Skip to Content

Help with theme - Neighbors as source of power

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/03/2013

Any of you that have read my Smugglers of the New World forum post (which appears to have been largely untouched, but that's OK) will note that I include a simple "control" mechanism that depends on the placement of yours and your opponent's control markers on a four-space board. The only way to collect resources was to control a spot at the beginning of a given turn, or push things off of a spot, shuffling the available control markers and then taking half as many resources.

I want to apply this idea to a game with multiple players, where each gap between players has a similar style of board, and you collect income based on what you control at the end of your turn on the game mats on either side of you (i.e. between your two neighbors). Thing is: I'm struggling to get a thematic direction from which to drive my design (something I typically need to help me conceptualize). Herein, I request help with developing the theme.

Some themes I thought of:
-A circle of competing wizards/runemasters (the game mats between players would have rune symbols, and acquiring "runes" could be used to make purchases) - likely a lighter, but less thematic direction
-A group of co-operating spirits attempting to drive off invaders to their precious land (and the mana that you need of a given type can't be being used by a neighbor, so you need to co-ordinate)

Any help you provide would be appreciated! :)

dnddmdb's picture
Joined: 01/06/2009
Just to be clear...

Just to be clear, so there's a board between each neighboring player, and there are spots on this board that let you collect resources, but only one player out of the two neighbors can collect that resource at a time?

If any theme is good, I can think of a banal one: the boards represent independent trading posts between neighboring civilizations.

Having relative seat order influence this certainly gives the theme a sense of place or geography. Alternatively, you could require certain player factions to sit next to each other (Like in Chaos in the Old World or Game of Thrones) and these boards could be more abstract and represent similarities these factions have in style or power sources.

I do like both of those themes you mentioned, too. For the spirit one, the boards could represent natural landforms that the spirits draw power from.

I'll definitely do some more brainstorming for you!


Joined: 07/03/2013
Thanks for a reply!

@dmddmdb: precisely, there's a four-resource competitive control system (which can of course be changed) at play between the given player and their two neighbors, so your comments were indeed helpful.

Civilization trading posts strikes me as a little too similar to "Between Two Cities", but the idea of using the resources you acquire to build (or summon buildings with runic magic or something) toward either a personal tableau or a central board has a certain appeal.

Again, thanks for your comments. I appreciate your insights.

Joined: 01/27/2017

You could have the competitive boards represent waterways (rivers, bays, etc.), frontiers (mountains, forests, deserts, etc.), fantasy encounter areas (dragon lairs, wizard towers, etc.), or minor "players" (city-states, etc.). Any of these could be shuffled and dealt to the spots between players.

The exception would be two players, which should probably have two competitive boards.

A more sophisticated setup (to put specific "betweens" in specific spots) would require a specific number of players, or a LOT of work to come up with appropriate transitions between two, three, four, and five players.

Joined: 09/06/2017
Sorry for the delayed

Sorry for the delayed response. I assuming that smugglers need move, avoid detection and trade goods both legal and illegal. Each area could have opportunities for both Aqcuiring and selling certain goods.

So from controlling forest you can acquire timber, game, truffles. It would also increase stealth. You could trade the woods man arms, ammunition, food, alcohol and manufactured goods.

From controlling mountains you could gain ores like iron silver and gold. Also this would be your hide out so stealth is dramatically increased and you could also provider a recovery mechanism for your smugglers. Unfortanly I see the mountain residents needing much the same thing as the woods man bit maybe they pay more they won't want to trade for a lot of goods.

Farms could provide food and alcohol. They would like manufactured goods and timber.

Water/waterways. Movement enhancer. Possibly meet people to trade with but it is unpredictable what goods they would like.

Citys(possibly divided into districts) are a place to acquire arms, ammunition and manufactured goods. Your stealth is decreased. City residents would like to trade for all other goods. Additionally you could recruit people into your smuggling ring.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut