$35.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Dead Men Tell No Tales» Forums » General

Subject: Component and Gameplay Expansion Ideas rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Timothy Carr
msg tools
I'd like to discuss the topic of component and gameplay ideas you think would be nice in an expansion for this game, as the first expansion is apparently currently in the works! Not to step on any toes of the original designer (since the game is great and I'm sure he has his own ideas for the expansion), but because perhaps there would be ideas that would make for good additional content for the expansion, a second expansion, or for Kickstarter stretch goals. (Or just for fun, because hey. Brainstorming can be fun.)

Components
*Miniatures. Yes, they've already said there are likely going to be miniatures for the pirates! (Yay!) I was also wondering about little skulls for the deckhands, trapdoor miniatures, and perhaps even barrels. As amazingly gorgeous as the game is (one of my prettiest), it suffers a bit from visual confusion. It can be hard to tell the situation at a glance, and easy to miss important things (like a trapdoor token blending in and thus forgetting to add deckhands). Visual confusion easily makes the game feel more fiddly than it is, and 3D bits would make that information pop (as well as be gorgeous)!
*Exploded Barrels Bits. (If no barrel miniatures.) To cover up exploded barrels, instead of moving the die as the game suggests. It would help with visual confusion, and if you ever take the die off from lowering the fire level you won't forget that it has already exploded.
*Starting Tile “Exploded” Covers. I printed out tile backs so the starting tile can explode as it's supposed to, but real “covers” would be nice. Or some sort of changed starting tile situation.
*Painted Miniatures. I know, I know! But I don't necessarily mean every copy having them painted. Minion Games could hire a painter to paint a limited amount and sell it as a higher tier in the next Kickstarter. It would show off the potential of their miniatures, as well as give an initial funding boost much like Early Bird tiers do. It might not directly make much extra profit, but it could be a good marketing tactic.
*A Larger Box With an Insert. That would allow sleeved cards, too. I understand not a top priority, but could make a great high-end stretch goal.

Gameplay
*Weather Effects. The game takes place in a storm, so it would be appropriately thematic! The concept could be this: Extend the “Explosion Track” with more spaces and rename it the “Integrity Track”. Mix in a couple Rain cards and a Wave card into the Skelit's Revenge deck. Rain would lower the fire level of all of one color, but advance the Integrity Track since the ship would be filling with water. A Wave card would flood the lower decks (eliminating the trapdoor closest to the edge of the ship from the game) at the expense of advancing the Integrity Track by quite a bit! This would make elements of this difficult game easier by giving some respite; deckhands and fire could be easier to manage with a good water draw, and with a bad draw you could withstand more explosions due to the longer track. That said, drawing too many “good” water cards would be costly as it would sink the ship! As I noted in another topic, this could also open up the notion of being able to explore the ship manually (with or without the original automatic “search” phase). There would be risk/reward: Explore the ship too slowly/safely and you'd sink by water, but play the game too quickly and you'd die by fire! Essentially, regardless of changing searching or not, weather effects could balance difficulty swings without complex rules while adding theme and a ticking clock!
*Cursed Items. Powerful items with a drawback. I have some (untested) concept examples. Cursed Lantern: Once per turn (but not while looting), as an action, travel from one tile with a trapdoor to another as though they are connected, following all normal rules, but raise each tile's fire and deckhand level by 1. Cursed Rabbit's Foot: Deckhands and your fatigue level no longer affect your ability to be in a room, but you cannot lower the fire level or eliminate deckhands (deckhands still impede picking up tokens). Cursed Blade: You must roll the battle die twice and combine the results when resolving combat, but also receive that total in fatigue regardless of a win or a loss. Cursed Flask: You no longer receive fatigue from fire, but receive 3 fatigue for every deckhand in each room you enter (effect does not work while looting).
*Traitor, Hidden Objectives. As much as hidden traitors are arguably becoming overused, and as much as I love me a pure cooperative game, I can hardly think of a cooperative game that deserves the mechanic more. My most common initial reaction I've received when introducing this game to people is utter confusion that a pirate game has no sneaky backstabbery. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” also shares many mechanics with games like “Pandemic” while being longer, harder, and more complicated. As much as I love it and feel it stands on its own, most people I've introduced it to see little reason to pick it over simply playing Pandemic again, a simpler game where they're definitely heroes (unlike the questionable reputation of a pirate). People seem to be more open to playing a role with questionable ethics in a game with competitive elements rather than purely cooperative. Adding the possibility of a hidden traitor would enhance the pirate theme, and add a mechanic that would further distance itself from its closest co-op relatives (Pandemic and Flashpoint), giving it a “reason” to be picked.
Perhaps the traitor could receive a “Black Spot” card. Afraid of their impending death, they attempt to earn a spot on the Skelit's Revenge crew to live for eternity! (Simply winning because the heroes lost is usually boring and/or cheap, so giving the traitor a goal would be better.) It could be a test of strength, having to collect a certain number of cutlass tokens before the heroes lose. Or a test of opportunism, making sure you're taking a breather off the ship when the heroes lose. Or the drunk, collecting the grog. If you wanted to better spread suspicion, you could give the heroes hidden objectives too (like in “Dead of Winter”). Either way, you'd need mechanics that somehow make the game easier, because the game would really be too hard with someone working against you!

