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Subject: New Other World Cards - request for feedback rss

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Chris Poor
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Hey, I just uploaded a pdf into the files section of Other World cards based on the writing of Clark Ashton Smith, and would love feedback.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/136511/clark-ashton-s...

I have been reading more of the 'other' Weird Tales authors, and CAS has really fired my imagination. We have played so much that the OW cards are all very well known to us, and there are no surprises left there.

I wanted these OW cards to have some surprises, and I know that some of them are brutal. I have not yet playtested them, and plan to introduce them to my game group the next time we play, but I didn't want them to have read all of the cards ahead of time.
Thanks,
Crispy

PS should I post some images here? I don't know how long it will take for the file to be approved.
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Krzysiek Domański
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crispy66 wrote:
PS should I post some images here? I don't know how long it will take for the file to be approved.
1)Some images would be nice.
2)The sooner you upload them, the sooner they will be accepted.
3)You can always upload images to your personal gallery instead of game gallery. In such case you don't need the approval, as far as I know.

Edit: I don't see the file. I guess it still waits for approval.
I haven't seen it in Geekmod either, but I'm not sure whether files are geekmodded.
I suppose the best idea would be, if you could provide a link here.
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Chris Poor
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OK, thanks for that advice - I didn't realize they were different uploads. The main file is a PDF, and the personal gallery wants image files, so I uploaded 16 individual card png files, front only. The pdf is formatted for double-sided printing.

Personal gallery link:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/images/user/389945/crispy66

Thanks!
 
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Chris Poor
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Here is one of the images:



Others are in the gallery, if this piques your interest.
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Xelto G
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OK, I skimmed the cards (don't have time for a detailed study right now). My immediate impressions were, on the good side, that most of them seemed interesting. On the bad side, I found them too verbose, and would prefer less flavor text.

Going in a hair deeper, I have a personal preference for fewer cards without "close this gate" results on both pass and fail routes. Back when the game was new, I really like them, but as expansions dumped far more of the close on both initial results, I started wanting fewer of them. I also am not a fan of most of the 'choose pass or fail' cards; the card would have to be rather unique to make me think it worthwhile. But these are both personal preferences, and you may get different opinions from other players.
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Chris Poor
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Thanks for the constructive reply.

Verbosity: Yeah, I know. After reading CAS' stories, it just kind of seemed fitting, but I get where you are coming from. I LIKE the story aspect of the OW cards, and that is what keeps the game from being just a dice-fest to me. My nightmare scenario is becoming so familiar with the OW cards that we read the first line and then it becomes "Test X...pass. OK, test Y-1. OK, close the gate." We are starting to feel that way now, since we have played so much. I have even started telling new stories when I read the cards to other people in our games, just to make it feel fresh.

I was not sure if the verbosity would become tiresome after several plays; in other words, yeah, this is interesting the first read-through, but after that we just need to skip to the test - paradoxically making the more verbose cards less interesting sooner than the less-verbose ones. I also wanted to introduce people to CAS' style and give some idea of the plot of the story, perhaps to inspire them to read the originals (not really the function of these cards, and perhaps a critical error).

On your second point, I am not clear, perhaps because of a double-negative effect: you prefer to have more cards with "close the gate" possible on both pass and fail? Your second sentence makes this unclear to me which you prefer. I am interested in your opinion here, as I am looking for some sort of balance. Should an initial fail mean that you can NEVER close the gate, or just that it is harder? Conversely, should an initial pass mean that you ALWAYS close the gate? I don't think that it can be reduced to a formula; again, that comes too close to a dice-fest for me. My own preference is for Pass-Pass to almost always close the gate, and often give another bonus, for Pass-Fail sometimes close, and rarely hurt, Fail-Pass to sometimes close and sometimes hurt, and Fail-Fail to never close and usually hurt and sometimes be a disaster. All very squishy, of course. I have not analyzed the original cards or my own for these tendencies, it is just how I am thinking while writing them.

