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Entry Thread for The Fool's Journey - Contest Ready

Designed for the 2016 Solitaire Print and Play Contest

BGG Database Entry:

The Fool's Journey


The Fool's Journey is a solitaire card game designed for use with a standard 78-card Tarot deck. In this game the Fool embarks upon a journey in which he acquires wisdom, takes chances, and overcomes numerous challenges with the aid of mysterious helpers.


The Fool's Journey contains a printable rule set with gameplay and layout instructions. Players must provide a standard 78-card Tarot deck and 25 unit counting mechanism to track vitality. The game plays in approximately 30 minutes.

I would like the game to be entered in:

Best Game by a New Designer
Best Game Playable on an Airline Seat Tray
Best Rule Book
Best Dungeon Crawl
Best Traditional Card, Tarot, or Decktet Game

I will be opting out of assigned playtesting volunteers.

Download Links:

Rules
Rules v2 (text version)
Rules v3 (graphic version 521kb)
Rules v3 (graphic version 21mb)
Rules v3-1 (620kb)
Rules v3-2 (518kb)
The Fool's Journey Rules
The Fool's Journey Player Aid
Printable Tarot Cards

General Description

The Fool is removed from the deck and placed in the gameplay setup to represent the character. The remaining cards serve as challenges (Trumps), wisdom (coins), strength (batons), volition (swords), vitality (cups), chance (aces), and helpers (royals). An adventure is created by laying out cards in groups of four. Progress is made through the journey by playing three of the four adventure cards. The fourth card serves as the foundation for a new adventure.

Volition cards may be equipped to engage individual challenges, depleting them of their power. Strength may be equipped to endure multiple challenges with any excess power from a challenge depleting the Fool's vitality. Vitality cards are used to replenish this value. Wisdom cards are used to deploy Helpers that double the value of a Vitality, Strength, or Volition card. Chance cards may be used to reshuffle all adventure cards back into the deck and begin a new adventure.

The game ends when the Fool's vitality reaches zero or he overcomes all challenges and successfully completes the journey.

This game was inspired by thematic solitaire playing card games, especially Scoundrel, Donsol, and Card Crawl as well as the Monomyth described by author Joseph Campbell.

Related Reading

The Fool's Journey Design Notes
Joseph Campbell's Monomyth
Interview with Morten Monrad Pedersen
Interview with Chris Hansen

Soundtrack

Brin Addison - "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
THE FOOL'S JOURNEY RULES


THE PREMISE

The Fool embarks upon a journey in which he acquires wisdom, takes chances, and overcomes numerous challenges with the aid of mysterious helpers.

The Fool embarks upon a Journey ...


The numbered Minor Arcana or Pip cards (2-10) of the Cup, Baton, and Sword suits represent the interior state of the Fool upon his journey. Cups represent his Vitality, Batons his Strength, and Swords his Volition. Vitality, Strength, and Volition cards all possess the value indicated by the number on the card.

in which he acquires Wisdom ...


Coins represent Wisdom. Each Wisdom card (including Royals but excluding the Ace) is counted as one unit regardless of the number associated with it.

takes Chances ...


Aces represent Chance. A Chance card may be played to reshuffle the cards in the Adventure Field back into the Deck and begin a new adventure.

and overcomes numerous Challenges ...


The Major Arcana or Trump cards represent Challenges that the Fool must overcome on his journey. The power of the Challenge is indicated by the number on the card.

with the aid of mysterious Helpers.


The Royal Pip cards of the Cup, Baton, and Sword suits represent Helpers. Helpers double the value of numbered Pip cards of the same suit.

GAMEPLAY LAYOUT



Figure 1: This layout will be used as an initial reference. It features an arrangement that might be encountered mid-game. The Adventure Field includes the 2 of Cups (Vitality), 7 of Batons (Strength), 8 of Swords (Volition), and the Death Trump (Challenge) with a value of 13. The Fool has equipped the 7 of Coins (Wisdom) and stored the Ace of Cups (Chance) and Queen of Swords (Helper) in his Satchel. He does not have any Strength or Volition Cards currently equipped.

