Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery» Forums » Variants

Subject: Spartacus Couples (Card Variants) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Zenjoy
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Before commenting, note that these cards are part of a set I am working on the overhauls the ENTIRE Market Deck. Feel free to still discuss their comparison to the current cards (too OP/ UP). I'm posting these to see if I have missed something, though I feel my direction is fairly solid so far.

Anyway, these cards are designed with some things in mind:
1) Emphasis on Personality of character through mechanics and relationship to other characters
2) Emphasis on Role of Character in Show
3) Focus on Balance (powerful characters suffer penalty; weaker characters have a bonus).

The goal of this is to encourage a different meta-game of interaction - that certain characters benefit from being together, while others create emotional responses in players appropriate to the characters in the show.


So lets get Started:

--------------

Spartacus and Sura

Spartacus

In my games, I found many players avoid inviting Spartacus' owner due to his damage output often resulting in dead opponents.

While I didn't want to crush his Damage, I did want to encourage players to give the star of the show the spotlight more often. Hence this version:



This Spartacus is still a damage machine with ATK 4. And while his trait offers no combat advantage, but does encourage Hosts to be invite him to their games a lot (the Host taking 1 Coin of his tribute at Favor 1, and 2 Coins at Champion) - though Spartacus will keep the influence and bet winnings from his victory.

Some may doubt his DEF, though this version of Spartacus is one who is conflicted - unsure if Sura and he will be reunited; and if there is any reason to live at all. This is where Sura's card comes into play...

Sura

The only Woman Spartacus would ever Love, Sura doesn't do much solo beyond being a slave that offers a steady income (which is always good). Her purpose in the show was to give Spartacus incentive - both before and after her death - and this card is intended to represent that:



Sura is designed to buff Spartacus - regardless of condition. Alive, she gives him reason to live (+1 DEF). Dead, she gives him reason to seek vengeance (+1 ATK).

Interesting enough this plays to Spartacus' combat style as, when Sura was alive he was a Muramillo (suggestive of high DEF), while after she died he became a Dimachaeri (suggestive of High ATK).

This is circumstantial of course, though it does also lend to a theme of prophecy and mystery - if Sura appears first, will an empowered Spartacus follow? If Spartacus appears first, will Sura appear to give him reason to achieve greatness? Play the game and find out...

Sura's low value was intentional too, as a way to discourage her being sold to the Open Market as a cheap way of discarding her. While always an option, I wanted to encourage her Dominar to "dispose of her" in a more profitable way if able.


Aurelia and Varro

While Spartacus and Sura's love felt obsessive, Varro and Aurelia was more human. There was conflict between these two, which inevitably would have ended cordially if not for a rather unfortunate turn. I wanted to capture this Romeo and Juliet tale somewhat, so this was my result:

Varro

While I know Varro was famed for being a Gambler, I struggled to accept the Gambling of a Gladiator would profit his Dominar. Instead I wanted to focus on Varro's goal of volunteering to the role to pay off his debts for his family, which resulted in this:



Combatively, Varro isn't great - but he's no pushover. He is a survivor who can injure his foes, but won't put em in the grave without some extra help. He's likable, and his biggest asset is he has no upkeep! This makes him a great backup fighter for a Dominar to have on the chance their prize winners become unavailable.

This volunteer bonus represents Varro supporting his wife, which he will do... unless she turns to slavery...

Aurelia

Aurelia is a devoted slave who, like her husband, wants them to be free of Debt. Varro and her have differences, but there is no doubt there was love between them, and thats what I wanted this card to show:



Aurelia is a money maker who can earn her Dominar 2 Gold a turn. The more interesting feature is her interaction with her husband - as soon as she appears, Varro refuses to support her and starts asking for an upkeep (whats the point is my wife has become a slave afterall?), which can cause a sudden financial stress on Varro's owner.

Reuniting them does mitigate this as Aurelia's trait allows her to earn enough to compensate for Varro's upkeep. Essentially, it best for Varro to be with his wife... though not necessarily the other way around (which could lead to some interesting deals being made).

Gannicus and Otho

Not every couple is a Gladiator/ Slave pair. These two had a great rivalry, even if only brief for a single episode. I felt it was worth showing this off a bit:

Gannicus

The God of the Arena is a killing machine, and that should stay. But I wanted to push his mechanics to show off his arrogance. I saw an opportunity in this with the Boast Mechanic, and felt there was grounds to use that - which resulted in this:



Gannicus SHOULD be the target of your Boasts. While for some Gladiators its a damocles dagger for certain Intrigue Cards, Gannicus revels in taking them. Without it he can be a bit reckless, making him slightly a glass blade, but that plays to his style of taking risks and breaking the rules Gladiators follow.

Something not everyone likes...

Otho

Not a lot is known about Otho (given his appearance in only one episode), but it was quite clear he disliked Gannicus, was also well respected as a fighter, and yet still was defeated by someone he seemed to think he could defeat easily enough.

This lead to this card:



Simply put, Otho does not like Boastful Gladiators. Similarly his owner will feel a tinge of irritation anytime a player plays a Boast token, as it drops his impressive Defense to a more moderate level.

Interacting with Gannicus, this creates a unique tug of war. Without a Boast, Gannicus is the weaker fighter with high damage dealing but low defense. With a Boast, this flips - with Gannicus having a subtle edge, but nothing so high it's a one-sided fight.

It also lets Gannicus' owner have legitamite rights to brag against Otho, leading to fun mind games :P

------------------------------------

Thats all for now. Yes there is some plans to create similar mechanics for a Crixus/ Naevia, and even a Auctus/Barca/Pietros/Gnaeus (that last one will be complicated!), but they will come in time since I'm not on schedule to produce them.

