Manuel Ingeland
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Hi!

Here's a little game concept of mine.

I didn't have the chance yet to actually test the game, as the wife is quite busy these days.

Why did I illustrate it then?

First of all, I wanted to learn the basics of GIMP without watching all these tutorials out there.

I wanted to keep my hand-drawn style, to keep it simple, easy to craft...and I wanted custom dice with nice pictures

I won't tell you anything about the rules or the goal of the game just now.

I'd like to know whether or not these are comprehensible just by looking at the sheet (which would make me happy)!

The trackers could be shorter, yes, I know...


Thank you so much!



This is the colored version:





And here's a printerfriendlier one:

 
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Alex Retter
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For me at least, it is not even remotely comprehendible without instructions. What I gathered was I need 1 food and 1 sword to do a quest. Do I start with any of these items? If not, what do I start with? There is a note about bringing food to earn gold. How would this happen?

Don't understand what a turn is. There is a note that says it is X than goes to X +action and X +action again? What is X and what is an action (what are the choices?).

I have no idea what the green or red die is for.

Does the food and sword tracker stop at 5. What if you get more than 5 food? Why would you need more than 1 sword?

What is the old master for? How do you get there?

What is the tavern for?

Why would I need a horse? Seems like you roll the adventure die and go to that adventure. Is there an additional move requirement?

Some adventures say a weapon is required. If you don't have the weapon but roll that adventure, do you roll again or auto fail? Are there any other ways to fail an adventure (i.e. are errands, explore swamp auto success?)

How do you win? I see a sparkly mark on 20 experience. Is this a win criteria? Is it the only criteria?

Are food and swords used up?

A crossbow says it costs 8 gold and counts as a sword, but a sword costs 3 gold. Why would I buy a crossbow?


It looks like it could be a quick, fun little game, but yes, it needs instructions.
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Manuel Ingeland
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Okay, I saw it coming. Rules are unavoidable..



- both players start at the Market.
They place their player pawns into the 2 start circles.
They are equipped with 1 sword and 1 food (should highlight them on the trackers) and need to gain everything they need to be experienced enough (20 xp) in order to become a knight.


- they have different options to gain more food and a new weapon, in case they lose theirs in combat.
Food is eaten up during an adventure.
They need a new portion of food every time they show up at the tavern and ask for new adventures.
Gold is needed eighter for new equipment or for bonus items which are purchasable at the Old Master's.


- during a turn, a player may move to a new location, perform an action, move to a second location and perform a second action.
If he has a horse, he may move to a 3rd location and end his turn afterwards.
Instead of an action, you can also use it for a move (that could be move - move - move - action).


- the green die is the quest contractor die. You roll it at the tavern in order to find out how many people are sitting there offering new adventures. If it's e.g. 2, then you may roll the blue die (adventure die)twice. You have 2 adventures available. You mark them with a pawn on the map (or you craft 3 blue dice) and decide which one to go for. Try both if you can.
The red die is the action/combat die. It is rolled to resolve an adventure. If you gain a weapon during combat, you may trade it away at the market.


- the gold tracker seems way too long..you will never have that much gold in your pocket. It's unlikely you'll exceed your 5 food/weapons, as you'll trade away most of it.


- no adventures (apart from the harvest location) are auto successes, as you have to roll the action/combat/event die first. You can modify it with the Long Sword.


- if you don't have the requirements for an adventure, you're not allowed to try it.



- The Market: starting point. You may trade food/weapons for gold & vice versa.

- The Tavern: find out how many adventures there are for your turn and where they are located. Be equipped.

- The Old Master: buy bonuses

- "bring food to the market": you take wheat from the fields and bring it to the town. You get 1 gold for that. No need to roll an action die.



- the crossbow is needed to resolve the adventure "Defend the Castle!"


- "Mercenaries Needed" is the only adventure with some interaction (would it be too much with more interaction, e.g. stealing stuff from each other?): You lend your pawn to the opponent and gain gold for that.

