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Subject: Open P-n-Playtest , DRAKNÄSTET (The Dragon's Lair) rss

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Matthew Rogers
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soblueA few months ago, the inimitable Cogentesque (Sam) stepped in for Seth in the monthly Game Design Showdown on BGDF.com. The challenge that month was to make a casual style game involving dragons and just a few dice. If you check out GDS, you may remember Ewain's entry The Dragon's Lair and some fewer of you may remember that I had several critiques of the game.

Well. as I told Ewain, my criticism wasn't because I disliked the game, but the reverse. I thought it had a lot of potential and had a few ideas for it that I wanted to try out. We colloborated on the game for a little while and we're at a point where we'd like outside feedback.

Check out the page here and please let us know what you think. I've posted a few areas of concern on the site and you may find other things we need to think about/work on.

Thanks,

Matthew
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!


I've put up a couple of new images of the board and booklet rendered straight from the P-n-P files, trying to provide some better images than the ones I took with my phone's camera.

I've also talked with Lars Högman (Ewain), I know he's working on a Swedish translation, so I hope to have a new version of the rules in Swedish in a week or two.

Again, please let us know what you think!

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John Nemo
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
With the greatest respect I was expecting something....completely different.

Cool looking game through.
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Out of curiosity, what were you expecting? Bluth perhaps? We may need a name change...
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A. B. West
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
This looks pretty cool. Have you tried a design without a board at all? The reason I'm asking is it seems like it might fit in that A Fistful of Penguins, Martian Dice space or near to it and would gain portability.
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Interesting idea... I wonder how to represent the slog up the mountain, maybe just a single line of pieces? Or a tree pattern?

The other challenge would be to adequately represent that there would be valid spaces for the knights to go that would no longer have a dragon, but still have treasure associated with them. Still worth thinking about...
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James Hutchings
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
For me, using photos on the board doesn't fit the theme. If don't take the suggestion above of not having any board, I'd look for landscape paintings in the public domain (there are lots - try commons.wikimedia.org for example).
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James Hutchings
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
If the dragon tokens were smaller relative to the board, it might be easier to see which dragons and treasures are associated with which space.
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Thanks for the awesome feedback... we'll certainly look at doing a more "artistic" board once we get sufficient playtest feedback on the gameplay s know what changes/additions need to be made to the paths.

You're right on the relative size issue of dragons, treasure and board. I was trying to work with the circle cutter sizes I had already, and a board size I have ready-made boxes for. I think the most likely fix is to increase the size of the board and give more breathing room to each of the dragon locations.
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James Hutchings
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Come to think of it, there doesn't seem to be any reason to have the small numbered circles separate to the dragon tokens (except for the 'safe spaces').
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
You're probably right, they're superflous... nice to be able to say "you can move to spots #1 and #4" in the rules and not really worth much otherwise.

Lars has been asking for a version with more pathways... I'll do up a version like that and try something different with the token placement as well.
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Good news everybody, the Swedish version of the rules are available:


http://scrubpine.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/12101-dragonsla...

Also, here's a new map incorporating suggestions from the thread and the original designer:



It's set up as a three panel board, each panel is 9" x 7" and the finished board size is 9" x 21".

The New Board.pdf

You'll also need the king dragon piece, since he is now a separate token:

The King Dragon.pdf
Please check it out... we'd really like feedback on the game.

P.S. A name change, is being discussed. Feedback on that as well is welcome.
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Ewain .
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
Yes!! There's a KD at last!
(Which will save me a bunch of money since we used a coin as marker -that the KD-Slayer got to keep..)

On a more serious note, the movement rules are somewhat up in the air with the branched board -are you now allowed to move backwards to get to a treasure or a remaining foe?
(most of the lines are angled upward, indicating 'climb thataway' but there is one horizontal line among both the drakes and the dragons that make me wonder if maybe this would make things more interesting..)
Pros and cons on that thought are welcome.


And also my sincere thanks to Matthew for his work!
/E
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Matthew Rogers
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
The dragons have been spotted in the wild...



We did a two-player test of the new board. It was myself and the ten-year-old, as pictured.

VITAL STATS:

21-18 (Slayer of King Dragon won )
approx 20 minutes (he was integral to playtests of the first board, so none of the treasure icons or combat system needed explaining, just the new movement rules)

A few observations/comments:

1. Moving backwards intentionally did not come up. I left it vague when going over the game, to see what the natural inclination was.

2. The choke point (next to the King Dragon space) worked well, esp. since he intentionally fought the dragon there and then left it for me and grabbed a treasure instead.

3. We went through two rounds of being repulsed simultaneously... he fought the KD and lost, I fought the choke point at lost, then we got back in position and did it all over again.

4. Even rolling four dice (base+Sword+Shield), he was not able to defeat the KD until he stopped for treasure going back up after the second repulse. With a Spear, it's much easier. I'm not sure that this is exactly a problem, it rewards players would spend time lower on the board and get more treasure.

5. I do think that the lower dragons (Wyverns and Drakes) may be underpowered. Maybe if all the values were stepped up by one, but then there would be just one point difference between a hard Dragon and the King Dragon, which doesn't feel right.

It was fun, and we had others interested but due to some shuffling around we weren't able to get another game in. I really want to try the game with more players so that we know if there are any unintentional traffic jam points or techniques that we haven't caught yet.
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Corey
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Re: Open Playtesting , Dragon's Lair -- PnP Edition!
This is not the dragons lair I came into this thread looking for
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Matthew Rogers
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You know, this keeps happening. I've changed the thread title to use the Swedish name first and have the translation in parenthesis.

Not trying to ride on anyone's coattails or step on anyone's feet.
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Ewain .
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Some player feedback I've received calls for either a larger board (especially for a 5-player game) or that the game is marked "for 2-4 players".

Other than that the game seem to be well received and have a good replay value!

Me happy
/E
 
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