STARTING AN ADVENTURE

The Fool commences his journey with 25 vitality points. An Adventure begins with 4 cards being dealt from the Future (Deck) into the Present (Adventure Field). Completed cards are placed in the Past (Discard Pile). During an adventure the player may accomplish any number of the following tasks in any order:

Store cards in the Satchel. The Satchel can hold up to three non-Challenge cards from the Adventure Field.


Figure 2: Starting from Figure 1, the Fool has transferred the 2 of Cups into his Satchel. It now contains the maximum of three cards.

Equip the Fool with Wisdom (Coins), Strength (Batons), and Volition (Swords). The Fool may be equipped with up to three Wisdom cards, one Strength card, and one Volition card at a time. They may be played from the Adventure Field or Satchel and remain in play until used or fully expended.


Figure 3: Starting from Figure 1, the Fool has equipped the 7 of Batons (Strength) and 8 of Swords (Volition) and may now use them to resolve challenges.

Replenish Vitality (Cups). The Fool's vitality may be replenished by placing a Vitality card from the Adventure Field or Satchel into the discard pile. Vitality can only be replenished up to the starting value of 25 points.


Figure 4: Starting from Figure 1, the Fool has expended the 2 of Cups and gained 2 vitality points by placing it face down in the discard pile. Discarded cards will be depicted face up in these diagrams for the purpose of illustration.

Deploy Helpers (Royals). To deploy a Helper, place one equipped Wisdom card in the discard pile and then place a Helper card from the Adventure Field or Satchel on top of an equipped Strength or Volition card that is not currently in use or place it on top of a Vitality card in the Adventure Field or Satchel. The Helper doubles the value of the card that it is attached to and is discarded along with it after the attached card has been used or expended. Helpers can only be played on cards of the same suit.


Figure 5: Starting from Figure 1, the Fool has expended 1 point of Wisdom (7 of Coins) to deploy the Queen of Swords (Helper) which is placed on the equipped 8 of Swords (Volition). This doubles the value of the card which is now worth 16 points.

Take a Chance (Aces). A Chance card may be played from the Adventure Field or Satchel by placing it on the Discard Pile. All cards in the Adventure Field, including deployed Helpers, are then reshuffled into the deck and a new adventure is dealt.


Figure 6: Starting from Figure 1, the Fool uses the Ace of Cups (Chance) from the Satchel by placing it face down in the Discard Pile and reshuffles all cards from the Adventure Field back into the Deck.

Complete Challenges (Trumps). Challenges may be overcome with Volition (Swords), endured with Strength (Batons), with a combination of the two, or directly without the use of either. See the complete description below.


Figure 7: The Death Trump (Challenge) is slightly raised here to highlight it. In the Tarot, this card generally does not pertain to physical death but rather indicates some type of profound change. The Tarot of the Marseilles depicted in the image displays a figure partly covered with human skin that seems to be in a state of transition. In the examples of the next section we will illustrate various ways in which the Fool can utilize his interior resources and seek aid from mysterious helpers to resolve this challenge of personal transformation.

Discard unwanted cards. Any number of non-Challenge cards may be discarded from the Adventure Field or Satchel at any time by placing them face down in the Discard Pile. Equipped Wisdom, Strength, and Volition cards, deployed Helpers, and Challenge cards may not be discarded prior to use.


Figure 8: Starting from Figure 3, the Fool discards non-challenge cards from the Adventure Field and Satchel. The remaining Challenge card and equipped Wisdom, Strength, and Volition cards cannot be discarded until resolved, expended, or used.

COMPLETING CHALLENGES

An equipped Volition (Sword) card may be used to overcome a Challenge (Trump) card. If the Fool's Volition is greater than or equal to the power of the Challenge, then the Challenge is overcome and both the Volition and Challenge cards are placed in the Discard Pile. If the Fool's Volition is less than the power of the Challenge, then the power of the Challenge card is depleted according to the value of the Volition card which is placed on top of the Challenge card to visually account for the depletion. Multiple Volition cards may be played against a single Challenge.


