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New idea based on merchants supplying heroes

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deFunkt29
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I have a very new idea for a board game that I think would be quite fun, interesting, and unique (though I'm guessing somewhere it's been done before). It involves players playing as merchants in a fantasy like setting. The king has called for the elimination of all dungeons in the country, and you being a merchant has decided to cash in on these endeavors for fame and fortune.

The game will probably involve a few simple resources, cards depicting various weapons/armor/gear you can make, some parties (with varying types of heroes in them) that will move around the map, completing quests, and you could win by getting a certain amount of money/and or fame. As the parties of heroes that you supply defeat dungeons, you could gain additional resources/money from them, and fame. You could also lose fame if the party you supply dies, and there could also possibly be ways to sabotage certain merchants. The game would also have an important crafting element.

I think it sounds very cool, but could be a bit to complicated with a board game, especially with different players supplying different parts to the same party. Perhaps each item could have an amount of fame on them, where if that party completes the dungeon, you obtain that much fame. Perhaps the percentage of the fame you had on all the units gear, could show the order of items that you can pick from after they complete the quest.

Another possible problem could be the random movement of the parties. I think it would be really neat for the adventurers to go off while you watch, but this could be a bit boring if all you do is the item management parts. Perhaps cards could be drawn as they go in a dungeon, to represent a cooler story? I think it would be neat if there was multiple parties (maybe 3?), each party having 3 different heroes in them, each with a different effect that can increase success chances at certain times.

Does anyone think this is a good game idea? Is it overly complicated/difficult to imagine working as a board game and not a video game? Any cool ideas from anyone?

Thanks!

Grall Ritnos
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Great germ of an idea

I think this idea has a lot of interesting space. I'm working on a somewhat thematically similar design right now where each player represents a company which builds starships in a galaxy gearing up for war. For simplicity however, I decided to eliminate any simulation of the conflict, other than occasionally allowing players to send their own unsold ships into combat to score a bit of quick mercenary cash.

I'm not familiar with any other board games that use this theme (although I'm not an expert). However, I did recently stumble upon an MMO which uses this theme called Swords and Potions, although this game also doesn't directly simulate the adventures of your customers. I didn't find it compelling enough to stick with, but that mostly had to do with them limiting how much you can play before you have to wait additional time. If you're interested, you may want to check it out for some ideas on implementation.

I guess one thing I'm unclear about from your description is whether each merchant has a party that only he or she is supplying, or if parties are buying from all players. If parties can buy from anyone, you'll need to come up with a way to determine who they buy from, in addition to determining what items the party wants to buy. I played with an auction mechanic in my game, before deciding to go with a first come, first served system, with ties being broken by preference assigned to each customer (most fame, best repair options, etc.)

There are lot of interesting decisions to be made here, and I'll be eager to hear your take on them.

deFunkt29
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Ya I agree, there is a lot of

Ya I agree, there is a lot of space, almost too many possibilities at the moment :P. I actually did take a look at swords and potions, though never went past the loading screen. Although I had the idea in my head before that, it gave me some ideas on trading and such.

For the time being, I think it would be cool if parties could buy from all players. Perhaps they will buy from whoever can offer the cheapest price, almost like auctioning off gear to them. In the end, you would have to make sure you will be making enough money of off this though, and it will be difficult to balance this without a player actually playing as the parties, which is something i want to avoid.

I also think having different players supplying the same party will open up some interesting mechanics. For example, lets say a steel breast plate has 3 fame attached to it, and a sword has 2 fame on it. You supply the party with one of each, so you have 5 fame if the party completes a dungeon. Also, when it comes to getting whatever loot the party obtained after the dungeon, it will depend on what amount of fame the party had on all their gear in total. For example, if they had 15 fame from gear, you would get 1/3 of the items. As for what items the parties want to buy, it will probably be fairly limited. Perhaps each hero (depicted on a card) will want 2 items of specific types (sword, leather armor, shield), and there will be a way of determining highest quality with lowest price.

Again, lots and lots of options. I just need to find which ones are doable and which ones will totally slow down/over complicate game play.

bonsaigames
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Adventurers Wreck Economies

I remember seeing a comic strip some time ago showing how when the adventurers come to town all the prices skyrocket because they wreck the local economy with their ridiculous wealth.
Sounds like a fun premise for a lighthearted game.

simons
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I think it sounds like a neat

I think it sounds like a neat idea. I'd play it. Video game would certainly be simpler, but I bet you could do it in a board game.

