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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: Targa Weather Effects rss

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ScottL
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Update 12/09/16
The new final version 1.0.3 is posted
See the most current version of the cards and rules sheet in the files section.

Have Fun!


__________________________________________________________



Update 8-29-2016
This first post had a lot of old information that has since been replaced by updates of the actual files. I'm cleaning up this first post a bit.
__________________________________________________________

I've been working on a set of printable cards and some simple game mechanics for introducing shifting weather patterns to the Targa Plateau. It's definitely a work-in progress at this point and I welcome suggestions and feedback from the collective here.

Note: I'd appreciate it if "this" topic stays focused on "Targa" Weather Effects. Though I can certainly see spin off discussions of Jargono, the mines, or other expansions or worlds... under their own topics My hope is that once the kinks are worked out of this set of weather effects for Targa, the same basic mechanics can be adapted for other environments.

The way I envision the Targa Plateau is that it's a harsh and volatile environment, dangerously cold, but also unpredictable with sudden storms and other dangerous conditions that the posse must deal with.
With this supplement, weather conditions will shift suddenly and will effect movement, visibility, navigation, and general survival.



I'll jot down few notes off the top of my head (numbered for easier reference). These are all covered in better detail in the latest notes from the file section.

1) Interior Tiles ignore these weather effects. Map cards that have an "Interior" symbol provide shelter from any weather effects in play. Ruling for this supplement is that this shelter also applies to the "Frigid Snow (Weather)" Targa world card as well as the "Blizzard" Targa depth event.

2) Triggers for drawing weather effects are intended to be random AND at the same time, avoiding adding more dice rolls to the game. Use and combine as preferred.

2a) Gateways/Portal trigger : When a heroes action is to look through a portal and draw a map card, also draw a weather effect card and put it into play.

2b) Darkness marker blank space trigger : Whenever the Darkness marker moves to a blank space (Neither Darkness or Growing Dread) draw a random weather effect card and put it into play.

2c) Encounter Cards trigger : Cards are designed to be "Targa Encounter Cards" and one option is to just shuffle them into the Targa Plateau encounter deck.

3) Weather Level Numbers : Each weather card has a number value... roughly ranking them from beneficial/nuisance (low) to dangerous (high). Some cards reference these numbers for certain actions. For example, the "Brisk Winters Day" represents sort of a thawing, and removes the highest "numbered" effect in play each turn. It also could be possible to use these numbers in custom scenarios to represent a "build up" to severe weather.

____________
Edit 8-29-16:
Beta2 version is in the file section, and had completely re-written notes/rules. I removed a lot of my original incessant ramblings from this first post

Edit 8-18-16:
I removed the outdated sample cards from this fist post.
Added reference to the zip file.

Edit 8-12-16:
Added cards to gallery for anyone who might like to review & playtest. Once they are more final I'll make a zip file.
Realized I had two points 3 above. Changed the later to 4.
Added clause to 3 about duplicate weather level values.

Edit 8-11-16:
Amended 2a to cover "Looking through a portal" during activation.
Added 2c as an option to mix these in as standard targa encounter cards.
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Scott Everts
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"Nobody gets me. I'm the wind, baby!" - Tom Servo
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Great idea and love your sample cards!
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Tom Tremblay
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Really like this idea, the global effects for the early otherworlds are not as interesting as the new up and comers. Great to revisit the older ones to add more polish.

As I was reading the triggers, I thought to myself, "Blank space on the depth track" that seems a solid idea. Not sure without playtesting though.

Look forward to using this.

A card idea could be a gust of wind blowing from one of the tile's exits (you would roll which one just like for doors) pushing against players if infront of them or pushing them forward if behind (not sure about blowing in from the side though, one half of the dynamite chart?)
just an idea.
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ScottL
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Burnt Lightning wrote:

... A card idea could be a gust of wind blowing from one of the tile's exits (you would roll which one just like for doors) pushing against players if infront of them or pushing them forward if behind (not sure about blowing in from the side though, one half of the dynamite chart?)
just an idea.