Figure 9: Starting from Figure 3, the Fool plays the 8 of Swords (Volition) against the Death Trump (Challenge) which has a value of 13. Because the value of the Fool's Volition is less than the power of the Challenge, it depletes but does not overcome the Challenge which is now worth 5 points. The 8 of Swords is left on top of the Death Trump to visually account for the depletion and gameplay continues.


Figure 10: If we start from Figure 5, however, the combined value of the 8 of Swords and Queen of Swords is 16 points, a higher value than the Death Trump. These cards may be used to successfully overcome of the Challenge as depicted here. All three cards are then placed in the Discard Pile.

An equipped Strength (Baton) card may be used to endure a Challenge (Trump) card. If the Fool's Strength is equal to the power of the Challenge, then both the Challenge and Strength cards are placed in the Discard Pile. If the Fool's Strength is less than the power of the Challenge, then both the Strength and Challenge cards are placed in the Discard Pile and the difference is depleted from the Fool's vitality. If the Fool's Strength is greater than the power of the Challenge, then the Fool's Strength card is depleted according to the value of the Challenge card which is then placed on top of the Strength card to visually account for the depletion. The depleted Strength card remains in play and must be used to endure additional Challenges with the remaining value prior to being discarded.


Figure 11: Starting from Figure 3, the 7 of Batons (Strength) may be used to endure the Death Trump (Challenge). Because the value of the Challenge is Greater than the Fool's Strength, the difference of 6 points is subtracted from the Fool's Vitality, and these two cards are placed in the Discard Pile.


Figure 12: This figure illustrates how multiple cards may be used to resolve a Challenge. Starting from Figure 9, the 7 of Batons (Strength) may be used to endure the Death Trump (Challenge) that has a depleted value of 5 points. Because the Fool's Strength is greater than the value of the Challenge, the Challenge is successfully endured and the Strength card is now depleted with 2 points remaining. The 8 of Swords and Death Trump are left on top of the 7 of Batons to visually account for the depletion and gameplay continues.

A Challenge (Trump) card may also be completed without the use of Strength and Volition cards whether or not these cards are in play. To complete a Challenge directly, subtract the value of the Challenge card from the Fool's vitality and place it in the discard pile. The completion of a Challenge card may be postponed indefinitely.


Figure 13: Starting from Figure 3, the Death Trump (Challenge) is placed directly into the Discard Pile and the full value of 13 points is subtracted from the Fool's Vitality. A depleted Challenge may also be resolved directly in this manner.

STARTING A NEW ADVENTURE

An Adventure ends when only one card is left in the Adventure Field. Three new cards are dealt and a new adventure begins.

ENDING THE GAME

The game ends when the Fool has been completely depleted of his vitality. It is completed when all of the cards in the deck have been dealt and the Fool has survived all of the challenges of his journey. In the event of a draw, where the Fool's combined vitality and interior resources are equal to the final Challenge, consider the context and significance of the story that has been created to determine whether the outcome is a win or loss.

THE FOOL'S JOURNEY

Each of the Challenge (Trump) cards tells a story. One possible interpretation of the Fool's Journey may be represented by the following chronology.

The Fool decides to embark upon a new undertaking (1), makes preparation for the journey (2), is brimming with enthusiasm (3), secures his finances (4), discovers his life's purpose (5), falls in love (6), starts to move forward (7), discovers perfection in imperfection (8), turns backward to continue forward (9), ends one adventure and begins a new one (10), learns to trust his instincts (11), is exiled from the human world (12), undergoes a profound transformation (13), achieves inner balance (14), experiences the dark night of the soul (15), enters a dance of cosmic joy (16), finds his place in the world (17), communes with his soul in solitude (18), experiences a regenerative renewal (19), is born into a new world (20), and achieves total realization at the completion of his journey (21).

The rich symbolism featured on the Tarot Trumps provides a powerful stimulus to the imagination and opens up the possibility of creating a unique story with each game.

ADVANCED RULES: REVERSALS

The following rules may be adopted to expand the core gameplay with additional possibilities and playful combinations. Completed Challenges are no longer immediately placed in the Discard pile. With the exception of those that become attached to a Strength card as a representation of its depleted value, completed Challenges are reversed and remain in play within the Adventure Field. They may be played immediately, discarded, or stored in the Satchel for future use unless otherwise indicated. Reversed Challenges possess the following unique effects related to their depicted images and are discarded after use. Mnemonic devices are included in brackets to facilitate memorization.

