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Subject: Adventure style game - Need suggestions rss

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Collin Fisher
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I'm a long time lurker, and have come up with an idea for a board game, and I have a couple basic ideas for it. I came up with the idea a couple days ago and want to start writing rules and theme ideas and what-not. The game will be set in the modern world and the players are adventurers looking to find mythical/ancient items and objects such as Excalibur, The Holy Grail, The Ark of the Covenant, among other things. Players will choose a quest for an item, then the players will be traveling across the world gathering clues, then the game changes style when the players find the area where the item is held and perhaps they need to avoid traps or fight a monster.

1: I need some suggestions for items from history/myth/lore.

2: I also need some suggestions for how the game should work long-term, have a campaign? Or give it replayability some-how? Or both?(I think this would be difficult considering you probably wouldn't find Excalibur in Africa for example) I'm considering "modes", you would have a mode where the story can really only be played once and you would have a mode where you can one-off on an item, and perhaps make up a story reason for Excalibur being in Africa for example. How do you think this would work?

3: Any ideas on good mechanics?

4: And perhaps any ideas on how the items themselves could have an in-game use other than "Yay we won!"?

Any and all suggestions are helpful.
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
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Let's start w/ some questions -

Are you wanting this to be fantastic? Meaning, is magic real? If it is, do normal people (muggles) know about it? What sort of basic gameplay are you wanting? What games are you thinking for inspiration?
 
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Collin Fisher
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warrenfitz45 wrote:
Let's start w/ some questions -

Are you wanting this to be fantastic? Meaning, is magic real? If it is, do normal people (muggles) know about it?


Well, yes and no. Think Indiana Jones for example. Magic is real, but people don't see it. The players, however, know that there is magic, but don't really know how to use it, the players only know that the items have some mystical power about them and possibly how to use them.

Quote:

What sort of basic gameplay are you wanting? What games are you thinking for inspiration?


Gameplay for the first part of the game revolves around Eldritch Horror (Never played Eldritch Horror, so I'm spitballing on this) type movement around the world finding clues and trying to lock down the location of the objective. The second part would revolve around trying to get through an Egyptian tomb for example, without dying. Each player would take an adventurer, whether it be the historian, the veteran, the brawn, etc. and each adventurer would have stats in things like history, strength, resources, etc. Each player would have a certain number of actions s/he can take on his/her turn.
 
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James Arias
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I don't know if you're shooting for a card game or pawns on a map, but your concept made me think of Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game and Race to Adventure: The Spirit of the Century Exploration Game (neither of which I've played), in case either has inspirations, or things NOT to do (like don't have 24 card decks ).


1: For replayability I think it would be cool to do something like 3 items per continent (including ocean bottom and other odd locales), randomly draw which ones for this game. E.g. we know there's 4 items but don't know where, or if we know where we don't know which one. Have items from all over - Japanese, mythical European, Indian, African, Atlantean, Alien etc.

2: Maybe use RPG/dungeon crawler quest tropes like Fetch, Destroy combined with shadowy organizations, preventng doomsday, etc. Randomly draw x and that's your plot thread tying the items together.

3: Games like Pandemic and Fury of Dracula have examples of ways to move around a map. I like the "clue" idea maybe that's a draw deck or a token flip like Pirates vs. Dinosaurs.

4: Have each one grant a power like +1 move or take a card from discard pile, etc.?

 
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JT Schiavo
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1 - Just go wikipedia diving, and you should find plenty of mythological/historical relics and artifacts.


2 - A campaign or legacy style game would probably be the most memorable. Items you discover become equipment for your players, monsters you defeat or puzzles you've already solved are removed from the campaign so that you always have something different, expect maybe there are nemesis villains that keep showing up and get more powerful each time. Things like that could make for a great story experience.

On the flipside, a one-off way of playing is much easier to get to the table. If you have a sufficient pool of items/monsters/puzzles/villains/etc, it should be easy enough to random up a single session without the campaign.

As far as "Why would Excalibur be in Africa?" you could go with region-specific relics, or you could just use a story justification such as the villain absconded with it, but you are hot on his trail.


3 - I think the real meat of the first half of the game is going to be the clue mechanic.

Are the clues going to be abstracted, or an actual puzzle?

If you go abstract, it could be like Eldritch Horror - Collect X number of clue markers to turn over the card, revealing where to find the dungeon.

If you go puzzle, you could do something like Clue(do) or another basic deduction game - Use process of elimination to determine where it can't be until you know where it must be.

Another option would be to use an adventure book, you pick which mission you are going on and the clues you get refer to pages in the book with puzzles, hints, or just storytelling.


Mechanically, the dungeon section would be pretty straightforward, but you'd probably have to either design a random generation method or use a bunch of presets with randomized objectives to make the game more replayable.


4 - See point 2, but making each relic a usable item for future campaign sessions is cool, or maybe just dealing out a random relic to each player in a one-off game without the campaign. Another options would be to turn them in for experience/gold to level up or buy more gear, or use it as a point mechanic if you want to go semi-coop and make the players compete for best relic hunter.
 
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Freelance Police
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Just don't trap yourself in the same mechanics every other adventure game has: dice for skill checks, pawns moving on maps, etc. Do some research behind the artifacts for story ideas. I'd vote for a CYOA-style of game, even if it's solo play or lower replayability. Historical artifacts often are accompanied by conflicting reports and conflicts of ownership, so you can design mechanics around that.
 
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Collin Fisher
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions, over the last day or two I've come up with a couple ideas for base mechanics.

Everyone chooses an artifact that players will be going for, as an example, The Staff of Horus. The Staff of Horus has two decks of cards, a Location deck, and an Event deck. Every time a player goes somewhere, they may use an action to take a location, or they may go to an area in Egypt and "search" that area, they will then draw an event card, this event card may be extremely helpful, such as something like, draw 3 Location cards. Or it will be something rather non-helpful, such as, "You stumble upon a lost mummy, you also happen to bear a resemblance to the person who killed him! You are now engaged in combat with the mummy." And then you must fight the mummy. Eventually, you will have all the clue/location cards you need to figure out where the Staff of Horus is located.

When the players have found it, they then look in the adventure book, and look up The Staff of Horus. The Staff of Horus will list a number of tiles to use for the tomb. Players will then take these tiles, and place them face-down on the table, shuffling them all up. Then these tiles will then be arranged in the pattern shown in the book and flipped over. Monsters and traps will be placed as shown in the book. Then the game transforms from a variant of Clue to a light miniatures game as the players fight their way through the tomb until they find The Staff.

Any thoughts? Tweaks? Ideas?
 
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Warren Fitzpatrick
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Seems workable in some fashion, but it'll still be extremely expensive to make (all those tiles for each different situation). Not that doing so is a killer, but it will be expensive. Perhaps using a deck of cards to form the "map" as it were?

Also, where would the anxiety be? You need to build tension, and I'm not sure that would fit what you're doing here.
 
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John Breckenridge
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You're dealing with things that are hundreds if not thousands of years old, so they're not likely still in their original locations. You could make the game about tracking the provenance of the items, who had object X last and who they took it from and where. Reminds me of the Maltese Falcon.
 
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