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and then there were three...

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Ok this is what we've decided thus far, keep in mind none of this is set in stone, nor is the terminology I've used.

The cave system will be built of tiles that fall into three categories:

    Passage Tiles
    Threshold Tiles
    Cave Tiles

The Passage tiles will have some sort of numerical indicator (we discussed using dots, probably better to use something more thematic) on them to indicate how many other passage tiles may be attached to it. This
range from one (dead end) to four (crossroads) with the 2-3 dotted passageways being more prevelant.

The threshold tiles are tiles that connect the passageway tiles to the cave tiles. On each threshold tile, there will be a numerical indicator (again we said dots) that indicate how many cave tiles can be added to that particular cave before it is considered complete. You can combine two caves as long as both caves aren't already completed. Combined caves can be as large as the sum of the dots of all the thresholds that connect to the cave. Two threshold tiles can not be adjacent (for that matter, threshold tiles may only touch a passageway tile at one end and a cave tile at the other; no other tiles can be touching the threshold tile).

Cave tiles will be simple tiles. However, some will have a search icon on them. This icon will determine how many times a cave can be searched and how difficult the cave is to search. Once a cave is completed, a search tile is placed upon every tile in the cave with the search icon on it (note: some caves might be completed and not have any tiles with the search icon on them). If a cave has any tiles with the search icon in it, then one of the search tiles placed in the cave MUST be a major search tile.

The major search tiles will contain either an obstacle, or a discovery, or both, or neither. Major search tiles are revealed and resolved immediately the first time a player enters a completed cave. Any obstacles revealed in this manner must be overcome before a player can score a discovery, search the cave, or move through the cave.

Ok that's the summary so far as I see it. Please fill in any gaps I may have missed.

-Darke

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phpbbadmin
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To continue

Here are my questions:

We originally had decided upon a method for spending extra AP to draw X and keep 1 card while searching. Obviously we don't have search cards anymore so need to modify it somehow or figure out a different way of doing it. The way I had envisioned it is that when you searched you choose an available search tile in the cave you were in and revealed it. How could it work now? Spend the extra AP and look at the appropriate # of tiles, only keeping one? Here's where the mandatory tile might be interesting (and agonizing!). Suppose I peeked at gold statue, some fossilized remains, and a swarm of bats (which require immediate resolution). Using this system, would we rely on the honesty of the players to make sure the mandatory tiles were revealed? I have no problem with that personally.

Ok next thing: Are we still going to use the search icons on the cave tiles to determine the cost for searching? I.E. If I am in a cave with 3 search icons I would pay three 3 AP to search the cave.

Ok next thing: How will tile placement work? Like will there be an initial building phase? I imagine there would have to be, otherwise there's no where for the players' explorers to go.

Also how will movement work? I know previously we had considered you spend 1 AP to move as far as you'd like along the same passageway, and when you took a different passageway or entered a cave you had to spend another AP to do so?

I'm seriously starting to consider a pay 1 AP to move one tile mechanic where you also get X (like 5 or so) 'free' movement points per turn. I think it would be cool to implement a mechanic where as you lose 1 free AP per object you were carrying (treasure, equipment, etc) similar to the way the backpack works in Goldland. This way you could use your free movement points only for movement, but you could also use your regular AP to augment your normal movement, as long as you weren't too burdened. Any thoughts on this?

That's all I have for now.
-Darke

sedjtroll
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Re: To continue

Darkehorse wrote:
Also how will movement work? I know previously we had considered you spend 1 AP to move as far as you'd like along the same passageway, and when you took a different passageway or entered a cave you had to spend another AP to do so?

I'm seriously starting to consider a pay 1 AP to move one tile mechanic where you also get X (like 5 or so) 'free' movement points per turn.
Maybe movement should be seperate from APs. You get to move X per turn (some things may cost more than 1 to move past), and then you get APs to spend searching. Or, scrap APs alltogether, you get to move some and search or something like that. That sounds pretty bad, but maybe something will come of it.

- Seth

sedjtroll
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Re: and then there were three...

Darkehorse wrote:
The Passage tiles will have some sort of numerical indicator (we discussed using dots, probably better to use something more thematic)

The 'dots' could be rocks. Pretty simple I think. It doesn't matter exactly where on the tile they're located, so 1-4 rocks strewn about the tile would probably look fine.

As for the paying extra APs when searching, you could maybe decide to pay 2AP to turn over both the tile on the board and a random tile, then choose the one to keep. The APs should be spent before seeing the tile. Maybe this could be done more than once per search.

- Seth

Scurra
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Re: To continue

Darkehorse wrote:

Ok next thing: Are we still going to use the search icons on the cave tiles to determine the cost for searching? I.E. If I am in a cave with 3 search icons I would pay three 3 AP to search the cave.