1. The Magician – Spend one point of Wisdom to shuffle any non-Challenge card from the Adventure Field back into the deck and draw a new card. [A sleight-of-hand]

2. The High Priestess – Spend one point of Wisdom to discard equipped Strength and Volition cards. [Fragile and pacifist.]

3. The Empress – Spend one point of wisdom to draw a card from the Deck and add it to your Satchel. The drawn card may be added to a Satchel already containing the maximum of 3 cards. If a Challenge card is drawn it must be resolved within the Satchel. [A pregnant woman.]

4. The Emperor – Spend one point of Wisdom to remove all attachments from an equipped Strength card. [A strong general.]

5. The Hierophant – Discard from any location to gain 1 point of Wisdom. It may also be equipped in excess of the maximum of three Wisdom cards. [Expounder of wisdom.]

6. The Lovers – Spend one point of Wisdom to attach this to a numbered card of any suit to double its value. [Wild love]

7. The Chariot – Spend one point of Wisdom to shuffle any card from the Adventure Field back into the Deck. [Drives it back.]

8. Strength – Spend one point of Wisdom to equip a reversed Challenge card from the Adventure Field or Satchel as a Strength or Volition card. [Tames the beast.]

9. The Hermit – Spend one point of Wisdom and attach this to the equipped Strength card to prevent the depletion of the Fool's vitality when using Strength to endure a Challenge of greater value. [O Sensei]

10. Wheel of Fortune – Spend one point of Wisdom to shuffle all cards face-up on the table (except the Fool) back into the deck and deal a new adventure. [Cycled out.]

11. Justice – Discard to use an equipped numbered Wisdom card as a Volition card. When applied to the reversed Trump 5, it produces a 5 value Volition card. [Scale and sword.]

12. The Hanged Man – Spend one point of Wisdom to reverse an upright Challenge card in the Adventure field discarding any attachments currently applied to it. [Upside down.]

13. Death – Spend one point of Wisdom to discard a Challenge card from the Adventure Field that has a reduced value. [The brink of death.]

14. Temperance – Spend one point of Wisdom to attach this to any numbered non-Challenge card in the Adventure Field or Satchel which then becomes a Vitality card. [The two cups.]

15. The Devil – Spend one point of Wisdom to discard an upright Challenge card from the Adventure Field. [Total destruction.]

16. The Tower – Discard to transfer a random card from the Deck to the Discard Pile. [Falling tower.]

17. The Star – Discard to shuffle a random discarded card back into the Deck. [Rising star.]

18. The Moon – Spend one point of Wisdom to attempt to overcome two Challenges simultaneously with the equipped Volition card. This card mimics the properties of the equipped Volition card and each is placed on a separate Challenge card. [Two wild dogs.]

19. The Sun – Spend one point of wisdom immediately prior to attempting to overcome a Challenge to restore the Fool’s vitality equal to the value of the equipped Volition card. [Vital and deadly.]

20. Judgement – Spend one point of Wisdom immediately prior to resolving a Challenge to revive the Fool with 1 point of vitality after taking fatal damage. [Resurrection.]

21. The World – Spend one point of Wisdom to restore the Fool’s maximum vitality points. [Wholeness.]

GAMEPLAY VARIATIONS

Difficulty Adjustment.
Difficulty can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the maximum vitality points of the Fool and the number of Wisdom and Satchel cards that can be stored. The difficulty can also be decreased by allowing Helpers to be played on both equipped and unequipped Strength and Volition cards.

