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Subject: Dark Doors rss

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Dark Doors
By Carl Deacon



This is a variant of The Book of Steps Lost and Found expansion. It follows all the same rules as it, with the following exceptions.

Rules

In the Set Up phase, when placing the 8 Goal cards onto the table, instead of placing them all of them face up, place the first Goal card face up and the rest of them face down. Whenever you discover a Door card during the game to claim the corresponding Goal card, immediately reveal the next face down Goal card on the table.

Amend the text of Parallel Planning from the Spell card to the following:

Parallel Planning
Cost: remove 7(9)cards in the discard pile from the game.
Turn the next face down Goal card face up; or shuffle the deck instead.

Notes

This is a simple but distinctive variant of the first Onirim expansion that I came up with after I sat down to play a game of it.

The Book of Steps Lost and Found is my favorite Onirim expansion, and the one that I play the most (I don't usually mix expansions when I play as that is way too hard, though I have tried doing it a few times, like playing with all three, which is insane). This variant adds another level of difficulty to the first expansion, as well as a certain element of mystery and uncertainty to the dream-quality that attracted me to the game in the first place.

I first came up with the idea of using mostly face down cards, and then changed the Parallel Planning ability of the Spell card later on to reveal face down Goal cards, since swapping face down Goal cards was essentially useless. After that I added a useful shuffle ability to the Spell card because sometimes you would get completely stuck at not being able to do anything except discard cards. Allowing you to shuffle the deck lets you see new cards both for Key cards that you discard to look at the top of the deck as well as for when you look at the bottom of the deck when you use Paradoxical Prophecy.

Overall, Dark Doors is harder, but more intriguing and challenging than its predecessor. You basically have to learn to use Nightmares advantageously on yourself more than in the normal game. It took me four attempts at my variant before I eventually won it on the fourth go. However, I changed the rules of Paradoxical prophecy twice along the way to make the expansion function more smoothly, as I realised something was lacking in the rules of my variant.

As the story goes, in the fourth game I had discovered seven Doors and was on track to win with time to spare, but then got hit by a late nightmare. I was forced to discard two green cards, BOTH of which I needed to get the last Goal, which was green. However, I knew that there was one green key left in the deck which I could use to discard to get the Goal. After drawing a new hand I managed to draw the green key in it, and there were exactly five cards remaining in the deck, three of which were Nightmares, and the other two being the green Door and a blue sun. I used Paradoxical Prophecy to put the green Door on top, then discarded a card to draw the green Door and use the key to open it. Phew! I thought I had blown it and lost the game but managed to win it, JUST. Left in the deck was a blue sun with three Nightmares below it...

I enjoy making simple but effective game variants and tuning and changing rules of existing games that I have played and liked. I want to make at least one original card game by myself in my life and making game variants of existing games is one of the best ways of working towards that goal. Onirim is one of my favorite games because it is totally original, both thematically and as a modern solitaire game. Also, in recent years I have generally favoured card games over board games due to their more radical, compact and elegant nature.

Shadi Torbey is one of my favorite designers and I look forward to his future games in this series/world. I recently ordered Equilibrion (now Urbion) and it is currently coming in the mail from overseas.

I hope you enjoy my variant, even if you only play it one single time. I intended it to be something that would compliment and bring something new to the spirit of the game, rather than something crazy and disrespectful because it had nothing to do with Onirim. I hope to post other game variants that I come up with on this website soon.

Have fun,
Carl
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David Jones
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Angrist wrote:
Shadi Torbey is one of my favorite designers


What else has he designed?

I mean, I've got nothing against the guy, but I usually like to see four or five games from somebody before I put them on my "favorite" list.
 
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Jonathan C
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davypi wrote:
Angrist wrote:
Shadi Torbey is one of my favorite designers


What else has he designed?

I mean, I've got nothing against the guy, but I usually like to see four or five games from somebody before I put them on my "favorite" list.


This game and Equilibrion/Urbion. I believe there are quite a few more in the series to come, however. But I entitle each to his or her own criteria for choosing a "favorite" designer.
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davypi wrote:
Angrist wrote:
Shadi Torbey is one of my favorite designers


What else has he designed?

I mean, I've got nothing against the guy, but I usually like to see four or five games from somebody before I put them on my "favorite" list.


The quality and originality of any given game is the most important thing, not the quantity of games that a designer makes, even if that is a contributing factor overall.

What Shadi Torbey did by creating Onirim was totally original. He found a gap in the existing market, and instead of attempting to follow the status quo with all the medieval-themed farming style euro games that are popular, for example, he made his own niche and did something refreshing with a unique theme and rules, aiming for the solitaire player rather than the multiplayer crowd.

It's obvious that Torbey will be designing more games in the series in a similar vein to Onirim. He has made two games so far, and said in a video interview on Youtube that he is working on the third and fourth games already.

If you judge a new designer's potential by his first game, then what Shadi Torbey did was absolutely fantastic. For me it's more important to be original and make one or two good games than dozens of mediocre ones, the likes of which you find in bookstores. Even for the other game designers I like who have made many games there have always been one or two specifically from among them that represented their best efforts, with the rest of their designs paling in comparison.

Onirim is a gem. It's such a promising start for a game designer's first efforts. You can't fault the game in any way, and in my opinion it's alot better than most of the larger-scale board games out there. Onirim's small scale and short playing time do not make it an inferior game to most of the games listed in the top 100 here on this site.
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Jonan Jello
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Angrist wrote:


What Shadi Torbey did by creating Onirim was totally original. He found a gap in the existing market, and instead of attempting to follow the status quo with all the medieval-themed farming style euro games that are popular, for example, he made his own niche and did something refreshing with a unique theme and rules, aiming for the solitaire player rather than the multiplayer crowd.


...and chose an artist with a unique style who brought a fresh approach to a creative genre! Torbey's one of my favorite designers too.
 
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
Angrist wrote:


What Shadi Torbey did by creating Onirim was totally original. He found a gap in the existing market, and instead of attempting to follow the status quo with all the medieval-themed farming style euro games that are popular, for example, he made his own niche and did something refreshing with a unique theme and rules, aiming for the solitaire player rather than the multiplayer crowd.


...and chose an artist with a unique style who brought a fresh approach to a creative genre! Torbey's one of my favorite designers too.


Agreed, Plessis' style and Torbey's concepts match each other perfectly. They go hand in hand.
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Julian Jimenez
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Nice simple variant. I've only been playing this way lately.
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Gozilla Gozilla
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I agree with the opinion that Onirim is a gem.
When I read the story behind it I was fascinated ! You are a dreawalker and you must get out of the dream before nightmares catch you or shut all exit doors.
My first thoughts were that the theme was just fantastic and that this designer had a brilliant idea that could easily catch both adults and kids' imagimation. Both the art and the shuffling rule also very effectively contribute in reinforcing the theme of a world of unformed and ever-changing dreams.

In all aspcts Onirim is a UNIQUE game and it deserves a very high place in my very personal ranking of games.

It also demonstrate that a game does not always need tons of resin miniatures, boobs on glossy paper or a thousands cards deck to be good.

Creativity, originality and simplicity in their best combination.
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