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Pressing on towards the goal

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Recapping A&I: Take 2, here are the assumptions:

1) A robust action point system will be used as the central mechanic for determining what a player can do on their turn. APs will be used for movement, overcoming obstacles, searching, paying penalties and possibly placing tiles.
2) An equipment system will be implemented to help alleviate the AP cost in overcoming obstacles. Whether this will be an automatic 'overcoming' of the obstacle, a reduction of the AP cost to overcome an obstacle, or the requirement (I.E. a lock and key mechanism) of a particular piece of equipment to overcome the obstacle, has yet to be determined.
3) Discoveries (the major scoring portion of the game) and Obstacles will be chits permanently placed on the tile (or completed cave, to be determined) that they reside in. The jury is still out on on distribution of these chits and whether they will be seperate or combined into one chit.
4) Searching will be done by paying a certain (yet to be determined) # of Action Points, after which a card or cards will be drawn. Basically, results of searches will be represented via a deck of cards.

Now we add these assumptions:
5) Players will start out on a 3 X 3 tile sized starting area. Players may enter the cave system from any tile legally played onto this starting tile.
6) There will be an initial placement phase of the game where players will play tiles legally onto the cave system, starting with the starting area.
7) Players will have a hand of X # of tiles. Whenever they play a tile, they draw to replace it from the face down pool.
Players get a 'free' tile placement at the beginning of their turn, in addition they pay an appropriate action point cost to play another tile during the action phase of the turn.
8) It will cost one 'unit' of AP to move from a passage to a cavern, from a cavern to a passageway, or from a passageway onto a DIFFERENT passageway.

We need to decide on these issues:

1) Decide upon a tileset including initial setup and how further additions are handled during the game.
2) We need to nail down Obstacle / Discovery placement. Everyone seems to have a different idea about this at the moment.
3) We need to nail down searching. Specifically we need to limit constant searching in one area.
4) Still need to decide on cave exits and the end game trigger.
5) Equipment... How will they work, how do you get them, can you buy more, etc.

Other things we need to decide on later:
1) Collaboration among players
2) Trading
3) Passage blocking and cavern occupacy limits....
4) Secret passageways

Ok anything jumping out at anyone as something they have ideas or about or they feel needs to be changed?

-Michael

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Ok

Interest seems to be more in a sheep capacity than that of a shepherds. With that being the case, I may just start working on this again publicly and whoever wants to jump in, can.

-Darke

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Tile change

Folks.

I was stumped with how to effectively implement the tile laying aspect of the game. I kept thinking there had to be a more simple solution. I think I may have hit upon something with my brainstorming.

Have only three different tiles (yep, you read it right, only three). They would be: Passageway tiles, Cavern tiles, and entrance tiles. The passageway tiles and cave tiles are self explanatory. The entrance tiles however would serve as the connector tile between a passageway and a cavern.

The only real rules I can think of for limiting time placement is that you can not place a passageway tile directly next to a cavern tile (or vice versa); they must be connected with an entrance tile. And also the obvious rule of tiles needing to be placed orthogonally next to an existing tile (or the start tile).

In addition, optionally we could have solid stone tiles that could be used to add another level of strategy to the placement of tiles (although I can only forsee them being used a method of delaying).

The ratio of tiles would not be equal; probably slightly more passage tiles than cavern, and signifigantly fewer entrance tiles (perhaps we could call them threshold tiles).

Any thoughts on this idea?

-Darke

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Re: Pressing on towards the goal

Darkehorse wrote:
1) A robust action point system will be used as the central mechanic for determining what a player can do on their turn. APs will be used for movement, overcoming obstacles, searching, paying penalties and possibly placing tiles.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'robust', but I'm all for some type of action point system. I don't know that I like the idea oif "Action points" like currency that you get each 'upkeep' and spend each turn as much as I like a more subtle Action List like Fastlearner used in Everest or like exists in Ticket to Ride- where you get X actions from the list. There could be sub-lists that are restricted actions (like actions you can only do in a Cavern as opposed to a passage or threshold).

On the other hand, as I say that, what if action points WERE currency (!) So players get a couple points at the beginning of each turn (Hansa works this way, by the way) and they can spend or save them as they like. Some of the things one might find in caverns or strewn about the passages might be Action Points!

So say you encounter a caved-in threshold, meaning there's a cavern on the other side. It might cost 6 APs to get through, and you may get 3 APs per turn (remember that it costs APs to walk around). So you could save an AP or 2 each turn and do other stuff, going back when you get enough to dig through the cave-in, or you could sit in front of it for a turn and save all your APs for next turn and dig through then. But once the cave-in's been dug out anyone can walk by... so maybe best to save up enough APs to dig through and walk in and explore first.

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2) An equipment system will be implemented to help alleviate the AP cost in overcoming obstacles. Whether this will be an automatic 'overcoming' of the obstacle, a reduction of the AP cost to overcome an obstacle, or the requirement (I.E. a lock and key mechanism) of a particular piece of equipment to overcome the obstacle, has yet to be determined.

I suppose this could be OK. I don't like the thoughts that had been talked about before, with trading/buying/selling things during the game. I don't think this game is about economics or anything like that- I think it should be more about exploration.

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3) Discoveries (the major scoring portion of the game) and Obstacles will be chits permanently placed on the tile (or completed cave, to be determined) that they reside in. The jury is still out on on distribution of these chits and whether they will be seperate or combined into one chit.

This sounds pretty much right... general as it is :)

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4) Searching will be done by paying a certain (yet to be determined) # of Action Points, after which a card or cards will be drawn. Basically, results of searches will be represented via a deck of cards.

This soudns pretty much right. Although I thought we had talked about some kind of an auto-search when you first enter a cavern or something... as part of exploring.

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5) Players will start out on a 3 X 3 tile sized starting area. Players may enter the cave system from any tile legally played onto this starting tile.

