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Subject: Would the price of the game go up dramatically if we did this? rss

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Dimitri Sirenko
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Hey guys so ive had my game playtested by around 20 people. Half of them I had a chance to be present and actually play a few games with the group too. What i have noticed is that around 40% of the people felt the game was a tad long. That is of course a very subjective outlook. My card game can be done in about 45 minutes if everyone knows the game already. But the problem is that when we playtest it takes around an hour and a bit to finish. So I can definitely see people's concern over the time it takes to finish. The problem is that my game is meant to be played at medium to fast pace and so there is a lot of exciting things that happen all the time. However, due to this exciting nature of the rounds (there are 33 rounds currently) i can definitely notice players getting fatigued including myself by the time there are around 10 rounds left. Cutting down the amount of rounds will not work as each round you win an artifact that gets you points at the end of the game. So one solution I came up with was to make a rule that whoever gets to lets say 20 victory points first within the game wins right away. The 33 artifacts are split into 3 rarities: common gives you 1 victory point, uncommon - 2, and rare - 4. On top of that you can complete same color sets of treasures where each set will give you additional 3 victrory points. And lastly, i have individual missions which if completed give you another 5 victory points. So this brings us to my main question.

All that my game is right now is 130 cards. The game ends when all 33 rounds (artifact per round) have been played and then everyone counts their scores. If i were to intorduce the mechanic where someone can win before all the rounds are played I will absolutely have to have some type of tracker that will be easy to see and understand right away how far from winning someone is.
My 3 ideas for the trackers are as follows
1. A dial.
2. Victory points based on rarity written on each artifact card PLUS small tokens representing 3 victory poitns and 5 victory points for when the sets or missions are completed
3. a strip tracker with numbered spaces and player tokens placed on 0 so all of them move up when gaining victory points or go back when they lose the artifact (stealing etc)

all 3 solutions can work but some would work better than others. However, all 3 would require new components to be made for the game.

Now the question is, would it be worth it doing that for the sake of shortening the game? How much more money am i looking at spending by having to add new components to the box?

really need some help here because i am kind of clueless at this point.
 
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Ryan M
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I think the best thing to do would be to make a cheap version of any/all of the choices and do more playtesting before moving forward. Sometimes people who say a game is too long are actually saying, "This game is only fun or entertaining for X minutes". So you need to determine if this issue is actually addressed by the options below before you commit and spend a bunch of money, regardless of what option you go with.

If you spend any money on implementing those options, and 40% of people still complain the game is too long (ie. maybe they feel 30 mins max is better? 15?), it's just an added cost that doesn't benefit you and your product.

The best option I feel would be to playtest your ideas a number of times first to make sure you are addressing the issue in the first place. If the playtesting shows people are happy with the fix, I'm sure it will also show which option people found to be the best for tracking.
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Use two cards. One numbered 0-9, and one with 00, 10, 20, 30 on each corner of one side, 40, 50, 60, 70 on the other. Slide the 10s card on the 0s card accordingly.

That's what they use for Hero Realms. Cheap and easy.
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Jeremy Lennert
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
Cutting down the amount of rounds will not work as each round you win an artifact that gets you points at the end of the game.

I do not understand how the one precludes the other.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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Antistone wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
Cutting down the amount of rounds will not work as each round you win an artifact that gets you points at the end of the game.

I do not understand how the one precludes the other.


ahh yes sorry
maybe im just overthinking it
the game can be played up to 6 players. So in a 5 or 6 player game it comes down to artifact distribution. Having 33 artifacts allow people to have an average of 5-6 per person. By cutting the deck down to about 24-25 artifacts I would be looking at an average distribution of only around 4-5 artifacts per person which kind of feels less epic but most importantly it makes it so that potentially each player can have 1-2 color sets on average only. it can also potentially limit the versatility of missions. Also, i guess what i was trying to achieve is a similar feel to 7 wonders when you count all these points at the end and its not very evident right away who wins. So the less artifacts people gather, the more evident it may become and so the little bit of mystery as to who is actually going to win goes away. So the reason im saying i might be overthinking it is because maybe its not such a bad thing. Would you suggest I try to playtest with only 24-25 artifacts and see how it plays before making untested decisions?
 
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A Twu
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Have you considered a way where more than one artifact comes up in a round?
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Matt D
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
around 40% of the people felt the game was a tad long. That is of course a very subjective outlook.


