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Adventure Calls! Initial Concept

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theMikeAG
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Joined: 03/30/2015

This is the framework of what I have in mind for the Game. Obviously it's nowhere near done, but I hope that getting it out there will help it start in the right direction. Do you think this concept is good enough to become a decent game someday?

theMikeAG wrote:
I figured it would be fun to make a cooperative tile-based exploration game with a horror theme, but I felt like zombies, vampires, and eldrich abominations were overdone and thought, "Hey, werewolves don't really have that many great games about them (aside from Mafia). What if there were a game where players are werewolves working together in some kind of team?"

That brings me to archaeology (in the Tomb Raider sense). The premise I came up with is that you play as a group of archaeologists, all of whom are infected with lycanthropy. Your goal is to investigate a lost civilization in search of a possible cure, a ceremonial knife that legend claims can turn someone into a werewolf or reverse the process (these ancients were wolf crazy, emphasis on the crazy). Naturally, the knife has also attracted your local armed thugs who (surprise!) want to steal it for their own diabolical purposes. In a disastrous lack of planning, they decided to go after this knife on the night of the full moon.

Yeah, they really didn't think this through.

Basically, the game would run like this: Every turn, the players individually roll a handful of six sided dice, which they would then use to move (by discarding one), take actions (by assigning several), or use cards. The actions you can take differ from room to room, so you'll want to always find new rooms and backtrack to previous areas depending on your needs. Each tile would have icons in the corner that represent the different actions you can take there and which kind of dice you need to use them (a 4+ for example). I currently have nine attributes in mind:

  • Combat: Lets you use special combat moves.
  • Search: Lets you draw an Equipment Card once per tile.
  • Healing: Lets you heal players in the same room.
  • Swimming: Forces you to use dice to pass through (with a risk of drowning if you start, but simply can't get out).
  • Stealth: Lets both players and enemies spring ambushes.
  • Moonlight: Lets you draw a Werewolf Card once per tile.
  • Blocks: Gives you a movable block that can activate attributes or paths with a block outline.
  • Altars: Lets you discard 2 cards in exchange for one of your choice.
  • Traps: Can severely damage both players and enemies.
  • The attributes embody mechanics that combine with tile's illustrations to generate a specific theme. Are you using that block to weigh down a switch or to reach a higher ledge? Is that a pool of water or some primordial ooze? Is that trap a spike pit, an ancient flamethrower, or a boulder? It all depends on what you see on the tile.

    In addition to the tiles, you also have two decks of cards to work with: Equipment Cards and Werewolf Cards. Equipment Cards are the basic single-use resources of the game and are themed after archaeological tools, such as maps, bandages, and rope. Werewolf Cards are stat boosts and can also give you special abilities, like unique combat moves or the ability to heal yourself without the Healing attribute.

    Right now, figuring out how the enemies should work is a huge stumper. In addition to that, I have the vague idea that finding the knife should involve fulfilling an objective first, but I have no idea what that should be. Killing enemies? Randomly finding it while searching? Exploring a certain number of rooms? Make it random? Beats me.

    Aside from those vague areas, what do you guys think of the idea? Does it sound thematic? Do the mechanics sound interesting? Is the tile-exploration genre overdone? Whatever the feedback, thanks for reading!

    Noimage
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    Joined: 04/01/2015
    Betrayal

    I'm assuming your objective here is to make a Betrayal at the House on the Hill sort of game but with some dissimilar mechanics and theme?

    theMikeAG
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    Joined: 03/30/2015
    That's the idea. I thought

    That's the idea. I thought that Betrayal had some great ideas, but the exploration itself was not a strong point. Once I found the bedroom and drew its card, there was no reason for me to return. My group also had one or two incidents where a bizarre mechanic in the haunt won or lost the game (if the traitor just killed the owner of the last voodoo doll, why do the survivors win?), at which point I wished that the experience was a little more polished in general.

    Noimage
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    Cool

    Cool, I hope your game manages to straighten out all the rough edges present in Betrayal. Good luck!

    Soulfinger
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    Pigs . . . in . . . SPACE

    Seems like the werewolf bit is just tacked on when an archaeology themed Betrayal would work just fine. Much better would be werewolf-themed opponents at a dig site with the chance of players becoming werewolves, who perhaps turn on their compatriots during the night phase. I recommend checking out the gimmick for the old Milton Bradley Vampire Hunter game. It's not a great game, but the whole peasants turn into werewolves when night falls shtick is really nice. Also, the movie WolfCop on Netflix. Not a great film as Canadian werewolf movies go, but a lot of fun with its nonsensical werewolf mishmash plot and old school transformations (Ginger Snaps 1 & 2 if you want truly great Canadian werewolf movies).

    theMikeAG
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    Alright, let's see...

    Soulfinger wrote:
    Seems like the werewolf bit is just tacked on when an archaeology themed Betrayal would work just fine. Much better would be werewolf-themed opponents at a dig site with the chance of players becoming werewolves, who perhaps turn on their compatriots during the night phase.

    You know, I think I agree with you. I'd originally planned for the players to start as humans and turn into werewolves if they were bitten, but I took the human sides out because I thought it would streamline things.

    Maybe as you take damage from werewolf enemies, you would draw a werewolf card. This would increase your character's strength, but also give them specific conditions where they'd attack their own teammates instead. That way, the bitten players are still on your team throughout the game, but you'd always have that nagging fear that they'll turn on you any second.

    Soulfinger wrote:
    I recommend checking out the gimmick for the old Milton Bradley Vampire Hunter game. It's not a great game, but the whole peasants turn into werewolves when night falls shtick is really nice.

    Pulling up that game online, its day/night system is interesting. I've always thought of my game having two phases (player, then enemy) and those would fit into the idea of day and night pretty effectively. I'll have to see what I can do with those...

    Soulfinger
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    How about a deck that you

    How about a deck that you draw from whenever a character is injured by a werewolf, which would include damage taken and whether the character becomes infected. The injured player can't reveal the details to the other players, although perhaps there'd be an injury track to give a general idea. They have to decide whether to treat the injury, use wolfbane, or maybe even use antibiotics, a rabies vaccination, etc. to treat the character. There could be text that the player may or may not decide to share on consecutive turns, like "I now have a fever" or "I feel very thirsty."

    Do your player phase during the day and the enemy phase at night while the players camp, during which time they have to decide whether to restrain potential werewolves, who would otherwise contribute toward camp defense.

    Also, for the knife, you could do something like have it broken into multiple fragments.

    theMikeAG
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    Joined: 03/30/2015
    Buffing the Rough Edges out of my Theme.

    You know, the more I come back to my game's theme, the more I want to focus it around that archaeologist adventurer style with tile to tile exploration, while adding werewolves as the supernatural flavor of the week. Then, maybe in the future, add some other supernatural madness to the mix. I'll take the ideas you guys have suggested and see how a simple, yet effective werewolf mechanic would play out.

    I've been working on a more detailed rule-sheet on Google Documents that I'll link to soon in the main post. That way, more of my current ideas can be examined for improvements.

    Thank you all for the suggestions!

    theMikeAG
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    There we go.

    All right, I've added a more detailed rules sheet to the original post. This contains some of my basic ideas for mechanics like combat, map creation, and enemy movement. Also, how to actually win the game!

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