Random Order Variant. Randomness can be increased by introducing a new procedure for resolving Challenges directly. After the Fool's vitality has been depleted according to full value of the Challenge, the Challenge card is placed face down on the table and a number of cards equal to its value are drawn and placed face down on top of it. The Challenge card serves as the first count of the draw and the rest are taken alternately from the Deck and Discard Pile. This pile is then shuffled and placed face down on top of the Discard Pile. The top card of the new Discard Pile is placed face up in the Adventure Field and gameplay continues. This procedure does not apply to the first trump card. (Contributed by Oddman erroR)

Ace Up the Sleeve Variant. Begin with one Ace (Chance) card in the Satchel or begin with all Aces on top of the Fool card. In the second option each Ace may be used once to banish a Challenge card to the bottom of the deck. (Contributed by Chris Smith)

Supportive Friend Variant. In addition to the Satchel, store up to two Helpers underneath the Fool Card or create a new column for storing helpers to the right of the Wisdom pile. (Contributed by IndigoWaves)
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Glad to have you here! It's been awhile since I've played a solitaire Tarot game! I'm looking forward to trying out this one.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
I really like the look of this. I've printed out the rules, I'll get back to you with some feedback in a few days.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Thank you both so much for your interest. I find Tarot decks such as the vintage Marseilles reproduction featured above to be quite beautiful and it is nice to have a fun (non-divinatory) activity to appreciate them with.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Some Questions for Playtesters:

What is your win/loss ratio with the current ruleset?

Do you feel that the game is too hard or too easy?

Difficulty can be adjusted by changing the maximum vitality points of the Fool and the number of Wisdom and Satchel cards that can be stored. What is your opinion, based upon gameplay, of the current values?

According to the current ruleset, a Helper may only be played on equipped but unused Strength or Volition cards whereas they may be played on any Vitality cards. Do you feel that the gameplay and difficulty level improves by being allowed to play Helpers on any Strength and Volition cards not currently in use? Also, do you feel that Helpers deployed in the Adventure Field should be reshuffled back into the deck along with their attached cards in the event of a Chance, or should they simply be discarded?

I have tried to incorporate the native values and properties of the cards wherever possible to make the game intuitive and the mechanics easy to remember. Do you have any suggestions regarding gameplay mechanics that you feel should be tested for the development of alternative rules or gameplay possibilities?

Thank you very much for your feedback.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Thanks for the questions, that makes giving useful feedback so much easier.

Desmontes wrote:
Some Questions for Playtesters:

What is your win/loss ratio with the current ruleset?


so far 1 loss (my 1st game) and 1 win (with only 3 vitality left).

Desmontes wrote:
Do you feel that the game is too hard or too easy?


In my first game (on my 1st round) I laid out 2 big Trumps, a small sword, and an Ace. I took the sword and used the ace to shuffle the trumps back into the deck. But that made me think "If I dealt nothing but trumps on my 1st round, I could lose on my 1st turn!" I now see that's one of the reasons you start with 25 vitality. But still, getting hit with a wave of trumps can be devastating. Seems like a good reason to keep an ace in your satchel (but the satchel gets full fast, so I've been opting not to).
Through the majority of the game I cruised along without much trouble and started thinking the game might be too easy. Then I hit that dreaded wave of trumps in the last 7 or so cards. I was out of resources and didn't have quite enough vitality to make it to the end, so maybe not too easy.
My 2nd game had a more even spread of trumps across the deck (and maybe I did a better job of managing my resources) so the game difficulty also felt more even.

Desmontes wrote:
Difficulty can be adjusted by changing the maximum vitality points of the Fool and the number of Wisdom and Satchel cards that can be stored.


I think you should include this in your rules. Having multiple levels of difficulty is a big plus.

Desmontes wrote:
According to the current ruleset, a Helper may only be played on equipped but unused Strength or Volition cards whereas they may be played on any Vitality cards. Do you feel that the gameplay and difficulty level improves by being allowed to play Helpers on any Strength and Volition cards not currently in use? Also, do you feel that Helpers deployed in the Adventure Field should be reshuffled back into the deck along with their attached cards in the event of a Chance, or should they simply be discarded?



Quote:
Deploy Helpers (Royals). To deploy a Helper, place one equipped Wisdom card in the discard pile and then place a Helper card from the Adventure Field or Satchel on top of an equipped Strength or Volition card that is not currently in use or on top of a Vitality card in the Adventure Field or Satchel. The Helper doubles the value of the card that it is attached to and is discarded along with it after the attached card has been used or expended.