In any case, I did not decide ahead of time on any percentage of pass/fail gate closings, but rather used the atmosphere and mood of the story to decide how the results would pay off. I used the 'choose' format on a few because it already existed, and seemed to be appropriate, and didn't really note the percentage of cards I did this with. Looking, I see that it is 25% (2 cards in each set of 8), and this may be too high. I just counted, and 12 of 54 of the cards I have (all expansions) have this mechanic, so I guess it is about right. I understand not liking it, though. I think of these cards as a chance to Role-Play a bit in the game, and they are often the source of good player interaction as we debate and decide which choice to make, rather than let the dice dictate for us.

Thanks again for the well-considered and helpful comments; please send more! I am very interested in your thoughts after a game or two with them if possible.

Crispy
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Chris Poor
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Link added to
original post.
 
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Steve Maurer
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At first glance, the cards ARE "chatty" - but I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I thought the game was supposed to be all about "narrative", so if you are aiming to bring CAS's works to the game, that's fine.

The explicit "pass" and "Fail" conditions are different from the original, and i'll just see how that feels after a play.

I don't want to read them too closely right now (ruining any surprises).

Do you feel that they can serve as a "stand alone" deck of OW cards, or must they be mixed with the official deck?
 
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Xelto G
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crispy66 wrote:
Verbosity: Yeah, I know. After reading CAS' stories, it just kind of seemed fitting, but I get where you are coming from. I LIKE the story aspect of the OW cards, and that is what keeps the game from being just a dice-fest to me. My nightmare scenario is becoming so familiar with the OW cards that we read the first line and then it becomes "Test X...pass. OK, test Y-1. OK, close the gate." We are starting to feel that way now, since we have played so much. I have even started telling new stories when I read the cards to other people in our games, just to make it feel fresh.

I was not sure if the verbosity would become tiresome after several plays;

Well, I suspect it would be tiresome after a single play, actually.

I like having flavor text, but you have to read it. Longer flavor text is likely to be cut down the most as game-wearyness sets in. Also, having a mix of short and long flavor text sections actually helps keep the gameplay fresher within the individual games, actually, simply by mixing up the rhythm of the flavor text.

Quote:
On your second point, I am not clear, perhaps because of a double-negative effect: you prefer to have more cards with "close the gate" possible on both pass and fail? Your second sentence makes this unclear to me which you prefer.

Sorry about that. What I meant was that when the game first came out, I liked having gate closing on the fail effect as well as the pass effect. But with the expansions after FL, most of the cards started being made that way, so I have since reversed course.

In my opinion, a good mix of 12 other world cards cards would be roughly:
• 2 basic cards (close gate on pass effect, fail effect has some way to try to avoid a bad result) Example card: other world card #11
• 2 near-basic cards (close gate on pass effect, fail effect has some way to possibly get a minor good result like gaining clues or spells) Example: #46
• 2 alternate near basic cards (close gate on pass effect with some way of gaining an additional bonus on the pass track, fail track may or may not have a positive benefit in it) Example: #6
• 3 close the gate on both tracks cards, with possible negative effects on both tracks as well. The fail track may have some unavoidable negative effect on it. Example: #53
• 1 choose-your-path card (at most. This one can be replaced with a close-gate-on-both-tracks card)
• 1 variation on the basic cards that has some unusual effects as part of it. Example: #35
• 1 off the wall card, that, while you can close a gate through it, is, as often as not, going to have some other effect on you. Example #24

I hope it goes without saying that this is my opinion only, and that the numbers I put in are only rough guidelines, not something that I feel is set in stone.

Quote:
I used the 'choose' format on a few because it already existed, and seemed to be appropriate, and didn't really note the percentage of cards I did this with. Looking, I see that it is 25% (2 cards in each set of 8), and this may be too high. I just counted, and 12 of 54 of the cards I have (all expansions) have this mechanic, so I guess it is about right.