This part was in debate, but starting in the center is probably best as it doesn't confine the 'board' in any way.

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6) There will be an initial placement phase of the game where players will play tiles legally onto the cave system, starting with the starting area.

This sounded good the first time around. Maybe the players start with something like 7 tiles in hand, then take 4 rounds of just placing tiles so when they begin the game they have 3 tiles in hand from then on.

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7) Players will have a hand of X # of tiles. Whenever they play a tile, they draw to replace it from the face down pool.

Sounds ok.

Quote:
Players get a 'free' tile placement at the beginning of their turn, in addition they pay an appropriate action point cost to play another tile during the action phase of the turn.

Unless this is somehow combined with exploring the new tile I don't think I like it. Maybe something like Fastlearner's 'blind climb' action (if you recal Everest) vs his 'explore' action.

Quote:
8) It will cost one 'unit' of AP to move from a passage to a cavern, from a cavern to a passageway, or from a passageway onto a DIFFERENT passageway.

This we talked a lot about and I still like. So as you extend passages you can get a better deal on movement.

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Other things we need to decide on later:
1) Collaboration among players

I don't know what you mean by this, but aside from the possibility of 2 people working on that cave in (for example), I don't know that there should be any collaboration.

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2) Trading

I don't like trading for this game.
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3) Passage blocking and cavern occupacy limits....

I don't like this either. I would suggest not worrying about it. Just walk by each other.
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4) Secret passageways

Do you have any particular idea about how to impliment this? Might be allright, but I don't offhand know how to do it.

Darkehorse wrote:
Have only three different tiles (yep, you read it right, only three). They would be: Passageway tiles, Cavern tiles, and entrance tiles. The passageway tiles and cave tiles are self explanatory. The entrance tiles however would serve as the connector tile between a passageway and a cavern.

I tyhink I like this idea. Let's talk abou tit some more.

- Seth

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:

Have only three different tiles (yep, you read it right, only three). They would be: Passageway tiles, Cavern tiles, and entrance tiles. The passageway tiles and cave tiles are self explanatory. The entrance tiles however would serve as the connector tile between a passageway and a cavern.

Very neat. It's certainly better than having caves with multiple tiles which was somewhat clumsy. I assume we can still have passageways with multiple exits.

Darkehorse wrote:

In addition, optionally we could have solid stone tiles that could be used to add another level of strategy to the placement of tiles (although I can only forsee them being used a method of delaying).

I don't like this. A cave-in that blocks a passageway or an entrance tile is fine. But a solid stone tile feels wrong.

In general I'm with Seth on the other points: collaboration and trading seem like a bad idea, and secret passages are interesting but perhaps a little out of place (although it might work with the multi-genre version of the game I suggested.)
However, I still like passageway blocking - especially as your proposed cave tile system makes that less of an issue i.e. a player can stand in a passage and another player cannot go past, whereas a player can stand in a cave and anyone can go past. (This is partly because I don't think there is much reason to block passages: there are likely to be better things to do with a spare AP than to move into a passage to block it, but it should be allowed; it's certainly better than using solid tiles to block a passage!)

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:

Have only three different tiles (yep, you read it right, only three). They would be: Passageway tiles, Cavern tiles, and entrance tiles. The passageway tiles and cave tiles are self explanatory. The entrance tiles however would serve as the connector tile between a passageway and a cavern.

Very neat. It's certainly better than having caves with multiple tiles which was somewhat clumsy. I assume we can still have passageways with multiple exits.

Darkehorse wrote:

In addition, optionally we could have solid stone tiles that could be used to add another level of strategy to the placement of tiles (although I can only forsee them being used a method of delaying).

I don't like this. A cave-in that blocks a passageway or an entrance tile is fine. But a solid stone tile feels wrong.

In general I'm with Seth on the other points: collaboration and trading seem like a bad idea, and secret passages are interesting but perhaps a little out of place (although it might work with the multi-genre version of the game I suggested.)
However, I still like passageway blocking - especially as your proposed cave tile system makes that less of an issue i.e. a player can stand in a passage and another player cannot go past, whereas a player can stand in a cave and anyone can go past. (This is partly because I don't think there is much reason to block passages: there are likely to be better things to do with a spare AP than to move into a passage to block it, but it should be allowed; it's certainly better than using solid tiles to block a passage!)
Regarding passageways having multiple exists: I think the idea is even simpler than that. By passageway and cavern tiles, I should be more specific and say passageway and cavern SQUARES. So sure, you from any one passageway square, you could play 4 more passageway squares from that one (hypothetically speaking of course, this is assuming that the start square is just 'free floating' with no other tiles already attached to it). Check out this quick
example that I whipped together. It is that what you had in mind?

As for solid stone squares, it was a take it or leave it suggestion, I don't care either way. However, I do like your idea about cave ins, and I think we should find some way to implement them.

I also agree with you and Seth that trading/collaboration probably isn't quite necessary/wanted. I like the idea of passage blocking, but I must admit I'm still not sold on it.

Any more thoughts?

-Michael

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:
Check out this quick
example that I whipped together. It is that what you had in mind?

No, that's nothing like what I had in mind :), but it's potentially brilliant... There may be tile-drawing issues with it (people never drawing "transition" tiles for instance), but apart from that, it's great because it seems different to a lot of tile-laying games. Good show.

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:
Check out this quick
example that I whipped together. It is that what you had in mind?

No, that's nothing like what I had in mind :), but it's potentially brilliant... There may be tile-drawing issues with it (people never drawing "transition" tiles for instance), but apart from that, it's great because it seems different to a lot of tile-laying games. Good show.