One more thing you could consider for fame: What if a player gets fame points if their item was something that saved the day. Like, "Why Vulgar the magnificent, how ever did you slay that dragon?" "Well, let's just say I couldn't have done it without my trusty (Player 1)-brand sword." I'm not quite sure how you could implement it, but it could create an interesting dynamic (like, no longer the best items, but the specific best items).

Simon

deFunkt29
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I do like the sound of a

I do like the sound of a comedic aspect would suit it well, especially in the way simons mentioned. It would be funny to see a warrior in battle running about with a brand name across his chest plate, and afterward saying some cheesy one liner about your product (think a foot ball player after a game advertising for gatorade, or something along those lines). Maybe even whatever hero killed a dungeon boss, the player who supplied the gear to that hero gets a fame boost. I've been pretty busy today, so I haven't gotten a lot of work done on it, but thanks for all the ideas everyone!

One thing I've been thinking of is the very simple combat system. Perhaps each round would involve a dice roll from each hero in the party, each one that rolls of a certain number gets you a 'success' point or something along the likes. Then you roll an amount of dice depending on the dungeon type (as depicted on a card). If you roll a certain amount, you lose a success point. If you reach a certain amount, you defeat the dungeon, but if you lose all your success points, the party is defeated, must restart (or die), all gear on them is destroyed, and suppliers lose fame (this is all just some basic ideas). Perhaps weapons will make it easier to roll to get success points, and armor can make it easier to avoid losing it. These are just some preliminary ideas (from a person without a ton of board game experience, no less) but I think they could make the game fast and basic, while still enjoyable.

kos
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Non-dice options

If the focus of the game is on the merchants supplying the equipment, and the heroes are on the "sidelines", then perhaps a dice-less resolution system would be better. Rolling dice can be time-consuming.

For example, give each piece of equipment a fixed value. Total value of the party is the sum of their equipment. When the party enters a dungeon, players take turns flipping cards from the Dungeon deck one by one. Each Dungeon card is a Monster, Trap, or what-not, with a given value. If the total value of the dungeon exceeds the total value of the heroes, the heroes lose. This could be turned into a push-your-luck mechanic if the players get to choose when to pull out of the dungeon: Do the heroes press on a little bit further to earn some more fame, or do they pull out before they get overwhelmed? (Especially if you include a rule that the heroes must flip 2 more cards *after* they decide to pull out, to represent the monsters they have to fight on the way home if they haven't completely defeated the dungeon.)

There are a plethora of variations on this basic mechanic depending on the desired complexity and style of game. In fact, this has got me thinking about some fresh mechanic ideas for one of my games that's been languishing on the shelf for a while...

Regards,
kos

deFunkt29
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Ahhhh that's a really good

Ahhhh that's a really good point. You are definitely correct, I never really thought about how time consuming this could really be (dice rolling). With 3 parties having to undergo multiple dice rolls in each turn, it would definitely be boring, especially since they aren't even the primary focus! I like the idea of the randomness being supplied by cards being drawn anyway. It adds a lot more character to the game, and can make for a lot more suspense. Brilliant idea with the running away mechanic. The only problem is if no character is controlling them, how would this be accomplished? Possibly if they lose a certain amount of instances provided by the cards (maybe 2, max being 3), they attempt to run away, which makes them be in more battles, and you lose fame after. Possibly a certain hero or certain item makes it so they run away easier, or that they never run away.

Perhaps each dungeon has a certain amount of cards that must be flipped in order to complete it, and after those are flipped you must complete a task as described on the main dungeon card, sort of like a boss battle of sorts. In this way you could do some really neat things. I could choose to have the party complete a dungeon all in one get go, as in you spend some time getting them all ready and equipped with gear, and then they are let loose in the dungeon, or I could have it where they draw one card at the end of each turn. Choices, choices, choices!

Nero79
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You can check Dungeon Lords.

