Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mephistopheles is early stage card game I am working on. It’s a derivative of a very popular German standard card game so neither a CCG nor a special powers game such as Blue Moon.

I have been working on a theme of Mephistopheles from Faust, tying in some numerology (666 references) throughout to give it character, art and separation from its original game play. The concept is that after an eternity of suffering the damnations of hell, your character decides that they are going to try to "move up the corporate ladder of hell". The only way to do that is by aligning with established powers and working with them to seduce lost souls. It’s a tricky proposition, demons aren't known for their trustworthiness, and just when it looks like you've succeeded they can take everything away and you'll have to start all over again.

I have two questions:

1. Is game about collecting souls too much? In my initial concept phase there are pentagrams, gates of hell, etc that take the theme pretty deep.

2. Is the reference to Mephistopheles too obscure? I had to read Faust in High School German class, and remember the Police song “wrapped around my finger” vividly but not sure that it’s a universally recognized name.

I have thought of an alternative theme being Saints and Sinners - where you try to save the lost souls. Most of the mechanics would fit the theme, but can't make one important end game condition work. Honestly I am not sure that I'd get behind that theme personally but it would probably have wider appeal.

I have also thought to look at Asian demonology, and/or mythical connections but then it loses the 666 references that are important part of the scoring mechanisms.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Johnson
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, there was already room for Burn in Hell and Dante's Inferno, which both involve soul collecting, so there should be room for your take on it, too. (Both of those games are quite not good, IMHO, so you're bound to do better!)

PS - I don't think a reference to Mephistopheles or Faust is too obsure at all, at least not among hobby gamers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Reilly
United States
Bryan
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Answer to Question 1: This sounds really cool!

Answer to Question 2: It's hard for me to say if it's too obscure, since I'm a humanities person. But my suspicion is that--with the popularity of books/movies like The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons --there's plenty of awareness of devilish names among the public. I say: Go for it!

I'm already attracted to this game. If it has some good artwork I'd consider buying it immediately.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
1. Is game about collecting souls too much? In my initial concept phase there are pentagrams, gates of hell, etc that take the theme pretty deep.


Hecatomb
The HellGame

I'm sure its been done a few dowzen other times, but those are the first that come to mind. In Hecatomb, you're actually seeking to bring about the apocolypse due to souls eaten. Its a mighty graphic game and did have a middle degree of commercial sucess.

If you consider all of the RPG type games that this is their primary theme, I wouldn't worry.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Toby Wardman
Belgium
Ixelles
Brussels
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
I have also thought to look at Asian demonology, and/or mythical connections but then it loses the 666 references that are important part of the scoring mechanisms.

This sounds very entertaining!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Gilligan
United States
Charleston
West Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here is another example of a game where players collect souls for delivery to Hell:

HellRail (Second Perdition)

I've never played it so I'm not sure how thematic it is or if yours is more "over the top." After seeing this game, Blasphemy, at Origins last year I'm not sure how there wouldn't be room for a game like yours!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
george angear
Spain
Burgos
Burgos
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I deeply encourage you to finish it, I would love to see it on the shop shelves. The theme is quite interesting (I had a guinea pig once whom I named Mephisto, nothing to do with this reply!) and I like the name, Saints and Sinners, S&S, sounds a bit like SOS, "save our soles".
Hope you make a good job out of it.
Good Luck!thumbsup
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calderwood Speer
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Disco Inferno map from Age of Steam too.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Doctor Faust has kind of that theme, too.

I like your concept! Count me in for playtesting or whatever support you want or need -
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Of course, happy clapp folk like me wouldn't play it but you'll easily find a reasonably sized playing base no problem.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
I have thought of an alternative theme being Saints and Sinners - where you try to save the lost souls. Most of the mechanics would fit the theme, but can't make one important end game condition work. Honestly I am not sure that I'd get behind that theme personally but it would probably have wider appeal.



If you're worried about theme representation, is there a possible way to make the game include both natures (one side collecting for damnation, while the other tries to save them)? I don't know if this would work in your game (and it might bog down the mechanics), but I think there are some really cool ways you could try and incorporate both. Maybe have two decks (good/evil), or even have double-sided cards or divided cards so a player can choose this or that.

Otherwise, I don't think you're theme is unmarketable, but some will probably be turned off/away (while others may in fact be attracted toward it).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Mayhew
Wales
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I would play it... why do people think board games have to be PC compared to video games? We have Dante's Inferno (the video game), and multiple levels in Hades in God of War in which you even have to slaughter the damned to acquire their strength. That goes way beyond Mephistopheles.

Only thing I would jettison is the pentagrams... they are a pagan symbol, not satanic or anything hell-related. This is a relatively modern Christian interpretation brought forth by their (i.e. fundamentalist christians) religious hatred of "unknown" religions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Get Funkadelic
United States
West Allis
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HamsterOfFury wrote:
Of course, happy clapp folk like me wouldn't play it but you'll easily find a reasonably sized playing base no problem.


Luke, I'm sorry to hear that you contracted the happy clapp again.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CounterDax wrote:

Only thing I would jettison is the pentagrams... they are a pagan symbol, not satanic or anything hell-related. This is a relatively modern Christian interpretation brought forth by their (i.e. fundamentalist christians) religious hatred of "unknown" religions.


Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Mayhew
Wales
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?


Well, there is no symbol for hell that I know off. Neither an inverted cross nor inverted pentagram actually denotes hell. People just claim that these symbols inverted are related to both black mass and black magick.