I found this section confusing. I first read it to mean you could only deploy helpers on "equipped Strength or Volition card(s)" and didn't know what was meant by "not currently in use or on top of a Vitality card in the Adventure Field or Satchel." I hadn't found anything on using Strength or Volition cards on top of a Vitality card. But now I see you mean that you can place a helper on a Vitality card. You may want to look at the wording (and/or punctuation) on this section.
I think it's working well as it is. But, I still haven't gotten a good feel for using helpers, so I'm going to get a few more plays in before commenting further on this.

Desmontes wrote:
I have tried to incorporate the native values and properties of the cards wherever possible to make the game intuitive and the mechanics easy to remember. Do you have any suggestions regarding gameplay mechanics that you feel should be tested for the development of alternative rules or gameplay possibilities?


I was surprised that my mind didn't leap to creating a storyline. I'm familiar with the meanings of the Tarot cards, and my brain usually works that way. I just finished a rewrite of the Oceans Of Space rules, which is all about spinning a story out of flipping through a deck of playing cards. Perhaps it's just because I was focused on learning the mechanics of the game.

So, to wrap this post up, I'd just like to stay I'm enjoying your game and plan to do a bit more playtesting on it. Thanks!thumbsup
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready


I'm using a miniature Rider Waite deck (1 3/4" x 2 7/8") and playing on my cutting board (17 3/4" x 11 7/8") to get the feel of an airline seat tray (16" x 9").

It's plenty of room, I'm just not sure if the cup holder divot would be as useful for holding my vitality as I think it would.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Thank you for trying it out!

Random Order wrote:
But that made me think "If I dealt nothing but trumps on my 1st round, I could lose on my 1st turn!" I now see that's one of the reasons you start with 25 vitality. But still, getting hit with a wave of trumps can be devastating. Seems like a good reason to keep an ace in your satchel (but the satchel gets full fast, so I've been opting not to).


This was precisely my thinking concerning the vitality. Specifically, I wanted the Fool at full vitality to be able to withstand The World (21) without equipped resources ... just in case.

Quote:
I think you should include this in your rules. Having multiple levels of difficulty is a big plus.


I will be highlighting suggestions that I receive for future reference.

SUGGESTION: Include options for different levels of difficulty in the rules.

Quote:
Deploy Helpers (Royals). I found this section confusing. You may want to look at the wording (and/or punctuation) on this section. I think it's working well as it is. But, I still haven't gotten a good feel for using helpers, so I'm going to get a few more plays in before commenting further on this.


SUGGESTION: Explain Helpers better in the rules.

I agree, this is poorly worded and I will revise it. The situation is as follows. In the original rules you can play a Helper on top of a Vitality Card in the Adventure Field or Satchel. You can also play a Helper on top of an equipped Strength or Volition Card that is not currently being used against a Challenge card, i.e. it is not on top of Challenge card and a Challenge card is not on top of it.

The potential revision is the ability to play a helper on top of a Strength or Volition card that has not yet been equipped, so you can have doubled Equipment sitting around in the Satchel or in the Playing field waiting to be used. This makes the game a lot easier and can be something that I add to the alternate difficulty rules.

Quote:
So, to wrap this post up, I'd just like to stay I'm enjoying your game and plan to do a bit more playtesting on it. Thanks!thumbsup


Awesome! Thank you so much.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Random Order wrote:


I'm using a miniature Rider Waite deck (1 3/4" x 2 7/8") and playing on my cutting board (17 3/4" x 11 7/8") to get the feel of an airline seat tray (16" x 9").

It's plenty of room, I'm just not sure if the cup holder divot would be as useful for holding my vitality as I think it would.


Yes! I keep a mini Camoin deck with me at all times. A mini or pocket Tarot is perfect for the airline tray.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
SUGGESTION: Explain Helpers better in the rules

Deploy Helpers (Royals). To deploy a Helper, place one equipped Wisdom card in the discard pile and then place a Helper card from the Adventure Field or Satchel on top of an equipped Strength or Volition card that is not currently in use or place it on top of a Vitality card in the Adventure Field or Satchel. The Helper doubles the value of the card that it is attached to and is discarded along with it after the attached card has been used or expended. Helpers can only be played on cards of the same suit.