You can check Dungeon Lords. In this case players are dungeon lords managing their dungeons trying to get rid of partys of adventurers. The game has a long setup and is not really a game for casual gamers (lots of rules and things to do). Here a review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBMmKXPbrRk

Another dungeon inspired game coming out later this year is Dungeon Fighter by Cranio Creations. Nothing to do with merchants but you can check how the dungeon crawling is managed in a very unique way
http://www.craniocreations.com/it/boardView.php?id=Dungeon%20Fighter

bonsaigames
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Party Management

Depending on what you are trying to do, you could have each merchant (player) recruit and sponsor a group of heroes, the way modern sports equipment companies hire spokes-athletes. Their success or failure would affect your sales and their death would require you to hire new heroes (which would get harder based on how many you've sent to their deaths).
You could also make each player is an investor in various types of items. It could be cooperative, with realm events requiring certain item quality numbers to overcome; or it could be competitive in a way that is similar to Acquire.
Either way, this sounds interesting and fun. I agree with others that you should keep the spirit of the game fun and fast.
The idea of playing Norman the Barbarian's Accountant does not sound fun, but playing the Guildmaster who shapes the realm does.
I know I just gave you three completely different suggestions for your game, I hope it doesn't muddle things for you.
Keep us in the loop,
Levi

deFunkt29
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It's interesting, dungeon

It's interesting, dungeon lords sounds a lot like a different game I started creating earlier this year, but kinda gave up on, although a lot of ideas from this game come from my original idea. Thanks for the links, I'll check them out!

Haha of course you've muddled things up for me, but that's what I'm on here for, some new ideas that will totally re-shape the game's current form. I don't know about recruiting heroes, but I do like the idea of sponsoring. Like, if you supplied a party with the majority of its gear, or maybe if you gave it some gear for free, you can take some control over them, for example, convincing them not too buy with some merchants, bartering for better prices, going to certain dungeons, etc.

I was also thinking about each player specializing in a certain type of items, which would make trade and co-operation much more important. I would like the game to keep an endgame competitive feel, but I think you will have to help each other in some ways, of course, only to better yourself in the end. Possibly if you create a certain amount of items various times (such as swords, robes, bows, etc.) you get better at making them, giving you more chances to create powerful gear? Or perhaps you some how obtain 'blue prints', which show which resources are required to make what gear. Ex: Player A has a blueprint for a sword, which requires two metal and one wood. Player B needs a sword, but there is limited blue prints. Thus, trading would be necessary. I think some interesting over world events would stop the player from feeling like,as you put it, Norman the Barbarian's accountant (lol, btw).

Ludomancer
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Coop and Not: Party Spiral

There is a way you could make you concept a fun cooperative / competitive hero supplying game. I've attached an image that shows what I will be talking about.

![Alt text](http://www.angelfire.com/droid/black_d1/Bathtub/Party_Spiral.jpg)

Each player (I'm thinking 2 OR 4, 3 is impossible) would start with a party of their color on a 'dungeon' of the player's color. The board would be a downward spiral towards the 'Pit of Doom' (or whatever). The board would be divided into 4 'zones', one for each player (kinda like how towns have one Walmart on each side). While a party is in your zone, you supply that party and gain benefits from that party's 'wins', but the player whose color the party is would also gain a benefit from wins (more card-drawing perhaps).

Each turn, you would make ONE dungeon roll, which would apply to all dungeons. The space each party is actually on would modify the roll somehow (making the space harder to beat), and the equipment you supply would modify the roll in the other direction (make the dungeons easier). You would then need a mechanic to determine which bits of equipment 'break' and which stay.

This makes the game semi-cooperative, as some equipment you supply will stay on the party and will 'help' other players when the party is in their zone. It is also competitive, as you try to supply the best stuff to 'your' party and to make sure other parties barely survive while they're in your zone.

I think if a Party dies, it would not be removed from the game, simply 're-spawn' where it is (not move forward). Whichever Party beats the Pit of Doom first, that player (whose color the Party is) wins. What do you think?

deFunkt29
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Hmmm it's an interesting

Hmmm it's an interesting idea, and does seem fun. Especially the competitive side of it, such as supplying other parties just enough so they survive through your zone. The only thing is I'm just trying to stay away from players actually owning parties, or having allegiance with any party in particular. Maybe there is no way to do this, but I just like the idea of the players being able to supply any party in any which way, without being biased by thinking that he/she should make their own party a priority. I like the one dungeon roll though, and you hit might current dungeon battle mechanic almost right on the button!