Of course. Which is exactly what you are looking for in play testing.

If people are saying your game is a tad long it might just be that...

3CreativeMinds wrote:

However, due to this exciting nature of the rounds (there are 33 rounds currently) i can definitely notice players getting fatigued including myself by the time there are around 10 rounds left.


33 rounds?

If you are noticing a fatigue point in players INCLUDING yourself when there are around 10 rounds left...why don't you consider shortening the game by those ten rounds and make it 21 rounds or so instead of 33?

3CreativeMinds wrote:

Cutting down the amount of rounds will not work as each round you win an artifact that gets you points at the end of the game.


Why? Is there a particular contest you are entering that requires a 33 round game?

I mean, I understand a game requiring, say, 4 rounds or 8 rounds or "2 rounds per player" for balance purposes or what not.

But what is so critical about 33 rounds?

BTW, based upon the description of your game, I think you should strongly consider the comments of your play testers that the game is too long, and simply shorten the game, not introduce a mechanic that requires players to shorten it for you. Because if you get a group that doesn't take any of the "end the game early" strategies, you're going to end up with players who think your game is long. And as noted, they might not care for it.

It sounds like you are married to a 33 round game for reasons that you haven't disclosed, and I think you are over complicating your design by trying to find an excuse to say "It doesn't have to be 33 rounds!" instead of tackling the fact that your players don't want to play it for 33 rounds.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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firstcultural wrote:
Have you considered a way where more than one artifact comes up in a round?


yep i already have a few strategies in place for that which will need to be platested with the next version of the game

1. Previously if everyone passed on an artifact or if someone played a destroy artifact card that card would be placed at the bottom of the deck for another chance to go for it.
the new design will make it so that if there is an unclaimed treasure it is kept on the table and when the next treasure comes up the winner of that round takes both.

2. Right now i have one treasure that has a special condition which says "draw the next treasure face up and place it beside this one. the person that wins this round keeps both".
So my idea is to inroduce another similar event or maybe the same one on about 3 more treasures, saying "draw the next treasure face down and place it beside this one. The winner of this round reveals the second treasure and keeps both".

3. Right now Destroy treasure exists as only one card of its kind in the whole deck of action cards. If i rename it to Delay or something like that and make 3-4 of them that can also speed up the game considerably

i think those few changes can potentially speed up the game by around 10-15 minutes. I would have to test that too.

Come to think of it maybe this combined with cutting the artifact deck to about 30 instead of 33 could bring the gameplay down by about 15-20 minutes which might prove to be enough.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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hestiansun wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
around 40% of the people felt the game was a tad long. That is of course a very subjective outlook.


Of course. Which is exactly what you are looking for in play testing.

If people are saying your game is a tad long it might just be that...

3CreativeMinds wrote:

However, due to this exciting nature of the rounds (there are 33 rounds currently) i can definitely notice players getting fatigued including myself by the time there are around 10 rounds left.


33 rounds?

If you are noticing a fatigue point in players INCLUDING yourself when there are around 10 rounds left...why don't you consider shortening the game by those ten rounds and make it 21 rounds or so instead of 33?

3CreativeMinds wrote:

Cutting down the amount of rounds will not work as each round you win an artifact that gets you points at the end of the game.


Why? Is there a particular contest you are entering that requires a 33 round game?

I mean, I understand a game requiring, say, 4 rounds or 8 rounds or "2 rounds per player" for balance purposes or what not.

But what is so critical about 33 rounds?

BTW, based upon the description of your game, I think you should strongly consider the comments of your play testers that the game is too long, and simply shorten the game, not introduce a mechanic that requires players to shorten it for you. Because if you get a group that doesn't take any of the "end the game early" strategies, you're going to end up with players who think your game is long. And as noted, they might not care for it.

It sounds like you are married to a 33 round game for reasons that you haven't disclosed, and I think you are over complicating your design by trying to find an excuse to say "It doesn't have to be 33 rounds!" instead of tackling the fact that your players don't want to play it for 33 rounds.



well that might as well be a good eye openner i think im realizing that i dont have to be married to 33. Ahh sometimes as a designer it is so easy to fall into those overthinking traps

Thank you!
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Matt D
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3CreativeMinds wrote:

well that might as well be a good eye openner i think im realizing that i dont have to be married to 33. Ahh sometimes as a designer it is so easy to fall into those overthinking traps
Thank you!


