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Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game» Forums » Variants

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simon cogan
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I'm trying to think of some lovely new rules for components in the FANG boxset.

No-one yet has come up with anything for the black number counters (0-6, X and Attack)

what about this:

Instead of placing adventures around the globe, place X counters (X= no of players +2) in random locations. These are CLUES.

When a player reaches a location with a CLUE, he has to overcome 2 Danger cards to take the clue.

Replace any CLUES taken by players with new CLUE counters from the pool.

Clues with Attack mean you draw an Enemies card. CLUES with 0 are 'false' trails.

When you have a CLUE total (adding your Lore) of 10 (or you draw the X CLUE), lose all your CLUE counters and draw a new Location and draw an Artifact and Adventure as per the base game. Only YOU know where this Adventure is so keep the Location secret. When you reach this Location, reveal and play through the adventure as normal.

With this system, you only need 10 Fortune to win the game.

I'm not sure how to include Villains in this quest game - any feedback would be appreciated.
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MoonSylver
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I like it! I wonder if you could even scale the # of Clues you have vs the # of Dangers you have to overcome to get the next Clue (ie 1 for the 1st Clue, 2 the 2nd etc.) (My thinking being the closer you get to finding the secret the more dangerous it becomes...but then again, once you got past 5, that would be a lot....:eek: )

As for Villains...hmmm...maybe they can Adventure for Clues as normal, & when they have enough they can Adventure there, but have to wait for a Hero to start the Adventure before they can join (unless the Hero is already there)? (Villains LOVE to let Heroes find things first, do all the hard work, etc. & then snatch the reward away from them)

Or you could just go ahead & Deploy them on the Artifact Card itself & let them Adventure as normal, & once the Location is revealed place them on the board.

Just some random thoughts off the top of my head. I'll have to think on it more.
---MS
 
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Matt Smith
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A couple of thoughts:

1) Scale the # of Dangers as such: 1-2 token = 1 Danger, 3-4 token = 2 Dangers, 5-6 token = 3 Dangers. This way if a player finds a 5 or 6, unless he can get through all 3 Dangers in one turn, another player could try to get that token too.

2) Have the 0 token mean an adventure at that location, but the hero takes 2 Wounds due to the struggle to find the adventure.

3) Have the Attack token mean an adventure at that location, but the Hero has to draw an Enemy and survive the combat before starting on the adventure. If the Hero chooses to escape the enemy, he moves to an adjacent location (like when fighting green guys) and loses to ability to start the adventure.

4) Once a Hero has a clue total of 7 (don't include Lore), discard all clue tokens and start an adventure at your current location. I dropped the total to 7, so an adventure can be found with a minimum of two number tokens. Also, if Lore was included, it would unbalance the Heroes.

These changes allow for 3 of the tokens to provide a Hero an (almost) immediate adventure, but at a price (either travelling, 2 Wounds, or a fight). The other 6 tokens allow Heroes to build up to an adventure at their current location without having to pay another price once they reach 7.
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simon cogan
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I really like these tweaks Matt - thanks

Now, how do we integrate villains?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Brilliant ideas!

Couldn't the villains be used as normal, but only go on "discovered" adventures?

Might I also suggest the adventures be drawn as normal, but the location card kept secret. Finding enough clues would mean that you are allowed to peek at a location card. After you've gone to the location of the adventure the card is turned up and is fair game for any hero/villain.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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When players hit their clue totals are they revealing new adventures and artifacts or the same adventure? That makes a difference in the design.

If you're keeping the location secret you're really eliminating player competition for the artifacts which is part of the game design for competitive play. Before the change it was an issue of getting the right movement rolls for a head-to-head challenge between players. Now you've added the complexity of having the right clues plus movement rolls which decreases the chance of a player confrontation.

As far as the villain problem goes you could roll against all unclaimed clues at the start of the Villain phase. A roll of 1 or 2 means the organization claims the clue. A boss character can start the adventure when the villain organization reaches 7 Lore worth of clues. No waiting for heroes, just do it. You could make the total higher for villain organizations to compensate for their "instantaneous" move ability. Perhaps 10 lore worth of clues?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Player competition for the same artifact is problematic in any case - if you lose the competition you have put a lot of effort in for little gain. Competition would still come into play with the hunt for the clues (much along the same lines as in "Raiders").

The main problem I see in adding clues would be that it would add play time. The main thing the game needs is more important decision points. Hidden locations for artifacts would add the decision about whether to go for more information or go directly to the adventure. Perhaps some clues could be used to make the adventure simpler...

Autoduelist wrote:
When players hit their clue totals are they revealing new adventures and artifacts or the same adventure? That makes a difference in the design.

