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Subject: Fishing for Ideas for a "Monsters Terrorize Villagers" Game rss

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Justin Hawkins
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I'm working on a game where players will start as a "fledgling" monster, with one power (card, drawn from a deck). They'll move around the board (a town), scare villagers (scared = slower to flee and weaker in combat), and kill/defeat villagers to feed. As they "level up", they'll get to draw a few power cards, and pick one to keep. This allows them to pick new powers to better fit their existing set, while still partially randomizing what they evolve into.

At some point (shooting for the half-way mark of the game, but that's for later down the road), players will get to claim an archetype to boost their abilities. Do you have Fangs, a life-stealing Leech power, and a Gaze that stuns/slows villagers? Soon, you can be an outright Vampire. Have Fangs, Claws, a tough hairy Hide, and a bestial Sprint ability? You can be a Werewolf. Did you start with Fangs, pick Leech to become a Vampire, and then get stuck with a Hide and Sprint because you didn't draw any more Vampire powers to pick?

This is where things get fun. You don't have enough Vampire or Werewolf powers to become either archetype. So you go for the Hybrid, and now you are a Chupacabra.

The idea is to have a few (I'm shooting at 4) basic archetypes (looking at Vampire, Werewolf, Mummy, and Swamp Thing), split them into a deck of powers, let players evolve into a monster by drawing new powers, and then present "hybrid" options for players that don't stick to a single archetype (Chupacabra for V&W, a Mosquito/Leech monster for V&ST, a more "beast-like" swamp monster for W&ST, and maybe manifestations of Egyptian gods when hybrids are part Mummy (M&W for Anubis feels like a good idea, could maybe do Sekhmet and Sobek for Vampires and Swamp Thing? dunno, still brainstorming) May not have hybrid options for everything. May have multiple options for the same archetype (have a "plant monster" that differs from a "creature from the black lagoon" type, for instance). May have some "generic" archetypes for players that don't fit any of the others ("Thing in the Shadows", "Terror of Turner Street", "The Beast That Shall Not Be Named", "Other", etc; doesn't matter what, just more options)

So I'd like to pick some brains. What would you suggest as a "monster archetype"? And/or hybrid options? And any type of play "theme"? For example, I'd like Werewolves to run and just kinda tear through town. So Vampires might excel at picking off single opponents faster. Mummies ought to have "ancient curses". Maybe Swamp Thing might smell.

My long-term goal is to have a base game (or two) with a few (again, aiming for 4) archetypes that can mix and match into a game with lots of options, and have Archetype "2-Packs" to add more options to the base game. Ideally, you could pick your favorite 2-3 archetypes, or use a dozen+ different ones, and it wouldn't matter too much.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Questions? I've kinda skipped over mechanics, but my concern now is theme, as I want monster themes to mold some powers around so I can playtest and see if it all works.
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damian isherwood
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Hey justin,
Really like your idea. How about instead of trying to come up with what hybrids might be just take 5 - 10 abilities from each monster architype that players can choose or purchase. You could create small bonuses for players that choose abilities that run in the same vein, like set collecting or something. This way you can add as many of the monsters classics as you can possibly think of.

Create it like a monster evolution game. Some players my try to win with a classic type or some may go absolutly crazy and just mix and match frankenstein like....

Powers could be put into a pool and as players gain what ever points they get, they use those points to bid on being the first player to choose from the available options....

Sorry just had a few thoughts..Totally subscribed to see how tis turns out.
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Robert Wesley
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How about "GROGdork": the 'INCENDiNATOR!' "...and the GROGdork does during the early afternoon, just after he's had his LUNCH!" robot
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Isaac Shalev
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Wow - I was thinking of a very similar concept. I'm playing with the drafting mechanic, trying to pick up from where 7 Wonders left off and see how to extend it in some interesting ways.

Instead of cities, you have monsters. And you draft cards to evolve/equip your monster. And maybe if you build to certain archetypes, that's worth bonus points. For scoring, each night you go out hunting for villagers, and use your abilities to kill villagers.

As for how concrete or abstract you want the hunting and killing to be, well, here's my idea. Villagers are located in different possible places: their home, the woods, church, inn, graveyard, etc. So imagine the villager tokens are placed on a board that shows each of these place types. Different creatures have different strengths and weaknesses relative to those places (vampires can't get into church at all but are great in homes, werewolves are good in the forest, etc.)

Each monster will have a couple of actions they can do each night, include scare (try and move villagers from one location to another), hunt, or heal (recover from wounds taken). Then have some kind of roll-and-modifiers mechanic to determine the effects of each of these actions based on the cards drawn that gave them their abilities.

After everyone's spend their actions, it becomes day, and you draft cards again. DO a few day-night cycles, and game ends. Most VPs wins.
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Jacovis
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How do zombies fit into all of this?
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Justin Hawkins
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Where to start, where to start...

ender7 wrote:
Wow - I was thinking of a very similar concept. I'm playing with the drafting mechanic, trying to pick up from where 7 Wonders left off and see how to extend it in some interesting ways.

Instead of cities, you have monsters. And you draft cards to evolve/equip your monster. And maybe if you build to certain archetypes, that's worth bonus points. For scoring, each night you go out hunting for villagers, and use your abilities to kill villagers.

As for how concrete or abstract you want the hunting and killing to be, well, here's my idea. Villagers are located in different possible places: their home, the woods, church, inn, graveyard, etc. So imagine the villager tokens are placed on a board that shows each of these place types. Different creatures have different strengths and weaknesses relative to those places (vampires can't get into church at all but are great in homes, werewolves are good in the forest, etc.)

Each monster will have a couple of actions they can do each night, include scare (try and move villagers from one location to another), hunt, or heal (recover from wounds taken). Then have some kind of roll-and-modifiers mechanic to determine the effects of each of these actions based on the cards drawn that gave them their abilities.

After everyone's spend their actions, it becomes day, and you draft cards again. DO a few day-night cycles, and game ends. Most VPs wins.


For the board, I'm aiming for something sort of similar to Last Night on Earth. But there will be more buildings, of a smaller (larger?) scale (buildings take up less squares, that's the point). I have an idea for a mechanic to move Villagers "on their own" (still requires player input at this point, but the direction/speed available is dictated by the game; scared villagers flee, "brave" (and thus dangerous) villagers advance towards players). I've definitely considered location bonuses (and maybe monster lairs), but at this point it may be a 100% "outdoor" game. Maybe villagers will spawn from buildings, and if they get spooked and retreat into the building they are safe (so it's possible to work on defeating a villager and then lose them because you weren't quick enough). Of course, it's hard to resist doing something like that, and then letting tougher monsters bash doors down (or letting the mummy do that "sand pouring through the keyhole" thing from, well, The Mummy).

