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Subject: [WIP] - The Hellfire Club rss

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Ivan Pawle
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After a couple of recent trips to Montpelier Hill and thinking about Hellfire Clubs, I decided that I wanted to make a game based on Dublin's Hellfire Club.

Initially, I thought about making a more shlocky occult game using cards and dice. Then I thought it sounded a bit too pseudo-Lovecraftian and I wanted to keep it a bit more 'realistic', with players as 18th century rakes. Decadent and debauched members of the gentry, squandering their inheritance through gambling, drinking and unspeakable blasphemous practises!
devil

The House by the Churchyard and other stories by Sheridan Le Fanu add a good bit of flavour for the setting.
There are any amount of stories and legends concerning the Black Cat, cloven-hooved card players, mysterious strangers sheltering from storms etc. Supposedly if you walk anti-clockwise three times around the Hellfire Club, 'the Devil' appears.
I also wanted to mostly just be able to use a deck of cards as card-playing features prominently in stories about the Hellfire Club.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
[WIP] - The Hellfire Club

2-4 players

Board contains a circular track of 13 spaces with a starting point (the Hellfire Club). Each player has an Estate at a corner of the board.

A bunch of money tokens / 1ยข/p coins.

Notoriety tokens.

Deck of 25 Movement cards: 4x suits numbered A-6 + 1 Joker.

Deck of 2529 Event cards:

* Clergy (x3) - player must move anti-clockwise a number of spaces equal to their Notoriety.

* Pious Relative - A Pious Relative intercedes on your behalf. May be discarded to negate the effect of the Clergy card. May also be discarded on a player's turn in order to make a Charitable Donation - a player can place any amount of Gold that they have onto their Estate and move clockwise that many spaces.

* Duel (x4) - when a player lands on the same space as another player, they may play this card (see Duel below).

* Physician - may be played to negate the movement result of losing a Duel (Notoriety point is still lost).

* Magistrate (x2) - player must pay Gold equal to their Notoriety. If there is a defecit, the player must move anti-clockwise that number of spaces.

* Barrister - may be played for 1 Gold to negate the effect of the Magistrate card.

* Sensitive Documents - these contain scandalous information concerning high-profile members of the Club. If these were to fall into the wrong hands... worth 5 Notoriety points at the end of the game.

* Mysterious Stranger (x2) - may be discarded at a cost of 1 Gold on a player's turn. Player may look at cards (Event and Movement cards) held by another player and take one.

* Spirituous Liquor (x4) - a player may discard any amount of these cards during a Duel/Gambling and add +1 to their result for each card discarded. Must move anti-clockwise 1 space for each card held if Clergy or Magistrate is drawn, regardless of Pious Relative or Barrister.

* Bailiff (x4) - may be discarded when a player lands on or passes the start space (only when moving clockwise). Collect all gold from the player's Estate and gain +1 Notoriety.

* Black Cat (x2) - move Devil token clockwise. The number of spaces increases by 1 each time this card is drawn.

* Horse (x2) - may be discarded to double the result of a Movement card (does not include the Joker and only applies when used for movement).

* Carriage/Cart - discard this card and play any Movement card to move clockwise as far as the Hellfire Club space.

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

Each player is dealt 3 Movement cards and 31 Gold.
On a player's turn, they play a card and move clockwise that number of spaces. For the purpose of movement, the Joker may represent any number from 1 to 6. They then draw a card from the Event deck - some cards have an immediate effect, others may be kept by the player (they may keep a maximum of 3 of these cards, if more are drawn the player chooses which to discard face-down to the discard pile).
At the end of their turn the player draws back to 3 movement cards.
Whenever a player lands on or passes the Hellfire Club (provided they are moving clockwise) they place 1 Gold on their Estate.
Players do not draw an Event card if they land on this space.

If a player has 3x Ace cards in their hand, they may discard these on their turn for 3 Notoriety points. They do not move or draw an Event card and they draw 3 more movement cards to end their turn. If a player has 3x 6 cards, they may discard these as above and gain 6 Notoriety points. The Devil token moves clockwise to the player's space.

Duels - if a player lands on the same space as another player and they have a Duel card, they may play it to challenge that player to a Duel (if there are more than 1 players on the space, they may choose which one). Players choose 1 movement card from their hand and play it face down. The cards are then revealed and the higher number wins the Duel. A joker has the same value as the card played by the other player. In the case of a tie, another round is played. Players may discard Spiritous Liquor cards to add +1 for each they discard and the player with more Spiritous Liquor cards wins in a tie. The winner of the Duel gains +1 Notoriety point and the defeated player loses 1 and moves anti-clockwise equal to the number of Notoriety points that the winner has.
If the player does not have a Duel card, they may challenge a player to Gamble. This follows the same procedure as a Duel. Players wager either 1 Gold or 1 Event card that they have. The winner does not gain Notoriety and the loser does not move anti-clockwise.

The Devil - when the first Black Cat card is drawn, the Devil token is placed at the start space. The next time it is drawn it moves forward 1 space, the next time 2 spaces etc.
Whenever the Joker is played, the Devil moves forward 1 space.

When there are no more Movement or Event cards to draw, the discard pile is shuffled.

Play continues until a player has moved anti-clockwise past the Start space or the Devil token 3 times or if the Devil passes them 3 times (or a combination of these). At this point, the player with most Notoriety points wins (the wickedest man in Ireland) or a player with the most Gold on their Estate wins if they have at least twice as much Gold as the highest Notoriety points (in which case they manage to put aside the misdemeanours of their youth and become a respectable member of society).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't tried it yet but I'm going to have a go over the weekend and see how it works out.
Purely intended as a light filler card game.
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Angelo Nikolaou
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The game looks quite interesting

When you put up a board (and if possible printable cards) I'll give it a try!
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Ivan Pawle
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Thanks Angelo!
Hopefully I'll have something up by the weekend.
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Ronald Pehr
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Looking forward to this. Don't quite understand how the board works, from our description, but can probably make some sort of cards for you.
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Ivan Pawle
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Ok, I asked a few people to help me try this out over the weekend but they bailed on me shake

I'm sticking it up here if anyone wants to try it out.
Cards were hastily assembled and I'm not sure where I got the various images from but I'll happily delete them/replace them with symbols if it's a problem (it can pretty much be played with regular playing cards anyway).

I think most of the rules are above - I'll probably change them about a bit.

Let me know if you have any opinions/ideas/questions!





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