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Subject: Anyone else watch "The Cabin in the Woods... rss

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Christian Kalk
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...and think, "Hey, that could be a kick-ass theme for a board game!"?

Check this out:
--the board is the cabin and grounds
--up to 5 players control the "vacationers" (the five archetypes named in the movie)
--one player controls the environment
--players try to survive, other player tries to kill them off in accordance with the "ritual" guidelines.

I'd start drawing up a prototype, but there could be licensing issues
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Ryan Farrell
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I thought the same thing! That would be a lot of fun and probably a challenge to kill off the characters in a specific order. I'd be worried about replayability though...
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Paul Harmon
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Personally I think that anything Whedon touches should be turned into everything from board games to "I can't believe it's not Still on the air butter".
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Christian Kalk
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The vacationers can trigger any of a multitude of scenarios (maybe even a merman!). Either random or some form choice-driven. New scenarios in the expansions
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Lance
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It sounds basically like a variant of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Stumble around blindly until you trigger the scenario, then blindly attempt to figure out how to solve your impending doom.
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rekinom
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That sounds like fun.

Here's what I'm thinking...

If you could work out a mechanism like the infecter phase and epidemic cards from Pandemic, you wouldn't need a sixth "environment" player.

For example, say you have three decks of cards.

You have a monster deck, which is all the different kinds of monsters, but only one card for each type.

You have an encounter deck, which are generic cards that modify and provide individual instances of any monster.

And a resource deck that is sprinkled with artefact cards.

You start the game with a single monster card drawn and face up and a couple of encounter cards drawn that are individual monsters of that type. Each player has to draw resource cards and additional encounter cards during their turn, using the resource cards (such as Collapsible Travel-mug/Bong) to fight the monsters (the encounter cards).

If they draw an artefact card from the resource deck (like a Pandemic Epidemic card), they must draw another monster card which stays face up. That also increases the number of encounters they draw until they have defeated all of the individual encounters of a specific type of monster and can retire that monster card.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you would have to have player elimination, unless you create some cheecky deus ex machina rescue scenario for characters presumed dead (like the dock scene in the movie).
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Captain Ameritrash
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UndeadViking wrote:
It sounds basically like a variant of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Stumble around blindly until you trigger the scenario, then blindly attempt to figure out how to solve your impending doom.


Warning: Movie spoilers below.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Not very much of a variant, even. It's pretty much just BaHotH, only there's not necessarily a traitor in every scenario. You'd need some kind of monster AI if there wasn't a traitor to control them, but that's pretty much the only significant difference. Everything else fits very well with the movie. You explore the house/cabin, find an object that triggers one of several possible haunts, and then have to survive the haunt or not.

Unless you wanted to include the "twist" and let players have a chance to find the control room and unleash a butt-ton of haunts simultaneously. That would be a significant variant.


When I saw the movie, my first thought was BaHotH. On a mostly unrelated note, the variant I'd really like to see would be "Betrayal at House of Leaves". Now that would be awesome.
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Andrew Taylor
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It really would be good. You'd definitely need a 6th player though as the players have to be eliminated in a certain order. The problem would be that the players have to be eliminated in the same order every single game which would get repetitive and easy to counter if given weapons etc.

There would be a need for trap cards (as used in the movie in the cabin)

It would work but it would need some serious time taken for development.
 
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Neil Marlowe
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TrashGameLover wrote:
"Betrayal at House of Leaves".


HA, I see what you did there! Just started reading this and am amazed at how different it is. It's going to be a slow read for me, but I will get through it.
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Michael Z
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Just watched this last month and also wish there more Cabin somewhere.

Boardgames This is definitely Betrayal-esque, just with a nominated Betrayer to start with.

A more unique spin might be to have the Players play the Bad Guys Inc. A nice role reversal. After all they are just trying to stop the apocalypse here. Stupid teenagers had it coming anyway.

Step up another level like this.

I'm thinking a multi-deck card game, with perhaps area movement like Last Night on Earth.

Each player (thinking 2-6) controls one or two teens ("Lambs") AND also play a specific department of the Cabin Corporation Inc. (e.g. R&D, Chemicals, Surveilence, Maintenence, Pyrotechnics, Special Effects, Security Detail etc.).

Players are ultimately trying to kill everyone off. In doing so they will score "promotion points" to be the named Employee of the Year at Cabin Corp. There is a secondary goal to try and keep their Lamb alive (or at least last alive) at the end of the game.

Your Department gives you some special perks/powers or unique cards to add to your start hand.

Players - I'm thinking complete blank slates with a big part of the game building up your character's character (just like a movie tries to do).

There is player deck with cards that can be played as a Lamb or a Department (or perhaps two-in one double ended cards). There is also a deck for the "control room" that will guide the game.

Reveal the control room card. It causes something to happen. Players have a chance to react in order. Next round.