Hey I'm glad you like it. I was struggling with the previous tile sets because I did not want the player experience to be potentially hampered by unlucky tile draws. However, I think with the tileset I proposed it is TOO freeform. Theoretically one could build passageways that wound around the playing area not really accomplishing anything. I think a few simple rules could lessen chaotic tileplay. Some of the ones I could come up with were:

1) You may never have a 2 X 2 tile passageway section (passageways should always be narrow, never wide, hence the restriction on the 2 X 2 section. This may also lend itself well to implementing the blocking rules if we choose to).
2) Each Cavern may only have one passageway leading into it -or- the number of passageways leading into a cavern is limited by it's size.

As for not drawing transition tiles, I think this problem could be limited obviously by good ratios of the tiles. Also we could implement a mechanic where you had a bank of tiles to play from, either public or private. I think such a bank mechanic would go a long way towards alleviating this problem.

I'm still not sold though. I think we need to come up with some way to limit the size of caves, if not passageways also.

I just thought of this possibility.

Perhaps the tiles could have a certain # of dots on them, ranging from no dots (most common) to 3 dots (rarest). The dots on the tile would determine the total size of the cavern. For instance, consider a cave system with 4 tiles: One tile had 3 dots, one had 2 dots, and the final two had 0 dots. The total dots for the cave system currently would be 5 dots. So it would be possible to add another tile to that cave system, and depending upon the dots on that tile, you may be able to build even further on that cave system. Had the system already had 4 dots worth of tiles, then the cave would have been considered closed (or fully mapped out, whatever), and you could not add onto it further.

Any thoughts?

-Michael

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:
Perhaps the tiles could have a certain # of dots on them, ranging from no dots (most common) to 3 dots (rarest). The dots on the tile would determine the total size of the cavern. For instance, consider a cave system with 4 tiles: One tile had 3 dots, one had 2 dots, and the final two had 0 dots. The total dots for the cave system currently would be 5 dots. So it would be possible to add another tile to that cave system, and depending upon the dots on that tile, you may be able to build even further on that cave system. Had the system already had 4 dots worth of tiles, then the cave would have been considered closed (or fully mapped out, whatever), and you could not add onto it further.

Any thoughts?

-Michael

This dot system is very interesting. Similarly, a passage tile could have a 1, 2, 3, or 4 dots indicating the number of tiles that can be touching it... this is a little different than simply having the exits drawn on the tile.

Further, the dot could indicate how many PASSAGE tiles can be attached, and once a tile is 'full up" then the other sides could be considered walls... in other words you could put a cavern tile there but you couldn't walk from one to the other.

As for caverns, I like that the more you explore the bigger the cavern gets. The scoring would have to be such that you have a reasonable choice- finish the cavern or extend it. If at any time the number of tiles meets the number of dots, then all the edges of cavern tiles in that cavern would be considered 'closed' and no more tiles could be added (does that include threshold tiles?)

finally, the question remains... can you put any tile next to a threshold tile (in the un-obvious direction)? So one side can be a cavern tile only, the other a pasasage tile only, what about the last 2?

As for the width restriction, would allowing only 1-wide passages make the board spread out too much? Is there a space concern there?

I'll think about it some more and let you know what I come up with.

- Seth

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Re: Tile change

sedjtroll wrote:

This dot system is very interesting. Similarly, a passage tile could have a 1, 2, 3, or 4 dots indicating the number of tiles that can be touching it... this is a little different than simply having the exits drawn on the tile.

Further, the dot could indicate how many PASSAGE tiles can be attached, and once a tile is 'full up" then the other sides could be considered walls... in other words you could put a cavern tile there but you couldn't walk from one to the other.

Seth, that is brilliant! I like it alot! Perhaps we could even use this mechanic on the cavern tiles. Of course with the cavern tiles you'd have a lot more squares with 1 dot to emulate that caverns will be hard to grow.

Or vice versa, we could use the total dot solution (that i proposed fro the caverns) on the passageways. Of course, you'd weigh the ratio of dots differently because you want to encourage passageways to grow.

sedjtroll wrote:

As for caverns, I like that the more you explore the bigger the cavern gets. The scoring would have to be such that you have a reasonable choice- finish the cavern or extend it. If at any time the number of tiles meets the number of dots, then all the edges of cavern tiles in that cavern would be considered 'closed' and no more tiles could be added (does that include threshold tiles?)

Yes that is exactly how I envisioned it. Perhaps after a cavern was 'completed' then you could search it or we could place obstacles/discoveries. Perhaps we could even say that you can't even enter a cavern until it's completed.

sedjtroll wrote:

finally, the question remains... can you put any tile next to a threshold tile (in the un-obvious direction)? So one side can be a cavern tile only, the other a pasasage tile only, what about the last 2?

For the sake of simplicity and aesthetics, it'd probably be nice to say that you can't place any other tiles on the two free edges of the threshold tile.

sedjtroll wrote:

As for the width restriction, would allowing only 1-wide passages make the board spread out too much? Is there a space concern there?

I'll think about it some more and let you know what I come up with.

- Seth

Yes perhaps there might be a space issue. I was thinking that perhaps we could implement solid rock tiles to 'hedge in' those caverns and passageways that were completed. This would prevent caverns from 'running together', but again it might space out the playing area too much.

Scurra, any thoughts?

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:

Scurra, any thoughts?

I'm trying to get my head around the dots idea: it's very clever but potentially confusing within the cave bit. For the passageways it works very well, with most passages having two dots but some having three and one or two with 4. This would prevent you needing to have that "no 2x2 passageways" rule. It might still happen if two 4-dot tiles were placed adjacent, but that would just be an "almost-"cave :)

I agree that it's easy to say that transition tiles cannot have tiles connected on the cross-sides; this seems relatively evident from the printing on them anyway.