Another thing is that I'm trying to make it so equipment won't 'break'. I think it would be neat if there was a way for it to incorporate the heroes buying different gear and swapping weapons between dungeons, but it would just be kinda complicated to see what the durability is on every item (I'm thinking possibly 2 items per hero, 3 heroes per party, and 3 parties? This ends up being a lot of items). Unless anyone (or Ludomancer) has any good way around this. All in all, some really good idea for a game, but just not for as I view my game currently.

In my last post I was talking about blue prints, and trading, and I think I found a way to remedy this. Each character will hold blue print cards (roughly 4-6 max each) which shows which gear they can produce. They can only hold one card of each type though (ex. Warrior Weapon, Mage Robe, Bow.... etc.). So, if they wish to supply a specific hero/party with an object, there will be smaller cards with colours depending on which player is supplying the gear. Each card will say what type of gear is being supplied. Eg. a blue card with 'Warrior's Weapon' on it shows that this party is gaining from the Blue player's current 'Warrior's Weapon' blue print (if this makes sense to anyone!). This way, players are limited by how many different items they can produce (can't supply a whole party by themselves) and also it's easier to track which players are supplying which parties. Tell me what you think!

Grall Ritnos
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A couple of thoughts

A couple thoughts from your last post. As for the durability issue, I think you're exactly right that tracking durability for every item would be too much. However, this doesn't mean items can't break. You could instead make a consequence of losing a dungeon or encountering certain dungeon elements that each adventurer randomly has one of his or her items break. It would stink to have your brand new shield break when that helm has been going strong since the start of the game, but hey, its a dungeon. Stuff happens. This could create a needed demand element so that the parties are always looking to buy.

I really like the idea of blueprint cards, and your method of tracking which hero is carrying what. I had two additional ideas that might be interesting in this regard. You mentioned above that players may be able to get a share of the adventurers loot. One option would be for this loot to include new blue prints, which players would then have the option of using to upgrade their offerings. This does introduce some issue in tracking what item is what in the adventurer's inventory, but I think the ability to improve your gear is could be interesting.

Secondly, each blueprint could indicate the level of the item it represents. In this way, if an adventurer wearing a Level 2 breastplate strolls into town with some extra gold in his coin purse, and he sees a shiny new Level 3 breastplate in the window of one of the shops, he has incentive to buy new items. Perhaps this idea is obvious, but I don't remember seeing it explicitly discussed above, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Again, great ideas so far. I've spent more time in the last 24 hours thinking about this design than I have my own, so you've definitely got something here. Happy tinkering!

deFunkt29
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Haha I know what you mean,

Haha I know what you mean, it's an addictive idea in a way. Thanks for the reply! Ya, perhaps in a dungeon you can't pass a certain card, instead of losing for some, a certain armour piece would break. This would make the after dungeon process interesting, even if you end up winning the dungeon, the party may have to go back and buy some gear for themselves. Just thinking of that, it would be really interesting if the parties themselves had gold. It would also make it easier to see which pieces of gear they could buy in between dungeons, though it could get complicated with this feature.

I do think that getting more interesting blue prints would definitely be interesting. Perhaps gear would have 2 categories, "Non-Magical" for gear you can get at the start of the game, and "Magical" for gear you unlock as the game progresses. Perhaps there would be a certain resource like gems or something, that would be used only in the forging of magical gear, but would be rather rare. I'm definitely planning on some sort of leveling system for gear, but it may just be either common or magical. I don't think that really being able to upgrade the gear would work overly well, I think it would probably be better (and fairer to players that weren't currently supplying the party) if they had to buy entirely new gear in order to get better gear.

I have a general idea for a game board that I may make at some point this weekend!

deFunkt29
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Before I make a game, I just

Before I make a game, I just had a sudden idea that I'd like some feedback on. Instead of global event cards just being drawn randomly, I was thinking it would be neat if possibly there was a larger game board either encircling the entire board or possibly just being in a corner. It'd be a fairly straightforward area, and you would roll a D6, move a piece around this area probably at the end of your turn (or after a certain players turn... still not totally sure how the players turns will work). The piece will land on certain squares such as draw an event card, changing the price of certain resources (in my game, you must buy all resources to gain them, but the prices subtly flux as the game goes on), and possibly changing some dungeons etc. I was wondering if this is necessary? I think it would be a kind of neat addition, showing the time passing as the game progresses, but I'm not sure where I would put it on the board, and when the piece would be moved.