Thanks, I like that, I was working on cleaning up some of the cards today while travelling so I'm in creative mode again (comes and goes). I'll add in a card called "Gale" or something along that line and incorporate your idea. It could be fun to have to fight a bit to move where they want to. Maybe movement against the wind costs 2x normal, or perhaps they could need to use grit to make any headway against the gale force wind. I'll think it through soon. Fun suggestion!
 
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David Griffin
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Surely you should be able to see what the weather is on the other side BEFORE you go through. Temperature might not be visible but a storm certainly would be.
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Johnny W
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Lovely ideas.

What type of sun do you suppose haunts the sky of Targa?

The reason I ask is if it is something like a red giant, the light will be dim and when you add severe storms, welcome to stumbling blackness.

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ScottL
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Surely you should be able to see what the weather is on the other side BEFORE you go through. Temperature might not be visible but a storm certainly would be.


Good point, I never thought of it that way. I always thought of the portals as being opaque and you don't see what's on the other side of a portal until you draw the map tile and step on through.
(all swirly and kinda wormholey like StarGate... Send in the M.A.L.P. ! ).robot

But looking through the doorway/portal as your action would reveal the map card on the other side - as well as what the conditions are like on the other side. Solution: Amendment to 2a in the first post.
I'll edit to include "Draw a random weather effect card when your action is to look through a portal". I'll put forth the idea that the card only effects THAT far side of the wormhole, and that under normal conditions you can't change it (unless of course you have an ability/card/device that allows you redraw the map-tile just drawn. That could apply. I'm pretty sure there is one that does that.

Discussion:
So, I just added a revision to 2a above, to cover "looking through" the portal. As I finished that I started thinking. Is 2a even necessary?
Possibly not. Since it wouldn't make sense to "Always" have a special weather event occurring right from the start, we could simply leave 2a out of it, other than to "clear" any current Targa Weather Effects in play if you step through a portal (Yes you could poke your head through and see that it's clear on the other side). There is already a mechanism to eventually have a weather effect crop up as listed in 2b.

Any thoughts?
 
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ScottL
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lemmingsunday wrote:
Lovely ideas.

What type of sun do you suppose haunts the sky of Targa?

The reason I ask is that if is something like a red giant the light will be dim and when you add severe storms, welcome to stumbling blackness.



Awesome... how about this: An "Eclipse" card. Basically with the effect that in addition to whatever else is going on, that the posse has to deal with voices in the dark if not in closer than usual proximity to the lantern.

I say eclipse rather than nightfall, because of the intentional randomness in this whole thing, that it would be an unpredictable event with an indeterminate duration. We can assume that no one yet has had a chance to do any sort of in-depth study of the celestial mechanics of Targa, and that it could have several orbiting moons with erratic orbits or whatnot.

I now have two new cards to make in addition to the changes I need to make. Along with some of the mechanics changes I already started yesterday. ;-) I hope to post a revised set of cards in the next couple days. (My sample of the cards was very hurried from what I had come up with a few months ago, and I had some changes brought about during testing to include anyway).

Thanks for the great ideas so far!
 
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Johnny W
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Maybe, Targa is a machine world, largely at rest. If the weather warms a bit, perhaps some aspects of the surface begins to operate.




 
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ScottL
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I've added images for all my current cards to the gallery and edited the first post to include them. Please feel free to try them out, play test, give comments etc. It's still not fully finished. Still a few kinks to work out. Once they are closer to being done, I'll do a better write up for the rules summary (first post) up a proper zip file in the file section.

Temporary Effects: I wanted to avoid extra dice rolls if at all possible, and I really struggled with how to handle "Temporary Effects". Using tokens, or lasts for 1d6 type mechanisms aren't appealing to me because, you then know exactly when the effect will end. So I came up with something looking at the current Hold Back the Darkness roll.

Winter Gale and Eclipse cards added: I took a crack at trying to make something for the suggestions offered here. I need to play test these as well, but wanted to give them at least some initial thought.

Let me know what you think. Thanks
 
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Tom Tremblay
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The updated cards are fantastic.
The temporary effect discarding mechanism for matching your role on HBtD nails it, no extra dice roles but your roll becomes more meaningful.

