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Subject: Adventure game - what would you like to see? rss

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Wim van Gruisen
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There are several games out there where the players play adventurers walking the land, fighting monsters, and so on. Think of Return of the Heroes, Runebound, Descent, Talisman ...

What aspects of those games do you like? What would you like to see in such games?
 
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I'm a Euro girl with a D&D boyfriend. I like the adventure idea, and we tried Prophecy to see if we could find a common ground. I liked that you could get a sword (accumulate items) and travel around, though that was a bit too linear for me, and by the time I got one space away from where I was going, the thing I was going to fight changed to something I didn't have a chance with. Also, Prophecy had too much housekeeping with the cards for me.

I like in Kingsburg how the "winter battle" is against the game, not against another player. I wouldn't want to have to defeat my opponent (Dread Pirate is a poor example, but it's what came to mind).

We're looking at Candamir, where you get to wander around, choosing which direction to go in, picking up items, and fighting bears along the way, then make the items into other items which get you points. This sounds like a happy medium for me. Something akin to the old Oregon Trail I used to play in grade school.
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Matt Becker
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Whymme wrote:
What would you like to see in such games?

Native groups or factions with whom the characters have different levels of relationship and those levels affect different aspects of the game and can be changed by different actions.

Specific items for sale and henchmen for hire where the players have a relative idea of where they can be found and how much they cost. If not bought or hired, the items and henchmen can also be looted or killed.

A magic system where the capabilities of the spell caster varies with time, location, preparation, injury, and items.

A combat system where the capabilities of the combatant decrease with injury and fatigue.

Monsters and natives that appear in a semi-random fashion so players have a general idea of where something might be.

A changeable board so each game is different.

Characters that are defined in a way other than simply attributes in 3 or 4 stats
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Jae
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plays in under an hour.
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ErikPeter Walker
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Much of what is fun in games like this is gaining new abilities which combine in exciting, often very specialized ways. Getting the right combination of skills in Descent, for example, is a lot more fun than being stuck with skills that round out your character but don't improve your primary function.

Another fun aspect of adventure games is the narrative created throughout the game session. Archetypal characters and strong fantasy themes facilitate the narrative, making it easier to envision the action, bringing the abstract game world to life.

As annoying as it is to get a bad combo of skills/items, I like a little bit of randomness in what you end up with (hopefully with a decent amount choice as well). Having to make due with what you're given helps drive the narrative in unexpected ways, and often rewards players who make good tactical choices. It also prevents one "best" combo from being found and used in every single game, upsetting the difficulty balance (See 4E D&D's Rain of Blows fighter power).
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ErikPeter Walker
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indigopotter wrote:
I'm a Euro girl with a D&D boyfriend. I like the adventure idea, and we tried Prophecy to see if we could find a common ground. I liked that you could get a sword (accumulate items) and travel around, though that was a bit too linear for me, and by the time I got one space away from where I was going, the thing I was going to fight changed to something I didn't have a chance with. Also, Prophecy had too much housekeeping with the cards for me.


To add to what I said above, one thing that drags down a lot of adventure games is upkeep and number crunching. A system that does away with that as much as possible (or facilitates it, such as cards you play sequentially to add bonuses, or a convenient way to track total power) would be nice.
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Brant Benoit
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I'm still looking for a co-op adventure game, where the players as a group are trying to beat the game by completing quests, killing monsters, etc.

Warhammer Quest comes to mind, except I'd prefer something more stream-lined, and also with a campaign-style progression where your characters grow over several sessions. Options in the type of game you would like to play are very desirable; single adventure/quest, or multi-adventure campaign.

Something else that would be nice in this sort of game, would be a character generator, so that you essentially get to 'build-your-own' character, instead of using set characters and archetypes all the time.

Also, use more symbols, and less number crunching as echoed above.
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Choose your own Adventure/paragraph driven, that is both co-op AND stabby.
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Xander Fulton
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indigopotter wrote:
We're looking at Candamir, where you get to wander around, choosing which direction to go in, picking up items, and fighting bears along the way, then make the items into other items which get you points. This sounds like a happy medium for me. Something akin to the old Oregon Trail I used to play in grade school.


