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Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Campaign / Legacy mode rss

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Dániel Lányi
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Hi, I already talked about my idea in another thread ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/24293326 ), but I want to elaborate on them.

So the basic idea is to make a SotM campaign that does a lot of the thing Pandemic Legacy did. I'll also tie in something from T.I.M.E. Stories too. (There will be no spoilers regarding those games in this post.)

So here's a list of what I want from a legacy game:
1. It has to be an already great game.
2. I want character development.
3. Be thematic, make a story.
4. The game has to balance and rebalance itself during the campaign, in order to not spoil the experience by being too easy or too hard for multiple matches.



How to do these things?

1. We got the great game part 100% covered with SotM. So that's done

2. While Pandemic Legacy had character development, it also encouraged changing characters which is probably the only thing I disliked about the game. I think playing the same character over a campaign results in a better story and more immersion.
The way I'd do it is something like this:
At the start of the campaign you pick a team of heroes, and that's it. Those are the heroes that will play. No changing players either.
The character development itself would work something like this: At the end of each match, each character gets experience points, which can be spent on permanent upgrades. Here's ideas for upgrades:
- +1 damage dealt
- -1 damage taken
- at the start of your first turn each match, search your deck for an equipment card and put it into play
- at the start of your first turn each match, search your deck for an ongoing card and put it into play
- you have an additional draw phase
- you have an additional play phase
- you have an additional power phase
- additional starting/maximum HP
- bigger starting hand
- at the end of your turn, regain 1 HP
- instead of your draw phase, you can have an additional power phase
- instead of your draw phase, you can have an additional play phase
- instead of your power phase, you can have an additional play phase
These wouldn't cost the same number of experience points, and bigger starting hand, starting with cards already played and bigger starting HP might be gained multiple times, while you can only get the other upgrades once.

3. The way I imagine it is similar to TIME Stories, there would be modules you can plug in. Each module would be a series of villains in specified environments, and some additional things that happen, for example the villain and/or the environment would start with specified cards already in play. Here's an example:

Match 1. Baron Blade on Wagner Mars Base
Baron Blade has a secret base on Mars, and he's experimenting with a strange beam. A small group of heroes has to stop him before he completes his experiment. Either he completes the beam or not, he eventually escapes trough an unstable portal, another one of his inventions only in experimental stage, which leaves the local time-space unstable and the heroes are sucked into a mini-wormhole.
Match 2. La Capitan in Time Cataclysm
The wormhole transported the heroes into a strange place. Or time? They are beetween timelines and they encounter a strange ship sailing the tides of time. They have to deal with the immediate threat of the captain of the ship hunting them for fun. But when they deal with the ship, they find a way home.
Match 3. Chairman in Rook City
The heroes were absent more than they thought. Two years without them and Rook City is under the control of a new mob boss, and the city is in horrible condition. You must clean the streets to protect innocents, besides, Aminia has no news about Baron Blade.
Match 4. Miss Information in Freedom Tower
You find out why Aminia had no intel on Baron Blade...
Match 5. Baron Blade + Baron Blade in Ruins Of Atlantis + Mobile Defense Platform
A massive energy source is detected. Baron Blade harnessed some ancient artifact and completed his beam building a hovering platform over the site protecting the beam. The Moon is coming closer and closer to Earth. You must stop him and his evil plan. There's just problem. From his unstable portal it's not just him that came out, it's also his "evil" twin from another dimension. (Yes I mean playing with two environments and incorporating both normal and vengeance style Baron Blade. I tried both of these thing indepedently, they actually worked okay, but that's the kind of stuff you need for an epic finale)

Keep in mind this is something I just threw together, and I'm not very good at it. It's not even really a story, it's just Baron Blade plus filler. I would like these to be longer, too. Around 6-8 matches sounds realistic to me, it's a matter of when the upgrades break the game too much.
I would totally include Cauldron (and other unofficial) villains and environments (and of course heroes) too.
The story mode challenges could be reworked very well, and some of the villains could use advanced and/or challenge mode, official or unofficial variants.