As for the board itself, the majority of it will probably be 3 cities. Each city will be easy to move between, players can move one square per turn (probably 3 or so in between) or pay gold to fast travel to a different city. Each city will have different resource nodes, showing which resources can be gathered there at any given turn. Each city will also have certain dungeons attached to them (probably 3 or so on each). Each dungeon will have several squares leading up to it, theses represent the heroes getting ready, and these are the spaces that you can upgrade them from, as long as your character piece is in the corresponding city (this may seem kind of confusing, but I think it will be easier then doing, lets say, a hex map. I'll show you this on a paint map soon as well). Also on the board it will show each party's status, and what gear they have. Each party will be represented by a few cards, and each party will be a different colour (probably red, blue and yellow). This seems to be all I have for game boards at the moment, tell me what you think!

deFunkt29
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Prototype Board

Sorry for the triple post here.... but just thought I'd show the rough prototype for the game board. Hopefully this shows off some of the above ideas a bit more clearer:

http://www.bgdf.com/node/5071

bonsaigames
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Clear Player Goal / Role

I'm still not sure that I understand the Player's Goal / Role in the game.

deFunkt29
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bonsaigames wrote:I'm still

bonsaigames wrote:
I'm still not sure that I understand the Player's Goal / Role in the game.

Ok thanks for the comment! The Player's role is that of a merchant, who is supplying heroes in a fantasy world in order to gain riches from their endeavors, and fame from supplying the famous heroes/parties. Their end goal is to get a certain amount of fame from the heroes, and they get this through supplying the heroes with gear (weapons, armour) that makes them better at completing dungeons. The Player's do end up playing a variety of roles though, as they must gather resources, create gear, trade with other players, supply heroes. One thing they do not do though, is control the parties of heroes in the dungeons.

bonsaigames
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Rumors

Could the merchants spread rumors to the parties to influence their dungeon choices? I'm assuming a direct risk / reward relationship with the dungeons, with their success in the red dungeons earning more fame for the merchants than the blue dungeons.

What is the purpose of the game board? I understand and really like the event track you have, but I don't understand how parties moving between cities and dungeons will matter to the merchants beyond the fact that they have entered a city or dungeon.

Do the parties collect materials as well as fame or do the merchants hire miners and collectors?

I also think you might want to have 3 levels of dungeons (Heroic, Paragon, & Epic for example). Not for the D&D tie in, but because three levels of play gives the players a better chance / ability to react to how well they / another play is doing.

If I'm saying too much, please let me know. The last thing I want to do is step on your creative toes.
Levi

deFunkt29
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Thanks for all the ideas! I

Thanks for all the ideas! I like the idea of spreading rumours, I already think there will be a system to influence their choices, which is by if the majority of their gear by supplied by you, you get to influence them once a turn, or something along those lines. And yes, it is fairly direct risk/reward.

This is another thing I have problem with, the actual movement in the game board. It's more about the merchant changing cities. Each city will have certain resource nodes attached to them, which represent the likelihood that a certain resource will be spawned in that city. So to get a certain resource, you will have to buy from a certain city (though some will be available at multiple cities). Eg. A certain city has 2 metal nodes. At the start of all players second turn, roll a dice for each one. On a 3+, players will be able to buy metal resources if they are in the connecting city. Also to supply a party with gear, you must be in the same city as them.

As for collecting resources/materials, it is just going to cost gold in the early game, but possibly in the late game you can create a collector model on a certain node, for a large cost of gold. Possibly heroes could gain resources in dungeons as well, I never thought of this!

I did think of 3 levels of dungeons, but I just think 2 is good enough for me to focus on for now, after all, I don't really want the focus to be on the parties in the dungeons themselves. There is probably going to be some differences amongst the easier parties anyway, but if I see a need to later on, I could change this.

bonsaigames
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Exotic Cities

Maybe then you could have cities set in exotic places which have the potential to give you specialty resources. Like a city near a dragon's roost which would allow you to collect dragon scales for armor and shields.

If you want the players to have to make choices about moving their shop, you could give them X actions per turn and moving to a new city would cost an action.

deFunkt29
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Ya I like the exotic places

Ya I like the exotic places idea, I could really play around with it once I actually get a background on the main map. For example, there is only one city that you can get magic essence from, I could place it near some sort of magical location etc. Thanks for the ideas!