That's an interesting one - I've been trying to compile a list along a similar theme, and just added this one to it. Not sure if it does fit, but it's certainly in the ballpark.
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Whymme wrote:
There are several games out there where the players play adventurers walking the land, fighting monsters, and so on. Think of Return of the Heroes, Runebound, Descent, Talisman ...

What aspects of those games do you like?

When they are over.

Quote:
What would you like to see in such games?

Whatever substance they put into matchlight charcoal, and a lighter.
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Wim van Gruisen
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byronczimmer wrote:
Whymme wrote:
There are several games out there where the players play adventurers walking the land, fighting monsters, and so on. Think of Return of the Heroes, Runebound, Descent, Talisman ...

What aspects of those games do you like?

When they are over.

Quote:
What would you like to see in such games?

Whatever substance they put into matchlight charcoal, and a lighter.

How much would you be willing to pay for such a game?
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Wim van Gruisen
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Voxen wrote:
Much of what is fun in games like this is gaining new abilities which combine in exciting, often very specialized ways. Getting the right combination of skills in Descent, for example, is a lot more fun than being stuck with skills that round out your character but don't improve your primary function.

Would an Agricola-like system be fun? I mean, with cards like from the Agricola decks? Get a number of ability cards right from the start, but you can only add them to your character at certain points during the game?
 
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XanderF wrote:
indigopotter wrote:
We're looking at Candamir, where you get to wander around, choosing which direction to go in, picking up items, and fighting bears along the way, then make the items into other items which get you points. This sounds like a happy medium for me. Something akin to the old Oregon Trail I used to play in grade school.


That's an interesting one - I've been trying to compile a list along a similar theme, and just added this one to it. Not sure if it does fit, but it's certainly in the ballpark.



Ack, now I have another $80 OOP game on my wishlist (Goldland)
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I think the mechanics of adventure games are generally pretty good, although anything to make them more streamlined and with options for shorter play length are probably welcome, although sometimes the more complex and long, the better.

But what I'd really like to see are some different genres depicted with an adventure game system. It's pretty much all the same kind of medieval fantasy warrior monster wizard kind of thing. I'm sure there are other examples, but the only adventure game I can think of that is different is Arkham Horror, and even that is sort of similar in terms of its monsters, but at least the general setting and characters and other details are very different from the fantasy thing.

For example, I think an adventure system could be used very well to depict things like the Wild West... an Indiana Jones kind of adventure... Egyptian pyramid exploration (a la The Mummy)... mobsters trying to gain control of a town... outer space adventure a la Star Trek/Star Wars... and all kinds of other settings and stories. But please, no more fantasy adventure games! We have enough of those. Use an adventure style or system to create something new.
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stephen
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A game where every encounter does not simply involve killing things and taking their stuff.

A story would be nice.

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Jason
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My current favourite adventure game is the World of Warcraft: The Boardgame . I like the minimal down time between turns and it's overall flow of play. The only time it really slows down at all (not by much though) is if a party (or individual) gets embroiled in a very large fight.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Grudunza wrote:
But what I'd really like to see are some different genres depicted with an adventure game system.

You might want to have a look at City of Chaos then. Definitely not your standard adventure setting.
 
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Marshall Miller
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I'd like to see a game that plays like Race for the Galaxy, but plays out an adventure. Think of it as an indirect-conflict LCG or Tales of the Arabian Nights: The Card Game. Expansions would be like the ones in Runebound, cheap packs of cards that add to the game. You might decide between playing encounters on yourself/others or to pay to defeat encounters, the cards you have left could be purchased with the cards played. OMG, I think I'm describing Munchkin....
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Oh yeah, I'd like to see one that details adventures on the high seas without falling into the "pirate" stereotype. Perhaps more Sinbad the Sailor.
 