I've also got this crazy idea for town cards, that play and effect a quarter of the board, that could mimic the same effect. Priest card is drawn, for the rest of the round (or until conditions are met, whatever), all monsters that are VV (or 2V; have two Vampire powers) are -1 Fight. Or something like that. Then, it might have text those that are MM/2M are immune (so enough Mummy powers give that Egyptian religious background to negate it, even if the monster is also part vampire). Different strengths and weakness for different creatures, but built into cards to randomize when/where it hits. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't do something like add text for the Vampire "archetype" that says "Can't go into Churches". I kinda want stuff like that for archetypes, so that by playing one straight, you "super-focus" to excelling at certain types of gameplay, with penalties for doing so.

I had originally planned to have monster kills = experience points, and have each higher level require more kills, so smarter players can level faster. The problem then, is if a monster maxes stuff out, and one player is still just a normal guy with fangs, and no other powers. It might make more sense to have everyone "level up" after so many group kills, and then those with more kills get to go first in power selection. I hadn't considered a draft (well, it was basically going to be a small draft, but one each time someone leveled up, then those cards are shuffled back in), and I like the idea. Gives more incentive to get kills, gives some incentive to help someone get kills (I help him get this kill, we both get new powers), and "forces" randomization onto people (I think the shared pool might lead to late pickers getting "less desired" powers more often).

I wasn't planning on doing a day/night cycle, partly because of dealing with the moon phases for werewolves, and partly because I didn't want to have to figure out at what point a player becomes "enough Vampire" to get vaporized during the day. So the gameplan was for this to be a "night" of terror. But a few actions each, with roll-and-modifiers (though I can't decide if I want to add to dice totals, or add more dice to be rolled) is kinda where I was headed. Everyone gets a turn in order, then some "once a round" stuff happens. More or less.

Warbringerd wrote:
Hey justin,
Really like your idea. How about instead of trying to come up with what hybrids might be just take 5 - 10 abilities from each monster architype that players can choose or purchase. You could create small bonuses for players that choose abilities that run in the same vein, like set collecting or something. This way you can add as many of the monsters classics as you can possibly think of.

Create it like a monster evolution game. Some players my try to win with a classic type or some may go absolutly crazy and just mix and match frankenstein like....

Powers could be put into a pool and as players gain what ever points they get, they use those points to bid on being the first player to choose from the available options....

Sorry just had a few thoughts..Totally subscribed to see how tis turns out.


My goal is to have a set of powers/abilities for each archetype, mostly in equal number, mostly specific (Fangs is at least one that I want to make "count" for both Vampire and Werewolf, just because I do). You gain a power, you get to draw, say, 4 cards, and pick one. Then, once you have enough powers (aiming for 5 or 6), you get to pick an Archetype. You might be "The Monster in the Closet" or "Terror of the Streets" or something vague and boogey-man sounding. But if you have enough Vampire cards, you can become an actual Vampire. Or if you have a few Mummy and Werewolf powers, you can become Anubis. Might be smarter to rename all pure-archetype... Archetypes. (need to work that out too, but I think I can cover that in a moment) So straight Vampire powers lets you become a Vampire Lord, or "super Vampire". I only know to compare it to 4th Edition D&D's Epic Destinies. Everyone gets one once they're strong enough, there are generic ones everyone can have, but there are also some for those that meet certain prerequisites. So the power selections early on can be steered towards meeting these prerequisites.

So the bold bit there (bolded by myself), is more or less 100% of what I'm aiming for.

Again, I like the "all players pick from a pool of powers" thought. Hadn't crossed my mind before. I like encouraging kills (what I was originally going to use as "XP" to "level-up" for more powers) as points to get to pick first. I also like letting people bid those points, so that maybe they can pass a bid one round to have a better standing in a later round (so that kills don't go to waste if someone kills one more than you in a round). And if everyone levels up at the same time, I could generate some "tier two" powers that only get shuffled into the main deck after X number of rounds. Could let me include some more obviously powerful stuff, more "gimmicky" powers (Mummy sand through the keyhole; which would be useful for breaking into places like mentioned above, less useful at the start of the game when you can't actually kill anyone), or maybe even "upgrades" (I can see it now... "Razor Sharp", requires "Fangs" or "Claws" or maybe "Thorns" or something, doubles the bonus of that card, or +1's it, or something)

"Group Draft" is going down on my list of "things I want, didn't think of, and picked up from BGG". Much thanks.

(side-note: thanks for the subscription, I think this is my first thread on BGG, glad to know I'm doing something right)

GROGnads wrote:
How about "GROGdork": the 'INCENDiNATOR!' "...and the GROGdork does during the early afternoon, just after he's had his LUNCH!" robot


Added to the list! (seriously, I have a list here somewhere 20-30 long of stuff I think I could legitimately fit in alongside "Vampire" and "Werewolf" as "horror icons"; the list of themed/seasonal archetypes is almost ridiculous; I hope to get to a point that I can release special promo packs, or downloadable add-ons, partly so I can release a "Convention Crazy" during the summer; too... many... semicolons...)

Jacovis wrote:
How do zombies fit into all of this?


Haven't decided yet. Just after I got the groundwork set down, a friend and I saw a game called Monster Mayhem in a store. Same "monsters terrorize villagers" concept, with fixed archetypes, Werewolf, Vampire, Mummy, Ghost, Zombie. I originally had the first 4, and dropped Ghost for Swamp Thing (which I need to stop calling that, as "Swamp Thing" is a character, where "Swamp Monster" would be a better archetype name), partly just to "design the game with a viable swamp monster option", partly to go with the "classic movie monster" lineup for the base set. Side-note, I've considered including Ghost powers in the game anyways, without enough for a full archetype, almost as teaser material. (or maybe as a promo for the first print, or first run of conventions I make it to, or basic prize on Kickstarter, or something; point is, Ghost/Spectre was in on the ground level for my designs)

Long story short, I kinda want to avoid Zombie like the plague. Partly to avoid duplicating this existing game. Partly to avoid being "another Zombie game". Mostly because I'm not sure how I want to do it yet. Part of me wants to build a Necromancer archetype. Necromantic magic, life draining, death related spells and abilities, option to summon undead minions (one early on, later, stronger Necromancers could summon more, and have a small army).

INTERRUPTION! Forgot to make any mention of Synergy powers. Basically, Power A is +X, where X is "total powers of this archetype". So Werewolf's "Howl At Moon" is +X Fear. If he also has Fangs and Claws and a hairy Hide, it is a total of +4 Fear. The more Werewolf he gets, the more potent his abilities. Only one power would probably be like this per Archetype, and it would encourage focusing, and could be used as a Necromancer power to allow more summons.

