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Monster Keep (Formerly Dragon Roost)

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questccg
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Hi all,

I was wondering if designers have seen or heard of a game where the setting is a Dragon Roost. Basically the keepers are experimenting with the dragon eggs to produce different species of Dragons - obviously each one with its different ability.

Not sure how the game would play out - perhaps after the keepers experiment, the dragon egg hatches and the each of the Player's Dragons battle it out... (Not sure about this: I was more interested in the first part)

Anybody have any ideas/comments they would like to add? Do you like this idea? Have you seen games with a similar concept?

I'm pretty sure I have not seen other games about *manipulating* (perhaps by melding) dragon eggs... Why Dragons? Cause they're BIG and BADASS! :P

If the game was about different kinds of monsters, I think it would be hard to get the melding part right...

questccg
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Some other ideas

Each *Keeper* would have HIS OWN secret formulas such that it could take different components to properly "hatch" a dragon. Sort a Civilization research tech-tree with varying options instead of being mostly linear.

Again, just another idea in relation to the *Dragon Roost* idea.

Corsaire
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Video games

Common enough sort of format in video games like Haypi Monster.

You might want some sort of mix and match mechanic like in Small World. Are you thinking of multiple generations of dragons?

I could see a deck builder going that way, too. Basically your deck is the gene pool and you could recruit higher level dragons into it. Maybe dragons have five or six stats and different elemental affinities and some have special abilities. After recruiting, you could draw like ten cards and mix and match traits to build your final dragon?

Just kinda riffing, which I think means I really like the idea :)

Stormyknight1976
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I to have this idea.

Players finding eggs arouund the world or continent, find encubators to hatch their eggs and find crystals to feed the pup dragons. In my game there are 10 different elemental dragons. Also a mix and match hybred. Eggs are stored and then players use the encubator tto hatch. Also players resourced armor, weapons, items and accessories for their dragons. Plus each holding tank can hold up to 10 different eggs. Attack and defense hasn't been thought up yet so its been on the game shelf for awhile now. Hope you can figure your game out quest.

TwentyPercent
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RE: I havet his idea.

Hey Stormyknight

What is the point of the resourced armor, weapons, and items? Is the game focused around collecting/hatching eggs, raising dragons the dragons, or combat?

Just don't stretch the game too thing. Fighting dragons are cool, but if it's not a focus, I would put it in.

Good luck!

Corsaire
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I was thinking if you took

I was thinking if you took away fighting, how would you judge the dragons. The idea of a sort of "best of brood" approach could be pretty entertaining with events paralleling stuff they do in dog shows. Like which dragon can sit with a hobbit on its nose longest without eating it.

Stormyknight1976
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To: Twentypercent,

I was thinking straight dragon combat.

Stormyknight1976
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Quest for Dragon domination?

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
I was thinking straight dragon combat.
but when designing the game, it seemed boring so I added the search for eggs and incubation. What is the point to have dragons fight each other? This is where I hit a block. Other than what Quest said, "Their BIG AND BADASS!" lol.

senorbaub
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I like the idea

Just exactly how would the keepers manipulate the eggs to produce a different dragon? Different parent types, different types of magic, crystal heating stones of different colors in different combinations? This is something that could be the main focus of the gameplay.

The goal of the game could just be having a complete set of dragon types. Thematically perhaps there's a prophecy or something that says the lord that possesses the all of the dragon types will rule the land.

questccg
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Some other ideas

Okay so I like it that fellow designer *like* the basic idea.

I was thinking something like there is a POOL of Dragons card in the middle. Maybe something like 2x # of Players (So 2 players, 4 dragons or 4 players, 8 dragons). Each dragon would have REQUIREMENTS that are needed to groom such a beast into existence. Each dragon would also have an "Influence" factor which could be the points players accumulate.

Once a player successfully BIDS for the dragon of his choice, he claims it and places it in his "Dragon's Keep". Maybe there could be an added bonus would could be like a token of how mature the dragon is that you buy. So not only do you try to get the dragon of your choice (based on cards that are melded), you can also grow your beast into a Youngling, a Middle or a Mature dragon. Each of these gives you +1 point, +2 points and +3 points...

What this does is allows opponents to *know* how many points you have earned... But the secret is, they don't know how much influence your dragon keep has! So you have a form of hidden information or more accurately partial information. For each token, you have one (1) dragon... So a player can count up the age bonus "influence" and knows how many dragons a player has. What he does not know is the *exact* influence those dragons have.