Lambs will have a small variety of stats to track:
Athleticism - how strong/fast you are
Chastity - are you the virgin or a whore
Sobriety - are you a fool or a scholar
Fear - will you mess your pants or step up
Awareness - how much influence does the Cabin Corporation have on you or have you worked it out

As I said players are blank slates. This even goes as far as to who is which archetype. The Fool. The Athlete. The Scholar. The Whore. And the all important Virgin. (I'm sure more could be added/taken away to cater to player pool, or perhaps that's not needed?)

These archetypes are not held by anyone at the start. They will be assigned through cards played. And they will change hands as well. This is called Character Development. Will the Whore repent his ways. Perhaps the jock is actually a calculus superstar. Will the Scholar be seduced into Foolery?

Players are really playing Cabin Corp so their control over the Lambs is minimal and often dictated by the Control Room deck, and the cards others play. The "Lamb" is basically the one your department is rooting for.

At various stages of the game you may want to have the perks of various archetypes. Though most likely you do not want to be the Whore (first to die) and at the end of the game you want to be the Virgin (last to die). Obviously there has to be some trade offs with these statuses. The Whore should give you some pretty cool abilities and be easy to palm off onto others at just the right moment (like an STD), and while the Virgin is essentially invincible, they have very little control of the character in this state, other characters don't like you too much and it is an easily taken archetype.

Right at the end of Cabin, I was really almost expecting a turn around that the "Fool" was the Virgin and would just let her get eaten by the Werewolf.

===

Game starts off in Harbringer phase. Players get to set the scene by providing back story to their Lambs and why they (e.g. "Just got dumped"; "Looking to get lucky"; "I wish I knew who my Dad was"). Players will aslo be setting up their Lambs with various drugs and conditioning in their role of the Cabin Corporation. There are minimal choices what to do in this phase.

Then there is the Transgression Phase. Players cement their characters (or have quick character rewrites) and the "haunt" begins. I'm thinking how to tie this into the wagering from the movie. Each department gets a selection of boogeymen to choose to bet on at the start of the game. These are revealed to everyone at all times and have on them multiple conditions for starting their haunt. This includes an in-built timer to prevent the Transgression phase dragging out, but also means it may start before you expect. These are revealed after the Harbringer phase so you can try an set yourself up a little bit secretly. Perhaps the Control Room can have one too (or "Maintenence always bets on Zombie Redneck Torture Family").

Then there is the Sacrifice Phase (or the you are total ****ed phase). Which is hopefully short brutal, bloody and fun. If there is more than one Lamb alive at sunrise, or somehow the virgin is not killed last, everyone loses. Otherwise winner is who was the most credit to the corporation (and in second is the virgin).

=====

Each phase of the game might involve different decks. A random selection of each deck is stacked up, or a "timer card" exists in the bottom portion of each deck to ensure they don't drag on.

Perhaps the "Control Room" could just be the top card of the deck, and optional in larger games. Cards that are usually used as self-boosters might indicate who they are played on when revealed by control room (e.g. highest/lowest fear/athleticism)


Example Cards (they could probably have better names)

Harbringer Phase (set up character back stories, build up stats)

"That was just a Rumour"
>Gain 2 Chastity. Lose the Whore archetype. If you have the highest Chastity take the Virgin archetype.

"[Yo Girl/Dude] You Should Get Some of That"
>*Ongoing effect* Play on any Lamb. If this Lamb is alone in a room as another Lamb of the opposite gender at the end of their turn, both players lose 2 Chastity. If either has the Virgin archetype, they must pass it to the player on their left.

"Bi-curious"
>*Ongoing Effect* This Lamb counts as of the opposite sex of any other Lamb. May not be held the Virgin.

"Serves that bitch right"
>You may take an item off the Virgin. Two if you are the Whore.

>"New Hair Color, New Me"
Decrease Chastity and Sobriety by 3. Discard any Background card or pass an Archetype to your right.

>"Change the car tires"
A Lamb in a vehicle may gain 1 Athleticism and The Athlete archetype.

>"Put Harbringer on Speaker Phone"
Hilarious. Gain 1 Promotion Point.


Transgression Phase
>"Steam it up"
Move two characters with chastity less than 5 into the X Room.

>"I'm just going for a quiet walk"
Move the Whore into the woods. If she is already there she loses 3 Awareness.

>"Those Mushrooms look edible"
A Lamb in the woods loses 3 sobriety. If this takes them below 4 they gain The Fool.

>"Conch Shell"
Found at the Lake, the Cellar or the Old Boat Shed.
A Lamb with the Conch Shell loses 1 less fear (min 1).
May only be put down by a lamb with Sobriety or Fear greater than 8.

>"Let's Go To The Lake"
All Lambs move to the lake unless they can pass an aware roll.

