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Gnome themed game - alternate theme?

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harmon89's picture
Joined: 01/13/2016

So I have an idea for a game, but I'm not sure if I should go with a different theme or stick with the one I have.
The game is set in a magical forest and everyone is playing a gnome who is seeking to be elected as the next leader of the gnome clan. Do you think there's enough interest in gnomes?

Here's how the game currently plays for those who might be interested.

There are 5 boards set out (in a 4 player game). Each mat represents one of the respected families of the gnome clan. Each gnome family has anywhere from 5-8 members who are each featured on the family board. Each gnome is influenced by either your Knowledge, Wealth, Skill, or Reputation. (Or a combination of the 4 areas).

During setup one resource token will be placed on every gnome on each of the 5 family boards. The resources contain icons representing either Knowledge, Wealth, Skill, or Reputation, and have a value between 1-3 on them.

There is also a deck of cards with a variety of actions and special effects. Place one of these cards face up next to the family boards for every gnome in that family. So if there are 7 gnomes on a family board. Flip over 7 cardsface up next to that board.

Give each player 20 influence tokens ranging from an influence of 1-3.

The game is played in 3 Phases

The first phase is a worker placement phase where players take turns placing one of their +1 influence tokens on one of the gnome spaces on any of the family boards. In exchange the gnome will give the player the resource token that was on that gnome's space. During this phase players cannot influence a gnome that has already been influenced.

Once all players have placed their 8 starting influence tokens Phase 1 ends.


In this phase the cards next to each family board are secretly drafted, starting with the player who has influenced the most gnomes in that family. Players draft one card for each gnome they’ve influenced in that family. (So if you influenced 3 gnomes in a family you take 3 cards).

If there is a tie, the player who’s influenced the most respected gnome in that family get to choose their cards first. (Every gnome on the board is ranked)


In this final phase each player takes turns playing one card from their hand, continuing to influence gnomes to gain more support before the final vote.

Cards will often be certain actions like, “host a feast for the clan” or “heal a woodland creature”
Each card has a cost that must be paid using the resource tokens you collected in Phase 1. The card will provide an immediate benefit (usually more knowledge, wealth, skill, or reputation) and an ongoing special effect (future reduction in cost of influencing gnomes, ability to influence more gnomes on a turn, or other ways to score points.)

After you play your card you can influence 1 gnome by paying the cost associated with influencing that gnome plus additional resources for the numerical value of the influence token currently on that gnome space. So if a gnome is influenced by 1 wealth and 2 knowledge and there was a +2 influence token already on that space you would have to pay 1 wealth, 2 knowledge plus an additional 2 resources of either wealth or knowledge. You then replace the old influence token with a token from your supply with a value 1 higher than the previous token.

You may influence more than one gnome if you have special abilities on past cards you played that allow you to increase the number of gnomes you can influence per a turn.


Once all players have played all but 1 card, votes are tallied and the winner is the player with the most votes.

Votes are counted in 3 ways

- Each gnome you’ve influenced gives you 1 vote.
- If you’ve influenced the most gnomes in a family you get one additional vote for the number of cards you’ve played that match the color of that gnome family.
- Add additional votes that you may have gained through the special abilities on cards you have played.

Mosker's picture
Joined: 03/30/2014
Answer, then question:

Yes. In fact, there's something about gnome elections that avoids the toxicity of gnomes and electioneering. Love to see it.

Now, while this is primarily a design forum, the critical question to ask may be, "How much am I willing to spend on art and graphic design to insure it's right?" I think of humor, of a hint of magic, of small folk in a big forest and what that might mean in terms of how the illustrations are oriented and the graphics in general. Think about them in our world, in advertisements, how they seem most interesting when they're not on the lawn.

Are you ready to say, "No, not quite. Try this, and yes, I'll pay for it?"

harmon89's picture
Joined: 01/13/2016
I hope you're right. I don't

I hope you're right. I don't think gnomes are as popular as other mythical creatures, but I've always found them fascinating. And I do think gnomes lend themselves to a little humor.

I was sort of imagining artwork similar to that found in The Grimm Forest.

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