I love Runebound, but I don’t like the map board. Walking around the map comes down to trying to reach the next challenge or city. It doesn’t feel like you’re actually travelling the lands. Recently I was thinking of creating a card based location variant that replaces the map. This variant probably works best in single player mode.
Basically it would look something like this. You create several decks of cards. The first deck is the map deck. A map card shows terrain type and map lay-out of the current level. A map card looks like this:
Mountains of despair
There are four levels, green, yellow, blue and red. You start the game at green. All challenges on your current map will be green. If you reach the end location, you pick the next map card and you progress to yellow, etc.
The other decks are location decks. You have to place these locations according to the layout on the map card. There is a deck for each type of terrain (forest, mountain etc.) Every card depicts either a challenge, an encounter, a special place, a skill test or a city.
Challenges are general. You draw a card from the challenge deck, based on your current level.
Encounters are like normal encounters in the game, but based on the current terrain: You find a cave guarded by monsters. If you wish to explore it, take three challenges. If you survive take an item from the market deck in excess of the normal rewards.
Special Places could be a healing shrine, a mercenary camp etc.
Skill tests could be something like: A large boulder is blocking the road. Take a climb test. If you fail you lose 1 life. These tests should scale with your current level.
The start location should be a city. If you reach the end location you clear the table and take a new map card.
Now, if we could create 30 map cards and 60 location cards for each terrain type the world of Runebound will never look the same. Traveling across the land will be an adventure by itself.