If you're keeping the location secret you're really eliminating player competition for the artifacts which is part of the game design for competitive play. Before the change it was an issue of getting the right movement rolls for a head-to-head challenge between players. Now you've added the complexity of having the right clues plus movement rolls which decreases the chance of a player confrontation.

As far as the villain problem goes you could roll against all unclaimed clues at the start of the Villain phase. A roll of 1 or 2 means the organization claims the clue. A boss character can start the adventure when the villain organization reaches 7 Lore worth of clues. No waiting for heroes, just do it. You could make the total higher for villain organizations to compensate for their "instantaneous" move ability. Perhaps 10 lore worth of clues?
 
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Neil Edmonds
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It wasn't clear from the discussion whether players can go head to head for artifact items since the locations are "secret." Part of the game design is forcing players to decide whether they'll push their luck and take another Danger card. It's not wasted time, it's the whole point of the exercise. That's why the heroes have to trade-off taking Danger cards. That's why camping down is risky because another player can swoop in on their turn, pass all the Danger challenges, and take the Artifact from underneath your nose.

If the clue system makes artifact competitions less likely then the competitive game is damaged. It's basically saying, "No artifact hunts until heroes have X number of clues because the clues are necessary to discover where the Adventure is at." It's a barrier to competition. It's also unclear where the clues apply since there are supposed to be several artifacts on the board at any given time.

Making clues optional as a way of shoring up the artifact adventure sounds like the better way to go. Perhaps acquiring a clue allows a player to skip a danger (if it's high value) or add to a Danger roll (if it's a low value)? That would make the clues an interesting diversion for players while still allowing all players a shot at competing for an artifact that's in play.
 
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MoonSylver
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Or perhaps even using them as a stat boost. Trade in 1 clue for a +1, limit 1 per Danger/Cliffhanger. I've heard the observation that there is no way to train up like in ATOE in FanG, so this would be a good compensation.
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Mattias Elfström
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I like this a lot!

Perhaps all of this can be combined to the following:

Adventures are drawn as normal, but with secret location cards.

Two types of clues are placed randomly around the board. One type allows you to look at the secret location of adventures the other type boosts your chances of overcoming dangers. Getting the clues may involve dangers or fights.

Villains adventure as normal, but are placed on the artifact cards while they are in secret locations.

This system would allow for more decision points: Do I go after location clues or wait until someone else discovers them? Do I collect helpful clues or take my chances without them? This would allow the game to scale more gracefully.

Perhaps the adventures should also be scaled so that simpler adventures are available at the start of the game and more difficult ones come into play later...

Autoduelist wrote:
It wasn't clear from the discussion whether players can go head to head for artifact items since the locations are "secret." Part of the game design is forcing players to decide whether they'll push their luck and take another Danger card. It's not wasted time, it's the whole point of the exercise. That's why the heroes have to trade-off taking Danger cards. That's why camping down is risky because another player can swoop in on their turn, pass all the Danger challenges, and take the Artifact from underneath your nose.

If the clue system makes artifact competitions less likely then the competitive game is damaged. It's basically saying, "No artifact hunts until heroes have X number of clues because the clues are necessary to discover where the Adventure is at." It's a barrier to competition. It's also unclear where the clues apply since there are supposed to be several artifacts on the board at any given time.

Making clues optional as a way of shoring up the artifact adventure sounds like the better way to go. Perhaps acquiring a clue allows a player to skip a danger (if it's high value) or add to a Danger roll (if it's a low value)? That would make the clues an interesting diversion for players while still allowing all players a shot at competing for an artifact that's in play.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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So if I understand your proposing something like this?

1.) Draw the 4 artifact cards but don't reveal their locations.
2.) Place 4 clues on the board indicating the artifact's location
3.) When a player earns a location clue they may draw a location card. Assign it to the first unrevealed artifact. Gain 1 Fortune for making the discovery.
3a) The villains may reveal a location on their turn by rolling a 1 for each clue. Gain 1 Fortune for every two location clues discovered in this manner.
4.) All players now know the location of the artifact and may compete for it.

I think awarding Fortune instead of Glory makes it worthwhile for the villain to search and it also encourages clue hunting because it rewards the revealer.

For the other clue types:

1.) Encounter a Danger on the space with the clue token instead of the usual location results (so no City Cards, Adventure cards, etc).
2.) If the Danger is overcome without reverting to a Cliffhanger you gain the clue token which can be discarded on an Adventure to increase an attribute by ONE POINT for one Danger or Cliffhanger on the current turn. You may use another clue token on the Adventure after your next camping action. So basically taking multiple turns to finish an Adventure gives you more time to prepare and look over your notes.