It's possible that caves would need to be limited in size to the number of dots on the first tile placed beside the transition tile; this seems better than having tiles with no dots on them acting as the limiters.
That way people would know how big the cave was going to be, and be able to plan their AP spending accordingly. I like the idea that you don't get to "explore" the cave with your dobber until it is finished: that should lead to something a bit like the Carc-cities in the Trader expansion, where the incentive to finish a city is to get the token, even if that scores points for another player.

Having said that, I suspect that you couldn't really have passage blocking since my instinct is that the cave system is going to tend towards one main passageway with side branches and all the caves sprouting off it.

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:

I'm trying to get my head around the dots idea: it's very clever but potentially confusing within the cave bit. For the passageways it works very well, with most passages having two dots but some having three and one or two with 4. This would prevent you needing to have that "no 2x2 passageways" rule. It might still happen if two 4-dot tiles were placed adjacent, but that would just be an "almost-"cave :)

I agree that it's easy to say that transition tiles cannot have tiles connected on the cross-sides; this seems relatively evident from the printing on them anyway.

It's possible that caves would need to be limited in size to the number of dots on the first tile placed beside the transition tile; this seems better than having tiles with no dots on them acting as the limiters.
That way people would know how big the cave was going to be, and be able to plan their AP spending accordingly. I like the idea that you don't get to "explore" the cave with your dobber until it is finished: that should lead to something a bit like the Carc-cities in the Trader expansion, where the incentive to finish a city is to get the token, even if that scores points for another player.

Having said that, I suspect that you couldn't really have passage blocking since my instinct is that the cave system is going to tend towards one main passageway with side branches and all the caves sprouting off it.

Great thoughts. I especially like your passageway ideas. Maybe we could even throw in few dead end passageways (with one dot) into the tile pool. It might add a little bit of strategy, then again, it might not.

As for the caves.... I like the idea about the first tile describing the cave size, but I'm not totally sold. It doesn't have quite the 'ooooh awww elegance' (TM) that the dotted passageway tile mechanic has. I think we need to ask ourselves what sort of game experience we want to try and accomplish with the cave building? To define that, I think we need to ask ourselves what implications the size and/or the structure will have on the rest of the game. My personal thinking was that the size of the cave would determine how much 'stuff' you might find in it. If the size will not affect the rest of the gameplay in anyway, perhaps we need to step back and ask ourselves if might not want to make a more astract method for exploring rather than a tactical tile laying system.

Thoughts guys?

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:
It's possible that caves would need to be limited in size to the number of dots on the first tile placed beside the transition tile; this seems better than having tiles with no dots on them acting as the limiters.

One difficulty would be marking/remembering which tile was the first tile if other passageways curve into them before they're complete.

(PS: Sorry I don't really have time to participate now. I really like where the game is going, though!)

-- Matthew

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Re: Tile change

FastLearner wrote:

One difficulty would be marking/remembering which tile was the first tile if other passageways curve into them before they're complete.

I'm not sure this is actually a problem, since the transition tiles are determining where the cave opens. If the cave is limited by the number of dots on cave tiles directly adjacent to transition tiles then you can have another passage curve in with a transition tile at the end and make the cave potentially larger (since there would be two "entry" tiles with dots on them that may join up, but may not if players decide to build the caves in different directions.
I suspect may I need to do a diagram to make this make sense :)

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:
FastLearner wrote:

One difficulty would be marking/remembering which tile was the first tile if other passageways curve into them before they're complete.

I'm not sure this is actually a problem, since the transition tiles are determining where the cave opens. If the cave is limited by the number of dots on cave tiles directly adjacent to transition tiles then you can have another passage curve in with a transition tile at the end and make the cave potentially larger (since there would be two "entry" tiles with dots on them that may join up, but may not if players decide to build the caves in different directions.
I suspect may I need to do a diagram to make this make sense :)

I would say that whichever entrance had the most dots, that one would decide the size of the cave. It seems like the simplest method to me. We could go one step further and say the cave tiles don't have dots on them at all, but the entrance tiles themselves do. To me that would make more sense. Thoughts?

-Darke

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:
We could go one step further and say the cave tiles don't have dots on them at all, but the entrance tiles themselves do. To me that would make more sense. Thoughts?

That one that crossed my mind too, but it still leads to the "multiple tranisition tiles in one cave" issue: if you wan to allow semi-free-form cave building then it should be possible for two caves to join up.
You couldn't have a "most dots on one tile" rule since the cave might already be larger than that when two caves joined up.

But having the dots on the tranisition tiles is much better for tracking purposes, so I'd go with that. It also allows you to put stuff on the "cave" tiles without getting them confused with size dots.

The idea here would be that a cave tile might have an icon on it to indicate that when the cave is completed (i.e. there are a number of tiles in the cave equal to the dots on the transition tile) then a discovery may be made there; the number of discoveries (card draws?) would be equal to the number of discovery icons across all the cave tiles in the completed cave.

You'd have to ensure that a "completed" cave couldn't suddenly be enlarged by a neighbouring cave joining in, but I suppose that if there were chits marking the cave then it would be relatively easy to monitor.

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:

You'd have to ensure that a "completed" cave couldn't suddenly be enlarged by a neighbouring cave joining in, but I suppose that if there were chits marking the cave then it would be relatively easy to monitor.

Interesting.... Here's where a solid rock 'hedge' might come in handy. Any cave that was completed, you could surround with solid rock 'wall' tiles. Of course, caves could share a cave 'wall' tile. Of course, your idea of putting a chit on the cave to designate it was completed would be easier to implement (perhaps even use a foldover to make it easier for the players to see), but I think a surrounding wall might have a higher 'cool' factor. It doesn't matter either way to me.

Scurra wrote:

That one that crossed my mind too, but it still leads to the "multiple tranisition tiles in one cave" issue: if you wan to allow semi-free-form cave building then it should be possible for two caves to join up.
You couldn't have a "most dots on one tile" rule since the cave might already be larger than that when two caves joined up.

