok thanks Jason, I decided to keep them and am currently working on intuitive ways to make the game more approachable, it is quite complex.
 
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