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Subject: side objective/quests in a board game rss

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Krista Rakozy
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Just a quick overview of this game of developing. I'm calling it Forgotten Lighthouse for now. It'll be a cooperative adventure game where players try to work together to survive and make it out of an enchanted forest with monsters, traps, bosses, and different events.

I'm still early in the designing phase of my game but I had an idea I wanted to see if it was well received. I'm thinking about adding cards called "Side Quests".

You flip one over at the beginning of the game and it can either be fulfilled by an individual or the whole group adding a little bit of competition for players who want the epic reward from the quest. You would have the whole round to try and complete the quest and then a new one would be shown at the beginning of the next round.

Would this add some fun and difficulty to the game or just be unnecessary?
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Lance McMillan
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I'm a bit confused because I'm not sure what you mean by "epic rewards." If this is something that potentially means a player who pursues a side quest is now a "bigger winner" than the players then you're moving away from the concept of a cooperative game and entering that of a competitive one. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.

However, if the "reward" is helpful tool or ability that everyone in the group can potentially benefit from, then you're still in the cooperative realm (e.g. you've now acquired the magic lantern that helps you find traps so the group can better avoid running afoul of them). The key to making this "helpful reward" idea work is to make it a tough choice for the group (in other words, do they divert one or more players from the main group in hopes of acquiring the "helpful reward," but by doing so risk the entire group's ability to escape). Putting your players under some sort of time constraint in conjunction with that choice is even better: e.g. they only have # turns before the game ends, so diverting anyone on the side quest risks potentially fatally slowing the group's progress down.
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Haberack Shninklebottom
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I would say that it would be a good idea, but there are a few things to watch for.

- The quests cant be too easy or everyone does it to death and not the main quest.

- The rewards can't be be too good or it becomes a race to complete them, then one player will be overpowered.

Not sure about you, but i dont like playing co-op games where one person is supremely better than another, even though your both equal players.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Another thing to watch out for is that if the quests change too frequently, then completing one might be mostly based on the luck of when it is drawn rather than any player decisions.

For instance, if the quest is only available for a single round and it requires you to do something in the Sacred Glade, then it might be very easy if a player is coincidentally already in the Sacred Glade, or totally impossible if the players happen to be far away.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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You might check out Defenders of the Realm, which is a cooperative game that features randomly dealt quest cards. If a player completes one of the quests, he gets some kind of advantage in the game. Each player has to decide whether it is worth trying to complete their quest or to focus on the main goal of the game.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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bwingrave wrote:
You might check out Defenders of the Realm, which is a cooperative game that features randomly dealt quest cards. If a player completes one of the quests, he gets some kind of advantage in the game. Each player has to decide whether it is worth trying to complete their quest or to focus on the main goal of the game.

In my opinion, most of the quests in Defenders of the Realm are really bad and are usually only worth completing because completing a quest allows you to draw a new quest, giving you another chance to draw one of the few overpowered ones.
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Krista Rakozy
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Antistone wrote:
Another thing to watch out for is that if the quests change too frequently, then completing one might be mostly based on the luck of when it is drawn rather than any player decisions.

For instance, if the quest is only available for a single round and it requires you to do something in the Sacred Glade, then it might be very easy if a player is coincidentally already in the Sacred Glade, or totally impossible if the players happen to be far away.


That's true about the luck... Two issues I see with having the sidequests be changed every round is:

1. The pure luck of just having everything you need and being the 1st player to go in the round

2. The more players you have (say you have 6), the more sidequests your group of 6 can complete and therefore, get more rewards than a group that's only playing with 4 players

Ideas on how to reveal the sidequests?
 
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Krista Rakozy
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Lancer4321 wrote:
I'm a bit confused because I'm not sure what you mean by "epic rewards." If this is something that potentially means a player who pursues a side quest is now a "bigger winner" than the players then you're moving away from the concept of a cooperative game and entering that of a competitive one. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.

However, if the "reward" is helpful tool or ability that everyone in the group can potentially benefit from, then you're still in the cooperative realm (e.g. you've now acquired the magic lantern that helps you find traps so the group can better avoid running afoul of them). The key to making this "helpful reward" idea work is to make it a tough choice for the group (in other words, do they divert one or more players from the main group in hopes of acquiring the "helpful reward," but by doing so risk the entire group's ability to escape). Putting your players under some sort of time constraint in conjunction with that choice is even better: e.g. they only have # turns before the game ends, so diverting anyone on the side quest risks potentially fatally slowing the group's progress down.