- you can block to opponent at locations with only one circle by occupying it.


- you have to stick to the paths.



So my 2 major questions are:

- do you think this can be fun?
- do we need to get more balance into it?
 
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Alex Retter
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magneheeli wrote:
Okay, I saw it coming. Rules are unavoidable..



- both players start at the Market.
They place their player pawns into the 2 start circles.
They are equipped with 1 sword and 1 food (should highlight them on the trackers) and need to gain everything they need to be experienced enough (20 xp) in order to become a knight.


- they have different options to gain more food and a new weapon, in case they lose theirs in combat.
Food is eaten up during an adventure.
They need a new portion of food every time they show up at the tavern and ask for new adventures.
Gold is needed eighter for new equipment or for bonus items which are purchasable at the Old Master's.


- during a turn, a player may move to a new location, perform an action, move to a second location and perform a second action.
If he has a horse, he may move to a 3rd location and end his turn afterwards.
Instead of an action, you can also use it for a move (that could be move - move - move - action).


- the green die is the quest contractor die. You roll it at the tavern in order to find out how many people are sitting there offering new adventures. If it's e.g. 2, then you may roll the blue die (adventure die)twice. You have 2 adventures available. You mark them with a pawn on the map (or you craft 3 blue dice) and decide which one to go for. Try both if you can.
The red die is the action/combat die. It is rolled to resolve an adventure. If you gain a weapon during combat, you may trade it away at the market.


- the gold tracker seems way too long..you will never have that much gold in your pocket. It's unlikely you'll exceed your 5 food/weapons, as you'll trade away most of it.


- no adventures (apart from the harvest location) are auto successes, as you have to roll the action/combat/event die first. You can modify it with the Long Sword.


- if you don't have the requirements for an adventure, you're not allowed to try it.



- The Market: starting point. You may trade food/weapons for gold & vice versa.

- The Tavern: find out how many adventures there are for your turn and where they are located. Be equipped.

- The Old Master: buy bonuses

- "bring food to the market": you take wheat from the fields and bring it to the town. You get 1 gold for that. No need to roll an action die.



- the crossbow is needed to resolve the adventure "Defend the Castle!"


- "Mercenaries Needed" is the only adventure with some interaction (would it be too much with more interaction, e.g. stealing stuff from each other?): You lend your pawn to the opponent and gain gold for that.

- you can block to opponent at locations with only one circle by occupying it.


- you have to stick to the paths.



So my 2 major questions are:

- do you think this can be fun?
- do we need to get more balance into it?


I am willing to give this another try this evening but there are still some basics that are really fuzzy. At the bottom of the page there are pictures associated with each die. I originally assumed these were supposed to be die faces. Makes sense for the blue. Each matches up with a different adventure. I don't get it for green. What does each of those symbols represent? In your description, you describe it as there would be only a need for numbers and not the symbols.

Biggest issue is that the red die and quest completion is not clear. What do each of those red die symbols mean? For each quest, you will need to spell out what do you have to do to be successful and what happens when you fail. You mention that you can lose your weapon in combat. How does this happen?
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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Thank you!



Allright..

Yes, you're right, you have to print the dice on a label sheet and stick them onto plain wooden dice...or use normal paper and glue them. Thought this was clear, as the names of the dice are written under them.

The green one shows

1x no quest contractor (no adventure for you in this turn...if you don't have the reroll bonus)

2x 1 quest contractor is having a drink in the tavern (roll 1 blue die: 1 adventure this turn)

2x 2 contractors are having a drink in the tavern (roll the blue location die twice, 2 adventures available)

1x 3 contractors....3 adventures

The red die:

3x quest/ adventure completed: you get the displayed rewards. You can also gain something else (apart from the rewards). See the symbols on the die.

3x failed: you get nothing. You can also lose something (see the symbols on the die)



"you describe it as there would be only a need for numbers and not the symbols." - I don't get what you mean here..?
 
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Alex Retter
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magneheeli wrote:


Thank you!



