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Quest Adventure Cards(tm): What's New!

Just for reference, Quest AC v2 has been on and off of design for the better part of six (6) years. Not that I have always been active, I've had ideas surface and did some designing only to figure out "this is NOT the game that I want to design"...

I've really struggled to design an EPIC game for Quest AC v2. I wanted the game to be "challenging" but FUN to play. I've had many ideas for systems and engines for the game. However a couple of days ago I finally figured out one "piece to the puzzle"!

In the game there are two (2) types of cards:

  • Heroisms
  • Terrors

I've know this for a while. But I recently "cemented" that idea with the colors of the "cardbacks": Light Brown and Mauve!

Why is this important you ask??? Because I didn't yet have a concept for the cardbacks. Now I do!

I also have three (3) Basic resources: Riches, Fame and Influence.

And three (3) Card resources: Boons, Collaborators and Masters.

Each deck is comprised of thirty (30) cards. So a game requires sixty (60) cards in total: thirty (30) light and shadow cards.

Those two are split into to two (2) separate decks, one used by one player the other used by Player #2 (in a duel) or the AI (when playing solitaire).

So far that's what I got... Really excited about the "colors" because it gives me a basic understanding about HOW the cards will be played on the table...

Quick Introduction to the game:

"Travel the land under the Light of the Sun... but beware of the Terrors that lie in the Shadows or beneath the Midnight of the Moon!"

I'm currently struggling with "cubes" and "disks". Not sure if I want both... The design is "up in the airs" since I am starting anew this design. But I do have some solid ideas from earlier versions and definitely a good/strong direction for the game (which is important if you expect to have a successful "product").

When I have more, I will post some more info...


Note: A long time ago, I had a vision of the game and the only source of inspiration that I had was that the cards would be "light brown"... I pictured this game having those cards and now when I thought of adding the "mauve" color for the "Terrors", everything just seems to make sense (that initial vision of the "light brown" cards...)


No secrets

I've seen many games that are "campaign"-oriented. And my interest in this is HUGE at the moment. My "business" model is something like a CCG (Collectible Card Game) with a "Campaign Core"...

So the plan at the moment is to offer a two (2) box with sixty (60) "core" cards. Each "core" comes with cards that are specific to the "Campaign". In addition, various setups can be chosen to change the difficulty of the scenario.

Each 30 card mini-deck is good for one (1) player (or the AI player if playing solo). There are two (2) mini-decks per "core".

I'm still working on the "design". I have some ideas ... but the design is still in a state of flux. Will provide more details as I work through the various ideas that I have for this version of the game!


Customizable "core" + "Campaign Pack(s)"

While still exploring the "Collectible Card Game" (CCG) genre, my ideas for "Quest AC v2" are something like this:

  • A box comes with two (2) 25 card Mini-Decks for the first "Campaign Pack". This is a "starter kit" and contains the default cards and bits required by the game.

  • The "Campaign Pack" comes with cards that are required for that campaign. Each "Campaign Pack" would contain twelve (12) cards, five (5) Light cards, five (5) Shadow cards and two (2) score cards (one for each side)!

  • "Singles Aftermarket". Deck-Construction and customization can occur with all the other cards that are NOT part of a "Campaign Pack". Cards may be individually purchased "online" as per each card's availability.

I'm still thinking about the "business-model" and understanding how I could "market" the game... But these are some rough ideas!