I'm on the fence but I think drawing the weather card when you explore the portal makes a lot of sense, local weather. This way exposure to the cards (no pun intended) is doled out slowly making the layer live with each one for a while, instead of rapid fire change where you can possibly go through the deck in one visit if your unlucky enough.

Question: If you discard a temporary effect, do you draw a new weather card?

I don't know how to do that fancy quote thing so
"What type of sun do you suppose haunts the sky of Targa?
The reason I ask is if it is something like a red giant, the light will be dim and when you add severe storms, welcome to stumbling blackness."


It seems from the artwork, Targa has a regular overcast blue sky... So why would you even need a lantern? There should be no voices in the dark then.
I think this thought may have escaped them for Targa(For Jargono it looks like there is so much vegetation the sun doesn't even make it through the canopy).
I guess the light is so overcast and maybe the ice ridges and alien structures rise up all around you that the players are constantly in shadow?

"Maybe, Targa is a machine world, largely at rest. If the weather warms a bit, perhaps some aspects of the surface begins to operate."

Here's another possible idea for a card, that could bring in this mechanic. Maybe a card that is the opposite of the eclipse, Where for once the dim sun briefly becomes visible.
It could benefit players: When the card is in play, players are immune to voices in the dark.
But the robots, though powered by darkstone cores, also have back up solar power systems. So any enemy with keyword robot gains maybe +1 initiative or +1 move, something like that (poor robots never get a buff card).
 
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David Griffin
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I kind of like these as alternatives to encounters. Basically you could substitute a weather effect card draw for an encounter card you don't like. And it's more thematic.
 
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ScottL
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Quote:

The temporary effect discarding mechanism for matching your role on HBtD nails it, no extra dice roles but your roll becomes more meaningful.

I just tested this out and it seems to work pretty well. In a sense, it's "Roll a D6 and on a 6 the card goes away"... except, you don't have to roll since you are already rolling HBTD. Works for me.

Quote:

I'm on the fence but I think drawing the weather card when you explore the portal makes a lot of sense, local weather. This way exposure to the cards (no pun intended) is doled out slowly making the player live with each one for a while, instead of rapid fire change where you can possibly go through the deck in one visit if your unlucky enough.

I'm writing up a more formal rules sheet at the moment (literally). I'm including the portal-based-draw as an option and recommending that people use the combo of options they like best. I happen to like the idea of having a weather effect when going through a portal. My concern was that we'd be forcing special weather ALL the time whenever going through a portal. I suppose I could add in a card that resets "back to normal" (Targa normal) if the other weather effects are coming up too often. Card 1 "Brisk Winters Day" tends to do that as it removes higher level effects each turn. Will think it through a bit more.

Quote:
Question: If you discard a temporary effect, do you draw a new weather card?

Nope, whatever weather pattern was removed is assumed to dissipate. Shuffle that card back into the deck.
I wanted to allow the game sessions to revert back to Targa "normal" eventually. Hopefully weather effects will last more than a turn or two. Right now in an ongoing test session I leave set up, I've had "Snow Squall" in play now for 3 or 4 turns and haven't hit it's removal number yet. This is working as intended for me so far. Time will tell.

Quote:
I don't know how to do that fancy quote thing.

Oh No problem! If you select some text, then hit the little "Q" button near the top of your post, it will surround the selection in quote tags and it will be seen indented when you post. You can also manually type in
[_q_] whatever you want quoted [_/q_]
(Exclude the _ characters in my example above)

Quote:

Quote:
"What type of sun do you suppose haunts the sky of Targa?
The reason I ask is if it is something like a red giant, the light will be dim and when you add severe storms, welcome to stumbling blackness."


It seems from the artwork, Targa has a regular overcast blue sky... So why would you even need a lantern? There should be no voices in the dark then.
I think this thought may have escaped them for Targa(For Jargono it looks like there is so much vegetation the sun doesn't even make it through the canopy).
I guess the light is so overcast and maybe the ice ridges and alien structures rise up all around you that the players are constantly in shadow?


