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Subject: Thinking about writing an alternative story book rss

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Chris Hainz
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We just laid our hands on a copy of "A&B" at Essen 2016. I played many matches now in a very short time and I like the game mechanics, but the stories sometimes seem to be appearing from nowhere. Often you get too many hints of what to do and sometimes no hints at all (I just remember an old man luring us somewhere...), and the encounters are too much based on luck for my taste - a good roll may be match deciding (for example, many a time one player luckily gets different tokens from various encounters, while others end up with the same resource over and over again). Furthermore, when having a hostile encounter because of flippancy, you don't suffer any grave consequences.

So I thought of writing an alternative story book for "Above & Below" for the download section here after I finished my T.I.M.E Stories project... I already have some nice ideas and mechanics spinning in my head - connected stories, puzzles to get extra tokens, extra tests and the opportunity to decide if you want to stay - or can afford - another turn "Below"...

If you have any suggestions, feel free to post any comments of what kind of interaction you would like to see in a campaign book or PM me. (I would need a mother-tongue speaker as well to correct my English, if I weren't to write in German.)
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Eric A
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Re: Thinking of writing an alternative story book
I just bought the game because of the kickstarter Near and far.
And am also looking for more interconnected stories, and found the story mechanics of 'An Old Enemy returns' quite nice.

But maybe a story tree/pyramid wich a player descends down based on choices while exploring may also be quite nice. Based on rounds/ average explore results i think the tree only has to be about 10 levels deep.

The tree could look something like this
Level 1
1 Neutral Start Story
level 2 (based on choice level 1)
2a Positive Choice story
2b Negative Story
level 3
3a Postive++ story
3b Neutral Story
3c Evil Story
level 4
4a ....
4d ....

As you develop your character positive, people/surroundings in the cave might take advantage of you and request resources from you and bring you resources

As you develop negatively villagers/surroundings fear you, and while fleeing they might drop stuff , etc

That's my 2 cents worth meaning.




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David Jones
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LeGon wrote:
the opportunity to decide if you want to stay - or can afford - another turn "Below"...


I have had several 3 and 4 player games where we have run out of explore cards. I don't think you can afford give players an extra explore action unless this bonus action doesn't require the use of a card.
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Chris Hainz
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davypi wrote:
... we have run out of explore cards. I don't think you can afford give players an extra explore action unless this bonus action doesn't require the use of a card.


This is what I was thinking. Digging deeper by pushing themselves and using less explore cards: If you want to explore further, you will need to flip one character, indicating that he is exhausted (the same with characters who are used to give an extra lantern) and will need to go to the infirmary(?), once you get back up. You take all gained items with you and cannot use them until you're back.

Thanks for confirming!
 
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Eric A
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LeGon wrote:

You take all gained items with you and cannot use them until you're back.

Have you tried this ? With only 7 rounds the game will slow down to a crawl because your still exploring below and don't have extra resources for your advancement track.
 
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Level 3 Tunt
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We're writing an alternative story book as a family, slowly.

I also have a dream alternative story book I'm working on called "Above And Begoats: Stories Inspired By The Mountain Goats" where all the stories bring together elements of the many songs by The Mountain Goats but moved to the world of Above and Below.

Overall our approach has been to reduce the current story book to frequencies of good/bad/neutral outcomes tied to explore requirements and rated by reward value. While we don't necessarily need to copy the original structure exactly (but that's an easy and still fun way to do an alternative version) it will help keep a sense of balance.
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Carolyn Choate
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I would love to see fan-made adventure books just to give the game more replayability. That would make me feel more confident in buying it
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