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Modifying Warrior Dice

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rkhigdon
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Joined: 04/16/2009

So my daughter and a few of her friends like to play Warrior Dice, a free game from Warpspawn games. You can find the game at http://www.angelfire.com/games2/warpspawn/WD.html.

As you can see the game is little more than a simple dice fest. My daughter and her friends like it because they can create their own characters and duke it out relatively quickly. As she's getting older though, she's become more interested in games with a bit more meat behind them. We've played Catan, Wasabi and Citadels and a few others and she's had a good time. Her friends are less interested in these sorts of games, but they still want to play Warrior Dice. This prompted my daughter to ask me about adding some features to the game so she can play something a little more substantial while still holding her friend's attention.

Specifically, she's looking for a way to make the game multiplayer, to have larger groups of characters battle and for an alternate victory condition than just "kill the other guy".

Looking at the game I can see a few problems here. First, the combat as it stands now can be a little time consuming as each character trades blows back and forth. If we make the battles multi-character, and the game multiplayer, then there's a real risk of severe downtime for the players not involved in a battle. That would be an instant fail for the target audience here.

I've got a few ideas, but I need some assistance in trying to flesh them out. I'm going to be vague because I'm looking for some fresh ideas, but I also want to focus those ideas towards a certain end.

I basically envision having a deck of "mission cards" that the characters can fight over. These mission cards would generally give Victory points to the side that "wins" them, but might also give some special bonuses during gameplay (bonus dice in combat, recruit more characters, etc). The first player to a certain number of Victory points is the winner.

A certain number of missions will be available each turn, and the players will secretly allocate characters towards the various missions.

I'm thinking that the players will get a certain number of dice to roll (how and how many to be determined), roll them, and allocate teh to the various characters. Then the actions are resolved one at a time (in what order to be determined) and damage is dealt. This may or may not need to be repeated a time ot two to fully resolve, though I don't want resolution to take too long. Then again, if all the players are engaged then perhaps taking a bit of time to resolve a conflict isn't necessarily bad.

Anybody have any ideas to add to the mix? I'm really hoping that ic an pull this off and solidify my daughter's interest in gaming and possibly pull a few more into the fold with her. Any help would be appreciated.
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The Magician
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Joined: 12/23/2008
Warrior Dice looks

Warrior Dice looks interesting. Is it sort of a basic RPG game? It looks like a simple game you could play in the car on a long road trip.

rkhigdon
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Joined: 04/16/2009
It's basically just a simple

It's basically just a simple combat game using dice and a character card. There is kind of an rpg element involved as you design your character and come up with the names for his/her moves but the resemblence stops there. It certainly could have some roleplaying elements added easily enough, though I doubt it's deep enough to sustain anything but short term play.

There's also a variant called Mecha Dice ( http://www.geocities.com/shaungamer88/mdice.html ) that has some slightly more advanced rules and some pretty cool custom paper dice to represent the giant robots. This one doesn't catch my kid's imagination as much as Warrior Dice, but it's still pretty neat.

rkhigdon
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Joined: 04/16/2009
More thoughts...

Okay. Kind of quiet, but I kind of expectd that given the nature of the project. Still it gives me a chance to at least put some thoughts on paper.

I talked to my daughter and she was generally ineterested in most of the changes. The only thing she was not to impressed with was changing the combat system. She says they enjoy it as is and they don't mind the downtime. And the addition of mult-player combats should keep them more involved anyway.

That leaves me with the mission system, which she really seems to like. Given that the combat system will no be longer agian, I suppose that the system of drawing multiple missions and assigning characters to the different ones is probably a no-go. That means we'll be drawing one and having the players determine if they want to pursue it and if so what characters to assign.

So what does a mission entail? I envision each mission card will have the following information

Name: flavor text
# of characters: a player can send on the mission. May be fixed or a range of characters.
Requirements: set of conditions necessary to participate in the misson
Reward: what the winning player gets for winning the mission. May be Victory Points, the ability to recruit (design) a new character, the ability to advance (improve) a character or some other useful bonus.
Special: occasional special rules used to modify the normal rules used for the fight

It strikes me that simply fighting for the missions would encourage players to always use their strongest characters. To encourage variety we couldrule that the same characters can't be used twice in a row. That would work, but something more flavorful might be to set certain missions in "remote" areas, which means that any character who attempts that mission can't be used next turn. That gives some variety, but still lets them use their favorite characters more.

