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Subject: Questions on Expansion Cards/Player Count rss

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Mark Wilson
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The rules for the expansion cards are fairly explicit. You remove an entire dream type (say, Night Terrors) and replace them one-for-one with one of the expansion dream types...except for expansion cards that contain the removed dream type and cards that contain other expansion dream types that you aren't using.

Makes sense so far. My question(s) is on mixing and matching.

Question 1:
So, say I have a 4P game, and I want to up the length slightly. Would it be acceptable to add in an expansion dream type without removing a dream type? I'd still be careful not to include cards with other expansion dream types.

Question 2:
Similarly, is there anything that imbalances the game if we simply added every expansion card and removed nothing?

Question 3:
I don't particularly think anything beyond 4P would work great, and I don't necessarily want to play the game in a way that's unintended by the designer(s). But. In my group, "does it hold 5/6?" is a routine question. So if I added a bunch of cards like in Question 2, could that theoretically make a 5P or 6P game possible.

...

There doesn't seem to be anything preventing these. But there may be issues I'm not considering. Thanks for any and all responses!
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Ben Haskett
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All great questions, Mark! The answer to all of them is, "Yes--you can."

... but I don't recommend it unless you and your group are willing to be a little experimental without letting it ruin the game for you. Sarah will likely pop in at some point (or she may actually be responding to this right now, like in previous threads!), and she can offer some further insight into our testing process, but basically, Will and Sarah had a lot of great ideas for dream types, and at one point we wanted to see if the game could be made to support five and six players. With the turn count already low at four players, they figured that in order to make it viable, they would have to make the game larger. Insert: the three expanded dream types. I think we also had to increase the size of the dreamscape to six cards. Anyway, it was chaos. Pure. Chaos. Granted, in a fun and ridiculous way, but still chaotic. Too much possible variation in players' REM stacks, too many types to choose from in the dreamscape, difficult to plan ahead at all, and increased downtime between turns. It was like the food fight scene from Hook. Bangarang.

That said, I encourage you to try it! I personally did get enjoyment out of it, I just had to acknowledge that it was a very different game with all those considerations.

I personally never tried playing a four-player game with more than eight dream types--maybe Sarah and Will have? Seems like it wouldn't shake things up too much though.

Hope that helps!

Ben
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Mark Wilson
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Thanks Ben; much appreciated! We usually test out any ideas like this in our 2P sessions before introducing them to larger crowds, so we'll at least have an idea of what we're getting into if and when we try them.
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Sarah Reed
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Thanks for the questions Mark!

Like Ben said, we did test it with all 11 dream types and also with 5 and 6 players. It was very much a mixed bag of reactions.

Some people liked it because it made the game wild and crazy, but others didn't because it greatly reduced any strategy that they wanted to pursue. And the scores were incredibly low so that didn't feel good to a lot of people. Perception of something is key to making a good experience and many people wanted to get a big score.

So my advice for you think about when trying to play with all cards and/or higher player counts is to think about the people playing. The lower the player count, the more strategic the game is. So if you're playing with a 5-6 group that likes chaos, then it could go over very well. But if you have even one person that prefers strategy, they will not like the experience.

Now, playing with more than 8 dream types in a 2 player game could work to make the game longer, but it depends on how the dream types are used. Just remember that Empowered Dreaming and Paradigm Shift have the potential to speed up the game due to how they discard cards from the Dreamscape. So if those abilities are heavily used, you will actually have a shorter game even though you are using all the cards.

But if you enjoy experimenting then I encourage you to try different dream type mixes. I'd love to hear about your experiences, if you give it a go.

Good luck and have fun!
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Mark Wilson
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Thanks Sarah! I appreciate the quick feedback from you both. I don't anticipate jumping into such variations too quickly, but it's nice to know they're there. Most of our plays will be 2P, though, so there will be plenty of time to experiment while still realizing what the base game is like.
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Sarah Reed
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You're very welcome Mark! And I do agree that it's best to get to know the base game very well so you know how you want to tweak the game.

Enjoy!! laugh
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