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Monster Keep: Re-visiting an older design

Finally I can BLOG about the new developments with an older design known as "Monster Keep"!

Just for some future notes, here is a link to a "breakthrough" in the design:

The game will use "Operators" and "Operands" to compute each player's "Valor" points, the player closest to 0 goes first, and the last player is the one with the highest "Valor" points.

Once turn order is determined, the first player uses his army of three (3) minions to attack one or more opponents around the table (of course relying on the RPS-9 which says what Factions are at war).

After each player has had a chance to play their turn, "Victory" Points (VPs) are computed based on the cards/minion (and points) remaining in the player's area of play.

The goal is be the first player to race to 20+ VPs! It's as SIMPLE and elegant as that!



No More Acrylic Cubes

Of course that means also LESS components, since I no longer need those nice but EXTRA "Acrylic Cubes".

While I am keeping track of "Victory" Points (VPs), I will be using a simpler method which doesn't add additional components to the "core" game.

I am also planning a slew of "stretch goals" to encourage people to unlock more perks people may choose to purchase. Those will of course be "Add-ons" that each backer can decide which one he would like to add to his purchase.

Okay so tomorrow is a DESIGN day, where I will try to "re-design" all the cards on computer... And then later in the week, I will make a physical prototype and cut all the cards for a three (3) player game.

Keep you all posted!

No more cubes? Ok, these

No more cubes?
Ok, these things happen.

Should have read this topic first before I replied to the other one. But there is still some idea's in my post there that can be considered without cubes.

Yeah I removed the Acrylic Ice Cubes!

I'm TRYING to design a "Micro" Deck CCG (Collectible Card Game). I have some SUPER "Innovative" ideas for the game and how I am going to "market" it. I'm still working on the first twenty (20) cards available to start with but this will be reached via "stretch goals".

The "core" game will be ten (10) cards, featuring seven (7) different cards to the standard "Micro" Deck.

I think that's small enough.

The game requires a custom "Micro" Deck of ten (10) cards per player and cards are never "mixed" with an opponent's cards.

It is nothing like "Magic: the Gathering" (Magic). For several reasons:

  1. It's round-based. This means that the game is played one round to another round.
  2. It's from 2 to 4 players. Although "Monster Keep" (MK) is fundamentally a "duel" system, it allows for more than just two (2) players.
  3. There is only one type of card and they feature minions. Magic has all kinds of cards like Instants, Sorceries, Artifacts, Creatures, Planeswalkers, etc. MK is streamlined and in a way closer to "Epic: the card game" by White Wizard Games.
  4. MK has dual purpose cards: each card can act as a minion or a "resource" card. That's how you get "resources": via a card or your Lord's bonus. (Thanks @Fri for this idea...)
  5. MK boast a "nice" RPS-9 (akin to Pokemon's RPS but simpler) and uses a Race/Class system with a total of nine (9) Races and 81 Unique Classes.

So as you can see, MK is a little bit from all the Card Games out there.

I'm keeping some aspects of the game "under wraps" to surprise the Gamer community and introduce those "marketing" ideas at a later time.


Sample "Duke" and "Wizard" Cards


  • Top is the Race, Class and RPS-9 relationships.
  • Middle-Top is room for the illustration.
  • Middle are the Resources, Basic Attack and Advanced Tactics
  • Middle-Bottom is the Operation, a place to write your numbers and a unique code (instead of using barcodes).
  • Bottom is the artist's name and the card information.

I think it looks - just "busy" enough. Anything more and the cards would be simply TOO COMPLEX.

Feel free to write Feedback/Comments/Concerns/Questions.

Keep you all posted how the PLAYTEST will go tomorrow...

Meeting Has Been Called.

Corporate decisions have been made.

100% of the prototype is done

I've manage to construct two (2) "Micro" Decks. I just printed the templates out this morning and have been working on cutting the individual cards for each Player's "Micro" Deck.

Both the Red Deck and Blue Deck are done.

Round #1: Red = 8 VPs, Blue = 3 VPs.
Round #2: Red = 2 VPs, Blue = 5 VPs.
Round #3: Red = 5 VPs, Blue = 4 VPs.
Round #4: Red = 9 VPs, Blue = 5 VPs.

Totals: Red = 24 VPs, Blue 17 VPs.

The Red Player is Victorious!

It makes me wonder.

Is this the game where you put in the 3-RPS^2? Or is this an entire new 9-RPS?

I am very curious about this game when it is finished. Tradworlds is very cool. And I would like to have some of this game as well. Your designs always look very unique in their own innovative ways.

But this time. I want to pay. Because... that would be fair! And my pay pall account has yet to see any use.
My gibberish comments do no good in general. I don't know, how much it helped last time. (Just be honest if you are looking for a second time from me :) )

It's still too "simple"...

Playtests have revealed that the game is still too "simple". So the aspect which seems to be mostly in question is "Resources". It's too stupid to just have two (2) cards out of five (5) be the resources. It needs to be more involved.

As such I am plugging in the "SpellMaster" crawling mechanic. Obviously with some major re-haul for it to be compatible. Now "Game Tiles" have one of three (3) resources: Food, Battle or Treasure. As you lay down tiles, you earn a "resource" point for each tile you play.

This is interesting because now you have a CLEAR way to earn "resources"...

I'm not how sure the game experience will be. I'm still just focusing on refining the "Game Tiles" to work with each player's underlings. Plenty more "Game Tiles" to design and then upload to TGC ... and then order a couple copies ... to see where this all leads.