Anyways, I want to do a "Necromancer controlling army of undead" to add in Zombies. So the player wouldn't be a Zombie, but would rather control them. I also want to do a "Rage/Plague Virus" Zombie, where more kills = more zombies. But I just don't know how to balance that yet. Maybe not all kills rise as zombies. Maybe more zombies weakens them. Maybe more zombies are weakened by having to share the same number of actions. I like slow, plodding, "inevitable" zombies. But starting as just one of those could make the game painfully slow and boring, especially if you got no kills.

I am extremely excited about the thought of having zombies that might share fangs a blood sucking power, to be like mindless vampires (or an army of "zombie vampires). Or fast/hairy zombie werewolves (we've seen plenty of zombie dogs in movies, surely if both dogs and humans can zombify, werewolves can also). Or so on for other archetypes. It also lets you start as a Werewolf and decay into a Were-Zombie.

But I can't decide if I want to start as a Necromancer or Scientist controlling/creating zombies, or if I want the player to play a horde himself, or an "Alpha Zombie" with minions, or what. I kinda decided to have a fully functioning game without zombies, and to then design the zombie to fit the game (rather than doing them simultaneously, lest Zombie mechanics be designed that skew non-Zombie gameplay, you know?)

Definitely on the horizon, for "eventually". Well, maybe "Eventually, but sooner rather than later." (Evil Clowns and Terrifying Psychic Children and Mars Attacks Aliens are probably farther down the list...)
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Mark Campo
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Dragon/lizard fly? fire to block paths? or cook meals better benifit?
Triffid/plant sprout multiply copies/clones, Blinding, binding roots
for simple players the Blob huge mass gets bigger blocks spaces. ingores terrain/cover doors..
invisable used 3-4 counters to move only one of the counters is really you revealeved on under side.
necro/deamon/warlock/shaman/magic user witch thing. vader-force style powers push pull
preaditor hunter killer godlike monster killer as in the moive of same name.
kinda thinking king of tokeyo



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Sam Mercer
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Justin,

I have never seen you post before, so first of all: Nice to meet you!

Second, you write beuatifully and very elegantly (English Major or something?)

Thirdly, this game sounds really really awesome.

I love the ideas you have given so far, and I can see a nice big board with lots of funky little areas that do various bits ad pieces - churches (no vampires to go in), armories (spawn point of brave villagers), orphanage (lots of monster snacks but perhaps zealously guarded) and what not.

I would add that perhaps as opposed to a "Kill/Eat as many villagers as you can" thing, as a straight up race - perhaps it could be a little more full. Perhaps something like depending on which class you are (and perhaps even: your upgrades) you will need to go back to the monster cave to "upgrade". Or perhaps you take hold of villagers and in order to eat/drink blood/absorb soul (etcx1000) them you need to take them back to some kind of home base? (alter/spawning pool/cave/dwelling). Perhaps this can be built on; in order to do X action, you need to be in a certain place on the board, and in order to do Y action, you need to be in a different one - this would break up the mindless; "kill as many as you can" thing and add a potential for a lot more tactical choices.

Of course such-and-such monster would be "able to upgrade itself without revisiting the spawning pool". Or "May eat up to 2 villagers per round without being in the Monster Hall". Perhaps even: "Upgrade: The Pharoahs will - Class: Mummy - Any monster with this trait is able to instantly teleport to any position with a monster that includes at least one class in : Mummy". Or perhaps "Bat Transform - Class: Vampire - any monster with this trait can spend one (Action Point?) to move 4 sqaures instead of two until they next interact with any villagers or places." and "Return to your Queen! - class: Swamp thing - Any monster with this can take a single move action to transport straight tp the spawning pool"

etc etc etc (x 1000)

I think if this idea is combined with a 7 wonders draft it would make for a really lovely game I would happily own this!

Also: If you wanted to be really fancy, certain high level (or all) monster upgrades, you could give them a little flavor-snippet-prefix for example

Claws = "-Sharp-"
Elongated Canines = "-Greedy-"
Padded Feet = "-from the swamps"
Insta-teleport = "Curse of the-"
Banshee Scream = "Shout of the-"
Mind Bullets = "-of torment"

and as a little side thing, players could work out the current name of their monster. Eg, I had base class of Werw wolf and a few upgrades I could call myself the "Curse of the greedy Warewolf of torment"
That could be like my "Flavor name" - I kinda like that as a little cool thing :o)

Love this Justin, sounds like a super fun game


-Hope ive helped

sam
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damian isherwood
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I was thinking that if you did decide to use the, kill = bidding point for the player powers then if you decided to have a zombie player they could either play their kills as bidding points to evolve their zombie status(long term upgrade) or play them as part of the zombie horde to gain a temporary boost for that particular round. This way the player has to decide to either spend them on the up grades that are currently available or to use them to keep up with the other players or something.

So a zombie player may instead of starting with a single creature may start with 5 or 10. The Zombies are all very weak as individuals, but together they are a match for the other creatures in the game.The zombie up grades could also function with numbers. say you had a surround and capture type ability. The player may own it for his horde but unless he has 10 zombies its useless for him. This way the zombie player has alot of decisions to make in regards to holding on to kills or turning them in to get better powers etc...

Just a thought.
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John Perrault
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I have no ideas to add, but I love the concept!
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Samantha RD
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Archetypes:

Wraith
Blob
Dark Angel
Some form of tentacle monster
Golemancer - makes golems
All your garden variety giant bug monsters
Other 'were' things: ie: Were- panther/tiger etc
Sentient Mist
Giant serpent
etc.

Hybrids:

Perhaps try for other mythical beings? ie: combined flying monster (dark angel) traits and serpent traits could yield a winged serpent (Quetzalcoatl type creature)


Interesting idea btw!


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John Gibson
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My thoughts:

Let’s say you have 4 Archetypes and 4 hybrids, and the hybrids are only between 2 monster types, not 3. So it would look something like this:

A – H – A
|............|
H..........H
|............|
A – H – A

Each Archetype has a symbol that can be quickly identified as belonging to an Archetype. So the Ability card Fangs would have two symbols on the card: Symbol for Werewolf and the symbol for Vampire.

Different Ability cards have different values: Fangs might be a 4 whereas Tough Hide might be a 3. In order to qualify as a Vampire you need to have enough cards with the vampire symbol totalling 12 points. There could be 18 points worth of cards out there with the vampire symbol, so you wouldn’t need to have them all to qualify.