The flavor text I'm going to add to that card is going to read:
"Where's that damned lantern!"

I agree, I have always thought of Targa as grey/overcast and with no need to have the lantern, (in fact when I play it on my open-outdoor maps and tiles for Targa, I kinda just ignore it, and really never split up my posse anyway. BUT when the eclipse card comes into play, hopefully someone in the posse was carrying the lantern. ;-)

Quote:

"Maybe, Targa is a machine world, largely at rest. If the weather warms a bit, perhaps some aspects of the surface begins to operate."

Here's another possible idea for a card, that could bring in this mechanic. Maybe a card that is the opposite of the eclipse, Where for once the dim sun briefly becomes visible.
It could benefit players: When the card is in play, players are immune to voices in the dark.

Again, this was sort of where I was going with the "Brisk Winters Day" card. (though it doesn't address Voices in the Dark specifically), since it eventually removes higher level effects, and Eclipse is right now set at weather level 5, chances are eclipse would go away in a turn or two.
At the end of "Brisk Winters Day" the posse ends up gaining a Grit or two, and then it too dissipates and removes itself from play.

There actually is some method to my madness!

Quote:
But the robots, though powered by darkstone cores, also have back up solar power systems. So any enemy with keyword robot gains maybe +1 initiative or +1 move, something like that (poor robots never get a buff card).

;-) My brain just exploded! LOL
I think for now I'll not buff the robots. It's not a bad idea, but (even though it's solar power) it would be more appropriate in the role of a "Darkness" card. Most of those give buffs to enemies.

As it is, this little weather monstrosity I've been concocting is intricate enough (likely too much so!)
 
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Tom Tremblay
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Quote:
Nope, whatever weather pattern was removed is assumed to dissipate. Shuffle that card back into the deck.
I wanted to allow the game sessions to revert back to Targa "normal" eventually. Hopefully weather effects will last more than a turn or two. Right now in an ongoing test session I leave set up, I've had "Snow Squall" in play now for 3 or 4 turns and haven't hit it's removal number yet. This is working as intended for me so far. Time will tell.


Good idea, never fun when mechanics wear out their welcome.

Finally I can quote properly, thanks!!!!

Quote:
I think for now I'll not buff the robots. It's not a bad idea, but (even through it's solar power) it would be more appropriate in the role of a "Darkness" card. Most of those give buffs to enemies.
As it is, this little weather monstrosity I've been concocting is intricate enough (likely too much so!)


Yeah that is darkness card territory, it's a fine balance with adding mechanics and not overworking them.
Looking forward to putting this out on the table!
 
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ScottL
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Quote:
Yeah that is darkness card territory, it's a fine balance with adding mechanics and not overworking them.
Looking forward to putting this out on the table!


I made some changes last night to some of the cards (mostly wording) but some cards have changed slightly. I've also been working on a nicely written rules sheet. I really hope to post that tonight when I get home. So hold off just a bit and I'll have something a bit more solid very soon.

I also want to make them easier to print on a single sheet for testing.

Update 8/16/16: I submitted a zip to the file section and will link that from here when it's available.
 
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The zip file is up Beta1 version of the cards and rules sheet

I got a chance to do some testing yesterday. I ran through a bunch of simulations where I tracked the results of a bunch of Hold Back the Darkness rolls until the darkness escaped, and tracked the Weather card results comings and goings and other interactions.

Overall, weather effects lasted an average of between 2-4 turns, (some only 1 turn, and others longer). This may be a little too rapid for some folks. I kinda liked it, but I'm going to run through some more testing sessions soon to get a better feel for it.
If necessary, the "Removal trigger" for Temporary effects could be changed from 1 dice of the HBTD roll matching the number on the card, to both dice. This certainly then would keep them in play MUCH longer, but I didn't really want to go there since "doubles" on HBTD rolls also triggers a depth event. (Going to test it all again soon)




There are a few specifics I intend on changing:

- I'm going to add a "Gateway Only" variation to the rules I wrote up. It simplifies the weather effects down to drawing a single weather card when "looking through a gate" and that card would stay in play for that entire play session in that region of Targa. The various "advanced rules" of the cards (multiple effects, effect durations, etc) could just be ignored if that option is used.


