I really like this idea. Can I suggest you throw in some cards that say you have to build certain wonders?
Should these goals be required to win? Or would they just lead to extra points? Would you still play with the game ending on the 5th development?
If David doesn't mind me running with his idea and modifying it it into something like I suggested, and provided Gryphon games doesn't mind a user-generated print and play expansion, I wouldn't be opposed to creating some "twist" cards as a side project. It would be interesting.
Oh I dont mind at all. And i think this would work best with the Late Bronze Age that already has the extra developments and the game doesnt end until someone buys 7 developments. And yes, I think you should get bonus points if you purchase/build whatever is on your card and get minus points if you dont. Good grief, this is starting to sound like Ticket to Ride. Maybe you guys can think of some other twists that could be featured on the cards? And do you think it would be better if everyone draws a different card or would it be better to draw one or two "community" cards that affect everyone?
My gut feel is that it would be easier to have a couple of community cards that apply to everyone. This would perhaps break up tried-and-true strategies and force people to try other things and would be easier to balance than a "card-per-player" setup. In fact, if you pick the right twists, I'm not sure it would require any sort of balancing other than to make sure the game still plays and isn't deadlocked for some reason due to the twist and to make sure the twists provide variation.
My initial thoughts are to gear it more toward rules tweaks than goals with bonus points, but I'll think on that some. Something like "if you haven't built 2 monuments by game end, lose 3 points" or something would seem simple enough.
Some initial thoughts I had are:
Wealth of Nations - Change the value of coin rolls to X
Forgotten in History - Lose X points if you haven't built Y monuments
Bureaucracy - Later cities cost 2 grain to support
Unknown - A certain disaster roll can destroy monuments, but monuments are worth a bit more due to the risk
Unknown - Development X is not available this game (one per development)
Unknown - Development X is enhanced in a certain way
Unknown - End condition of a certain number of points instead of standard end conditions
Unknown - The second person to build a monument requires less people since somebody else figured it out
Unknown - the second person to build a monument requires X more people to make their version grander than their competitor, but receives the same points
I'm sure there are plenty more once I get the game out and start thinking, but with all the variations you could do to developments this list would make probably 20-30.