Anyhoo, good luck with your game design!
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Rich Charters
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Sounds like an interesting game. Here's some other ideas to consider:

1) Other monsters:
- the blob
- space robot
- death fog
- slasher (patterned after Jason)
- killer eagle (flies)
- dive bomber (flies....machine guns, bombs)
- Giant spider
- giant grashopper (spits death ink)
- mind control (this monster controls the villagers and makes them run off cliffs and stuff like that)


2) have the monsters fight each other as well. In a 3P, two of the monsters get mad and go after each other (perhaps the monsters could make each other lose their special abilities (fangs, claws, etc...) while the 3rd player is killing villagers right and left. This could be a mechanism to prevent one monster getting too powerful too quickly....maybe two monsters could gang up on a 3rd.

3) have one or more players control a monster. Have one player control the people. Rather than having the people move on thier own, have a player control all the people (decide where the hoards run, try to trap the monsters, fight back, etc....).


Good luck with your game!


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Systran Error
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The idea sounds solid and fun.

You could just make it to where the archetypes all immediately add on an extra benefit and disadvantage (for instance vampires are strong but weak in the day... translate that into your game however you want) If you are a hybrid you don't get any of the pre-determined advantages of the archetypes that you've created but you also don't get the disadvantage.

Basically the archetypes are something that you can choose to build toward and take strategically if you think the advantage they offer will outweigh the disadvantage that they stick you with. You'd have to decide if meeting x and y prerequisite forces you into taking an archetype or if the player always has to choose to take the archetype. You'd probably decide this after play testing it both ways. Maybe certain combinations would be too powerful and forcing a player with that combination to take the archetype could help keep overpowered ability combinations in check.
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The Joker
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I would love to see it being even more ironic. For instance it could be a killer "unicorn" or so.

More than how the players move or make their action I would be interested how you want to play the NPC's and how they move (when frightened or not).

Maybe as the monsters get stronger, also the villagers build up some outpost, get some knights from the neighboring cities or the professor or the priest…
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Justin Hawkins
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Wall-o-Text inbound! (just a heads up, the longer the thread gets, the bigger my walls will probably be)

Cogentesque wrote:
Justin,

I have never seen you post before, so first of all: Nice to meet you!

Second, you write beuatifully and very elegantly (English Major or something?)

Thirdly, this game sounds really really awesome.


Nice to meet you too! And thanks, but I was a Biology Major (Chem Minor). Just a verbose nerd. (though I did try my hand at NaNaWriMo in 2010; nothing published, but I can say I've written a book, so it's not to say I don't enjoy writing)

And much thanks! I'm still not sure how I want to handle locations (most designs I have sketched out right now don't have buildings as even accessible, so I haven't gotten far on that front yet), but I have taken many notes reading your post. I like the idea of an armory to spit out brave villagers, and a well-guarded gathering of weaker villagers. I have a... modular? randomized? variable? board design (think Last Night on Earth; same basic pieces, different ways they can be put together) These things (and a Church, and maybe one more) can help give each quarter of the board more life.

I like the idea of dragging kills back to a base to snack on. I had ideas for this earlier, and at some point dropped them (not sure why...). I might have to bring it back to add in some differentiation to the Vampires and Werewolves. My goal is to make the two both combat oriented, but in different ways (where other archetypes might excel in movement, or terror, or ranged combat, or other special things). I've always wanted to make Vampires excel in 1v1 combat, and this might help that. By dropping in on a single opponent, they can feast without having to go back to a lair. That might work.

Warbringerd wrote:
I was thinking that if you did decide to use the, kill = bidding point for the player powers then if you decided to have a zombie player they could either play their kills as bidding points to evolve their zombie status(long term upgrade) or play them as part of the zombie horde to gain a temporary boost for that particular round. This way the player has to decide to either spend them on the up grades that are currently available or to use them to keep up with the other players or something.

So a zombie player may instead of starting with a single creature may start with 5 or 10. The Zombies are all very weak as individuals, but together they are a match for the other creatures in the game.The zombie up grades could also function with numbers. say you had a surround and capture type ability. The player may own it for his horde but unless he has 10 zombies its useless for him. This way the zombie player has alot of decisions to make in regards to holding on to kills or turning them in to get better powers etc...

Just a thought.


I like the variation in allowing Zombie players to take Kills and "bid" them towards having more zombies. The problem then lies in determining when the player is a "Zombie Player". Might be a good place for the Synergy stuff. One of the Zombie Powers is "Zombie Horde", and has a Synergy bonus. (other powers might be Tough Leathery Hide, Relentless Advance, Feels No Pain, etc, for Defense, Movement, and Healing, like most other monsters) More Zombie powers, the stronger (or larger) the Horde gets. Get enough Zombie Powers, you can actually pick the "Zombie Horde" Archetype (let's call it "Army of the Undead"). Then, your reward for maxing out Zombie abilities is the power to swarm and "overwhelm" villagers without fighting them.

I love the idea, but am scared of overshadowing other archetypes in order to do it right. I don't want to have 80% Werewolves becoming a tiny army of Werewolves by getting one good Zombie card. Of course, if I do the Synergy thing I said above, it shouldn't happen that way (and non-Zombies with the Horde card would basically get to read it as "You Get a Minion"). Also, if it feeds off of Synergy, then the Horde should grow as the game progresses, which theoretically should let someone get to experience the onset of a mini zombie apocalypse.


gedin wrote:
My thoughts:

Let’s say you have 4 Archetypes and 4 hybrids, and the hybrids are only between 2 monster types, not 3. So it would look something like this:

A – H – A
|............|
H..........H
|............|
A – H – A

Each Archetype has a symbol that can be quickly identified as belonging to an Archetype. So the Ability card Fangs would have two symbols on the card: Symbol for Werewolf and the symbol for Vampire.

Different Ability cards have different values: Fangs might be a 4 whereas Tough Hide might be a 3. In order to qualify as a Vampire you need to have enough cards with the vampire symbol totalling 12 points. There could be 18 points worth of cards out there with the vampire symbol, so you wouldn’t need to have them all to qualify.

Anyhoo, good luck with your game design!


I have vague plans to have hybrids only exist between certain Archetypes, but was hoping I could maximize the number of options initially. Some (Ghost + Vampire = Wraith, Werewolf + Ice Demon = Yeti, Ghosts withe the Howl power can become a Banshee, Vampires + Zombies = Ghouls, etc) may be a bit more restrictive (Yeti is almost reflex it's so obvious, but "Ice Demon" doesn't mix as easily with most others) later 2 Archetype sets will be designed to mix with a base set, but may not mix well with each other. And may not mix with everything in the base set (Ice Demon might mix with Werewolf, and then I can figure something out for Vampire, and something else would mix well with Mummy and Swamp Thing that wouldn't mix with V/W as well, such as, say, a Contagion disease-based Archetype).