For sure, it happens!

I can tell you that when I plan things (not necessarily games), I sometimes get so wrapped up in one particular line of thought to achieve a particular end, I go through a lot of effort to achieve that without stopping to think that maybe I should just look at a different goal.

It reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago, but I feel it's actually sort of a parable on life.

A man gets ship wrecked on a remote island. He manages to find food, shelter, etc, but he longs for companionship.

One day, while exploring, he encounters a pig. The pig follows him back to his makeshift home, and he decides to befriend it rather than eat it.

The man comes to decide that he will likely never escape the island, and notices that he has certain...urges. He sets about on the idea that, lacking anything better, he is going to have sex with the pig.

The pig isn't too thrilled with the idea. The man tries while he's asleep, and the pig wakes up right quick and darts off. He tries distracting the pig with food, but the pig saw him coming and darted off. He even tries using a trap, and successfully corrals the pig, but his body is just too slippery and he can't hold on when he tries to do the deed.

While sitting on the beach contemplating another scheme to have his way with the pig, he spots a figure on a wave, clutching to a floating piece of wood. He runs down the beach into the surf, and finds a young woman. He drags her in from the rolling waves, carries her up and lays her down on the sand. He immediately begins to provide mouth to mouth to resuscitate her, and after a few seconds she coughs up water and comes to.

"Why thank you," she says, her eyes moist with appreciation for the man that just saved her life. "I'm so glad you were here, otherwise I'd have drowned like everyone else." she says. "I guess we're stuck here now. Please, if there is anything I can do, anything at all to repay you for your help...I'll do it."

The man looked down at the eager expression on the face of his new young and beautiful companion, and suddenly he was overcome with desire and an idea.

"There is definitely something you can do for me..." he says, and she starts to knowingly nod, sensing his pent up frustration.

"...hold that freakin' pig for me."
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Dimitri Sirenko
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hestiansun wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:

well that might as well be a good eye openner i think im realizing that i dont have to be married to 33. Ahh sometimes as a designer it is so easy to fall into those overthinking traps
Thank you!


For sure, it happens!

I can tell you that when I plan things (not necessarily games), I sometimes get so wrapped up in one particular line of thought to achieve a particular end, I go through a lot of effort to achieve that without stopping to think that maybe I should just look at a different goal.

It reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago, but I feel it's actually sort of a parable on life.

A man gets ship wrecked on a remote island. He manages to find food, shelter, etc, but he longs for companionship.

One day, while exploring, he encounters a pig. The pig follows him back to his makeshift home, and he decides to befriend it rather than eat it.

The man comes to decide that he will likely never escape the island, and notices that he has certain...urges. He sets about on the idea that, lacking anything better, he is going to have sex with the pig.

The pig isn't too thrilled with the idea. The man tries while he's asleep, and the pig wakes up right quick and darts off. He tries distracting the pig with food, but the pig saw him coming and darted off. He even tries using a trap, and successfully corrals the pig, but his body is just too slippery and he can't hold on when he tries to do the deed.

While sitting on the beach contemplating another scheme to have his way with the pig, he spots a figure on a wave, clutching to a floating piece of wood. He runs down the beach into the surf, and finds a young woman. He drags her in from the rolling waves, carries her up and lays her down on the sand. He immediately begins to provide mouth to mouth to resuscitate her, and after a few seconds she coughs up water and comes to.

"Why thank you," she says, her eyes moist with appreciation for the man that just saved her life. "I'm so glad you were here, otherwise I'd have drowned like everyone else." she says. "I guess we're stuck here now. Please, if there is anything I can do, anything at all to repay you for your help...I'll do it."

The man looked down at the eager expression on the face of his new young and beautiful companion, and suddenly he was overcome with desire and an idea.

"There is definitely something you can do for me..." he says, and she starts to knowingly nod, sensing his pent up frustration.