- The Eclipse Card should include text "Is not removed by Thawing or Freezing from other weather effects". It's more thematic that an eclipse isn't effected by the weather. ;-) (honestly that card is a bit out of place in the set as it's not really a weather effect anyway! I just thought it was a nice concept to introduce a temporary lack of light to the mix).

- Thawing and Freezing modifiers might need some thought and re-work (or removal). The intent was to pull weather patterns in either direction, but as written is too aggressive. Kinda re-thinking the concept at this point. It seems a bit too fiddly.

"Deep Freeze" kinda stuck around forever (luck of the draw) but there was some ambiguity with its interaction with lower numbered cards. I'm changing it's "Freezing" modifier to only remove cards under level 4 and does NOT remove itself when it's the only effect in play.

I need to add a clause in the rules explaining that weather effects should be allowed to be active for 1 full turn before being removed from play (I ran into a situation where I had "Brisk Winters Day" followed by "Deep Freeze" on the next turn, and saw some ambiguity where they both actively removed each other from play on the next turn.)

If any of you good folks want to test out the cards and ideas, I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

For the short term, I've modified the "Eclipse" Card as described above, and also the "Deep Freeze" Card to partially address awkwardness of the freezing duration modifier. I put revised cards in the gallery, and will roll these into the zip file when it's ready for a major change or finalization.
 
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Tom Tremblay
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I'm not sure if making the temporary weather number higher and changing it to adding the HBtD rolls together, maybe making it if you get that number or higher?
Maybe that would make the temporary effects stick around?

I do like the thawing and freezing idea. Really neat mechanic, not sure if it would be too fiddly or add too much fluctuation. Maybe not so if you are playing with the blank darkness track method, with new cards coming up fairly often.

another idea: Maybe have 2 versions of a card, one with a lower weather level with a higher number. Could be a crap idea, but it's always good to throw ideas out there.
 
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ScottL
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Burnt Lightning wrote:

I'm not sure if making the temporary weather number higher and changing it to adding the HBtD rolls together, maybe making it if you get that number or higher? Maybe that would make the temporary effects stick around?

Quote:
another idea: Maybe have 2 versions of a card, one with a lower weather level with a higher number. Could be a crap idea, but it's always good to throw ideas out there.

Ideas are great, keep them coming. Though I think for the level numbers, I'll try to stick to a single final system as opposed to 2. I do certainly want to take a closer look at your total HBTD suggestion. A benefit of using it is that your mind is already considering the total HBTD result anyway. (sometimes it's pretty easy to miss a single match when you are doing HBTD). AND there's also a small bell curve in the combinations of two dice. Less combinations hitting edge values like 2 or 12 and slightly more combos for mid values like 6.
I'll really think on all that some more.

One solution may be to make a couple more cards "Persistent" instead of "Temporary". Right now I have only 2 persistent cards. all others are temporary.

As it is right now, sometimes things do change a little too rapidly. For what it's worth, I also did a test run only removing weather cards when the HBTD roll was DOUBLES matching the card number. Really didn't like it at all. I ended up with like 4-5 weather cards on the table at one point and it was just too much. However, one of them was Heavy Fog and it's Thawing clause cleared things out a bit in short order.

Quote:
I do like the thawing and freezing idea. Really neat mechanic, not sure if it would be too fiddly or add too much fluctuation. Maybe not so if you are playing with the blank darkness track method, with new cards coming up fairly often.

I think the trick is not to have "too many" cards with freezing/thawing clauses. Currently I have Brisk Winters Day with thawing, Heavy Fog with both situationally, and then Deep Freeze with Freezing. I recently posted a change to Deep Freeze, to remove level 1-3 cards so it seems better to have this limit. I may tweak it further to act more slowly then it is at present. On the other end of the spectrum, Brisk Winters Day kinda behaves as I intended. I wanted it to warm things up and then (if it runs it's full course) yield a grit or two before things get cold again.