I like the idea of having powers worth different amounts. I had ideas for requiring certain Archetypes and Hybrids to require certain powers (Banshee is Ghost based, must have Howl; you can have whatever you want from the set, but you MUST have blood-sucking powers to be a Vampire), but hadn't thought of making certain powers count more otherwise. I like it, as it lets me emphasize certain parts of fully fleshed out archetypes. (what comes to mind is having the Mummy's Curse power count heaps and bounds more than other Mummy powers towards being eligible for the "Mummy Lord" Archetype)

Gah, I've got to find new wording there. Archetypes are iconic monster themes. Gain enough powers, and you get to select a certain... Beast of Legend? (I want to say "you get to select a certain Iconic Monster Archetype Theme", but that just compounds the redundancy in making it hard to figure out what's what) Hybrids then are "Beasts of Legend" that use more than one Archetype. Maybe I could reorganize that, and say Hybrids are Archetypes that use more than one Monster Race? That makes sense, but I don't like calling them different races when all but "Robot" and "Alien" and "Demon" are going to be human based. Early on, the phase where you picked your "Prestige Class" was entitled "Evil Has a Name" (with the thought being, "And it's Name is ______", where the blank is filled in by the Archetype/Hybrid you choose). Maybe Archetypes can remain the themes, and then the "prestige classes" can be called simply "Named Evils"? It would let me make town cards that have different effects on Named Evils, which I like. I might go with that. And as far as the actual rules are concerned, I may drop the term "Hybrid" altogether. It's good for planning, but I don't want to draw a line separating Straight-Archetype NE's from Hybrids.

systran wrote:
The idea sounds solid and fun.

You could just make it to where the archetypes all immediately add on an extra benefit and disadvantage (for instance vampires are strong but weak in the day... translate that into your game however you want) If you are a hybrid you don't get any of the pre-determined advantages of the archetypes that you've created but you also don't get the disadvantage.

Basically the archetypes are something that you can choose to build toward and take strategically if you think the advantage they offer will outweigh the disadvantage that they stick you with. You'd have to decide if meeting x and y prerequisite forces you into taking an archetype or if the player always has to choose to take the archetype. You'd probably decide this after play testing it both ways. Maybe certain combinations would be too powerful and forcing a player with that combination to take the archetype could help keep overpowered ability combinations in check.


I prefer the idea of a choice (if you get the choose powers, you also get to choose which Named Evil you are). I do aim for most NEs to have advantages and disadvantages. Then the more generic NEs (no prerequisites, or much easier to meet prerequisites), such as "Terror of Turner Street" or "Beast of Black Ridge" or "The Unnamed" or "Whisper on the Winds" or whatever, would have smaller advantages, and ideally no disadvantages. The thought being that if you pick enough Vampire powers, and claim the "Vampire Lord" NE, you get advantages that play to the powers of the archetype, super-focusing the ability to stalk and kill single opponents with ease, but maybe you can't get within so many squares of the church, and any/all holy effects apply double to you (a villager "Blessed" to get +1 to attack gets +2 vs Vampire Lords, for example). Whereas maybe the Terror of Turner Street gets to designate one quarter of the board as "Turner Street", he gets +1 to a few things while there, but no bonus anywhere else. And no penalties anywhere. Less power, no drawback. I want all NEs to be a power boost, and picking a stronger one should require choosing whether or not it is worth the drawback.

I can see a crazy "blitz" variant where no one gets to draft powers, you just draw one from the top of the deck, and are forced into an NE as soon as you meet requirements for it. That might be a fun way to play a game with "uncontrolled and rampant" evolution.

Sica wrote:

Archetypes:

Wraith
Blob
Dark Angel
Some form of tentacle monster
Golemancer - makes golems
All your garden variety giant bug monsters
Other 'were' things: ie: Were- panther/tiger etc
Sentient Mist
Giant serpent
etc.

Hybrids:

Perhaps try for other mythical beings? ie: combined flying monster (dark angel) traits and serpent traits could yield a winged serpent (Quetzalcoatl type creature)


Interesting idea btw!


I'm aiming to use Wraith as a Ghost/Vampire hybrid. I want Ghosts to haunt and terrorize, so Wraiths will be more "Dementor-like", more solid, and feed off of villagers in a very vampiric manner.

I can't believe I don't have "Blob" on any of my lists. That one seems obvious.

I have demons and devils and options, but no Dark/Fallen Angel. I like the idea of making it different from demons/devils (as well as combining it with other archetypes to create physical aspects of mythical beings or ancient deities) Side-note: My aim is to have all players start as Humans with one Power turning them into Monsters. Some won't be very easy (Robots and Aliens come to mind; Angel would fit here too), but for some I'm thinking of having the player be a "possessed" human. Instead of a demon, you are a man in a cloak possessed by a demon. It keeps a tiny bit of that "you used to be normal" in play, for theme's sake.

I mention that, because I aim to have a Cultist that follows a Lovecraftian Old One, and combines powers of the two. So he's a human, carries and enchanted dagger that gives him a combat boost, chants crazy words that scare the hell out of people, and acts like a cultist, but also has one arm that can transform into a tentacle to lash out and grab someone. So rather than a tentacle monster, it's an archetype with tentacle powers. But yes, it's on a list.

Haven't spent much time on a golemancer, but I do intend to have (at the very least) a "Dr. Frankenstein", so Frankenstein's Monster can terrorize the town. Having other golems (and golem type creatures) as options seems kinda obvious.

Giant Bugs are on the list. Thinking of going "Insect Man" archetype, hybrids to produce different kinds. (+Mummy = Scorpion/Scarab. +Fangs/Hair = Spider. +Swamp = Dragonfly/Moth. etc) It'll be a necessity to get the "villagers wrapped up in cocoons" thing added in. (side-note: yes, I know scorpions/spiders aren't bugs/insects; doesn't matter, I'm looking for "monster movie themes", not accurate biology)

Other Were-things may come about as hybrids later, where Werewolf monsters with a select power or two could pick another Were type. (feline stealth + feline agility = panther, agility and camouflage = leopard, wings/beak = owl/hawk, stealth and something ratlike = rat, etc) I don't want to do them as separate Archetypes, simply to keep the Weres a close family. They may play differently, but I still want (thematically and slightly mechanically) for lycanthropes to feel and play similar.

Sentient Mist would go well as an option/combo with Swamp stuff. (as would a Fog) On the list!

I missed giant serpent too. But I might roll all serpentine effects into a Medusa archetype. Well, I might take giant serpent stuff and add "paralyzing gaze" and call it Medusa. Same thing. Mostly.

richcharters wrote:
Sounds like an interesting game. Here's some other ideas to consider:

1) Other monsters:
- the blob
- space robot
- death fog
- slasher (patterned after Jason)
- killer eagle (flies)
- dive bomber (flies....machine guns, bombs)
- Giant spider
- giant grashopper (spits death ink)
- mind control (this monster controls the villagers and makes them run off cliffs and stuff like that)


2) have the monsters fight each other as well. In a 3P, two of the monsters get mad and go after each other (perhaps the monsters could make each other lose their special abilities (fangs, claws, etc...) while the 3rd player is killing villagers right and left. This could be a mechanism to prevent one monster getting too powerful too quickly....maybe two monsters could gang up on a 3rd.