Does this sound cool and interesting still? Or have I completely missed the mark???

questccg
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More on the birthing (or buying)

I'm still *working on it* in my brain... so this might be tough to explain. But here I go...

When you bid on a dragon, you claim to have enough cards to bring that dragon to life. If during that turn, all the other players have not secured a dragon's egg (incubation), on the next turn a player who has secured an egg can UP the ANTE... And go for an older dragon earning a BONUS influence point.

Maybe instead of 2x # of players, it should be # of players + 2 (dragons). So players compete for the same dragon...

questccg
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Winning condition

I think there could be a "soft" winning condition such that each player needs to have 10 dragons in their keep. When a player reaches 10, he needs to wait for the other players to get to that mark...

I think this would reduce the fact that a player wins "simply because he has MORE dragons"... I would want to avoid that scenario.

I know you don't see many games with a "catch-up" mechanic such as this... But in reality this might mean 1 or 2 turns played solo. I'm not 100% sure about this. But I do want to make it about how smart a player was in bidding for mature dragons and how much influence his keep has gotten. Not a player winning because he has the 10th dragon or because he has like 3 more than his closest competitor...

The other scenario would be: each player starts off with the EXACT deck as another player. Players draw cards from that deck and must try to meld the dragons. Once a player reaches the END of HIS deck, that player has finished the game. Obviously he must wait until the other players do the same. At the end you count up influence points to determine the winner.

The interesting part about this is because there could be a lot of strategy in trying to meld the right beast. And everyone has the same odds out of the gate. What changes is how far you can stretch your deck (and obviously a little bit of card luck from the glorious card gods!)

Corsaire
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Interesting how many

Interesting how many different takes there can be on it. This path sounds kinda like a dragon adoption agency... Yes, you can have a puppy(dragon) if you can feed and care for it.

If resources needed to grow a dragon and to bid are the same, you create those kinda of tough choice decisions that makes a game really engagning. Also means once someone fills up, they still have activity to do.

Stormyknight1976
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My thoughts on bidding

What can we do to make the bidding or gain resources to breed each dragon into adult hood. Some cards need to block? other players methods of breeding or sabatoge the other players incubation process? Once the incubation hatch has been closed or locked it can not be sabatoged? Or reverse this option? Picking up from the draw piles seems lacking. As quest said, "there must be a bidding process" or something like that?

questccg
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Bluffing and bidding

With blind bidding come *bluffing*... So a player who does not have the proper cards can still "pretend" (by bluffing) that he does and could ultimately steal away a dragon from an opponent.

Instead of "heating crystals" and the like, I would tap into five (5) dragon traits:
1-Dragon's Teeth
2-Dragon's Claw
3-Dragon's Tail
4-Dragon's Scales
5-Dragon's Stomach

There could be five (5) classes of dragons, each with their own traits. A trait has a value (1 - 5 maybe). Players use the traits from their hands to try to match or surpass a trait. That is the bidding process. For example, a player will play three (3) cards from his hands saying: "I have enough to create Dragon X". Dragon X has three (3) traits: Teeth, Scales and Tail. So the assumption is that the player has played those 3 cards with high enough values.

Opponent's can challenge a player by challenging the bid (e.g. they also bid on the same dragon knowing they may lose - and not get a dragon this turn...) At the end of the turn, the player with the closest (or highest) match wins the dragon. The player who bluffs (and is successfully challenged) would of course get nothing.

Some traits are OPTIONAL and can age the dragon. In our example, Dragon X had three (3) traits: Teeth, Scales and Tail. But there are additional conditions like Scales = 3 (Middle) and Tail = 4 (Mature) which allow a player to age his dragon and collect BONUS points (+2 or +3 respectively).

Note: A player who is challenged may choose to withdraw his bid - and therefore would not lose the cards he bid with. On the opposite side, if a player loses a challenge before withdrawing his bid, that player loses the cards he made the bid with!

Basically the cards in your deck are like poker chips. They have value and can be used in combination with others. When you up the ante and play additional cards, that's like throwing more chips into the pot. The key difference is what happens when resolving the bids: cards involved in bids are computed and the highest bidder wins. Unfortunately the loser also loses the cards he had bid (sort of like losing your chips - because they were a part of the pot).

questccg
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More on traits

questccg wrote:
Instead of "heating crystals" and the like, I would tap into five (5) dragon traits:
1-Dragon's Teeth
2-Dragon's Claw
3-Dragon's Tail
4-Dragon's Scales
5-Dragon's Stomach

I have some interesting ideas for the cards that will be matched with the dragon traits.

