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Arena type battle with cards/dice. Player Stats?

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knightshade
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Joined: 02/08/2013

Ok... I will try to keep this shorter and not include erroneous info.

So my game... lets call it "The Gate" for now to make things easier. To help visualize, the theme is like Spawn meets the game Darksiders. It uses upgradeable miniatures in a small board skirmish. One player battles another, or in individual battles on the same board, or cooperative, and even all of them together in one huge battle. To help you all out now... imagine everything in symmetrical shapes.

I have an interactive background with "off time" between games and a system for economy which is basically rewarding players after a success but with choices.

I have a campaign set up to battle through. There will be 6 players and *at least* 12 NPC to fight.

Now down to the nitty gritty. I am using cards for the players, starting stats, and to keep score for the player. I went the route of not doing pen and paper, you will see why later. These profile cards are an integral part to the game itself. The player card is basically a large square... lets say 2x2 (not sure about actual size). then some 1x2 size cards on the sides, with 1x1 cards on the corners. I will try to attach a pic in my next post if my scanner will work... :(

So 1x2 cards are equipment and the 1x1 cards are for special abilities. Now comes the issues...

My stats and body parts are: (with the locations on the card below)
1. attack/left arm.......1..2..3
2. soul/head...............4..5..6
3. defense/right arm...7..8..9
4. demonic/left weapon
5. level/torso
6. angelic/right weapon
7. critical/left leg
8. endurance/groin
9. agility/right leg

1,4,7 being mainly demonic skills. 3,6,9 mainly angelic. 2,5,8 being variables. 4 and 6 teeter totter, bother starting at 5 and being able to allocate to one side or the other to use various skills. So I basically have a grid of stats that can go back and forth like this: (on a scale of 1-12 with 9 D12 dice)

+....-....+
+/-.set.+/-
+....-....+

buffs will add to them and certain attacks and skills, or will take away. This coincides with the body parts (...I am thinking right now, but am having issues with this!)

AI cards and Hit location cards for the enemy, which takes numbers from the stat cards to determine number of dice and what numbers to hit on.

My issues with what I have said so far:
1. I have starting stats, then gear that buffs, then I have "sets" of armor that grant additional buffs(colored corners of cards that line up), AND attack cards that give yet more (temporary) buffs... how many is too many? It seems a player will be able to max out their stats in one attack phase. :( I really like the mechanics of them all, i just do not want 9 D20's per player (not to mention how easy they roll). I would love D6's but will settle for D12's as 1-6 is not enough depth...

2. For my AI NPC attacks, I have a starting AI card with small buffs, then the "attack" card which has the locations off of the grid of 9 numbers that you will actually use. This is to make the attacks much more random. Having random buffs, and the sum of 3 that are randomly chosen for the Attack Strength, which also coincide with hit location. My problem is that this could make the NPC indestructible for too many turns. I love the mechanic, I just don't know if i will be able to use it for hit location AND strength, and I do not want to add a 3rd card for the attack phase.

3. My number of dice... o_O 4 dice to roll per person, and 9-11 for keeping stats. With a possible 3 players... that is at least 13 per player not including anything for the opponent. so at least 49+ dice floating around...

it is a pretty complex game. There is also AP which can be used to equip different gear, or obtain new gear mid combat for cost of endurance. AP per turn is determined from stats, which 5 AP can be turned to 1 END point to be spent. (some things have AP cost, others have Endurance)

Basically, this game is going towards being a living card game, which I do not like. I want dice! and not just for keeping track of stats/record keeping. but it is just too hard to transfer the stats to viable "hit/wound on __" numbers. If you understand this, what do YOU think I should lose. I am completely open to constructive criticism.(go easy on me)

I can clarify anything! Just let me know... it's just I have seemed to hit a wall where i just get sort of confused with the stat tree(3x3 block). It all makes sense, but the stats things is getting to me bad and hindering progress.

THANKS

JustActCasual
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Joined: 11/20/2012
answers

1. This doesn't seem like too much, since it has clear visuals, but you might want to move the stats to separate spaces, otherwise it will be fiddly to move them on and off of the cards every time. Maybe move the side stats off to circles on their side of the grid (putting more visual weight on the angel/demon split) and the centre 3 to the top (it will also preempt jokes about groin endurance). You might also want to switch the arm and weapon slots: if weapons take up 1x2, it makes more visual sense for them to be coming up from the arm/hand than down. d10s would work well for your stats: people are used to a decimal system, it gives the option to start or go to 0 if you want it, and they are a bit easier to find en mass than d12s. If you want to limit player strength, why not make some equipment take weird slot combinations? Like some armour would be head/torso, while others would be torso/groin or torso/arm: you would force the players to make choices and trade around equipment. I think it's fine if players want to max out, but they should have to WORK for it.

2. I would strongly consider simplifying the enemies: the easiest way to do this seems to be combining the AI cards and the hit locations. I would also suggest referring to the hit locations by name, not number. So rather than drawing "Jab" and "Location 5" you would draw "Jabs at torso". You would also be best served by just using 1 static buff, which is also on the attack card. Just roll and add the buff, and the amount over AC is damage. Streamlining the enemies will lead to more attention on the players, which is where it should be.

3. The dice number does seem a bit high...you could just use chip stacks for the stats I suppose. This would also make it easy to cash in points as you spend them and to visually evaluate the board (oh look his angelic stacks are really high). This also makes it easy for stats to teeter tooter as you just pick from one pile to add to the other.

Looking forward to pictures!

knightshade
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Joined: 02/08/2013
PIC

OKAY. so here is something I made up really quick (I didn't have anything digital... and NO, I did not make the pic. She just seemed fitting like she would fight to be an Angel) :D

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92456596@N03/8466420271/in/photostream

So, basically it is kind of like a monopoly board sadly enough. I did not notice that until I drew this up. But now you see what I am talking about. I only have 9 dice, and 2 D20's for HP and AP.

Enemies will have the same "stat block." With different values of course. Generally a little stronger than players who have to rely on teamwork or properly equipping weapons.

...."if weapons take up 1x2, it makes more visual sense for them to be coming up from the arm/hand than down."
I originally had it that way but this makes more sense. because of the angel/demon aspect that I did not include. Weapon/shield cards flip over, imbued with angelic or demonic powers. So I need them in the same location as on my stat grid. My stat grid coincides with body parts because they directly affect each others' place on the grid.

My problem with stats is that I will have 6 stat boosters on my gear cards,(locations 1,3,4,6,7,9) on each card, most of which are zeros, so not too much adding, but . The corner cards are special "unearthly" power cards which basically amplify the stat buffs on the gear cards by connecting the gear cards together, and as a whole to make sets shown by the 4 multicolored squares. Each card has one of 3 colors on the corners. So basically, the gear buffs, but then the corner square cards allow more buffs by complimenting the cards next to it... and then if all colors are matching then another buff yet again... *sigh*.. which I was going to have a special attack unlock and have buffs, but looks like I will have to lose the buff.

I am at a loss as to how the dice thing is going to work. As far as hits and misses and how many dice to roll. The combat turns are what I am struggling on. It should be easier because I am not using traditional squares. The figures will be on a "glyph" sort of things with spaces marked out for being aggressor, defender, aiding another player, collecting new weapons, or even engaging in another or different enemy. So the movement/attack phase SHOULD be easier, but is exhaustingly, mind-numbingly futile... :(

Hopefully that helps. I think I am going to start a journal. Too much to go over, too many small aspects.

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