I'm going to add a few more spcial abilities besides the Adder, Doubler, All Out, and Heal. I'm especially interested in those that might work well for multi-character battles. Things like "Blast" that can affect 2 adjacent character cards or "Gaurd" that might allow a character to intecept an attack meant for another. I don't want to go too crazy, but having 6-10 special abilities seems like it should allow some good variety without bogging things down.

I'm also considering adding some non-combat abilities to the characters. These abilities could be used to satisfy requirements for attempting certain missions, triggers for certain abilities, or even to serve as Victory conditions for certain missions. I'm still thinking about the best way to do this, so any ideas would be very helpful.

Theme-wise I'm going to set the missionsin a sort of multi-planar city where a mish mash of different characters could find themselves competing for dominance. Since my daughter and friends tend to fight with a real variety of characters (including World Of Warcraft, Twilight, Pokemon, Mickey Mouse, and Transformers) it seems like a simple solution. Of course anybody copying the setup could certainly whip up a more interesting backstory for their particular game.

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
you might be interested

in the 'Button Men' system by Cheapass Games.

Each character is defined by a series of dice, which you roll at the start of the game. The character with the lowest number starts first. You take turns attacking each other, which can be a 'Power Attack' (choose a dice of your own, remove a dice of the opponent with a lower number, re-roll your dice), or a 'Skill Attack' (choose two or more dice of yours which add up to exactly the number of your opponent's dice, remove that dice, re-roll the dice you used). Dice are worth their size (a d20 is worth 20 points for example). There are all sorts of variations possible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_Men

http://www.cheapass.com/free/games/rotgb.html

rkhigdon
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Joined: 04/16/2009
Button men

I'm actually familiar with Button Men and have a few laying around. I was actually going to use it as a model for combat until they requested that the old system remain.

SiddGames
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Joined: 08/02/2008
I haven't looked at the rules

I haven't looked at the rules at all (to sort of keep an open mind based on what you've written so far).

I was thinking the missions could have rewards but be based on simply "taking" the card. Players secretly choose who is going to which mission (N-1 missions available each round, where N = number of players), then reveal. Anyone at a card by herself gets it, just like that. Multiple characters at a mission must fight for X rounds and whoever has inflicted the most (or taken the least) damage takes the card. No healing between rounds, so as characters take damage, the players have to weigh whether to send their strong but beaten up character or their weaker but full health guys. (This is similar to visiting the islands for rewards in Pirate's Cove.) Also allows players to try taking cards they think nobody else will go after, thus avoiding fights until everyone else is beat up.

My other thought for multiplayer would be to just play predator/prey as in the old CCG Jyhad / Vampire: the Eternal Struggle. You are basically attacking left, so you're also defending from the right. Play until one player is eliminated, so the player on her right wins the game; or, play until only 1 player left (leads to standard player elimination issues - what do the girls think about that?). Players may have multiple characters, so they'll have to decide which ones are attacking left and which are defending from the right each round. Possibly just do X rounds of combat each time, so they can adjust their characters periodically.

rkhigdon
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Joined: 04/16/2009
Thinking along the same lines...

The rules for the game are nothing but a short combat system where you create a Warrior and roll 10-sided dice to attack each other. The only real relevant part about them to the discussion at hand is that they're fairly random, so some battles can last fairly long. My original thought was to modify the system to a more simultaneous mechanic, but that's been vetoed by the kids. I'll probably still come up with something, but it's taking a backseat to the actual missions.

The rewards will definitely be triggered by taking the card. I originally thought of using N-1 missions as well, but then I grew concerned that it might take too long given the nature of the random combat so I switched to one per round. As I think about it more, the multiple missions may actually be better as not every one will be resolved with a fight. I guess only the upcoming playtesting will give us an answer.

Not all missions will be resolved by combat. Sure, some will be based on the results of a combat (either last man standing or after a certain number of rounds) but some will be based on some other abilities I'm adding to the game. My basic thought is that each character will have some non-combat skills that would be required to complete certain missions. Each round a character with that skill can forgo his attack and instead roll his skill towards completing the mission. This should force a few decisions as players will need to make some choices on who to bring based on things other than who's the strongest. High skill characters will be a bit worse in combat so hopefully there will be a tradeoff involved when deciding how to approach a given mission. I'm still working on the particulars, but I hope to have something written up within the next couple days (work schedule has been tougher than expected this week).

Hmmm.... I hadn't thought of predator/prey. I'll have to think on that some more....

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