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Subject: Help! Unique Battle Mechanics- Cards rss

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Adam Stapley
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Hello all!

I am looking for help making a few more creative, fun mechanics for characters in the new game I'm developing. The game is a cooperative game, think Arkham Horror with fun, unique card combat instead of boring dice rolls. I'll list what I have so far and would greatly appreciate both feedback as to what sounds good and what sounds lame as well as any ideas you might have for more ideas for character.

Keep in mind with suggestions that this is a cooperative game, every character should have a fairly defined goal as to what they help the team do.

What I have so far:

The Tank
The tank is a nerd. He's built a mech suit, and uses it to be the number 1 target as much as possible, and to keep the minions off of other players. He focuses mainly on targetting multiple monsters at melee range, and has a few self heals and ways to mess with the order of priority for the enemy.

His deck consists of:
Target cards. He can target one monster per turn, or he can play 1 target card and damage all of the squares described on the card for the same damage he would normally do.

Combat cards: These cards increase the amount of damage the Nerd does to the monsters he's targetting, as well as possibly adding effects such as stuns or healing himself. These cost battery energy, which he refreshes each turn. Some of these cards also allow him to use more energy for this turn.

Defensive Cards- These are used during the enemy phase for no cost. They mostly focus upon changing the priority order and negating damage done to the Nerd.

So his combat mostly consists of:
Playing a combat card to target multiple monsters, using energy wisely with combat cards to maximize damage done.


The Ranger
The ranger is a star athlete. He plays Basketball, Lacrosse, and Football. He focuses on doing small amounts of damage to many minions at range, but can also do a lot to a single monster if the right card is drawn. Monsters must be killed in a single player phase, so the ranger is very good at picking off the enemies the other teammates will have weakened, not allowing them to recover.

His deck consists of:
One play card, chosen at the beginning of battle, that specifies 4 different patterns that he can "pass to," or the squares that he can target with his attacks.

3 classes of cards: His deck consists of Lacrosse cards, Basketball cards, and Football cards. Any of these cards can be played to increase the damage each ball he throws does, increase the number of balls he can throw, or stun adjacent monsters that are putting him in danger. The catch is, he can only play one sport per turn. So you can't play a basketball card with 3 football cards, you may only play football, lacrosse, or basketball cards in any given turn.

Defensive cards: His defensive cards are also free of cost, and are played during the enemy turn. His are geared more towards keeping himself out of danger, whether that be through moving away from the enemies or arranging the target order with himself lower in it.

So his combat consists mostly of:
Deciding which passing route is the most useful for his limited number of attacks (number of balls he has to throw) and then deciding which sport he wants to play to be most useful.

The Mage
The mage is an alchemist from the past. His mechanics are pretty cool, and he pairs well damage-wise with the ranger. He uses chemicals to create ranged explosions that target a standart 5 square + area. He uses recipes that he will gather throughout the game to more easily be able to create higher damaging concoctions.

His deck consists of:
Vials: You need a vial to mix the chemicals in, and thus you can't attack without having one on the board.

Elements: The elements are what he uses with vials to do damage. Based on the recipe, he'll do more damage with more elements. So if you have a recipe that calls for 4 elements, and you have 2 of the elements, you can use those two elements with the recipe to do a lesser damage than filling the recipe would do. So the more complete you can make a recipe, the more damage you'll do. However, with such a scaling damage pattern, he won't be able to kill monsters in one turn without a good draw. That's where his teammates come in. The alchemist is very good at getting monsters in kill range for his teammates,

Defensive cards: The Alchemists defensive cards further buff his damage. Most of his defensive cards allow him to recover an element from his discard pile to use next turn. However, the Alchemist also has two global debuffs to monsters, one making them hit you more often for HP damage, and one that makes them hit you more often for belief damage (I won't explain belief here, but it's a cool mechanic).

So his combat consists mostly of:
Completing recipes as much as possible, knowing when it's best to save the ingredients you have and get more for more damage versus throwing what you've got to do a lesser amount of damage immediately.

The Rogue:

The rogue is a Gothic kid, who uses different rituals to do different things to the enemy. He is not a good teammate per sei, in that he doesn't have any buffs for teammates and he doesn't like to be priority of attacks so that his teammates are not. However, he has the potential to do a lot of solo damage to a boss monster or just destroy something that's been giving the party problems. His mechanics work by playing a certain ritual and then playing ritual tokens to power up that ritual. The ritual does different amounts of damage based on how many ritual tokens are played with it.

His deck consists of:
Ritual cards: There are three different types of ritual cards, and the Goth can't attack without using one of them. One type allows him to drain life from the enemy, one allows him to do much more damage, and one is undecided for sure, but might lead to a DoT. The Goth needs to play a ritual in order to attack.

Ritual tokens: All these do are act as power ups for his attack and the resources for his defensive spells.

Defensive cards: The Goth's defense cards are not free to play like other characters' are. Each defense card costs some amount of ritual tokens. this is to add an extra level of decision making with the player, "do I want to play all of the ritual cards and do a lot of damage, or hold one back with my this defense card in case I get in trouble." The Goth's defense cards mostly concern themselves with placing the priority onto other players, even if it's not the tank like everyone would prefer.