3) have one or more players control a monster. Have one player control the people. Rather than having the people move on thier own, have a player control all the people (decide where the hoards run, try to trap the monsters, fight back, etc....).


Good luck with your game!


Blob, Spider, and Fog mentioned above, noted.

Robots have been an option, but I was aiming more "Terminator" like. Cyborgs/Robots built by man. Hadn't thought of Space Robots. Lets me fish through some sci-fi stuff for Daleks and Cybermen and Battle Droids and Cylons and so on for ideas. Side-note: My goal is a 4-Archetype game with 2-Archetype expansions. The base game is themed on "classic movie monsters". In plans to potentially have another base game (basically a different diving board to get into everything), having a straight "Sci-fi themed" set is the only idea I've got so far. Could go Cyborgs, Space Robots, Aliens (War of the Worlds, Mars Attacks, Cowboys and Aliens, etc), and symbiotic aliens (Xenomorphs, the black thing that gets onto Spider-Man, any parasite that takes control of a human host, etc).

A "slasher" type has been sketched out. I'm aiming more "Ghostface" from Scream, but I'm biased cause he's my favorite. Stuff from Jason and Michael Myers will be included. (especially since Scream pokes at the themes from those and other slashers anyways, so it's fitting) Basically "Immortal man with knife" is on the list.

I like the idea of a dive bomber. Every "flying" option I've had has been more "killer eagle" oriented. It would give a different style of play to have a flying monster that picks things off from range. Sounds fun.

Mind Control is on a list somewhere. I think I have it penciled in as "evil psychic child", but the concept of something that fights with the mind is a good one, and thus, on the list.

My initial intent was to have the game be mostly player-combat driven. The goal is "kill villagers", but the idea was "fight other monsters to be the toughest". That works if more kills = closer to winning. With a bidding system to go first in a draft, all players get powers simultaneously, and thus "level up" at the same time, so kills may not be worth engaging another player. I do intend to have the ability of monster-v-monster combat though. Might be that ultimate victory requires taking out opposing monsters.

As far as the people, I'm not sure how to work it all yet, but I'm trying to avoid having a "Villagers Player". I want everyone to be a Monster, and not let the Villagers have much hope at surviving. So far, movement mechanics are minimal. Villagers naturally flee monsters; more scared villagers flee at slower speeds, going with that "so scared he tripped over flat ground" trope, where braver villagers will actually seek out monsters (and at lower levels of power, brave villagers will be dangerous all by themselves, much less in numbers). The idea is to have monsters get to move villagers on their turn, if the villager is in a certain range. Scared villagers have to flee, but he gets to choose which way (run them into a corner, separate off the weakest one, etc, all allowed) so long as they get farther away from him. (may need a ruling that if two monsters are "in range", villagers must flee both) He draws the attention of a brave villager, it comes after him. Need something for out-of-range villagers so they don't just stand there (d10, 1-8 are N, NE, E, and around to NW, 9 is no move, 10/0 is player's choice, moves one square, meandering about some not-being-attacked-by-a-monster business?). Part of this is to allow snares to slow/stop movement, and stealth to reduce the limit for being seen (stealthy monsters can pick off villagers closer to other villagers without drawing attention). Ideally, I can find a way to have villagers fear play into numbers as well. Bonuses for being in groups, penalties for being alone, seeing someone get attacked might trigger a fear attack automatically.

Part of that comes from many games of Last Night on Earth. It, quite simply, isn't much fun (for me) to lose to another player directly. I'd much rather have all players playing off the same system, and then whoever does best beating the system wins. Not quite as personal as having a player play the villagers outright.

jkrenner wrote:
I would love to see it being even more ironic. For instance it could be a killer "unicorn" or so.

More than how the players move or make their action I would be interested how you want to play the NPC's and how they move (when frightened or not).

Maybe as the monsters get stronger, also the villagers build up some outpost, get some knights from the neighboring cities or the professor or the priest…


Unicorn is noted! I'm aiming for "mostly serious, but obviously tongue-in-cheek where needed". I hope to include Evil Clowns one day, because, for whatever reason, clowns scare people in a significant manner. So while it'll be completely serious from the standpoint of "scares people", that won't stop me from having "Bloody Clown Shoes" that are, well, obviously funny, too. I don't intend to make things funny, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty to laugh at, too.

For movement, I kinda detailed most of that above, let me know if you have any further questions. It's another one of those "I have more ideas and plans than I've spelled out", because I'm, as the topic title and first post say, fishing for monster ideas.

I hadn't thought of scaling up the villager retaliation as monsters get stronger. But it does make sense that brave villagers are more likely to get mobs formed late game. Priests may go from praying to blessing villagers and actively setting up defenses. My early think-tank (ie friend I brainstormed with over lunch) suggested having Monsters and Heroes face off against each other. While the idea was nixed (for this game, at least), we did make note of potential Hero Villagers, like the Priest, Sheriff, and others. It would make sense to deploy them when players become Named Evils. (that could be an "Endgame" condition, too; kill the Hero Villagers. give them special abilities against certain archetypes (Priest stomps Vampires, Sheriff carries silvered ammo, Professor knows Mummy's counter-curse, etc). Could also make them count as more "points" than normal villagers (for endgame scoring, and for bidding, should the game go long enough to add in more powers).



Much thanks to everyone for ideas, as well as excitement for the game. My goal for this project is to hit Kickstarter, so if you can think of any reward options, let me know! (basic ideas are Thanks, and the Game itself; I'd like to have a "Kickstarter Promo" of some sort, be it exclusive/early archetypes, or alternate artwork, or something, and one or two super-rewards of getting to design your own Archetype for a 2-set) My goal had been to hit Kickstarter by the end of January to mid-February, but I had a crisis-of-faith in design, and instead of prototyping and playtesting, I'm brainstorming again. But it'll be worth it in the long run, methinks.
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Sam Mercer
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Dude - GG for sticking that reply out man - well done for just writing the thing! haha!

Remember it's also VERY easy to get carried away trying to incorporate everyting. ESPECIALLY in a game like yours that has most of its pieces asymetrical (1 archetype can be different in almost every respect, even down to the way they move or take actions) and as such remember to keep your eye on the game as a whole and whatever you agree to in your head - keep the game there.

I find it very helpful to write one short paragraph on your game, what you want it to do, and how it will be judged by others - Then during your design process you can always refer to it and think "hmm, with this addition of X, does my game still fit my original brief to myself?"