Allright..

Yes, you're right, you have to print the dice on a label sheet and stick them onto plain wooden dice...or use normal paper and glue them. Thought this was clear, as the names of the dice are written under them.

The green one shows

1x no quest contractor (no adventure for you in this turn...if you don't have the reroll bonus)

2x 1 quest contractor is having a drink in the tavern (roll 1 blue die: 1 adventure this turn)

2x 2 contractors are having a drink in the tavern (roll the blue location die twice, 2 adventures available)

1x 3 contractors....3 adventures

The red die:

3x quest/ adventure completed: you get the displayed rewards. You can also gain something else (apart from the rewards). See the symbols on the die.

3x failed: you get nothing. You can also lose something (see the symbols on the die)



"you describe it as there would be only a need for numbers and not the symbols." - I don't get what you mean here..?


I got it now. What I didn't understand was what the pictures meant. On the blue, you may want to just put the number as well. For playtesting, I will just assign 1 - 6 to a regular die. Easier than breaking out the glue.

Only fuzzy thing is how do I get more food other than quests. What I mean is, if I start with 1 food and 1 sword and try to complete a quest but fail. What do I do then? I am out of food and can't do quests. Do I need to harvest 2 wheat to get 2 gold to buy 1 food? How many moves does this take? Is it 1 from town to wheat, then another back to town, then another back to wheat than a 4th back to town to get 2 gold.

Would also be helpful to list all possible "tasks" and which require the use of the actions (which you get 2 per turn). Does harvesting wheat require an action? Does selling require an action? Does the tavern roll require an action? Buying from the Old Man?
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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Yes, just use regular d6 for the testing!

Yes, they all require an action. Everything apart from moving and rolling dice (at the Tavern, green & blue are 1 action: "start an adventure").

And for now, yes, harvesting is annoying

Let's see how it works!
 
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magneheeli wrote:
Yes, just use regular d6 for the testing!

Yes, they all require an action. Everything apart from moving and rolling dice (at the Tavern, green & blue are 1 action: "start an adventure").

And for now, yes, harvesting is annoying

Let's see how it works!


The game could be a fun little diversion, but in my opinion needs some changes to be that.

Getting resources in the early game is a bit broken if you roll badly. On my 1st adventure for 1 player I rolled a 1. This resulted in a loss of my only food and sword. That means I needed to get 5 gold to adventure then. Based on the rules you describe, you can only get 1 gold per turn. That means it was 7 turns before he could adventure again. 1 per gold for 5 plus 1 to buy 2 items (2 actions) plus 1 to go to tavern.

Here are some basic changes that would improve it in my opinion:

1. I see no good reason to have both moves and actions. Consolidate to just actions and give 5 per turn. There are too many times you need to do 2 actions back to back. These actions would be used to: move 1 space, activate the tavern, or do an adventure. Everything else should not require an action: buying items, selling items or harvesting wheat. This would allow you to get gold at a reasonable pace.

2. Start with minimum of 2 food/2 swords or that much gold equivalent (i.e. start with 10 gold). There is no excuse for rolling a 1 and being stuck for a huge amount of turns. Even a 2 or 3 is bad as that results in no food, which as is takes several turns to replenish.

3. Drop experience requirement to 10. This should be a very fast game. It is almost completely random, so doing the same quests over and over to pad the game doesn't make much sense to me. There will be no strategy to execute, so it should be quick. Downtime is a killer for a game like this (which is why someone should not be in a position after 1 roll to have 2 or 3 dead turns and especially not 7!)

4. It is not clear whether you can try to get the other players adventures once they are activated from the tavern by the other player. Have not played enough to have an opinion on what is better. Although allowing this makes for a situation where you won't go to the tavern late in your turn.