4. Balancing is the hard part. Because of the XP and upgrades, heroes constantly get significantly stronger, so the campaign should be put together in order to have harder and harder matches. Maybe around the third match, advanced mode would be switched on and on the final match both advanced and challenge mode.
There could be a mechanism where if you finish a match under, let's say, 7 HP you get an additional XP. If you finish it incapacitated, you get two additional XPs.
Maybe, just like Pandemic Legacy you could try each game twice. But you might want to have a limit for that, for example you have two time crystals that when broken allow you to go back in time a short while to try the mission again, but that means you can only do this twice, but because of multiple tries, you get more XP.
Failing missions could have different results. Some, especially the final one could mean you lost the whole campaign, but some could mean just losing some time in the story. For example in my above example the first mission couldn't be tried a second time, but if you lose it you get additional XP because now you know more about Baron Blade's plan, but if you win it, you get some headstart at the last mission because you made it harder for him to complete his plan. The second, third and fourth mission are all about diversions, so if you win you get to move on, if you loose you get to try again, but if you lose on the second try, you get to move on but you got more XP in the process. Essentially this middle part would guarantee that your team, no matter how strong heroes you picked is about the same strength when reaching the epic finale. And the finale could be tried twice, because "When all seems lost, a portal much like the unstable one on Mars Appears, on a whim you drag your whole team into it just before it closes, hoping it leads to the past, where you can fix all your mistakes." Spoiler alert, it does lead to the past

When writing campaigns, you could try to have varied villains, so that a team that's good at ongoing removal would face both villains that are sensitive to that, and ones that aren't at all. Or with environment cared removal, there could be missions where the villain is really weak, but the environment is buffed somehow to be really dangerous (with some environments I think even playing the whole deck at the start of the game could work, or simple use two environments) while in other missions there might not even be an environment because the villain is so strong. Use both one big villain and villain with lot of small minions so that both teams that are good at dealing mass damage and teams that aren't both get a challenge.


Incapacitations:
I don't want this to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the story should have stakes, death should matter. If a hero is incapacitated, you must change characters cards for another promo. I think this can be very thematic and it doesn't punish you, but it also means "death" does have consequences.

How do I imagine the final version of this?

I'm using these ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1516897/hero-minion-vill... ) health trackers and something like this could easily be made, with spaces added on the side to track upgrades. Maybe just a field for XP left over where you write with pencil, and other fields where you must write your upgrades with a pen.

We need final rules about how much XP you get depending on how things go, and how much each upgrade costs.
Both of these are easily printable at home.

But other than these basics, the stories need to be written and playtested. In fact, so much could depend on these, that both XP gained and available upgrades could be dependent on the campaign you're playing.


So for now, all ideas and criticism are super-welcome, but later we'll need playtesters and people with better stories than me
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Duane Banzon
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Yeah, Superman (not)dying was a waste.

Oh wait, different cinematic universe.
It's a comics thing.


Subbing for updates.
 
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Take Walker
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I'm all over ideas this like. Of course, I have no idea how I'd implement them, so mostly just waiting around for others to do the work. :B

Gotta say, starting with an extra card in hand is a crazy-neat idea. I don't even know how that would change the game, but I think I'll have to steal it, give a villain a setup that makes all players draw an extra card, and cards that mess with players who have more than 4 cards in hand. :V
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Dániel Lányi
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TakeWalker wrote:
I'm all over ideas this like. Of course, I have no idea how I'd implement them, so mostly just waiting around for others to do the work. :B

Gotta say, starting with an extra card in hand is a crazy-neat idea. I don't even know how that would change the game, but I think I'll have to steal it, give a villain a setup that makes all players draw an extra card, and cards that mess with players who have more than 4 cards in hand. :V


Generally the idea of a villain that gives you something good, but then punishes you for that sounds great. Another version of that could allow you to play more (ongoing/equipment) cards but then deal damage based on number of cards in play. Or somethin like "each hero may use an additional power in their power phase. Each time a hero uses a power [the villain] deals them 2 (maybe 3?) damage"
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Benj Davis
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As it's already a fairly chunky game in terms of granularity, a lot of options would get out of hand fast. I'd suggest dialling most of these back. So, for instance, rather than searching for an extra card and putting it in play, maybe searching for a card to put in your hand then drawing the remaining 3. That's still incredibly powerful, as you can start with a strategic direction easily.
 