Here are a few examples:

Slime Ooze = Used for an Acid Breathing Dragon's Stomach
Lump of coal = Used for a Fire Breathing Dragon's Stomach

I gave examples of the Stomach trait - because I am sure a few of you would be like: "Why Dragon's Stomach?" And the answer is he eats what his breath produces (Fire, Acid, etc.)

bonsaigames
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Dungeon Pets

Have you played Dungeon Pets?
Similar theme, might inspire you to do it better.
Best,
-Levi

questccg
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Dungeon Petz?

bonsaigames wrote:
Have you played Dungeon Pets?
Similar theme, might inspire you to do it better.
Best,
-Levi

I checked out http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/97207/dungeon-petz "Dungeon Petz" (hopefully the same game)... It looks way more complicated. I also *started* to watch a video about the game... But I did not particularly like it (Poop? Seriously)...

Also I noticed that it does not necessarily seem to have the *Partial Information*/*Hidden Information*. And I wanted *bluffing* to be part of the game. This is one of the "core" mechanics (alongside with bidding).

Note: my game is a CARD GAME which is usually simpler than a board game. Dragon Petz has all kinds of pieces to the game, not sure how all that works together. But I PREFER card games over board games - that's just my personal preference... Obviously it can be cards with parts also... But I usually shy away from a board.

questccg
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"Monster Keep", anybody?

I have also been thinking that I could make the game instead about "Monsters" (so Monster Keep). This is because when I calculate the amount of cards required for a 4 player game (deck of dragons), that is 60 cards. Seems to be a waste if all 60 cards are dragons... This is just a personal observation.

The 60 cards is based on 4 players. Each player could have 10 or more monsters. So that means a minimum of 40 monsters. 60/4 = 15 each... Sounds like a reasonable amount.

Note: each player's deck would be 40 cards (used to bid). 40/3 = 13 monsters given that it takes 3 TRAIT cards to raise a monster. Obviously 3 is the minimum, but there could be 4 or 5 cards for ageing monsters. 40/5 = 8 monsters. So this could be approximately 10 monsters.

This also means that the game would have 4 x 40 = 160 trait cards + 60 monster cards = Whooping 220 cards in total. It's really 100 (40 + 60) original cards (the rest are doubles).

The cards can also be *Combo-ed* to earn additional melding points. Such as if you play 2 cards together, they give a bonus trait (upping the value of the ante).

Corsaire
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Monsters not so much for me.

Monsters not so much for me. The idea trying to breed a single best dragon is much more interesting.

questccg
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60 Monsters is A LOT

OMG sixty (60) Monsters is a LOT of monsters... I forgot how tough it was to try to think of thirty (30) without trying to pull out my hair!

Where is Stormyknight1976 when I need him? The guy is a BEAST on finding new concepts for monsters... He once spent a month designing 16,000 monsters!!!

Maybe I'll hit him up for some ideas...

If you all have any ideas you want to share, feel free to comment.

Note: My distribution of Monsters (Monster Deck) goes something like this =

15 x 1 points = 15 (25%)
13 x 2 points = 28 (22%)
11 x 3 points = 39 (18%)
9 x 4 points = 48 (15%)
7 x 5 points = 55 (12%)
5 x 6 points = 60 (8%)

Total of 60 monsters, with distribution (in percent).

questccg
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Dragon's Deck - Blah

Corsaire wrote:
Monsters not so much for me. The idea trying to breed a single best dragon is much more interesting.

Well the problem stems from having 60 cards ONLY of Dragons. I find that concept somewhat repetitive... Like each "Monster" you are breeding would be a Dragon. It's kinda boring.

I was thinking if the KEEP was to have all types of MONSTERS, it would be more interesting... Each Lord must breed monsters to help keep his Stronghold protected from the EVIL HEROES (lol). So instead of being an "Evil Lord", you are the "Good Lord" who is protecting his keep from the vile heroes that come to steal money and treasure! I think this REVERSAL is kinda COOL...

I don't want the monsters to be "Pokemon-ish" (Kid-like or cartoon-ish).

So I guess I will open up my *Monster Manual* and start thinking about the types of monsters that would fit being in a keep.

Stormyknight1976
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Hey Quest!

I'm here to help. We will work on this. its not a big deal. Don't pull your hair out yet. lol But I hear you on what your saying. And yes Quest has contacted me last night in PM. We will also add our thoughts and ideas and concept information on this thread as well.