So his combat consists mostly of:
Balancing your limited resources into attack or defense, as well as choosing what the best ritual is to use (if you have more than one in your hand)



So that's what I have so far. Let me know what you think. Two more I'll be developing for certain are a healer, a pre med preppy girl who thinks she knows it all, and a little girl who uses her dog to attack and focuses strongly on buffing teammates. Any mechanical ideas you have for these two, or anything else you think would be cool, would be great!

P.S. if you want to suggest a character for the game, here's the setting of the game: It's on a college campus and a time machine has broken, which is what the players must fix and why the Alchemist is here. That's all I'll tell you about the story for now
 
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Benj Davis
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Subscribed. Tell me more.
 
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Adam Stapley
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Jlerpy wrote:
Subscribed. Tell me more.


Thank you!

So, I guess I'll just turn this thread into a kind of "here's what I'm working on" thread and people can help out or tell me what's awful or whatever they'd like!

About Me
I'm a 20 year old Secondary Education Major and Resident Advisor at Montana State University, and my girlfriend and I are creating this game as just a fun way to entertain ourselves and hopefully some day bring joy to people, if only our friends.

The Story
Here's the story-- the fun part of the idea. Our story so far is that these students are at their college, minding their business as usual, and the time machine stationed at their college starts malfunctioning, bringing in warriors from the past that start ravaging areas of the school. The leaders of these armies, the "bosses" if you will, are the villains of Grimm tales. So, imagine this: You're just a normal college sophomore nerd. You build your mech suit just like everyone else, and then you find out you have to help save your college from a bunch of Huns coming through a Time Rift lead by the Big Bad Wolf, Genghis Khanine! Pretty exciting, right?

The Mechanics Overview
We want to tell a story with this game. We're likely also writing a novel based upon the same story as the game, but we want this game to be a story in and of itself. A cooperative game where there's no player bad guy, everyone playing is on the same team, and you're completely immersed in this rich, fun story. We want to make people laugh and smile all throughout the game.

The basic mechanics are, as in the OP, a card combat system that's very unique for each character you can play. Each character plays completely different and brings something very different to the table. Equipment is gathered in either buying it from the student store, or killing minibosses that will be released into the college every turn. The minibosses won't be full team battles, if there's 5 people playing, 3 minibosses will be released each turn, so one person would solo a boss while 2 pairs of 2 take out the other 2, or perhaps you don't think anyone can manage that one boss, so you let him be, give up the treasure he guards, and take out the other 2 bosses. The final goal is to kill the three, progressively harder, Grimm villains. They'll be in a large room that spawns monsters from Time Rifts. The villain itself won't go directly after you, but instead will chase its target, another character from the Grimm tales. So if your boss is the Big Bad Wolf, there would be 3 little Pig towers that the Big Bad Wolf must destroy before he targets you. This gives you a choice, do you kill the Big Bad Wolf before he kills the Piggies and comes after you, or do you try to shut down the time rifts before there are too many minions and you're overrun?

The game will have an awful lot of flavor text and heavy texted scenario cards for when the minibosses spawn, what they're doing, and everything. However, the mechanics themselves will also be enjoyable. Never again will people have to decide if they want unique, enjoyable game play or a strong story!



@Jlerpy, I guess I don't really know what you wanted to more about, so if you have any questions to anything let me know! I'm eager to share, as I'm very excited about this project.
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Benj Davis
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It reminds me a little of Sentinels, with the characters each having different cards.
 
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Adam Stapley
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Jlerpy wrote:
It reminds me a little of Sentinels, with the characters each having different cards.


Sentinels looks super fun. I want to try it, but alas I'm a poor college student. It seems like the character concept is similar, but the way in which each character plays is very different from it. In Sentinels it seemed like you could play one card per turn to up your abilities? Most of the cards in our game are used from the hand for combos, which I think is an interesting twist on things.
 
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Benj Davis
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Yes, Sentinels has a fairly tight framework (play a card, activate a Power, draw a card), which can only be slightly shifted (some things let you play additional cards, use additional Powers or draw additional cards, but in general that turn-format is quite set; what makes the game interesting is how things work together).
It's a great game with a lot of replay value to be had out of the different heroes, villains and environments.

From what you've said here, it looks like your game uses some kind of tactical map?
 
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Adam Stapley
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Jlerpy wrote:
Yes, Sentinels has a fairly tight framework (play a card, activate a Power, draw a card), which can only be slightly shifted (some things let you play additional cards, use additional Powers or draw additional cards, but in general that turn-format is quite set; what makes the game interesting is how things work together).
It's a great game with a lot of replay value to be had out of the different heroes, villains and environments.

From what you've said here, it looks like your game uses some kind of tactical map?


The board will provide a main square matrix area and 4 small square matrices. These matrices are where you'll actually do the battling, so the small squares are for the small encounters and the large square, obviously, for the large ones. We thought about doing an Arkham Horror-esque map with locations and what not, but don't think that carries the theme of the game as well as we will be able to this way-- after all, we have our own ideas to go off of, not an entire collection of works by an author the quality of H.P. Lovecraft.

I'm a bit of a chess buff, so we've designed this game so that each player also has the positional choice guaranteed to them-- even if they don't have a strong attack in their hand, if they have a way to move themselves to low priority for the monsters they can strategically place themselves in a position to help a few teammates out.
 
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