But having the dots on the tranisition tiles is much better for tracking purposes, so I'd go with that. It also allows you to put stuff on the "cave" tiles without getting them confused with size dots.

How about the much easier solution of the cave is limited to the total # of dots on all transition tiles? I.E. if a cave system with 5 dots size joined a cave system with 6 dot sized, then you could have a cave system up to 11 dots in size. Do you think such a system would encourage people to place an entrance, build a passageway a few tiles down, and then build another entrance into the cave? Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

Quote:

The idea here would be that a cave tile might have an icon on it to indicate that when the cave is completed (i.e. there are a number of tiles in the cave equal to the dots on the transition tile) then a discovery may be made there; the number of discoveries (card draws?) would be equal to the number of discovery icons across all the cave tiles in the completed cave

Sweet! So each 'discovery' cave tile within a completed cave would yield one discovery. Sounds good to me. I do believe we are making progress.

-Darke

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:

Interesting.... Here's where a solid rock 'hedge' might come in handy. Any cave that was completed, you could surround with solid rock 'wall' tiles. Of course, caves could share a cave 'wall' tile.

I think that would be a bad idea as it would make the "board" much larger than it needs to be, and also potentially cause placement issues elsewhere on the board. But it might turn out to be necessary. I still like the idea of putting something physically on a completed cave to indicate its completion, rather than an artificial barrier.

Darkehorse wrote:

How about the much easier solution of the cave is limited to the total # of dots on all transition tiles? I.E. if a cave system with 5 dots size joined a cave system with 6 dot sized, then you could have a cave system up to 11 dots in size. Do you think such a system would encourage people to place an entrance, build a passageway a few tiles down, and then build another entrance into the cave? Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

I think that's what I was getting at: you would need to count all the relevant dots, not just choose one, and the transition tiles are obviously more sensible to use in this context.
I suspect that the size of caves will depend very much on the rewards for exploring them! If the game is about "controlling" access to discoveries (as was discussed in an earlier draft, where you would earn points for other people visiting "your" discovery) then larger caves would seem more likely, allowing for the fact that larger caves are slightly less likely to be completed. If the points for completing a cave do not particularly scale, then smaller caves are probably going to be the order of the day.

Darkehorse wrote:

Scurra wrote:

The idea here would be that a cave tile might have an icon on it to indicate that when the cave is completed (i.e. there are a number of tiles in the cave equal to the dots on the transition tile) then a discovery may be made there; the number of discoveries (card draws?) would be equal to the number of discovery icons across all the cave tiles in the completed cave

Sweet! So each 'discovery' cave tile within a completed cave would yield one discovery. Sounds good to me. I do believe we are making progress.

I think that one discovery per completed cave would be the best solution, with that incentive that a larger cave gives the player more options about what is actually discovered there. This is separate from the "search" action, which has to be paid for with APs (rather than being free.)

One idea I had goes back to that "tourist trap" concept: actual physical discoveries, like rivers or rock formations, can only be found upon cave completion; i.e. if you take a "search" action you cannot use a discovery card if you draw one, but would have to keep it in hand (perhaps for use as "currency"?) Whereas when you completed a cave, you would draw X cards and must declare a discovery if you draw one (or even more than one?)

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:

Interesting.... Here's where a solid rock 'hedge' might come in handy. Any cave that was completed, you could surround with solid rock 'wall' tiles. Of course, caves could share a cave 'wall' tile.

I think that would be a bad idea as it would make the "board" much larger than it needs to be, and also potentially cause placement issues elsewhere on the board. But it might turn out to be necessary. I still like the idea of putting something physically on a completed cave to indicate its completion, rather than an artificial barrier.

Agreed about the stone wall making the board larger.

Darkehorse wrote:

Do you think such a system would encourage people to place an entrance, build a passageway a few tiles down, and then build another entrance into the cave? Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

We still need to address this issue: What's to stop a person from building multiple entrances into a cavern just to 'beef up' it's size? (If indeed size does matter as you stated).

Scurra wrote:

I suspect that the size of caves will depend very much on the rewards for exploring them! If the game is about "controlling" access to discoveries (as was discussed in an earlier draft, where you would earn points for other people visiting "your" discovery) then larger caves would seem more likely, allowing for the fact that larger caves are slightly less likely to be completed. If the points for completing a cave do not particularly scale, then smaller caves are probably going to be the order of the day.

Hmmm I guess we need to decide if you actually score points via tile placement. I had always envisioned that all scoring had to go through your player token. I.E. Even if I completed a cave, you might score it's discovery because your token was the first to get there.

Scurra wrote:

I think that one discovery per completed cave would be the best solution, with that incentive that a larger cave gives the player more options about what is actually discovered there. This is separate from the "search" action, which has to be paid for with APs (rather than being free.)

One idea I had goes back to that "tourist trap" concept: actual physical discoveries, like rivers or rock formations, can only be found upon cave completion; i.e. if you take a "search" action you cannot use a discovery card if you draw one, but would have to keep it in hand (perhaps for use as "currency"?) Whereas when you completed a cave, you would draw X cards and must declare a discovery if you draw one (or even more than one?)

I totally agree with this. Perhaps on each card you would have a different discovery based upon the size of the completed cave. Obviously the larger cave discoveries would be worth more. I also think it would be cool to integrate the 'tourist trap' idea. To mesh with the photograph theme, we could give a color photograph chit to the person who made the discovery, and each person who visitied it later could get a B&W photo of the same discovery, obviously worth less. A matching discovery chit could be placed on the cave to help book keep the discovery. To continue with the theme, we could put a player flag chit to denote that player discovered the cave so that that player would get his/her bonus each time the feature was visited.

Hmmm sounds good. Can we move on to searching?

Here are some things I'd like to throw out that:

1) The larger the cave, the more/better stuff you will find.
2) The larger the cave, the longer it will take to search (cost more APs).
3) The more a cave gets searched, the longer it will take to take to complete a search (again more APs).