Some examples of "cards" (WIP)

Example #1: Potion of Giant Strength [Heroism > Boon > Equipment]
Build Phase #1 2 Cubes + 0 Discs
Explore Phase #2 +0 units
Conquest Phase #3 +2 extra units
Scoring Phase #4 +0 VPs

Example #2: Legendary Sword [Heroism > Boon > Equipment]
Build Phase #1 1 Cube + 1 Disc
Explore Phase #2 +1 unit
Conquest Phase #3 +2 extra units
Scoring Phase #4 +1 Fame

Example #3: Stronghold of Talamoor [Heroism > Landmark > City]
Build Phase #1 2 Cubes + 3 Discs
Explore Phase #2 +3 units
Conquest Phase #3 +5 extra units
Scoring Phase #4 +1 Riches +1 Fame +1 Influence

Example #4: Abandoned Mine [Terror > Landmark > Lair]
Build Phase #1 3 Cubes + 2 Discs
Explore Phase #2 +2 units
Conquest Phase #3 +5 extra units
Scoring Phase #4 +2 Riches

These are some "samples" I've been working on... Just to get a feel for how the "Engine" will work. Strangely while working on these cards, I determined that there should be four (4) Phases instead of only three.

That makes me think this could be a 4x game... LOL Just kidding!

About those card samples

Here are some "thoughts" on the card samples:

  • Card #1: Potion of Giant Strength. It's a use it/lose it card. It doesn't add to your "exploration" but does add to combat "strength" (+2). This could be a good card to help recover a losing battle or improve your odds "right off the gecko".

  • Card #2: Legendary Sword. This is a keeper. It adds +1 to your "exploration" meaning it's not a "dead" card. It also improves combat too (+2). And it produces +1 Fame meaning the card is useful towards the end of the game when converting cards to VPs.

  • Card #3: Stronghold of Talamoor. The basic light city that must be protected at all costs. It has a real strong combat (+5) and obviously it should because if the opponent captures your city, you lose the game.

  • Card #4: Abandoned Mine. This is the counterpart to Talamoor: the lair that needs to be expunged. It too has a real strong combat (+5) and is the goal of this quest: to rescue the Elderly Dwarf.

Balancing between "building" and "conquering"

As most designers have "echoed" that one major factor in most "Engines" is the conversion from "accumulating" Resources to "scoring" Victory Points (VPs).

In my engine, there is a greater balance to walk. You can "build" but at some point you need to decide to start "conquering". How effectively you "conquer" will determine how well you "score" in the last phase.

For example: if you lose two (2) units in "combat", you may well decide to pay that "cost" by discarding BOTH cubes from your "Legendary Sword". The problem with this is that you are left with 0 cubes for the final "scoring" phase and therefore this card gets flipped over – meaning you "scratched" that card and lost the possibility to earn Victory Points (VPs).

The game's three (3) Resources are: Riches, Fame and Influence.

There is also a "basic" scoring system for these cards too:

  • Riches: is worth +1 VP.
  • Fame: is worth +2 VPs.
  • Influence: is worth +3 VPs.

So sacrificing some of the "weaker" resources in favorable of "Influence" is another way of "Playing the game" (or perhaps another consideration when playing the game...)

The point I am trying to make is IF you "waste" all your resources on defeating the opponent, you might land up with very few Victory Points... This may not be true for all games played ... but it increases the probably of having lower score (if conquering is the primary focus of a game).

Build YOUR "Storyline"

This is from an earlier post, which strangely enough seems STILL to be "valid". It's looking like this will be the "format" for a player's game setup. This is for one (1) Player, the opponent plays the "Terror" layout. This preview is for the "Heroisms" layout (the player playing the Light side of the Realm...)

It's a Work-In-Progress (WIP) and is very related to the next Edition of "Quest Adventure Cards(tm) - 2nd Edition".


A little about the "Build Engine"

Your "Nobles & Characters" produce "resources" which vary. Rules for producing vary per "Collaborator". Then the "Engine" allows you to build units to protect your cities OR "re-inforce" your "Champions" after a hard-fought battle.

So the "Build Engine" is VERTICAL (From TOP to BOTTOM – As you see in the previous image/sample layout).

And it is different for EACH "Landmark/City".

There is still "designing" to be done... These are some broad ideas, but I'm looking to improve the "combat" mechanic. Because it works with odds and/or probabilities, there are some issues with how to resolve battles. I'm still working on this and the "engine". Each Landmark/City will indicate how many "Collaborators" a city might have (one, two or three).