"...hold that freakin' pig for me."



hahaha that relates very well
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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So what im going to try next for version 2 playtesting
cut down the treasure deck from 33 to 26
18 commons -> 12 commons
9 uncommons -> 9 uncommons
6 rares -> 5 rares

also here is my previous total point distribution
18 commons - 1 points each = 18 points
9 uncommons - 2 points each = 18 points
6 rares - 4 points each = 24 points
Color set of 3 (rare cards play as wild color) = 3 points
Mission (get 3 specific treasures) = 10 points

I am thinking of distributing it as follows which will also solve a problem where sometimes it felt like commons were a bit useless due to the fact that they give only 0.5 value of uncommon and 0.25 value of a rare. If i change the values to what you see below common will become 0.66 of uncommon value and 0.40 of rare value which makes common a bit more viable than before
12 commons - 2 points each = 24 points
9 uncommons - 3 points each = 27 points
5 rares - 5 points each = 25 points
color set of 3 (because it will be a bit more challenging to complete a color set i would make it worth more now) = 5 points
Mission = 5-10 points. I put a range here because i feel that if the mission gives 10 it might be too much of a leap but that would have to be tested. I basically want people to be able to employ strategies that will allow them to have more points than someone who completed a mission just for strategic balance purpose
 
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Peter S.
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I don't think any sort of counter is needed. Consider the following rule:

"The game ends when one player achieves X points, or when the artifact deck is depleted."

This would have the same effect (game ends when the artifacts run out) without requiring that the number of rounds be counted or tracked. (Plus it lets you freely play with the number of artifacts and game length.)
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
I don't think any sort of counter is needed. Consider the following rule:

"The game ends when one player achieves X points, or when the artifact deck is depleted."

This would have the same effect (game ends when the artifacts run out) without requiring that the number of rounds be counted or tracked. (Plus it lets you freely play with the number of artifacts and game length.)


but the challenge is that in this type of game mechanic (game ends when player gets lets say 20 points) your opponents as well as you would need to always be in the know of each others progress in terms of points in order to try to stop you from winning. If this progress is not evident enough visually, the game flow may get interrupted and extended due to constant checking to see how many points each player is at. If this game only based scoring on treasure rarity i would put the values on the cards and that would be easy enough to count any time you want to check the total points of an enemy player. But the problem is that there are other scoring aspects like color sets and missions that would make this checking process quite a pain if there is no tracker.
 
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Jeff Wood
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Reading briefly over this, I do see another problem when your playtesters are actually indicating fatigue in an hour-long-intended game.

People will not want to play another match afterwards...and may just close down the night after this hour if the game is that draining after one play.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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Cinnibar wrote:
Reading briefly over this, I do see another problem when your playtesters are actually indicating fatigue in an hour-long-intended game.

People will not want to play another match afterwards...and may just close down the night after this hour if the game is that draining after one play.


exactly! because i made a questionnaire, 80% of people that commented that the game felt a bit long also checked a "NO" box to a question "Did you feel compelled to play another game right after the first one"

although they did check a "YES" box to would you ever want to play this game again? Which shows they like the game but its just too long and exhausting

so that was another alarming issue
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Are you talking about that game with thieves and stuff?
They might be complaining because it is a 33 rounds of doing the same thing over and over again. You really will have to shorten that game in the end.
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Peter S.
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
ErsatzDragon wrote:
I don't think any sort of counter is needed. Consider the following rule:

"The game ends when one player achieves X points, or when the artifact deck is depleted."

This would have the same effect (game ends when the artifacts run out) without requiring that the number of rounds be counted or tracked. (Plus it lets you freely play with the number of artifacts and game length.)


but the challenge is that in this type of game mechanic (game ends when player gets lets say 20 points) your opponents as well as you would need to always be in the know of each others progress in terms of points in order to try to stop you from winning. If this progress is not evident enough visually, the game flow may get interrupted and extended due to constant checking to see how many points each player is at. If this game only based scoring on treasure rarity i would put the values on the cards and that would be easy enough to count any time you want to check the total points of an enemy player. But the problem is that there are other scoring aspects like color sets and missions that would make this checking process quite a pain if there is no tracker.


Oh! Sorry, I more meant for the focus to be on the second half of the sentence; I threw in the "game ends at X points" because it was mentioned earlier. I'm really just saying, if the end is when the cards run out, then the cards are already your round counter and you don't need a separate tracker to do it. (I agree that having a score trigger for the endgame can distort the play of the game, and would find your concerns to be valid ones.)
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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8Oj4N wrote:
Are you talking about that game with thieves and stuff?
They might be complaining because it is a 33 rounds of doing the same thing over and over again. You really will have to shorten that game in the end.


yeah man thats the one. I think my new goal is to make the game play in 30 min
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
ErsatzDragon wrote:
I don't think any sort of counter is needed. Consider the following rule:

"The game ends when one player achieves X points, or when the artifact deck is depleted."

