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Runebound (First Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant for a Shorter Game rss

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Kyle Johnstone
United States
Lewisville
Texas
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I like this game but my major problem with it is that it takes 1 hour / player to play this game. So with 4 players it takes about 4 hours. For a game with very little strategy that seems to be excessive to me. I would like to play the game in 90 minutes with 4 players so I was trying to figure out different alternatives so that you could play the game in a shorter period of time and actually be able to complete it with 6 players. Maybe you like the game long and that's fine; it's just too repetitive for me to be that long of a game.

So instead of griping about it I decided to throw out some ideas to speed up the game without unbalancing it too much. I would be interested in any constructive feedback on any of these ideas. Keep in mind the comments are in the context of speeding up the game not that the game is bad the way it is.

#1 problem that I found is that this game seems to be about gaining experience in the categories. But in a four player game you need 5 points to get just a +1 in an attribute. But from the gold you earn from those same encounters you can buy an item that gives you a +3 or more in a given area. So I've quickly realized that this game is more about acquisition of gold and items than it is about gaining experience.

#2 Once the encounters are done and only reds are left then there is no way to gain more gold and to acquire items unless you go on a rampage of attacking other players which also extends the game out longer.

#3 There aren't enough items in the market places to give a player enough choices to progress the game quickly.

So here are my suggestions for taking a 4 hour game to 90 minutes. I haven't tried it yet and wanted to get some feedback before investing too much more time with this game. Note these suggestions I believe will most likely reduce the PvP aspect of the game as well.

Suggestions to Speed up the Game (UnTested)
1. Game Start: Start with 5 gold instead of 3
2. Market Step: During the market step add 3 items to the market instead of 1
3. Market Step: You can sell your items for what you paid for them instead of half
3. Encounter: If gold is awarded from an encounter, double it
4. Experience: Either one of the following
a) Half the requirements to go up a level instead of 4 make it 2
b) When you trade in experience each attribute goes up by 1 instead
of just the one of your choice
5. Experience: Allow the ability trade in experience to increase your maximum health
6. Encounter Jewels / Experience Tokens: One of the following options
a) The jewels are never removed. The character gains experience
as usual for the color but other player can encounter the same
space for the same experience. Experience can be tracked on
a scratch pad or with some other tokens such as a die or other
counter
b) The Jewels are removed and are not replaced as in 6a. But a player can adventure in a jeweled space to encounter a creature for the reward.

7. Movement: Although clever, this really puts a lot of luck and frustration in the game. It also takes players an unreasonable amount of time to figure out where to go and how to match the dice taking away from the rest of the game. I came up with two ways to elimate trying to figure out the path which seems to be a lot of time wasted in the game trying figure out how to manipulate the movement dice.

a) Basic: I would suggest just let each player move 4 or 5 (if in a town) and be done with it.
b) Advanced: Another method would be to assign movement costs each player has a number of movement points (MPs) and Terrain has movement costs. For example: Road/Town (1 MP), Plains (2MP), Hills (3MP), Rivers 4(MP), Swamps and Mountains (5 MP). In this example I would suggest that each character has 10 Movement Points to start with. Exhaustion Elimination would Cost (2 MP) in this example.
c) You could also assign MP to each character so that they have different movement points based on what they can do. You could also have some abilities help with movement costs (e.g. Climb is eliminates 1 movement point in hills and mountains; Swim eliminates 1 movement point in rivers and swamps)

8. Turn Mechanics: This one's a little more complicated; one of the key complaints of this game is that you have to wait a looong time before your turn and your really have nothing to do inbetween. I would suggest that all movement and actions are simultaneous. Here is how the turn would be conducted if you wanted to try this.

a) Everyone secretly notes where his player is moving and what they are doing.
b) Actions are revealed simultaneously
c) Movement is determined and verified
d) Any Encounters are resolved simultaneously (if more than one character encounter a space they would each get their own encounter). However one could choose to encounter the other hero before the spaces' encounter
e) market step - each player in the town performs the market step simultaneously. If two or more players decide they want the same item they dice off for who picks the item first. However, all the cards that are drawn during the market step are available for all the players there.

I think this makes the game more engaging and more interesting. But most importently I think it makes it playable in a much shorter period of time. I would be very interested in other ideas or suggestions. if anyone tries any of these I would really appreciate it.
 
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
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2nd Edition changed things a lot. Encounters refresh, experience gives you +2 to an attribute, etc. While I'm not saying your ideas aren't valid, you could think about encorporating these changes first.
 
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David Barrett
Australia
Whyalla
SA
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Also, for 3-4 players you only need 4 exp points per +2 atrribute (or +1 life).

However, encounters have been made harder to off-set this and the gold rewards generally reduced (items and healing cost more too).
 
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