To build a "new" Landmark/City, your earlier location must be completed to the maximum... This establishes a bit of "pacing" and timing.

We'll see what I can come up with to continue the design of this game...

About the "Combat" mechanic

Each Landmark/city has a "complement" of Soldiers. This can be 1 to 3 Soldiers and vary according to how you "build" your city. Champions can transition to additional "Soldiers" during an attack wave.

I'm thinking about re-using two (2) custom d6s: one white and one black.

Faces would be: "Orange, Purple, Green, White/Black, Player Choice, Opponent Choice".

The rules are: IF a player manages to defeat all the "Soldiers" stationed in a Landmark/City that city is defeated. This excludes Champions since they are in Support only.

Currently the idea is that each attack has THREE (3) waves. Each time the two custom d6s would be rolled to determine the losing "tokens" and then the odds-based combat would occur (with all the "Champions" reinforcing the battle).

Some simple rules:

  • "Soldiers" are stationed at a Landmark/City and CANNOT be moved.

  • "Champions" can be converted to "Walking Soldiers" which can travel to connecting Landmarks/cities in order to boost the defensive power of a city.

  • Once "converted" you cannot convert back to a "Champion" unless you follow the proper "build" order (from Top to Bottom).

  • Each "Champion" has a DISTANCE he can travel from his home. Each city visited will cost the player one White Cube (Soldier). So if I have a "Champion" who has been converted to three (3) White Cubes (Soldiers), he may travel to up to two (2) Landmarks/Cities away (3 - 1 = 2 reinforcements or 3 - 2 = 1 reinforcement two cities away)...

Boons/Equipment can INCREASE the number of "equipped" Soldiers and can therefore make it more interesting to "visit" other Landmarks/Cities. Or they can lower the cost to "convert" Champions (another example).

Meet the "Nobles"

I had some ideas in another game – which proved to be interesting for my list of "Nobles". Of course this is only a DRAFT and it is partially inspired by Quest AC too... So without further ado, here are the "Nobles":

Resources Description Engine Res. Value
3-0-0 Tax Collector +3 Income +3 Points
0-3-0 The Hero +3 Renown +6 Points
0-0-3 Long live the King +3 Favor +9 Points
2-1-0 Trading Company +2 Income & +1 Renown +4 Points
2-0-1 Holy Church +2 Income & +1 Favor +5 Points
1-2-0 The Blacksmith +1 Income & +2 Renown +5 Points
0-2-1 The Sheriff +2 Renown & +1 Favor +7 Points
1-0-2 Her Royal Majesty +1 Income & +1 Favor +4 Points
0-1-2 The Warlord +1 Renown & +2 Favor +8 Points
1-1-1 The Barkeep +1 Income, +1 Renown & +1 Favor +6 Points

Not sure if all of these ten (10) will be present in the "Starter Kit"... TBD. I do hope that maybe some of these "Nobles" will create various "Play Styles" as someone was suggesting in another thread.

But I am "happy" with this list. Makes for good company and will allow various tactics when building their Cities ... I will have to do something similar for the Shadow side of things. However for the time being this is "good enough"!


Riches, Fame and Influence

The light side of the Realm has three (3) Basic Resources. They are:

1. Riches = Income. [+1 Point]
2. Fame = Renown. [+2 Points]
3. Influence = Favor. [+3 Points]

Income is self-explanatory. It's basically the amount of "revenue" earned.

Renown is all about "popularity" and "high standing".

Favor is "power" over people or the ability to have someone do your will.

Comments/Questions/Feedback all welcome. I'm still in the process of fleshing out the details about the game. Taking mental notes and thinking cards through!

