Dave Riedy
United States
Glen Ridge
New Jersey
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Hey there, friendly game designers. Here's an idea that came to me the other day. I've spent some time writing down and figuring out as much as I can, before starting to think about playtesting.

There are a lot of holes in the design and plenty of questions. I'd really appreciate any feedback you'd like to give. I'm new at this, and can use all the help I an get.

Yes, it's another start-out-helping-each-other-until-the-end co-op game.

Thanks for reading this. I appreciate it.

...Dave

- - -

PIRATE TREASURE PIT
(Inspired by the Oak Island Money Pit)

IDEA: At the bottom a deep deep pit on a small, deserted island a pirate buried his treasure chest. To protect his treasure, he separated the pit into 7 levels, each of which is guarded by traps.
Players are rival treasure hunters, racing to reach the bottom of the pit, grab the treasure, and bring it back to the surface. But they had better be quick about it. The pit is prone to flooding.
Getting past the traps will be tricky -- the treasure hunters will need to convince their rivals to help, sometimes as the end of a knife.
The hunter who is alive and has the most valuable treasures at the end of the game, wins.

Number of Players:
2-4

Time to play: ~30-45 mins

Components: Board, Level "cards" (non-standard card size), Item cards, Action cards, Treasure cards, Character cards, tokens to track flood level, tokens to track character health

Set-up:
Shuffle the various card decks and place them near the board.
Take the top card from the Treasure deck and place it faced own on the board on the level 7 space.
Place seven levels on the board in the spaces provided and return the rest of the levels (also face down) to the box.
Deal out a Character card to each player as well as the number of life tokens indicated on their Character card.
Each player gets on Item card and one Action card, unless differently noted on their Character card.
Place the flood tracking token on the 0 space of the flood track on the board.
Determine who goes first. Play!


A TURN:
1. A player can (if the current level's challenge has been dealt with, or he has a card allowing him to skip the current challenge) draw and place the next level of the pit and place himself on that level. The player then responds to the challenge text of the new level card -- playing cards from his hand, asking for or forcing help from other players, retreating back to the previous level. A dice roll will determine success or failure.
OR
The player can draw two cards total from the item and action decks, and play any number of cards from his hand.

2. Adjust the flood level track (If it reaches X, the pit is flooded and everyone loses.)


CARDS:
Character Cards: consist of image of your pirate and brief bio, your LUCK, STRENGTH, and AGILITY ability scores (Used to determine the number of dice to roll vs. challenges and in combat. These numbers will vary from character to character.) and room to track LIFE POINTS.

Level Cards: consist of challenges such as "Snakes!", "Abandoned Camp", "Poisonous Gas", "No Way Out", "Ghost!", etc. Each has an image and brief description of the challenge, which ability is used and how many successful rolls needed to pass the challenge, and the results of failing, succeeding or retreating. There are more cards than will be used, making each game different.
Each Level Card has a number of spaces (circles) that show how many players may occupy that level at one time. Highlighted spaces show how many players can roll or assist with the Challenge. In some levels only one person is allowed on the level at one time, creating a bottleneck.
Some Level Cards are split into two areas. In this case the player can choose to take on either area's challenge. It is only necessary to pass one challenge per level.

Treasure Cards: consist of an image and text description for both Major and Minor treasures. When a Treasure is found on levels 1-6, it is a Minor treasure. When the treasure on level 7 is revealed, the Major treasure is used. Each card also shows a number which is the value, in gold, for the treasure. This number is used to determine the winner at the end of the game.

Item Cards: consist of an image and text description, and the use/effect of the item (positive or negative). Examples: First Aid Kit (+1 to health), Map (do not trigger challenge when arriving at next level), Gun/Knife (for use in threatening/attacking other players), Heavy Boots (+X vs snakes or wooden spikes), skull hat (+X vs rock fall), etc. [Possibly create cards that have items which give you long-term benefits -- +1 to Strength rolls, etc. Or cursed items that do the opposite.] An item card is drawn when a Challenge is successfully beaten, or when a Search action is taken.

Searching: done by either playing a Search Action card, or when a player discards two cards from their hand. The player then rolls a number of dice based on their Luck/Mind ability. (1 = nothing, 2-5 = item, 6 = treasure) Only one card is taken, regardless of the number of successes.