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Mattias Elfström
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This is starting to look really interesting!

I'd modify it a little though:

1.) Draw the 4 artifacts and their locations but keep the locations face down.
2.) Place 4 location clues randomly on the board (use the coloured skulls).
3.) When a player earns a location clue they may peek at the location card. Gain 1 Fortune for making the discovery.
4.) Other players will not know the location of the artifact until you start your adventure there, at which time the location card is turned face up (in case you leave the adventure for whatever reason).

The villains go adventuring as normal. When they start on an adventure the location is revealed to the heroes.

For the other clue types:

1.) Encounter a Danger on the space with the clue token instead of the usual location results (so no City Cards, Adventure cards, etc).
2.) If the Danger is overcome without reverting to a Cliffhanger you gain the clue token which can be discarded on an Adventure to increase an attribute by ONE POINT for one Danger or Cliffhanger. Several clues can be used to increase attributes further.
3.) As clues are collected new ones are put on the map.



Autoduelist wrote:
So if I understand your proposing something like this?

1.) Draw the 4 artifact cards but don't reveal their locations.
2.) Place 4 clues on the board indicating the artifact's location
3.) When a player earns a location clue they may draw a location card. Assign it to the first unrevealed artifact. Gain 1 Fortune for making the discovery.
3a) The villains may reveal a location on their turn by rolling a 1 for each clue. Gain 1 Fortune for every two location clues discovered in this manner.
4.) All players now know the location of the artifact and may compete for it.

I think awarding Fortune instead of Glory makes it worthwhile for the villain to search and it also encourages clue hunting because it rewards the revealer.

For the other clue types:

1.) Encounter a Danger on the space with the clue token instead of the usual location results (so no City Cards, Adventure cards, etc).
2.) If the Danger is overcome without reverting to a Cliffhanger you gain the clue token which can be discarded on an Adventure to increase an attribute by ONE POINT for one Danger or Cliffhanger on the current turn. You may use another clue token on the Adventure after your next camping action. So basically taking multiple turns to finish an Adventure gives you more time to prepare and look over your notes.

 
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Neil Edmonds
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I don't like this part:

4.) Other players will not know the location of the artifact until you start your adventure there, at which time the location card is turned face up (in case you leave the adventure for whatever reason).

It punishes players for not engaging in clue seeking and dilutes the competitive aspect of the game for the reasons I described earlier. You're basically implementing a "move here first, pass a skill check, then move elsewhere for the adventure" mechanic for all players. I suppose someone could just shadow a player's movements to horn in on their action but if that's the case why bother having a hidden location mechanic at all? We've just extended the game's playing time without adding much gameplay benefit.

The 1 point of Fortune is the hero's reward for having their findings published in the paper, expedition funding from rich benefactors, etc. It's like announcing to the world you know where King Tut's Treasure is buried and you're planning an expedition.

 
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simon cogan
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This is shaping up nicely.

My original idea of using the round number counters included with the game - has this now been discarded?

Can I suggest that anyone who wants to, write a complete set of Quest rules and then we debate between the sets to find the one we like most (or tweak least)?
 
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Neil Edmonds
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Here's the key scenario I'm trying to avoid with the hidden mechanic. In the base game the location of artifacts is known to all players. So it's basically a race to see who can move to the artifact fastest and overcome Dangers. Sure the artifact placement isn't always fair and the movement die isn't always generous but at least there's no artificial impediments to people going after specific treasures.

Adding the clue mechanic requires extra steps now. Travelling to the clue location, passing a skill check, then travelling to the adventure. By keeping the locations secret you're guaranteeing a first mover advantage to the person who has the clue vs. someone who doesn't. Since it's entirely possible for somebody to complete all the Dangers in one game turn you've created less competition by creating a barrier to entry that doesn't exist in the normal game. That might be fine idea if your hero is a Fat Cat Industrialist (I think he should be named "Carnegie Rockefeller") from the 1930s but it's not a good game design.

There's another design hitch with this mechanic and that's making the game take longer to play. Heroes will no longer be optimizing artifact gathering for point totals or proximity to their home city because they probably won't have all the information available when they commit to an artifact hunt. Between the time gathering clues and doing an extra artifact hunt it wouldn't surprise me if the net impact is 30-45 minutes of game time. Is the benefit from this variant really worth that?
 
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simon cogan
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Autoduelist wrote:
There's another design hitch with this mechanic and that's making the game take longer to play. Heroes will no longer be optimizing artifact gathering for point totals or proximity to their home city because they probably won't have all the information available when they commit to an artifact hunt. Between the time gathering clues and doing an extra artifact hunt it wouldn't surprise me if the net impact is 30-45 minutes of game time. Is the benefit from this variant really worth that?