I was leaning more towards helpful tool but I hadn't thought of a time constraint! I like that! It makes the players decide where to spend their time and assets and could either pay out big or waste their time. Who doesn't like a little gambling in a board game?
 
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Lance McMillan
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kritakatt wrote:
Ideas on how to reveal the sidequests?


Start with a set number of side-quests "revealed" (as many quests as players, maybe one less or one more depending on what testing shows works best). Each turn have one quest "disappear" and a new side-quest reveal itself; if there are no more side-quests in the draw pile, the total number of revealed side-quests just gets smaller (by one) until there aren't any available. Use the total number of side-quests as a sort of game length countdown (e.g. when there are no more side-quests revealed, the game ends).
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Jeremy Lennert
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In my game Darkest Night, players draw events every turn, and some events start new quests, so new quests come out at random times. Some events only start a new quest if you don't already have one, which evens things out a little bit. Players can also discover "mysteries" (which are similar to quests) when searching for treasure.

In some games, you can spend time/actions/other resources to discover new quests. This may be a good approach if quests are strictly good (e.g. there are rewards if you complete them, but no penalties if you don't), although you may need to watch out for strategies where players discover a ton of quests right at the start of the game so they can optimize their path to complete as many as possible.
 
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Jeff Warrender
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Since you're still in an early stage, I would say that rather than asking mechanically how the side quests should appear, you should start by asking thematically how the quests should appear. I.e. what does it mean thematically to be given a side quest? Maybe you're at the inn and overhear some adventurers discussing a quest, or maybe the helpful spirit offers you a choice between two quests, or maybe if you free the dryad she gives you a quest in appreciation, but if you keep her captive you get some bonus power in forest spaces, or maybe even in some cases the quests are actually curses and you MUST complete them.

The point is to start by asking how, in the game's world, you should get these and what they represent, thematically, and then the mechanical way of doing it should just fall out organically.


(It's hard to know too much about the game from the brief description but the title sounds great and the rough idea sounds promising. My personal suggestion is to avoid making it a dungeon crawl with all of the attendant bureaucracy of skill levels and line of sight checks and such that that genre entails -- but ultimately, design the game you want to design!)
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Krista Rakozy
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Antistone wrote:
In my game Darkest Night, players draw events every turn, and some events start new quests, so new quests come out at random times. Some events only start a new quest if you don't already have one, which evens things out a little bit. Players can also discover "mysteries" (which are similar to quests) when searching for treasure.

In some games, you can spend time/actions/other resources to discover new quests. This may be a good approach if quests are strictly good (e.g. there are rewards if you complete them, but no penalties if you don't), although you may need to watch out for strategies where players discover a ton of quests right at the start of the game so they can optimize their path to complete as many as possible.


I checked out your game and it looks amazing! And about the events, I actually have something I call "Campfire" cards which are essentially event cards that players draw if they end their turn at the campfire. Maybe I could make quests available here by different strange travelers that come by.
 
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Ryan Byrd
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I have a game where I added side quests. The offer of a side quest shows up at certain locations/NPCs (draw the top quest card), and are optional to take. If taken, only one can be pursued at a time by a single player (another player can pursue a different one at the same time). The side quests take some time, but offer specific rewards based on the quest (example - poison a river, but receive an antidote to poison for yourself).

Basically, they are optional, can be pursued at will, give a risk/reward (time vs special item/effect). They offer a chance to give new choices without forcing them on players. If done right, I think side quests are awesome.
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Missy Thompson
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I like the idea! I guess it comes down to how fun you can make the quests and what the incentive would be. If there is a big risk/reward factor how would you make the reward worth the effort without giving something that makes the core game too easy for the group?
 
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Chris
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What if your reward for completing the quest benefits the whole team, but the player who completes the quest "carries" the reward? I.e. if he/she dies the reward is lost. This way there becomes a strategy for who gets to attempt to complete the side quests.
 
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Rich S.
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Pyrix137 wrote:
What if your reward for completing the quest benefits the whole team, but the player who completes the quest "carries" the reward? I.e. if he/she dies the reward is lost. This way there becomes a strategy for who gets to attempt to complete the side quests.


It could be a persistent effect, like an item that grants a buff for fellow party members. The hero carrying/using the item might get an extra (smaller) benefit from it.
 
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Chris
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When you say "end their turn at the camp fire", is this camp fire a fixed location on the map? The idea of a "camp"seems cool, but it may be problematic if the players are constantly returning the a set space in order to gain side quests.
 
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