As for the limited actions, that's actually a really good idea. I've been wanting a way to limit players turns, and this could be a good way of doing it. It'd be nice if players took turns after every action, since it would be kind of unfair if one player got to do all his actions right after certain resources became available. For example, at the beginning of the turn, 2 metal resources are gathered at a city. Player A gets the first turn, and he buys up all the metal. It'd be more fair if he got to buy 1 metal, then it went to the next player. After all players do their actions (3 per turn?) the event board is rolled on, and the heroes move one space closer to their current dungeon.

bonsaigames
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Resource Management

Since resources seems to be an important part of this game, I'll share an idea I was toying with for resource management where each city would have a specialty and would generate X resources per round and the more resources a player buys, the more each would cost (kind of like Power Grid without the chart). Players could buy from the city they are in. Maybe 1 phase of a round could be Movement, where players can choose the city they'll be in this turn. Then the next phase would be resource purchasing. Of course this means you will have many more than 3 cities to chose from.

This is the VERY rough form of the idea.
http://www.bgdf.com/node/5072

With this image, you would place counters on the resource nodes around the edge starting with Red and moving to Green, the more they have the less expensive it would be to get.

deFunkt29
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A cool idea, and I like the

A cool idea, and I like the idea of the resource costs changing depending on how many are bought. I'm kind of confused though by your post, does the price go up or down as more are purchased? Is the price effected by every player that buys resources?

I thing its a neat idea, but it may clutter up my game since each city is supposed to offer multiple resources to merchants. I think since certain items costs combination of resources (for example, a sword costing sword and metal) it would be difficult if certain cities only offered certain resources. Maybe I should increase the amount of cities in the game though. I am interested in implementing a system similar to it though, perhaps instead charts on the right side of the board that show as all the resources of a certain type (eg. wood) are bought, the price increases. These charts would be effected by all buying of resources on the map.

By the way, the list of resources are as follow: Metal, Wood, Leather, Cloth, and Magical Essence. I suppose fame and gold are also a resource in a way, though they are not used in a similar way.

bonsaigames
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Resource Counters

Yes you would put blocks, glass beads, winks, etc. on the spaces around each city and players would remove them as they purchase them driving up the cost as supply drops.

I like the chart idea as well, however it doesn't inspire movement from city to city. You could allow players to buy resources from any city any player is in. This would set up intersting choices.

Player A is in the Elven Wood City, Player B is in the Dwarven Forge Metal City, Player C is in the Magical Essence City. On the Resource Gathering step, all players may purchase Wood, Metal, or Essence at a cost based on your supply & demand chart. None of them could buy Leather or Cloth this turn, since no players were in those cities, the markets didn't open. They should restock faster than the occupied cities though.

deFunkt29
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You need to move from city to

You need to move from city to city because there is still only certain resources in certain cities, and certain resources are more common in certain cities. For example: City A has 2 Metal nodes, a Wood node, and a Leather node. City B has 1 Metal node, a Wood node, a Cloth node, and the rare Magical Essence node. City C has 2 Wood nodes, a Leather node, and a Cloth node. As you can see, you will be required to move from location to location, and if you are short on certain resources, certain cities are even more advantageous (such as getting wood in City C).

deFunkt29
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Joined: 01/04/2011
I've been having a problem

I've been having a problem while thinking up gear for the heroes. If lets say a sword adds 2 physical damage. You draw a card that requires 5 physical damage to pass it, you have 3 sword-like weapons on the party and pass the card (although I'm thinking increasing the required number needed and adding a single dice roll to your overall damage might be kind of neat, add in a slight randomness factor). This is all fine and dandy, but what would armour do? There's not really any need to protect a hero in my game, since the cards are very simple, you either beat what the card says, or you don't, and you face consequences (such as losing gear, having to restart dungeon, etc.). Could there be certain cards that require you to have a certain over-all armour value, such as traps and such? This makes sense, but it would still be neat if there was a way that armour came in to effect against average monsters, such as negating certain punishments if you fail in destroying them. For example, if you have a certain amount of armour, you take a reduced punishment, etc. But, I still don't want to over complicate the dungeon game play, as it is not the focus. Does anyone have any comments/ideas?