Again, this is only my opinion, but I just dislike almost all the "choose" cards. Sadly for me, Nikki appears to enjoy them.

But now that I think about it, I suspect the reason I dislike them is because it's not really a choice in most of them, it's either "do you have a clue or focus to spend?", or "which stat are you better in"? Those are unsatisfying choices. If the choice was "do you want to try to close a gate or gain an artifact instead?", that would be better. Or maybe "It's the same roll either way... but if you spend a combination of 3 health/sanity before the roll, you can try to close 2 gates instead of 1... oh, and the fail effect is worse if you fail, as well..."
 
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Chris Poor
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Baron von Schnort wrote:
At first glance, the cards ARE "chatty" - but I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I thought the game was supposed to be all about "narrative", so if you are aiming to bring CAS's works to the game, that's fine.

The explicit "pass" and "Fail" conditions are different from the original, and i'll just see how that feels after a play.

I don't want to read them too closely right now (ruining any surprises).

Do you feel that they can serve as a "stand alone" deck of OW cards, or must they be mixed with the official deck?


I am making more, but with only 16, I see this as something to mix into the existing deck for some variety.

Thanks for the feedback! Let me know how you like them after a game or two.

 
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Chris Poor
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Xelto- I appreciate the insightful comment on flavor text - I think that you are right, and that there is a good balance to be found here. I'll go back and work on these cards.

As to the 'ideal' balancing of results - more feedback I was looking for, thanks again! I know there aren't any hard and fast rules, but it is good to know what people expect. I didn't build these cards as a 'set', with pre-defined outcomes. Each card was individually written based on what the stories inspired in me. The Singing Flame cards are all from one story, and are a bit repetitive, as the story is evocative, but rather simple. The Hyboria cards are generally each based on a separate story, and try to capture the essence of the story. I'll lay them out and evaluate them for their results/bias as you suggest, and see if any changes are needed.

I expect that these cards will, on the whole, be more difficult than typical OW cards, and also have a chance for bigger rewards. We played a game with them today, and the first player who drew one was Lost in Time and Space, but the second got an Artifact. I think overall they felt about right to my play group, which is pretty experienced. But it was just one play through.

Thanks again!
 
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Chris Poor
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BTW, Xelto,

I'm enjoying following The Burrowers Beneath PBF, and especially enjoy your flavor text for encounters - that is what I try to do with the most familiar cards in games we are playing now, to freshen them up a bit.

I worked my way through the new OW cards last night, and used a simple scoring system to grade them; a + for good things, and a - for bad (no scale, so closing a gate or gaining an Artifact was +, and being Devoured or losing 1 Sanity was -), and most of my cards had a negative value - far more brutal than I had realized. I tweaked them to be near zero, but my impression beforehand was that most cards should be a net positive. (Hope that made sense). I'll keep tweaking, and also rate the original cards, and try to get them balanced.

Also trimmed down the flavor text, especially on a couple of the worst offenders.

Thanks again.
 
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Chris Poor
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just uploaded V2.0, with improvements from comments made here.
- 16 more cards! Travel to Averoigne and meet the Enchantress of Sylaire, or to Poseidonis, where wizards battle for control of the last continent on earth!
- less brutal! I toned down a lot of the more severe versions of the cards. Still tough, but more like the cards you know and love.
- less wordy! Still more wordy than the cards you know and love, still more like CAS' writing style, but not so much. No tiny text.

Look them over, give me feedback!

You can probably print these and use them, I'm not sure how much they'll change from here - feedback from playtesting might make a change.

Thanks for looking!
 
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Chris Poor
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Approved!

Working on Zothique cards!
 
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Chris Poor
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V3.0 up!
40 cards now, should be good for printing.
 
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Chris Poor
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V.4.0 now up. 300dpi for sharp text, cut back on the verbosity quite a bit, and several changes after playtesting. Near-final form, pending feedback.
 
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