Any thoughts on these or how we could go about implementing them?

-Michael

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:

Do you think such a system would encourage people to place an entrance, build a passageway a few tiles down, and then build another entrance into the cave? Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

We still need to address this issue: What's to stop a person from building multiple entrances into a cavern just to 'beef up' it's size? (If indeed size does matter as you stated).

I think this is not that big an issue if the number of dots on the entrance tiles is controlled. It should be relatively tricky to get two caves to join if there's a rule that entry tiles cannot be adjacent, and the number of dots is never larger than four or so.

Quote:
I had always envisioned that all scoring had to go through your player token. I.E. Even if I completed a cave, you might score it's discovery because your token was the first to get there.

This one I go along with: there should always be that dichotomy between visiting completed caves (since you wouldn't be allowed to enter an uncompleted one) and hanging around "your" cave hoping to finish it...

Quote:
Perhaps on each card you would have a different discovery based upon the size of the completed cave. Obviously the larger cave discoveries would be worth more.

Seems easy enough for the player to keep the card in front of them.

Quote:
I also think it would be cool to integrate the 'tourist trap' idea. To mesh with the photograph theme, we could give a color photograph chit to the person who made the discovery, and each person who visitied it later could get a B&W photo of the same discovery, obviously worth less. A matching discovery chit could be placed on the cave to help book keep the discovery. To continue with the theme, we could put a player flag chit to denote that player discovered the cave so that that player would get his/her bonus each time the feature was visited.

If you recall, one of the original ideas was to have discovery "chits". When a player discovered something, they put one chit on the cave itself, and took the other chits. Each time another player entered the cave, they could take one of the chits from the discovering player, thus reducing the value of the find. The discovering player would always score 2 points (one for the discovery card, which they would have) plus one chit, but they might score more if not everyone visits "their" cave...

Quote:
Can we move on to searching?

Here are some things I'd like to throw out that:

1) The larger the cave, the more/better stuff you will find.
2) The larger the cave, the longer it will take to search (cost more APs).
3) The more a cave gets searched, the longer it will take to take to complete a search (again more APs).
Don't have an issue with more points for a larger cave. What I was suggesting was that the larger the cave, the more cards a player gets to look at before deciding what they found. This allows a "leader" to elect not to find anything at all!
Indeed, the simple solution is that the player draws X cards where X is the size of the cave. I don't see a problem with the first player into the cave getting to do this automatically.
How about making a player pay X APs to actually enter a cave, where X is the size of the cave? That might let someone save up their APs so that they could run past another player and into a cave unexpectedly :)
Not sure how to make additional searches harder though.

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:

I think this is not that big an issue if the number of dots on the entrance tiles is controlled. It should be relatively tricky to get two caves to join if there's a rule that entry tiles cannot be adjacent, and the number of dots is never larger than four or so.

Fair enough... No entry tiles next to each other.

Quote:

This one I go along with: there should always be that dichotomy between visiting completed caves (since you wouldn't be allowed to enter an uncompleted one) and hanging around "your" cave hoping to finish it...

Quote:

Seems easy enough for the player to keep the card in front of them.

If you recall, one of the original ideas was to have discovery "chits". When a player discovered something, they put one chit on the cave itself, and took the other chits. Each time another player entered the cave, they could take one of the chits from the discovering player, thus reducing the value of the find. The discovering player would always score 2 points (one for the discovery card, which they would have) plus one chit, but they might score more if not everyone visits "their" cave...

Well we never really settled on this. Some people were of the mindset that the more people that visited, the more you scored (i.e. it confirmed the discovery and made it more famous). Your method would be the opposite, the more exclusive it was the more it scored. Right now, I'm leaning toward the former. To analyze; with your method, a player would score more AND lessen the score of his opponent each time he visited a discovery. With what I was proposing, a player would add to his own score and he would ADD to the score of the discovering player each time he visited a prediscovered discovery (pardon my poor use of adjectives). With this method, it might encourage players to try make their own discoveries rather than running around trying to visit each and every discovery they could.

Quote:

Don't have an issue with more points for a larger cave. What I was suggesting was that the larger the cave, the more cards a player gets to look at before deciding what they found. This allows a "leader" to elect not to find anything at all!
Indeed, the simple solution is that the player draws X cards where X is the size of the cave. I don't see a problem with the first player into the cave getting to do this automatically.
How about making a player pay X APs to actually enter a cave, where X is the size of the cave? That might let someone save up their APs so that they could run past another player and into a cave unexpectedly :)
Not sure how to make additional searches harder though.

I can say I really like the draw X and keep 1 mechanic. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It seems to me like this would either encourage less desirable tiles to be placed at the bottom (if unchosen tiles are reused) or for the top of the draw deck to be stacked with a good deal of less desirables. What is your basis behind using this mechanic?

-Darke

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:

I can say I [don't] really like the draw X and keep 1 mechanic. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It seems to me like this would either encourage less desirable tiles to be placed at the bottom (if unchosen tiles are reused) or for the top of the draw deck to be stacked with a good deal of less desirables. What is your basis behind using this mechanic?

The reason I like it is that it reduces the pure luck element of "top-decking": the more choices a player has, the better, and this way the choice is dependent on how much a player is willing to spend (or how large the cave is.)

I was envisaging a simple discard pile (so people could see what other players were rejecting, with a "reshuffle when exhausted" mechanic (if necessary, a forced reshuffle could be introduced as well with some of the cards triggering one.) I don't see this being an issue since I would hope that some cards would change their values as the game progressed, so that a player might discard something at the start for being unhelpful (a tool for passing a certain obstacle?) whilst later on it would be more desirable. A "reshuffle the discards" system will keep things being cycled whilst also concentrating the minds of other players ("ah, so that one has gone.")
I'm also a fan of "dumpster diving" - allowing players to retrieve something from the discard pile, which is a lot harder to arrange with searching a draw deck since that gives away addtional information.