What does anybody think and what other ideas do people have? I'm personally excited the game is getting further development, as obviously I think it has the potential to advance in unique directions for the type of co-op game it is!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Duncan
United States
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
I'm assuming there must have been a change to the starting tile recently, because I've seen others complain about not being able to flip the tile when a block explodes, but the version I bought last month has each of the 4 starting pieces cut separately (instead of one large connected block), and they each have the exploded back side, so this is no longer a problem. For those with older versions I would say either the component you mentioned or just the option to purchase the 4 cut blocks would fix your issue.

I like the Exploded Barrel Bits component idea - I've been doing roughly the same thing, but using extra "action" tokens since I have yet to play a full 5-player game, and the "used" side of the action token looks burned out. Works well placing this over exploded barrels.

I like all of your gameplay ideas. I think the weather effects would definitely be interesting (adding a random thing that can help you short-term but still cause you to lose long-term could be fun), and I love the cursed lantern idea of being able to jump from trapdoor to trapdoor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
MGAC California
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have the older version with the big starting tile. Thank you for posting this. I'll check with Minion and see if I can get an updated start tile(s).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Timothy Carr
msg tools
Oh, that's good news! Yeah, earlier versions had one big starting tile, and "Cobalt Kallen" is still called "Cobalt Carl" in the rulebook and on the box. (I don't know what other changes there might be. Perhaps some rule clarifications? For example: I always keep all my "exploded room" fire dice on "6" at first, then resolve explosions from the bottom left to the upper right as you are supposed to so as to get the explosion order just right.) Didn't know they fixed that tile issue, but I'd be really grateful if they gave us an option to get precisely what you have without buying the game over again!

That was smart regarding the exploded barrels! Much easier than what I did. I cut barrel-shaped bits out of the excess punchboard negative space before throwing it away and colored them with black sharpie.
I think the fact that we both came up with workarounds shows the bits really kinda' need to exist.

And thanks for the reassurance that my gameplay concepts weren't crazy or ill-conceived! (One can often have rose-tinted glasses when it comes to one's own ideas.) The cursed items were a random thought, but with the others I was specifically trying to think of gameplay concepts that would distance "Dead Men Tell No Tales" from other games like it, and concepts that would allow you to tailor the difficulty (rather than only making things harder or more complicated, as many expansions often do). The only game I ever won was playing alone with two characters on Easy. With a group of 4 or 5 we've always lost 2 treasures in on Easy, usually to deckhands. (Granted it sadly doesn't get played much, as people lost handily and switched back to Pandemic rather than get better.) One of Pandemic's best expansion concepts were Quarantine Zones to make things easier, as it better allowed difficulty tailoring in conjunction with the new, harder material.

Speaking of, two small extra ideas regarding weather and cursed items:
"Gust" weather cards you could add to lower the difficulty, adding no negative effects when drawn and healing all fatigue by 1. Cursed Dice: Once per turn, for free, you must re-roll the fire die in a room in which you are standing (even if there isn't one) and set the fire level to the new number, suffering any change in fatigue (a "6" counts as a "0").
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Greenwood
United States
White Bear Lake
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like a "house rule" for trap door usage. Defeat the undead in the room first, spend an action coin and use the trap door to another trap door location. Naturally fire levels/fatigue apply.
2 
 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.