This seems to be an easy fix. Hopefully this is enough clarification.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
I added some gameplay examples to illustrate the rules. I hope these help to make the game more comprehensible.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Desmonts wrote:
Helpers can only be played on cards of the same suit.

Well, that changes things! It's good that you restate it under "Deploy Helpers (Royals).", I missed it on my first few reads. Though it is there under "with the aid of mysterious Helpers."

At first I thought this would make things too difficult, but after a few plays I find it sharpens and focuses the game nicely. I use my aces a lot more, and my satchel feels excruciatingly small (meaning hard choices, which is great).

I am now at 3 wins and 2 loses

In my last game (my 6th), my final trump was the "Tower 16", I only had a 3 of swords remaining and 13 vitality tokens. So that would make it a draw. Do you have a rule for that?

I think the Illustrations in the rules should be very helpful. I haven't had time to look them over very carefully, but one thing that I noticed on a quick scan is that your deck (which is beautiful and I know you love) is not the easiest one for distinguishing between cards or what the values of the cards are (Especially telling Swords from Batons).

Hope this is helpful, Love your Game.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Random Order wrote:
I am now at 3 wins and 2 loses. In my last game (my 6th), my final trump was the "Tower 16", I only had a 3 of swords remaining and 13 vitality tokens. So that would make it a draw. Do you have a rule for that?

Wow, you are really good at this game! My original vision was for the Fool to complete the game by "surviving" all of the challenges and I will certainly clarify this in the rules. I would by no means consider your final position a loss, however. The Buddhist goal of Nirvana literally means "to be extinguished" and the original title of the Tower card is La Maison Dieu. We can therefore read your final position as "At the end of his journey, the Fool achieves Enlightenment within the House of God." Amazing!

SUGGESTION: Clarify the situation of ending with a draw.

Quote:
I think the Illustrations in the rules should be very helpful. I haven't had time to look them over very carefully, but one thing that I noticed on a quick scan is that your deck (which is beautiful and I know you love) is not the easiest one for distinguishing between cards or what the values of the cards are (Especially telling Swords from Batons).

Good Point. I mistook these cards a few times myself and once ended up blasting away at the Devil with my baton instead of a sword! I will try a new series of diagrams with a clearer deck such as the Knapp-Hall and we can compare the merits and demerits of each.

Quote:
Hope this is helpful, Love your Game.

Your feedback is extremely valuable. Thank you for playing and I am very happy to hear that you find the game enjoyable.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Desmontes wrote:
I would by no means consider your final position a loss, however. The Buddhist goal of Nirvana literally means "to be extinguished" and the original title of the Tower card is La Maison Dieu. We can therefore read your final position as "At the end of his journey, the Fool achieves Enlightenment within the House of God." Amazing!

Perhaps the rule should be, you can count it as a win if you can come up with an amazing justification like that one!
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
SUGGESTION: Clarify the situation of ending with a draw.

The game ends when the Fool has been completely depleted of his vitality. It is completed when all of the cards in the deck have been dealt and the Fool has survived all of the challenges of his journey. In the event of a draw, where the Fool's combined vitality and interior resources are equal to the final Challenge, consider the context and significance of the story that has been created to determine whether the outcome is a win or loss.

I included the clause about coming up with an amazing justification. Reading a story from the concluding adventure is also something fun that I do with losing scenarios in general.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
So here is a part of the game play that's been bugging me.

I've used my equiped strength (9 of batons) on trump 8 (Strength) leaving only 1 point of strength. I now have trump 16 (tower) & 17 (star) to deal with. But I have a 4 of batons (strength)in my field.
But I can't equip the 4 strength until I've cleared my 1 remaining strength.
This is not a problem for volition (swords), because they play into the field and can be piled on top of one another.

I choose to use my 1 remaining strength against trump 16, costing me 15 vitality! Not a huge problem since I have plenty of vitality and a 10 of cups in my satchel. But this could be a game ender if that situation was different.