Action Cards: consist of image and description of the action, the dice roll requirements (when necessary), result of success or failure. Examples: "Thief!" (take one treasure or item card from another player), "Sneak Preview" (look at next level card), "Enlist" (force another player to join you on the current level), "I Found Something!" (take last played item card from discard pile), etc.


WEAPONS: weapons (gun, knife) can be used to Threaten or Attack other players. Threatened players have the option to either Retreat up one level, or enter into Combat. Attacked players immediately enter into Combat.


COMBAT: consists of opposed Agility or Strength rolls (whichever number is higher). The player with the most "hits" (5+?) wins the combat. Damage is assessed. (Based on weapon used.) [Gunshots cause +1 to flood track? Have to find bullet to use gun? (creates bluff possibility)] [Alternate combat: threatened players may either Retreat (no damage taken), stay and Assist, if asked (no damage taken) or stay and not Assist (damage taken). No dice rolled. More strategic?]


DEATH AND GHOSTS: Players die if they lose their last life point. When a player dies he returns as a Ghost and can Assist/Sabotage a player once per round, buy adding or subtracting one die from a single roll. This includes during the retrieval of the treasure.


BRINGING TREASURE TO THE SURFACE: Not sure how exactly to play out. Thinking that grabbing the treasure causes the flood track to increase double every turn, or they have X number of turns to escape before the entire pit is flooded (# of turns based on current flood level). Players can move 2 levels up each turn, unless another player threatens them. Some treasures will have to be carried by two players.


ROLLS: to succeed in a Challenge the player rolls a number of dice determined by their score in the ability listed (Luck/Mind, Strength, Agility) plus any adjustments due to Items, Actions, or Assists/Sabotages by other players.


ASSIST/SABOTAGE: A player may choose to Assist or Sabotage another player's roll as long as they are on the same level as the other player. Assisted players recieve more dice to roll (1/2 of the assisting player's ability score, rounded down). Sabotaged player use less dice to roll (1/2 of the sabotaging player's ability score, rounded down). [Consequence for failed sabotage?]


FLOOD LEVEL TRACK: At the beginning of every turn except the first, the flood level track increases by one. When it reaches X (12?) the walls of the pit have broken down and the entire pit is flooded, and everyone loses. On every even level (2, 4, 6) the first player in the round rolls to adjust the flood level (1 = doesn't increase at all, 2-5 = +1, 6 = +2).


TURN ORDER: rotates? changes, based on something else?


THOUGHTS/QUESTIONS:
??? Need more ways to force cooperation/confrontation.

??? Is gameplay too simple? Does there need to be more to do? Another strategic level to the game?

??? On their turn, a player can decrease the flood level if he discards any two cards and another player discards one?

??? Can only carry a number of treasures equal to their Strength?

??? Takes place in a series of connected caves instead of pit?

??? No board? Create the pit as you go? How to track flood level?

??? Level Cards that split the pit into two pathways make it two actual pits? Most levels allow you to tunnel to the other level? Waste one turn while tunneling?

??? Second thing to track: anger of the pirate's ghost? Passing levels angers him, he can be temporarily placated, etc.?
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David Rainwater
United States
Oklahoma
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I don't think anyone is going to be able to answer those questions without actually playing it.

And to answer your questions about if game play is too simple; a lot of people put a lot of value in simple game play (I'm not saying that yours is there's no real good way of knowing without play testing it).

Those are all very in depth questions that can only be answered based on what you want the game to feel like. I'm a firm believer in every rule accomplishing a very specific goal. Adding rules just cause they sound cool can make your game convoluted. I suggested just making a super crappy version of your game out of poster board getting a few friends and trying it out.

I recently started a blog to try and help guide people on making awesome games. I don't get any many per click or anything, just a blog to help other gamers out. If you check it out you might get some of your questions answered, I've been pulling wisdom from people who have successfully made board games, so it's more than just my opinions.

http://kingsend.blogspot.com/

Hope this helps
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Dave Riedy
United States
Glen Ridge
New Jersey
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Thanks for your reply. I guess I shouldn't have posted those questions. I'm not looking for answers. I just wanted impressions on what I have so far.
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