>"I wonder what's in there"
Move a Lamb into an adjacent Dark Space.

>"Where did everyone go?"
Challenge another player to an aware roll. The loser raises their fear by 2 and must be moved to a location without any other lambs chosen by the winner.

I think you can get the idea...
----

Wager Haunt Cards

MERMEN
Triggered if: A Lamb with the conch shell fails an aware roll at the end of their turn. If some Lambs get it on in the Old Boat Shed during the Trangression Phase. If the Whore is closest to the Lake at the end of the Transgression Phase.

ALIEN BEAST
Triggered if: The scholar is met by the Meteorite Crash. FBI choppers fly over in the same phase as either a Shooting Star, Mysterious Phone Call or Unexpected Blackout. The Whore is closest to the Old Water Tower at the end of the Trangression Phase.

WENDIGO
Triggered if: Any two are revealed: HUNTING TROPHIES, STRANGE FOOTPRINTS, BEAR SKIN RUG. A Lamb kills an animal outside. At the end of the Transgression Phase, the Whore is nearest to the Hillside Cave.

ZOMBIE REDNECK TORTURE FAMILY
Triggered if: Any Lamb with less than 5 aware is all alone with a book. The Virgin finds the Diary. At the end of the Transgression phase, the Whore is closest to the Redneck Graveyard.

===

What do you think?
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Roger McKay
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@ Michael Z: THAT is the only 'Cabin in the Woods' game I would play. Great movie, but it is not a survival horror story. It is an evil conspiracy versus the innocents story. The particular monster is irrelevant. Just like 'Signs' wasn't about the aliens.
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Jarrett Dunn
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RogMcK wrote:
@ Michael Z: THAT is the only 'Cabin in the Woods' game I would play. Great movie, but it is not a survival horror story. It is an evil conspiracy versus the innocents story. The particular monster is irrelevant. Just like 'Signs' wasn't about the aliens.


It's not even really that, it goes even more meta:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Ancient Ones supposedly represent the audience, who find entertainment in seeing other people die, while the bureaucrats are the film crews who set up scenes and record what happens for their benefit. Think of the bureaucrats rooting for the blonde to take her shirt off “because it will please the Ancient Ones.” When the remaining characters decide not to sacrifice each other and let the world end, it’s meant to call out the audience’s hypocrisy in wanting characters they can sympathize with while demanding they die in interesting ways.
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Captain Ameritrash
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zayzayem wrote:
A whole bunch of great ideas for a boardgame.

and then,

What do you think?

I think you need to design this game so I can buy and play it.
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Michael Z
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mltdwn wrote:
RogMcK wrote:
@ Michael Z: THAT is the only 'Cabin in the Woods' game I would play. Great movie, but it is not a survival horror story. It is an evil conspiracy versus the innocents story. The particular monster is irrelevant. Just like 'Signs' wasn't about the aliens.


It's not even really that, it goes even more meta:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Ancient Ones supposedly represent the audience, who find entertainment in seeing other people die, while the bureaucrats are the film crews who set up scenes and record what happens for their benefit. Think of the bureaucrats rooting for the blonde to take her shirt off “because it will please the Ancient Ones.” When the remaining characters decide not to sacrifice each other and let the world end, it’s meant to call out the audience’s hypocrisy in wanting characters they can sympathize with while demanding they die in interesting ways.


Is Joss Whedon saying we're old?

I didn't quite think about it on that level while watching it, but that is an interesting level to take it to.

I don't know if a boardgame could be quite so self-aware and still be enjoyable to play.
 
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Bruce Moffatt
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mltdwn wrote:
It's not even really that, it goes even more meta:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Ancient Ones supposedly represent the audience, who find entertainment in seeing other people die, while the bureaucrats are the film crews who set up scenes and record what happens for their benefit. Think of the bureaucrats rooting for the blonde to take her shirt off “because it will please the Ancient Ones.” When the remaining characters decide not to sacrifice each other and let the world end, it’s meant to call out the audience’s hypocrisy in wanting characters they can sympathize with while demanding they die in interesting ways.


Wow Jarrett, I'm normally accused of philosophising too much about movies, but what you came up with is EXCELLENT!!!

One of the things that I have loved about Joss Whedon's body of work, is that he has never been afraid to make the audience mentally work some for their entertainment. I know Drew Goddard directed and co-wrote the film with JW, but Whedon's trademarks are all over it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
By casting the audience in the role of the 'Ancient Ones' we automatically become both voyeuristic and ultimately disappointed/humiliated (just a little) when the surviving cast members do the morally correct thing. Hell, I was even rooting for the monsters when they got out of the cages and ran amuck!whistle


Honestly, I wish there were more movies around like this one. I love a good popcorn blockbuster as much as the next guy, but I really appreciate a movie that makes me THINK!
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