Anyway - more testing to do. Will attempt to do a new beta2 zip file as soon as I can, so we're looking at the same version.
 
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Joe Price
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BTW, with the introduction of the Jargono Native class, you're introducing trouble with the "Earthborn posse" comment at the beginning of your notes. Just take the "Earthborn" part out to prevent confusion. You could put in an additional note "unless otherwise specifically indicated by card" for future expansion, but that should be pretty well understood as a basic mechanism of the game.

I would also suggest modifying the "NOT Grittable" section since the HBtD rolls *can* be gritted in certain circumstances (currently the mine lantern). I would suggest changing the details to "...partially controlled by HBtD rolls, [they are only affected by rerolls that specifically allow HBtD rerolls. Only the last value rolled is used to determine changes to the weather.]"
 
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rpvt wrote:

... take the "Earthborn" part out to prevent confusion.

...suggest modifying the "NOT Grittable" section since the HBtD rolls *can* be gritted in certain circumstances... Only the last value rolled is used to determine changes to the weather."


Excellent feedback on those details, thanks!

I am overhauling the notes and all of the cards for Beta2 of this, and will fit in those changes. I'm adjusting the mechanism for removing cards (using the total value of the HBtD roll instead of a single HBtD die), and some simplification where things were getting too fiddly.

I hope to be able to push that out by the end of this weekend.
 
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Re: [WIP] Targa Weather Effects
I posted the Beta2 version of the rules/notes sheet and cards in the file section.

It's a substantial overhaul:

- Changed how Weather cards are removed. This now uses the total of the HBtD roll rather than a single die.
This changes the probability of rolling results that remove weather effect cards from play.

- I got rid of the idea of "Persistent" vs "Temporary" weather effects and tried to take advantage of the distribution so that some effects would remain in play longer than other more short-lived effects.

- Reworked all the card numbers, and layout (though I still think I need to increate the font-size more) - admittedly it's really tight.

- Reworked the details of many of the effects. Overall, tried to work in more situations where hero stats were tested.

- Provided an Ink Saver folder for testing. Since these cards are not yet final. Already I have a couple suggestions I've pencil'd in for the next (maybe final?) version.

Have fun, and let me know what you think.
Thanks!
 
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Daniele C.
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Re: [WIP] Targa Weather Effects
Great job! Will you make something similar for the Other Worlds?
 
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Re: [WIP] Targa Weather Effects
kahran78 wrote:
Great job! Will you make something similar for the Other Worlds?


Thanks Once the kinks are worked out of this Targa set, I can't see why not. Lessons learned and all that. I have a few ideas for SoD but really want to nail this one down first. As it is, I discovered a bunch of stupid typos in Beta2, and after a play-test yesterday have some changes for a couple of the cards.

"Brisk Winters Day", when it comes out before other effects, it simply eats up all higher cards that are drawn. They only get a chance to stay out for a single turn. Which isn't what I was after for this. I'm going to correct that.

• The Depth Event for Targa (when double 4's are rolled) is "Blizzard", the way I read that event, it mentions a hero taking a hit at the start of each turn. So it must stay in play. I'd like to give it a "reference card" to remember it and allow it to interact with other weather effects. I'll likely add that.

"Forecast" works nicely, and plays out just as I wanted. But I do need to add a clause for when it's failed - to shuffle it back.

One thing that really helps is to place weather cards that are in play right near the Depth tracker. Helps with remembering to check for any that are being removed as a result of the HBtD roll.
 
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Ugo Perillo
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Re: [WIP] Targa Weather Effects
any news?
 
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Re: [WIP] Targa Weather Effects
I have gone back and forth a lot privately with Tom Burnt Lightning, playtesting these cards to fine tune them. (Many many thanks Tom!). The card wording and intended effects are all worked out very well at this point.

Final Candidate cards are in my gallery at the moment, but I am replacing the art with my own sketches for some of them (not 100% sure of rights on the ones I had shown previously (that had western paintings))
Deep Freeze, SnowSquall, and Sleet, and I'll come up with something for Blizzard too (is currently blank).
 
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