Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Queries and Problems

Subject: Need Help phrasing rules for Clarity rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robyn Dawson-Ruiz
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
I'm working on designing a magical duel card game called Rezonite. I'm having some trouble phrasing the rules on what you can do on your turn.

On your turn you get three actions. Some of the ways you can spend actions are:
1 action to begin a spell (play a card face down and exhausted (exhausted means sideways. or tapped if you play magic the gathering).)
1 action to Generate energy (play a card slid under a spell such that only the energy symbol is showing)
1 action to refresh all the cards you have in play (Can only be done If you have not done anything else yet this turn.)

Once you have a spell in play, refreshed, with enough energy on it, you can cast it (flip it face up and do what it says).
Casting a spell does not cost an action.

This has been confusing to a lot of my play testers. They expect it to cost an action to cast a spell. After a game or two it becomes easier, but it's really counter-intuitive to new players.

I believe the confusion comes from the fact that you get three actions per turn, but there are things you can do that do not count as actions. A possible solution would be replacing the word action with something else like "time". In that case it would take time to begin a spell and more time to refresh that spell and add energy to it, but it would not take any time to cast it once it's ready.

If you have any suggestions on how to phrase my rules better, please let me know. Here is a link if you want to take a look at the rulebook and cards: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwUds189Zg-6bURlN3NSeG9maV...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Metäl Warrior
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Separate the casting "action" into a separate, distinct phase which happens every turn automatically.

If I understand this correctly, you "begin" a spell, and it takes a while (a turn or two?) to brew, and then you can finally cast it. Beginning costs an action, but casting doesn't?

If that's the case, why not make the casting a separate, distinct phase in the turn. So you might have Planning phase, Action phase, and Casting phase. In Planning phase you declare your actions, in Action phase you do them by exhausting cards, and in Casting phase any spells which have begun and have enough energy will cast automatically.

I had a very similar issue with a game I'm working on, and decided to use a distinct skill phase which doesn't cost any Action Points.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps they can perform 3 Prep Actions (or whatever name works) and any number of Free Actions. Then define casting a spell as a Free Action.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robyn Dawson-Ruiz
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
Jaffeli wrote:
Separate the casting "action" into a separate, distinct phase which happens every turn automatically.

If I understand this correctly, you "begin" a spell, and it takes a while (a turn or two?) to brew, and then you can finally cast it. Beginning costs an action, but casting doesn't?

If that's the case, why not make the casting a separate, distinct phase in the turn. So you might have Planning phase, Action phase, and Casting phase. In Planning phase you declare your actions, in Action phase you do them by exhausting cards, and in Casting phase any spells which have begun and have enough energy will cast automatically.

I had a very similar issue with a game I'm working on, and decided to use a distinct skill phase which doesn't cost any Action Points.


You are understanding correctly, although it's less about time and more about meeting the correct requirements. After you begin a spell, you need to refresh it and you need to place enough energy on it to meet the casting requirement. Once that is done the spell is ready and can be cast at any time during your turn or during a future turn. Certain spells can be cast as reactions during your opponent's turn.

I appreciate the feedback, but different phases would not work for my game. Players need to be able to cast a spell at any point during their turn in order for certain spells to function correctly. In some cases a player might take an action, then cast a spell, then take another 2 actions, then cast another spell.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Miller
United States
College Station
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
CrystylRobyn wrote:

I appreciate the feedback, but different phases would not work for my game. Players need to be able to cast a spell at any point during their turn in order for certain spells to function correctly. In some cases a player might take an action, then cast a spell, then take another 2 actions, then cast another spell.


Why not just have an action "cost?" Players get 3 action points to spend during their turn- and casting a prepared spell costs 0 action points. This would also allow for future actions that might cost 2 or 3 points, or a spell (or item) that might give you more action points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Lennert
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When a game starts using a term in a specific technical sense, care should always be taken NOT to use the same word for its generic, common-language meaning.

For instance, if your game has a specific action called an "attack" that deals damage based on your strength, but players can also inflict damage by playing event cards on each other, then you should be careful NOT to say that someone playing an event card is "attacking", or that the target is "under attack", or anything like that.

Lots of board games choose to use the word "action" as a technical term (especially games with action point systems, action drafting, etc.). But it's such a generic word that there is also a strong temptation to use "action" to refer to anything that happens in the game.

I've seen a lot of games that limit the number of actions you can do but then define a special category of actions that bypasses the limit (like "quick actions"). Personally, I think that's unnecessarily confusing; if you have to do that, then you should find another term for the actions that are limited, or define a resource that you use to pay for them.

But I don't have any particular problem with games saying that A, B, and C are "actions", but D, E, and F are not considered actions, even though they are things that you can choose to do.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robyn Dawson-Ruiz
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
Antistone wrote:
I've seen a lot of games that limit the number of actions you can do but then define a special category of actions that bypasses the limit (like "quick actions"). Personally, I think that's unnecessarily confusing; if you have to do that, then you should find another term for the actions that are limited, or define a resource that you use to pay for them.

But I don't have any particular problem with games saying that A, B, and C are "actions", but D, E, and F are not considered actions, even though they are things that you can choose to do.


Thank you, and thanks everyone for your responses. I get why this is confusing now, I always saw actions as a resource but my players didn't. As written, my rules say that A, B, and C cost actions while D, and E do not cost actions, but they also say that you get to take 3 actions on your turn so it sounds like do 3 things on your turn. I'm going to define a different resource to replace actions.

I've been brainstorming ideas for what to call this resource. Right now I'm thinking willpower. My new rules will say something along the lines of you get 3 willpower to spend each turn. Drawing, playing cards, and refreshing costs 1 willpower, while casting does not cost willpower.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that introducing a currency (willpower) is unnecessary unless different actions have different willpower costs.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robyn Dawson-Ruiz
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
Right now I have some actions that cost 1 willpower, some actions that do not cost willpower, and some actions that cost 2 willpower.

Here is a picture of the character card and some cards from the force deck. The recent changes include replacing the word action with Willpower and changing the letter inside the black circles from A to W. I will probably design a better symbol to represent willpower at some point, assuming that I stick with that word for the resource.



The art and card design is my own at the moment. I've started talking with an artist and plan to look into graphic design at some point, but right now I'm still testing out the mechanics of the game. This is version 4.2.

Edit: I couldn't figure out how to make the pictures bigger or all in a row, so I combined them into a new picture in a row. They are still small but you can click into a bigger picture.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.