This would have the same effect (game ends when the artifacts run out) without requiring that the number of rounds be counted or tracked. (Plus it lets you freely play with the number of artifacts and game length.)


but the challenge is that in this type of game mechanic (game ends when player gets lets say 20 points) your opponents as well as you would need to always be in the know of each others progress in terms of points in order to try to stop you from winning. If this progress is not evident enough visually, the game flow may get interrupted and extended due to constant checking to see how many points each player is at. If this game only based scoring on treasure rarity i would put the values on the cards and that would be easy enough to count any time you want to check the total points of an enemy player. But the problem is that there are other scoring aspects like color sets and missions that would make this checking process quite a pain if there is no tracker.


Oh! Sorry, I more meant for the focus to be on the second half of the sentence; I threw in the "game ends at X points" because it was mentioned earlier. I'm really just saying, if the end is when the cards run out, then the cards are already your round counter and you don't need a separate tracker to do it. (I agree that having a score trigger for the endgame can distort the play of the game, and would find your concerns to be valid ones.)



ohh i see what you meant now. I think cutting down the amount of rounds is basically my best option at this point. Thanks everyone!
 
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Razoupaf wrote:
Use two cards. One numbered 0-9, and one with 00, 10, 20, 30 on each corner of one side, 40, 50, 60, 70 on the other. Slide the 10s card on the 0s card accordingly.

That's what they use for Hero Realms. Cheap and easy.

But the same as the card solution in Star Realms most people hate it and throw those cards out the first chance the get. It's fiddly and slightest table move and you have a problem
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Instead of one card, players draw number of cards equal to number of players. Events activate for those cards that they go for. They do the rest as stated in the rule book, but now they have more options to go for. In the meantime round number is halved. Voila, problem solved. :>
 
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borsook wrote:
Razoupaf wrote:
Use two cards. One numbered 0-9, and one with 00, 10, 20, 30 on each corner of one side, 40, 50, 60, 70 on the other. Slide the 10s card on the 0s card accordingly.

That's what they use for Hero Realms. Cheap and easy.

But the same as the card solution in Star Realms most people hate it and throw those cards out the first chance the get. It's fiddly and slightest table move and you have a problem


Use two D10s. Most gamers have at least a few of those lying around.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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8Oj4N wrote:
Instead of one card, players draw number of cards equal to number of players. Events activate for those cards that they go for. They do the rest as stated in the rule book, but now they have more options to go for. In the meantime round number is halved. Voila, problem solved. :>


i thought of this option too but i guessed i didnt dive into it deeper to try to understand how i could make that work in my existing design. Because everyone basically fights for 1 treasure each round it is a highly engaging atmosphere. But if lets say it is a 5 player game. 5 treasures gets revealed. How do people compete for them? What if each player chooses a different treasure? what will it take for them to win it over and how and why would you try to stop others from getting their picks?

do you mean that maybe 5 get drawn and everyone fights it out first and then based on who had the most skill/battle points goes first to select one of the 5 treasures, then second and so on?
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
8Oj4N wrote:
Instead of one card, players draw number of cards equal to number of players. Events activate for those cards that they go for. They do the rest as stated in the rule book, but now they have more options to go for. In the meantime round number is halved. Voila, problem solved. :>


i thought of this option too but i guessed i didnt dive into it deeper to try to understand how i could make that work in my existing design. Because everyone basically fights for 1 treasure each round it is a highly engaging atmosphere. But if lets say it is a 5 player game. 5 treasures gets revealed. How do people compete for them? What if each player chooses a different treasure? what will it take for them to win it over and how and why would you try to stop others from getting their picks?

do you mean that maybe 5 get drawn and everyone fights it out first and then based on who had the most skill/battle points goes first to select one of the 5 treasures, then second and so on?


actually although it changes the game design and flow dramatically this could be a viable option

4 player game
4 treasures get drawn
players fight it out
winner gets to pick first, then second best player, then third and lastly forth
i would make it so that treasures dont all give the same bonus
for example instead of commons all giving 1 point i would make it that different commons can give 1-3 points, uncommons 3-5, and rares 6-8
so that even if all 4 treasures that are drawn are common, they will still be more or less valuable based on their color for set completion as well as their basic points rewards

in this case if a player passes the whole round without playing any action cards he will be allowed to draw a full hand before next round
 
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