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't use the pentagram itself but I think it is unfair that we live in a world where it is okay to misuse a pagan symbol, but not, say, a christian symbol (FYI, I'm neither, nor do I want to take this in the direction of a religious conversation — we should stick to your awesome game idea). If we show so much respect to one religious symbol, shouldn't we show the same respect to another symbol, too?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Denis Maddalena
United States
Fort Meade
MD
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A fairly common symbol would be... a trident. And if you ever make a game about merfolk, it'll create an easy dual-reference. Ha!

I've not heard very many good things about any soul collecting game thus far published. They're either too beer-and-pretzels or just a terrible game with the theme only referenced in the rulebook, not in the cards, so you may do alright.

Just work to pick up a decent artist. And playtest the snot out of it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?


Yes, unfortunately Christianity doesn't have very many negative symbols (considering that there is some debate over what hell is or if there are different versions).

Here are some things that could be used as symbols (though not necessarily of hell itself):

-Lake of Burning Sulfur (or brimstone, depending on translation)
-Sheol (or under the ground)
-an Abyss (with chains)
-Mark of the Beast (666)
-Mark of Cain (Genesis 4:16)
-Seven headed dragon with ten horns
-Serpent


The lake of fire may be your best bet for a symbol of hell, either that or Sheol or the Abyss since those are precursors to the lake of fire. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any symbols for these short of making one up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Jackson

APO
US Armed Forces - Pacific
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CounterDax wrote:
T Worthington wrote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?


Well, there is no symbol for hell that I know off. Neither an inverted cross nor inverted pentagram actually denotes hell. People just claim that these symbols inverted are related to both black mass and black magick.

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't use the pentagram itself but I think it is unfair that we live in a world where it is okay to misuse a pagan symbol, but not, say, a christian symbol (FYI, I'm neither, nor do I want to take this in the direction of a religious conversation — we should stick to your awesome game idea). If we show so much respect to one religious symbol, shouldn't we show the same respect to another symbol, too?


CounterDax,
Truer words have never been spoken! As for the theme, heck yeah, do it! Just like anything else some people will like it, some will hate it, and some will be offended. Just my half a cent! Good luck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hutchings
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?




7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Brock
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The name "Mephistopheles" instantly evokes the theme to me... and makes it sound like a much more interesting game than the name "Saints and Sinners".

I would happily play a game about collecting souls if it had a humorous theme; think artwork like that by John Kovalic (Munchkin), lots of bureaucracy jokes, and damned souls who everybody loves to hate but nobody is truly sickened by (lawyers, yes; child molesters, no!!).

I might also be convinced to play it if it had a truly dark "satanic" feel, but it would have to be done just right -- and I suspect it would be a lot harder to get others to come to the table.

The angelic version really doesn't do it for me.

Stix_Remix wrote:
T Worthington wrote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?


Here are some things that could be used as symbols (though not necessarily of hell itself):

-Lake of Burning Sulfur (or brimstone, depending on translation)
-Sheol (or under the ground)
-an Abyss (with chains)
-Mark of the Beast (666)
-Mark of Cain (Genesis 4:16)
-Seven headed dragon with ten horns
-Serpent


The lake of fire may be your best bet for a symbol of hell, either that or Sheol or the Abyss since those are precursors to the lake of fire. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any symbols for these short of making one up.

However, many such Christian symbols run into the problem of appealing to your non-Christian audience.

Speaking as a non-Christian,

- If I saw a picture of a "lake of burning fire", I would not associate it with Hell, unless it had devils or damned souls in the picture.

- Plastering the name Sheol on something wouldn't tell me much either.

- I wouldn't recognize a picture of the Mark of Cain if I saw one. Is there even a commonly-accepted notion in Christian circles of what it was supposed to look like?

- If I saw a picture of a seven-headed dragon, I'd think of Tiamat, even if (s)he was sitting in a lake of burning fire with damned souls around her/him.

- A serpent would only make me think of Satan if it was depicted in conjunction with an apple tree.

The Abyss, 666, and especially the iconographic concept of the Devil (red, horns, pointy tail, trident) all immediately make me think of Hell, and chains could work in the right context -- such as, if they're glowing hot, flaming, etc. Adding flames to just about anything would help emphasize the Hell angle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking at the game, my use of pentagrams and historical texts on the subject I decided that I was really intending to use conjuring circles as opposed to pentagrams. Inverted Pentagrams being the modern satanism symbol, and conjuring circles being the more historically relevant method of summoning spirits in Dr. Faust's time.

This is what I quickly drew up to replace what I had been thinking of using the pentagram for:

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Mayhew
Wales
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I know! What about a picture of a beautiful board game slowly being turned into paper pulp in a shredder... that would be a close approximation of hell! ;)

Your circles really look like a portal / worm hole... kinda scary (fits the theme, I guess).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Simpson

California
msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
Quote:
Any suggestions for a modern, accepted Christian symbol for hell?


The seven rings of hell
The key and the chain to the pit of the abyss

But I'm wondering in what context you need it for? If using it as a card reference or icon, you could get away with any number of esoteric symbols/sigils. You're "creating" the world the game environment exists in -- if you imply that X is the symbol for hell, then its the symbol for hell. You don't need real world examples for everything in order to make the game feel real in detail.


simpson
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GetFunkadelic wrote:
HamsterOfFury wrote:
Of course, happy clapp folk like me wouldn't play it but you'll easily find a reasonably sized playing base no problem.


Luke, I'm sorry to hear that you contracted the happy clapp again.


It's a lifelong affliction
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paxton Rice
United States
Olympia
Washington
flag msg tools
Yes. There is room for this sort of game. More specifically, 2 sets, with heavy overlap.

One is if the game is light-hearted and funny. Like jwb3 already mentioned, Munchkin in hell.

The other is if you not only make the game good, but also fill out the theme in a serious and detailed manner. Stuff like, how would hell really work? And what are the implications of that - and so on. My gaming group and I would be interested in either.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.