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Console RPG inspired Semi-Collectible Card Game

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UnBillEvilBill
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Joined: 09/12/2015

EDIT: if this post belongs in another forum let me know and I'll move it. Thinking this may belong in Design Theory?

Was wanting some criticism regarding the game idea that has been plaguing my mind for the last couple of weeks. By the way, I am Bill and I love game design. My first post on the forum! Woot!

If I can help play test or do something to further your goal of creating a game just let me know.

At any rate, here's my inspiration and the idea that has spun out of it:

So I've always wanted a video game akin to Final Fantasy 6, but for battling another player. Instead of my guys lining up against a boss, I think it'd be amazing to line up against another player and the party he has decided to put together. But there are other aspects to console style RPGs that deserve a table top proxy besides the combat. There's a world to explore with its item shops and heroes and villains, not just randomly encountered baddies to knock down along the way.

In an effort to fold these concepts into a working table top game I have devised a three act structure. Note: this is a card game, but there are no decks, no hands, no drawing cards, no discarding, no shuffling, and no collecting in the traditional sense. It could be tiles, honestly anything that could hold art and text, but I imagine that in real life cards would simply be more practical.

Act 1, Recruitment: Before the game starts players will already have their Characters and Item Shop cards (i.e. their collection) in their own possession. This ain't Monopoly, you bring your own. Both players lay their characters out in front of them face up. There are not many secrets in this game; no hand, very very few face down cards, etc. Totally open information unless deceit is specifically called for as a game mechanic.

Recruitment begins by the players 'bidding' to go second. "I bid 200 gold." 'No sir! I bid 300 gold!' "Fine, you're second."

The player with the losing bid goes first (this allows the winner to draft their team in response to the other player's picks at the cost of gold that could be used for gear later).

Each player takes turns drafting a character from their stable until both players have a party of 3 characters. Each character drafted provides a set amount of Gold to the team. After both teams are at 3 members, the winning bidder loses the gold he bid to draft second (in the dialogue example above, the winner would have to pay 300 GP to the Item shop to compensate for his tactical advantage).

Act 2, Item Shop: Once the bid is paid, both players take their total GP to the Item Shop. Each player takes all the cards they can afford from their Item Shop collection, paying the GP cost for each. These items include weapons, armor, shields, helms, special equipment, potions, mana potions, antidotes, etc.

After buying the equipment, gear cards are equipped to the appropriate characters for whatever strategy you are aiming for. Consumable items, like potions, are simply kept aside to be used during combat. The remaining Item Shop collection is removed from play.

Act 3, Combat: Characters come with Turn Tiles. At the start of combat, each character's tile is place in order from fastest Speed stat to Lowest. Players do not get individual turns, the characters do. The fastest character performs an action, then the next character, and so on and so forth, until the slowest character takes their action. Then the round is over, and the next round begins back with the fastest character. This continues until one team is entirely eliminated.

To give some context to the above wall of text:

There are seven classes. Knights vs. Rogues. Squires vs. Witches. Mages vs. Druids. And then the lonely Engineer. Each pairing is in opposition to each other for story-related reasons. Knights and Squires compliment each other. Witches and Druids do also, but in a more sinister way. If you draft a Knight, you can not draft a rogue into the same team. If you draft a Squire, you can not draft a Witch. Some characters can only be drafted First (i.e. your first pick). If you don't take them as your first (thus tipping your hand regarding your potential strategy), you can't take them at all. Some characters require you already drafted someone else. For example, the young but powerful White Mage Elise requires her father Magnus to have been drafted first (he won't let his daughter adventure alone, after all). But just because you draft Magnus doesn't mean you must take his daughter also.

Some characters are brutally powerful, but come with no gold. Thus you won't be gearing them that well from the Item Shop. Some characters have the Black Market trait, allowing them to buy poisons, contracts (ex: kill a Knight, get a reward), etc.

Some characters are very weak, like Witches, but their Alchemy trait causes consumable items to have triple the effect. They can come with more gold to help the team gear up. These are just examples.

The classes also have skills. Knights have Valor. Rogues have Thief. Mages have a school of magic. These skills are represented by a stack of 4 or 5 skill cards that come with the character. All knights have the same Valor. All rogues have the same thief skills.