Update: I found out this morning that when I enter bgdf.com on my phone, the format to read the threads are frustrating. all the words are to the right, and to top it all off just trying to enter a forum thread, my phone logs out back to search the website or logs me out saying not enough memory and I clean out the phone every time I am through with the internet. Who knows what the problem is. To contact me for information would just to send me an email to: TWINEAGLEGRAPHICS AT YAHOO DOT COM. Sorry for the inconvenience. And we can chat up with the information. I will try my best to get online at the computer. thanks. Sorry to break up your thread Quest.

Stormyknight1976
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16,000 Cards.

I hand cut 16,000 cards in one month that was divided for the three factions in an old ccg strategy warfare game I was working on in the late 90's to early 2000. I just wanted to make that clear. But the Dymino Monsters N.C.C.G. Universe does have 2,000 monsters and the list is growing to its max of 5,000 monsters. This is for the entire 5 novels in its entirety. Silly Quest. But thanks for the awesome appreciation to the work the game has been progressing in. Oh and that game was torn apart to become added into Dymino Monsters game development.

questccg
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Using CLANS

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
I hand cut 16,000 cards in one month that was divided for the three factions in an old ccg strategy warfare game I was working on in the late 90's to early 2000.

That kinda has me thinking that I should divide the Monsters into clans. Like for example an Orc Clan, an Ogre Clan, an Undead Clan, etc. I know I have 60 monster to "create". But if it is divided into clans with several members to a clan, that makes a more reasonable an amount units to think up!

@Stormy: Ya I understood from your example how you were fusing different creatures together to get a completely new creature... This to me is probably good for "Dymino Monster" - because it works with the game. In my "Monster Keep" I think I will try to design 5 clans, with different RANKS of Monsters. Obviously the Dragons will be at the TOP of each one of clans...

So something to that effect... We will see what I come up with. This seems to be *interesting* since the monsters are grouped into a CLAN. For now this is my direction.

This is the ORC clan: "Brawler", "Swordsman", "Bezerker", "Axe Thrower", "Stone Hurler", "Shaman", "Witch Doctor", "Manticore", "Bridge Troll", "Hill Giant", "Orc Chieftain" and "Green Dragon". This could be the ORC Clan (12 members in this GREEN clan).

This is the UNDEAD clan: "Zombie", "Skeleton", "Mummy", "Werewolf", "Vampire", "Harpie", "Necromancer", "Mystic Seer", "Crypt Fiend", "Flesh Giant", "Lich King" and "Black Dragon" (12 members of the BLACK clan).

This is the FIRE clan: "Fire Sprite", "Djinn", "Hell hound", "Efreeti", "Fire Elemental", "Basilisk", "Wyvern", "Demon", "Succubus", "Fire giant", "Prince of Darkness (Devil)" and "Red Dragon" (12 members of RED clan).

This is the STORM clan: "Will-O-Wisp", "Naiad", "Dragon Turtle", "Kraken", "Siren", "Sea Serpent", "Thunderbird", "Merman", "Mermaid", "Storm giant", "Leviathan", "Blue Dragon" (12 members of BLUE clan).

This is the FROST clan: "Bruiser" (Ogre - Fist), "Smasher" (Ogre - Club), "Crusher" (Ogre - Stone), "Butcher" (Ogre - Cleaver), "Wolf Raider", "Polar Bear", "Gargoyle", "Dark Elf (Male)", "Dark Elf (Female)", "Frost giant", "Cyclops", "White Dragon" (12 members of WHITE clan).

Note: this is a *tentative* list of monsters for the game. Not all are a perfect fit, but that doesn't matter...

questccg
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Monster Keep - What do you think?

So I was wondering what everyone thought about a game where you are a "Lord who must breed Monsters to protect his Keep from the evil Heroes that come with the intent to steal valuable gold and treasure".

There would be 5 Clans (each having its own colour).

Players draw "# of Players" + 2 cards from the Monster Deck. These are the Monsters the players may breed.

Player's Turn is comprised of these phases:
1-Draw = Draw 2 cards from your deck into your hand.
2-Bid = Place from 1 to 5 cards down from your hand and place your avatar on ONE monster.
3-Up the Bid = Play additional cards to up the bid of your monster.
(or) Fold = Remove your bid and place the cards back into your hand, goto Phase #2 (with another monster).
4-Buy = If there are no competing bid or the player has the HIGHEST bid, the player buys the monster and
must pick a +1/+2/+3 Marker depending on the age of the monster you bread.
If there are competing bids, goto Phase #3.
5-Clean up = All cards from bids are placed into a player DISCARD pile.

-When you BID, you do so BLINDLY and can BLUFF.
-If you LOSE a bid (and don't fold) you lose the cards you were bidding with.
-Each player knows how many monsters each player has in their keep.
-Each monster has between 1 and 6 Influence points.
-Each player knows how many BONUS Influence points each player has.