No, if you are in a cave with 3 revealed search tiles you pay 3APs...
i.e. the more revealed tiles, the more it costs to reveal a new one.
This is in line with what we were discussing about searching becoming more expensive as the game went on. I'm quite taken with the base cost being related to the size of the cave though, but it might not really work.

Darkehorse wrote:

I'm seriously starting to consider a pay 1 AP to move one tile mechanic where you also get X (like 5 or so) 'free' movement points per turn. I think it would be cool to implement a mechanic where as you lose 1 free AP per object you were carrying (treasure, equipment, etc) similar to the way the backpack works in Goldland.

I do like this idea a lot. However, I'm not sure how you "drop" items. Do you return it to the central cave? Or can you just drop the object where you are (so that someone else could pick it up?)

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Re: To continue

Scurra wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:

Ok next thing: Are we still going to use the search icons on the cave tiles to determine the cost for searching? I.E. If I am in a cave with 3 search icons I would pay three 3 AP to search the cave.

No, if you are in a cave with 3 revealed search tiles you pay 3APs...
i.e. the more revealed tiles, the more it costs to reveal a new one.
This is in line with what we were discussing about searching becoming more expensive as the game went on. I'm quite taken with the base cost being related to the size of the cave though, but it might not really work.

Regarding using the cave size to determine the cost, how do we do that without making players do some sort of math (rather than basic addition), because I feel that the caves might be too large and therefore expensive to go that route. I'm sort of hesitant to use any sort of system where the players have to do a ratio or division (such as it costs 1 AP per 3 tiles). That goes against my design philosophy. The other option would be to pump up how much APs a player gets to around 10 or so, which might not necessarily be bad, especially if we go the route where movement costs 1 AP or 1 MP per tile. Any thoughts on how we could implement this system to allow for paying more to do more thorough searching and choosing which search icon to keep (keeping with your pay X to draw Y and keep 1 mechanic)? Seth's suggestion didn't really float well with me. What is everyone's idea on how many AP you'd think we'd like to go with? I was originally thinking around 5, but now I'm not so sure. It's hard to estimate until we figure out some more of the details.

Darkehorse wrote:

I'm seriously starting to consider a pay 1 AP to move one tile mechanic where you also get X (like 5 or so) 'free' movement points per turn. I think it would be cool to implement a mechanic where as you lose 1 free AP per object you were carrying (treasure, equipment, etc) similar to the way the backpack works in Goldland.

Scurra wrote:

I do like this idea a lot. However, I'm not sure how you "drop" items. Do you return it to the central cave? Or can you just drop the object where you are (so that someone else could pick it up?)

Hmmm We could say you could drop items in any cave. We could even allow them to be placed face down like a regular search tile. Might be kind of cool, especially if items are kept secret from other players until they are played.

Thoughts?
-Darke

Scurra
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Re: To continue

Darkehorse wrote:
The other option would be to pump up how much APs a player gets to around 10 or so, which might not necessarily be bad, especially if we go the route where movement costs 1 AP or 1 MP per tile.

This sounds good in conjunction with your "lose points when carrying things" idea. I'm not too worried about large caves atm, since I think the system will help to keep them down (if we use the "dots on a transition tile" mechanic.

Quote:

Scurra wrote:

I do like this idea a lot. However, I'm not sure how you "drop" items. Do you return it to the central cave? Or can you just drop the object where you are (so that someone else could pick it up?)

Hmmm We could say you could drop items in any cave. We could even allow them to be placed face down like a regular search tile. Might be kind of cool, especially if items are kept secret from other players until they are played.

This is getting much better. It's like that system in "Frag" where you mark items that are dropped with numbers and then the next player picks up the matching number item. Except that this time you put the tile down in the cave (or in a passage.) Perhaps it would always go down face-up, but you could pay APs to put it face-down? You could drop things in passageways this way as well, with a presumption that no-one would have to pay additional APs to pick them up (beyond a basic cost I suppose.)

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Re: To continue

Scurra wrote:

This sounds good in conjunction with your "lose points when carrying things" idea. I'm not too worried about large caves atm, since I think the system will help to keep them down (if we use the "dots on a transition tile" mechanic.

Ok, we can use a 'wait and see' posture for this.

Scurra wrote:

This is getting much better. It's like that system in "Frag" where you mark items that are dropped with numbers and then the next player picks up the matching number item. Except that this time you put the tile down in the cave (or in a passage.) Perhaps it would always go down face-up, but you could pay APs to put it face-down? You could drop things in passageways this way as well, with a presumption that no-one would have to pay additional APs to pick them up (beyond a basic cost I suppose.)

I think this is interesting and something we might want to implement. However I'd say that you can't 'hide' things in passageways (I.E. you have to drop them face up).

So how about the initial cave setup? How will that work. Obviously we need to create a little bit of cave before the players can start to explore it. It seems like we will need a setup phase or at least a method for spending APs to lay extra tiles down.

Thoughts?
-Darke

Scurra
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Re: To continue

Darkehorse wrote:

I think this is interesting and something we might want to implement. However I'd say that you can't 'hide' things in passageways (I.E. you have to drop them face up).