After a review of the "Nobles"

Here is the choice and distribution of the "Nobles" for the game's "Starter Kits":

+ 1x Tax Collector
+ 1x The Hero
+ 1x Long live the King!
+ 2x Trading Company
+ 2x The Blacksmith
+ 3x Her Royal Majesty

For a total of ten (10) Nobles in the "Starter Kit". This is almost like Quest AC – 1st Edition. With the exception of a couple of additional cards...

As I have said, part of Quest AC – 1st Edition is a source of inspiration for Quest AC – 2nd Edition. I am just borrowing "concepts" not mechanics.

That illustrates that out of our ten (10) Nobles (above listing) there will only be six (6) unique ones present in the "Starter Kit".

For now I have reserved a "more" general strategy with my choice of "Nobles". There is nothing too "overly" powerful and generally speaking the engine produced from these cards is a bit "uninspiring" to say the least.

Note: I wanted to add that this collection of "Nobles" is about "average", that's good when you are learning to play the game. But if you want a more challenging or competitive "deck of Nobles", you'll probably need to reflect upon the other cards available to players and see how you can improve your engine's "efficiency".

The Noble abilities

Noble Level Ability #1 Ability #2
Tax Collector 2 Stockpile Upgrade
Trading Company 3 Stockpile Trade
Holy Church 2 Stockpile Convert
The Blacksmith 3 Upgrade Trade
The Barkeep 2 Convert Trade
Her Royal Majesty 3 Upgrade Convert
The Hero 2 Garrison Upgrade
The Warlord 3 Garrison Trade
The Sheriff 2 Stockpile Garrison
Long live the King! 3 Garrison Convert

Here is a "preview" of the Nobles and their "abilities". This is still very much a WIP (Work-In-Progress) so things may change between now and a prototype... But for now this is the latest and greatest news concerning the game.


How to compartmentalize

It seems like a "Starter Deck" is the first component or product that is required to introduce players to a Game. What better than a 60 card deck for two (2) Players. Each player plays one side of the Realm and it is divided into Light and Shadow. Each Player therefore gets a Mini Deck of 30 cards (Light/Shadow).

The next component once your players have a Deck is the "Adventure Pack" or "Quest"... This is a 20 card "Fixed" Booster to be added as the second component or product. This also includes a couple cards for selecting a standard setup vs. a hard to master setup.

The last component to this mix is the Singles Market. This allows you to customize your two (2) 30 card Mini Decks. Obviously this is after you've played the game and experience the results first hand of your deck. Can certain cards help you to better your engine? Could you benefit from more of a specific card?? Or are your decks not sufficiently balanced where one side wins more often than the other???

These are the components of "Quest Adventure Cards(tm) – 2nd Edition".

I can release NEW "Adventure Packs" (Quests) and I can introduce NEW Singles to the game too. This would make for a "Collectible Card Game" (CCG) with a bit of a mix of components: "core" Game, Boosters and Singles. And hopefully all that at a reasonable price.

That's what I am hoping to achieve with Quest AC v2. I have experience with Booster from Quest AC v1 ... and have learned a lot of lessons about what to do and not to do. I wish I could RE-DO "Quest AC v1"... But I can't. It's done and it was "nice" but much too simple and just a bad "business model".

Bad mistakes about the "LCG" model... Insufficient experience in designs, knowledge about other games, a repertoire of mechanics, research other game genres (how they work), no knowledge about offshore manufacturing, no experience in crowdfunding, etc... The list goes on and it is long.

I have a definite penchant towards Card Games and also a strong interest in "Collectible" games.

I still think "TCGs" are mostly bullsh!t too. How much trading really happens? Whereas "CCGs" are very often collected for the art and rarity of cards. So I guess my interest lie in designing something EPIC in that vein.

We'll see where this all leads me to. For now I have working ideas that I need to flesh-out some more.


Is that enough cards for a

Is that enough cards for a card game? 30 per player, no chance to modify the deck or anything? 20 card booster (sold separately) would be a tough sell I’d think.

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blog | by Dr. Radut