Sometime you will be able to AGE your Monster by playing an appropriate card. This earns you ADDITIONAL Influence points (+1/+2/+3).

Victory condition:
Be the player with the MOST "Influence points" at the end of the game.

questccg
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More on betting and bluffing

The other night I was thinking about the "BETTING" mechanic. And the idea would be that a player can bid between one (1) to five (5) cards.

BUT players earn a BONUS token (+1/+2/+3) depending on the AGE of the Monster they breed. Those tokens serve as BONUSES to the amount of "Influence" earned by the total amount of Monsters in the keep.

And so I thought, "What if you could use those *Tokens* to UP THE ANTE EVEN MORE!"

So a player could bid three (3) cards and a +1 Token. The tokens act as WILDCARD and are AUTOMATIC POINTS towards the bidding/betting of the Monster. This also goes hand-in-hand with bluffing: a player may have bluffed with 1 card BUT he bets +2 Tokens (so +2 Points) towards a the BID. With this, players can mix bluffing and betting in the bidding process.

Each time a player BREEDS ("Buy" or successful bid), he receives a +1 Token. If he AGES the beast to being JUVENILE (+2 Token) or MATURE (+3 Token) he can earn more valuable tokens (which can be used in the bidding process).

Here is the KICKER: Tokens USED in bidding ARE LOST, if a player LOSES the bid. Winner get to KEEP their tokens. Tokens are ALSO use as INFLUENCE POINTS and ADDED to the End Score of each player. So you got to be smart in how you BID/BET/BLUFF...

Note: I am also thinking that "Tokens" should be LOST in the overall BIDDING process. This makes it even more RISKY to bid with tokens... My FEAR is that if WINNERS get the tokens back, that would lead to a player dominating the other players. If you AUTOMATICALLY LOSE any tokens used in bidding, that makes it that harder to think of the better *betting/bluffing* strategy.

Corsaire
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Maybe you could up the theme

Maybe you could up the theme and call bidding "kidnapping", same mechanic different perspective. Your tokens are then enhancement spells or tools or such.

questccg
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Made me think...

Corsaire wrote:
Maybe you could up the theme and call bidding "kidnapping", same mechanic different perspective. Your tokens are then enhancement spells or tools or such.

Hmm... Maybe you are onto something... Instead of "kidnapping" it could be like LURING or ATTRACTING the Monster to your keep. So the HIGHER bid, is what attracts the Monster the MOST. Make me think about the other decks of cards. The ones each player has. I already have the 60 Monster Deck, now all I need to figure out is what each 40 cards player decks have as cards...

The thing is that there needs to be A LOT of COMBOS. What I mean by this is if you BID with 2 cards TOGETHER, they give a BONUS (Combo) points (for a successful bid). And that is to try to reduce TOO MUCH BLUFFING. I don't want the game to be ONLY about bluffing. I want some strategy to the game also.

Still need to think about this some more...

Corsaire
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Combos make for fun player

Combos make for fun player interactions, where you do one card reveals...haha you only have haunches of meat? I've got wily maidens! Oh no, please don't tell me you have ghost peppers to go with the meat...

questccg
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All three (3) characteristics

Corsaire wrote:
Combos make for fun player interactions, where you do one card reveals... haha you only have haunches of meat? I've got wily maidens! Oh no, please don't tell me you have ghost peppers to go with the meat...

Ya cards in bids are REVEALED ONE CARD AT A TIME. So a player can FOLD before the hand is completely revealed.

I am thinking about Monster characteristics... Like for example:

-HUNGER: How much a Monster likes to EAT.
-GREED: How much a Monster likes TREASURE.
-BLOODLUST: How much a Monster likes BATTLE.

I am thinking like in your last post "Wily Maidens"... How much a Monster likes Slaves ... oops ... I mean COMPANIONS! Hehehe.

Update: I have since decided that there will be two (2) decks = A Monster deck with 60 monsters and each player has a Hero deck with 40 cards.

The Hero deck will become expansions to the game, right now I will be focused on creating a "Human" deck... Future decks could be with "Elves" or "Dwarfs".

The FOOD for the game will be the "Heroes" themselves! Hehehe. Each monster will have three (3) traits and each "Human Hero" will also have three (3) traits (to try to satisfy the Monster).

Bluffing has *changed* a little bit: You need to OUTBID your opponents. You do this by playing more cards or by using bonus tokens. So it's a little bit about SIZING up your opponent (in a competing bid).

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