I'm generally inclined to agree here - it seems much more logical that way. But I do like the idea of being able to drop things in passageways.

Quote:

So how about the initial cave setup? How will that work. Obviously we need to create a little bit of cave before the players can start to explore it. It seems like we will need a setup phase or at least a method for spending APs to lay extra tiles down.

How are we doing the actual tile drawing stuff? The "found" things are separate because you need to draw from two different stacks for them (a major one and the minor ones.) But the main tiles (the passageways, the caves and the transitions) - are they being drawn blind, from a bag for instance? In which case there is a small problem in ensuring that some passageways are drawn to begin with.
Maybe each player gets one transition tile to begin the game with (to ensure that no-one can complain about not getting one!) and I'd be inclined to give them one passageway tile and, say, one random draw to begin with.
I think a player should be forced to play a tile every turn (perhaps they get to draw one first?) They should have a maximum "hand size" but could pay APs to draw more tiles and/or play them.

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Re: To continue

Scurra wrote:

How are we doing the actual tile drawing stuff? The "found" things are separate because you need to draw from two different stacks for them (a major one and the minor ones.) But the main tiles (the passageways, the caves and the transitions) - are they being drawn blind, from a bag for instance? In which case there is a small problem in ensuring that some passageways are drawn to begin with.
Maybe each player gets one transition tile to begin the game with (to ensure that no-one can complain about not getting one!) and I'd be inclined to give them one passageway tile and, say, one random draw to begin with.
I think a player should be forced to play a tile every turn (perhaps they get to draw one first?) They should have a maximum "hand size" but could pay APs to draw more tiles and/or play them.

I envisioned a 'public pool' from which players could draw and a hand. Sort of like Elfenland in that you have X number that are face up and available to the public (when someone uses a public tile, they immediately draw another to replace it -or- the public pool is replenished at the beginning of each players turn) and you have X # that are available to each player that are face down and hidden from the rest of the players. With this system (I envision 4 public and 4 private for each player), players should have pretty good access to transition/threshold/entrance (or whatever we want to call them) tiles. Did we have a ratio in mind for the tiles something like 8:4:1 (passageways:caves:transitions)? Actually something like 12:4:1 might be even better.

Want I think is absolutely necessary is the ability for players to spend APs to build beyond their 'free' one build per turn. Do you agree with this? Something like spend an AP to play an extra tile? However, I think if players wish to do this, it must be the last set of actions they do on their turn. Reason: You don't want players doing this: Say I take my turn, my explorer is on a passageway. I place a transition tile in front of my pawn, then from my hand and the available community tiles, I spend a lot of my APs to complete the cave. With my remaining APs, I then move my pawn into the cave and score the discovery. Do you guys agree?

Next thing: We had discussed in the earlier incarnation of the game about only being able to build (play tiles) onto a system that your pawn has access to. I.E. From the main cave (the block where all the players start), you can only build/add onto the passages/caves that your explorer was currently exploring. If you couldnt trace a path to that tile, you couldn't build it. Do we still want to go that route?

-Darke

Scurra
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Re: To continue

Darkehorse wrote:

Want I think is absolutely necessary is the ability for players to spend APs to build beyond their 'free' one build per turn. Do you agree with this? Something like spend an AP to play an extra tile? However, I think if players wish to do this, it must be the last set of actions they do on their turn.

Well I agree :) It's not too confusng to make choosing "explore" (build) a mandatory trigger for the end of the player's turn. And I'm pretty sure that we should only allow placement of congruent tiles i.e. a player can't extend a cave here and a passageway there but could play a passage tile, a transition tile and a cave tile that were directly connected. (Note that these could be in a different place to the "free" placement however.)
I do think that you should have to pay to draw tiles as well though. You'd get a free one to replace the one you must play, but any others you played would not be replaced unless you paid AP for them. This makes the effective cost of a tile 2APs but it allows a player to take "emergency" action if they want to force a certain tile pattern.

Quote:

Next thing: We had discussed in the earlier incarnation of the game about only being able to build (play tiles) onto a system that your pawn has access to. I.E. From the main cave (the block where all the players start), you can only build/add onto the passages/caves that your explorer was currently exploring. If you couldnt trace a path to that tile, you couldn't build it. Do we still want to go that route?

I honestly don't know. I think this will actually depend upon playtesting. My feeling is that you should only be able to extend the cave system, and not place things either speculatively or in order to mess up other players unless it would be perfectly legal. (One example here would be building a passageway all the way around a transition tile before any actual cave tiles were placed. I think this might have to be ruled illegal, but I'm not at all certain...)

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Not sure

Where to go from here. I'm not really feeling inspired and/or nothing is really jumping out at me as needing to be addressed. Do either of you have any comments/questions? I'm thinking about typing up a mock ruleset to get a better understanding of what needs to be addressed.

-Michael

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