It's really some big old "Mash-up" of a bunch of mechanics, ideas, components; all put together in the name of creating a "new" game! We'll see...

I will keep you all informed how playtest goes. I'm certain there will be a need for refining or fine-tuning the coupled pieces...

Bah... not well integerated

Well the mechanics of "Game Tiles" just is "too much"! I need more thought. But somehow the cards themselves need to be involved in process of giving "resources" or the whole "balance" of the "Micro" Deck is ... lost!

Going to think about it some more... Maybe I'll get some fresh ideas tomorrow. It doesn't seem like tonight I will be able to solve the dilemma.

We'll see how things are meant to move forwards.

@Ramon: don't have anything to sell you... just yet. For certain the only game available to buy is a "pre-order" of "TradeWorlds" and I would recommend you wait if you want to get the Four (4) Player version... I will be having an IndieGoGo next month with the LOWER KS pricing (cheaper than the pre-order).

So if you want to grab a copy of the game ... you've got to wait a few weeks.

As for new "ventures" ... nothing seems to be coming together. The design are mostly "broken" pieces and they don't fit together either. To bad...

Exploring 4d6s!

I have been thinking about using four (4) standard six-sided dice. Each dice represents one (1) "resource":

  • Red = Food
  • Blue = Battle
  • Black = Treasure
  • White = Wildcard(!)

The idea is that the White die can be swapped for one of the other die in the formula (or equation). I know some people don't like dice ... But I do! So I am thinking about using these four (4) dice to add some spice to the game.

Hey it beats adding "Game Tiles" by a mile! (LOL)

And with a "wildcard" dice it makes for more interesting results. Still fiddling with the idea and how to use the dice.

The dice have some potential

The average dice roll is 3.5. Multiplied by 3 is 10.5. The fourth dice adds some variance too. Did not want to go with custom dice ... Would be too similar to another design.

But I will experiment more tomorrow!

Three rules for computing the turn-order

First rule: player closest to 0 goes first (equation/formula).

Second rule: player with the least amount of resources goes first (add all of the operands, there are three used).

Third rule: type of operations computed and lowest player goes first. (add all of the card values, there are four used).

Turn-order seems to be resolved!

With the three tiers of rules and the dice to randomize each player's start "resources", I think it should be very difficult to have the SAME "score" when starting the game. This is very important since the goal was NOT to rely on something like a "dice roll" to determine the order.

What I am a bit concerned with is that a player can get "dice screwed", but it may be balanced with the fact that nobody will attack him because he is relatively weak... This will require more playtesting.


New "iconic" RPS-9

I got your PM.

O wow.
That does rather look nice indeed.
I like the "round" object effect on each of them.

The choice and position of colours do make it look a bit flat.
I feel like, orange is missing too. And there is a bit to much black/grey/white going on.

This is my opinion:

I think, it would be better to have orange to replace purple. And purple move over to the grey. Grey removed.
What you get is the Warm versus Cold colours when following the circle around.

With white/black/green being all 3 somewhat neutral.
yellow is warm
turquoise is cold
orange warm
purple cold
red warm
blue cold
white, neutral, but follows the warm.
black, neutral, but follows the cold.
And green is cold and warm at the same time I guess.

Can't really put my finger on it. But I hope you understand what I mean. I really don't want to give you a "dmanit" situation. That is, if you created any thing else with purple and grey.

That reminds me. Is the

That reminds me. Is the diagram including the fact that colour blind people will play the game?
You might consider the arrows as well if your plan is that the colours mean something.

Newer version of the RPS-9 "iconic" diagram

Colors: cool or warm.

I think it looks better with the Orange too. The Gray was a bit too monochromatic ... This version looks "brighter"!

  • Green is cool
  • Yellow is warm
  • Cyan is cool
  • Orange warm
  • Purple cool
  • Red warm
  • Blue cool
  • White neutral
  • Black neutral

The way I remember the relationships is starting with Holy (Orange):

Holy > Chaos > Fire > Frost > Life > Death > Earth > Storm > Tech > Holy

Any comments/questions/feedback???

No more questions

IMHO. This looks very good. I see a lot of "groups" in it, solely by colours.

All these are random logic, just like that warm/cold colour thing.

Basic rules (UPDATED)!

So the idea that I now have is something like this:

  • Players secretly choose to play a three (3) card MELD from a hand of five (5) cards contained in their "Micro" Deck.

  • The remaining two (2) cards are returned to your Deck (for use in a future round).

  • Next they roll 4d6s: Food, Battle, Treasure and Wild. Using these values, they secretly compute the value for their "Party" of underlings.

  • Lastly to start the round, everyone reveals their cards. The order is dictated by the player with the LOWEST "Party" score starts first and order continues from lowest to highest (where the HIGHEST player goes last).

  • The goal is to defeat underlings and therefore reduce the "Valor" points used to compute the "Party".

  • The Player who scores twenty (20) "Valor" points or the player in the lead after five (5) rounds, wins the game. You can also win by eliminating underlings and sending them to a player's graveyard. Once six (6) underlings are sent to a graveyard, that player is eliminated.

Game is QUICK and relatively EASY - with interesting decision making and "formulaic" notation, making the game fun for all ages. Perhaps a good "Micro" game, played between heavier games. My bet is less than 30 minutes.

This is still very much a draft/work-in-progress.

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blog | by Dr. Radut