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Regarding cave size (dots)- I would say adding up the dots would make the most sense (I realize you've both already come to that conclusion, just voicing my agreement).

Regarding the tileset- maybe even SIMPLER than what Darke suuggested... just have a plain, blank tile, and define a 'cave' as a group of tiles that's at least 2x2...

Thus, the minimum size of a cave is 4 tiles, with no real maximum. The number of tiles (or size of cave) could dictate the likelyhood or quality of any discovery made.

To summarize, a "Cave tile" would be any tile in a 2x2 or bigger group. A "Passage Tile" would be any other tile. No Threshold tiles.

What do you think of that?

- Seth

P.S. Sorry, I didn't notice the discussion going on or I would have chimed in sooner.

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sedjtroll wrote:

To summarize, a "Cave tile" would be any tile in a 2x2 or bigger group. A "Passage Tile" would be any other tile. No Threshold tiles.

What do you think of that?

I think it's a terrible idea :)
The whole concept of "transition/entrance" tiles is neat, because it creates a proper "entrance" to the cave branching off the passageway, and it also restricts certain sorts of peculiar layouts. Finally, it actively states that the cave is a certain size (potentially larger, but only if the players try to make it that way) whereas your system doesn't really lock-down the size of the cave, beyond saying that you make a discovery if the cave hits 2x2, which just seems silly to me.
I accept that there is an issue regarding drawing entrance tiles, but if the scoring is related to (a) completing a cave and (b) making a discovery in that cave, then it's much less of a problem.

In summary, therefore, I think you have to have entrance tiles, but we may not have yet determined the best way to use them ;)

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:

The reason I like it is that it reduces the pure luck element of "top-decking": the more choices a player has, the better, and this way the choice is dependent on how much a player is willing to spend (or how large the cave is.)

I was envisaging a simple discard pile (so people could see what other players were rejecting, with a "reshuffle when exhausted" mechanic (if necessary, a forced reshuffle could be introduced as well with some of the cards triggering one.) I don't see this being an issue since I would hope that some cards would change their values as the game progressed, so that a player might discard something at the start for being unhelpful (a tool for passing a certain obstacle?) whilst later on it would be more desirable. A "reshuffle the discards" system will keep things being cycled whilst also concentrating the minds of other players ("ah, so that one has gone.")
I'm also a fan of "dumpster diving" - allowing players to retrieve something from the discard pile, which is a lot harder to arrange with searching a draw deck since that gives away addtional information.

I can work with this and the more I think about it the more I like it. How about this:

Depending upon size of the cavern, you must spend X # of APs. I know it's probably not the best way to do it, but something like this:

# of Tiles AP Cost
--------------------------
2-4 1
5-6 2
7-8 3
8-10 4
...etc

Now let's speculate that for every 1 AP ABOVE the required cost to search the cavern, you get to draw an extra card? So if I'm in a 5 tile cavern, I would need to spend 2 APs to search it, but I could throw in an extra 2 APs to draw 2 extra cards (3 cards total) and then choose the card I wanted and discard what I didn't want. Any thoughts?

I think here is where we could make progressive searching more difficult as well. Say everytime a cave is searched, it gets a chit. Then everytime you search, you have to pay 1 AP per chit on the cavern in addition to the 'normal' cost to search the cave.

Glorified example: I move my explorer into a size 10 cavern, that has been searched two times previously (2 chits in the cavern). I have 8 APs left, and I decide to spend them all. So it costs me the 4 'base' AP to search, the 2 AP 'penalty' for being previously searched, and then I use the 2 remaining AP to draw two more cards. So out of the deal I get to draw three cards....

Sounds good to me, any thoughts? Also I would say that a cavern could not be searched more than it's size. So the book keeping 'search chits' could be place on each tile within the cavern. Once each tile in a cavern has a search tile on it, it's considered to be 'cleaned out' and you can't search it further.

Any thoughts?

-Darke

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Re: Tile change

Darkehorse wrote:
Now let's speculate that for every 1 AP ABOVE the required cost to search the cavern, you get to draw an extra card? So if I'm in a 5 tile cavern, I would need to spend 2 APs to search it, but I could throw in an extra 2 APs to draw 2 extra cards (3 cards total) and then choose the card I wanted and discard what I didn't want. Any thoughts?

That sounds great to me, because it gives the player that tough choice between saving APs for future use and spending them to get a potential advantage now.
(Note, I suspect we may need to impose a "maximum" limit on APs that a player may keep however, as otherwise they won't spend any! Perhaps there could be some equipment that lets a player keep more APs too?)

Darkehorse wrote:

Also I would say that a cavern could not be searched more than it's size. So the book keeping 'search chits' could be place on each tile within the cavern. Once each tile in a cavern has a search tile on it, it's considered to be 'cleaned out' and you can't search it further.

Bingo! I was worried that there would be too many chits in a cave under this sort of system (which is why I didn't suggest it myself), but this is a splendid solution. Especially as one of the cave spaces is likely to have a "discovery" chit on it (which would count as a "searched" chit for this purpose.) And don't forget that a cave may not end up with a discovery in it at all, if all the potential searches just turned up blank (or, rather, simply produced cards that players wanted to keep.)
(One way to avoid cheating would be to insist that a player puts their hand to one side before drawing cards from a cave search: that way they aren't able to use any cards in their hand instead of one they just drew and pretending that they had just made a discovery...)