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Dániel Lányi
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Jlerpy wrote:
As it's already a fairly chunky game in terms of granularity, a lot of options would get out of hand fast. I'd suggest dialling most of these back. So, for instance, rather than searching for an extra card and putting it in play, maybe searching for a card to put in your hand then drawing the remaining 3. That's still incredibly powerful, as you can start with a strategic direction easily.


I kind of want it to get out of hand. I enjoy tight games of SotM but the ones I enjoy more are the ones where the heroes can build up, and it's still a challenge. I will also try to make the villain and environment deck "get out of hand" too at the same time to keep it interesting.
 
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David Lichtenstein
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Some of the earliest fan-made SotM campaigns had a simpler system with this idea. (I think that giving the heroes too much extra power distorts the game play too much.)

The campaigns lasted six battles, and for every villain the heroes defeated, they would get an extra card during setup for all following battles. (If they beat villain #1, they get 5 cards during setup for battle #2; if they beat villain #2 also, they get 6 cards during setup for battle #3, etc.)

However, they heroes do not fully heal between battles. Instead, they get (H) x15 hit points to recover among all of the heroes who participated in the fight. Any damage that the heroes took which could not be healed by this mechanism stays on the hero for their next battle. So if the battle is close, with the heroes winning, but with few hit points remaining, they may be forced to fight the next villain with more options in hand, but with only half their endurance.

I have been playing around with this format for a few months and trying to write my own campaigns based on the comic book stories that I grew up loving. My hindrance is that I have no real skill for drawing or creative graphic design, so my campaign ideas are limited to text only.
 
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Dániel Lányi
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The Bearded One wrote:
Some of the earliest fan-made SotM campaigns had a simpler system with this idea. (I think that giving the heroes too much extra power distorts the game play too much.)

The campaigns lasted six battles, and for every villain the heroes defeated, they would get an extra card during setup for all following battles. (If they beat villain #1, they get 5 cards during setup for battle #2; if they beat villain #2 also, they get 6 cards during setup for battle #3, etc.)

However, they heroes do not fully heal between battles. Instead, they get (H) x15 hit points to recover among all of the heroes who participated in the fight. Any damage that the heroes took which could not be healed by this mechanism stays on the hero for their next battle. So if the battle is close, with the heroes winning, but with few hit points remaining, they may be forced to fight the next villain with more options in hand, but with only half their endurance.

I have been playing around with this format for a few months and trying to write my own campaigns based on the comic book stories that I grew up loving. My hindrance is that I have no real skill for drawing or creative graphic design, so my campaign ideas are limited to text only.


That sounds interesting, where can I find these?
My goal is to make it a lot like Pandemic Legacy. Having choices when developing your character is fun, and thematically, not regenerating fully only makes sense when it's not really a campaign, but a quick series of fights.

I don't think text only is a problem. The game already has plenty of pictures, we don't necessarily need more
 
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David Lichtenstein
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I am almost certain that the early campaigns are available in the Files section of this very page. I was wrong.

For some reason, these very fine campaigns are not available on BGG forums, but they are hidden on the forums for Greater Than Games here:
https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/choose-your-own-adv....

I am still in the process of playtesting my own campaigns before posting them to the forums here, but that should happen in the next week or so.
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Dhrendor Argentum
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Gorham
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This is amazing.
 
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John Ellis
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I actually saw a post recently that was using an online story generator to create branching trees with storylines like a choose your own adventure. It was pretty sweet.
 
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