Certainly a valid point.

But what if we go back to using my Clue counters with varying effects and reduce the game to recovering one artefact in the game?

This means the entire game is the search for the Spear of Hades or whatever. Build up your Clue points to an agreed total (15?) then trade them in for a random location where the Adventure actually is (and I suggest doubling the number of Dangers needed to retrieve it).

Other Characters (if competitive) still need to gain their Clue points to go to that location - they can't just follow the first player.

First player to get the Spear back to Home City wins.

How we get Villains in here I'm not sure, but I think we link it to the Villain Track. We also could lower the number of Clue Points needed to gain the Location (just like ATOE does Lairs) as the villain Track advances.

As a side issue, if the whole game is about 1 artefact, perhaps the icons on the artefact and adventure cards have more impact in the game - something somebody suggested on a thread here somewhere.
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Neil Edmonds
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I suppose one way to implement the clue hunt would be as follows:

1.) Select one of the artifacts from the game to be a "clue" artifact. This artifact and it's location is hidden. The heroes don't know what they're trying to find or what it is worth. The other artifacts are available as normal.
2.) Assign three numbered tokens to the game board. Heroes must obtain the clues in order (1, 2, 3) because the discovery is secret.
3.) If the hero makes it to the adventure site (ie - before someone claims the hidden artifact revealing its existence to the world) they immediately gain 1 Fortune for each discovered clue. This represents the fame from publishing their findings or getting funding to acquire the artifact. Recovering the artifact is worth an extra 2 fortune.

Why so generous? Well the player is going to be running around the board hunting clues for the hidden artifact instead of going after revealed artifact so there needs to be some kind of payoff. It's also silly to reward players for clues because you might have an incentive to reveal just one clue for the 1 Fortune required to hit a victory condition. I think you should have to at least discover the artifact's location to earn something.

 
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Neil Edmonds
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My previous post was being composed before Simon's response came through so my response looks out-of-touch. The idea I was relaying was making one of the treasures hidden so the clue mechanic could be used. It was kind of a compromise approach for all the ideas being tossed out.

So one treasure for the win then with clues? Basically that just prunes the decision tree down to a single linear path. You must find all the clues in order, and then go for the treasure. Doubling the Dangers reduces the chance of one-shotting the Final Treasure but it doesn't eliminate it. What happens if the player spends or loses Fortune so it no longer meets the victory condition? Do you draw another artifact? What happens if the artifact is a temple? Doubling the dangers means increasing the risk of collapse. The villain issue is going to be a design problem too.
 
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simon cogan
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You don't have to find the clues in any order.

Put the clue counters (always 4 - or alternatively equal to the number of players?) face down in random locations.

When you get to a Clue location - have an adventure by overcoming Dangers depending on the Clue number (as someone suggested earlier). if you overcome al the Dangers, take the Clue counter.

When your total numbers printed on your Clues equals 15 (or whatever) then you pick a Location card for the 'final resting place of the spear of hades'

If a Temple, the Collapse rule would have to be modified.

Villains would show up at Clue locations perhaps if you rolled less than the Clue number on 1D6. If they then did the Adventure before the Hero, they would take the Clue...?
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Neil Edmonds
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[edited since I re-read the previous post]

So now the clues are functioning like the artifacts only there's no temples and reaching 15 doesn't end the game; you just draw the location of the final resting place of the end-game item.

What you proposed could work. I'm not sure it's significantly different from the basic game already outside of fixing the number of Dangers, eliminating temples, and make it a forced race to 15 before being able to pursue the ultimate treasure.

Couldn't you just ignore the existing artifact effects and use them to award Fortune and clues with the understanding that none of them count until the final item is revealed? Basically they serve as record keeping for how many Dangers need to be overcome to earn the clue. They're minor treasures with the main game treasure being the "prize" of the scenario (I see you found the "Mask of Time" but we really wanted the "Spear of Hades.") You could mark the prize with a special skull token that players can only pursue after they've retrieved 15 Fortune worth of other treasures.


 
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Mattias Elfström
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I think the problem with the artifact's location being revealed to all when the clue is found is that it will make looking for clues less desirable since the artifact may be on the other side of the world. Keeping the location secret until the adventure starts will give a small benefit to the finder of the clue (who has spent effort and game turns obtaining it). One strategy would then be to collect several clues and then pick the corresponding artifacts one after another. However I think both ways are worth testing - let's write up the rules, but keep both ways of handling location clues, and do some play testing.