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Re: Tile change

Scurra wrote:

Bingo! I was worried that there would be too many chits in a cave under this sort of system (which is why I didn't suggest it myself), but this is a splendid solution. Especially as one of the cave spaces is likely to have a "discovery" chit on it (which would count as a "searched" chit for this purpose.) And don't forget that a cave may not end up with a discovery in it at all, if all the potential searches just turned up blank (or, rather, simply produced cards that players wanted to keep.)
(One way to avoid cheating would be to insist that a player puts their hand to one side before drawing cards from a cave search: that way they aren't able to use any cards in their hand instead of one they just drew and pretending that they had just made a discovery...)

Cool. Progess, progress, progess!

I'm still not clear on the discovery system you are proposing. Are you saying that the discoveries would be mixed in with the search deck? This is not the way I had envisioned it, but it may work. The way I had envisioned it was that the discoveries made were obvious and therefore automatic. I.E. I was the first one who walked into a completed cavern and I flipped over the top discovery card and that's what was found there. I.E. I imagined they would be something like underground rivers, chasms, etc. Therefore they wouldn't need to be something you searched for.

So are you proposing that the cards in the search/discovery deck be seperate. I.E. a card would either be a search card or a discovery card but not both. Or will most cards be search cards, but some will be both search and discovery cards?

Also we had briefly discussed that the larger the cave, the more valuable the discovery would be. Do you have any thoughts on how we would implement that? I was thinking that there would be a chart on the card that would say which discovery you would find based upon the cave size. Then you would grab the appropriate discovery from the box and place it in front of you, and place it on the cave as well. Sound good?

This brings me to my next question: If discoveries aren't seperate from searches and they aren't triggered automatically, how will obstacles work?

-Darke

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Someone mentioned that some of the cave tiles might have a symbol on it. If that's the case, then the AP cost of searching the cave could be based on the number of symbols in the cave (rather than a lookup chart). Another way is to link the AP cost to the number of 'size dots', but I don't like that as much.

Anyway, so that would mean you could effectively increase the cost of searching a cave by putting a tile with a symbol in it. Good or bad?

Also, as you say the chits could go on individual tiles. If that's the case then if we want we could say that you're searching a particular tile, and when you search the tiles with the symbols then.... something a little different then the blank tiles. Wait, this isn't sounding like it will be any good. I'll think about it some more.

- Seth

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I like the "symbol" cost idea: if about half the cave tiles had symbols on them, that would mean that you could get a large cave with very few symbols, or a small one which was full of them.

As for how Discoveries would work: if you recall, I proposed a "multi-function card deck" with a variety of different cards types that could be used or removed according to the type and length of game required. This could still work under the current ideas: a game with no "equipment" to help you get past obstacles would have a very different feel to it! (This lets you have different sorts of end conditions too, but that's a subject we'll have to come back to... :))

Anyway, I was indeed suggesting that Discoveries would be one of these card types, so a player may enter the new cave but in fact it would prove to be boringly empty: not every cave has something interesting in it... I realise that this can create an issue whereby the cards come out in strange orders such that no-one ever discovers anything, but it doesn't seem too hard to find simple fixes for that (e.g. keep revealing until a Discovery is made.)

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My thoughts.

Sedjtroll wrote:
Someone mentioned that some of the cave tiles might have a symbol on it. If that's the case, then the AP cost of searching the cave could be based on the number of symbols in the cave (rather than a lookup chart). Another way is to link the AP cost to the number of 'size dots', but I don't like that as much.

Scurra wrote:
I like the "symbol" cost idea: if about half the cave tiles had symbols on them, that would mean that you could get a large cave with very few symbols, or a small one which was full of them.

I think this is a great idea Seth! The 'search' symbols could dictate how much it would cost the search the cave (1AP per symbol) and how many times the cave could be searched (again, one search per symbol). Great, elegant solution, much better than a fiddly table.

Scurra wrote:

As for how Discoveries would work: if you recall, I proposed a "multi-function card deck" with a variety of different cards types that could be used or removed according to the type and length of game required. This could still work under the current ideas: a game with no "equipment" to help you get past obstacles would have a very different feel to it! (This lets you have different sorts of end conditions too, but that's a subject we'll have to come back to... :))

Anyway, I was indeed suggesting that Discoveries would be one of these card types, so a player may enter the new cave but in fact it would prove to be boringly empty: not every cave has something interesting in it... I realise that this can create an issue whereby the cards come out in strange orders such that no-one ever discovers anything, but it doesn't seem too hard to find simple fixes for that (e.g. keep revealing until a Discovery is made.)

Ok the more I think about the more I feel that the search deck needs to be seperate from the discovery/obstacle deck. One of the main points in having obstacles is that you would have to overcome them before you could score the discovery or search the cave. Using your method, it would be possible for a player to spend more AP to draw extra cards and choose to ignore any obstacle they might have found. I don't think this should be the case. I think the obstacles/discoveries should be completely seperate from the search deck.

Also I think obstacles (and discoveries for that matter) should be the first thing that is determined once a player enters a completed cave for the first time. Think about it, shouldn't I have to jump over the chasm in the cave floor before I can attempt to exit the through the passageway on the far wall? Shouldn't I be required to climb the steep cave wall before I can document the cave painting on the ledge above? Shouldn't I be required to deal with the swarming bats before I can even attempt to do a thorough search of the cave?

Any thoughts?
-Darke

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Well of course your argument is the perfect counter to mine :)
However, I am concerned that any system like this is going to lead to multiple card piles (Discoveries, Obstacles, Searches etc.) which can be confusing: one card pile with multiple types seems simpler to me.
I certainly don't see an issue with a Discovery card having some sort of Obstacle requirement on it though - it could stay face-up until the AP cost was met before a player could claim it for the points?

As for avoiding an Obstacle/Discovery just by discarding it, I think I wanted a Discovery to be forced if there was one in the cards the player drew, hence my desire for a discard pile, letting others see that there wasn't one, and the business about setting your hand aside to draw these cards so that Discoveries couldn't be kept in hand for a better moment...

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