You can go the whole hog and do a full Boardgame Treatment if you wanted to - http://www.sloperama.com/advice/specs.htm (great article btw)

But make sure you have your pillars that you stick too

Otherwise - looking forward to see your game more man!


hope ive helped

sam
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Cogentesque wrote:
Remember it's also VERY easy to get carried away trying to incorporate everyting.


Seconded. Actually, I've had some great return from testers after removing big chunks of certain games (streamlining, faster play, less confusing, reduced downtime, less fiddly) than trying to hammer the square peg in the round hole
I'd concentrate on the core aspects of your game and make that run super smoothly. Then you can easily introduce new elements through expansions, when players already have a good grasp of the game.

See Dominion for example, somehow I doubt the game would have been that successful if everything had been released as one giant box. 4 types of coin cards + potion, dual cards, duration cards, Colonies, etc...

Good thread, keep an eye out here, good reads.
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Cogentesque wrote:
Remember it's also VERY easy to get carried away trying to incorporate everyting.


Thirdeded.

Great core idea but as this thread evolves it feels like you're trying to get too all encompassing and what I thought was a streamlined focused game may be shifting towards the bogged down and unmanageable. I'd hope to see you take the original fab four or so and really dial your concept in from there.

One personal note - I'd hate to see you muddy the cool solid familiar archetype waters of this concept with quick made up throwaways like "ice demon". Perhaps introduce a location into the DNA? A Werewolf with Mountain origins = Yeti. A ghost with house origins = poltergeist. A Creature (from the black lagoon aka swamp monster) that picks up the Convent = Mermaid. Vampire + Convent = Succubus, etc.

But that tangent aside - for playability I'd rather see your archetypes kept to a min - same for your hybrids. Choose the best most obvious - most cross platform friendly - and work 'em over.

Very impressed by the idea or I wouldn't have commented. Keep it up.

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Thanks to all three of you. Rest assured, I'm planning around having a relatively simple game that's "easy" to build upon.

My hope is to create the complexity on the possibilities of what CAN happen, as opposed to an over-abundance of "stuff". The list of things "to be added in an expansion, if at all" grows longer every other day or so. Some things I think will be held off to make sure they can work properly, such as the Zombie, and probably any "break into houses" mechanics. Things like "hero" villagers, and lairs, and a "sewer-shortcut" travel system probably could fit, but may just as likely be cut to give me less to deal with. There should be plenty, given power options, player choices, villager movement, the slightly-variable board, etc, to keep things "fresh" without buckets of unnecessary extras. (the board, which I'm not sure if I've talked about, should have... almost 100 variations? like Last Night on Earth, similar pieces, but having them in a different order creates a different map)

Ideally, expansions could add new stuff (say, two archetypes and cards/rules for hero villagers), and then build on the old stuff (a new power for existing archetypes, new hybrid options, new "generic" prestige classes, etc) Synergy rules will probably be statted out, and then saved for the Zombie archetype's release. That way it comes out with a new mechanic, then a new card for each archetype with that mechanic.

I can understand the concern with the "Ice Demon" (horrible name for a straight archetype, but it's what I have, and stands out; guess I could theoretically stick with "Ice Monster" until something smarter shows up), but part of the point was to include not-so-classic monsters as well. For brainstorming purposes, I figured out an Ice-based archetype could let me draw in Frost Giants, the Yeti, Jack Frost, and any of numerous ice-witch characters from various stories (the White Queen from Narnia, the Snow Queen from the Hans Christian Anderson story, etc). The idea was to pair it with a classic, more familiar monster archetype (say, Zombie, or Ghost, or others), and to add in some "completely new" stuff in addition to the classics. I certainly don't intend to do it if I can't do it well, but I definitely want to do more than just "the classics".

It only got mentioned in the first place because it's an option of "things to come", and of the not-so-classic archetypes, has the most "stick" to it. (for example, had an idea for a "Dragon" archetype; got as far as "it flies and breathes fire, but doesn't obviously mix with ANYTHING", and was shelved for "when I get bored" or "release as a promo/freebie one Halloween (or when The Hobbit Part 2 releases) or something".

Besides, it's hard to pass up the chance to stat out something that can freeze villagers in place, or leave slippery ice on ground it crosses, even if it won't be used. Cause it's (forgive the pun) really cool.
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Okay, baseline was Vampire, Werewolf, Mummy, and Swamp Monster. Flexing out the last tiny details before a playtest is available (ideally I can have a print-n-play within... a week?) I was working out card counts, and have a few quick questions before I finish up playtest material.

Originally, some "basic" cards would have multiple copies, and "more complex" cards have fewer copies. Thus, you're more likely to get fangs or claws or sprint than the mummy's curse or the leech ability. Part of this was to increase the odds of having combat cards (being able to drain life does no good if you aren't tough enough to beat up anyone), part to keep the more "iconic/thematic" cards special (not every bandaged man made partly of sand has a curse, you know).

Anyways, I had an idea of distribution (common powers are X, rare powers X-2, everything that isn't one or the other is X-1, it terms of quantity), and then can't decide on what the baseline should be. (and, possibly, should the quantities vary depending on # of players? might help)

So, some game math. Let's assume 4 players. This won't be "set in stone" until it's playtested, but let's figure for about 7 powers over the course of the game. That's 28 "powers used".

So far, archetypes are hovering at 5 or 6 powers each. Most likely 5, partly to make them equal (not all have a 6th yet), and partly because it leaves me a few for future ideas (hoping to simplify the current game, but keep the complexity for later for those that want it). So, of the 5, 1 will probably be rare, 2 common, 2 the middle uncommon. With that distribution, that's 3 of each common, 2 of each uncommon, 1 of each rare, at a minimum, for a total of 11 for each archetype. 4 archetypes, that's 44 power cards, representing 20 powers.

So, in a full game, roughly 63% of the deck gets used, and it's possible to cover every single available power. With 2 commons per archetype, and 3 of each common, that's 24 commons, so it is, quite literally, impossible to bypass ALL of the uncommon/rare powers. Given whatever rule I decide upon for duplicate powers (if you draw 3 pick 1, might let you discard and redraw dupes; if drafting for the group works better, maybe only if you're left with only dupes at the end of a draft)

FIRST: Does that sound sane and reasonable? Got paranoid, wanted to look into it before it got playtested to earn a "WTF is this?" response.

SECOND: Consider this. What if I add an archetype. Or two. The distribution is 5 powers on 11 cards per archetype. Powers/Cards would increase to 25 powers in 55 cards, or 30 powers in 66 cards. % of deck used goes down to 51% and 42% respectively. Latter has it impossible to see all powers in a single game. Would it be sane to add in more base archetypes? For the record, I would focus on getting something "standard" in, like a Ghost/Specter, or the Zombie (but probably not, as I still have plans for him), rather than something "outlandish".