Grall Ritnos
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Armor and Complexity

Regarding the armor issue, it may be possible to simply have armor contribute to the combat total, much as a weapon does. Munchkin does this to simplify the math, and it works quite smoothly. On the surface, this may seem to be a bit of a cop out, but when you think about the fact that strong armor allows a hero to fight longer, thus getting in more hits with his or her sword, it makes sense. That, and many RPGs also use armor which grant attribute or elemental bonuses to attack anyway, so that would be clearly within the dungeon crawl genre.

On a more general note, I thought I'd share one impression that derives from reading this thread. I understand you're still in brainstorming right now, and so all ideas should be considered and toyed with, so this discussion has been very helpful. However, as of now, I have little idea what your game is really about. Is it a game about resource collection and trade? Is it a game about setting up heroes for dungeon crawls? Is the main point of the game to out maneuver opponents to corner the market? At some stage of development (a stage which you probably haven't reached yet), it will probably help you to settle on an identity for your game and consider trimming away mechanics that don't fit the core theme. Depending on your desired audience, you may be able to focus on two themes, but the mechanics will need to be very tight to help the game feel cohesive and understandable. I think any of the directions being pursued right now have potential for a great game, but from my outsider's point of view, a game which tries to do all of these things may collapse under its own weight. Just my $0.02.

Overall though, I want to reiterate, great thoughts and discussion so far. :-)

deFunkt29
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Joined: 01/04/2011
Ya, that makes sense just to

Ya, that makes sense just to have a combat total. It would make things easier, and it would also put less need on just supplying weapons in order to pass certain cards. Thanks!

I definitely know what you mean, I've been trying to thin out the game a bit, letting go of some mechanics as I go along. The problem is, in my current version there is a fair amount going on, but none of it is very easy to take out without some major reworking of the game. I've been trying to compensate for all of this by making the mechanics quite simpler (every time I go back to the dungeon crawling, things get simpler haha), but you definitely have a point. I think I mainly have two choices for the games future at the moment. Go deeper into dungeon crawling (which I wanted to avoid from the start)/allow merchants to control certain heroes, or focus more on trade and as you said 'cornering the market'. Both have benefits, but I just would really like to focus more on trade and supplying, but still maintain a somewhat interesting and entertaining (yet simple) dungeon system. I don't want it to just be "Heroes go into dungeon, have this many combat points, so they win!". I think it would be nice to include some treasure, and a few extra mechanics into it. But I see your point as well.

Thanks for the input!

deFunkt29
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Joined: 01/04/2011
I've been thinking all day,

I've been thinking all day, what problems persist in the game and a big one came up- what will make the parties buy gear, how much will they buy it for, and what happens if someone tries to sell them a new piece of gear that they already have the same type as (so they don't necessarily need it, but the gear may be better). I came up with some solutions/ideas that I'd like to get some input on.

How much they buy it for could be entirely up to the selling player. I was thinking a simple solution would be each player offers a price. Then, for the gear they are selling, they take the gear's power (eg. 3) add a point if it has an additional effect (1), and subtract the cost (eg. 2). The party of heroes will then buy whichever one has the highest value (so this one would have 2, 3 for power, 1 for effect, and -2 for the cost). Another idea would be if each party had some sort of nature that characterizes what gear they prefer. Maybe 5 cards in total (each party of the 3 picks one) would be possible. For example, one party could really want gear with effects, 1 party looks for more expensive gear, one party mainly wants gear the effects dice rolls etc. This is an interesting idea, but could make some gear impossible to sell if the right nature isn't in the game (but perhaps if the party dies, the nature gets replaced)

For what will make the parties buy gear in the first place, it would mainly be based on demand, what weapons they need, and which are cheapest etc. But, if they already have gear, things get complicated. One idea is to include more situations where gear would get broken, maybe even some event cards that would destroy certain gear. Another thing is perhaps if a new piece of gear is offered to a party that is superior (more power, or same power with an effect), the party will want to buy that one. It'd be neat if every time a party wanted to buy new gear, the players went on a sort of bidding war to make the parties buy their products, but the problem is when the parties will want new gear (though I think event cards would be a neat solution).

Some other ideas in the game that I think will need to be changed are resources (possibly even having no resources), how fame works, more balanced gear (because after turn 1, having a blueprint for a weak weapon would be next to useless), and how players can gain control over parties. I'll go over these once I've thought about them more, just wanted some feedback on my above points!

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