As for reducing the number of artifacts (or just using one) I don't quite like that. The names of the artifacts are one great aspect of the game and removing most of that in favour of going around for "clue 1" or "clue 2" seems to lessen the charm of the game.
 
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Neil Edmonds
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If the proposed variant is "keep all treasure locations secret until the necessary clues are found" in the extreme case when there's only one secret holder it can actually be a huge benefit because:

1.) The artifact could be on the other side of the world.
2.) The secret holder gets first crack at the artifact. It's entirely possible the person could attempt all Dangers on their turn so no other player can compete for artifact. It's even more likely with variants using the skill training rules because the player's chances off success on challenges have increased.

So the optimal strategy if you're behind in clues is to shadow the clue holder because it's doubtful there's a payoff for finishing the rest of the clues for that artifact. Player vs. Player conflict might make the shadowing mechanic more interesting but nothing's been proposed for that. Can I KO players or capture them as one variant proposes? Can I steal their clues?

The most likely case with the clue variant in its current state is that you're gating the reveal of artifacts on clues so you'll have a game that will take longer to play and have fewer head-to-head competitions for Artifacts with players alternating Dangers in the race for the prize. You'll also have fewer opportunities for tense movement die rolls as players hope to roll high in order to beat another hero to the Artifact Site. It's these moments that drive the game Jason Hill spent a decade developing with his game system so surely we can do better in a few days right?

We've all paid our money for the game so play it however it pleases you. I try to help people flesh out ideas for variants because the exercise is similar to designing software. People have a goal they want to accomplish and there are different methods and trade-offs for reaching it. I like the give-and-take of figuring out the solution.

So based on all that, the desire to use the number tokens, and keep treasure locations secret here's the variant I propose:

1.) Play the game as normal pursuing revealed treasures etc. You could reduce the win condition by a few fortune points if you want to speed things up.
2.) When the Fortune total is reached place the six numbered tokens on the game board using the Location cards and reshuffle the deck afterwards. Players must now acquire all the clues to learn the location of the Final Artifact - the big prize everyone really wants. Each clue requires overcoming 3 Dangers and the clues don't have to be retrieved in order. Acquiring a clue is worth 1 Fortune.
3.) Fortune collected up to this point can be redeemed as Glory for buying items or used for dice re-rolls on Dangers when pursuing clues. This rewards players who have acquired Fortune up to this point in the game. Playtest note: I was thinking 1 Fortune for 1 re-roll but you can adjust this number to a higher amount if it's too generous. Would 3 Fortune for a re-roll be better?
4.) Once a player has collected all the clues they may check the location of the Final Artifact. This location is kept secret until the secret holder goes on the Adventure, yada yada.
5.) Other players may either follow the leader or keep searching for clues at their discretion (they are worth Fortune points after all.) There are no PVP rules for player conflict.
6.) Whoever retrieves the Final Artifact is the winner of the game.

DESIGN NOTE: The revised knockout mechanic makes getting clues and artifacts easier when you lose because you're always close to the dig site instead of being sent back to your home city and potentially having to travel a long distance back to the artifact or clue.


 
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Mattias Elfström
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Let's try both variants and see what happens.

For the sake of clarity I also want to note that my intention was for the location clues to stay in place for any additional finders beyond the first.

The comments about how long it took FFP to create the game and us just having discussed this for a few days are unnecessary.
 
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simon cogan
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I like the idea of ahving a 'big artefact' with double (triple?) the Fortune normally attached (and with an extra 2 Dangers)

(A temple like this means you take 2 (or 3) Fortune for each Danger passed and no extra Dangers are added, but instead make it more unstable??)

So have 3 normal artefacts during the game with known locations as normal. The other artefact has a face down location

in addition, put out some face down clue counters at random locations (1 per player that are replenished on the board when taken - just like artefacts are) and when your total clue points are a certain value - say 10 - you can look at the face down location of the 'super artefact'

Villains may appear at Clue locations (as I described earlier) and once a Hero gets to the hidden location, they can appear there too)

Does this way mean we have our cake and eat it? Normal artefacts plus a quest structure for a final race? This means a player can choose which pathe he wants to take - normal or quest?

Players may not 'follow the leader' when the location of the super artefact is revealed unless they have,say, an event card that allows this?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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This sounds interesting.

Why not tie the collection of clues to obtaining the "normal" artifacts - otherwise there may not be enough incentive to go after them?

This would partly solve the problem of the runaway leader. On the other hand it may make the collection of Fortune meaningless.

Perhaps we should go back to the beginning and discuss what exactly we want to achieve with this variant...
 
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