Am I playing this correctly?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying this is something that is broken. I just want to be sure it was intended.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Random Order wrote:
So here is a part of the game play that's been bugging me.

I've used my equiped strength (9 of batons) on trump 8 (Strength) leaving only 1 point of strength. I now have trump 16 (tower) & 17 (star) to deal with. But I have a 4 of batons (strength)in my field.
But I can't equip the 4 strength until I've cleared my 1 remaining strength.
This is not a problem for volition (swords), because they play into the field and can be piled on top of one another.

I choose to use my 1 remaining strength against trump 16, costing me 15 vitality! Not a huge problem since I have plenty of vitality and a 10 of cups in my satchel. But this could be a game ender if that situation was different.

Am I playing this correctly?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying this is something that is broken. I just want to be sure it was intended.


This is correct according to the current rules. One of the things to think about beforehand is "Do I want to be left with an equipped 1 point Baton?" If not, circumstances permitting, it may be a better option to resolve the Challenge card directly and take the full 8 points of damage, perhaps storing that Baton in the satchel for use against something of the same or greater value.

Of course, we can always change the rules. The way that Card Crawl (one of the inspirations for this game) handles this situation is to make the equipment slots interchangeable. You have two spaces available and can equip whatever you want in them. Of course, it is even more restrictive in Card Crawl because everything must first pass through or into an equipment slot in order to use it, including Vitality cards (or Potions in that game.) In our arrangement, as you know, you can play all non-Strength and non-Volition cards directly from the Adventure Field or Satchel.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
I don't think you need to change the way swords and batons are handled in the rules. I like that they are a bit different from each other. This makes swords a little stronger, but that's not bad. Swords are "external", batons are "internal" (so should be a little trickier to use).
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
I have been looking into the games you list as insparations.

In the forums for Card Crawl Nick Shaw posted this List of Special cards

This got me thinking, what if overcoming a challenge (Trump) bestowed upon you a special power? You could ether use it immediately or store it in your satchel.

This would mean that game difficulty would need to be rebalanced, and you may not want to take that on at this point. But I thought the idea fit your theme nicely and was interesting enough that I should share it.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Random Order wrote:
I have been looking into the games you list as insparations.

In the forums for Card Crawl Nick Shaw posted this List of Special cards

This got me thinking, what if overcoming a challenge (Trump) bestowed upon you a special power? You could ether use it immediately or store it in your satchel.

This would mean that game difficulty would need to be rebalanced, and you may not want to take that on at this point. But I thought the idea fit your theme nicely and was interesting enough that I should share it.

I am happy to hear that you were inspired to look into some of the influences for the Fool's Journey. They are among some of my favorite games that started me off on this project and deserve much more widespread exposure. You can read some interesting backstory on them here: The Clone that Wasn't

My original impetus for this game was the desire to play Card Crawl with a physical deck of standard playing cards. Card crawl uses 54 cards derived from the standard deck but in a highly modified form such that there was not a direct and feasible correlation between the two. I then thought of using a Tarot deck to accomplish something similar and the initial impetus quickly transformed into its own game.

I considered utilizing the Trumps as special cards each with their own unique properties at one point but eventually settled on only two types, Chances and Helpers, both to postpone difficult Challenges and bridge the large gap between the total value of the Challenges and the total value of the Fool's resources without which the game would not be beatable.

I am by no means opposed to revisiting the idea and would be happy to discuss it further. I will also share something of the genesis of the game to provide insight into some of my design choices.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
You can find my contest interview with Morten here:

2016 Solo PnP Contest Interviews round I – “The Fool's Journey” and “GOP Nominee”

There are additional follow-up questions in the comments section.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
I had this magnificent chain going in a game last night.


Can you read what the Fool's remaining strength is and guess what I did next?


This is the final layout of that game. Unfortunately, the Fool did not take adequate risks during his journey and ultimately succumbed to an unjust fortune.
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
this game looks great, can't wait to give it a try
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Re: [WIP] The Fool's Journey: Tarot Solitaire Card Game (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Entry) - Components Ready
Jebstone wrote:
this game looks great, can't wait to give it a try


Thank you so much! Please share your impressions with us.
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