5. The mercenaries concept of "being at your opponent's command" is unclear what this means mechanically. Seems odd.

6. Some adventures are clearly not balanced vs. others. Chase a band of robbers gives 2 exp + a sword (3 gp equivalent). Explore the swamp gives no exp and only 3 gp equivalent. Errands gives 1 exp and 2 gold. Escort gives 1 exp + 3 gp. There is a big discrepancy here. 1 is worth almost twice another and has the exact same requirements.

7. Haven't played enough to finalize a view on the old man, other than the math tells me that generating gold is too hard. You burn a minimum of 1 food (2 gold) per adventure. Your odds are 50% success, so a successful adventure will cost an average of 4 gold. All of the basic 4 adventures yield less than 4 gold, so you will have to spend more turns doing wheat than anything else to generate the necessary gold to use the old master. From my standpoint, this makes the game unworkable. I would consider reducing the price of food and/or upping the rewards.

8. How long have you targeted a game time to be? I think for this 15 - 20 min max is appropriate based on the nature of the game.

With all that said, I think this could be a reasonably fun game for someone if it is packaged right. I personally see it playing best as a short, tight game, somewhat like a warm-up game before a 2 hour dungeon crawler. The rules need significant tightening/refinement to get to that point. I see it as doable though.
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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Thank you so much for your kind help and effort!!!

I've had my own first serious try and agree in most of your points.

1. Well, for the sake of the theme & the thought of travelling around, I'd like to keep the paths. I fully agree on your objections, though. We could say that a move to the adjacent location is free, while travvelling by (a -> c or a -> d) costs an action. 5 actions per turn sounds good, as yes indeed, this should be a fast and simple game, taking 15-20 minutes.

2. Starting with 10 gold absolutely makes sense! Should the tracker be reduced to 10 as well? Or would you suggest 15?

3. Agreed as well. Just didn't have a feel for the speed of the game before trying it (yes, it would have been clever to have done that before illustrating and posting it. I know )

4. I didn't think of the adventures as being one time adventures. You can master them as many times as you want. Or do we have a misunderstanding here?

5. A little bit of interaction (wanna keep the whole thing as simple as possible): You lend your future knight to the opponent. During his next turn, he uses him and perhaps makes use of him. You will get paid for the job anyways, that's safe.

6. That's on purpose. Theme and luck. You can't always choose your adventure.

7. This is maybe the trickiest part concerning the balance. The bonus items shouldn't be too easy to get, but you should be able to buy at least 3 of them during a game. Do you mean they are completely useless?

8. Answered above..

Need to find a good solution for the harvesting action. If you want more than 1 gold, you could e.g. spend 1 of your actions per gold? That's 5 gold for a harvest-turn...hmm..it somehow doesn't feel right not to take an action for travelling.

What do you think?
 
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Alex Retter
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magneheeli wrote:
Thank you so much for your kind help and effort!!!

I've had my own first serious try and agree in most of your points.

1. Well, for the sake of the theme & the thought of travelling around, I'd like to keep the paths. I fully agree on your objections, though. We could say that a move to the adjacent location is free, while travvelling by (a -> c or a -> d) costs an action. 5 actions per turn sounds good, as yes indeed, this should be a fast and simple game, taking 15-20 minutes.

2. Starting with 10 gold absolutely makes sense! Should the tracker be reduced to 10 as well? Or would you suggest 15?

3. Agreed as well. Just didn't have a feel for the speed of the game before trying it (yes, it would have been clever to have done that before illustrating and posting it. I know )

4. I didn't think of the adventures as being one time adventures. You can master them as many times as you want. Or do we have a misunderstanding here?

5. A little bit of interaction (wanna keep the whole thing as simple as possible): You lend your future knight to the opponent. During his next turn, he uses him and perhaps makes use of him. You will get paid for the job anyways, that's safe.

6. That's on purpose. Theme and luck. You can't always choose your adventure.

7. This is maybe the trickiest part concerning the balance. The bonus items shouldn't be too easy to get, but you should be able to buy at least 3 of them during a game. Do you mean they are completely useless?