So as your characters' turns come up, you can melee attack, use an item, use a skill, move between front and back row, etc.

I have tons of ideas for this platform. The concept allows for people to draft a "Control" team, or a Melee Damage team, or a back row only Magic Team, or a Tank and Healer and Rogue team for all around nastiness. You could even have a full Witch's Coven if you have three witches and you don't think your opponent is drafting a team to counter them.

The Item Shop phase occurs in relative secret. I don't intend players to buy their gear in response to the gear purchase of their opponent. You draft in response to each other, then gear for your own strategy. Obviously once combat begins each player can examine the gear and items (maybe...) available to the other player. Some items, mostly black market stuff, is held in secret until needed (mostly contracts).

The game has a lot of stuff going on tactically speaking, but the complexity is never all at once, and the most that has to be done on any given turn is the calculation of whether an attack hit or missed and how much damage was done. If a game has 2 knights and 4 mages between both parties, that means there are major sets of rules and skills and items that will never even come into that game. There is no countering or playing a card in response to an action like in M:TG. Each character gets one action, it resolves, moving on.

Also, once combat begins, the entire concept of Gold is no longer relevant, the Item Shop is gone, no more characters will come into play. There is no resurrection, dead is better.

Characters have stats, but the cards contain everything you need to know hopefully to a point where no reference material is necessary for play (like a typical casual board game). I imagine a rule book would only be necessary to show people how to play and what order to do stuff. I want the actual gameplay to be smooth, uninterrupted by rules conflicts, etc.

If in some crazy universe this were to actually be published, I think the best way to deliver the product would be like Hero Clix. A player could buy a three man party and it would come with an Item Shop and all of the cards necessary for that party to enter the game. Acquiring a second party would bolster your Item Shop collection and add characters to your draft stable, letting you be more flexible in party composition during recruitment phase.

Ok, tear my game apart! Or give me awesome praise! I require both!

KERBLAH!!!

And thank you for reading. If you made it this far I want to know, because I appreciate it, and I want to thank you.

(>O.o)> Bill

questccg
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I hear you!

I read the entire post, and because it is relevant to my own "conversion" (I am transforming a Video game into a card game - the game was initially designed for playing on Android phones - but at this time, I don't have the resources to do that... So I am making an ACTUAL Card Game!)

So let me ask my Question:

"How do you control the amount of gold?"

Is it something like "x gold per game" or do you have other plans???

I ask this because in the Video game, we had MANA. And MANA would be spent by the player to cast "Active abilities". However in the CARD version of the game - player's duel... I'm not sure where they get the MANA from?

So it's similar to my question about "Gold". What are your thoughts?

BTW I have considered trivial solutions like "Each player has 5 Mana points per game", whatever they don't use get carried over to the next round, etc. But I'm still unsure...

I'd like to hear your thoughts!

questccg
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More about Mana

Well *initially* (And there is a blog post about the Video game, here: http://www.bgdf.com/blog/ds-video-game-now-android-project#comment-73236)

And the initial idea was that MANA would need to be bought. The most expensive Mana would cost $0.05 per Mana and the cheapest would cost $0.02 per Mana...

Active abilities would COST Mana and could boost you to victory... But the concept was FAIR: even if you lose, you still earn the experience you got from the battle and it could be used to purchase/unlock NEW cards for your deck.

BUT since you are simply BUYING the cards - and there is no "Mana" to buy, I'm not certain HOW I want players to "pay" for Mana points... Is it 1 point per Active ability or should they have like 1, 2 or 3 points, etc.

IDK - I'm still not sure about this...

UnBillEvilBill
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Joined: 09/12/2015
Gold

Thanks! I checked the site for your Quest Adventure Card game. Seemed pretty awesome, I will be going back to look into it some more. Great tutorial. You did that yourself?

The Gold would be pretty much a stat on the character card. A Knight, for example, may come with 1,000 GP. The two other characters may add another 1,500 GP, giving the player 2,500 in purchasing power to buy cards from their Item Shop 'deck' as it were. His opponent, though, may draft three extremely weak characters that come with tons of money, enabling him to take vanilla people and gear them with epic stuff. I imagine Knights would come with enough gold to gear themselves decently, where a Rogue with much less power and armor and HP may come with much more money, enabling him to utilize his Black Market trait to stock up on contracts, poisons, assassin mercenaries, etc.