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Chris Palmarozzi
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Some actual decision making (doesn't have to be brain burning, just not linear or random).

A direction to go in - a goal. A goal that doesn't involve you beating up on little baddies until you can beat up on the big baddies. Somewhat related to point #1.
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emmersonpoole wrote:
A game where every encounter does not simply involve killing things and taking their stuff.

A story would be nice.



It's pretty difficult to 'systematically' generate a story, though. Although it wouldn't be a huge challenge to take something like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases, with it's "casebook" system, and pair that with a more traditional go-there-kill-that/FedEx missions/farming type of adventure game stuff that's easier to randomize. So you've got your easily randomized 'grinding' to fill out much of the game and still have some sense of story to it.

Still, you have the problem of the "casebook" systems, then - the stories eventually run out.
 
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I'd like to see Magic Realm mixed with an exploration/resource gathering game. But with a bit more simplified rule set.
 
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indigopotter wrote:
I'm a Euro girl with a D&D boyfriend. (...) We're looking at Candamir, where you get to wander around, choosing which direction to go in, picking up items, and fighting bears along the way, then make the items into other items which get you points. This sounds like a happy medium for me.

I'm primarily a Euro gamer, too. Candamir: The First Settlers is indeed your best bet for that "common ground". I'm very fond of Fantasy and end up buying some adventure games, but they invariably bore me after a few plays, at most (more commonly after one play). Candamir is the noteworthy exception. I really admire the design, from the clever movement system to the sheer Euro elegance. You have all the basic elements from a typical adventure game - characters with individual powers, experience, equipment, skill tests, quests - with few components and straightforward rules. The only "flaw" for me is the mundane theme.

If you are into print-and-play, you might also want to check my game Kingdom of Heroes. It is very different from your usual adventure game and does not feature their common elements. In fact, it is a total Euro, where you have area control and set collection as central mechanics. But it is themed on a typical Fantasy adventure and might work for you and your boyfriend.

To answer the OP, I'm looking for more strategy, more meaningful decisions and less dice-rolling.
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That's good to hear We ordered Candamir the other day, and it's on its way.
 
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Whymme wrote:
There are several games out there where the players play adventurers walking the land, fighting monsters, and so on. Think of Return of the Heroes, Runebound, Descent, Talisman ...

What aspects of those games do you like? What would you like to see in such games?


I guess the only one I've tried is Runebound (Second Edition) (and Magic Realm, but that was long ago and I never got that into it).

What I don't like is that there's all this seemingly meaningless and almost random running around, punctuated by same-ol'-same-ol' dicefest fights and shuffling treasure. (Oh, and I guess there's supposed to be a story fragmented into the cards, but I got bored with that and stopped reading the card text after the first five or ten minutes.)

Maybe that means this kind of game is not for me. But what I was hoping for when I bought it was:

1. A game with a rich, immersive theme. Maybe "theme" isn't the right word, because it doesn't have to be a story exactly. I'm thinking of wargames I used to be into, like Advanced Squad Leader, where there's such an abundance of detail that a player can lose himself in all the many things going on down there on the game board.

2. A game that's so "immersive," as described above, that it's even fun to play by oneself. And since that's how I'm likely to end up playing it most of the time, I want the game system to lend itself to solo play.

3. Replayability. A scenario generator that can easily produce countless varying situations to explore and experiment with.

4. Enough challenge to keep it interesting, but not so much that it's daunting or impossible.

5. Simplicity/streamlining. I don't want another game on the order of ASL, where you end up spending your life studying a thick rulebook. Nor do I want a game like Arkham Horror, where it takes forever and a big room to set up, then another forever to play. I'd rather it be a quick-and-easy affair--but not so light or quick that there's no time to immerse oneself imaginatively into what's going on.

Basically, playing the game should be like curling up with a good novel, except that you get to make decisions along the way, affect the course of events, explore the setting, develop your character, face risks, and end up with a tragic (losing) or comic (winning) conclusion.
 
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