8. Answered above..

Need to find a good solution for the harvesting action. If you want more than 1 gold, you could e.g. spend 1 of your actions per gold? That's 5 gold for a harvest-turn...hmm..it somehow doesn't feel right not to take an action for travelling.

What do you think?


Here are a few thoughts regarding your points above.

1. I was saying that moves should also cost an action. Harvesting, buying and selling are the only things that would be "free". This obviouslly needs playtesting, just where I would start based on my play.

2. No reason to change tracker at this point as far as I see. Playtest to determine.

3. Nothing to add.

4. My question is actually this - If I go to the tavern and get 3 quests activated and don't complete them on my turn. Can my opponent do them or are we running on two seperate paths?

5. My issue is around mechanics. You need to flesh out exactly what happens and what it means gameplay wise.

6. Playtest to see how this works.

7. The issue is a mathematical one. It seems like gold will decrease faster than increase on average, therefore you will neverl be able to buy anything unless you spend a significant amount of time harvesting wheat.

8. Nothing to add.


Here is where I see you with this. You can go 1 of 2 routes. The first is to dig in and do a lot of playtesting yourself (you can play both players) and make refinements.

If it were me, I would break out excel (or some type of simple spreadsheet or it could done fine with notes and a calculator) and do some simple modeling of the game. Looking at the 4 basic adventures, how many can be attempted per turn? What is the success rate? Calculate what is average number of successful adventures per turn. Based on averages, how much will gold deplete per successful adventure (from food loss). How much gold will come in per successful adventure from gp, food and swords. This would need to be positive unless you want people spending time in the wheat field as the expected outcome. Tweak rewards, or odds of success, or cost to adventure to give an expected positive inflow of gold. What is the expected average exp per successful adventure? Based on this what is the expected # of turns to complete? Estimate the average turn length. How long will the game take? Tweak everything again so this is acceptable. Now look at the old man and the 2 advanced quests. What is the expected gold surplus when you get to 5 and 10 exp? Would this allow you to access the old man and advanced quests a satisfactory amount of times or would they never be used. Tweak again and check impacts on time. Tweak again.

After this, I would playtest to figure out how assumptions and math play out in actual gameplay, but I would want to start from a base that felt solid.
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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Again, thank you so much for feedback, help, input and effort!


1. Simply "yes"!

2. So just the xp tracker then. Swords and food are rare anyway.

4. Very neat! Had not thought that way! Let's try that "activation" thing!!!

5. I spend some actions on getting to the mercenaries location. You may then use my pawn during your next turn (you use 2 little knights, yours and mine. The latter obviously starting from the mercenaries location). Do what you wanna do. I'll get my fixed "income" (definately higher than the highest possible reward you could get) from the bank. Would be even better to take it directly from you, but gold is so rare in the game...

7. Higher gold rewards for quests/adventures?

Concerning the two suggested routes: I'm really, really bad at the math thing (who'd have guessed..). I'll need to test it over and over again. That's gonna take a while, as time is rare

I also want to test solo play with a time tracker. Also maths to do, right? Hopeless
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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I've changed a few things and given it another try:

Errands: 1 food, 2 gold
Explore the Swamps: 1 xp, 1 gold
Chase a Band of Robbers: 2 xp, 2 gold
Escort: 1 xp, 1 food
Defend the Castle: 2 xp, 1 weapon
Mercenaries Needed: 1 xp, 1 gold, 1 weapon

The Old Master: Costs:
Squire: 5 gold
Horse: 4 gold
Member of the Guild of Adventurers: 4 gold
Long Sword: 5 gold
Crossbow: 4 gold

Additionally, I've changed 1 simple "fail" side of the event die into a simple success.

Much better already.

I also thought about making the Long Sword be a Sword of Mercy:
Whenever you use it, you have to give 1 gold to the poor -> the opponent, as long as he doesn't own a Sword of Mercy himself.
You don't need to use the sword (only at "Mercenaries Needed").
As soon as you own a second sword, the SoM will automatically be your secondary weapon.

Thoughts?
 
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