THIRD: While my idea was 4 archetypes for 4 players, would it be reasonable to include 5-6, and then somehow randomly select which ones get used? I have this temptation to, basically, do that, to keep the base complexity the same, but add more options. (also: I've been eyeing Dominion recently, which I do not own but strongly desire, so this may be wishful thinking tied to that)
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You're using 28 of 44 cards, and there are four unique cards in the deck - the rare of each archetype. In most games, at least one of those cards will not be in play. That doesn't sound like so much fun, to pick an archetype you're trying to get to, and simply never have the card come out.

Another way to approach this is to say that if there are 28 cards that are going to played, how many do you want unplayed? In seven wonders, the number of unused cards per age is equal to the number of players, because on the last turn of an age, you pick one of two cards and discard the other.

Ok, so let's say, for argument's sake that we use the same idea. Now you have 32 cards that you'd like to see in play. You also have four unique cards (the rares of each archetype). So that leaves you with 28 cards. We also know that some abilities overlap - both vampires and werewolves have fangs, maybe both mummies and swamp monsters have shambling walks (or monstrous grip, or whatever). That means some cards are duplicates. Working within the 28 cards we have left, you have to seed the deck with enough of the different abilities, basing the rarity on how useful the card is to how many archetypes. If it's useful to more archetypes, you need to have more.
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ender7 wrote:
You're using 28 of 44 cards, and there are four unique cards in the deck - the rare of each archetype. In most games, at least one of those cards will not be in play. That doesn't sound like so much fun, to pick an archetype you're trying to get to, and simply never have the card come out.

Another way to approach this is to say that if there are 28 cards that are going to played, how many do you want unplayed? In seven wonders, the number of unused cards per age is equal to the number of players, because on the last turn of an age, you pick one of two cards and discard the other.

Ok, so let's say, for argument's sake that we use the same idea. Now you have 32 cards that you'd like to see in play. You also have four unique cards (the rares of each archetype). So that leaves you with 28 cards. We also know that some abilities overlap - both vampires and werewolves have fangs, maybe both mummies and swamp monsters have shambling walks (or monstrous grip, or whatever). That means some cards are duplicates. Working within the 28 cards we have left, you have to seed the deck with enough of the different abilities, basing the rarity on how useful the card is to how many archetypes. If it's useful to more archetypes, you need to have more.


There's a difference in cards being used, and cards being available. I'm trying to increase ways to dig through the cards, so that even if only 24 hit the table, they're all cycled through at least once. Based on suggestions above, I'm working with powers being drafted at players+3, where 4 players draw 7 cards, each pick one, and the remaining 3 are discarded. By the time 28 powers are selected, 7 for each player, 49 powers have been cycled through. As this is more than the base number of cards, at the very least one shuffle will be mandatory to even proceed with the game.

I guess that's one thing I haven't touched on, really. I'm working on a kind of event deck, that each player will draw from at the beginning/end of his/her turn, to provide extra effects to the game. Initially it was a "town" deck, to beef up villagers in semi-random ways. Then it included things like weather (rain boosts stealth or fear, a cloudless sky gives a boost to werewolves, etc). Then I figured it might include some other effects. Influences on a day/night cycle. Spawn rates of villagers. The ability to look through some of the powers on top of the deck and discard them. The ability to place a discarded power on top of the deck. A forced "fetch" ability that puts a rare power immediately in the next draft. I've even been toying with a rare "Mutation" card that lets a player discard a power and draw a new one.

I kinda want player competition over powers, or the order you get powers, to be more important than whether or not they turn up at all. And I'm attempting to tackle that in an event deck.

I'm glad you pointed out the overlapping abilities. I had... kinda forgotten about them in my last design spree. They still exist, but I wasn't really accounting for them (that is, I have Fangs listed under Vampire, wasn't counting them under Werewolf). I have an idea to work that out. May skew some of the numbers here, but I might be able to do it without messing with them at all. We'll see, and I'll report back when I've fleshed it out a little. (that is to say I have an idea already, and it's cool)
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Isaac Shalev
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Got it - if you're going to cycle through cards, so that players see as many 40 or 50 cards, even though they're only playing 28, the question you have to ask is why do you want them to decline to play so many cards?

Think about San Juan. You cycle through a lot of cards in that game, declining most of them. And there are some cards that are dominated imo (that is, they are never the best card to play) and I see that as a flaw in the design. But many of the cards are good in some situations and not good in others. Cycling through a lot of cards gives you the opportunity to pursue a variety of strategies, and the flexibility to change directions more rapidly. If that's the feel and play you want in your game, go for it. If you're looking for a tighter sense of competition over specific powers, I think fewer cards is better.
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Justin Hawkins
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ender7 wrote:
Got it - if you're going to cycle through cards, so that players see as many 40 or 50 cards, even though they're only playing 28, the question you have to ask is why do you want them to decline to play so many cards?

Think about San Juan. You cycle through a lot of cards in that game, declining most of them. And there are some cards that are dominated imo (that is, they are never the best card to play) and I see that as a flaw in the design. But many of the cards are good in some situations and not good in others. Cycling through a lot of cards gives you the opportunity to pursue a variety of strategies, and the flexibility to change directions more rapidly. If that's the feel and play you want in your game, go for it. If you're looking for a tighter sense of competition over specific powers, I think fewer cards is better.


Duplicates. There are 20 powers, with duplicates of different amounts (for differing frequencies) making up a deck of 44.

Any given player will have 7 different powers in front of him, for a total of 28 cards in play for 4 players.

So basically, you're guaranteed to get to have 35% of the available options by game end, and the point of the game is which ones you get and how you use them, so that (ideally) no two games should be the same.

Other mechanics will make sure that you have access to most/all of the cards, so part of the point is competing against other players to get the ones you want.

If we draft 7 cards, and I go first and take the only one you want, you now have to adjust to make the best of what's left. Most of the competition will be trying to... basically "score highest" so that you get to go first in the draft. (with an 'event' deck that monkeys with things and occasionally could mess up that process, for a tiny degree of randomness) Also, if there's only one copy of a card, and two players want it, the one that doesn't get it has to, again, adjust to make the best of what he's got.


Side notes of things (I think) I have already mentioned:

Archetypes have 5 powers, with duplicates making up 11 cards. More archetypes means more powers, and my goal is 4 in the base set, 2 in each expansion (most likely). You could swap out any one archetype for any one other and keep the math the same. Or add in more and have each card get rarer as the deck grows (and also make "card exposure" slower, so some cards could not show up in a game, or be harder to find)

Also, I may playtest and see if I can remove some of the duplicates for 2 and 3 player games to increase the odds of getting through the cards.
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