Basically this is for fun, and to try and inspire new ideas for games (not just this one - but in gernal). Thought some people might like it. So hopefully that will be the results I get.
6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mattias Elfström
Sweden
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looks great. You've put a lot of thematic thought into this. I'm eager to see more
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zenjoy
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mattias wrote:
Looks great. You've put a lot of thematic thought into this. I'm eager to see more :)


Glad you like em! Well while I work on some of the more complicated ones, here are some that feel finished to tide you over as I keep working the nuts on the more complicated ones:

Sergovax

Good Ol' Big Dick. While he was as brief as Otho (though not even getting a decent fight scene!), he was still a character with potential who had your attention for... reasons... (wait I already mentioned his dick... why am I being subtle?).

His original design was a play on his Treachery, but frankly I think this was lazy. The ability only comes up in a Primus, and even then its not assured. And even in the show it wasn't his goal to betray his peers - he was ordered by his master to do so!

So instead I figured I'd focus on his... other... Asset...



Sergovax is a decent fighter made to execute people! Since his style was never determined (due to early retirement) I had some free range in this. My choice was, since he admired Sparacus soo much, he would follow the style of Dimachaeri - and given the brief display of his skill, I think its fair he could have become one!

His trait is... well... fun. Originally Otho had the "Starts with 1 Favor" but I never saw the reason as to why. Further, I really liked Otho's direction of playing with the Boast Token, so his trait was retired.

Yet I liked the trait. Simple. Beneficial. Not a penalty, nor a disadvantage. It was just there. Something to grab your attention, feel useful, and you can probably see where I'm going with this :P

The name of this is just something cute. It leaves it vague for people who have no idea who the character is, and gives a chuckle for those who do (aka "why does he start with +1 Favor? Why is he Popular?" "hehe - watch the episode. It makes sense very quickly").

All in all, I like him. Not overpowered, not weak, eye catching, straight forward.

Dagan

Speaking of one-eyed monsters (can you blame me? :P ) Dagan is similar to Sergovax. While he did have 6 episodes instead of 1, he was somewhat a support character to show of the manipulations of Ashur and the comparative difference in skill. As interesting a character, he was also kinda forgetable. Yet, I felt he was still a character worth having a presence...



This Dagan is a decent fighter. Decent DEF lends him towards being a Murmillo, while his decent ATK means there is decent chance he will get kills in the arena.

His trait is VERY circumstantual, but still worthy. If he should be injured in the Arena, there is a VERY decent chance Dagan will be back for some revenge. Killing him outright is the only way of assuring he stays down for good.

Admittedly he's not the most exciting character, but he's not a push-over. You could almost see him as a slightly weaker version of my Otho (though, give Dagan a Boast Token, and the two will be evenly matched :P ). He will fight well, and likely die should he get unlucky. A simple but straight forward card for the Market.

Anubis

Naturally I'm not just making Gladiators, but also slaves. Surprisingly the host of the Pits of the Underworld never got a card, which I found odd when I realized it. This card is suitable to be added to the current Core game, so feel free to print and play if you want to employ it:



While its questionable if Anubis WAS a slave, there is no doubt his job was lucritive. If the issue needs be argued, treat buying him in the markets as representing ownership of the Pits (and his +1 Coin/ Turn is revenue from it).

Anubis' trait is straight forward - when someone dies in the Arena, you take 1 Coin. It may not come up a lot, but its a nice trickle income that has merit.

If used in the Core Game, Anubis synergizes VERY well with Ixion/ The Thing in the Pit. Together the pair can earn a Dominar an assured 7 Coin payout from the secure chances of an Auto-Decapitation.

I had considered writing his ability as "Decapitated" instead of "Killed", though its purely preference. Let me know if you have an opinion on it :)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Lodge
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes... I'm loving these amazing ideas. I can't think of any flaws or things not to like about them.

Quote:
I had considered writing his ability as "Decapitated" instead of "Killed", though its purely preference. Let me know if you have an opinion on it :


"Decapitated" would imply the Gladiators killing blow.
"Kill would" imply including a hosts thumb down.

The choice is yours. You're doing such a good job here, I'll have it the way you chose.


Quote:
In my games, I found many players avoid inviting Spartacus' owner due to his damage output often resulting in dead opponents.


Wouldn't bribes or threats fix this?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zenjoy
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mitchiemasha wrote:
Yes... I'm loving these amazing ideas. I can't think of any flaws or things not to like about them.

Quote:
I had considered writing his ability as "Decapitated" instead of "Killed", though its purely preference. Let me know if you have an opinion on it :


"Decapitated" would imply the Gladiators killing blow.
"Kill would" imply including a hosts thumb down.

The choice is yours. You're doing such a good job here, I'll have it the way you chose.


Ah excellent point! I had not considered that difference. However, with that clarity, I'll prob stick with killed. Give extra incentive for Thumbsdown that way I say! :D


mitchiemasha wrote:
Quote:
In my games, I found many players avoid inviting Spartacus' owner due to his damage output often resulting in dead opponents.


Wouldn't bribes or threats fix this?


Oh definately! But, even so, there was rarely a sense that Spartacus was desired in the ring by hosts other than his owner. Heck - Gnaeus and Ixion seemed to get more attention due to their high chance of an Injured/ Decap result which brought in more coin.

Really I wanted Spartacus to be the character people expect to see in the ring once he appears. The game is named after him afterall! This version makes him still strong enough for his owner to enter him, and isn't penalized if his owner is the host (he keeps all the coin), while still being a Character that Hosts want to invite as he gains Favour - aka the more popular he is, the more profitable he is for a Host to invite in.

I do agree player interaction does balance stuff out. I just wanted the main character to feel like the main character is all.

And if he dies, he dies. At least he was around :P

Awesome feedback thou! Ty Philip!

1 
 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.