It also serves as an avenue to balance equipment and consumables.

The Characters would have mana and hp just like in a console RPG. I imagine it'd be tracked with pen and paper much like life totals in games like M:TG. MP in particular would be expensive to replenish via items like Ethers, or as built in character abilities that come at the cost of providing very little gold (if any) on recruitment or some other handicap worthy of the trait. This would force a faster entropy within the game, preventing to healers from dragging things out for example. Mana would be unique to each character, tied to their Spirit stat. A mage would obviously have a high MP pool and perhaps the more powerful mages would even have innate ways of recovering it in some limited fashion.

As far as how this would be monetized, if it were actually published and available, I think something akin to Hero Clix would be best. Really no need for booster packs because the cards aren't collectible beyond getting them the first time. You would know, for instance, which three heroes you'd be getting and what items were in the accompanying item shop collection. You would get the exact skill cards for the included classes, so mages would come with their school of magic cards, knights with the valor cards, druids with gaia energy cards, etc. So two people would simply need three characters and items to play, drafting would be without choice though. As you added more parties to your collection, your draft pool would get larger, much like in an online MOBA like League of Legends, you acquire new characters with new abilities via micro transactions.

My original intention was to have it a self contained game with all cards in existence available in one tin. But then I thought, that'd require two copies of EVERYTHING simply because both players may draft knights for example, and both may want the same spear and shield. So I figure presenting it in a modular fashion, letting the player customize his party from the purchase onward, would be the most practical solution. Also would make each unit much cheaper, but would beg that they all be balanced extremely well.

Sorry if I rambled and missed your question.

questccg
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Not another stat

UnBillEvilBill wrote:
Thanks! I checked the site for your Quest Adventure Card game. Seemed pretty awesome, I will be going back to look into it some more. Great tutorial. You did that yourself?

Yeah I developed the entire site, including the various Flash assets (Demo, Card Preview, etc.)

UnBillEvilBill wrote:
The Gold would be pretty much a stat on the character card.

I already have four (4) stats and did not want Mana to be another... My solution is that instead of Mana, for each card an Active ability affects, you LOSE one (1) Victory Point (VP). So at the end of the game you compute how many cards were affected by Active ability usage. IF it's three (3) cards = -3 VPs, if it's two (2) cards = -2 VPs, etc.

Why I prefer this? Well it adds more DEPTH to the STRATEGY in the game:

A> Your goal is to collect the more VPs.
B> Using Active abilities is counter-intuitive, since it lowers your VPs.

So it's a TRADE-OFF. You need to figure out what is the best move for your game/cards.

UnBillEvilBill wrote:
Sorry if I rambled and missed your question.

No worries... Cheers!

UnBillEvilBill
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Joined: 09/12/2015
I really, really like the

I really, really like the trade off concept. I misspoke when I referred to the gold as a stat. It's more of a one-off resource that is only used in one stage of the game, never to be referenced again once the game starts.

Though I am starting to see the downside of so many numbers on a card, even if they only come into play under specific circumstances. That just means there are a lot of specific circumstances, and that goes against simplicity, which is something I want to embrace fully and let the complexity of strategy emerge from it on its own.

questccg
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More cards or custom dice

UnBillEvilBill wrote:
...It's more of a one-off resource that is only used in one stage of the game, never to be referenced again once the game starts.

Maybe you could have OTHER cards which represent the "Gold" available to each player. Each player draws one (1) card from a deck of ten (10) cards. You could have an un-even distribution, like 4x 1, 3x 2, 2x 3 and 1x 4.

I used small values - but your game "1" could mean 2000 gold, "2" could mean 3000, "3" could mean 4000 and "4" could mean 5000... As an example.

So you have a 10% chance of getting 5000 and a 70% chance of getting (2000-3000).

This way you don't have to put gold as a stat. You could also use a custom d6 dice: 3x =2500, 2x =3000, 1x =4000. Your custom dice could have 25 x 3, 30 x 2 and 40 x 1 (faces)... And then all you do is multiply by 100!

OR maybe you can do a HYBRID approach: choose 1 card and roll one (1) d10. So if you choose 3,000 + "3" x 100 = 3,300 (out of a max of 4,900)...

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